Interviewing former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer wondered if Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal would have a lasting impact on the 2016 campaign: “You don't have to be a Republican operative to find trouble in the headlines surrounding Hillary Clinton. Any time you put the words ‘Hillary Clinton, e-mail, top secret, and FBI’ in the same sentence, you’ve got a problem. Do you see any sign that this is gonna go away soon?”
Kyle Drennen is a Media Research Center news analyst and serves as a contributing writer to NewsBusters. He joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science.
Rushing to defend Hillary Clinton in the wake of revelations that the former secretary of state sent classified material via a private e-mail server, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell fretted on Wednesday: “...there's going to be a cloud of suspicion, though, by those who just want to see conspiracy theories. There's almost no way she can clear this up to the satisfaction of critics on the other side in terms of the politics of this, and it's taking its toll.”
On MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Tuesday, The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty saw a big advantage for Hillary Clinton in the midst of the Republican primary campaign: “But the fact is this complete chaos on the Republican side is presenting a lot of opportunities for Hillary Clinton, not only to, again, paint them as extremists, but also to actually put some policy points on the board, which is not really happening much on the Republican side.”
On MSNBC’s The Rundown on Tuesday, fill-in host Frances Rivera touted Hillary Clinton slamming Florida Senator Marco Rubio for having “offensive and troubling” views on abortion and asked The Washington Post’s Anne Gearan: “So when you hear Hillary Clinton talk about that...how is this new war on women narrative, if that's what it's going to be called, play into Hillary Clinton's hands?”
On MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts Monday afternoon, environmental reporter Tony Dokoupil described the Environmental Protection Agency causing three million gallons of toxic waste to spill into a Colorado river as “good intentions leading to a bad outcome.” He explained: “This mine has been leaking sludge for a long time and EPA was on the scene in hopes of cleaning it up.”
Appearing on MSNBC’s The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart on Monday, political reporter Alex Seitz-Wald speculated on whether Hillary Clinton would comment on Donald Trump during an upcoming speech in New Hampshire: “...it might be hard for her to resist, right? Donald Trump was the biggest news of the weekend....And he’s been most useful to her as a cudgel against the rest of the GOP field.”
On Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer spent a three-minute interview with Florida Senator Marco Rubio grilling the Republican presidential candidate on an opponent’s debate performance: “Donald Trump refused to rule out a third-party run. He says he's using it as leverage to make sure the party treats him well. Sounds like a bit of a threat to me. How does that impact the way you and other candidates take him on directly?”
During MSNBC’s 4 p.m. ET hour pre-debate coverage on Thursday, Hardball host Chris Matthews called on Fox News moderators to grill the Republican presidential candidates on evolution: “So I would like to think that Fox is just brazen enough to ask some – what they call bizarre questions....If a person doesn’t believe in science or evolution or the evidence of our life on this earth, that’s a bad start. Okay?”
On her Thursday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell fretted that Republican candidates would be not be properly “fact-checked” during the upcoming presidential debate, especially on the Planned Parenthood scandal: “...one of the issues is going to be whether there's going to be any fact checking by the moderators. Certainly we can all do it later after the fact. But the Planned Parenthood debate has not been very fact-based because of those horrific videos, the edited videos.”
In a rare acknowledgment of media responsibility, on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer declared that it was up to the press to properly cover the first Republican presidential debate: “...that idea of substance versus sizzle, one-liners versus issues. That's on us tomorrow as well. We’ve got to make sure that we cover what they talk about, the issues as opposed to those one-liners.”
Appearing on NBC’s Today on Wednesday, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus predicted GOP contenders would be united in their criticism of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in Thursday’s first primary debate. Savannah Guthrie quickly tried to downplay the breaking news that the FBI would be investigating Clinton’s private e-mail server: “In fact, the FBI, according to a report in The Washington Post, is looking into the set-up of her e-mail server. We're going to get a report on that in a moment. They are not looking into Hillary Clinton herself.”
In an interview with Hillary Clinton’s communications director Jen Palmieri on Tuesday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell fretted over the Democratic front-runner’s recent dive in the polls: “The numbers are grim for Secretary Clinton, whose overall unfavorable rating of 48% is worse than any unfavorable rating we've recorded for Barack Obama during his presidency....What do you think is the cause of these poll numbers?”
On Monday, all three network evening newscasts touted President Obama signing an executive order ordering power plants to reduce carbon emissions. On NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt proclaimed: “...a rare moment at the White House. President Obama got unexpectedly emotional as he unveiled a sweeping controversial plan to deal with climate change, which he called ‘one of the key challenges of our lifetime.’”
In an interview with Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, host Chuck Todd demanded to know why the GOP contender had been critical of the left-wing “Black Lives Matter” movement: “...you were also, in an earlier interview this week, asked about the Black Lives Matter movement. And you called it ‘silly.’ Why did you call it silly?” Todd proceeded to parrot the liberal movement’s talking points.
On Monday’s NBC Today, 9 a.m. ET hour co-hosts Tamron Hall and Willie Geist mourned Jon Stewart’s final week anchoring The Daily Show. Hall proclaimed: “Oh my goodness, it is the end of an era. In a few days Jon Stewart will bid farewell to The Daily Show and all of us.” Hall was particularly worried about Stewart’s absence following Thursday’s first Republican presidential debate: “What the saddest thing about this is that the Republican first debate is Thursday night. So we don't have Jon Stewart Friday.”
Talking to the latest Republican to enter the 2016 presidential race, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, on Fox News’s Special Report Thursday, Associated Press White House correspondent Julie Pace worried about the makeup of the GOP field: “If you look at the 17 Republican candidates right now, there's not much diversity in terms of gender and race. What does that say to the American public about diversity in the Republican Party and should that be a priority for the party to diversify?”
On Friday, both NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the State Department releasing thousands more of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails as well as a federal judge demanding the agency do a better job of making all of the former Secretary of State’s communications public.
In article on Thursday entitled “Clinton’s Planned Parenthood ties run deep,” Politico reporters Annie Karni and Anna Palmer touted “opportunities for the Democratic front-runner” despite the scandal swirling around the abortion provider: “And while Republicans seized on the scandal to attack Clinton – demanding that she return the group’s campaign contributions – some Democrats were quick to see some silver linings.”
On Wednesday, the hosts of NBC’s Today cheered the network’s decision to hire former White House chef – and husband of left-wing MSNBC host AlexWagner – Sam Kass. Co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed: “...we’ve got an exciting announcement. You guys remember Sam Kass, of course he’s the former assistant White House chef, executive director of the First Lady's Let's Move campaign, and nutrition advisor to the President....He is becoming an NBC News senior food analyst.”
Appearing on Fox News’s The Kelly File Tuesday night, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie blasted the press over the stunning double standard of its obsession with Bridgegate versus its minimal coverage of a possible criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal: “I'm waiting for the nightly specials on other news networks. I'm waiting for the breathless front-page stories on The New York Times that they don't back off from every time Hillary Clinton yells at them....it's completely biased, unfair, disparate treatment.”