Appearing on Tuesday’s NBC Today, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd touted Hillary Clinton’s supposed best defense against attacks from Donald Trump in a general election: “I do think it raises the importance of Barack Obama as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton. I think you’re going to see over the summer that when she's looking for a character witness, she's not going to turn to Bill, she’s going to turn to Barack.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a slanted hit piece against religious freedom laws for CBS Sunday Morning, correspondent Mark Strassmann proclaimed: “North Carolina's public bathrooms are the new frontier in American civil rights law....Just since the beginning of this year, lawmakers in 34 states have proposed so-called ‘bathroom’ bills and ‘religious freedom’ laws that, critics say, target gay, lesbian and transgender people.”
On Monday, all three network morning shows reveled in President Obama blasting Donald Trump during a college commencement address over the weekend. At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted: “President Obama takes a not-so-veiled shot at Donald Trump in a commencement address...” A soundbite played of Obama ranting: “It's not cool to not know what you're talking about.”
While grilling Donald Trump during Friday’s Good Morning America on whether he would release his tax returns, co-host George Stephanopoulos laughably held up his former boss Hillary Clinton as a model of transparency: “...you said you would release your tax returns when Secretary Clinton released her e-mails. She has turned over all the e-mails in her possession.” Trump countered: “She didn’t turn over all, there's plenty missing. I read yesterday where there are a lot of e-mails missing."
During an interview with the stars of the Hollywood’s latest anti-capitalist screed, Money Monster, on Friday’s NBC Today, correspondent Keir Simmons summed up the plot of the film: “In the movie, [George] Clooney is forced to wear an explosive vest by British rising star Jack O'Connell. Who lost his dead mother's money on stocks.” Simmons noted: “This guy is a terrorist, who you end up feeling sympathy for.”
On Friday, NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer provided Yahoo! News anchor Katie Couric a softball platform to promote her new anti-gun documentary: “She’s here to talk about a powerful new documentary called Under the Gun. It examines both sides of the gun safety debate in this country and explores the drastic rise in mass shootings and daily gun violence across the United States."
On Thursday, TVNewser reported on CNN host Carol Costello telling SiriusXM radio host Dean Obeidallah how she really felt about former Daily Show host Jon Stewart and his routine mocking of her network: “I’ll just be honest with you – it did bug me....It’s easy to cherry-pick, and then you slam somebody. Sometimes we deserve it, and sometimes we don’t..."
After all three Wednesday network evening newscasts censored any coverage of FBI director James Comey labeling the bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server a “criminal investigation,” on Thursday, only CBS This Morning made any mention of the development. In a mere 21-second news brief, co-host Norah O’Donnell informed viewers: “The head of the FBI confirms the probe of Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server is a criminal investigation."
During an interview with Dan Quayle on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer reminded the former Republican vice president of the liberal media narrative that he was unqualified for the job: “And in all honesty, your qualifications were questioned when you became vice president. People worried whether you had the experience to be vice president or president, if that would happen.”
In a contentious interview with Bernie Sanders during her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell hammered the Democratic candidate for continuing to challenge frontrunner Hillary Clinton: “But isn't the bottom line...that she is now fighting a war on two fronts? She’s getting beaten up by Donald Trump on a daily basis....he has been embracing you, he is building you up. He likes the fact that you’re taking her down.”
On Wednesday, CBS This Morning offered a full report on “new developments in the controversy over whether Facebook censors news.” Co-host Norah O’Donnell noted: “Allegations of liberal bias are drawing scrutiny from a powerful Republican senator.... Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune calls the accusations serious.” In the report that followed, correspondent Jan Crawford explained: “South Dakota Senator John Thune is worried the conservative side is being suppressed on the social network."
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows expressed shock and dismay at allegations that Facebook censored conservative political news from its supposed trending news feed. At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie declared: “Censored by Facebook? The popular social network being accused of routinely suppressing conservative stories from its trending feed. The claim coming from former workers.”
At the top of NBC’s Today on Tuesday, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed that Hillary Clinton was “not taking the bait” after Donald Trump “once again brings up her husband's past infidelities.” In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell spun hard for the Democratic candidate: “Donald Trump surprising many observers in both political parties by launching deeply personal attacks on both Hillary and Bill Clinton. The opening round of what is likely to be a vicious campaign.”
On Monday’s NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander framed Donald Trump’s adoption of various liberal policy positions as evidence of his “flexibility” as a candidate: “Trump showing plenty of flexibility on the issues, now open to a minimum wage increase after opposing it during the primaries. Shifting positions on taxes, too. His plan calls for cuts for everybody, which he contradicted last month on Today.”
During a White House press conference in the 12 p.m. ET hour on Friday, President Obama was treated to a series of softball questions from reporters, who repeatedly teed him up to bash Republicans and promote his liberal agenda. Reuters correspondent Jeff Mason got the first question: “Mr. President, what's your reaction to Donald Trump becoming the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party this week? And given the delegate math, do you think it’s time for Bernie Sanders to step aside on the Democratic race?”
After largely ignoring Donald Trump’s liberal past throughout the presidential campaign, on Friday, with Trump poised to become the Republican Party’s 2016 nominee, NBC’s Today finally noticed “the once friendly relationship between the Trumps and the Clintons." Co-host Savannah Guthrie teased the segment: “Plus, the Clintons and the Trumps, from friends to political enemies. How the race for the White House has turned a once cozy relationship into an all-out battle.”
On Thursday, all three network morning shows dutifully promoted the Obama Justice Department threatening to sue North Carolina over its transgender bathroom law and accusing the state of violating the Civil Rights Act. On NBC’s Today, fill-in co-host Natalie Morales breathlessly proclaimed: “New fallout this morning over North Carolina’s controversial transgender law. The Justice Department sent letters to Governor Pat McCrory and state lawmakers saying the newly enacted law violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and cannot be enforced."
At the top of Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: “Game on. Clinton and Trump gear up for their likely general election showdown....They’re two of the most unpopular candidates in recent history.” He then promised an examination of the flaws of both candidates: “This morning, the major obstacles facing both campaigns.”
Appearing on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward declared that the defeat of Ted Cruz in the Republican primary revealed that “Conservatism in America, in the Republican Party, is in a crisis. It just does not sell.” He argued that Cruz lost because “his ideas have not taken hold and they were totally overwhelmed by the Trump campaign.”
During an interview with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose gleefully held up a copy of the Daily News and read the mock obituary on the cover of the left-wing tabloid: “...it says, ‘Republican Party 1854-2016; Dearly beloved, we're gathered here today to mourn the GOP. A once great political party killed by epidemic of Trump.’”