The unexpected absence of co-host Savannah Guthrie from the February 16 edition of the “Today” show left many viewers bewildered and disheartened. In her conspicuous vacancy, co-host Hoda Kotb briefly mentioned Guthrie’s absence, leaving Craig Melvin to fill her esteemed shoes for the day.

But where was Guthrie, the beloved face of the morning show? It turns out she was embarking on a book tour to promote her latest literary endeavor, “Mostly What God Does: Reflections on Seeking and Finding His Love Everywhere.” Her tour kicked off with an auspicious surprise in Texas, where former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush made an unexpected appearance to show their support for Guthrie’s literary pursuits.

Yet, amidst the fanfare surrounding Guthrie’s book tour, it was an ill-fated interview that stole the spotlight. Just before setting off on her tour, Guthrie engaged in a conversation with singer and actress Kelly Rowland about her upcoming Netflix film “Mea Cupla.” However, Guthrie’s line of questioning took an unexpected turn when she delved into Rowland’s relationship with her longtime friend and fellow musician Beyoncé.

Referencing footage from their days in Destiny’s Child, Guthrie probed Rowland about Beyoncé’s career trajectory, suggesting a move into country music. This departure from the film discussion raised eyebrows and drew sharp criticism from viewers. Many felt Guthrie’s interrogation was not only intrusive but also disrespectful to Rowland and the purpose of her appearance.

Social media erupted with commentary, with one commentator on X (formerly Twitter) expressing dismay, labeling Guthrie’s questioning as “disrespectful” and unwarranted. Fans echoed similar sentiments, questioning the appropriateness of Guthrie’s line of questioning and its relevance to the interview at hand.

In the aftermath of the interview, Guthrie’s absence from the “Today” show was overshadowed by the fallout from her conversation with Rowland. The incident prompted a broader conversation about journalistic boundaries and the responsibilities of interviewers in the realm of celebrity journalism.

In conclusion, while Guthrie’s book tour may have explained her temporary departure from the morning show, it was her controversial interview with Kelly Rowland that ignited a firestorm of criticism and debate about the ethics of celebrity journalism.