Ahead of Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate, NBC’s Today spent the morning putting all the pressure on Indiana Governor Mike Pence to “clean up” after Donald Trump and predicted that the Republican running mate would be stuck on “defense” all evening.
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 email@example.com.
At the start of her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell touted The New York Times hit piece on Donald Trump’s taxes as “the billion-dollar October surprise” that was “delivered” to liberal paper’s “doorstep.”
Responding to concerns raised on Monday’s NBC Today that Donald Trump tax documents obtained by The New York Times may have been leaked illegally to the paper, political analyst Nicolle Wallace acknowledged the possibility but advised the Republican nominee’s campaign to move on or risk having Trump look guilty.
On Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer excitedly proclaimed: “Anticipation already running high for tomorrow’s season premiere of Saturday Night Live when the show announced that Alec Baldwin will be playing Donald Trump.” Fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie chimed in: “That put the anticipation into the stratosphere.” She then wondered: “We think there will be laughs, but will it actually have an impact on the election?”
Despite coverage on all three networks of Congress overriding President Obama’s veto of legislation to allow 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, only Thursday’s CBS This Morning mentioned the fact that Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate Tim Kaine didn’t bother to show up for the vote. NBC and ABC both avoided the Virginia Senator’s absence.
After NBC’s Today spent three straight days scolding Donald Trump for even thinking about mentioning Bill Clinton’s habitual mistreatment of women, on Wednesday, the morning show had no trouble doing the Clinton campaign’s bidding by touting allegations of Trump’s “sexist behavior.”
On Wednesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer once again whined over Donald Trump threatening to bring up Bill Clinton’s sex scandals during a debate with Hillary Clinton: “There’s this other thing that he continues to talk about yesterday, this idea that he did not go there, that he showed restraint against Hillary Clinton when it comes to issues in her marriage. It’s this thing where you get to go there by saying you’re not going there....So is this working?”
During a live report in MSNBC’s 12 p.m. ET hour, as part of Hillary Clinton’s traveling press corps, Andrea Mitchell gushed over how pleased the campaign was with the Democratic nominee’s debate performance: “Well, you can imagine they feel very confident....There was applause by her staff when she boarded [the plane]. We’re in the back of the plane, as you well know, so we heard that from the front.”
Following Monday night’s presidential debate, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence visited all three network morning shows on Tuesday and was repeatedly hammered by hosts over Donald Trump’s debate performance. Hostile questions accusing Trump of everything from lying to tax evasion were hurled at the Indiana governor.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Monday, NBC correspondent Katy Tur denounced Donald Trump’s campaign team for demanding fair treatment from the press ahead of the upcoming debate: “So what they’re trying to do is find a way to best game this system. And what you’re seeing on TV, all over the airwaves, is his campaign manager and his surrogates trying to blame the media before the media has even covered the debate.”
On Monday’s Today, co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie conducted back-to-back interviews with Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook and Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. While Mook was treated to softballs about Clinton’s strategy, Conway was hammered on Trump being an “aggressor” who likes to “hurl insults.”
In a contentious interview with Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie scolded the Republican nominee for joking about inviting Bill Clinton mistress Gennifer Flowers to the upcoming presidential debate and warned Trump against mentioning the former president’s sex scandals during the event.
In new leaked e-mails from Colin Powell, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell told the former Secretary of State that Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination would be an “awful” development.
On Friday’s NBC Today, the hosts of the 9 a.m. ET hour ran to the defense of NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt in the wake of Donald Trump questioning the political views of the presidential debate moderator. Weatherman Al Roker proclaimed: “Lester Holt is moderating it, and if there's anybody who can withstand the pressure and be down the middle and cool and calm and take this thing on, it is Lester Holt.”
Filling in for host Andrea Mitchell during MSNBC’s 12 p.m. ET hour on Thursday, Peter Alexander worried that Donald Trump only had a “low bar” to surpass in the upcoming debates: “Do they [the Clinton campaign] have real concerns...that the bar has been set so low for Donald Trump, in effect, that clearing that bar of acceptability is not much of a challenge? How do they combat that in some way?”
On Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer proudly announced that the network had received an Emmy award for its biased coverage of the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling legalizing gay marriage across the country. Lauer told viewers: “By the way, the News and Documentary Emmy awards were held last night and NBC News and MSNBC picked up this one for our live coverage of the Supreme Court's landmark decision on same-sex marriage.”
During her softball interview with Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine on Monday, self-avowed Hillary Clinton supporter Ellen DeGeneres bemoaned a supposed double standard against the former Secretary of State: “So Hillary is, it seems – and I've said this before – that she is held to a different standard than Donald Trump is. Would you agree with that?”
In a predictably softball interview with Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine set to air on Wednesday, talk show host and Hillary Clinton superfan Ellen DeGeneres began the friendly chat by gushing: “Well, first of all, thank you for everything you have been doing for a long, long time.”
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows ran with an unconfirmed claim from prominent Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend that former President George H.W. Bush supposedly told her he was voting for Hillary Clinton. On NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie excitedly told viewers: “Is a Bush ready to back a Clinton? Yes, according to a Kennedy...”
On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell was in panic mode, fretting that the rash of terror attacks over the weekend would hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign: “...this is exactly what a lot of the people around Hillary Clinton had been concerned about, some incident. We recall how San Bernardino and the Muslim ban was – elevated Donald Trump and gave him this tough persona....He is now polling better than Hillary Clinton in the ability to combat terrorism.”