Despite the hosts of NBC’s Today repeatedly demanding that Marco Rubio attack Donald Trump just two days earlier, after the Florida senator did just that in Thursday’s GOP debate, Friday’s edition of the morning show led off with co-host Matt Lauer fretting: “Texas smackdown. Things get ugly at the Republican debate, with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both taking repeated shots at Donald Trump....Has the low road become the new road to the nomination?”
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. His media analysis has been routinely cited by nationally syndicated radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, as well as on Fox News and The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.com website. He joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science.
On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell was giddy over reports that President Obama was considering Republican Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court: “...the trial balloon, if you will, that came out of the Obama White House, of nominating a Republican to try to put the Republican Senate on notice, and try to back them up against the wall.”
Displaying a stunning double standard on Thursday’s NBC Today, host Savannah Guthrie immediately dismissed 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney calling for the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns: “Donald Trump has been very clear, I mean when he was sitting right here, he said, ‘I pay low taxes because I don't want to pay high taxes.’ Is there a bombshell there? Does it matter for Trump? Who cares?”
After playing a clip of Hillary Clinton being confronted about her dishonesty during a CNN town hall event, on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O’Donnell tried to defend the Democratic frontrunner by pointing to the dishonesty of herself and her fellow journalists.O’Donnell turned to fellow co-hosts Gayle King and Charlie Rose, asking: “Have you guys ever told a lie?” After they both replied that they had, O’Donnell admitted: “Yeah, so have I.”
In back-to-back interviews on Wednesday’s NBC Today, hosts Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist repeatedly urged Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Donald Trump to attack each other. Talking to Rubio first, Guthrie pleaded: “You've got you and Ted Cruz and some of the other candidates fighting each other, and Trump sailing to victory. A lot of Republicans asking this morning, why not take on Trump directly? What's your answer to that?”
Talking to Republican Colorado Senator Cory Gardner during her MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell lectured the GOP lawmaker on opposing President Obama’s plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay and bring terrorist detainees to prisons inside the United States: “So we’re holding prisoners, paying for them, and arguably hurting our standing in the world because Guantanamo has become such a red flag everywhere in the world, when we could have them locked up in the U.S. and put away for life.”
On Tuesday, while both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today covered newly released video of Joe Biden as a senator in 1992 demanding President George H.W. Bush not name any Supreme Court nominees in an election year, ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the clear evidence of the Vice President’s hypocrisy.
All three network morning shows on Monday were thrilled by Barack and Michelle Obama dancing with a 106-year-old White House visitor over the weekend and happily played video from the President’s Facebook page capturing the moment. The fawning coverage on NBC, ABC, and CBS helpfully kept anyone from dwelling on Obama’s controversial decision to skip the funeral of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday.
On Friday, both CBS This Morning and ABC’s Good Morning America highlighted a gaffe by Hillary Clinton in a Thursday interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, when she claimed she “always tried to” tell the truth. However, NBC’s Today completely ignored the stumble.
The network morning shows on Thursday were beside themselves with glee over the White House announcing President Obama would travel to Cuba in March. While all three broadcasts hailed the upcoming “historic trip,” it was ABC’s Good Morning America that went the extra mile by proclaiming the President was more popular than singer Beyonce on the island nation.
On Thursday, both NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America censored any mention of the controversy swirling around President Obama’s decision to skip the funeral of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia scheduled for Saturday. To its credit, CBS This Morning offered a full report on widely criticized move.
In a desperate attempt on Wednesday’s NBC Today to hype supposed divisions in the Republican Party over opposition to President Obama nominating a successor to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, correspondent Andrea Mitchell enthusiastically proclaimed: “Even as a handful of Republican senators are now breaking with their leaders and saying the Obama nominee should at least get a fair hearing.”
A Rasmussen Reports poll released on Tuesday confirmed a long-term trend in the attitude of American voters that biased news coverage is one of the worst problems plaguing the political system, even beating out concerns over big money campaign contributions.
Despite not even having a short list of President Obama’s nominees to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, on Tuesday’s NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell assured viewers it would be a “moderate” pick and slammed Republican opposition.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Monday, Hardball host Chris Matthews blasted Republican opposition to President Obama nominating a successor to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: “...this almost indecent march to rejection here within minutes of the announcement of Judge Scalia's death....it was like a Dickensian scene in A Christmas Carol when Scrooge or somebody’s died – dead and they come rushing in to take the sheets off the bed before he's dead.”
In a segment aired on Friday, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres began a gushing softball interview with President Obama by thanking him for pushing the gay rights agenda: “I cannot tell you or thank you enough for what you have for the gay community. So, thank you.”
Appearing on Friday’s Ellen DeGeneres Show, President Obama lamented the “Twitter culture” in which people “expect quick answers without sacrifice” and complained about supposedly unfair media coverage: “The amount of stuff that is just put out there on the internet or on sometimes news broadcasts that are just factually inaccurate is surprising and it’s really hard to catch up.”
Both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today on Thursday devoted lengthy segments to fretting over Hillary Clinton’s failure to gain support among young female voters. Hosts on the two network morning shows wrung their hands while discussing how Clinton was “trounced” in New Hampshire by Bernie Sanders due to her “surprising struggle” to win over women.
On Wednesday, two network morning show hosts had the audacity to accuse a Republican presidential candidate of a lack of “depth.” In an interview with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, NBC Today co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie grilled the GOP contender on his recent debate performance and hyped it as “exposing a major flaw.”
In perhaps his most vile attack on Texas Senator Ted Cruz to date, MSNBC host Chris Matthews appeared on Wednesday’s Morning Joe and declared the Republican presidential candidate to not be human: “...there’s a troll-like quality to Cruz. He operates below the level of human life.”