On Tuesday, all three network morning shows expressed shock and dismay at allegations that Facebook censored conservative political news from its supposed trending news feed. At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie declared: “Censored by Facebook? The popular social network being accused of routinely suppressing conservative stories from its trending feed. The claim coming from former workers.”
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.
At the top of NBC’s Today on Tuesday, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed that Hillary Clinton was “not taking the bait” after Donald Trump “once again brings up her husband's past infidelities.” In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell spun hard for the Democratic candidate: “Donald Trump surprising many observers in both political parties by launching deeply personal attacks on both Hillary and Bill Clinton. The opening round of what is likely to be a vicious campaign.”
On Monday’s NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander framed Donald Trump’s adoption of various liberal policy positions as evidence of his “flexibility” as a candidate: “Trump showing plenty of flexibility on the issues, now open to a minimum wage increase after opposing it during the primaries. Shifting positions on taxes, too. His plan calls for cuts for everybody, which he contradicted last month on Today.”
During a White House press conference in the 12 p.m. ET hour on Friday, President Obama was treated to a series of softball questions from reporters, who repeatedly teed him up to bash Republicans and promote his liberal agenda. Reuters correspondent Jeff Mason got the first question: “Mr. President, what's your reaction to Donald Trump becoming the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party this week? And given the delegate math, do you think it’s time for Bernie Sanders to step aside on the Democratic race?”
After largely ignoring Donald Trump’s liberal past throughout the presidential campaign, on Friday, with Trump poised to become the Republican Party’s 2016 nominee, NBC’s Today finally noticed “the once friendly relationship between the Trumps and the Clintons." Co-host Savannah Guthrie teased the segment: “Plus, the Clintons and the Trumps, from friends to political enemies. How the race for the White House has turned a once cozy relationship into an all-out battle.”
On Thursday, all three network morning shows dutifully promoted the Obama Justice Department threatening to sue North Carolina over its transgender bathroom law and accusing the state of violating the Civil Rights Act. On NBC’s Today, fill-in co-host Natalie Morales breathlessly proclaimed: “New fallout this morning over North Carolina’s controversial transgender law. The Justice Department sent letters to Governor Pat McCrory and state lawmakers saying the newly enacted law violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and cannot be enforced."
At the top of Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: “Game on. Clinton and Trump gear up for their likely general election showdown....They’re two of the most unpopular candidates in recent history.” He then promised an examination of the flaws of both candidates: “This morning, the major obstacles facing both campaigns.”
Appearing on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward declared that the defeat of Ted Cruz in the Republican primary revealed that “Conservatism in America, in the Republican Party, is in a crisis. It just does not sell.” He argued that Cruz lost because “his ideas have not taken hold and they were totally overwhelmed by the Trump campaign.”
During an interview with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose gleefully held up a copy of the Daily News and read the mock obituary on the cover of the left-wing tabloid: “...it says, ‘Republican Party 1854-2016; Dearly beloved, we're gathered here today to mourn the GOP. A once great political party killed by epidemic of Trump.’”
In a nearly 20-minute live interview with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell spent a mere 17 seconds asking the Democratic frontrunner about the ongoing e-mail scandal. Toward the end of the 19 minute 11 second exchange during the 12 p.m. ET hour, Mitchell raised the topic as an afterthought: “Now, I’ve got to just ask you whether since you last mentioned this to my colleague, Chuck Todd, in April, have you been contacted – or your representatives contacted – by the FBI to set up an interview?”
After 50 days of the network news censoring Hillary Clinton’s stated plan to cripple the coal industry in pursuit of a left-wing climate change agenda, on Tuesday, all three network morning shows finally covered the comments after a laid off West Virginia coal miner confronted the Democratic frontrunner. During an otherwise staged campaign round table discussion on Monday, unemployed coal miner Bo Copley cited Clinton’s comments during a March 13 CNN town hall that “We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
On Monday, NBC’s Today hyped liberal outrage against conservative Christian actor Kirk Cameron for daring to adhere to a traditional Biblical view of marriage. Teasing the story at the top of the 8 a.m. ET hour, co-host Matt Lauer declared: “Kirk Cameron controversy. The Growing Pains actor under fire after saying women should be submissive to their husbands. What he's now saying about the growing backlash.”
In an exclusive for NBC’s Today on Monday, correspondent Kerry Sanders could not contain his pure joy at being aboard the first cruise ship bound for Cuba since the Obama administration resumed diplomatic relations with the communist nation. In his report, Sanders proclaimed: “This morning, history is being made as this cruise ship becomes the first in more than a half century to sail from Miami to Havana....American passengers about to step on to Cuban soil, a country that most U.S. citizens have been forbidden to visit since 1963.”
On Monday, all three network morning shows covered the violent May Day rioting that broke out across Seattle on Sunday. However, the NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts made sure to tout how “the march began as a peaceful demonstration for the rights of workers and immigrants.” No liberal labels were used to characterize the protesters and the reporters avoided explaining the Communist roots of the day.
Only a year after cancelling The Reid Report in February 2015, on Friday, MSNBC announced that left-wing pundit Joy Reid would once again be getting her own show on the network, replacing Melissa Harris-Perry, who recently stormed off the cable channel following a racially-charged tirade against her employer. In a statement about the staff shake-up, MSNBC president Phil Griffin laughably proclaimed: “MSNBC viewers crave not only the facts, but also in-depth discussion and analysis from a range of perspectives. There is no one better equipped than Joy to lead this new project..."
All three network morning shows on Friday reveled in John Boehner’s vicious attack on Ted Cruz, hyping the former House Speaker labeling the Texas senator “Lucifer in the flesh.” The NBC, CBS, and ABC broadcasts portrayed the comment as another “challenge” that “really hurts” Cruz’s campaign. On NBC’s Today, correspondent Peter Alexander happily punned his way through a report: “For Ted Cruz, counting on a comeback, the devil’s in the details, with former Speaker of the House John Boehner at a private event giving Cruz hell.”
On Thursday, all three network morning shows took out the long knives and savaged Ted Cruz for naming Carly Fiorina as his running mate. The CBS, NBC, and ABC broadcasts dismissed the move as a “desperate” “Hail Mary pass” and touted Republican frontrunner Donald Trump mocking the announcement. At the top of CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose set the nasty tone of the coverage: “Critics hammer Ted Cruz's announcement of a running mate as a desperate attempt to revive his campaign.”
On Wednesday, NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning agreed that the Republican primary race was “over” and openly mocked Donald Trump’s opponents. On Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie asked: “So Trump is calling himself the presumptive nominee. Is he right, is this over?” Political analyst Nicolle Wallace relied on pop culture to declare an end to the nomination contest: “Yeah, there’s a line in Sex and the City where Carrie says to Mr. Big, ‘It's so over, we need a new word for over’...”
On Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, while co-host Gayle King noted that “a petition against the retail giant Target is gaining a lot of momentum” over the company’s transgender bathroom policy, financial contributor Mellody Hobson dismissed the protest: “You know, it's very hard for these kind of boycotts to work. We haven't seen real success since the civil rights era in the 1960s.”
During an interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King cued up a clip of Hamilton actor Lin-Manuel Miranda rapping his demand that Congress provide financial aid to Puerto Rico. On HBO’s Last Week Tonight on Sunday, left-wing host John Oliver capped off a lengthy monologue lobbying Congress to provide assistance to the island with the musical performance.