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."
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.
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."
Appearing on the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special Sunday night, comedian Martin Short mocked NBC for the ongoing scandal surrounding Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, declaring to the audience of A-list celebrities: “Do you realize that if this roof were to collapse right now, it would be the least of NBC’s problems?”
In an interview with BuzzFeed on Tuesday, President Obama attacked office supply chain Staples over accusations that the company was cutting back on worker hours to avoid the ObamaCare health insurance coverage mandate for their employees: "...when I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workers' wages, shame on them."
Adding to the myriad of problems for Brian Williams, actor Charlie Sheen has voiced his support for the embattled NBC Nightly News anchor. In an open letter released on Wednesday, the famously erratic celebrity praised Williams [grammar as written]: "First off, THANK YOU, for 24 years of inimitable professionalism and top shelf brilliance, as a stone cold passion driven and (PERFECTLY) fact based journalist....Now and forever you are a true Patriot and a Hero of mine until the day i leave this star crossed imperfect Rock we call Earth…"
As CBS mourned the loss of veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon after he was killed in a car accident on Wednesday, Thursday's CBS This Morning invited CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley to share his thoughts on the late journalist. While eulogizing his longtime friend and colleague, Pelley took an odd turn when he praised Simon's advocacy, not objectivity: "Bob had a sharp intolerance for injustice and he had equal-opportunity rage for every injustice committed in every corner of this Earth."
Reacting to the decision by NBC News to suspend NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams for six months following his Iraq war lies, Today 9 a.m. hour co-host Willie Geist acknowledged it was "kind of a difficult and strange morning." Fellow co-host Natalie Morales added: "...it is a difficult day here and we are certainly sharing our best wishes with Brian. It's a tough time for him and his family, so we hope and pray for the best."
After six days of limiting its coverage of the scandal engulfing NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams to a few cryptic briefs only seconds long, NBC News finally provided full coverage of the controversy on Tuesday's Today show. Co-host Matt Lauer introduced the report: "And now we turn to a story that hits very close to home for all of us who work at NBC News. Brian Williams, who's anchored Nightly News since 2004, has been suspended from his job for six months."
In an interview with left-wing website Vox.com released on Monday, President Obama downplayed the threat from radical Islamic terrorism and blamed the media for supposedly hyping the danger: "If it bleeds, it leads, right? You show crime stories and you show fires, because that's what folks watch, and it's all about ratings. And, you know, the problems of terrorism and dysfunction and chaos, along with plane crashes and a few other things, that's the equivalent when it comes to covering international affairs."
Following all three network evening newscasts on Monday devoting full reports to "a full blown civil rights battle" in Alabama after the state's supreme court chief justice refused to carry out a federal ruling allowing gay marriage in the state, the Tuesday morning shows on CBS, ABC, and NBC all continued to push the story.
Minutes after President Obama took a jab at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a Monday press conference, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell cheered the put-down: "...he was asked about this very controversial visit by Benjamin Netanyahu two weeks before an Israeli election....And the President very pointedly said, 'We have this protocol. We don't invite leaders. If Angela Merkel had an election in two weeks she wouldn't be here right now and my bet is that she wouldn't have asked to come.' Take that, Bibi."