Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, liberal historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin pleaded for the American people to excuse extramarital affairs of public figures like David Petraeus: "What would we have done if FDR had not been our leader because he had an affair with Lucy Mercer? Think of the productive years that Clinton could have had if Monica Lewinsky hadn't derailed them. We've got to figure out a way that we give a private sphere for our public leaders. We're not gonna get the best people in public life if we don't do that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
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.
Sounding more like a Democratic strategist on Sunday's Meet the Press than NBC's political director, Chuck Todd urged President Obama to force congressional Republicans into a corner on the fiscal cliff: "...go do it with 65-70 members of the Senate, cut the deal, bring it over to the House....box Boehner in....did the President learn anything from his first term about how to deal with congressional Republicans? Which is don't do it through the leadership."
Moments later, liberal pundit and historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin described how Obama could "build his mandate": "...he has to mobilize that base. That base was energized on election nigh....It's there to bring pressure on obstructionists if they don't get a deal done from the outside in....The Tea Party pressured everybody that summer, why can't his coalition, which is bigger, pressure people from the outside in?"
During a discussion on Monday, NBC's Today show crew could barely contain their enthusiasm at the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president again in 2016, with new third-hour co-host Willie Geist proclaiming: "Can you think of a more qualified human being? She lived in the White House for eight years with another President, she was a United States senator, and now she's got every world leader on speed dial, so there'd be no questions about her qualifications." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Early in the conversation, Geist touted how "there are already polls out in Iowa, she's got 58% of the vote for 2016" and argued her run was "inevitable." Fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie thought Clinton could definitely be persuaded: "...if the head of the party comes to her in two years, if everybody comes around and says, 'You've got to do it, you could be the first female president,' I think it would be hard for her to say no." News reader Natalie Morales added: "Are we ready for a female president? I think most of America probably is."
At the end of a Friday interview with Mark Kelly, former astronaut and husband of former Congresswoman Gabrille Giffords, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie made sure to bring up the favorite liberal talking point of the need for more gun control: "...you gave a stinging rebuke in your statement to political leaders who haven't done anything about gun control....What do you hope will change? And are you expecting President Obama to do something about gun control in a second term?"
Kelly avoided putting the President on hook: "I don't expect him to in the beginning part of his second term. But, you know...we have a Congress that can address it as well." He then argued: "...it's obviously a problem. I mean, we have gun violence that happens time and time again in this country. And I think almost everybody would agree that we have a problem....repeatedly we lost the opportunity and I hope somebody, you know, picks up that mantle and tries to do something about it." Guthrie agreed: "Well, this obviously underscores the need for the issue to be addressed in some way."
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today to promote his new book, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, author and former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham made a comparison between the founding father and the current commander-in-chief: "[Jefferson] was a tall, cool, cerebral president who won re-election, who was actually really good at politics even though he didn't want to act as though he was. So there's some similarities with President Obama." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Meacham did also use the comparison to offer some criticism of Obama: "[Jefferson] understood that to get along in Washington it was really important to understand the politics of the personal, which is something that President Obama has not been so good at. He likes to play basketball with his staff. He likes to play golf with his staff. He doesn't like to reach out to Congress."
Throughout Friday's NBC Today, hosts and reporters gushed over a video released by the Obama campaign of the President tearing up as he talked to supporters at a Chicago campaign office. At the top of the show, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Thanking the team. President Obama gets tearful in a speech to young campaign staffers." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, fill-in co-host Willie Geist declared: "You know, the President known for his cool, some say aloof demeanor, but now we've seen tears twice in the span of about a week." In a report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd noted: "In a video released by the Obama campaign, a tearful President thanks his campaign workers." The headline on screen read: "Tears for Four More Years; Emotional President Obama Thanks Campaign Workers."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell provided a gushing profile of the First Family winning four more years in the White House: "Obama's family is key to his success....Like the Kennedys, the Obamas swept into their first term on the promise of hope....And now with four more years ahead, the First Family continues to be the President's strongest base of support." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Set to various musical scores, Mitchell's report looked at the Obamas and past first families: "For generations of Americans, the Kennedy White House is the iconic standard for the First Family. Young and beautiful, their two-child home represented a timely American portrait....Ron [Reagan] was a striking contrast to his father's rugged conservative image, making headlines with a risque appearance on Saturday Night Live."
After NBC News spent a week hyping President Obama's response to Hurricane Sandy as a major boon for his re-election campaign, on Thursday's Today, political director Chuck Todd completely dismissed Republicans citing the event as one reason for Mitt Romney's defeat: "Believe it or not, that Sandy finger-pointing is something that is being pushed around...when you look at the entire scope of this election and the demographics...it's a pretty absurd idea."
Moments later, co-host Matt Lauer grilled former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on some in the GOP being critical of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie praising Obama's handling of the storm. Barbour explained: "Hurricane Sandy saved Barack Obama's presidency....But that's not Chris Christie's fault. Now, I do think the news media made a much bigger deal out of it, that made it sound like Christie was almost endorsing Obama. All Christie said was, is the President's trying to be a good partner."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd cited Florida as evidence of "this demographic time bomb went off and caught the Republicans off guard," referring to the Hispanic vote in Tuesday's election. He then predicted the same "bomb" could go off in other states in the future: "...it's going to happen in Georgia....Texas and the state of Arizona..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During a panel discussion moments earlier, there was universal consensus among NBC journalists that GOP must abandon its principles to attract more voters. Meet the Press moderator David Gregory proclaimed: "The party has got to find a way to reach out to Latinos, the fastest growing voting bloc, to become a more diverse party with the ability to shed some of the orthodoxy around taxes, around spending over the role of government, and this process is going to begin this morning, the soul searching and redefinition."
In a fawning report on Wednesday's NBC Today on President Obama winning re-election, correspondent Kristen Welker provided gauzy commentary: "...the Chicago crowd was electrified as the President delivered a soaring speech in which he thanked all those who supported him, including his family....The President's daughters are a little taller, his hair grayer, but in his speech, Mr. Obama sounded a lot like the man America first elected four years ago." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Welker touted how "the President struck a tone of healing" and "joked that unlike 2008, the first daughters will not be getting a dog this year." She also noted that one of Obama's first phone calls "was to former President Bill Clinton, of course, one of his top surrogates during this campaign season."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kristen Welker described an Obama campaign "filled with anticipation and nostalgia" and the President giving his final stump speech in Iowa "With an eye on his future" and having "reached back to the past." Welker continued to fawn: "...the state which gave Mr. Obama his first 2008 victory, launching his improbable and historic journey. An emotional night, even for a president known for keeping his cool." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the report, Welker touted: "And while [Obama's] top surrogates stormed the battleground states, some of the biggest names in entertainment also lent their voices, from Jay-Z to Bruce Springsteen..."
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt and PBS host Tavis Smiley began writing the Republican Party's obituary before any votes had been counted, after co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Which party stands to suffer the most long-term damage if they lose today?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Schmidt proclaimed: "Well, if the Republicans lose, there's gonna be a civil war that breaks out in the Republican Party." Smiley followed by ranting that the GOP would be on the decline no matter what the outcome of the election: "I think we agree on this, though, Steve, the GOP is toast in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America ever if they can't expand their base. They may win tomorrow, but they're not going to win long term." Schmidt replied: "No doubt."
In an interview with senior Romney advisor Ed Gillespie on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer ripped into an ads run by the Governor's campaign in Ohio about the auto industry: "The reaction was swift and unanimous, Ed. They were painted as misleading by independent fact-checkers. Ohio newspapers said they were an exercise in deception, a masterpiece of misdirection, and Chrysler and GM called them inaccurate and campaign politics at its cynical worst." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer jabbed: "How could this happen to the guy who is the son of a car-maker and the guy who is supposed to have the business resume?" Gillespie defended the ad regarding Chrysler expanding Jeep production in China: "...the ad is accurate. The head of Fiat came out and said that they were going to open production in China for Jeep. That's what the ad says, and that's accurate."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory urged both Obama campaign advisor David Plouffe and Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to agree that Hurricane Sandy provided a boost to the President: "The indelible images of this week had to do with Hurricane Sandy and an impact on this race because of the President's time and the images that we saw..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory added: "Governor Christie in New Jersey, who as we heard gave him [Obama] such high marks...was this the October surprise, these political foes, together in leadership, and Christie giving the President such high marks?"
Reporting for Thursday's NBC Rock Center, chief foreign affairs correspondent Richard Engel ranted over the lack of infrastructure spending to protect against Hurricane Sandy and tried to blame it on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: "...the thing we've spent the most money on, a trillion-plus dollars, the most American lives on, and that has been bringing democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, with very questionable results." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Rather than be in Lybia covering the growing scandal over the Obama administration's botched response to the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Engel sat in the NBC News New York studio and proclaimed: "People I've spoken to, experts in this field, say we would be a lot safer, not just richer, if we had spent a lot of that money on improving infrastructure."
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, special correspondent Tom Brokaw strained to explain why New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg endorsing President Obama would be helpful: "[It] may not move the needle, for example, in Colorado, but in Ohio and in places where they're trying to get white men, they can say, 'Look, this guy has got the endorsement of the Mayor of New York.'" Why would someone in Ohio care?
Co-host Matt Lauer noted that the endorsement "wasn't a very warm hug," prompting Brokaw to argue: "It wasn't a warm hug, but it was tough on Romney about not being the guy that he was when he was Governor of Massachusetts."
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd depicted the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy as a boost for President Obama and a struggle for Governor Romney. Todd touted Obama receiving praise from "the GOP's convention keynote speaker" New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and how a trip to the storm-ravaged state was "a chance to show his empathetic side."
At the same time, Todd proclaimed that "Mitt Romney spent his Wednesday full-time on the trail in Florida, trying to balance campaigning and showing sensitivity for the storm victims." The headline on screen summed up the framing of the report: "President Tours Destruction & Gov. Romney Resumes Campaign."
Right on cue following Hurricane Sandy devastating the east coast, correspondent Harry Smith appeared on Thursday's NBC Today to sound the global warming alarm: "First it was Hurricane Irene, then last October's freak snowstorm, and now Sandy. Mother nature has put an unprecedented strain on the power grid and some experts are wondering if climate change is to blame." The headline on-screen wondered: "Is Global Warming to Blame for Storm Damage?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Previewing an upcoming report for Thursday's Rock Center, Smith warned viewers: "There is a growing consensus that this is all part of a new normal....Many a climate scientist say there is a reason this is happening." A sound bite followed of Ben Strauss from Climate Central: "We're seeing more and more extreme weather events. Leading to greater and greater economic damages. And I'm very suspicious that climate change is an important player for many of these."
Hawking a new NBC Publishing ebook on Wednesday's NBC Today about the network's election night television coverage dating back to 1948, author and TV Guide business editor Steve Battaglio touted a moment featured in the book of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams during election night in 2008: "Brian knew that it was going to be a very special night....having a pretty good idea that Barack Obama was going to win, and how do you tell this story of the first African-American president? It was such a monumental event." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Wednesday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd seized on the latest CBS News/New York Times poll showing narrow leads for President Obama in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida as "evidence, potentially, to back up the Obama spin" that "Romney has run out of routes to 270 electoral votes...so they are throwing Hail Marys in new states." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, the poll Todd so eagerly cited, used voter samples significantly slanted in favor of Democrats, using turnout models resembling Obama's win in 2008, a highly unlikely scenario in 2012.