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Today's star Hoda Kotb 'depressed' young guest with body language, backlash not surprising, expert says

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TODAY Hoda Kotb snubbed a child on TV with her unmistakably controlling gestures, a body language expert has claimed.

And she thinks the veteran broadcaster should know better since the eight-year-old was presenting live and likely for the first time.

Today host Hoda Kotb puts a hand on Vale Guthrie's head almost as soon as she starts talking to the camera on the morning show

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Today host Hoda Kotb puts a hand on Vale Guthrie’s head almost as soon as she starts talking to the camera on the morning showCredit: BNC
Hoda and her co-presenter Savannah Guthrie with Vale, eight, who was explaining to today's audience how the stock market works

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Hoda and her co-presenter Savannah Guthrie with Vale, eight, who was explaining to today’s audience how the stock market worksCredit: BNC

In an exclusive interview, body language expert Judi James told The US Sun: “Hoda eclipsed a rising star who looked like a bashing as she relegated Vale further from the adult world she had been trying to manage for a while. the segment.

“The hand on Vale’s head and hand laying dismissively on Vale’s shoulder seemed condescending to the audience, who learned from her. Their reaction was therefore expected.

“Hoda interrupts Vale when she starts speaking, and then we get five or more hand gestures to the head when she continues so eloquently.

“As a mother and presenter, Hoda should think about how Vale might have felt when a much larger anchor put a hand on her head while she was talking to the camera while pointing at it.”

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Earlier this week, eight-year-old Vale joined her mother, now co-host Savannah Guthrie, at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell alongside Hoda.

And while the event was organized for the two presenters in their fifties to celebrate five years of anchoring together, it was the young Vale who stole the show.

During the live segment and looking confidently into the camera for what seemed like the very first time, Vale delivered her information in a clear and eloquent manner to the audience.

Briefly unpacking how the stock market works, she said, “Basically when companies get big enough, they sell parts of their companies to the public and on the stock exchange, you sell and buy those parts of the company.”

But while Vale received a round of applause from the audience and continued to smile proudly, several Instagram followers were less than impressed and puzzled by Hoda’s body language.

As Hoda continued to place her right hand on Vale’s head intermittently, one of them asked, “Why do you keep putting your hand on her head?”

While another viewer commented, “That was so boring!”

Hoda keeps her hand on Vale's head who starts to look away from the camera and a bit shy as her mother appears to wince at Hoda

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Hoda keeps her hand on Vale’s head who starts to look away from the camera and a bit shy as her mother appears to wince at HodaCredit: BNC

Amazingly, in 2017, Savannah and Hoda made today’s history by becoming the first all-female anchor team in 70 years after the departure of Matt Lauer.

Hoda joined NBC in 1998 while Savannah joined Today in 2011.

And while the couple’s on-screen chemistry has often seemed questionable, the two women have clearly shared similar experiences becoming older mothers.

Savannah with her two children Vale and Charley at her New York home in 2021

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Savannah with her two children Vale and Charley at her New York home in 2021Credit: Instagram

Savannah, 51, has daughter Vale, eight, and son Charley, five, with husband Michael Feldman, while Kotb, 58, is mum to daughters Haley Joy, five, and Hope Catherine, three. , with Joel Schiffman.

In fact, last summer Savannah said: “We talk a lot about being older moms, that we’re in our 50s but our kids are small.

“There are downsides to it, but we both feel like it gives you perspective and it makes you calmer as a parent.”

Guthrie added, “Raising children when their mothers are in the public eye is something we talk about and really want to think about.”

Hoda on a boating vacation with her two children Haley five and Hope three

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Hoda on a boating vacation with her two children Haley five and Hope threeCredit: Instagram/Hoda Kotb

Of this week’s controversial appearance, Judi adds: ‘Being eight seems relatively adult for some kids.

“That’s about the age when they stop wanting to be talked to and treated like babies.

“Having a stranger put their hand on your head would feel like a belittlement, as it takes you further away from the adult world and pushes you down.

“That’s why the smartest approach for Hoda would have been to squat down to Vale’s level to make her feel equal and special.

“The last thing Vale needed was Hoda’s condescending hand on her head that could have messed up her beautiful hair as well.

“Vale comes off loving the attention and admiration of the public, but at the same time wearing someone’s hand like a hat, which can be embarrassing.

“You can see why the public, and others, were shaken by Hoda.

“Vale feels pretty grown up and is also busy explaining the stock market to a live camera, showing an intellectual ability and understanding that goes beyond some of the watching audience.

“Yes, she does come across as a bit shy at times, but she’s a confident enough performer to hold the sweetest of smiles on camera while her mother and Hoda talk to each other somewhere above her head.

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“Most of the audience is siding with Vale through this interview.

“Next time Vale should have had its own niche.”

Hoda points to Vale and keeps her hand on the girl's head, which body language expert Judi James says looks condescending

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Hoda points to Vale and keeps her hand on the girl’s head, which body language expert Judi James says looks condescendingCredit: BNC
Hoda takes center stage at the Forbes 50 Over 50 Luncheon in 2008

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Hoda takes center stage at the Forbes 50 Over 50 Luncheon in 2008Credit: Getty


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