Introducing a segment on Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: “The tragic mass shooting in Charleston has renewed questions about gun control and the gun culture in this country.” He then led into a report by left-wing MSNBC correspondent Ronan Farrow, who the network “sent out to meet the new face of gun ownership.”
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.
On Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie described “a bizarre legal fight in California” that “pits a group of nuns against their own archdiocese and music superstar Katy Perry...over who gets to buy a former convent.”
On Monday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O’Donnell asked New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor about how the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling would impact 2016 Republican candidates: “...none of the 13 Republican candidates who are running for president have embraced gay marriage. How does that affect the ongoing presidential campaign?”
In an interview with Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie grilled the Texas Senator on his opposition to the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling, equating his stance with being against interracial marriage: “...one thing you also said was that you would support a Texas state clerk who refused to issue a license to a gay couple on religious grounds. Let me ask you this, if a state clerk refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple, would you agree with that, too?”
In an interview with National Security Advisor Susan Rice aired on Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie challenged the White House effort to reach a nuclear deal with Iran: “Anyone watching this closely, they all say basically the same thing – that the optics are that the administration wants this deal too much.”
In his first interview since being suspended and removed as anchor of NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams told Today co-host Matt Lauer on Friday that he “was not trying to mislead people” when he fabricated stories about news events he covered.
On Thursday, NBC News officially named Lester Holt as the new anchor of NBC Nightly News, permanently replacing suspended anchor Brian Williams. In a just-released statement, Williams apologized for his dishonest accounts of news events: “I'm sorry. I said things that weren't true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I'm determined to earn back their trust.”
While being interviewed by Today co-host Savannah Guthrie on Thursday, Charleston pastor John Paul Brown used the horrific shooting at Emanuel A.M.E. church to condemn America’s gun culture: “America has this great love affair with guns and anybody can get them, whether they're mentally disturbed, whether they're crazy, whether they’re part of a hate group. Just give them a gun, everybody has a gun and nobody wants to police it or rein it in.”
In a Tuesday article, Variety’s co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein slammed NBC for its series of exclusive interviews with ex-NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal: “...the most absurd aspect of NBC News’ Dolezal Day was how straight-faced its interviewers sat as their subject grew loonier the more she spoke.”
Appearing on Tuesday’s Tonight Show, comedian Billy Crystal showed a copy of Dick Cheney’s high school yearbook photo and joked: “...he was voted most likely to accidentally invent ISIS.”
While NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America ignored longtime Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal testifying before the House Benghazi Committee on Tuesday, both morning shows eagerly touted a “celebrity-packed secret soiree” at the White House “with 500 guests, including a couple of music legends.”
Ahead of Jeb Bush announcing his 2016 presidential run on Monday, NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning hyped his effort to “regain some lost momentum” and overcome the “baggage” of his last name. In contrast, the two morning shows barely touched the problems facing Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the wake of her formal announcement on Saturday.
While all three broadcast networks hailed Bruce Jenner for choosing to switch genders and become Caitlyn Jenner just one week ago – devoting 48 minutes to the story in three days – on Friday, those same networks were aghast that Spokane, Washington NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal had chosen to identify herself as black despite being white.
In a report for Thursday’s NBC Today about Bill Clinton saying he would stop giving paid speeches if Hillary was elected president, correspondent Andrea Mitchell lamented: “The charity has been lauded for its good works but both Clintons are being hounded by questions about potential conflicts of interest from donors and high-dollar speeches.”
After comedian Jerry Seinfeld told ESPN radio that political correctness on college campuses was hurting comedy, Wednesday’s CBS This Morning was the only network news broadcast to report on the topic. Fill-in co-host Jeff Glor declared: “Jerry Seinfeld thinks young people today are too politically correct for his comedy....The former sitcom star is raising some controversy, calling out millennials for not being able to laugh.”
On Wednesday, NBC’s Today seized on two New York Times hit pieces against Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, as national correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: “He is one of the Republicans' fastest rising stars, just 44, the youngest presidential candidate in the field. But this morning, new scrutiny is focused on Florida Senator Marco Rubio's financial struggles and spending habits.”
Andrea Mitchell led off her Tuesday MSNBC show by introducing a presidential speech defending ObamaCare: “President Obama is now about to give his speech on his health care law. A law that faces an uncertain future as we await a landmark Supreme Court decision....The Court could strip 6.4 million people of health insurance subsidies.” Mitchell: “A possibility that might create big problems for Republicans in swing districts.”
Despite President Obama making the stunning admission at the G7 Summit on Monday that the U.S. still lacks a “complete strategy” to combat ISIS, NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the news on Tuesday. Instead, both network morning shows promoted a social media meme about a photo of Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
As part of the Fox News Sunday political panel, New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg attempted to defend her paper’s hit piece on Marco Rubio but instead seemed to confirm the backlash against the Times: “When you run for president, every aspect of your life, and even your spouse's life, is open to public scrutiny....So this is kind of the game, right? This is what happens, this is why people don't run for president.”
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday, the network’s political correspondent Kasie Hunt touted a clip of her pressing Florida Senator Marco Rubio over a handful of traffic tickets: “I have to ask you, there was a New York Times report about your collection of speeding tickets. Do you have a lead foot?”