As news broke Tuesday that the State Department would not release Hillary Clinton's e-mails as secretary of state until January of 2016, all three network morning shows finally noticed the Democratic presidential candidate has refused to take questions from the press.
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.
While CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America on Monday completely ignored Hillary Clinton's continued refusal to take press questions, NBC's Today gave the controversy a scant 45 seconds of air time.
On Monday, both CBS This Morning and NBC's Today seized on the same talking point that 2016 Republican candidates were "struggling" with questions about the Iraq war and that the issue "keeps tripping everybody up."
Wednesday's episode of ABC sitcom Blackish treated Republican African Americans as abnormality that could not be tolerated. Father Dre Johnson, played by actor Anthony Anderson, began the show by proclaiming: "There are certain things in life that are just true. Fact: The Earth revolves around the Sun. Fact: Two times two is four. And fact: Black people aren't Republicans. We just aren't. We vote for Democrats."
Keeping up NBC's extensive coverage of Jeb Bush answering questions about the Iraq war, on Friday's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "And it's been a rocky week for all-but-declared presidential hopeful Jeb Bush as he grapples with the shadow of his brother's Iraq war policy. During a town hall in Arizona, he clarified his position for the fourth time this week on the question, 'Would he have taken the country to war?'"
Talking to Bloomberg Politics correspondent Joshua Green on Wednesday, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer said he was "really quite stunned" by the revelation that ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos gave $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Schweizer called it a "massive breach of ethical standards" for the Bill Clinton operative turned journalist.
After NBC spent Tuesday hyping likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush having his "first interview fail" and being in "damage control," on Thursday's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie piled on: "Things getting off to a rocky start on the campaign trail for likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. He has repeatedly faced sharp questions in recent days about his support for the Iraq war and his brother's legacy in foreign policy."
Without any evidence of what caused the crash of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia Tuesday night, all three network morning shows on Wednesday had no hesitation in suggesting a lack of government infrastructure spending was to blame. NBC's Guthrie: "And another issue people have raised is that because this is such a heavily traveled section of track that there are also infrastructure issues....Is this something else that investigators will look hard at?"
On her Monday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell gushed over Cuba's Communist dictator possibly heading "back to Church" and returning to "his Jesuit roots" after a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican: "Cuba's president Raul Castro is praising Pope Francis for helping to thaw relations between U.S. and Cuba....he said that the Pontiff inspired him to consider returning to the Catholic Church."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: "potential presidential candidate Jeb Bush under fire now from both Democrats and fellow Republicans....a comment that, just like his brother, he would have authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq." The headline on screen read: "Jeb's First Interview Fail?; Slammed by Both Parties Over Iraq Comments."
After being pressed by NBC's Late Night host Seth Myers and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd about failing to purchase the domain name CarlyFiorina.org, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina cleverly hit back by buying SethMeyers.org and ChuckTodd.org. On Monday's Today, trying to deflect from the GOP contender outsmarting their colleagues, the hosts searched for another unclaimed Fiorina web address to use to embarrass her.
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today to discuss the particularly bad spring allergy season, medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar managed to work a top liberal agenda item into her analysis of the health issue: "It's a terrible allergy season. A couple reasons. One is that we had a really late winter....Another reason is climate change raises carbon dioxide levels, really contributes to the pollen."
Acting as a Clinton campaign spokesperson on her Thursday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell spun Hillary Clinton's upcoming testimony before a congressional hearing on the Benghazi and State Department e-mail scandals as exactly what the Democratic presidential candidate wanted: "Well, they are, frankly, very confident about that hearing. They think that at the end of the day, Hillary Clinton can take on that committee, and they're going into it almost welcoming the opportunity, I think, to try to clear the air."
On Thursday, CBS This Morning offered a scant 26 seconds on a Wall Street Journal story about nearly 1,600 IRS employees having evaded taxes over a ten-year period, with co-host Norah O'Donnell noting: "Workers improperly claimed dependents, repeatedly failed to file timely tax returns, and claimed a tax credit for first-time home buyers when the IRS worker didn't buy a house. Most of the IRS employees were not fired. Some received promotions, raises, and even bonuses." Neither NBC's Today nor ABC's Good Morning America made any mention of the latest scandal to plague the agency.
Leading off a report on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign for Tuesday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Julianna Goldman proclaimed: "Secretary Clinton has been trying to frame her campaign around issues like immigration reform....But her message has been muddled by a series of recent distractions, including questions about donations to the Clinton Foundation. And this morning her campaign is once again trying to break through the noise."
In declaring his presidential candidacy on Monday, Dr. Ben Carson took the liberal media to task: "You know, the media, the press, is the only business in America that is protected by our constitution.... It was because our founders envisioned a press that was on the side of the people, not a press that was on the side of the Democrats or the Republicans....And this is a direct appeal to media: you guys have an almost sacred position in a true democracy. Please don't abuse it."
In an interview with Bill Clinton aired on Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Cynthia McFadden pressed him on the scandal swirling around the Clinton Foundation, but she quickly moved on to gush over the "heartwarming stories" of the charity's work in Africa. McFadden, traveling with former president in Africa, began the segment by declaring: "Bill Clinton is making no apologies as he tours some of the African programs his foundation has raised billions to help fund."
Apparently voters can expect to see Rick Harrison of History Channel's Pawn Stars hitting the campaign trail for Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio.
In a scathing article for Politico Magazine on Thursday, senior media writer Jack Shafer wrote an obituary for the career of suspended NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams: "At this point, Brian Williams knows he's dead: He's simply negotiating the terms of his burial."
On Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell cheered Hillary Clinton "carving out her own identity as a candidate" by "breaking ranks with a key part of her husband's legacy – a tough anti-crime bill now blamed for some of the problems dividing communities like Baltimore."