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 email@example.com.
Latest from Kyle Drennen
On Friday, CBS This Morning was the only one of the Big Three network morning shows to cover Hillary Clinton's testy Thursday exchange with NPR host Terry Gross over Clinton's shifting position on gay marriage. Neither NBC's Today nor ABC's Good Morning America bothered to mention the unflattering incident for the potential 2016 presidential candidate. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose informed viewers: "Politico says Hillary Clinton rejects the idea that politics affected her views on same-sex marriage....In an interview Thursday, NPR host Terry Gross repeatedly asked Clinton about the issue." A clip followed of the contentious back and forth in which Clinton ranted to the liberal host: "I think you are being very persistent, but you are playing with my words and playing with what is such an important issue."
On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Thursday, host and NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell was unusually critical of the Obama administration's handling of terrorists seizing control of large portions of Iraq: "Where is our intelligence? We were there for ten years. We oughta know something about Iraq. This isn't North Korea." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That comment followed Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine's attempt to defend the White House for being caught flat-footed by the foreign crisis: "Well, this is a late-breaking development. Look, nobody in the administration contemplated that the Iraqi armed forces would just melt away and capitulate as fast as they have." Mitchell shot back: "Shouldn't they have?"
Despite Al Qaeda being on the rise in Syria and Iraq, numerous unanswered questions remaining about the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange, and the ongoing VA scandal, NBC News decided to send former first daughter and Today show correspondent Jenna Bush Hager to the White House to conduct a softball interview with President Obama on fatherhood.
Today co-host Savannah Guthrie teased the pro-Obama fluff at the top of Thursday's broadcast: "Father-in-chief....In an exclusive interview with Jenna Bush Hager, President Obama gets personal about his own childhood without a father and what it's like to raise kids in the White House." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Appearing on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Republican pollster Frank Luntz attacked his own profession following the surprising primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: "Right now there are 230 House Republicans who are waking up praying that they do not have Eric Cantor's pollster. Honestly – and I'm one of them – we Republican pollsters suck. We have no ability to be able to analyze the electorate." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Luntz noted how Cantor's pollster "told him twelve days ago that he was going to win by thirty-four points and then he loses by ten....he didn't even see it coming." Luntz concluded: "...you have to be able to analyze who is actually gonna vote, who's gonna participate."
After Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning primary defeat Tuesday night, the broadcast networks Wednesday morning wrung their hands over the loss and fretted that immigration reform, which Cantor supported, was doomed. On NBC's Today, political director Chuck Todd declared: "...this, by the way, means immigration reform during the rest of the Obama presidency, the idea that it's gonna happen, is dead. It is not going to happen in 2016." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie worried: "Is anything going to happen? I mean, I guess the question is whether Republicans will be so spooked by someone in such a strong position of leadership being vulnerable that they won't want to compromise even one bit." Todd replied: "They're going to be afraid to do anything the rest of this legislative cycle. Anybody that might be facing a primary, no matter how underfunded their challenge, forget it. I think legislating is done."
After giving Hillary Clinton a chance to clean up her "dead broke" gaffe in the first part of a live interview on Tuesday's Good Morning America, ABC host Robin Roberts saved all of her softball questions for part two of the exchange later on the broadcast: "You and your husband have very intense schedules, how much quality time – let's say how many days in the month are you actually able to be together as a family?...You're going to be a grandmother in the fall. Have you offered any names to Chelsea?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Telling the possible 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, "You're known for your sense of humor," Roberts decided to hit Clinton with a "lightening round" of frivolous questions: "Who is your favorite Republican in Congress?...who is the person living that you admire the most?...Politician you'd let babysit your future grandchild?...Game three of the NBA finals. Heat or Spurs? So you gotta go with Texas or Florida. That's tough."
In a live interview with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday's ABC Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts actually pressed the former first lady on claims that she and Bill Clinton left the White House "dead broke": "The reaction has been very strong about what you said to Diane [Sawyer]....using the words 'struggling' and that it wasn't easy, when many Americans are in the same situation but they know they don't have a book and the opportunities that you have. Any regrets in how you phrased that?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Clinton tried to clean up her gaffe: "Well, let me just clarify that I fully appreciate how hard life is for so many Americans today. It's an issue that I've worked on and cared about my entire adult life. Bill and I were obviously blessed. We worked hard for everything we got in our lives and we have continued to work hard."
On Monday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Willie Geist posed an ominous question to viewers: "How would you feel if you saw someone walk into a store or restaurant with a rifle strapped to his or her back?" Teasing an upcoming story on the topic, he proclaimed: "It's perfectly legal in one state, sparking quite a controversy this morning, we'll explain." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed minutes later, correspondent Kerry Sanders announced: "...in Texas, it is legal to carry a long-barreled rifle, a shotgun, as long as you're carrying it openly....But when a group of gun enthusiasts and activists began carrying their long guns into places like restaurants and stores, it started a debate that's raging like a Texas prairie fire." The headline on screen declared: "Texas Gun Fight; 'Open Carry' Movement Sparks Controversy."
In clips of her interview with Hillary Clinton aired on Monday's Good Morning America, World News anchor Diane Sawyer was surprisingly tough on the issue of Benghazi: "Is there anything you personally should have been doing to make it safer in Benghazi?...I wonder if people are looking for a sentence that begins from you, 'I should have...' 'I should have...'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After the clip, Sawyer explained to GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos: "So many questions on Benghazi because we know a lot of people think it's a central question of leadership if she runs for president."
At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour on Friday's NBC Today, co-hosts Al Roker, Tamron Hall, and Natalie Morales came up with an odd imaging of a 2008 meeting between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama following the bruising Democratic primary. Roker joked: "Well, during that date, they did play Kenny G. That really helped." Hall added: "No, no, they played Kenny G. Bill Clinton came in with the sax as Kenny G." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Hall confessed: "We fantasize a lot around here." Roker remarked: "We're just in our little world." Morales chimed in: "And they drank bottles and bottles of Chardonnay and then everything was okay."
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed over the network getting an advanced copy of Hillary Clinton's new book: "Well, here it is. It's the memoir that a lot of people are talking about, waiting to read, Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton. We happened to find this copy actually at a bookstore in Los Angeles just days ahead of the official release." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell touted the 600 pages of Clinton spin as "an opening argument for her next presidential campaign – if, if she decides to run again." O'Donnell added that the potential 2016 contender "writes about her time as secretary of state on a range of issues where she could make news again."
In an interview with the Fox News host on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer wondered if "President Bill O'Reilly" would have made the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange with the Taliban. O'Reilly replied: "I would not make the deal....These are not prisoners of war, these Taliban guys, they're war criminals. We ran down last night the atrocities that the Taliban has committed over the past ten years, and it's horrifying." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer followed up: "Do you think the administration either didn't see the reaction coming or misread the reaction?" O'Reilly responded: "It's such a mystery that they wouldn't know. First of all, President Obama knows what Bergdahl did because there's a classified report on the guy....They already know what he did, and it's not good."
Appearing on Thursday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, Bloomberg News reporter Jeanne Cummings asserted that the highly controversial Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange – which an overwhelming majority of Americans feel has endangered the lives of U.S. soldiers – would have no negative political impact on Democrats in November's midterm elections. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Asked if the deal with the Taliban would affect the elections, Cummings declared: "Generally, no. It's a bipartisan reaction....I don't think this is going to last very long unless Congress comes up with better arguments than, 'We really hated the Rose Garden ceremony.' That compared to bringing a soldier back, for the American public, I don't think they weight together."
During a fawning segment on Thursday's NBC Today promoting Hillary Clinton's People magazine interview, co-host Savannah Guthrie parroted the former Secretary of State's spin on the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya: "On Benghazi, Clinton said the chance to testify was the most important thing to her, despite a fall and concussion that's brought some Republican hard knocks on her health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie touted Clinton's thinly-veiled attempt to question the health of Republican Congressman Paul Ryan: "Clinton told People that 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told her he had suffered three concussions, one serious." Guthrie then noted: "Team Clinton has set up a rapid response team to address criticism about Benghazi during her book tour."
Appearing on Wednesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski offered a blunt response to the notion that the White House was "taken aback" by the controversy swirling around the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange: "I think if anybody at the White House would have done "Google: Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl," it would have jumped right up at them. There's no explanation for why they didn't know this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Such critical analysis was prompted by host Andrea Mitchell wondering: "Were they [at the Pentagon] at least, were they somewhat taken aback, as the White House was, by the controversy that erupted over this?" Miklaszewski replied: "Not at all....senior defense and military officials were aware from the very beginning, shortly after he was – disappeared from his base five years ago, that this was a controversial issue. That soldiers were upset that one of their own would abandon their post in a war zone..."
Acting as a stenographer on Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd parroted the Obama administration's new attack against critics of the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange: "They did not expect this backlash on Bergdahl himself. I've had a few aides describe it to me as, 'We didn't know that they were going to swift boat Bergdahl'....a reference to that political fight back in 2004 over John Kerry's military service that became so controversial in that campaign. So there's some fighting words there." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The outrageous talking point was prompted by co-host Matt Lauer wondering: "Did the White House truly think this was just going to be a celebratory moment, the release of Sergeant Bergdahl? Did they not see any of this backlash coming? Were they caught flat-footed?"
On Tuesday, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports presented two very different accounts of what kind of soldier Bowe Bergdahl was, first as a disillusioned free spirit who wished he'd joined the Peace Corps, then as a bloodthirsty warrior who wanted to rip the enemy's face off. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller, host Andrea Mitchell portrayed Bergdahl sympathetically: "I read somewhere, and it may have been your reporting, that he initially thought it was sort of joining the Peace Corps, that he was going to be helping the Afghan people, that maybe he didn't really understand. Because his disillusionment came so quickly..." Bumiller replied: "He did have some romantic notions...he was going over to Afghanistan to help the Afghan people. And those views were quickly dashed after he got there."
In a brief on Tuesday's NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales portrayed a minimum wage hike in Seattle as the first step toward a nationwide increase: "Well, with talks across the country ongoing about boosting the minimum wage, workers in Seattle are soon going to be seeing a big boost....The Seattle city council passed an ordinance Monday that bumps the minimum wage up to $15 an hour. That's the highest in the nation." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The headline on screen declared: "Landmark Minimum Wage Hike; Seattle's $15 an Hour Could Set New Standard." In a later news brief, Morales proclaimed the policy to be "A historic victory for workers in Seattle that could have a big impact nationwide."
In an interview with Dr. Ben Carson for Meet the Press's web-based feature Press Pass, NBC host David Gregory dismissed Carson's call for "a government that placed the Constitution of the United States at the highest level": "There are some people who say that. That's a very highly charged thing to say. Where is the Constitution not placed in the right level today?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Carson gave Gregory a dose of reality: "Because it helps to define what the role of the government is. It doesn't include being in every aspect of our lives....when you take people who are perfectly capable of doing things and you pat them on the head and then you say, 'There, there, you poor little thing, we're going to take care of this and this, you won't have anything to worry about.'"
While all three broadcast networks provided critical coverage of the Obama administration's decision to exchange five Taliban terrorists for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl, Meet the Press host David Gregory and CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell both attempted to spin the controversial deal as brilliant diplomacy. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Interviewing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday's Meet the Press, Gregory argued: "This is potentially a good sign if you think about the future of Afghanistan....does this pave the way for perhaps a new round of negotiations with the Taliban directly between the United States and the Taliban about the Taliban's future in running Afghanistan?"