On MSNBC's PoliticsNation on Tuesday, host Al Sharpton touted liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank making a "bold prediction" about the remainder of Barack Obama's presidency: "...you wrote, quote, 'If the economy continues on its current trajectory, as most expect, he'll leave office a popular president and leave the 2016 Democratic nominee with a relatively easy past to victory.'"
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 all three network evening newscasts ignored President Obama dropping his controversial plan to tax 529 college savings accounts on Tuesday, only Wednesday's CBS This Morning noticed the development, giving it a mere seventeen seconds. Neither NBC's Today nor ABC's Good Morning America covered the White House reversal.
Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday, Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein worried that the Clinton political machine would be unable to compete with funding from Charles and David Koch during the 2016 presidential campaign: "I mean, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton will be scratching lotto tickets, I think, for the next week just trying to catch up with the $889 million that the Koch brothers are going to put in here."
Leading off an interview with Bobby Jindal on ABC's This Week on Sunday, host George Stephanopoulos played a clip of the Louisiana governor and potential Republican 2016 contender speaking about his faith during a religious event on Saturday: "We can't just elect a candidate and fix what ails our country. We can't just pass a law and fix what ails our country. We need a spiritual revival to fix what ails our country. It is like God has given us the book of life....And on the last page, our God wins."
Appearing on CNBC's Power Lunch at 1 p.m. ET Friday, the business network's chief Washington correspondent John Harwood touted President Obama's proposal to tax 529 college savings accounts: "If you want to change the distribution of income in this country, you've got to take from some to give to the other, and that's precisely what the President wants to do. Middle class families...have stagnated for a long time...while people at the top have done much better. So the administration is trying an across-the-board attempt to change that....redistribution Obama-style."
While playing a game of "Never Have I Ever" on Friday, the hosts of NBC's Today made a series of embarrassing confessions – everything from admitting to having "sexy dreams" about each other, to being drunk on air, to seeing each other naked.
In a nasty screed against American Sniper on Wednesday, Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi claimed the Oscar-nominated film was "almost too dumb to criticize" but proceeded to do so anyway, declaring: "Even by the low low standards of this business, it still manages to sink to a new depth or two."
Introducing a segment on Thursday's NBC Today about parents saving for college, co-host Matt Lauer and the show's financial editor Jean Chatzky spent a scant twenty-four seconds on President Obama's recently announced proposal to hike taxes on college savings accounts. Lauer noted: "Talk to me a little bit about what President Obama was referring to when he gave the State of the Union address and he talked about proposing changes to 529 accounts."
Appearing on PBS's Charlie Rose Tuesday night following President Obama's State of the Union address, Bloomberg View columnist Al Hunt praised it as "one of the best speeches of his presidency" and "remarkably effective," before admitting: "I don't think he's going to get much done....This is not a cycle where you get much done. He may get a little stuff on trade and infrastructure."
In a softball interview with Joe Biden on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer fretted over there being "more tension than normal" during Tuesday's State of the Union address with Republicans in control of Congress and slammed GOP reaction to a line in the speech: "...the President was talking about having arguments that are worthy of the body and the country, and then he said, 'I've run my last campaign,' and there was a smattering of applause, maybe even laughter from some Republicans and the President shot back. Did you see that as a moment of disrespect? Was it a symptom of the very pettiness that the President was referring to?"
On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer actually grilled White House chief of staff Denis McDonough on President Obama's tax hike proposal: "During the President's last press conference of 2014, he was asked how he might be able to work with the new incoming Republican-controlled Congress and he said, quote, 'The tax area is one area where we can get things done.' And now he's proposing a middle class tax cut paid for with a tax hike on the wealthiest Americans that just about everyone says cannot pass this congress. So why is he going this route?"
At the top of NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, moderator Chuck Todd wondered if a Republican rising star could overcome a major obstacle that has occurred "year after year" for the GOP: "Can Iowa's Joni Ernst avoid becoming the latest victim of the curse of the State of the Union response?"
On Sunday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt touted how President Obama's plan to "propose tax hikes for wealthiest Americans" during Tuesday's State of the Union address would be "potentially putting Congress in the position of appearing to defend the highest income earners over the middle class."
On Friday, while all three network morning shows covered Secretary of State John Kerry arriving in Paris to offer U.S. condolences following the recent terrorist attacks, none of the broadcasts mentioned one of the most embarrassing moments in American diplomatic history that occurred during the visit – Kerry bringing musician James Taylor to a press conference to sing "You've Got A Friend" to the French people.
In an interview with newly elected Colorado Senator Cory Gardner for PBS's Charlie Rose, Bloomberg View columnist Al Hunt grilled the Republican on conservatives in Congress being obstructionist: "Some of your Republican colleagues, Ted Cruz in the Senate, those twenty-four House members who voted against Speaker Boehner, they're not interested in getting things done as much as they are in putting down markers. Isn't it more likely there'll be a series of confrontations rather than any kind of collaboration?"
During an interview with Senator Marco Rubio on Tuesday, PBS host Charlie Rose urged the Florida Republican to say something positive about ObamaCare: "What's the best thing you can say about the Affordable Care Act?" Rubio replied: "That it's forced us to have a debate about health insurance in America." Rose fretted: "That's it?"
Reporting on the release of Charlie Hebdo's first issue since the January 7 terrorist attack, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday refused to show the cover of the satirical magazine that depicted a cartoon image of Mohamed. Despite such censorship, both networks touted the publication as "a triumph for free speech" and "a kind of declaration of defiance against terror."
On Monday's Today, while discussing celebrities at Sunday's Golden Globes expressing solidarity with the French following a series of terrorist attacks, Variety magazine senior editor Ramin Setoodeh made an odd assertion: "It was a very political night and Hollywood usually likes to avoid politics, but last night they went all in and they were very political."
On Monday's CBS This Morning, as Florida Senator Marco Rubio denounced President Obama's decision to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, co-host Charlie Rose attempted to push liberal spin on the topic: "But what about the argument that in fact – if in fact Cuba is opened up, it will change? Vietnam changed." Rubio quickly shot him down: "It did not change politically. Nor has China, for that matter."
On Monday, all three network morning shows surprisingly devoted full reports to President Obama being strongly criticized for not attending – or not at least sending a top official to attend – an anti-terror march in Paris on Sunday. At the top of NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer announced: "While world leaders join millions for a massive anti-terror rally in Paris, the President is under fire for not taking part."