On Wednesday’s NBC Today, correspondent Kerry Sanders once again acted like a representative from the Cuban board of tourism as he reported live from a plane set to take off for the Communist nation: “Well, good morning from the cockpit of Jetblue Flight 387....this is going to be a one hour and eight minute flight into history.” The on-screen headline proclaimed: “U.S. Flights to Cuba Resume; Jetblue Makes History With First Flight in More Than 50 years.”
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.
In an attempt to guilt the United States into accepting Syrian refugees, in an August 24 article, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof compared their plight to that of Jews during the Holocaust and claimed “Anne Frank Today is a Syrian Girl." Appearing on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Tuesday, the liberal journalist claimed America had blood on its hands.
Discussing the latest sexting scandal for Anthony Weiner on Tuesday’s NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell commented on top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin separating from the disgraced ex-congressman: “...despite their long-troubled marriage and that friends say that this was coming for a long time....they were trying to continue with this facade of a marriage....it worked for them for now. They were hoping to at least get through the campaign, through the election. But then it became untenable.”
During an interview with actress Tika Sumpter in 9 a.m. ET hour of Monday’s NBC Today about her role in a new biopic about the first date of Barack and Michelle Obama, co-host Al Roker eagerly wondered if the First Couple had seen the movie yet: “Have you heard at all from the Obamas?” Sumpter replied: “We haven't, not yet. I mean, I know they know about it."
While all three network morning shows on Monday acknowledged the “controversy” and “outrage” swirling around 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand during the National Anthem, the broadcasts still framed the disrespectful act as him taking a “stand” to “protest racism in America.”
In a screed published on news channel Fusion’s website on Friday, executive editor Dodai Stewart and editor-in-chief Alexis C. Madrigal demanded that white men need not apply to the job of being presidential debate moderators in the fall: “This isn’t what America looks like. Issues around race, gender, immigration, discrimination and justice are not just talking points – they’re a matter of life or death for many. We need moderators who better reflect this reality.”
In an interview aired on Friday’s NBC Today with Dr. William Petit – the sole survivor of a brutal home invasion in which his wife and two daughters were murdered – correspondent Cynthia McFadden pressed the now-candidate for Connecticut’s state house on his support for the death penalty: “The two men who committed the crime were sentenced to death, but then Connecticut voted to eliminate the death penalty entirely. Dr. Petit was an outspoken critic of the change.”
After all three network morning shows promoted the Clinton campaign’s attempt to discredit criticism of the Clinton Foundation on Wednesday, on Thursday, both NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning kept providing the Democratic nominee with a megaphone to defend the family charity and dismiss accusations of corruption.
Appearing on Fox News’s Special Report on Monday, The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes blasted the media for trying to dismiss the Clinton Foundation scandal as just another Republican attack line against Hillary Clinton: “What amuses me as I follow other media outlets covering this is they continue to try to cast this as if it’s about Republicans. ‘Republicans are attacking Hillary Clinton on the Foundation e-mails. Republicans say – ’ This isn’t about Republicans, this is about Hillary Clinton having made repeated representations that have turned out to be false.”
On Wednesday, while all three network morning shows did cover the latest revelation that over half of Hillary Clinton’s non-government meetings during her time as Secretary of State were with Clinton Foundation donors, the broadcasts also recited Clinton campaign spin dismissing the Associated Press report as “utterly flawed.”
On Tuesday’s NBC Today, Al Roker used an 8 a.m. ET hour weather report to mount his climate change soapbox and issue a dire warning to viewers: “Well, it has been a really hot year and it just continues. 15 consecutive months of record warmth, global temperatures....But look what happens if we project out to 2050, look at how much further you start to see that deep red of 50-plus days above 100.”
During an exclusive interview with the widow of Muhammad Ali on Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried: “Muhammad's message was to bring people together, and we live in a time right now in this country, and around the world, when there’s so much division. And I wonder in the last years of his life, was he disappointed and distressed by that?”
Appearing on MSNBC during the 11 a.m. ET hour on Monday, attorney and former Republican National Committee counsel Mark Braden denounced an attempt by anchor Tamron Hall to dismiss claims of voter fraud as “extraordinarily rare” and “minuscule.” He also called her out for citing statistics from liberal “advocacy group” that she labeled “nonpartisan.”
Talking to longtime Democratic strategist and Clinton operative James Carville on Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer fretted that Donald Trump visiting the flood zone in Louisiana could give him an edge in the presidential race: “He goes down there, looks at the damage first hand, talks to people, before President Obama. It wasn’t until after his visit that Hillary Clinton picked up the phone, called the governor there. Did he appear more presidential in the wake of that tragedy than Hillary Clinton?”
During an interview with Yahoo News anchor Katie Couric on Wednesday, left-wing feminist and staunch Hillary Clinton supporter Gloria Steinem portrayed the Democratic nominee as the victim of a hostile and sexist press corps: “...the other thing I notice, especially with men in press and so on, is that when they see a powerful woman...I think they feel regressed because the last time they saw one, they were ten. And so, they feel threatened without being conscious of it I think.”
With a news brief in the 9 a.m. ET hour on Friday, NBC’s Today jumped on a report that Hillary Clinton tried to blame former Secretary of State Colin Powell for her e-mail scandal during conversations with the FBI. The morning show’s news anchor Sheinelle Jones told viewers: “...sources tell NBC News that Hillary Clinton told the FBI that former Secretary of State Colin Powell recommended that she use a private e-mail account for unclassified communication.”
After completely ignoring a blatant display of anti-Semitism during last Friday’s judo competition at the Rio Olympics, this Friday, NBC’s Today finally noticed the shameful incident in which an Egyptian athlete refused to shake the hand of his Israeli opponent. During a round-up of highlights and lowlights from the games with NBC Sports commentator Mike Tirico, co-host Hoda Kotb noted: “Sports always brings like nations together that are sometimes at odds. But in judo, when the Egyptian athlete didn't shake the hand of the Israeli after losing, that was not cool.”
Between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the broadcast networks of NBC, ABC, and CBS presented several reports on the “massive” and “historic” flooding devastating Louisiana, even comparing storm damage to that suffered during Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. However, the one thing missing from the coverage was a single mention of the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
On Wednesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer and his colleagues were aghast Team USA’s Olympic champions would be forced to pay taxes on their winning medals. Lauer proclaimed: “Like other medalists, Michael [Phelps] receives a cash bonus for all the hardware. Guess what? He’s gonna have to pay taxes on every single medal and every single bonus. It's called the victory tax.”
In a recent interview with CNN senior political correspondent Manu Raju, New Hampshire Governor and Democratic Senate candidate Maggie Hassan repeatedly dodged questions about whether Hillary Clinton was “honest” and refused to vouch for Clinton’s credibility. Despite the embarrassing exchange making news on cable, the broadcast networks of NBC, ABC, and CBS all ignored the story.