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.

Latest from Kyle Drennen
April 10, 2015, 2:52 PM EDT

In an interview with Comedy Central's Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore on Friday's CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King wondered if the controversy swirling around newly-named Daily Show host Trevor Noah was racially motivated: "So keep it a hundred about Trevor Noah....do you think this would have happened if he was white?...Because first he's, you know, 'Trevor Noah, Trevor Noah,' and then there's this controversy about his tweets."

April 10, 2015, 10:37 AM EDT

Throughout her MSNBC show on Thursday from Panama at the Summit of the Americas, host Andrea Mitchell wrung her hands over the Obama administration actually trying to stand up to a Latin American dictator: "...there are other issues here, including recent sanctions by the U.S. against Venezuela, which have really upset the Cubans and a lot of America's close allies here, Costa Rica and Colombia and others, who are not happy about the wording of that sanctioning of Venezuela, Cuba's closest ally."

April 9, 2015, 11:33 AM EDT

While CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America both covered the latest problems with the Iran nuclear negotiations on Thursday, NBC's Today skipped the story altogether in favor of touting how President Obama "plays tourist" in Jamaica.

March 31, 2015, 4:19 PM EDT

In an exclusive interview with new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie grilled the Pentagon chief on the Bowe Bergdahl exchange: "Do you think that the White House made a mistake in wrapping its arms around Bowe Bergdahl and saying, for example, that he served with honor and distinction, when the administration knew there were at least questions about the circumstances of him walking off the base?"

March 31, 2015, 10:53 AM EDT

In a fawning softball interview with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie spent the entire segment asking if the left-wing heroine was going to run for president, even to the point of suggesting Hillary Clinton wasn't liberal enough.
 

March 30, 2015, 4:53 PM EDT

On Monday, Comedy Central announced that South African comedian Trevor Noah would be replacing Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show. To get a feel for Noah's brand of humor, one could simply watch his debut on the fake news show in December of 2014, when he jokingly declared that present-day America had worse race relations than Apartheid South Africa.

March 30, 2015, 2:26 PM EDT

Early on Monday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Willie Geist hyped "the growing debate over a controversial law that critics call anti-gay....[who] say it permits businesses, among other things, to refuse service to same-sex couples on religious grounds." Correspondent Gabe Gutierrez followed: "This morning a huge backlash against Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Governor Mike Pence is on the defensive."

March 27, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT

Despite having savaged Republicans two weeks earlier for voicing opposition to an Iran nuclear deal in an open letter to the totalitarian regime, on Friday, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd suddenly realized such a deal would be a bad idea.

March 27, 2015, 11:01 AM EDT

Introducing a White House puff piece on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: "Now to a young woman who might just be one of the most impressive figures in Washington. We're talking about the President's newly-appointed receptionist."
 

March 26, 2015, 2:44 PM EDT

In an exclusive interview with Mitt Romney on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered if the 2012 presidential contender would have traded five Taliban terrorists for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl if commander-in-chief: "It was controversial. The President presumably knew the circumstance of Bowe Bergdahl's leaving his post. He said, though, leave no soldier on the battlefield. If that had been you in the Oval Office, would you have made that same call?"

March 26, 2015, 12:39 PM EDT

While interviewing former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday's NBC Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon argued that if the Netflix documentary Mitt about the GOP candidate had been released before the 2012 election, voters may have made a different choice: "Because gosh, it was fantastic. And I was telling you, if you could have had that out, you know, while you were running, I think it would have been a different outcome almost....who knows?"

March 25, 2015, 4:56 PM EDT

Appearing on Fox News's Kelly File Tuesday night, Texas Senator Ted Cruz mocked the virulent media coverage of his newly-announced presidential campaign: "Well, look, there's nothing like the warm embrace of the mainstream media."

March 25, 2015, 12:20 PM EDT

Discussing the presidential bid of Senator Ted Cruz with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday's CBS Late Show, host David Letterman described the Texas Republican motivating "extreme" supporters: "...he announced at Liberty College [sic], which is Jerry Falwell's place.... And that was, of course, purposeful, because he wanted to establish his – the base, the core of the extreme right-wing part of the Republican Party."

March 24, 2015, 2:55 PM EDT

On Monday, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today hailed actress Kerry Washington for her speech to the left-wing gay rights group GLAAD. On GMA, fill-in news reader Paula Faris proclaimed: "Calling all GLAADiators. Scandal star Kerry Washington trending big all weekend, giving a passionate speech as she accepted the Vanguard Award at the 2015 GLAAD Media Awards held in L.A. on Saturday night, sharing the importance of diversity in media."

March 24, 2015, 11:31 AM EDT

In interviews with all three broadcast networks on Tuesday, newly-announced Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was pressed on whether he would abandon his conservative principles in a White House run. Matt Lauer: "In your short time in the Senate you've developed a reputation as a guy who does not back down, who will not compromise....Will you bring that brand of no-compromise to the White House if you're elected?"

March 23, 2015, 3:19 PM EDT

Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, Bloomberg Politics managing editor Mark Halperin saw problems for Hillary Clinton running unopposed for the 2016 Democratic nomination: "...the Republicans are running in a field of thirteen or fourteen, she's running against herself and right now she's kind of losing."
 

March 23, 2015, 11:54 AM EDT

On Monday's NBC Today, while discussing Senator Ted Cruz's announcement of his presidential candidacy, co-host Savannah Guthrie described the Texas Republican as "whip smart, a real conservative firebrand, knows how to throw those rhetorical bombs that the base loves."

March 22, 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

Ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s expected Monday announcement declaring his candidacy for President of the United States, NBC’s Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd on Sunday teed up California’s Democratic Governor Jerry Brown to blast the Republican as “absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

March 20, 2015, 5:09 PM EDT

Filling in as host of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Friday, NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander brought on radical Palestinian activist and executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Yousef Munayyer to condemn Israel and the Republican Party. Alexander lobbed this softball: "What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?"

Alexander lobbed this softball: "What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?"

 

Munayyer seized the opportunity to praise Democrats while denouncing Israel and its Republican allies in the United States:

Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship....What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

Rather than challenge such defamatory accusations, Alexander responded with this question: "Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?"

Munayyer replied: "Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether."

Earlier in the exchange, Alexander helped Munayyer make his anti-Israel case: "Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, 'The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't.'"

Munayyer began to respond: "And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-" Alexander actually interrupted his guest in order to finish the man's sentence: "Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S."

Munayyer proclaimed: "Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure."

 

 

 

Here is a full transcript of the March 20 interview:

12:29 PM ET

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I don't want a one-state solution, I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. But for that, circumstances have to change.

ANDREA MITCHELL: But you were reelected on a mandate. Certainly Israeli voters, your supporters, believe you were reelected on a mandate against a two-state solution, that is the way the White House is interpreting. They're strongly considering not blocking a vote for statehood for Palestinians.

NETANYAHU: Well, first of all, that state would become a terrorist state. So we need the conditions of recognition of the Jewish state and real security in order to have a realistic two-state solution.

PETER ALEXANDER: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there walking back a promise he made to reject the establishment of a Palestinian state, appeasing hardliners just before divisive elections in Israel. But has too much diplomatic and political damage already been done or is there hope for a two-state solution? We're joined by Yousef Munayyer. Is that right – Munayyer?

YOUSEF MUNAYYER: Munayyer.

ALEXANDER: We practiced it and I got it right. I wanted to make sure I got it right when you were sitting here. You're the executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Competition – the Israeli Occupation, excuse me. You're a Palestinian-American, you're an activist on behalf of Palestine, and you write that Netanyahu's win is the best thing to happen for your cause. Why's that?

MUNAYYER: Well, let me be clear, I certainly don't support any of Mr. Netanyahu's policies, but of the plausible outcomes of this election, I think his election, his victory, was actually the best plausible outcome, precisely because the mask has fallen very clearly off of the intentions of the Israeli government and the Israeli state, which not really interested in peace. You know, we heard the interview with Andrea yesterday and the comments that Mr. Netanyahu made and it's clear that this is a man who never misses an opportunity to make excuses not to make peace.

ALEXANDER: Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, "The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't."

MUNAYYER: And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-

ALEXANDER: Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S.

MUNAYYER: Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure. Look, think about it this way, the Israeli state controls territory in where 12.5 million people live. Four and a half million of them have no right to vote within the Israeli system. If you put that in an American context, that's as if you had 120 million Americans in the United States unable to vote because of their, basically because of their ethnic and religious background. That's unconscionable, that does not – you know, that's not what American values are about.

And yet, this is the only answer we get from the Israeli Prime Minister that's supported by an Israeli public. So this is not going to change from within. This is only going to change when the Israeli public is forced to decide between maintaining this occupation forever or ending it and becoming a real member of the international community in the 21st century.

ALEXANDER: I want to ask you about domestic politics, if I can. Speaker John Boehner today saying that he will be heading off to Israel a little bit later this month. What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?

MUNAYYER: Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship. This is not just about Barack Obama and President Netanyahu [sic], this is about a direct clash between the values that Americans hold dear and the values that Benjamin Netanyahu represents.

What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

ALEXANDER: Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?

MUNAYYER: Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether.

ALEXANDER: Yousef Munayyer, nice to see you again. I appreciate your time, thank you.

MUNAYYER: Thanks for having me.

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2015/03/20/palestinian-activist-blasts-israel-and-racist-gop-nbc-reporter-asks-if#sthash.usFfBtez.dpuf

Alexander lobbed this softball: "What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?"

 

Munayyer seized the opportunity to praise Democrats while denouncing Israel and its Republican allies in the United States:

Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship....What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

Rather than challenge such defamatory accusations, Alexander responded with this question: "Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?"

Munayyer replied: "Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether."

Earlier in the exchange, Alexander helped Munayyer make his anti-Israel case: "Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, 'The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't.'"

Munayyer began to respond: "And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-" Alexander actually interrupted his guest in order to finish the man's sentence: "Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S."

Munayyer proclaimed: "Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure."

 

 

 

Here is a full transcript of the March 20 interview:

12:29 PM ET

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I don't want a one-state solution, I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. But for that, circumstances have to change.

ANDREA MITCHELL: But you were reelected on a mandate. Certainly Israeli voters, your supporters, believe you were reelected on a mandate against a two-state solution, that is the way the White House is interpreting. They're strongly considering not blocking a vote for statehood for Palestinians.

NETANYAHU: Well, first of all, that state would become a terrorist state. So we need the conditions of recognition of the Jewish state and real security in order to have a realistic two-state solution.

PETER ALEXANDER: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there walking back a promise he made to reject the establishment of a Palestinian state, appeasing hardliners just before divisive elections in Israel. But has too much diplomatic and political damage already been done or is there hope for a two-state solution? We're joined by Yousef Munayyer. Is that right – Munayyer?

YOUSEF MUNAYYER: Munayyer.

ALEXANDER: We practiced it and I got it right. I wanted to make sure I got it right when you were sitting here. You're the executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Competition – the Israeli Occupation, excuse me. You're a Palestinian-American, you're an activist on behalf of Palestine, and you write that Netanyahu's win is the best thing to happen for your cause. Why's that?

MUNAYYER: Well, let me be clear, I certainly don't support any of Mr. Netanyahu's policies, but of the plausible outcomes of this election, I think his election, his victory, was actually the best plausible outcome, precisely because the mask has fallen very clearly off of the intentions of the Israeli government and the Israeli state, which not really interested in peace. You know, we heard the interview with Andrea yesterday and the comments that Mr. Netanyahu made and it's clear that this is a man who never misses an opportunity to make excuses not to make peace.

ALEXANDER: Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, "The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't."

MUNAYYER: And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-

ALEXANDER: Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S.

MUNAYYER: Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure. Look, think about it this way, the Israeli state controls territory in where 12.5 million people live. Four and a half million of them have no right to vote within the Israeli system. If you put that in an American context, that's as if you had 120 million Americans in the United States unable to vote because of their, basically because of their ethnic and religious background. That's unconscionable, that does not – you know, that's not what American values are about.

And yet, this is the only answer we get from the Israeli Prime Minister that's supported by an Israeli public. So this is not going to change from within. This is only going to change when the Israeli public is forced to decide between maintaining this occupation forever or ending it and becoming a real member of the international community in the 21st century.

ALEXANDER: I want to ask you about domestic politics, if I can. Speaker John Boehner today saying that he will be heading off to Israel a little bit later this month. What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?

MUNAYYER: Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship. This is not just about Barack Obama and President Netanyahu [sic], this is about a direct clash between the values that Americans hold dear and the values that Benjamin Netanyahu represents.

What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

ALEXANDER: Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?

MUNAYYER: Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether.

ALEXANDER: Yousef Munayyer, nice to see you again. I appreciate your time, thank you.

MUNAYYER: Thanks for having me.

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2015/03/20/palestinian-activist-blasts-israel-and-racist-gop-nbc-reporter-asks-if#sthash.usFfBtez.dpuf
March 20, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT

On Friday, all three network morning shows touted President Obama's petulant "congratulatory" phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the commander-in-chief issued diplomatic threats to the newly reelected Jewish leader and America's closest ally.