Appearing on Fox News’s The Kelly File Tuesday night, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie blasted the press over the stunning double standard of its obsession with Bridgegate versus its minimal coverage of a possible criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal: “I'm waiting for the nightly specials on other news networks. I'm waiting for the breathless front-page stories on The New York Times that they don't back off from every time Hillary Clinton yells at them....it's completely biased, unfair, disparate treatment.”
Kyle Drennen is a Media Research Center news analyst and serves as a contributing writer to NewsBusters. He joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science.
Appearing on NBC’s Late Night on Monday – aired early Tuesday morning – Today co-host Matt Lauer assessed the state of the Republican presidential race: “Donald Trump is getting all the attention right now on the Republican side....This guy is great. He's a showman. He’s got a lot of P.T. Barnum in him and he knows how to promote things....it's hard for the other candidates to get any attention whatsoever, because Donald is, I think some would say, sucking the oxygen out of the room.”
In an exclusive live interview with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer scolded the former Arkansas governor for his strong criticism of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran: “It seems to me the irony here is you’re taking a pro-Israel stance, but in explaining that stance, you have offended people in Israel and Jews all around the world.”
In the midst of a 2016 presidential race overflowing with candidates, Monday’s NBC Today instead decided to devote three minutes of air time to a Maryland congressional contender with little chance of even securing the Democratic Party’s nomination for the seat. Co-host Matt Lauer introduced the fawning segment: “Caitlyn Jenner getting a lot of attention right now, but she's not the only transgender American breaking new ground.”
In an interview with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus on Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie predicted “long-term damage” for Republicans and a “free pass” for Hillary Clinton.
While Matt Lauer pressed Secretary of State John Kerry on the Iran nuclear deal during an interview on Friday’s NBC Today, the co-host did allow Kerry to continue to make false claims about the policy without challenge.
In a live interview with Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer lobbed a softball about the news that the Justice Department was considering launching a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal: “As you’ve heard, two inspectors general have called for a criminal investigation into her use of that private e-mail server for sensitive information. As someone who occupies the job and knows what information is handled by someone in your position, is this politics or is she in real trouble?”
During a discussion on her MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd were puzzled by a new poll showing bad numbers for Hillary Clinton. Mitchell immediately tried to downplay the results: “I mean, it's one poll, it's a Quinnipiac poll....But it does show her behind in the swing states, with Virginia, I guess, as within the margin of error....It's pretty early.”
Despite the revelation on Wednesday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) made secret side deals with Iran over nuclear weapons inspections and refused to disclose the details to the U.S. Congress, NBC, ABC, and CBS all ignored the story. By contrast, FNC’s Special Report led with the news as anchor Bret Baier informed viewers “there is word tonight of a separate covert deal between the Islamic Republic and the U.N.’s nuclear team. Two of them, in fact, that are not going to be shared with members of Congress nor with you.”
During a live press conference in the 12:00 p.m. ET hour on Wednesday about the Chattanooga shooting, CNN reporter Aaron Cooper asked FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed Reinhold: “There's been reports that there were some personal or privately owned weapons used in responding to the shooter....Did anybody hit anyone else? Was there any friendly fire incident?”
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows proclaimed that Donald Trump was making it “nearly impossible” for any other 2016 Republican candidates to get any media attention. On NBC’s Today, co-host Matt Lauer declared: “Donald Trump remains the talk of the presidential race with some new antics on the campaign trail. And it's making it hard for any of the fifteen other Republicans to get any attention...”
In a softball interview with Secretary of State John Kerry aired on her MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell was in awe of Kerry meeting with the Cuban foreign minister on Monday following the reopening of the Communist nation’s embassy in Washington: “The first time since 1958 a Cuban foreign minister was here in this building....Did you have a sense of history? Did he?”
During a round-up of political news on Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer promoted the 2016 Democratic front-runner taking to social media to answer softball questions: “Hillary Clinton hosted her first Facebook chat as a presidential candidate on Monday. It was followed by thousands, with topics ranging from her plans to reform Wall Street to Libya to business attire for women. The former Secretary of State saying, ‘I never met a pantsuit I didn't love.’”
In a puff piece for Monday’s NBC Today, correspondent Sheinelle Jones proclaimed: “During a news conference, President Obama revealed that cell phones are banned from the family dinner table. And his comments are striking a chord with parents across the country...”
On Monday, hosts and reporters on the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows could hardly contain their excitement as they cheered an “historic new era” in relations between the United States and Cuba. On NBC’s Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted: “Overnight, for the first time in five decades, full diplomatic ties were officially restored. That paves the way for the reopening of embassies in Washington and Havana.”
For Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect on Thursday, co-host Mark Halperin was granted exclusive access to Hillary Clinton’s national campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. At the top of the show he proclaimed: “This is history folks. We’re finally here at the top of the political world. Welcome to Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters here in Brooklyn Heights. The first ever TV show done from the Clinton-land HQ.”
On Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted Donald Trump leading in recent polls as a problem for the 2016 Republican field: “He is having a bigger impact than a lot of people expected and that is leading to a growing war of words between the real estate mogul and his political rivals.”
On Thursday, all three network morning shows skipped a new poll showing that Hillary Clinton’s favorablity rating had fallen to 39 percent. The newly-released Associated Press-GFK poll found: “Just 39 percent of all Americans have a favorable view of Clinton, compared to nearly half [49 percent] who say they have a negative opinion of her.”
At the top of Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie hailed President Obama’s Wednesday press conference: “Unfiltered. President Obama launches a vigorous defense of his controversial deal with Iran.” Introducing a report on the topics minutes later, Guthrie proclaimed: “...a news conference some are calling unplugged. During a more than hour-long session with the reporters, the President was as emotional as we’ve seen him...”
Citing Obama administration talking points word for word on Wednesday’s Today, co-hosts Willie Geist and Savannah Guthrie grilled Republican Senator and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham on GOP opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. Geist, filling in for Matt Lauer, began: “Secretary Kerry...said yesterday opponents of this deal have proposed no viable alternative....What makes you think that a President Lindsey Graham would have any more luck than President Obama with Iran?”