In an interview with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Tuesday, the hosts of CBS This Morning devoted most of the segment to calling for gun control in the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack and demanding the cabinet secretary use his position to promote the cause. Co-host Gayle King began: “But it does raise the question again about gun control. I keep wondering what it's going to take....What will it take to move the needle when it comes to gun control?"
Kyle Drennen is the Media Research Center's Senior News Analyst and a Contributing Editor to NewsBusters. He is the co-author of the 2014 Media Reality Check study, TV News Blacks Out This Year’s Bad Election News for Democrats.
In 2009, he captured the infamous comment from then-Newsweek editor Evan Thomas comparing President Obama to God. Later that same year, he exposed for MSNBC deceptively editing video footage of a Tea Party rally to conceal the racial identity of an African American participant, forcing the liberal network to respond to criticism and explain its actions.
His media analysis has been cited by nationally syndicated radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, as well as media outlets including Fox News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.com, The Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Politico, National Review, among others.
Kyle joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science. He lives in Northern Virginia and can be contacted via email at email@example.com.
During interviews with Hillary Clinton on Monday, both NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning invited the presumptive Democratic nominee to use Sunday’s terrorist attack in Orlando to push her liberal gun control agenda. Today co-host Savannah Guthrie lobbed a softball: “After Newtown, after 20 first graders were killed, the President tried to pass universal background checks. Obviously that was not successful. Why do you feel you may be more successful if elected and in the next Congress?”
As news broke Friday in The Wall Street Journal about Hillary Clinton’s private server containing e-mails discussing classified drone strikes, on NBC’s Today, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd assured viewers that he and his media colleagues would cover the scandal everyday if not for their obsession with Donald Trump’s controversies.
After hailing Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as a “progressive champion” for Hillary Clinton on Thursday, on Friday, NBC’s Today doubled down as co-host Savannah Guthrie led the show by cheering the left-wing lawmaker formerly endorsing the presumptive Democratic nominee: “Clinton's secret weapon?...Is Warren on the VP short list? The speculation that has the political world spinning.”
All three network morning shows on Thursday reveled in the news that during an upcoming White House meeting, President Obama would “nudge” Bernie Sanders out of Hillary Clinton’s way. NBC’s Today set the tone, as co-host Savannah Guthrie led the broadcast by proclaiming: “The presidential push. Bernie Sanders heads to the White House today, where President Obama is expected to gently nudge him out of the race.”
During live MSNBC coverage of a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in the 3 p.m. ET hour on Wednesday, NBC correspondents Ayman Mohyeldin and Martin Fletcher took turns blaming Israel’s “right-wing” government for Palestinian “frustration.” Mohyeldin ranted over “...the shift of Israeli politics, including now the current government, more to the right, to what has been described by Israelis as even more of an extreme right-wing government."
During a political panel discussion on Wednesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer bemoaned Bernie Sanders not yet conceding the Democratic race to Hillary Clinton: “...Bernie Sanders didn't give her, her moment last night. He didn't urge his supporters to get behind her. Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd noted how Democrats wanted to “give Bernie Sanders a little bit of space, give him a little bit of respect,” but advanced potential political threats
Appearing on NBC’s Today Wednesday morning, correspondent Andrea Mitchell could not contain her excitement as she swooned over Hillary Clinton becoming the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party: “...after two bruising presidential primary campaigns, Hillary Clinton, finally able to write her page in the history books....embracing her place in American history.”
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows celebrated the news that Hillary Clinton had won enough delegates to become the presumptive Democratic nominee. At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie heralded: “Making history. NBC News declares Hillary Clinton the presumptive nominee. The first woman in history to be nominated on a major party ticket.”
On Monday, rather than simply remember Muhammad Ali’s boxing career and humanitarian work around the world, NBC’s Today chose to politicize the athlete’s death and praise the liberal activism of his youth. Co-host Savannah Guthrie wanted to avoid a “gauzy portrait” of Ali and instead focus on “How radical, how controversial, and how expensive it was to him personally to do what he did in the '60s, standing up to the war [in Vietnam].”
On Friday, all three network morning shows hailed Hillary Clinton’s vicious tirade against Donald Trump during a speech on Thursday. On NBC’s Today, correspondent Kristen Welker excitedly asked: “Did Hillary Clinton finally crack the code for taking on Donald Trump? That's the big question this morning after Clinton delivered a withering 35-minute speech arguing that electing Trump would be a, quote, ‘historic mistake.’”
In an interview with NBC correspondent Chris Jansing aired during MSNBC’s 1 p.m. ET hour on Thursday, left-wing actress and fervent Bernie Sanders supporter Susan Sarandon called out the lack of media attention for Hillary Clinton’s ongoing e-mail scandal: “I don’t know anybody – nobody’s even talking about this indictment, what happens with that? Besides the trust issue of catching her in so many lies.”
On Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer cheered the “historic accomplishment” of Army Secretary Eric Fanning being the first openly gay military service leader, but fretted over reaction from his Defense Department colleagues: “Have you ever had to confront someone here at the Pentagon because of something they said to your face, something you heard they said behind your back, or a careless comment they may have made?”
On Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes agreed with Donald Trump’s criticism of Hillary Clinton over her refusal to hold press conferences: “...those of us who cover the Hillary Clinton campaign would love to have a press conference, even if she insulted us. You know, she hasn't done one for months and months, which is something that Donald Trump himself noted.”
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows promptly dismissed talk of a third party conservative candidate stepping forward in the presidential race as “fantasy” and “a fool’s errand.” Hosts and correspondents openly mocked the notion of an independent alternative to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. On NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered: “Let's start with this tantalizing tweet from Bill Kristol that there could be a third party candidate....Does this seem realistic, feasible?”
The network morning shows on Friday all praised President Obama’s “historic visit” to Hiroshima, Japan – site of the first nuclear bombing – and him using the occasion to push his foreign policy agenda. Leading off NBC’s Today, announced: “Historic visit. President Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. President to travel to Hiroshima, site of the devastating atomic bombing.”
During a report on Thursday’s CBS This Morning about President Obama’s trip to Japan, correspondent Margaret Brennan noted: “Tomorrow, President Obama will make an historic trip to Hiroshima, a city that the U.S. devastated during World War II with the very first atomic bomb....he wants to underscore the risks still posed by nuclear weapons.”
All three network morning shows on Thursday heralded President Obama blasting Donald Trump during a trip to Japan, declaring that world leaders were “rattled” by the Republican candidate. In stark contrast, when then-President Bush criticized then-Senator Obama’s views on foreign policy during an overseas trip in 2008, those same networks lined up Democrats to denounce the “political shot heard 'round the world.”
On Wednesday, the network morning shows all promoted violent left-wing protests outside a Donald Trump rally in New Mexico as a sign of trouble for the “controversial” GOP candidate and even provided a platform for rioters to justify their actions. At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Matt Lauer breathlessly declared: “Breaking overnight, protests turn violent at a Trump rally in New Mexico. Demonstrators knocking down barriers and throwing rocks.”
In a contentious interview with Bernie Sanders aired on Tuesday’s NBC Today, correspondent Kristen Welker demanded the socialist senator pledge to support Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party: “Would you pledge to Democrats that you’re gonna campaign for Secretary Clinton?...Do you feel a sense of loyalty to the Democratic Party? What would you say to Democrats who have that question?”