In what was billed as a profile of Ann Romney set to air on Thursday's NBC Rock Center, a portion of the interview played on Thursday's Today featured news anchor Natalie Morales grilling the Republican candidate's spouse on taxes: "...she fiercely defended the Romneys' decision not to release tax returns from before 2010. A lot of people still are asking why not be transparent and release more than the 2010 and the estimates for 2011." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Romney responded forcefully: "Have you seen how we're attacked? Have you seen what's happened?" Morales continued to press the issue: "It's been in the press quite a bit. Now are you angry that it's been in the press? I mean, should you not be questioned about your finances?" Romney pushed back: "We have been very transparent to what's legally required of us. But, the more we release, the more we get attacked. The more we get questioned, the more we get pushed."



Contaminated water, health problems, and now … earthquakes? Fracking, a way to get natural gas out of layers deep within the earth, has been blamed for it all and the liberal news media have been consistently against the method, rarely showing supporters or mentioning any upside of the process.

Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, is a technique used to get natural gas out of the ground. It’s not new technology — the first use of hydraulic fracturing was actually in 1947 (according to a textbook on Rock Mechanics), but this process has come under fire from the left and the media in the past two years especially.



In an interview with Mitt Romney's five sons aired on Thursday's NBC Rock Center, campaign correspondent Peter Alexander took a jab at the family's wealth: "Their life of privilege, plus a reported $100 million trust fund, continues to draw harsh scrutiny....The criticism is that a family like yours, the Romneys, can't really understand what the average American family is dealing with right now....are you out of touch?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Earlier in the segment, Alexander explained the role of the sons: "For a candidate who at times has struggled to connect, the campaign hopes the sons can also help explain some of their father's more idiosyncratic moments." In a preview of the interview on Thursday's Today, Alexander proclaimed: "For a candidate who's been called aloof, even awkward, the Romney boys help highlight their father's human side."



In a nasty rant at the end of Thursday's Rock Center on NBC, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams slammed the hosts of FNC's morning show for daring to criticize the uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team: "Trouble on Fox & Friends. It started when the morning show crew mocked the new Ralph Lauren outfits...." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

After playing a clip of Gretchen Carlson being critical of berets being part of the uniform, Williams sneered: "The jingoism continued. Another host wondered why they couldn't wear something more American, like baseball caps or cowboy hats. Until the viewer e-mails started pouring in, reminding them some real Americans, U.S. soldiers, are issued berets."



On Thursday's NBC Rock Center, just days after calling for more liberal media bias against conservatives, left-wing screen writer Aaron Sorkin dismissed the idea that he has a reputation as an outspoken liberal: "I don't know so much about my being known for my liberal politics.... I don't have very much political sophistication at all." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Correspondent Savannah Guthrie skeptically replied: "Really, you're not known for your liberal politics?" Sorkin argued: "I don't feel that way about myself. Maybe I am. I've met activists, I'm not one of them. You know, they'll march. They'll do things that are hard. I, I don't."



In an interview with actress Candice Bergen for Thursday's NBC Rock Center, correspondent Harry Smith brought up Bergen's long-running 90's sitcom, proclaiming: "Well you can't talk about Murphy Brown and not also say Dan Quayle....What Vice President Quayle said in a 1992 speech was an attack on the character Murphy Brown for glorifying single motherhood."

A portion of the speech played, with Quayle warning against, "Mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice." A sound bite followed of Bergen reacting in character on the CBS show: "What really defines a family is commitment, caring and love." Following the clips, Bergen happily told Smith: "Certainly Dan Quayle made the show number one for a few months. And when I won the Emmy that year, I thanked him for that."



All together now - aaaawwww.

TVNewser reported moments ago that Brian Williams' prime time NBC show Rock Center, which just last week featured an exclusive with President Obama et al concerning Osama bin Laden's assassination, is being pulled for May sweeps and might not be renewed this fall:



Interviewing President Obama about the killing of Osama Bin Laden on Wednesday's NBC Rock Center, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams couldn't resist gushing over the level-headed commander-in-chief: "How do you keep an even keel? Even when we look back on the videotape of that night, there's no real depiction that there's something afoot."

Williams was referring to the President attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner as the mission to kill Bin Laden was underway, having to "laugh it up" and "live a little bit of a lie for the public good." Obama explained: "You know, that was a little bit of acting going on there, because my mind was elsewhere."



NBC's special presentation of Rock Center on the first anniversary of Osama bin Laden's assassination wasn't just a victory lap for Barack Obama.

It was also a chance for host Brian Williams to praise Bill Clinton for going after the former al Qaeda leader without mentioning all the times his administration passed on chances to get him (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):



Three years ago, then-CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric fawned over Barack Obama: “You’re so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken?” On ABC’s World News, Diane Sawyer often softens her interviews with the President by tossing in questions about college basketball, asking, at the start of the U.S. military operation against Libya last year, “How much do you think Kentucky will win by?”

But of the three evening news anchors, by far the most admiring of Obama is NBC’s Brian Williams who has — no big surprise — been rewarded with exclusive access to the White House Situation Room for what promises to be a prime time Obama campaign infomercial (on Wednesday’s Rock Center) on how the brave President monitored the mission as Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s compound and killed the terrorist mastermind exactly one year ago. (Round-up of Williams' most fawning Obama moments, with video, below the jump).



Hillary Clinton says the expression on her face in that now iconic picture of the White House Situation Room taken the day Osama bin Laden was killed is "the way I usually look when my husband drags me to an action movie."

Such was told to NBC's Brian Williams for a Rock Center special to be aired Wednesday which was previewed on Sunday's Meet the Press (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):



During a report for the April 18 edition of NBC's Rock Center, correspondent Ted Koppel was right at home with French socialist campaign workers: "...it is the Socialist campaign directed by these three young men, Vincent, Arthur and Guillaume, that has the distinctly American flavor." Guillaume declared: "We've been pushing this, you know, let's do what Obama did for two years."

At the same time, only seconds earlier, Koppel touted attacks against current French President Nicolas Sarkozy for being too American: "This US-style rally is one reason that President Sarkozy's rivals call him La American, 'the American.' It is not meant as a compliment."