Appearing on Tuesday’s NBC Today, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt gushed over playing NSA leaker Edward Snowden in a new movie and even compared the fugitive former intelligence analyst to a civil rights icon: “...he did break the law and he admits that he broke the law, but then there’s examples of people who break the law who aren’t necessarily doing the wrong thing. Like one example I thought of is Rosa Parks.”
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 Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie grilled Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on whether Donald Trump should release his tax returns: “Speaking of transparency....Are you on the record as Donald Trump should turn over those tax returns?” O’Reilly pushed back: “No matter what he does, he puts his tax returns out, the press – which wants him to lose....Trump knows whatever he does in that area, he’s going to be destroyed.”
After Hillary Clinton nearly collapsed due to an undisclosed case of pneumonia on Sunday, on Monday, all three network morning shows tried to deflect from questions about her health and honesty by claiming that “both candidates” were guilty of not being forthcoming on the issue.
In two campaign reports for NBC’s Today, correspondents Peter Alexander and Kristen Welker both promoted Hillary Clinton meeting with numerous national security experts, including former CIA director David Petraeus, who resigned amid scandal and was prosecuted for mishandling classified information.
On Thursday’s NBC Today, correspondent Ron Allen promoted President Obama blasting Donald Trump in the wake of NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum: “It didn't take much for President Obama to weigh in. At a closing news conference he was asked about those comments that Donald Trump made about our generals being reduced to rubble and about Vladimir Putin being a better leader than President Obama.”
On Thursday, both NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning hyped an effort by Democrats to provide “smoking gun” evidence that former Secretary of State Colin Powell was to blame for Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal. Reporters on the morning shows dutifully used the story to distract from Clinton being hammered over the scandal during Wednesday’s Commander-in-Chief Forum.
After news broke late Tuesday that the Obama administration actually paid $1.7 billion in cash ransom to Iran to secure the release of American hostages – a sum much larger than the initially reported $400 million – only NBC’s Today bothered to devote a full two-minute segment to the shocking development. CBS This Morning and ABC’s Good Morning America could only manage seconds of air time for the scandal.
Today co-host Matt Lauer is set moderate NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum Wednesday night, where he will quiz Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the most pressing national security issues facing the United States. However, given Lauer’s bizarre antics on the network’s morning show, one wonders if NBC couldn’t find someone with a little more gravitas to host the presidential campaign event. Viewer warning: The following images are quite disturbing.
At the top of her MSNBC show on Tuesday, anchor Andrea Mitchell applauded Hillary Clinton for actually talking to reporters and promoted it as a campaign turning point: “This morning Hillary Clinton boarding her new campaign plane heading to Florida today, continuing her new habit of talking to reporters....Hillary 2.0.”
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.”
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.”