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.

Latest from Kyle Drennen
October 1, 2014, 12:53 PM EDT

In a report for Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent John Blackstone touted California passing a law to ban plastic bags from grocery stores as "a victory for those who've declared the single-use plastic bag an environmental enemy." Leading off a similar segment on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, he declared: "You see them everywhere, plastic bags by the road, by the water, in landfills. But now you won't see them at any California grocery stores."

After Blackstone's This Morning report, co-host Norah O'Donnell excitedly endorsed the nanny state government overreach: "You know, in Washington, D.C. they did this several years ago. They didn't ban them outright, but they said if you want a bag, you gotta pay the extra five or ten cents and that money would go to cleaning up the Anacostia River. And it's worked. People use less plastic bags." Fellow co-host Gayle King chimed in: "I think it's a great idea." [Listen to the audio]

September 30, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

On Tuesday, NBC's Today seized on accusations of anti-Muslim bias in the NFL after Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah was hit with a 15-yard penalty after appearing to pray in the end zone after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots Monday night. This was the same network that censored any mention of the Islamic extremism of an Oklahoma man who beheaded a co-worker on Thursday.

September 30, 2014, 12:17 PM EDT

After ignoring criticism on Monday of President Obama's claim to 60 Minutes that the intelligence community was to blame for having "underestimated" ISIS, Tuesday's CBS This Morning finally caught up with the story as co-host Norah O'Donnell declared: "...intelligence officials sort of brustled [sic] at hearing the President say that the intelligence community may have underestimated this threat. I mean, publicly, there's a paper trail of intelligence officials before Congress saying ISIS is a problem."

Fellow co-host Charlie Rose added: "We're also now hearing from high-level intelligence officials off the record, you know, that they think that it was wrong in a sense, as to some are suggesting, to throw intelligence community under the bus. I'm not sure the President meant to do that. But clearly, there is a push-back on the part of the intelligence community saying, 'We tried to tell you.'" [Listen to the audio]

September 29, 2014, 5:10 PM EDT

In an interview with Ben Affleck on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer observed that the actor's new murder mystery thriller Gone Girl was "a little hostile to the institution of the media." Affleck agreed but reassured Lauer: "Yeah, it's not media broadly. It's not you guys or The New York Times or even the news. It's about that stripe of media that's the sort of the cable, 24-hour, 'Who killed somebody today?,' you know, kind of hustle."

Affleck – who plays a husband suspected of murdering his wife amid a media frenzy in the film – listed various real-life murder cases the press became obsessed with: "...Scott Peterson or Laci Peterson or whatever, Amanda Knox, or that girl whose daughter died. You know, whatever horrible thing happens, there's somebody kind of really sanctimonious running a show twenty four hours a day trying to make money off of it..." Of course NBC was saturated with sensational coverage of all of those stories as well.

September 29, 2014, 12:23 PM EDT

Even as President Obama clearly attempted during a Sunday 60 Minutes interview to blame others for his failure to recognize ISIS as a growing threat in the Middle East, Monday's NBC Today spun the buck-passing as a "very candid" admission by the commander-in-chief.

Co-host Matt Lauer opened the morning show by proclaiming: "Underestimated. The President admits his administration and U.S. intelligence officials misjudged the threat of ISIS." While that headline suggested to viewers that Obama was taking responsibility for the failure, a soundbite ran of the President distancing himself from blame: "I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria."

September 26, 2014, 1:13 PM EDT

Of the three broadcast evening newscasts Thursday night, only the CBS Evening News offered a full report on the resignation of controversial Attorney General Eric Holder. NBC Nightly News only offered a news brief on the topic, while ABC's World News amazingly skipped the news completely – though it did find the time to provide a full segment on Yankees captain Derek Jeter retiring.

On Friday's morning shows, the pattern was similar. CBS This Morning featured another full story on Holder's contentious tenure at the Justice Department while NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America each included mere seconds of coverage. However, both NBC and ABC devoted full reports to Jeter.

September 25, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT

In an interview with United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer pointed out President Obama contradicting himself on fighting terrorism: "Many times during his presidency, the President has said that the tide of war is receding....But yesterday, he talked about this fight against ISIS and he said, 'The only language understood by killers like ISIS is the language of force.'"

He then wondered: "Are we heading back to a perpetual footing of war?" Power replied: "No. But what we are doing is engaging in a campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy this monstrous group." Lauer followed up: "Are we at war now against ISIS?" Power stated: "We're at war against group of ISIL, yeah." [Listen to the audio]

September 25, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

Appearing on MSNBC's News Nation on Thursday to react to Attorney General Eric Holder announcing his resignation, NBC's Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd had the audacity to proclaim that Holder "wasn't political at all" during his tenure at the Justice Department. [Listen to the audio]

This is the same Eric Holder who declared America to be a "nation of cowards" on race, was held in contempt of Congress for not handing over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun running scandal, and who just in April implied to Al Sharpton's National Action Network that Republican criticism of him and President Obama was racially motivated.

September 24, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT

Running defense for Barack Obama on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted "some of the President's defenders" pushing back against a video of the commander-in-chief sloppily saluting Marines while holding a coffee cup by "circulating this photo of George W. Bush during his presidency...saluting service members while holding his dog, Barney." [Listen to the audio]

Lauer noted that despite Obama gaffe going viral on social media and "sarcastically being called the 'latte salute,'" it "didn't take long for that photo [of Bush] to come out as well."

September 24, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

In an exclusive interview with White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Wednesday's Today, co-host Matt Lauer actually questioned the administration's handling of terrorism: "Think of the things we're talking about here with the Khorasan group, with ISIS and the territory they've taken in Iraq, with the threat to airline travel internationally, with beheadings that we're seeing on camera. What happened to the days when the administration was able to say it felt confident that we had dealt a crippling blow to Al Qaeda and Islamic militants?" [Listen to the audio]

Unfortunately, Lauer failed to use the opportunity to grill Rice on the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack in Libya, which she infamously spread false information about and which occurred precisely at the time when President Obama was asserting that Al Qaeda had been "decimated" on his watch.

September 23, 2014, 5:23 PM EDT

On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Tuesday, host and NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, along with chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson, gushed over President Obama's effort to push the climate change agenda. Mitchell touted how Obama "will be delivering remarks at the United Nations Climate Action Summit" and "is expected to call on world leaders to follow the U.S. lead on climate change..."

Thompson praised the White House: "I think what you do see is the United States is now coming from a position of strength. The Obama administration has set out a climate action plan, it has promised – it has got an agreement with the auto companies to double fuel efficiency by the year 2025. It is going to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, oil power plants by 30%." [Listen to the audio]

September 23, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

Sitting down with CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose at Monday's Clinton Global Initiative conference, former President Bill Clinton fawned over the longtime PBS interviewer: "The reason I like your program is you interview everybody the same. And you ask hard questions, just like you threw a few zingers at me, but you always give people the chance to tell their story....You never go into an interview...with the purpose of really just screwing the person you're interviewing..." [Listen to the audio]

Perhaps Clinton's high praise was a thank you to Rose for doing such a friendly softball exchange with Hillary Clinton a couple months earlier. On his July 17 PBS program, Rose began an interview with the former secretary of state by calling her a "friend" and reciting a glowing Mayo Angelou poem about her.

September 22, 2014, 4:32 PM EDT

In an interview with Ken Burns on Sunday's web-based Meet the Press feature Press Pass, moderator Chuck Todd asked the historian and film-maker about his PBS documentary on the Roosevelts: "It's amazing what the press didn't cover....I mean, and if they had, obviously it could have changed history." Burns responded:

It could. But I think we focus too much – we presume that because there was a gentleman's agreement to turn off the cameras as he [FDR] started to stand up or when he started to sit down, that we know less...."Wasn't that quaint an arrangement? They sort of looked the other way when JFK did that or they, you know, didn't really notice Franklin Roosevelt's illness." They actually did and they actually knew more and had better and more intimate access to power, and that's an important thing. [Listen to the audio]

September 22, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

The hosts on NBC's Today spent over a minute of air time on Monday applauding Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu for helping a fan tailgating at an LSU football game do a keg stand. Co-host Matt Lauer touted how Landrieu "may do just about anything to get your vote" given that she was "in the middle of a really tough reelection campaign."

Substitute co-host Hoda Kotb concluded: "I think that wins her votes, personally....I do guarantee you, in Louisiana, that definitely helps. I mean that helps in the vote department. For sure, right?" [Listen to the audio]

September 19, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT

On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Friday, host Andrea Mitchell noted that "Chris Christie has been cleared by the federal investigators of any allegations" in the George Washington Bridge closing scandal. However, MSNBC political reporter Kasie Hunt quickly dismissed the development: "But, there's a lot of damage that's been done in the interim. And there's going to be a lot of questions still that Chris Christie's gonna have to answer..." [Listen to the audio]

Hunt imagined what donors to a hypothetical Christie presidential campaign would say: "People who want to be able to make a sound investment who might look at him and say, 'Well, okay, maybe you didn't do anything criminal, but this is indicative of an overall kind of atmosphere in your administration that would be problematic in the White House.'"

September 19, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT

On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer brought on political director and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd to discuss the latest NBC News/Marist poll on a major American institution being rocked by scandal. It wasn't the Obama administration getting the bad press, it was the National Football League.

That's right, NBC News conducted an entire poll just on the controversies surrounding the NFL and then put its chief political expert on air to analyze the findings. Not a single mention of President Obama's sinking poll numbers was mentioned during the Today segment, not even any reference to politics. [Listen to the audio]

September 18, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT

During a segment on Thursday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, fill-in host Kristen Welker noted Joe Biden making a string of gaffes – which included using an anti-Semitic slur – during a trip to Iowa, but then she and her guests proceeded to excuse his offensive remarks as merely being part of his charm. [Listen to the audio]

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza observed: "Joe Biden is probably the most 'real,' I suppose, politician you have these days. He does say what's on his mind. Unfortunately, what's on his mind often gets him in trouble."

September 18, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT

Starting off a gentle interview with United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power on Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell began to pitch what could have been a hardball question on the Obama administration's slow response to violence in Syria giving rise to the ISIS terrorist threat, but instead tossed out this: "When you first became ambassador, you pushed for air strikes in Syria. Now we have lawmakers on record supporting engagement in Syria. How do you see this playing out?"

No question about whether the President was wrong to not take Power's recommendation on Syria, just simply, "How do you see this playing out?"

September 17, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT

As reported by Politico, recently dumped Meet the Press moderator David Gregory moderated a panel for the No Labels Strategic Agenda conference in Washington on Wednesday and lectured his media colleagues: "[I]n Washington political journalism the narrative gets set, and it gets set early and built on. And things that fight the narrative get harder to report out, I think, often because of laziness in media."

Given that Meet the Press on his watch was routinely a place to promote the conventional wisdom of Washington, Gregory is hardly one to accuse other journalists of lazily accepting inside-the-beltway spin in political coverage.

September 17, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

Appearing on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Barak Barfi, spokesman for the family of beheaded journalist Steven Sotloff, ripped the Obama administration over it's handling of the kidnapping of Sotloff and fellow journalist James Foley by ISIS terrorists: "We never really believed that the administration was doing anything to help us. We had very, very limited contact with senior officials..."

Moments later, Barfi accused the White House of intimidating the families of the hostages: "The families sat with this National Security Council official and basically he bullied and hectored them and they were scared....I sat in other meetings with mid-level State Department officials and the FBI and I basically heard the same thing." [Listen to the audio]