While NBC’s Today saw only setbacks and controversy for Republican presidential candidates on Friday, the morning show happily applauded Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton telling late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel that she would win a hypothetical election against husband Bill Clinton.
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. His media analysis has been routinely cited by nationally syndicated radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, as well as on Fox News and The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.com website. He joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science.
In an interview with Donald Trump on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered why the Republican presidential candidate accepted an invitation to host Saturday Night Live: “As you are perfectly aware, there are Latino groups that are outside protesting NBC and SNL because you are hosting this weekend. Are you surprised that SNL asked you to host after there was this acrimonious split with NBC back in the summer? And why did you accept?”
In an interview with Republican Montana Senator Steve Daines on Wednesday about his endorsement of Marco Rubio for president, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell continued pushing attacks on Rubio’s Senate attendance: “One argument, though, is that he has not been in the Senate very much....That since announcing his candidacy has missed 42% of his votes.” Daines hit back: “Yeah, well, I think that’s an example of a liberal media bias. Let's take a look at President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry...”
On Wednesday, while discussing Forbes magazine releasing its 2015 Most Powerful list, the hosts of CBS This Morning were perplexed by Russian president Vladimir Putin beating out President Obama for the top spot, with Obama only being number three on the list. Charlie Rose pressed Forbes assistant managing editor Luisa Kroll: “Make the case as to why Vladimir Putin is more powerful than President Obama.”
In a friendly exchange with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell on Tuesday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell tried to tee up the Obama administration cabinet official to slam Republican presidential frontrunner Ben Carson on abortion: “...a pediatric neurologist who does not get involved with care for women's reproductive systems....says that life begins with conception, no exceptions for the life of the mother unless someone can persuade him, and no exceptions for rape and incest.”
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows happily touted President Obama attacking Republicans at a Democratic fundraiser Monday night over GOP presidential candidates objecting to CNBC’s biased debate. At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “The Republican candidates, briefly unified, splinter again over their debate demands as President Obama takes a swipe, mocking the Republican field's beef with debate moderators.”
In a stunning display of arrogance on Monday, the cast of ABC’s The View not only refused to apologize for calling Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina “demented” following the latest GOP debate, but co-host Whoopi Goldberg actually further attacked Fiorina for criticizing the talk show over the vicious smear.
Appearing on the 11 a.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on Monday, Up host Steve Kornacki fretted that Bernie Sanders was attacking Hillary Clinton in his first television campaign ad: “There is also – and see if you can spot it in here – there is also a veiled shot at Hillary Clinton.”
On Monday’s NBC Today, MSNBC political analyst Nicolle Wallace explained the Republican Party’s long-term distrust of the press: “At the core is a massive generational distrust with the mainstream media and it bubbled over in the debate last week.”
In a letter to NBC News president Andrew Lack on Friday, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus informed the network “that pending further discussion between the Republican National Committee (RNC) and our presidential campaigns, we are suspending the partnership with NBC News for the Republican primary debate at the University of Houston on February 26, 2016.”
On Friday, NBC’s Today tried to spin Republicans objecting to CNBC’s disastrous debate moderators as a problem for the GOP. Co-host Matt Lauer declared: “Grand old problems. Republican candidates reportedly planning to meet about changing how future debates are organized...”
While conservatives have almost uniformly denounced CNBC for its biased and sloppy questioning throughout Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate, even left-wing website Salon has joined in panning the network’s poor performance: "There’s no getting around it: The network did a terrible job. From the moment people tuned in at 8 p.m. and saw a bunch of barely articulate anchors jabbering incoherently for an endless 15 minutes right to the second the debate met a merciful end, CNBC presented a textbook example of what not to do."
Despite the incredibly biased performance of the moderators of CNBC’s Republican presidential debate, on Thursday’s NBC Today, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd portrayed his business network colleagues as victims of a GOP plot: “Look, in many ways this was a premeditated attack. There had been some leaked ideas that, you know, beforehand, they were going to go after the moderators and say, ‘Hey, the Democrats didn't get questions like this,’ and they determined this before the debate even started.”
Even after telling Florida Senator Marco Rubio that he had the “breakout performance of the night” during Wednesday’s Republican debate, on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie urged the GOP presidential candidate to resign from the U.S. Senate: “...once and for all, answer The Sun Sentinel’s question, should you resign, would you resign? Why not leave your Senate seat and just remove this issue from your opponents, remove it from the discourse?”
Ahead of Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate, NBC’s Today promoted Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton having “her own battle plan heading into tonight,” preparing to respond to the GOP 2016 field with a new ad blitz.
Hours before Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate, NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America both seized on a hit piece in Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper demanding that Marco Rubio resign his Senate seat. At the top of Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: “Florida Senator Marco Rubio gets dealt a tough blow from one of his state's newspapers.”
On her Tuesday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell reminisced over CNBC’s Washington correspondent John Harwood tripping up Rick Perry during a 2011 Republican presidential debate. After playing a clip of the infamous “oops” moment, Mitchell turned to Harwood and proclaimed: “John, what are you doing when you're not ending people's presidential candidate's race? I mean, that was a memorable moment.”
In an emotional exchange with MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell on Monday, Patricia Smith, mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, blasted Hillary Clinton for not answering questions during Thursday’s congressional hearing on the 2012 terrorist attack: “I watched every minute....Hillary didn't answer the questions. I'm still waiting...”
In an interview with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday’s Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried that the socialist presidential candidate was out of step with “mainstream Democrats.” However, it was not because of Sanders’ radical left-wing views, but because he was not anti-gun enough.
Following a Hillary Clinton campaign rally on Saturday that featured singer Katy Perry and former President Bill Clinton, NBC and ABC were beside themselves in gushing over the event. On Saturday’s NBC Nightly News, correspondent Kelly O’Donnell proclaimed: “Hillary Clinton's team is going all in on star power....husband Bill Clinton's first campaign stop here in Iowa....superstar hit maker [Katy Perry], whose song is Clinton’s campaign theme.... After a tough slide this summer, Clinton has hit a high note.”