As questions began to be raised regarding Hillary Clinton’s dubious claim that she once tried to join the Marines in 1975, on Friday, only NBC’s Today briefly noted the controversy, with co-host Savannah Guthrie warning: “Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is facing scrutiny about a story from her past that she repeated on the campaign trail this week, and it could come up at tomorrow's debate.”
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. His media analysis has been routinely cited by nationally syndicated radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, as well as on Fox News and The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.com website. He joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science.
In an interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan for 60 Minutes, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley scolded the congressman for criticizing President Obama’s unconstitutional executive action on illegal immigration: “On your first day as speaker you said you were going to wipe the slate clean. And then in your very first news conference you said the President has, quote, ‘Proven himself untrustworthy on immigration.’ That’s not wiping the slate clean, that’s blowing chalk dust in the President's face.”
Appearing on FNC’s O’Reilly Factor Wednesday night, both Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina hammered the obvious double standard against conservatives in the liberal media. Host Bill O’Reilly asked Rubio: “Is the media out to get you?” Rubio replied: “I do think there’s a bias against – at least a double standard when it comes to those of us who are conservatives. They hold us to a different standard than they hold Democrats and I think you see – and liberals, especially.”
On Wednesday’s NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander actually attempted to discredit Marco Rubio’s rhetorical observation that “Welders make more money than philosophers.” Taking the comment literally, Alexander asserted: “That was one of the most memorable lines of the night, but it's also not true. Government statistics show that philosophers, philosophy teachers in this country, make on average almost twice as much as welders.”
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows interviewed Florida Senator Marco Rubio following Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate and grilled him on GOP opposition to illegal immigration. On NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “One of the most heated exchanges...came over immigration, and Trump's vow to deport 11 million illegal immigrants. Some on the stage suggested that is a gift to Democrats....I asked him if he agreed that his party’s handling of that issue is alienating the Latino voters.”
Attempting to excuse Hillary Clinton laughing at one of her supporters wanting to “strangle” Carly Fiorina, NBC correspondent Kelly O’Donnell appeared on MSNBC’s 3 p.m. ET hour to offer up a defense of the harsh rhetoric: “He then told a very detailed story about having been an employee of HP and laid off and he had a lot of anger and upset about that...So he has a very direct personal relationship, if you will, to Fiorina as the CEO.”
In the wake of an appeals court ruling that handed President Obama a major defeat for his plan to grant executive amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, on her MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell only saw victory for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign: “...this is a win-win proposition for Hillary Clinton. She has actually gone farther in her proposals than Barack Obama...”
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows recited identical liberal talking points on President Obama’s unconstitutional executive order granting amnesty to illegal immigrants being overturned by a federal appeals court. On Monday’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted: “A federal appeals court has dealt a major new blow to President Obama’s plan to protect millions of people from being deported.”
In an effort to dismiss Ben Carson’s charges of media bias, on Monday, NBC’s First Read condescendingly proclaimed: “Welcome to the Big Leagues, Ben Carson.” The political analysis authored by Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, senior political editor Mark Murray, and political editor Carrie Dann further declared: “If you can't deal with media scrutiny as a candidate, you won't be able to handle it as president.”
During an interview with NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer on Monday, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus denounced the “crazy obsession” of the media over alleged inaccuracies in Ben Carson’s biography and pointed out a glaring double standard: “The fact is, you know, we kind of wish the media would be just as obsessed or half obsessed with Hillary Clinton's lies of many years and real relevant things like people who have died in Benghazi and e-mails and everything else.”
In a humorous exchange during MSNBC’s 12 p.m. ET hour coverage of President Obama rejecting the Keystone Pipeline, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd and breaking news anchor Brian Williams mocked the idea that the long-expected decision was in any way a major new development.
While NBC’s Today saw only setbacks and controversy for Republican presidential candidates on Friday, the morning show happily applauded Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton telling late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel that she would win a hypothetical election against husband Bill Clinton.
In an interview with Donald Trump on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered why the Republican presidential candidate accepted an invitation to host Saturday Night Live: “As you are perfectly aware, there are Latino groups that are outside protesting NBC and SNL because you are hosting this weekend. Are you surprised that SNL asked you to host after there was this acrimonious split with NBC back in the summer? And why did you accept?”
In an interview with Republican Montana Senator Steve Daines on Wednesday about his endorsement of Marco Rubio for president, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell continued pushing attacks on Rubio’s Senate attendance: “One argument, though, is that he has not been in the Senate very much....That since announcing his candidacy has missed 42% of his votes.” Daines hit back: “Yeah, well, I think that’s an example of a liberal media bias. Let's take a look at President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry...”
On Wednesday, while discussing Forbes magazine releasing its 2015 Most Powerful list, the hosts of CBS This Morning were perplexed by Russian president Vladimir Putin beating out President Obama for the top spot, with Obama only being number three on the list. Charlie Rose pressed Forbes assistant managing editor Luisa Kroll: “Make the case as to why Vladimir Putin is more powerful than President Obama.”
In a friendly exchange with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell on Tuesday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell tried to tee up the Obama administration cabinet official to slam Republican presidential frontrunner Ben Carson on abortion: “...a pediatric neurologist who does not get involved with care for women's reproductive systems....says that life begins with conception, no exceptions for the life of the mother unless someone can persuade him, and no exceptions for rape and incest.”
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows happily touted President Obama attacking Republicans at a Democratic fundraiser Monday night over GOP presidential candidates objecting to CNBC’s biased debate. At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “The Republican candidates, briefly unified, splinter again over their debate demands as President Obama takes a swipe, mocking the Republican field's beef with debate moderators.”
In a stunning display of arrogance on Monday, the cast of ABC’s The View not only refused to apologize for calling Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina “demented” following the latest GOP debate, but co-host Whoopi Goldberg actually further attacked Fiorina for criticizing the talk show over the vicious smear.
Appearing on the 11 a.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on Monday, Up host Steve Kornacki fretted that Bernie Sanders was attacking Hillary Clinton in his first television campaign ad: “There is also – and see if you can spot it in here – there is also a veiled shot at Hillary Clinton.”
On Monday’s NBC Today, MSNBC political analyst Nicolle Wallace explained the Republican Party’s long-term distrust of the press: “At the core is a massive generational distrust with the mainstream media and it bubbled over in the debate last week.”