On Wednesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer and his colleagues were aghast Team USA’s Olympic champions would be forced to pay taxes on their winning medals. Lauer proclaimed: “Like other medalists, Michael [Phelps] receives a cash bonus for all the hardware. Guess what? He’s gonna have to pay taxes on every single medal and every single bonus. It's called the victory tax.”
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 recent interview with CNN senior political correspondent Manu Raju, New Hampshire Governor and Democratic Senate candidate Maggie Hassan repeatedly dodged questions about whether Hillary Clinton was “honest” and refused to vouch for Clinton’s credibility. Despite the embarrassing exchange making news on cable, the broadcast networks of NBC, ABC, and CBS all ignored the story.
During an exclusive interview aired on Wednesday’s NBC Today, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine struggled to respond to Hillary Clinton’s ongoing e-mail scandal as co-host Savannah Guthrie actually grilled him on the topic. She pressed: “This is something that dogs Hillary Clinton, whether or not people trust her. If you look at what she said over the past year or so about her e-mail, I can count at least four statements that just turned out not to be true. Has she earned that mistrust?”
Appearing on MSNBC in the 10 a.m. ET hour on Tuesday to perform a supposed “fact check” of Donald Trump’s Monday foreign policy speech, PolitiFact editor Angie Holan denounced the Republican nominee’s statement that “The rise of ISIS is the direct result of policy decisions made by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.”
On Monday afternoon, the Associated Press reported on Egyptian Judo athlete Islam El Shehaby being reprimanded by the International Olympic Committee and sent home after refusing to shake the hand of an Israeli competitor after a match at the Rio games on Friday. While NBC’s local Washington D.C. affiliate WRC-4 posted the report to its website, neither Monday’s NBC Nightly News nor Tuesday’s Today touched the story.
On Friday, a government report revealed Medicaid costs soaring as a result of ObamaCare requiring a massive expansion of the government welfare program. The Associated Press explained: “In a recent report to Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the cost of expansion was $6,366 per person for 2015, about 49 percent higher than previously estimated.” The stunning development only got a grand total of 18 seconds on the broadcast networks.
Despite serious legal and ethical questions being raised about the Clinton Foundation having high-level access to Hillary Clinton’s State Department while accepting large foreign donations, a CNN report on Thursday revealed that the Obama Justice Department squashed an FBI investigation into the matter. So far, the broadcast networks have censored any mention of the growing scandal.
On Thursday, the three network morning shows were more interested in a man climbing Trump Tower in New York City than the latest revelations in Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal. In total, the NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts offered a mere 2 minutes 15 seconds on new e-mails showing Clinton Foundation donors had high-level access to the Clinton State Department, while devoting 5 minutes 12 seconds to a man being arrested for scaling Trump’s Manhattan office building.
On Wednesday, Columbia University’s Journalism School announced that liberal PBS NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill would be the recipient of the graduate program’s 2016 John Chancellor Award. The school’s dean, Steve Coll, laughably justified honoring Ifill for “her unflinching pursuit of the truth, healthy skepticism of those in power and her commitment to fairness.”
During MSNBC’s 10 a.m. ET hour on Wednesday, anchor Thomas Roberts gloated that the latest Donald Trump controversy pushed another Hillary Clinton scandal out of the headlines: “Trump’s comments continue to hurt his overall message, this time distracting from a potentially damaging release of e-mails that could have cost the Clinton camp precious support among independents.”
Appearing during MSNBC’s 10 a.m. ET hour on Tuesday, correspondent Kristen Welker touted Hillary Clinton politicizing the Zika virus to bash Republicans: “Secretary Clinton’s going to be touring a health center in Miami that is treating a number of Zika patients, and her message there is going to be to Congress to pass legislation that would go toward funding research....to focus on Republicans in Congress and urge them to call back a session and to vote on legislation that has been pending. That's just been sitting there."
In an interview with New York Times foreign correspondent Rukmini Callimachi during MSNBC’s 11 a.m. ET hour on Monday, anchor Kate Snow touted the reporter’s latest piece on the war against ISIS: “...you spoke to a former Islamic State fighter from Germany....he said to you, ‘For America and Canada, it's much easier for them to get them over the social network, because they say the Americans are dumb – they have open gun policies.’”
During an inspirational story on Monday’s NBC Today about the first team of refugees to compete in the Olympics, co-host Matt Lauer couldn’t resist the chance to take a dig a Republican nominee Donald Trump: “The historic first by the IOC [International Olympic Committee] comes at a critical time when backlash against refugees has sparked fears in Europe, and here in the United States.”
On Friday, all three morning shows dutifully touted President Obama’s defense of paying Iran $400 million on the same day Tehran released American hostages. Rather than hold the current president accountable for his highly questionable statements on the scandal, the broadcasts instead chose to hammer presidential candidate Donald Trump over a gaffe he made while reacting to the controversy.
On her MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell bemoaned the Obama administration’s “unforced error” in sending Iran $400 million at the exact same time American hostages were released from Tehran in January. She was puzzled by the decision: “...they never explained that this other money was going – the $400 million. It’s unrelated to the nuclear deal. Why do it on the same day?”
After hyping “campaign chaos” for Donald Trump on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie turned to Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd and freely admitted the glaring media double standard in covering the presidential race: “And what irritates so many Republicans is that if it were any other candidate running against Hillary Clinton, this would be a pretty rough patch for Hillary Clinton given some of the items in the news.”
While both NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning devoted full reports to The Wall Street Journal exposing the Obama administration secretly paying a $400 million ransom in cash to Iran to secure the release of American hostages, ABC’s Good Morning America only managed two news briefs on the topic that amounted to less than a minute of air time.
At the top of Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “Donald Trump launches a new attack against Hillary Clinton and says he's concerned the election is going to be rigged against him.” In a discussion with Bloomberg Politics editor Mark Halperin minutes later, she noted: “...he made that intriguing comment yesterday about the system being rigged. Some people interpreted that as he’s laying the groundwork already that if he loses he can say, ‘Well, there was something unfair about the process.’”
Acting like an innocent bystander with no control over NBC’s reporting, on Tuesday, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie declared that the media focus on Donald Trump’s controversies made it impossible for journalists to also cover the scandals swirling around Hillary Clinton: “I mean, this story [of the Khan parents] has now been kept alive for four days...By the way, pushing off some otherwise negative stories about Hillary Clinton that might be leading all the headlines.”
On Monday, both NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning promoted Democrats calling on Congress to cut its recess short in order to approve federal funding to combat the Zika virus. However, both morning shows ignored the fact that Democrats were the ones that blocked legislation to do just that only one month earlier.