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?”
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.
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?”
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows denounced Donald Trump’s campaign ad going after Bill Clinton’s treatment of women as a “another low” in the presidential race and parroted Hillary Clinton’s campaign talking points dismissing numerous sex abuse allegations against her husband as “old” and “discredited.” On NBC’s Today, Matt Lauer warned the campaign was “getting even nastier.”
During a fawning interview with former Vice President Al Gore aired on Monday’s NBC Today, correspondent Anne Thompson teed up the global warming activist to bash Republicans: “Do you see a Trump presidency undoing all the progress that the U.S. has made in the last ten years in the fight against climate change?” Thompson fretted: “This is a man who’s called climate change a ‘hoax’ and other words that we cannot use on network TV....So where's the hope?"
Reacting to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell claiming on Thursday that her 1999 rape accusation against Bill Clinton was “discredited,” Juanita Broaddrick blasted the reporter: “Andrea is obviously mad at me for exposing her rudeness and bias when she called me this year. I think being a lapdog for Hillary Clinton discredits Andrea Mitchell and NBC as journalists!”
In an interview on Friday’s NBC Today with the filmmakers of the newly-released documentary about disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, perplexed co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered: “How on earth did you get this access? But why on earth would Anthony Weiner grant that kind of access, knowing what he knew about himself?”
On Thursday’s NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell was so deep in the tank for Hillary Clinton that the veteran reporter claimed a major scoop from her own network about Bill Clinton being accused of rape was a “discredited” story. Mitchell was aghast that Donald Trump mentioned rape allegations against the former president during a Wednesday night interview: “...using that word unprompted during an interview last night...bringing up a discredited and long-denied accusation against former President Bill Clinton...”
After Hillary Clinton lost yet another primary contest to Bernie Sanders in Oregon on Tuesday, Wednesday’s network morning shows began sounding the alarm that he could damage her chances in the general election and lamented that the socialist senator was “not going away.” On NBC’s Today, correspondent Kristen Welker declared: “The Democrats are as divided as ever this morning....All of this complicating Clinton's efforts to try to focus on the fight against Donald Trump.”
In an interview streamed on YouTube and Facebook Live on Monday, Buzzfeed News legal editor Chris Geidner grilled President Obama over his nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court: “...a large part of your legacy on judicial nominations has been diversifying the federal bench....You had an opportunity with this nomination to, for the first time in the nation’s history, if the justice was confirmed, to have a Supreme Court that was not a majority of straight white men. Why didn’t you take that opportunity?”
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.”
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.”