On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, after the panel roundly bashed Rush Limbaugh and Republicans for not denouncing him enough, correspondent Savannah Guthrie surprisingly criticized President Obama's response to the controversy: "The President also in danger, perhaps, of an overreach by calling this law student [Sandra Fluke]....that seemed a little nakedly political."
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.
Appearing on Saturday's NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press host David Gregory argued that the issue of contraception was a loser for the GOP: "I think there are a lot of Republicans who are worried that this is...a fight that the Republicans probably should not be having right now, over contraception of all things, which is pretty much a settled matter in terms of access for women..."
In addition, Gregory hit Rush Limbaugh for taking the debate over the ObamaCare contraception mandate to "a much more offensive level," and argued: "...he escalated it to a degree, there's a lot of female voters who are energized on the Democratic side of all this."
On Saturday, NBC's Today actually had the nerve to give left-wing activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton a platform to condemn Rush Limbaugh, with co-host Amy Robach wondering: "...is this something the Republican Party needs to deal with right now?"
Sharpton mounted his high horse as he proclaimed: "They're going to have to deal with it, one, because they have really made Rush Limbaugh such a great part of the conservative movement....you can't have him as a major spokesman in your movement and then he says something as offensive and misogynist as this and you act like he's just an entertainer." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In an interview on NBC's Rock Center on Wednesday, Russian opposition leader Alexi Navalny demonstrated how pervasive media distortion of Sarah Palin and American conservatism has become: "Conservative groups, some of which support me, are far more liberal than their counterparts in the USA. Rallies in support of Sarah Palin have much more nationalistic slogans than in Russia."
In a report for Thursday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell referred to Andrew Breitbart as "the shooting star of the conservative blogosphere" and contemptuously remarked: "Breitbart, who called Senator Ted Kennedy a villain and worse when he died, called himself an 'accidental cultural warrior.'"
Following condemnation of Rush Limbaugh's "crude tirade" against left-wing activist Sandra Fluke on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, on Friday's Today, co-host Matt Lauer gave Fluke a platform to slam the conservative radio host and urged her to denounce "what seems to be a deafening silence coming from the right in standing up for you." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Fluke followed Lauer's lead as she broadly attacked conservative commentators:
Touting the newly-elected mayor of Ithaca, New York, 24-year old Democrat Svante Myrick, on Wednesday's NBC Rock Center, host Brian Williams drew parallels to Barack Obama: "He grew up a bi-racial kid with an unusual name. He went into politics. If that story sounds familiar, then you must meet the young man they must now call 'Mr. Mayor.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the segment, Williams told viewers to "think about what of this story sounds familiar." During her report, correspondent Kate Snow promoted the comparison: "When he was in high school, Myrick's grandmother gave him a copy of Barack Obama's book, 'Dreams From My Father.' And for another bi-racial kid struggling with his identity, growing up without his father, raised by a white mother, he saw himself in that story."
While interviewing actor Ed Helms about his role in 'Dr. Seuss' The Lorax' On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer seemed puzzled that anyone would question the environmentalist message of the book or movie: "...believe it or not, Dr. Seuss has sparked controversy with this movie because Lou Dobbs weighed in on this..."
Lauer quoted criticism from Dobbs: "The Lorax is an example of the President's liberal friends in Hollywood targeting a younger demographic using animated movies to sell their agenda to children." Helms sarcastically joked: "I am so excited that Barack Obama, who is my best friend, got us going on this. Because we're going to indoctrinate a lot of people. If this goes well, I hope." He then exclaimed: "Lou, come on! What are you talking about?"
On CNBC's Behind the Money blog on Wednesday, Fast Money executive producer John Melloy promoted a left-leaning theory as to why the stock market has been on the rise lately: "While President Obama may not be Wall Street's ideal candidate, stock prices are rising on growing expectations he will be re-elected this November."
Melloy pointed to long-term political certainty as a reason for investor optimism and added: "The surge in President Obama's chances at a second term also have coincided with a string of better-than-expected domestic economic data this year, including an all-important drop in the unemployment rate."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd was looking for any excuse to be an Obama spokesman as made this declaration about the announced retirement of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe: "...she's serving as a personal testimonial to the President, who says there's no more centrist coalition inside the Republican Party." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Tuesday, ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer praised the liberal GOP legislator as, "The principled voice of reason in some of the most contentious debates in Washington..." and noted how fellow Maine Senator and Republican moderate Susan Collins was "absolutely devastated by this decision."
In an interview with Newt Gingrich on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer hoped to get the former speaker to denounce recent comments by Rick Santorum about higher education: "Santorum said, 'President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college, what a snob.' As a former college professor, how did you feel about that exchange?"
Despite Lauer's attempt to appeal to his academic background, Gingrich refused to take the bait: "You know, you have to ask Santorum why he said that. I do think every American ought to get trained. I think it doesn't matter what your degrees are, it matters if you're employable....So, I think there's a middle ground here..."
A panel packed with liberal pundits on Tuesday's NBC Today concluded that Mitt Romney "cannot relate to average people" because he is "just an awkward human being" and "robot" who is "not likable" due to his wealth "mixed with arrogance without empathy" that gives him "the image of a robber baron." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
As if that DNC-approved analysis wasn't biased enough, advertising executive Donny Deutsch declared Romney's candidacy to be dead on arrival: "He's not likable and he's not real. We vote for humans, we don't vote for issues. He will not win because of this, I guarantee it."
Reporting on violent protests in Afghanistan following accidental Quran burnings for Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Atia Abawi declared the incident "...follows a long line of insults that has intensified the public outrage towards the U.S., including last year's intentional burning of a Koran by a pastor in Florida and the video of U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Concluding a dramatically slanted discussion on immigration on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory grilled Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on a recent argument with President Obama and her declining an invitation to a White House party, insisting: "Are you showing disrespect for the office of the presidency?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the lead-up conversation to that question, Gregory lobbed softballs to California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown while declaring to Governor Brewer that the Republican stance on immigration, including Arizona's "very tough immigration law," are a "big part of the problem" in the GOP attracting Hispanic voters.
While ABC's World News declared "a big chunk of the pain at the pump is Wall Street's fault" on Thursday, on NBC's Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams similarly announced: "The problem is gas prices are largely set by commodities traders, also known these days as speculators."
Correspondent Miguel Almaguer reported on "backlash from both sides of the register" as a sound bite played of Los Angeles gas station owner Andre Van Der Valk ranting: "Consumers should be very, very angry and very challenging of the oil companies. That's where it all starts."
Pretending the Obama administration did not intentionally turn birth control into a campaign issue with the ObamaCare insurance mandate, on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams pleaded ignorance to viewers: "Birth control seems to have become, as one headline writer put it today, 'The Third Rail of American Politics Right Now,' and this happened really out of nowhere."
In the report that followed, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell described the issue as a "political fight over government's place in women's health and reproduction." She touted how discussion of the topic "prompted boos" at Wednesday's Republican debate, while receiving "rare applause at a Democrats-only staged hearing today. Set off by the outrage Democrats vented when Republicans called only men to testify last week on religious institutions and birth control."
In a gushing report on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Savannah Guthrie freely acknowledged how media coverage has been boosting President Obama this campaign season: "The commander in chief in song and in tune. It's getting to be a regular gig....spontaneous moments can give a president or candidate the kind of wall-to-wall goodwill coverage money can't buy."
As blatant evidence of that fact, anchor Brian Williams introduced Guthrie's report by proclaiming: "Barack Obama, it turns out, likes Motown, R&B, and the Blues. Don't be surprised if a presidential trivia question 20 years from now asks, 'Who was known as the singing president?'" Sounds like narrative has already been written.
Citing Rick Santorum questioning President Obama's "theology" and recent comments form evangelist Franklin Graham, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered: "Does religion belong in our political discourse?" Show panelists – attorney Star Jones, advertising executive Donny Deutsch, and NBC medical editor Nancy Snyderman – gave a resounding no:
>JONES: Not if people are going to actually be talking about the relationship that they have with God or Christ or Buddha or whomever. I think it's inappropriate for people to bring in their own personal religion in politics.
Reviewing Wednesday's Republican debate on Thursday's Today, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd spun hard for Democrats: "You know, there was something about last night's debate that I know the folks in Chicago, meaning the Obama re-election team, felt pretty happy about....it felt like the shift was a little bit too much to the right and away from the middle." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd detailed the reasons why the Obama camp would be so pleased by the debate: "They felt that the conversation the Republicans were having, 20 minutes on earmarks, you know. Another 10 or 15 minutes on contraception....as much criticism was being leveled at the Bush administration as it was on the Obama administration. The tacks to the right on immigration." Todd concluded: "I'm not sure right now the Republican brand is – is helping itself with these debates."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander noted how the Republican primary "has increasingly become laced with references to religion" and predicted that in the upcoming GOP debate on CNN, "[Rick] Santorum is likely to be peppered with questions about his remarks on what he called the President's 'phony theology.'"
Later in the report, Alexander touted Mitt Romney being drawn into the issue: "Romney has tried to narrow his focus to the economy. But at a town hall meeting on Tuesday he was asked how he would protect religious freedom and answered by attacking the President." After a sound bite of Romney describing how President Obama "hangs around" with people who have a "secular agenda," Alexander dutifully forwarded the White House defense: "The Obama campaign quickly fired back, calling Romney's comments 'disgraceful.'"