Hey, Newscasters: You Should Cry More

Jessica Gold, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.


Since the coronavirus pandemic first began, news anchors have been much more vulnerable on the air.

During a Today show broadcast on March 27, Hoda Kotb became choked up and started to cry after speaking to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees about how the pandemic had affected his hometown, and a $5 million donation he made to relief efforts. When Hoda couldn’t finish the segment, her co-anchor Savannah Guthrie kindly took over. A clip of that moment has been viewed over 2.7 million times on Twitter, and it wasn’t Brees’ name that was trending.

CNN’s Erin Burnett cried interviewing a woman whose husband had died from COVID-19, and Don Lemon wiped away tears when talking about his friend and anchor Chris Cuomo’s diagnosis. In more positive news, Anderson Cooper shared that he had become a father, but expressed dismay that his own parents and brother hadn’t lived to meet his son.

These moments each caused a stir across social media, and it’s easy to see why people connect so strongly to them. It’s nice to know we aren’t alone, and that the public personalities we uphold or idolize can be overcome by feelings, too. But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy needle for the on-camera talent to thread.

Read the full piece in In Style.

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