On Thursday, the network morning shows were beside themselves with enthusiasm over Democrats taking to the House floor to demand gun control with an all-night sit-in. On NBC’s Today, correspondent Peter Alexander was particularly swept up in the excitement and declared the partisan political stunt to be “Truly one of the most dramatic demonstrations on the House floor in modern American history.”
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 an exclusive interview with Joe Biden on Monday for his PBS program, which was partially re-aired in the 8 a.m. ET hour on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, host Charlie Rose actually questioned the Vice President on State Department officials rebelling against the Obama administration’s failed foreign policy in Syria: “So what did you think of those 51 diplomats in the State Department who said we need to be more aggressive?”
Despite swirling controversy over the Obama Justice Department’s decision to censor 911 transcripts of Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen pledging allegiance to ISIS during his shooting rampage, on Monday, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today avoided any mention of the glaring omission. Only CBS This Morning actually pointed out the censorship, as correspondent Jeff Pegues revealed: “The transcript will include redactions, including his pledge to ISIS.”
On Friday’s NBC Today, hapless NBC reporter Kerry Sanders followed a team of Alligator trappers in Florida: “There’s a saying in Florida that if there’s a fresh body of water, just assume that there’s a gator in it....Last year, licensed contractors, the trappers who go out for the state, captured 7,513 nuisance gators, and this is how they do it.”
On Friday, NBC’s Today skipped any mention of CIA Director John Brennan detailing Obama administration failures in the fight against ISIS while testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The morning show ignored the major story despite Thursday’s NBC Nightly News devoting a nearly two-minute segment to the topic.
In an exclusive interview with Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy on Thursday, the hosts of CBS This Morning mostly lobbed softballs and practically thanked the Democrat for launching his anti-gun filibuster. At the top of the show, co-host Charlie Rose hailed: “Senate Democrats end a nearly 15-hour filibuster overnight in a push for stricter gun laws. Senator Chris Murphy took control of the floor, and he will join us.”
On Thursday, NBC’s Today applauded a partisan political stunt by Democrats to exploit the Orlando terrorist attack and push their left-wing anti-gun agenda. Co-host Savannah Guthrie opened the show by breathlessly proclaiming: “Democrats take their fight for gun control late into night....A marathon session that ended just hours ago with a deal reached with Republicans to hold two key votes.”
Appearing on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell warned the hosts that Hillary Clinton would be the victim of sexist attacks if she became president: “...if you look at previous examples of women who become the first head of state in their country, the examples are really a little bit sobering. It's not easy to be the first woman to take that. And so, if Hillary wins, I mean, my prediction is she's going to be in for a tough time...”
On Tuesday, both NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning actually promoted an offensive temper tantrum thrown by congressional Democrats in the House of Representatives on Monday during what was supposed to be a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the Orlando terrorist attack.
In an interview with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Tuesday, the hosts of CBS This Morning devoted most of the segment to calling for gun control in the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack and demanding the cabinet secretary use his position to promote the cause. Co-host Gayle King began: “But it does raise the question again about gun control. I keep wondering what it's going to take....What will it take to move the needle when it comes to gun control?"
During interviews with Hillary Clinton on Monday, both NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning invited the presumptive Democratic nominee to use Sunday’s terrorist attack in Orlando to push her liberal gun control agenda. Today co-host Savannah Guthrie lobbed a softball: “After Newtown, after 20 first graders were killed, the President tried to pass universal background checks. Obviously that was not successful. Why do you feel you may be more successful if elected and in the next Congress?”
As news broke Friday in The Wall Street Journal about Hillary Clinton’s private server containing e-mails discussing classified drone strikes, on NBC’s Today, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd assured viewers that he and his media colleagues would cover the scandal everyday if not for their obsession with Donald Trump’s controversies.
After hailing Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as a “progressive champion” for Hillary Clinton on Thursday, on Friday, NBC’s Today doubled down as co-host Savannah Guthrie led the show by cheering the left-wing lawmaker formerly endorsing the presumptive Democratic nominee: “Clinton's secret weapon?...Is Warren on the VP short list? The speculation that has the political world spinning.”
All three network morning shows on Thursday reveled in the news that during an upcoming White House meeting, President Obama would “nudge” Bernie Sanders out of Hillary Clinton’s way. NBC’s Today set the tone, as co-host Savannah Guthrie led the broadcast by proclaiming: “The presidential push. Bernie Sanders heads to the White House today, where President Obama is expected to gently nudge him out of the race.”
During live MSNBC coverage of a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in the 3 p.m. ET hour on Wednesday, NBC correspondents Ayman Mohyeldin and Martin Fletcher took turns blaming Israel’s “right-wing” government for Palestinian “frustration.” Mohyeldin ranted over “...the shift of Israeli politics, including now the current government, more to the right, to what has been described by Israelis as even more of an extreme right-wing government."
During a political panel discussion on Wednesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer bemoaned Bernie Sanders not yet conceding the Democratic race to Hillary Clinton: “...Bernie Sanders didn't give her, her moment last night. He didn't urge his supporters to get behind her. Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd noted how Democrats wanted to “give Bernie Sanders a little bit of space, give him a little bit of respect,” but advanced potential political threats
Appearing on NBC’s Today Wednesday morning, correspondent Andrea Mitchell could not contain her excitement as she swooned over Hillary Clinton becoming the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party: “...after two bruising presidential primary campaigns, Hillary Clinton, finally able to write her page in the history books....embracing her place in American history.”
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows celebrated the news that Hillary Clinton had won enough delegates to become the presumptive Democratic nominee. At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie heralded: “Making history. NBC News declares Hillary Clinton the presumptive nominee. The first woman in history to be nominated on a major party ticket.”
On Monday, rather than simply remember Muhammad Ali’s boxing career and humanitarian work around the world, NBC’s Today chose to politicize the athlete’s death and praise the liberal activism of his youth. Co-host Savannah Guthrie wanted to avoid a “gauzy portrait” of Ali and instead focus on “How radical, how controversial, and how expensive it was to him personally to do what he did in the '60s, standing up to the war [in Vietnam].”
On Friday, all three network morning shows hailed Hillary Clinton’s vicious tirade against Donald Trump during a speech on Thursday. On NBC’s Today, correspondent Kristen Welker excitedly asked: “Did Hillary Clinton finally crack the code for taking on Donald Trump? That's the big question this morning after Clinton delivered a withering 35-minute speech arguing that electing Trump would be a, quote, ‘historic mistake.’”