MSNBC hosts on Friday jumped at the chance to bash former President George W. Bush over his handling of Hurricane Katrina on the 10th anniversary of the storm that ravaged the gulf coast. On NewsNation, host Tamron Hall proclaimed: “Many have said, including writer Douglas Brinkley and others, that this was the stain on his presidency that he could never recover from.”
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.
After Thursday’s network morning shows chose to ignore a finding in the latest Quinnipiac poll that voters most associate the word “liar” with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, ABC’s World News Tonight that evening and Friday’s NBC Today finally mentioned the survey. CBS continued to avoid the topic.
Introducing a segment on Wednesday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie announced: “We’re back now at 7:43 with the controversial tweet that has led to a headline-making suspension at ESPN.” Fellow co-host Willie Geist declared: “Former big league ace pitcher and current baseball analyst Curt Schilling has a history of pushing boundaries on social media. But his bosses say this time Schilling went too far.”
Wednesday’s NBC Today devoted a full report to the Freedom From Religion Foundation forcing a Kansas school to take down a painting of Jesus. Co-host Matt Lauer declared: “...a controversial decision to take down a portrait of Jesus that’s getting an awful lot of attention.”
At the top of Wednesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer described how Univision anchor Jorge Ramos was “kicked out of a Donald Trump news conference” on Tuesday and wondered: “Can Trump’s confrontational style carry him all the way to the White House or will it wear thin with voters?” Peter Alexander proclaimed: “To be clear, Jorge Ramos is the most powerful newsman in Spanish-language TV. He's often called the Walter Cronkite of Latino America.”
In a fawning softball interview with New Republic editor Jamil Smith on NBC’s web-based Meet the Press feature Press Pass, moderator Chuck Todd urged the liberal journalist to justify racially divisive reporting: “So let me start with this idea of why we should, in the media, report on identity politics essentially. Why does it matter?”
On Monday, all three network morning shows gushed over Vice President Joe Biden meeting with left-wing Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren over the weekend, with hosts and correspondents excited by the prospect of a Biden-Warren ticket in 2016. On NBC’s Today, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: “This is the story electrifying the political world, especially for Democrats...”
Just two weeks after the broadcast networks mourned “cultural icon” Jon Stewart leaving The Daily Show, Friday’s NBC Today and CBS This Morning touted an online petition on the liberal Change.org website urging the Commission on Presidential Debates to select the left-wing comedian as a 2016 debate moderator.
While Fox News anchor Bret Baier led off Wednesday’s Special Report by declaring that the latest shocking revelation about the Iran nuclear deal “sounds like a joke” to congressional critics, ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News ignored the story completely. Meanwhile, NBC Nightly News only allowed a minute of air time for the breaking news.
After former President Jimmy Carter criticized “the government of Israel” during a Thursday press conference for having “no desire for a two-state solution” with the Palestinians, MSNBC Hardball host and former Carter speechwriter Chris Matthews hailed his old boss: “...he stuck it to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. Why not?...He might as well stick it to the guys who’ve caused him trouble, as he’s seen it, especially Netanyahu. Why not stick it to Netanyahu? He deserves it.”
While all three network morning shows covered Hillary Clinton’s ongoing e-mail scandal on Wednesday, the broadcasts focused on the Democratic front-runner being “fed up” with controversy and “defiant” in her response to legitimate questions from the press.
On Tuesday’s MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts, fill-in anchor Frances Rivera eagerly promoted Planned Parenthood attacking Republicans: “Planned Parenthood is going on the offensive, releasing ads in four states targeting these senators, urging supporters to tell them not to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood.”
While all three network morning shows covered the latest development in the Clinton e-mail scandal on Tuesday – that over 300 e-mails are being reviewed for classified material – all three broadcasts also touted the Clinton campaign defense that the former secretary of state “never sent or received any e-mails that were marked classified at the time.”
On Monday, NBC’s Today was the only network morning show to cover a new study showing a strong link between religious faith and lasting happiness. Co-host Savannah Guthrie informed viewers: “According to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, joining a religious group does more for someone’s sustained happiness than other forms of social participation.”
Out of the nearly 15 minutes of coverage the network morning shows devoted to the 2016 presidential race on Monday, only three minutes of that air time focused on the e-mail scandal continuing to plague Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
While all three broadcast networks on Friday morning celebrated the American flag being raised at the newly-reopened U.S. embassy in Havana, CBS ignored Cuban dissidents not being invited to the ceremony, while NBC and ABC gave mere seconds to the controversy.
On her MSNBC show on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell brought on Heather McGhee, president of the left-wing group Demos, to “sort all this out” when came to the debate over student loan debt in the 2016 race: “...student debt 101. The presidential candidates are put to the test on what to do about the rising cost of college.”
Interviewing former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer wondered if Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal would have a lasting impact on the 2016 campaign: “You don't have to be a Republican operative to find trouble in the headlines surrounding Hillary Clinton. Any time you put the words ‘Hillary Clinton, e-mail, top secret, and FBI’ in the same sentence, you’ve got a problem. Do you see any sign that this is gonna go away soon?”
Rushing to defend Hillary Clinton in the wake of revelations that the former secretary of state sent classified material via a private e-mail server, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell fretted on Wednesday: “...there's going to be a cloud of suspicion, though, by those who just want to see conspiracy theories. There's almost no way she can clear this up to the satisfaction of critics on the other side in terms of the politics of this, and it's taking its toll.”
On MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on Tuesday, The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty saw a big advantage for Hillary Clinton in the midst of the Republican primary campaign: “But the fact is this complete chaos on the Republican side is presenting a lot of opportunities for Hillary Clinton, not only to, again, paint them as extremists, but also to actually put some policy points on the board, which is not really happening much on the Republican side.”