On Monday’s NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander heralded efforts to get Joe Biden to enter the 2016 presidential race: “This morning the campaign calling for a Biden campaign is now up and running. Today NBC News is getting an exclusive first look at the first pro-Biden ad to hit the air, produced in hopes of drafting the Vice President into the 2016 race.”
Kyle Drennen is a Media Research Center news analyst and serves as a contributing writer to NewsBusters. He joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science.
On MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Tuesday, Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty proclaimed that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s comments about the Benghazi investigation had granted Hillary Clinton immunity from scandal: “...the Kevin McCarthy thing has been not only a political gift but it has been sort of a ‘get out of jail free’ card for her to sort of abandon the kind of semi-contrite position she had been taking before, and to come out on offense.”
One day after treating Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton to a fawning one-hour town hall with her biggest fans, on Tuesday, NBC’s Today took a more hardball approach with Republican contender Marco Rubio. Co-host Matt Lauer pressed the Florida Senator on his attendance record: “29% of the time over the last year you not in attendance when votes were taken in the Senate....Are you placing your own personal ambitions above your responsibilities to your constituents down in Florida?”
Throughout a live townhall event on Monday’s Today, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton was treated to one softball after another from her adoring supporters at NBC. One sycophantic fan set the tone: “Secretary Clinton, you've had a lot of tough questions this morning. This may be the toughest one you get all day. But many years ago we saw another Clinton at his inauguration play an instrument and have a song. What song or instrument would you play at yours?"
In an exclusive interview with Hillary Clinton on Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie teed up the Democratic front-runner to slam the congressional committee investigating the Benghazi terrorist attack as a partisan hit job: “You're scheduled to testify before that committee. Do you think it should be disbanded? That's what Nancy Pelosi has called for.”
As news broke of House Speaker John Boehner planning to resign from Congress, MSNBC’s hosts and correspondents used the opportunity to bash conservatives in the House of Representatives. Late in the 10 a.m. ET hour, Andrea Mitchell worried: “...he's stepping down under the threat of the caucus...and it remains to be seen whether the more radical conservative members who wanted to shut down the government can actually gain control of the caucus...”
An hour before news broke that House Speaker John Boehner would be resigning from Congress at the end of October, on CBS This Morning, Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson declared that the Republican leader “had the high and the low yesterday, spending time with the Pope and then three hours with those conservatives who are giving him a lot of trouble on trying to keep the government open and funded...”
During a live NBC special report minutes after Pope Francis concluded his address to Congress on Thursday, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd hailed the speech and hoped it would prevent a possible government shutdown over defunding Planned Parenthood: “I can’t help – and I apologize for bringing in crass politics into this, but we are six days from the government possibly shutting down and I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear the Pope give these words.”
Appearing on Wednesday’s NBC Today, new Daily Show host Trevor Noah described his eagerness to mock the Republican 2016 field: “Yeah, a great gift, the campaign. Great gift, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, these are all gifts, these are beautiful – I couldn't ask for more.”
During live MSNBC coverage prior to the arrival of Pope Francis on Tuesday, ex-NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams returned to television and asked Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd: “We try not to make everything political. What is the political angle in your shop of this visit by the leader of Catholics worldwide?” Todd replied: “Democratic Catholics who are elected officials, have never been more excited about this Pope coming....Republicans, it’s just the opposite. They're a little nervous. Is he going to put them in a box on climate change?
All three broadcast networks Tuesday morning seized on a pharmaceutical company hiking the price of a prescription drug in order to promote Hillary Clinton’s call for new government regulation of the industry. At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “5,000% hike?! The young drug company CEO under fire for raising the cost of a life-saving pill overnight....The controversial decision making it all the way to the campaign trail.”
On Sunday’s NBC Meet the Press, moderator Chuck Todd hyped Pope Francis taking on liberal agenda items: “The incredibly popular pope has been outspoken on his views about inequality and climate change....[in the] Shriver Report snapshot poll of American Catholics, a full 86% think it's a good thing that this pope has emphasized income inequality and environmental issues over things like abortion and same-sex marriage. It’s remarkable.”
On Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “Hillary Clinton hitting back at another Republican candidate, Carly Fiorina. She went after Clinton several times during the debate.” In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell noted how Fiorina “lit up the debate stage by partly targeting Hillary Clinton, the most famous woman in American politics.”
In an interview with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie pressed the Republican presidential candidate on whether Donald Trump was hurting the GOP: “Is Trump doing long-term damage to the Republican brand if he's insulting Muslims, Latinos, women, veterans, prisoners of war? I mean, do you worry about the effect this is having for the long-term prospects of the Republican Party?”
Eager to provide supposed “fact-checking” of the Republican presidential debate, on Thursday, MSNBC NewsNation host Tamron Hall declared: “But to Carly Fiorina's moment regarding Planned Parenthood. While that comment was applauded by conservatives, a lot of that Twitter traffic was also...people fact-checking her on that statement.”
At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour on NBC’s Today, co-host Tamron Hall slammed the Republican presidential debate as being like a bad reality show: “...a friend of mine said it was like The Real Housewives with Andy Cohen, because they were just pitted against each other.”
In an interview with actress Emily Blunt on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie downplayed the celebrity’s recent swipe at Republicans with an anti-American joke: “You recently became an American citizen....You made a joke the other day, saying you watched the Republican debate and you joked, ‘What was I thinking?’ And some people took that the wrong way.”
Despite a strong debate performance Wednesday night, on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie lectured Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on her business record: “I know you have gotten into the reasons for your dismissal from Hewlett-Packard....in politics, and you know this well, if you're explaining, you’re losing.”
In a report for MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, political correspondent Kasie Hunt used the upcoming Republican debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California to proclaim the GOP to be “all but extinct” in the Golden State.
In what was an otherwise softball interview with Chelsea Clinton on Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie did briefly press the former first daughter (and former NBC correspondent) on Hillary Clinton’s struggling presidential campaign: “You are one of her most trusted advisers as well as her daughter....And there was a recent poll that was really striking because it asked voters what is a word you associate with Hillary Clinton... ‘dishonest,’ ‘untrustworthy,’ ‘liar.’ Why do you think that is? What's not getting through, in your mind?”