October 15, 2020 - NBC’s Savannah Guthrie Receives Mixed Reaction after Trump Town Hall

During an NBC town hall, moderator Savannah Guthrie directly questions Trump about lies he has told, to whom he owes his debts, and more. She pushes Trump to answer more than many journalists have in previous interviews. In response, Trump supporters criticize Guthrie for representing the liberal media and for continually interrupting Trump. In contrast, others – progressives as well as many journalists – credit Guthrie for holding the president accountable. Characterizations of Guthrie as too aggressive and bullying cannot be wholly separated from her gender, as this approach from women is more likely to be met with discomfort, criticism, and backlash. At a rally after the town hall, Trump said of Guthrie’s performance, “She was like a crazed lunatic. She was literally rising out of her chair as she’s screaming questions.” At the same time, Trump’s grilling by a woman might also discredit his masculine image, at least according to those already inclined to question his strength. As liberal commentator Erin Ryan tweets, “I can’t think of anything more strategically disastrous than trump going head-to-head with @SavannahGuthrie and getting his ass kicked. The white women he needs to defect back to him will see themselves in her. The insecure men who love him will see him losing to a ‘girl’.”