Muted SD teen completes around-the-world flight

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What Matthew Guthmiller did while you slept last night is a pretty big deal, becoming the youngest person to fly around the world alone.

You won’t hear much about it, however, because in 2014, it’s all about the cash, and NBC’s Today show has paid the family to be quiet about it.

Guthmiller, from Aberdeen, South Dakota, was greeted by about 40 people when he landed near San Diego, following a 16-hour flight from Hawaii. His mother had flown in from South Dakota, too. And a few people in the media were on hand to record his words.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said. Ah, then. That’s one small step for checkbook journalism.

The San Diego Union Tribune says there was a reason for the brevity. His mother says the family signed an exclusivity contract with NBC.

He’ll tell his story on the program this week, then head home to South Dakota to continue his obscurity.

  • Jason Mock

    I have a great comment to make on this post, but I’m looking for an exclusive commenting deal. If you send me $20 and a tote bag, I’ll comment here. Otherwise, I’m taking my comments to the highest bidder.

  • MrE85

    Does he get to keep the shirt?

  • Matt H

    I agree that reputable news sources paying for exclusivity is slimy.

    However, as you know, cash has been THE motivating factor in aviation since the beginning. It was as much about the cash in 1903 as it is today. And now, without the prevalence of the kinds of cash prizes that once help spur these feats, it is understandable for the family to seek some remuneration to help defray the costs of such a feat. Which doesn’t make NBC paying for the exclusive any less slimy.

  • AmberDealesio

    Good for him, he’s cute too!

  • KTFoley

    From yesterday’s article, “He’s trying to raise attention and money for an organization that encourages people to explore computer science.”

    Curious to know how paring his outlets down to a single appearance will support that intention. On one hand, he’s got a guaranteed national audience and a certain (though finite & undisclosed) amount of money. On the other hand, he’s given up all other chances within the news cycle to speak about the organization. Once NBC runs their piece it will be back to obscurity, just as Bob said.

    Since I’ve followed this only through NewsCut, I don’t know about his effort or success in delivering the message at other press opportunities during his trip. We’ll find out whether he’s had enough practice at introducing the topic during breathless interviews next week, along with the rest of the Today Show viewers.