Kyle Drennen is the Senior News Analyst for MRC
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.
Latest from Kyle Drennen
Filling in for Andrea Mitchell during MSNBC's 12 p.m. ET hour on Friday, Hardball host Chris Matthews hit President Obama from the left while praising Attorney General Eric Holder's visit to Ferguson, Missouri: "...it may be a lesson for the President, too, and I'm not usually a critic of him. But I have to say that I thought that in a very positive way Eric holder showed how you lead in this country. And a big part of leading is showing up." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The comment was prompted by correspondent Craig Melvin reporting from the community: "Attorney General Eric Holder being here earlier this week...that was a big deal for a lot of people because a lot of people on the ground here do not have a great deal of faith in the local jurisdiction but they do have a fair amount of faith in the administration."
During a report on Friday's CBS This Morning about some of the "backlash" against the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, correspondent Ben Tracy highlighted Michigan Democratic Congressman John Dingell bashing Republicans who took part in the effort to raise research money for Lou Gehrig's Disease. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Tracy declared that Dingell "accuses some Republicans of de-funding ALS research while taking the ice bucket challenge. He tweeted, 'Since 2011, House Republicans have cut National Institutes of Health funding by billions. And you thought dumping ice water on your head was cold.'" Footage ran of Congressman Paul Ryan getting doused with ice water as Tracy recited Dingell's attack.
After Thursday's network evening newscasts ignored a report from the Government Accountability Office that the exchange of five terrorists from Guantanamo Bay for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was illegal, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America remained silent on the Obama administration scandal on Friday. Only CBS This Morning made any mention of the violation of federal law, providing a mere 24-second news brief on the topic. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Meanwhile, both Today and GMA did find time to produce full reports on a contestant on VH1's Dating Naked reality show suing the cable network for showing her naked on the program.
Between Wednesday's evening newscasts and Thursday's morning shows, NBC, CBS, and ABC all praised Attorney General Eric Holder's visit to Ferguson, Missouri. On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Ron Allen proclaimed: "Those demanding justice for Michael Brown are relieved that Eric Holder is here because they simply don't trust the local authorities." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Vladimir Duthiers similarly announced: "The visit by Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson was really an effort by the White House to try to bring back confidence to a community that's just been torn apart by the shooting of the 18-year-old Michael Brown....Now, many here are seeing Holder's presence as a step towards transparency."
After a long-running "bromance" between weatherman Al Roker and Vice President Joe Biden, the hosts of Wednesday's NBC Today arranged a surprise live appearance from Biden to wish Roker a happy 60th birthday. After Natalie Morales introduced the veep, sitting in a studio in Washington D.C., Roker gushed: "Oh, my gosh. Mr. Vice President!...Oh my gosh, this is such an honor." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following the birthday wishes, Roker fawned over Biden: "Look, I have been with you on a couple of stories and you make the Ever-Ready Bunny [sic] seem like a slacker. You are constantly on the move. What's your secret?" Biden replied in part: "I'm more optimistic today about the prospects for our country than I was elected as a 29-year-old kid. And I really mean it."
Filling in as host of NBC's August 17 Meet the Press, Andrea Mitchell looked back at departing moderator David Gregory's years anchoring the broadcast. The tribute followed Thursday's announcement that Gregory was being replaced by political director Chuck Todd and leaving the network. The switch marked the end of a tenure in which Gregory behaved more like a Democratic Party spokesman than an objective news anchor. Perhaps that contributed to the faltering ratings of the Sunday talk show on his watch.
Unlike his predecessor, the late Tim Russert, Gregory failed to be the tough-but-fair newsman who grilled all guests equally, no matter their party affiliation. Instead he played favorites, smearing Republicans like Paul Ryan as uncaring towards the poor while teeing up Democrats like Congressman John Lewis to attack conservatives as resentful racists. Here is a sampling of some of Gregory's most liberal quotes at the helm of Meet the Press:
All three network morning shows on Monday continued to hype the Friday indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry but none of the broadcasts mentioned prominent liberals like Obama adviser David Axelrod or Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz coming to Perry's defense and dismissing the charges as politically motivated.
On NBC's Today, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed Perry to be "the first Texas governor to be indicted in nearly a century." The reporter then attempted to paint the entire field of possible 2016 Republican presidential candidates as plagued by scandal: "It's another possible 2016 contender with a blemish on his resume. You've got Perry's indictment, Chris Christie's bridgegate, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker under new scrutiny for allegations of campaign finance violations." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mocking MSNBC's preachy "Lean Forward" ads that promote every liberal cause under the sun, the Media Research Center has launched a series of online "Lean Over" videos to illustrate the absurdity of the network's left-wing hosts. First up, Hardball's unhinged partisan propagandist, Chris Matthews. [Watch the video after the jump]
Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more parody videos as part of the #LeanOver campaign, featuring MSNBC bomb-throwers Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton.
In an interview with the director of a Boston drug rehabilitation center on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried about the impact media coverage of legalized marijuana was having on America's youth: "You know, if you're a teenager, a young adult, and you're watching the news and you're hearing more and more stories about the legalization of marijuana...and now you're saying, 'Wait a minute, here.' Are we sending mixed messages on drugs to our kids?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
David Ray, co-founder of Number 16, replied: "We are. We are. We're sending mixed messages because what we're saying is, 'Well, this is okay, but this isn't.' And so, what's a kid to do?"
On Thursday, the hosts of CBS This Morning interrogated former NBC and CNN journalist Campbell Brown and prominent liberal attorney David Boies over their effort to reform the public education system by eliminating a union sacred cow, teacher tenure. Co-host Norah O'Donnell began the segment by proclaiming: "This could be a watershed moment for America's public schools or a misguided effort to punish teachers for problems far beyond the classroom." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Brown explained that tenure "makes it almost impossible to remove a grossly ineffective or incompetent teacher or in some cases even an abusive teacher." In response, O'Donnell toed the union line: "But you both should answer this, what your critics charged. You've focused a lot of time and money and one of the best lawyers in the country on an issue like tenure, when many people say that budget cuts to schools and inadequate funding is really the reason why there's inequality."
As NewsBusters reported on Tuesday, CNBC's chief Washington correspondent John Harwood observed on Squawk Box that the world "blowing up" on President Obama's watch would be a "big problem" for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016. Appearing on the show again on Wednesday, Harwood divulged that the Clinton team contacted him about how much attention his comments had generated among "conservative groups." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Host Joe Kernen began the Wednesday segment by declaring: "Harwood, did you see all the press he got yesterday from his appearance on our show yesterday?...He was everywhere. John, you're the man...Big press yesterday." Harwood noted: "You know who I heard about it from? I heard about it from the Hillary Clinton team." Kernen replied: "I'm sure you heard about it. In fact, you won't be getting an interview with them anytime soon."
On Wednesday, NBC's Today devoted a nearly four-minute segment to promoting a fawning interview that Wired magazine conducted with NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Despite introducing the story by labeling Snowden as "the man U.S. officials have called a traitor and a coward," co-host Willie Geist went on to proclaim: "Out from the shadows...in front of the flashbulbs. Appearing at times exhausted, at times defiant..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
With a musical score playing throughout the segment that made it sound like an action movie, a sound bite ran of Snowden declaring: "My name is Ed Snowden. I used to work for the government and now I work for the public." Wired editor-in-chief Scott Dadich explained the magazine's cover photo showing Snowden draped in an American flag: "He came in actually quite nervous to the shoot. And he said, 'I love my country, I feel like a patriot.' And it was at that moment that we knew that we had the cover."
Appearing on CNBC's Squawk Box Tuesday morning, the business network's chief Washington correspondent John Harwood acknowledged that President Obama's failed foreign policy would be an obstacle to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential ambitions: "...her independent credential running for president is that she was President Obama's secretary of state. The world is now blowing up. So that is a big problem for her. And so she's going to be looking for ways to separate herself from the current foreign policy mess." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Harwood's comments were prompted by host Joe Kernen asking about a quote in The Daily Beast in which Obama reportedly dismissed Clinton's recent criticism of his handling of the Middle East as "horsesh**t." In response, Harwood observed: "It wouldn't surprised me if he said that....I'm sure that that's how he feels about the criticism, he's made that pretty clear."
Eager to defend President Obama from criticism of his vacation in Martha's Vineyard amid multiple international crises, both Sunday's ABC Good Morning America and Monday's NBC Today used false spin to downplay the bad optics. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On GMA, co-host Dan Harris tried to deflect from Obama's time on the golf course by claiming that "George W. Bush played his fair share of golf during the Iraq war as well," an assertion that NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein promptly disproved.
Of the three network morning shows on Friday, only NBC's Today made any mention of President Obama being criticized over his slow response to the terrorist group ISIS taking over Iraq. Co-host Savannah Guthrie raised the issue to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd: "Listen to the President last night, his reluctance to get into Iraq is palpable. But on the other hand, he's facing criticism, I think you're reporting from all quarters, that maybe he waited too long to do anything and now we see ISIS in an even more dangerous position." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd replied: "For months, some could argue for more than a year, there has been pressure on him from the intelligence community, from military commanders, to say, 'You have to do something about ISIS, they're marching'....he's been dragged into this. He doesn't want to do it."
On Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted a restaurant in Minnesota that found "a unique way to offset the added expense" of the state hiking its minimum wage: "The Oasis Café is now including a 'minimum wage fee' on bills. You see it right there on the bill. Totals 35 cents....the cafe's owners say this wage hike is going to cost them $10,000 a year, this is their way of protesting it..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie touted: "Now complaints are piling up on the cafe's Facebook page. One man says, 'Look, if you can't afford to pay your employees, then you shouldn't be in business.'" Fill-in co-host Carson Daly chimed in: "I'd rather not know. Hike a cost here or there, get your 35 cents and don't tell me."
In a surprisingly favorable gun rights story on Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent and weekend Today host Erica Hill profiled Dartmouth college student Taylor Woolrich "in Washington D.C. speaking to a group that advocates for legal concealed guns on campus and about her desire to carry one." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Hill began the segment by declaring: "If you mention guns on campus, you're sure to get some attention. This request, though, is not about politics. For Taylor Woolrich, she says, it is a matter of personal safety."
In a report for Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel declared that "Gazans tried to put their lives back together" during a cease-fire with Israel and said of the Palestinian terrorist group that spurred the conflict: "Hamas, after a month of punishment, realized it was nearly without friends in the region. Especially Egypt, its Arab neighbor and former ally." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Engel explained: "This is Gaza's crossing into Egypt. Throughout this war, Hamas's main demand has been to open it, but it's still closed. Hamas has enemies in Israel and in the military-led government in Egypt." Strange that NBC never reported on the isolation of Hamas until after the violence subsided.
After NBC Nightly News completely ignored the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Tuesday, political director Chuck Todd appeared on Wednesday's Today to promote the survey but skipped the finding that President Obama's job approval rating sank to 40%, with 54% disapproval. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd framed the poll results as evidence of an "exasperated public" being "fed up with Washington," rather than with Obama. The only mention of Obama during the segment came when Todd briefly noted that many Republicans would be willing to hold up a protest sign for a day that read: "Impeach Obama."
On Monday night, only the CBS Evening News covered what anchor Scott Pelley described as an "emerging genocide" in Iraq. In a 48-second news brief, Pelley reported: "The Islamic army known as ISIS has seized vast territory in Syria and Iraq....Now, have a look at what they're doing to the minority Shiite Muslims....In this video, Shiite men are herded together and executed in mass graves. Here, Shiite men are shot in the head one by one and dumped into a river." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Edited footage of men being executed ran on screen, in addition to clips of ISIS blowing up Shiite mosques. Pelley wrapped up the brief segment by noting: "The slaughter is spreading. The Iraqi government is battling ISIS with limited success." No mention was made of the Obama administration's handling of the growing crisis.