On Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer welcomed Congress back from its summer recess by warning of a government shutdown: “Congress back in session, okay, after a long recess. One of the topics we're going to hear about in the coming months or weeks the possible shutdown of the government again.” The headline on screen announced: “Congress Back to Work; Top Priority: Preventing Government Shutdown.”
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.
Looking at social media reaction to controversial 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick maintaining his Black Lives Matter protest against the National Anthem during a military appreciation night in San Diego, on Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Carson Daly skewed the segment toward messages of support for the NFL player: “Yeah, there very much are two sides...His decision has many people on social media quite divided.”
On Friday’s NBC Today, correspondent Hallie Jackson seized on a report that Donald Trump was set to participate in a “scripted” question and answer session with a pastor at a black church during an upcoming campaign stop in Detroit: “Donald Trump will focus on delivering his message to minority communities....that trip to Detroit to a black church over the weekend. But that trip is raising eyebrows with word it is scripted.”
During her MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell gleefully cheered Joe Biden campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Ohio: “...this is classic Joe Biden, this is Joe from Scranton, talking about all of those working class blue-collar labor towns that you know well in Pennsylvania and Ohio and this is the heart and soul of the Democratic strategy in the rust belt.”
In an interview with Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine on Thursday, the hosts of CBS This Morning actually grilled the Virgnia senator over Hillary Clinton refusing to talk to the press. Fill-in co-host Demarco Morgan lead off the contentious exchange: “Senator, this was Donald Trump's first meeting with a head of state as the nominee and he immediately opened up the floor to reporters for questions. When will we see Hillary open up the floor and take questions from reporters at any event?”
On her MSNBC show on Tuesday, anchor Andrea Mitchell teed up The Atlantic's senior political columnist Ron Fournier to promote his latest op/ed declaring Donald Trump “unfit” to be president compared to the “very experienced” Hillary Clinton: “...you've got a provocative column up today....you said there is ‘no equivalency’ between Clinton and Trump. That, ‘Hillary has her problems, but Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency.’”
On Wednesday’s NBC Today, correspondent Kerry Sanders once again acted like a representative from the Cuban board of tourism as he reported live from a plane set to take off for the Communist nation: “Well, good morning from the cockpit of Jetblue Flight 387....this is going to be a one hour and eight minute flight into history.” The on-screen headline proclaimed: “U.S. Flights to Cuba Resume; Jetblue Makes History With First Flight in More Than 50 years.”
In an attempt to guilt the United States into accepting Syrian refugees, in an August 24 article, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof compared their plight to that of Jews during the Holocaust and claimed “Anne Frank Today is a Syrian Girl." Appearing on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Tuesday, the liberal journalist claimed America had blood on its hands.
Discussing the latest sexting scandal for Anthony Weiner on Tuesday’s NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell commented on top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin separating from the disgraced ex-congressman: “...despite their long-troubled marriage and that friends say that this was coming for a long time....they were trying to continue with this facade of a marriage....it worked for them for now. They were hoping to at least get through the campaign, through the election. But then it became untenable.”
During an interview with actress Tika Sumpter in 9 a.m. ET hour of Monday’s NBC Today about her role in a new biopic about the first date of Barack and Michelle Obama, co-host Al Roker eagerly wondered if the First Couple had seen the movie yet: “Have you heard at all from the Obamas?” Sumpter replied: “We haven't, not yet. I mean, I know they know about it."
While all three network morning shows on Monday acknowledged the “controversy” and “outrage” swirling around 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand during the National Anthem, the broadcasts still framed the disrespectful act as him taking a “stand” to “protest racism in America.”
In a screed published on news channel Fusion’s website on Friday, executive editor Dodai Stewart and editor-in-chief Alexis C. Madrigal demanded that white men need not apply to the job of being presidential debate moderators in the fall: “This isn’t what America looks like. Issues around race, gender, immigration, discrimination and justice are not just talking points – they’re a matter of life or death for many. We need moderators who better reflect this reality.”
In an interview aired on Friday’s NBC Today with Dr. William Petit – the sole survivor of a brutal home invasion in which his wife and two daughters were murdered – correspondent Cynthia McFadden pressed the now-candidate for Connecticut’s state house on his support for the death penalty: “The two men who committed the crime were sentenced to death, but then Connecticut voted to eliminate the death penalty entirely. Dr. Petit was an outspoken critic of the change.”
After all three network morning shows promoted the Clinton campaign’s attempt to discredit criticism of the Clinton Foundation on Wednesday, on Thursday, both NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning kept providing the Democratic nominee with a megaphone to defend the family charity and dismiss accusations of corruption.
Appearing on Fox News’s Special Report on Monday, The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes blasted the media for trying to dismiss the Clinton Foundation scandal as just another Republican attack line against Hillary Clinton: “What amuses me as I follow other media outlets covering this is they continue to try to cast this as if it’s about Republicans. ‘Republicans are attacking Hillary Clinton on the Foundation e-mails. Republicans say – ’ This isn’t about Republicans, this is about Hillary Clinton having made repeated representations that have turned out to be false.”
On Wednesday, while all three network morning shows did cover the latest revelation that over half of Hillary Clinton’s non-government meetings during her time as Secretary of State were with Clinton Foundation donors, the broadcasts also recited Clinton campaign spin dismissing the Associated Press report as “utterly flawed.”
On Tuesday’s NBC Today, Al Roker used an 8 a.m. ET hour weather report to mount his climate change soapbox and issue a dire warning to viewers: “Well, it has been a really hot year and it just continues. 15 consecutive months of record warmth, global temperatures....But look what happens if we project out to 2050, look at how much further you start to see that deep red of 50-plus days above 100.”
During an exclusive interview with the widow of Muhammad Ali on Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried: “Muhammad's message was to bring people together, and we live in a time right now in this country, and around the world, when there’s so much division. And I wonder in the last years of his life, was he disappointed and distressed by that?”
Appearing on MSNBC during the 11 a.m. ET hour on Monday, attorney and former Republican National Committee counsel Mark Braden denounced an attempt by anchor Tamron Hall to dismiss claims of voter fraud as “extraordinarily rare” and “minuscule.” He also called her out for citing statistics from liberal “advocacy group” that she labeled “nonpartisan.”
Talking to longtime Democratic strategist and Clinton operative James Carville on Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer fretted that Donald Trump visiting the flood zone in Louisiana could give him an edge in the presidential race: “He goes down there, looks at the damage first hand, talks to people, before President Obama. It wasn’t until after his visit that Hillary Clinton picked up the phone, called the governor there. Did he appear more presidential in the wake of that tragedy than Hillary Clinton?”