Barney Bristles at Savannah’s Questions

By Betsy Rothstein Comment

NBC “TODAY show” host Savannah Guthrie deserves a beach vacation to for barreling through an interview with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) as he insulted her, the media and her questions.

Not known for a gentle bedside manner with journalists, Frank can often be Gingrichesque in his tone toward the media during interviews, often calling reporters’ questions stupid mid-interview. Some reporters love his, pardon the pun, frankness. Others find it grating and intimidating. Guthrie faced the throat lisping curmudgeon in a Tuesday morning interview regarding his decision to not run for reelection to Congress. After she suggested that his decision could signal that Dems may not take back the house, Frank replied, “I wish we could talk substance in the media sometimes. I know that’s against, kind of apparently, the rules.”At one point he dismisses her questions as “Gotcha! Journalism” and tells her that her questions are typical in that they foster a negative dialogue and inability for lawmakers to get anything done. Not missing a beat, she immediately fired back, “Back to the tone, I mean you do make a fair point about the media. On the other hand, you certainly are known for your sharp and acerbic at times tongue. Do you feel any responsibility for your own role for that tone that we do see in Washington?” Frank tells her she’s “four for four” on negative questions. He says she “exemplifies” a negative tone that he claims didn’t used to exist.

Watch the tense exchange here.