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
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams seized on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revoking the trademark of the Washington Redskins as part of the liberal crusade to force the team to change it's name: "Taking a hit. The feds go after the Redskins where it hurts the most, money from team merchandise, as the controversy over the team's name takes a surprise turn." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the later report, Williams proclaimed: "The pressure just increased on the Washington Redskins to change their team name. Starting with the fact that they may no longer have the exclusive use of their own name in the lucrative business of NFL merchandise." Correspondent Kristen Welker touted the government abuse of power as "A victory for Native Americans who say the name should go, calling it just as racist as the 'N' word."
In a remarkably tough interview with Secretary of State John Kerry aired on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie interrogated the nation's top diplomat on the Obama administration's failure to prevent terrorists from invading Iraq: "It seems like the U.S. was totally caught off guard by this....did you act too slowly? I mean, [Iraqi Prime Minister] Maliki was asking for help with air strikes in the last few weeks as this was coming, as ISIS was coming toward this part of Iraq. Why didn't we act then?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the exchange, Guthrie pressed: "What's happening now in Iraq is directly related to the situation in Syria. Did the U.S. – did the President miss the moment, make a huge mistake by not trying to turn the tide in Syria then and what's happening in Iraq now is just the chickens coming home to roost?"
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd reported on the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing President Obama's poll numbers taking a nose dive and made this stunning declaration: "This is as if the public is saying, 'Hey, buddy, your presidency is over. You may not believe it is, but your ability to lead and convince us that you have the right policies anymore, we're not listening.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That observation was prompted by co-host Savannah Guthrie highlighting: "Let's show the poll number you call the dagger. 'Can the President lead and get the job done?' 54% say no."
In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace condemned network television news for being obsessed with "what's trending online or some Internet YouTube video" rather than hard news, lamenting: "I'm frankly disheartened by some of the stuff I see creeping into newscasts."
He further observed: "The weekday morning television shows have really been overrun by it, and I am kind of disheartened to see it creeping into the evening, weekday news. Walter Cronkite, my first boss, would not be happy to see what's happening in the evening newscasts."
While all three network morning shows covered the ongoing terrorist invasion of Iraq on Tuesday, only CBS This Morning made the connection between President Obama's foreign policy and the chaos in the country. In an interview with former U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, This Morning co-host Charlie Rose wondered: "Has the United States and the Obama administration failed to pay sufficient attention to Iraq since American troops left?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later on the broadcast, correspondent Jan Crawford talked to Iraq war veterans upset by seeing their hard-fought accomplishments being lost. Crawford explained: "When he campaigned for president in 2008, then-Senator Obama made bringing the troops home a priority.... But the U.S. withdrawal came at a cost, leaving an opening for radical terror groups."
On Monday, only CBS This Morning reported Friday's stunning revelation that the IRS somehow lost two years worth of emails from Lois Lerner, the official at the center of the agency scandal in which conservative groups were unfairly targeted. At the top of the morning show, co-host Norah O'Donnell wondered: "How did the IRS lose emails in the scandal targeting conservatives after the government spent millions to back up data?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the later report, fellow co-host Charlie Rose noted: "The Washington Times says congressional Republicans are blasting the IRS for losing some of Lois Lerner's emails.... the controversy that started last year is erupting again." Correspondent Nancy Cordes reported: "Republican lawmakers, as you can imagine, are furious. They say the IRS has been promising to get them these emails for a year, and now suddenly says that Lois Lerner's computer crashed way back in 2011."
UPDATE [06/16]: Monday's Today offered a correction on Trump's claim that Blair Kamin had been "fired" from the Chicago Tribune. At the top of the 8 a.m. ET hour, news anchor Natalie Morales explained: "Well, in fact, that critic, Pulitzer Prize winner Blair Kamin, has been with the Chicago Tribune for more than twenty years and also spent the 2013 academic year as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard." See a transcript of the June 16 news brief below.
On Friday, NBC's Today and CBS This Morning touted Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin hurling insults at Donald Trump's newest skyscraper in the Windy City, condemning the "brashness" and "egotistical overstatement" of the billionaire's decision to place his name on the building, even calling it a "wart" on the city skyline and comparing it to "Godzilla." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Reacting to the melodramatic declarations during a live phone interview on Today, Trump slammed Kamin: "This was started by a third-rate architectural critic for the Chicago Tribune, who I thought got fired. He was gone for a long period of time. Most people thought he got fired. All of a sudden he re-emerges, and to get a little publicity, he started this campaign."
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."