On Friday, NBC’s Today lambasted Republicans for daring to oppose President Obama on the process of accepting Syrian refugees into the U.S. Co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “Defying the President, the House on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to impose stringent new screening rules.”
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.
Teasing an upcoming report that amounted to Obama administration propaganda on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “Fighting for family leave....How one mom's courageous battle for more time at home made it all the way to the White House.”
On Thursday, nearly 48 hours after Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that there was a “legitimacy” or a “rationale” behind the January terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, NBC’s Today finally noticed the highly controversial remarks. ABC and CBS continued to ignore Kerry’s offensive comments.
Appearing on Wednesday’s NBC Today, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge repeatedly ripped President Obama’s failing foreign policy against ISIS as co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer sat back without comment.
In a tirade on Monday, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith dismissed legitimate security concerns in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks as a “collective freak-out” that was potentially “dangerous.” He then proceeded to condemn anyone opposed to bringing thousands of Syrian refugees to the United States as “extreme forces within our own political system” that lead us “towards self-destruction.”
Following a press conference in which President Obama stubbornly refused to admit any failures in his strategy to fight ISIS, reporters on NBC and ABC were stunned by the commander-in-chief’s dismissive attitude toward the legitimate tough questioning he received.
In an interview with former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie was incredulous of his criticism of President Obama’s strategy against ISIS: “You wrote in The Washington Post that the President should wage war to defeat ISIS, quote, ‘not merely to harass it.’ That is pretty tough language. Let me be direct with you, are you saying the President is dabbling at war with ISIS?”
On Friday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell actually fact-checked Hillary Clinton’s suspicious tale of trying to join the Marines in 1975: “Those comments are being mocked by Republicans today and they’re getting two Pinocchios from Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler....Why on earth would she go to a Marine recruiter in 1975?...It doesn't make sense.”
As questions began to be raised regarding Hillary Clinton’s dubious claim that she once tried to join the Marines in 1975, on Friday, only NBC’s Today briefly noted the controversy, with co-host Savannah Guthrie warning: “Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is facing scrutiny about a story from her past that she repeated on the campaign trail this week, and it could come up at tomorrow's debate.”
In an interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan for 60 Minutes, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley scolded the congressman for criticizing President Obama’s unconstitutional executive action on illegal immigration: “On your first day as speaker you said you were going to wipe the slate clean. And then in your very first news conference you said the President has, quote, ‘Proven himself untrustworthy on immigration.’ That’s not wiping the slate clean, that’s blowing chalk dust in the President's face.”
Appearing on FNC’s O’Reilly Factor Wednesday night, both Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina hammered the obvious double standard against conservatives in the liberal media. Host Bill O’Reilly asked Rubio: “Is the media out to get you?” Rubio replied: “I do think there’s a bias against – at least a double standard when it comes to those of us who are conservatives. They hold us to a different standard than they hold Democrats and I think you see – and liberals, especially.”
On Wednesday’s NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander actually attempted to discredit Marco Rubio’s rhetorical observation that “Welders make more money than philosophers.” Taking the comment literally, Alexander asserted: “That was one of the most memorable lines of the night, but it's also not true. Government statistics show that philosophers, philosophy teachers in this country, make on average almost twice as much as welders.”
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows interviewed Florida Senator Marco Rubio following Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate and grilled him on GOP opposition to illegal immigration. On NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “One of the most heated exchanges...came over immigration, and Trump's vow to deport 11 million illegal immigrants. Some on the stage suggested that is a gift to Democrats....I asked him if he agreed that his party’s handling of that issue is alienating the Latino voters.”
Attempting to excuse Hillary Clinton laughing at one of her supporters wanting to “strangle” Carly Fiorina, NBC correspondent Kelly O’Donnell appeared on MSNBC’s 3 p.m. ET hour to offer up a defense of the harsh rhetoric: “He then told a very detailed story about having been an employee of HP and laid off and he had a lot of anger and upset about that...So he has a very direct personal relationship, if you will, to Fiorina as the CEO.”
In the wake of an appeals court ruling that handed President Obama a major defeat for his plan to grant executive amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, on her MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell only saw victory for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign: “...this is a win-win proposition for Hillary Clinton. She has actually gone farther in her proposals than Barack Obama...”
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows recited identical liberal talking points on President Obama’s unconstitutional executive order granting amnesty to illegal immigrants being overturned by a federal appeals court. On Monday’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted: “A federal appeals court has dealt a major new blow to President Obama’s plan to protect millions of people from being deported.”
In an effort to dismiss Ben Carson’s charges of media bias, on Monday, NBC’s First Read condescendingly proclaimed: “Welcome to the Big Leagues, Ben Carson.” The political analysis authored by Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, senior political editor Mark Murray, and political editor Carrie Dann further declared: “If you can't deal with media scrutiny as a candidate, you won't be able to handle it as president.”
During an interview with NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer on Monday, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus denounced the “crazy obsession” of the media over alleged inaccuracies in Ben Carson’s biography and pointed out a glaring double standard: “The fact is, you know, we kind of wish the media would be just as obsessed or half obsessed with Hillary Clinton's lies of many years and real relevant things like people who have died in Benghazi and e-mails and everything else.”
In a humorous exchange during MSNBC’s 12 p.m. ET hour coverage of President Obama rejecting the Keystone Pipeline, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd and breaking news anchor Brian Williams mocked the idea that the long-expected decision was in any way a major new development.
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.