On Monday’s CBS This Morning, while covering Ted Cruz’s rise in the polls, correspondent Nancy Cordes noted the Republican presidential candidate’s “outspoken opposition to ObamaCare and his willingness to take on both sides of the Washington establishment resonates with Iowa conservatives,” but warned: “That approach has made Cruz deeply unpopular with leaders in his own party, who worry that he could be just as polarizing of a nominee as Trump.”
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.
In 2009, he captured the infamous comment from then-Newsweek editor Evan Thomas comparing President Obama to God. Later that same year, he exposed for MSNBC deceptively editing video footage of a Tea Party rally to conceal the racial identity of an African American participant, forcing the liberal network to respond to criticism and explain its actions.
His media analysis has been cited by nationally syndicated radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, as well as media outlets including Fox News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.com, The Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Politico, National Review, among others.
Kyle joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science. He lives in Northern Virginia and can be contacted via email at email@example.com.
In the latest edition of its Note to Self series, Monday’s CBS This Morning featured left-wing actress Jane Fonda reciting a letter to herself in which she praised her own activism against the Vietnam war: “Your biggest strength will be that you won't shutdown and become cynical. You'll become an activist.”
While interviewing Hillary Clinton on Thursday’s NBC Late Night, aired early Friday morning, host Seth Meyers lobbed softballs to the Democratic frontrunner on gun control: “...we have lived through so many tragic shootings...in recent months. You know, obviously, gun control is a big part of your campaign. But how can you convince people now that gun control – considering how many times it’s tried and failed – that it is anything more than a fantasy?”
In a hostile interview with Carly Fiorina on CNN’s New Day on Friday, anchor Chris Cuomo accused the Republican presidential candidate of inciting violence with her criticism of abortion provider Planned Parenthood: “Do you feel any sense of regret about how you characterized what was going on at Planned Parenthood after the attack in Colorado? Because of what the man said, which seems as though he was influenced by some of the rhetoric that was coming out of you and others that painted a very ugly picture, an unfair one, about Planned Parenthood?”
After Florida Senator Marco Rubio rejected demands from the hosts of CBS This Morning for gun control in a recent December 4 interview, Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler took it upon himself to examine the claim. Much to the chagrin of the rest of the liberal media, he found: “Rubio’s statement stands up to scrutiny – at least for the recent past, as he framed it....He earns a rare Geppetto Checkmark.”
On Thursday, NBC’s Today seized on a cabdriver in Toronto attacking the car of an Uber driver as a chance to attack the entrepreneurial car service, with co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaiming: “A cabbie confronts an Uber driver and gets dragged 60 feet down the street, as the battle between the car service app and traditional taxis gets ugly.”
While both NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America found the time on Thursday to devote minute-long segments to First Lady Michelle Obama rapping about kids going to college, neither morning show bothered to mention President Obama’s strategy or lack thereof to combat radical Islamic terrorism in the wake of the San Bernardino attacks.
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows eagerly seized on the latest Donald Trump controversy to boost Hillary Clinton’s 2016 chances. On NBC’s Today, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: “For the Grand Old Party, an urgent dilemma, fail to stand up to Trump and risk long-term damage to the party or confront Trump and risk his running as an independent....A Trump third-party bid would likely gift wrap the White House for Hillary Clinton.”
Speaking to a Wall Street crowd at the UBS Global Communications Conference on Monday, CBS chief executive Les Moonves gleefully cheered Republican 2016 contenders going after one another in the primary contest: “We love having all 16 Republican candidates throwing crap at each other. The more they spend, the better it is for us.”
Appearing on Fox News’s O’Reilly Factor Monday night, media analyst Bernie Goldberg ripped President Obama’s address to nation on terrorism and argued that even members of the liberal media would start to abandon the commander-in-chief: “There are people in the media who have a lot invested in Barack Obama and they're not gonna throw him under the bus. But when Barack Obama makes you look foolish by defending him, that's another story.”
Covering President Obama’s Sunday night address on Monday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O’Donnell turned to White House correspondent Major Garrett for “new insight on why the President spoke last night.” After briefly noting “lukewarm” reviews of the speech, Garrett proceeded to parrot administration talking points excusing the President’s poor performance. ABC’s Good Morning America labeled the President’s speech as “rare” and “historic.”
Moments before President Obama’s Sunday night address to the nation about the San Bernardino terrorist attack, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt hoped the speech might be “a defining moment for his presidency.” By Monday morning, reaction from hosts and analysts on the Today show made it clear the presidential remarks were not impressive.
Touting her softball Wednesday sit-down with President Obama that aired on Friday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O’Donnell gushed over the commander-in-chief’s “effort to take historic action” on climate change and how that “could affect his legacy.”
In a contentious exchange with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday’s CBS This Morning, co-hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King repeatedly pressed the Republican leader to take up gun control legislation in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting. Rose began: “But why don't you...call the President and say, ‘I'm going to come down Pennsylvania Avenue, let's you and I start off and do something about this right now’?”
At the top of Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer seized on a BBC World News correspondent dismissing the San Bernardino shooting as “just another day” in America: “I don't often start coverage of an event like this by talking about how other people are covering it, but a commentator for the BBC said overnight, ‘Just another day in the United States – another day of guns, chaos, and panic. This time in the city of San Bernardino.’”
On Thursday, both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today eagerly promoted the New York Daily News attacking Republicans for sending “thoughts and prayers” to victims of the San Bernardino shooting but not signing on to liberal gun control measures. This Morning co-host Gayle King declared: “I think this headline’s very powerful.”
During NBC’s live breaking news coverage of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday, correspondent Ron Allen reported from the White House on President Obama’s push for gun control: “We well know that the President is very concerned about this issue of gun violence in the United States....And we have heard from him and his staff that they are still trying to find ways that the President can use his executive authority to try and make changes to the gun control legislation in this country.”
On Tuesday, only NBC’s Today covered Oklahoma Wesleyan University president Everett Piper slamming political correctness on college campuses. Co-host Matt Lauer informed viewers: “...a university president is getting a lot of attention for a surprising blog post that he aimed at students. His message to today's youth, ‘Grow up and stop being so self-absorbed and narcissistic.’”
Interviewing Ben Carson for the first time on NBC’s Today on Tuesday, co-host Matt Lauer condescended to the Republican presidential candidate while citing the latest polling: “In the last four to six weeks you have gone from number one in Iowa to number three, and your decline seems to coincide with some very troubling world events....Is it a coincidence that your numbers are going down as Americans are coming to terms with moments like that?”
While promoting his new movie, Chi-raq, about gun violence in Chicago, during the 9 a.m. ET hour on Tuesday’s NBC Today, director Spike Lee claimed: “...it's easier for an African-American, a black person, to be President of the United States than to be president of a Hollywood studio or TV network cable.”