Big Morning for ‘Today:’ Manning, Anderson, Jenner and One Direction

By Chris Ariens 

NBC’s breakfast show had an outsized helping of news this morning, including an interview with kidnapped Hannah Anderson, a revelation from just-sentenced WikiLeaker Bradley Manning, and the Kardashian mom (Kris not Kim) made some news too.

Plus, the the area outside “Today’s” Rockefeller Center studio is packed with fans of One Direction ahead of their concert tomorrow. (And it’s pouring rain right now.)

The big news was revealed half-way through the first hour — half-way through an interview with Manning’s lawyer, when Savannah Guthrie read a statement from the disgraced Army private:

“I am Chelsea Manning. I am female. I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility).”

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday for his part in leaking more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks.

The two-part interview with Anderson was her first since being freed from a kidnapper she knew, a man who killed her mother and brother. She is still under scrutiny, but in her interview today, thanked those who rescued her. “In the beginning, I was a victim.  But now knowing everyone out there’s helping me, I consider myself a survivor instead. My mom raised me to be strong.”

And in a bit of incestuous booking, Kris Jenner phoned in to talk about her upcoming daytime talk-show interview with her sort-of son-in-law Kanye West. “Tough booking,” Matt Lauer joked. “Well, he is my roommate,” said Jenner. It wasn’t a very tough booking for “Today” either since both NBC and E! where the Kardashians rule, are both owned by Comcast. Jenner’s show, however, is produced by 20th Television, a 21st Century Fox company and airs, mostly, on Fox affiliates.