During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, advertising executive Donny Deutsch predicted a political comeback for disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner: "...he's a good politician, I think he will get a second chance." The network's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman gushed: "He's cuckoo smart, he's a great representative, and no one understands health care and I think the problems better than he." [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.
In an interview with singer Elton John on Tuesday's NBC Today that focused on the performer's AIDS awareness activism, co-host Matt Lauer teed him up to rate recent presidents on combating the disease: "Elton champions those he feels made a positive impact on the AIDS epidemic, but he also takes to task those he believes caused harm. And he doesn't hold back." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer declared: "Let's play a little game of political word association. Give me the brief answer to each of the names that I'm going to throw out, just your first reaction. Ronald Reagan." John sniffed: "Overrated." Lauer continued: "Bill Clinton." John gushed: "Fantastic. Made some big mistakes but, God, he's a fantastic man."
Offering some pro-Obama fluff on Tuesday's NBC Today, news reader Natalie Morales gushed over the President and First Lady getting caught on the "Kiss Cam" at a basketball game during a "date night." After the First Couple initially just waved to the camera, Morales excitedly told viewers: "Not to worry, they got a second chance when the 'Kiss Cam' found them again. So this time he delivered, planting a very presidential pucker on the First Lady and the crowd went wild."
In an otherwise tough interview with Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter on Tuesday's NBC Today about the negative tone of the President's re-election bid, co-host Matt Lauer failed to challenge her on the nastiest attack hurled by Democrats so far, Cutter's own charge that Mitt Romney may have committed a felony.
Lauer repeatedly grilled Cutter on President Obama abandoning the rhetoric of hope and change from the 2008 campaign: "If you think about what your candidate is out there on the campaign trail saying and compare it to what he was saying as a candidate four years ago....are you proud of the message he's out there delivering?...would you say the President has run an exceedingly positive or exceedingly negative campaign?" However, the obvious question about Cutter leading that "exceedingly negative campaign" never came.
In an interview with Republican strategist Steve Schmidt on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie portrayed Mitt Romney's decision not to release more tax returns as a sign of guilt: "Mitt Romney is within the letter of the law, but he's on the low end of the norm. Do you think that he's left the impression with voters that perhaps he does have something to hide?"
A list appeared on screen of the amount of tax returns released by other presidential candidates in past years as Schmidt provided a bland response that only reinforced Guthrie's assertion: "...when you don't disclose something, one side is demanding you disclose it. People in your own party are saying you ought to disclose it. I think the American people look at it and they go immediately to, 'What's he hiding?' Whether that's a fair conclusion or not."
At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie kept up the drum beat for Mitt Romney to release more tax returns as she proclaimed: "Mounting pressure. Mitt Romney facing new calls to release more of his tax returns. And this time they're coming from prominent conservatives."
In the report that followed, correspondent Peter Alexander failed to back up Guthrie's headline until the very end of the segment: "...there is growing pressure, this morning, for Romney to share more of those tax returns. You'll remember his own father released 12 years' worth during his 1968 presidential bid. And now, Savannah, some prominent conservatives are urging Romney to put more returns out. They say get it over with. One even calling Romney's refusal to do so, quote, 'crazy.'" Alexander did not mention the name of a single "prominent conservative" in the report.
In an interview with Meet the Press moderator David Gregory for the Sunday show's web-based feature Press Pass, Political Animals star Sigourney Weaver explained her support for President Obama: "...the Democrats are always going to be about what the people need. And the Republicans are much more serving big business, and I don't think we can afford to serve big business for another four years with Mr. Romney." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Weaver prefaced her slanted observation by admitting: "I'm not a professional politician, so forgive me if it's very simplistic." Gregory encouraged Weaver to discuss her liberal leanings, as he wondered: "What about President Obama? You've been supportive of him, you say you'd be supportive again. And I know that you told Politico that once a president gets a second term, the gloves come off and that a lot of us have sort of been waiting for that."
In a nasty rant at the end of Thursday's Rock Center on NBC, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams slammed the hosts of FNC's morning show for daring to criticize the uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team: "Trouble on Fox & Friends. It started when the morning show crew mocked the new Ralph Lauren outfits...." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After playing a clip of Gretchen Carlson being critical of berets being part of the uniform, Williams sneered: "The jingoism continued. Another host wondered why they couldn't wear something more American, like baseball caps or cowboy hats. Until the viewer e-mails started pouring in, reminding them some real Americans, U.S. soldiers, are issued berets."
In a campaign report for Friday's NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander touted a sound bite of President Obama telling CBS's Charlie Rose: "...the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people." Alexander added that the President wanted to tell, "A story that gives Americans a sense of 'unity' and 'optimism'..."
Immediately following that glowing description of Obama's communications style, Alexander lamented: "But Romney, who's relentlessly attacked the President for mishandling the economy, quickly pounced: 'Being president is not about telling stories,' Romney said in a statement, 'Being president is about leading.'"
In an interview aired on Friday's NBC Today, former President Bill Clinton began by attacking Republicans: "I'm not sure both sides want the economy to get better....I know what Senator McConnell said, that his number one priority was winning the election." Co-host Savannah Guthrie helpfully added: "It sounds like you're saying the Republicans are basically rooting for the economy to fail." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That teed up Clinton perfectly to proclaim: "No, I didn't say that. Senator McConnell did. Senator McConnell said his number one goal was not to get the economy going again, it was to defeat the President. So I hope they're not rooting for it to fail. I think, you know, they really may believe that austerity now is the right policy."
During a panel discussion on Thursday's NBC Today about Mitt Romney's NAACP speech, advertising executive Donny Deutsch gave credit to the Republican presidential candidate for making the appearance, but proclaimed: "...this is going to be what I'll call the demographic election, women, Latinos and African-Americans are going to cost him the election."
Co-host Savannah Guthrie began the discussion by noting audience reaction to Romney at the event: "...he, on a few different occasions, got sustained boos from the audience, but also later some applause....Did you guys think it was rude that they're were boos?" Deutsch chimed in: "No, I think that's what people do, you know?"
In an interview with Romney campaign advisor Ed Gillespie on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted over Republicans dismantling false Obama campaign attacks that Romney outsourced jobs as head of Bain Capital: "I want to get to a new ad that your campaign is putting out today....are you calling the President a liar?"
Gillespie didn't shy away from the charge: "What we're saying, Savannah, is that this ad that has been running saying that Governor Romney as CEO of Bain Capital moved American jobs overseas is a lie...independent fact-checking organizations. Just three yesterday came out and said there's no evidence to support the charges in this campaign."
Appearing on Wednesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, Washington Post financial columnist Steve Pearlstein accused Mitt Romney of being responsible for Bain Capital outsourcing jobs, even after leaving the company: "...they were doing it because that was the company that Mitt Romney had set up. I'm not saying that's bad. But for him to say, 'Well, not on my watch,' is – is, you know, a little silly."
Actually, what's "silly" is Pearlstein apparently not reading his own paper's fact checking of Obama campaign attacks on Romney as an outsourcer – attacks which the Post's Glenn Kessler gave four Pinocchios to for their dishonesty. Kesseler explained: "Regarding the outsourcing claims, we have frowned on these before. The Obama campaign rests its case on three examples of Bain-controlled companies sending jobs overseas. But only one of the examples — involving Holson Burns Group — took place when Romney was actively managing Bain Capital."
On Tuesday night, all three network evening newscasts ran with stories on a newly released government report blaming man-made climate change for recent extreme weather. ABC's World News led the charge, as anchor Diane Sawyer sounded the alarm: "Hot planet. The world is heating up. And for the first time, a U.S. Government-backed report ties that searing heat, those epic storms, to man-made global warming."
Sawyer cited a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a "major alert about the speed of climate change on this planet" and wondered if the study represented "a tipping point" on the issue. Turning to weather editor Sam Champion, Sawyer hoped there was "still time to do something." Champion proclaimed: "I would say is, now is the time we start limiting man-made greenhouse gases if we're starting to see that that is exactly what other studies are showing."
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about philanthropist Denise Rich renouncing her U.S. citizenship to reportedly avoid paying taxes, advertising executive Donny Deutsch used the incident to proclaim: "We are a country that is at class warfare now. It is reality. And this is the kind of thing that if I'm home watching, I go, screw you, get out of my country!"
NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman had a similar reaction as she denounced the ultimate sin for liberals, the wealthy not paying enough taxes: "I think this is despicable. I have no – nothing but contempt for Denise Rich trying to escape taxes....Anyone who turns down an American citizenship, It's crap....It's crap, it's absolute crap."
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today to promote her new USA series Political Animals, actress Sigourney Weaver admitted that her character, a former first lady turned secretary of state, was based in part on Hillary Clinton: "Elaine Barrish Hammond is this very gifted politician with a very strong moral compass....we are inspired by Mrs. Clinton, who's such a remarkable woman and a great secretary of state. She was a great senator for New York State." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Saturday's NBC Today, co-host Lester Holt pondered why President Obama's poll numbers were not lower given the poor economy: "...you look at the polls, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows the President still maintaining a three-point lead. Is he defying gravity here, and if so, why?"
Holt directed the question to Time's Mark Halperin, who proclaimed: "Well, he is....People like the President. They still think he – they recognize what he argues, he inherited a lot of problems....people want the President to have more of a chance..." Halperin added: "Governor Romney is still introducing himself to the country....The President's arguing that Governor Romney's not the right way to bet on the country's future..."
In a report on Monday's NBC Today that could have been written by the Obama campaign, correspondent Peter Alexander helpfully touted the Democratic line of attack against Mitt Romney: "...pictures of Romney's week-long family vacation in New Hampshire illustrate his wealth. But it's reports of Romney's offshore accounts that the President's team wants to make a central issue. On Sunday, a chorus of Democrats slammed Romney for lack of transparency regarding his finances."
Alexander made sure to depict Romney as out of touch for holding fundraisers on Long Island:
On Friday's NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer didn't just lob a softball to Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod about Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress, he placed the ball on a tee and helped Axelrod swing the bat: "Paraphrasing here, Mr. Holder said the American people deserve better. What is the President's reaction to the actions in Congress?"
Axelrod happily spewed White House talking points on the Thursday vote that held Holder in contempt for failing to release documents regarding the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal: "I think it was an embarrassment to the Congress....They're getting their questions answered, they wanted the confrontation, they wanted the political theater. They ought to be getting to work on the problems that are significant to the American people."
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted Chief Justice John Roberts joining the Supreme Court majority in upholding ObamaCare as an "almost Nixon-to-China alignment with liberals on the Court." Special correspondent Tom Brokaw applauded the move: "I do think that it lowered the temperature about the debate about the politicalization of the Court. And that's a good thing for the country, however you feel about the decisions that they're making." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]