Despite the incredibly biased performance of the moderators of CNBC’s Republican presidential debate, on Thursday’s NBC Today, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd portrayed his business network colleagues as victims of a GOP plot: “Look, in many ways this was a premeditated attack. There had been some leaked ideas that, you know, beforehand, they were going to go after the moderators and say, ‘Hey, the Democrats didn't get questions like this,’ and they determined this before the debate even started.”
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.
Even after telling Florida Senator Marco Rubio that he had the “breakout performance of the night” during Wednesday’s Republican debate, on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie urged the GOP presidential candidate to resign from the U.S. Senate: “...once and for all, answer The Sun Sentinel’s question, should you resign, would you resign? Why not leave your Senate seat and just remove this issue from your opponents, remove it from the discourse?”
Ahead of Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate, NBC’s Today promoted Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton having “her own battle plan heading into tonight,” preparing to respond to the GOP 2016 field with a new ad blitz.
Hours before Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate, NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America both seized on a hit piece in Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper demanding that Marco Rubio resign his Senate seat. At the top of Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: “Florida Senator Marco Rubio gets dealt a tough blow from one of his state's newspapers.”
On her Tuesday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell reminisced over CNBC’s Washington correspondent John Harwood tripping up Rick Perry during a 2011 Republican presidential debate. After playing a clip of the infamous “oops” moment, Mitchell turned to Harwood and proclaimed: “John, what are you doing when you're not ending people's presidential candidate's race? I mean, that was a memorable moment.”
In an emotional exchange with MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell on Monday, Patricia Smith, mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, blasted Hillary Clinton for not answering questions during Thursday’s congressional hearing on the 2012 terrorist attack: “I watched every minute....Hillary didn't answer the questions. I'm still waiting...”
In an interview with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday’s Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried that the socialist presidential candidate was out of step with “mainstream Democrats.” However, it was not because of Sanders’ radical left-wing views, but because he was not anti-gun enough.
Following a Hillary Clinton campaign rally on Saturday that featured singer Katy Perry and former President Bill Clinton, NBC and ABC were beside themselves in gushing over the event. On Saturday’s NBC Nightly News, correspondent Kelly O’Donnell proclaimed: “Hillary Clinton's team is going all in on star power....husband Bill Clinton's first campaign stop here in Iowa....superstar hit maker [Katy Perry], whose song is Clinton’s campaign theme.... After a tough slide this summer, Clinton has hit a high note.”
On Friday’s NBC Today, hosts and correspondents hoped Hillary Clinton had brushed aside her scandals after testimony before the House Benghazi Committee on Thursday. At the top of the show, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “Marathon on the Hill....an 11-hour day on Benghazi....Has Hillary Clinton put the controversy behind her?”
Hours ahead of Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House Benghazi Committee on Thursday, on NBC’s Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell acknowledged that “44% of Americans are not yet satisfied” with the former secretary of state’s answers on the scandal but also declared: “...today is, indeed, her best chance to change all of that. Assisted by the Republicans who, themselves in recent weeks, have hurt the committee’s credibility.”
During an interview with Secretary of State John Kerry at a State Department climate forum on Tuesday, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell urged the Secretary to slam the GOP: “Republican candidates are not only silent on the subject, they are climate deniers. And even candidates who led the way in 2008, the nominee [John McCain], is now silent on the subject because of Tea Party challenges to himself and to others.”
Kerry ranted: “...when I hear a United States senator say, ‘I'm not a scientist so I can't make a judgment,’ or a candidate for president, for that matter, I'm absolutely astounded. It's incomprehensible that a grown-up who has been to high school and college in the United States of America disqualifies themselves because they're not a scientist...”
On Tuesday – just two days before Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the House Benghazi Committee – MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell teased an upcoming interview with liberal operative and longtime Clinton hatchet man James Carville, hailing him as a “political Jedi master.” Carville: “Trey Gowdy is a creation of the Koch brothers and the whole climate denial industry and this committee was nothing but a creation of Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers. You know, Fox ran over 1,000 segments in 20 months after this thing.”
Filling in for Jose Diaz-Balart during MSNBC’s 10 a.m. ET hour on Tuesday, NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander interrogated Republican Congresswoman Susan Brooks about the House Benghazi Committee: “So if Jeb Bush's campaign insists that his brother, George W. Bush, bears no responsibility for the 9/11 attacks – which of course were carried out by Al Qaeda, but he was president at the time – why then do Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama bear responsibility for what happened in Benghazi?”
During a discussion with Bloomberg Politics editor Mark Halperin on Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted how Hillary Clinton had “set the table” for her testimony before the Benghazi Committee on Thursday. Halperin proclaimed: “This appearance has been looming on her calendar and her staff’s calendar with dread, thinking this could be the worst day of the year for her. It could now be the best day.”
During MSNBC’s 3 p.m. ET hour on Monday, anchor Kate Snow and Middle East correspondent Martin Fletcher apologized for using false maps depicting Israeli and Palestinian territory during a Thursday segment about escalating violence in the region. Snow began: “Last Thursday, in an attempt to talk about the context for the current turmoil in the Middle East we showed a series of maps of the changing geography in that region. We realized after we went off the air the maps were not factually accurate and we regret using them.”
In a gushing profile on Monday, Politico’s Hadas Gold touted: “At least 18 national media outlets have female reporters on the Clinton beat....No one can remember a political press corps this heavily female.” She proclaimed: “The change seems to be a combination of more women doing political reporting in general, and many more being drawn to Clinton's potentially historic candidacy.”
In a contentious interview with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer on Friday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell fretted over Israeli police killing knife-wielding Palestinian terrorists: “What about the possibility of excessive force?” Dermer responded: “Andrea, if someone was coming at you with a knife, would you want the police officer to take out a knife and to try to stop him or would you want that police officer to shoot that person before he would attack you?” Mitchell proclaimed: “Not shoot to kill.”
Appearing on Friday’s NBC Today, Bloomberg Politics managing editor John Heilemann saw a rapidly closing window for Joe Biden to enter the presidential race: “...if he's making a calculation on the political landscape, it's more forbidding now than it was a month ago. You've got Hillary Clinton performing well at this debate, the Benghazi Committee now kind of delegitimized. She's teed up to have a great day next week, where it could have been a bad – a moment of peril.”
On Thursday, while interviewing Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports about the wave of Palestinian terrorist attacks plaguing Jerusalem, fill-in host Peter Alexander cited Obama administration fears of Israeli police being too hard on the knife-wielding killers: “State Department spokesperson John Kirby said that the U.S. was, in his words, ‘concerned about reports that could indicate the potential use of excessive force.’ Is this excessive force?”
In an interview on Wednesday’s NBC Today, disgraced ex-CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather told co-host Matt Lauer that he still would have reported the fraudulent story that ended his broadcast network career: “What I wouldn't do differently is back off the story. The story was true. Because it was true, undeniable facts about how President Bush got into the air National Guard to avoid service in Vietnam, and the fact that after getting in he disappeared, those were facts and that was true.”