On Monday, hosts and reporters on the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows could hardly contain their excitement as they cheered an “historic new era” in relations between the United States and Cuba. On NBC’s Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted: “Overnight, for the first time in five decades, full diplomatic ties were officially restored. That paves the way for the reopening of embassies in Washington and Havana.”
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.
For Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect on Thursday, co-host Mark Halperin was granted exclusive access to Hillary Clinton’s national campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. At the top of the show he proclaimed: “This is history folks. We’re finally here at the top of the political world. Welcome to Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters here in Brooklyn Heights. The first ever TV show done from the Clinton-land HQ.”
On Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted Donald Trump leading in recent polls as a problem for the 2016 Republican field: “He is having a bigger impact than a lot of people expected and that is leading to a growing war of words between the real estate mogul and his political rivals.”
On Thursday, all three network morning shows skipped a new poll showing that Hillary Clinton’s favorablity rating had fallen to 39 percent. The newly-released Associated Press-GFK poll found: “Just 39 percent of all Americans have a favorable view of Clinton, compared to nearly half [49 percent] who say they have a negative opinion of her.”
At the top of Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie hailed President Obama’s Wednesday press conference: “Unfiltered. President Obama launches a vigorous defense of his controversial deal with Iran.” Introducing a report on the topics minutes later, Guthrie proclaimed: “...a news conference some are calling unplugged. During a more than hour-long session with the reporters, the President was as emotional as we’ve seen him...”
Citing Obama administration talking points word for word on Wednesday’s Today, co-hosts Willie Geist and Savannah Guthrie grilled Republican Senator and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham on GOP opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. Geist, filling in for Matt Lauer, began: “Secretary Kerry...said yesterday opponents of this deal have proposed no viable alternative....What makes you think that a President Lindsey Graham would have any more luck than President Obama with Iran?”
During live breaking news coverage of President Obama announcing a nuclear arms agreement with Iran Tuesday morning, all three broadcast networks labeled the deal “historic” and cheered the development as a “major victory” for the commander in chief, who made the deal a “top diplomatic priority.”
On Monday, all three network morning shows eagerly touted the Obama administration’s long-delayed effort to reach a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. On NBC’s Today, news anchor Natalie Morales announced: “Negotiators from six world powers are finally making some encouraging progress with Iran on a deal over its nuclear program.”
Hours after the Confederate flag was removed from the grounds of the South Carolina state house Friday morning, MSNBC interrupted its regular 2 p.m. ET hour programming to bring viewers “breaking news” coverage of the pole that held that flag also being removed. Correspondent Craig Melvin narrated: “We do not know precisely how long the process itself is going to take, nor do we know what’s going to happen to the flag pole itself."
During an exclusive interview with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer suggested the Republican could suffer violence for leading the effort to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol: “You have faced relentless criticism over the last four or five weeks, Governor....they've promised political retribution. Some have even promised personal retribution....are you concerned for your personal safety?”
On Tuesday, CBS This Morning devoted a nearly five minute segment to touting Carnival offering cruises to Cuba starting in 2016. Co-host Norah O’Donnell proclaimed: “The historic reopening of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba creates new business opportunities for both countries. Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, is announcing it received permission from the U.S. government to begin travel to Cuba.”
On Thursday’s NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales seized on criticism of former President George W. Bush giving a paid speech to a veterans charity: “This morning some veterans are criticizing former President George W. Bush for charging a veteran's charity a six-figure fee to speak at a fundraising dinner....NBC News has confirmed the former president accepted $100,000 from them back in 2012.”
Appearing on Wednesday’s NBC Today, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd delighted in Hillary Clinton refusing to admit any wrongdoing in the State Department e-mail scandal: “She showed no remorse, no regret....Very defiant. Reminded me of the old days. She almost – it’s almost as if she's enjoying the House Republicans attacking her.”
Touting Hillary Clinton’s first national television interview since launching her presidential campaign, Matt Lauer began Wednesday’s NBC Today by proclaiming: “Clinton gets candid. Hillary Clinton opens up in her first national interview of the presidential race. On the e-mail scandal...Suggestions that she's not trustworthy...And what she thinks of Donald Trump.”
On Monday evening, both NBC Nightly News and ABC’s World News Tonight touted President Obama claiming success in the fight against ISIS while ignoring criticism of his strategy. On Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt proclaimed: “A warning today from President Obama, who emerged from a Pentagon briefing and called the fight against ISIS a quote, ‘generational struggle,’ saying it will take time to defeat this enemy.”
In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s campaign roping off members of the press at a 4th of July parade in New Hampshire, ABC’s This Week host George Stephanopoulos appeared on Sunday’s Good Morning America to proclaim: “...right now I think the Clinton campaign sees the press, in some ways, as their major opponent. They think that’s where a lot of the trouble is gonna come from.”
Appearing on NBC’s Today on Sunday, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd acknowledged that “the optics look terrible” for Hillary Clinton after her campaign roped off the press during a 4th of July parade in New Hampshire, but he added: “Look, I am sympathetic to the campaign's complaint. She has a large media horde following her around that it makes it hard, because of the media, for her to interact with voters.”
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, Thursday’s NBC Today devoted a minute-long segment to discussing newly-released Hillary Clinton e-mails. However, rather than focus on the former Secretary of State seeking advice from political hatchet man Sidney Blumenthal or top Obama administration officials knowing she was using private e-mail, the morning show instead speculated on Clinton’s reference to “Santa” in a couple messages.
On Thursday, both NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning saw Donald Trump’s presidential bid spelling disaster for the Republican Party in 2016. On Today, correspondent Peter Alexander touted how the “controversy” surrounding Trump’s anti-illegal immigration comments had “proven to be some pretty good politics among some Republicans,” with Trump having “jumped to second place among Republicans in a recent national poll.”
In an exclusive interview with newly announced Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie aired on Wednesday’s Today, co-host Matt Lauer used attacks from left-wing detractors to grill the New Jersey governor: “For all your talk about compromise, though, you have a mixed bag of reaction in this state. You know, I drove into your event today and I drove past a pretty hefty group of protesters. I think a lot of them were teachers, and they were holding up signs that said ‘Liar’ and ‘Bully.’”