Billy Bush on Today: ‘I Don’t Want to Be the New Guy Ruffling Feathers’

By Mark Joyella 

In an interview airing Monday on SiriusXM Radio, NBC’s Billy Bush talked about fitting in as the “new guy” at The Today Show, and about his exclusive interview with Ryan Lochte in Rio.

Some noted that when Bush got the Lochte exclusive, he called his old team at Access Hollywood, not his new team at Today. “I felt easier calling [Access Hollywood]—I don’t want to be the new guy ruffling feathers. I’m trying to fit in, like anyone would in a new place … I don’t want to be like ‘Get me a crew in 10 minutes!’ They’d be like ‘Oh, he’s so high maintenance. He’s the worst guy. What a diva. He’s yelling for a crew, like he needs a crew. Jesus this guy.’ So I called the old show where I’ve been for 15 years where I said ‘Get me a crew!'”

The resulting interview, where Lochte told his “over-exaggerated” story of being robbed at gunpoint, was knocked by some for Bush’s failure to press Lochte on the details. Bush says he got what he could in the short time he had:


Now the sportswriter for the New York Times, Sandomir or whatever, he said that I was a complete wuss and didn’t ask him any follow-up questions. The whole video is one minute and forty seconds before – if you look at the end – the U.S.O.C., U.S. Olympic Committee, comes over and interrupts the whole thing and stops it. So really, I was lucky to gather – I was just in listening mode. As you know, when something big is happening you listen, you listen, you let everything come out as much as you can, and then you start the follow-ups. So I didn’t really get to do much of that because that’s all we had.