In an interview with former Obama White House press secretary and current NBC political analyst Robert Gibbs on Tuesday's Today, co-host Matt Lauer saw big problems for Hillary Clinton in the wake of revelations that she used a private email account during her tenure as secretary of state: "It provides a lay-up, doesn't it Robert, for her critics who say this is all about a lack of transparency as she prepares for a run in 2016, that you can't go back and look at those emails?"
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, only NBC's Today mentioned the "important news" that the Supreme Court was set to hear a case that could potentially dismantle ObamaCare. In a news brief in the 7 a.m. ET hour, anchor Natalie Morales reported: "...the Supreme Court is gonna hear this week a challenge to President Obama's signature health care policy that could deal it a crippling blow."
Introducing a one-sided report on Monday's NBC Today that featured no criticism of President Obama, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived ahead of a controversial speech to Congress tomorrow. And that visit at the invitation of Republicans is threatening to further strain the Obama administration's relations with Israel."
On Friday, NBC finally noticed the corruption scandal swirling around Hillary Clinton. However, the coverage on the Today show was relegated to a 49-second mention within a story slamming Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. By contrast, the morning show devoted 3 minutes 56 seconds to a social media debate about the color of a dress.
Desperate to tear down 2016 Republican frontrunner Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, co-host Matt Lauer led off Friday's NBC Today by proclaiming: "Governor's gaffe?...Presidential hopeful Scott Walker under fire for saying his experience with union protesters has prepared him to take on ISIS. Is it the first major blunder of the presidential race?"
On her Wednesday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell gushed over Hillary Clinton's "strong performance" during an interview at a Silicon Valley conference on Tuesday: "...just looking at it as political drama. No notes, no Teleprompter, she's walking around the stage, she does a Q & A with Kara Swisher which is, you know, a challenging, interesting Q & A, edgy at times....A great reporter." In reality, the exchange consisted of series of fawning softballs, starting with: "So, I interviewed President Obama last week and I'm very eager to interview another president."
On Thursday, both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning were eager to promote MSNBC's town hall infomercial that allowed President Obama to push his executive overreach on illegal immigration and slam his opponents. On Today, news anchor Natalie Morales proclaimed: "The President is urging millions of undocumented immigrants to keep planning for eventual relief....he pledged to do everything in his power to overhaul the immigration system." She then touted his attacks on Republicans: "He challenged voters to hold Republicans accountable for killing reform efforts."
Wrapping up an interview with actor Tom Hanks on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer took time to promote a January op-ed Hanks wrote for The New York Times praising "free" community college: "I read this op-ed you wrote recently....I love that. Why was it so important for you to get that message out there?"
Continuing to hype a possible "shutdown" of the Homeland Security Department if Congress did not approve funding by Friday, Tuesday's network morning shows all seized on White House talking points that any delay in funding would threaten national security and placed blame for the budget impasse squarely on Republicans.
On Monday, both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning used a terrorist threat against the Mall of America in Minneapolis to hit the Republican Congress over the Department of Homeland Security funding fight. On Today, White House correspondent Kristen Welker concluded her report on the security concerns by declaring: "Meanwhile, the clock is ticking with Congress locked in a bitter battle over how to fund DHS. If Congress can't resolve its differences by Friday, the agency that oversees much of the nation's security operations will run out of money."
During an interview with House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey for NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, correspondent Cynthia McFadden noted: "A life-long Democrat, Spacey says he, like many Americans, is frustrated with Washington." Spacey proclaimed: "I think that what is truly unfortunate is when an entire party makes a decision that they're going to block every single thing that a president wants to accomplish. It's very – it's very hard to get anything done in those circumstances."
One day after Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, Thursday's CBS This Morning decided to make a resolved two-month old controversy at a San Francisco Catholic school a national news story. Co-host Norah O'Donnell teased the segment: "Controversy at American Catholic archdiocese. Elementary school students are given pamphlets with some blunt language on sex. It's just one of several disputes that's creating a new divide."
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd brushed aside criticism of President Obama's refusal to accurately label terrorism as "Islamic extremism": "...we're having what has turned into sort of a cable news fight and a cable news-type debate. All of this, they're not dealing with the two bigger issues here....So we're having this bizarre fight on the sidelines and we're actually not confronting the two reasons why, you could argue, ISIS has risen."
While all three network morning shows on Thursday covered President Obama defending his refusal to label terrorism as Islamic extremism during a Wednesday speech, only CBS This Morning actually pushed back on the President's argument.
Introducing a segment on Wednesday's NBC Today that portrayed Iranian citizens studying at a U.S. college as victims of prejudice, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "And now we move to the growing backlash over a new policy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Iranian nationals are being banned from studying certain science and engineering courses there."
Reporting on an upcoming foreign policy speech by former Florida governor and 2016 contender Jeb Bush on Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander was quick to hype a liability for the Republican: "It's one of the biggest challenges facing Jeb Bush, how he addresses the violence and volatility in Iraq, the country his brother, former President George W. Bush, invaded more than a decade ago."
Responding to a question on Facebook Tuesday about left-wing pundit Howard Dean attacking Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as "unknowledgeable" for not graduating college, Mike Rowe, host of CNN's Somebody's Gotta Do It, dismantled Dean's assertion and wondered if America had "confused qualifications with competency."
Of all the broadcast network coverage Monday evening and Tuesday morning of ISIS terrorists beheading twenty-one Christians in Libya, only one reference was made on NBC's Today to President Obama's failed policy in Libya providing an opening to the Islamic extremists.
On Sunday's MediaBuzz on Fox News, Time columnist Joe Klein rushed to the defense of embattled NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams: "I think that we're living in an era where the ferocity of the prosecution is much greater than the severity of most of these crimes. And that's true not only for people like Brian Williams, but also for most of the journal – the politicians we cover."
In the latest example of NBC's unhealthy obsession with the Kennedys, Monday's Today devoted a three-minute segment to promoting 54-year-old photos of JFK and Jackie vacationing on Cape Cod in 1961, with correspondent Sheinelle Jones proclaiming: "...what's so striking about these images is that they depict the first couple in a way many of us aren't accustomed to seeing – away from the confines of the White House, enjoying just another day at the beach."