Seeing little hope for Republican chances against Obama in November on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer put this question to Donald Trump: "Isn't any Republican nominee going to have a problem, and that is, by all indications, the economy is getting stronger. So if you're the Republican nominee, how do you run against a recovering economy? How do you say, 'I'm not up with that'?"
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.
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman scolded Rick Santorum for a recent humorous campaign ad that depicted Mitt Romney firing a mud-filled paint ball gun at a cardboard cut-out of the former Pennsylvania Senator: "I'm sick of guns. I'm sick of the violence. I'm sick of all of it. And I know it's tongue-in-cheek....I don't like it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Snyderman made the declaration during the Today's Professionals panel discussion on the show, which prompted attorney Star Jones to chime in that the ad made all the GOP candidates look like the Three Stooges: "...it does go to the whole Larry, Curly and Moe mentality of the Republican primary over the last few months. It's been almost like joking."
At the top of Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams pleaded: "Why now? In a tight economy with so many Americans living on the financial edge, why are they being asked to pay so much more for gas?" Moments later, he warned: "...there's still one thing that could crush it all and ruin any hope for a real recovery right now, and that's the price of gas."
Compare that sentiment to this question Tom Brokaw put to President-elect Obama in December of 2008 on Meet the Press: "Why not take this opportunity to put a tax on gasoline, bump it back up to $4 a gallon where people were prepared to pay for that, and use that revenue for alternative energy and as a signal to the consumers: 'Those days are gone. We're not going to have gasoline that you could just fill up your tank for 20 bucks anymore.'"
In an attempt to frame Republican opposition to the President's 2013 budget proposal as merely political posturing, NBC Today co-host Ann Curry announced to viewers on Tuesday: "President Obama unveiled his new budget plan on Monday and with this being an election year, his Republican rivals were quick to lash out in opposition."
In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd described the latest budget fight as being a question of, "who's going to bear the greatest burden on reducing the large national debt? The wealthiest Americans or government itself?" He further proclaimed it to be "presidential populism versus a Republican focus on shrinking government." The headline on screen throughout the segment read: "Budget Battle; GOP Candidates Blast President's Spending Plan."
In a hostile interview with Rick Santorum on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory attempted to paint the Republican presidential candidate as some kind of paranoid conspiracy theorist simply by voicing opposition to President Obama's reelection.
Gregory hyped recent comments by Santorum: "You've talked about this in terms of why you believe the President is dangerous, that re-electing the President would unmask some sort of hidden plan that he has for a second term....What is that secret plan that your so worried about? And is that not just hyperbole and demagoguery?"
Despite the fact that the national debt has topped $15 trillion, the three network morning shows on Monday managed to only provide a total of 47 seconds to the Obama administration's newly released budget plan.
NBC's Today gave the most time to the news – a whole 26 seconds – but also completely glossed over criticism of the plan, with news anchor Natalie Morales declaring: "President Obama is sending a new budget to Congress today in a bid to reduce the deficit by some $4 trillion over the next decade. The spending blueprint outlines his plans to cut government spending and raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans."
With an on-screen headline describing the annual Conservative Political Action Conference as a "Battle for the Base," correspondent Kelly O'Donnell remarked: "...the Republican Party stars are, in essence, competing to outdo each other taking apart President Obama. From Florida, Senator Marco Rubio....to those former candidates who gave the primary season a fleeting spark."
Earlier in the report, O'Donnell proclaimed that Rick Santorum had "...pounded away again at the White House for its battle over contraception coverage with the Church" in a campaign speech on the campaign trail.
In the only network morning show interview with Rick Santorum in the wake of his three-state victory on Tuesday, NBC Today co-host Ann Curry on Friday pestered the former Pennsylvania senator on whether he would "commit" not to do any negative campaigning and attempted to portray his recent comments on women serving in military combat roles as a gaffe.
Curry put this question to Santorum early in the interview: "...it is clear that negative campaigning generates votes....aren't you going to now have to go negative? Will you commit that your – you and your PACs will not? Or are you going to have to now?"
In a live interview with John F. Kennedy mistress Mimi Alford on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry fretted over her sharing unflattering details about the late president: "What about Caroline [Kennedy], who is still alive?...Did you think about, as you talk about unburdening yourself, the idea that you've burdened other people now with this?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alford stood by her decision to go public with the affair: "Well, I don't intentionally burden someone else. I'm telling my story. And that is what – that is what I needed to do." Curry followed up: "Any push-back from the Kennedy family? Yes or no?" Alford replied: "No, nothing."
Following a revealing interview with former JFK mistress Mimi Alford on Wednesday's NBC Rock Center, left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews, along with liberal historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Richard Reeves, were invited on the broadcast to give a sycophantic defense of the womanizing president. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Touting his new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero," Matthews proclaimed: "The greatest heroes are often the most flawed." The Hardball host went on to gush over how Kennedy "colorized American politics....made it a technicolor movie, he made it exciting." In his characteristic fashion, Matthews concluded: "And so with it all, the total picture still arouses the country."
In a panel discussion on Wednesday's NBC Today, committed liberal and advertising executive Donny Deutsch denounced critics of Chrysler's Super Bowl ad: "Republicans should be quiet because by saying this is a Barack ad, you're saying this is America the beautiful, America is on its way back....They're looking like fools."
Moments later, Deutsch admitted the ad touted an Obama accomplishment: "And by the way, Barack did make the move to save the auto industry. Like him or not, that's a fact." Earlier in the discussion, attorney Star Jones expressed the same sentiment: "The truth hurts. I mean, if, in fact, the country is coming back and it benefits this administration, then they reap that benefit."
Hawking his new novel on Wednesday's NBC Today, author Josh Bazell launched into a rant against the GOP and Rick Santorum specifically: "If I were to create a character who, say, had been the senator from Pennsylvania...get up at a debate and say that global warming was a hoax and that we had to change the Constitution to limit the rights of gay people. No one would believe that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Bazell, son of NBC medical correspondent Robert Bazell, further proclaimed: "And if I said then, you know, that the entire Republican establishment sat quietly through this, no one stood up and said, 'You know, that's a crazy man talking,' it would just seem like I was being biased." For his part, weatherman Al Roker simply nodded along with the liberal screed, offering no objection.
After finally deciding to actually cover the controversy swirling around the Obama administration's attempt to force Catholic institutions to pay for birth control in health insurance plans, NBC's Today on Tuesday brought on leftist MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to dismiss all legitimate opposition to the move as a "pretty far-right perspective" and "an extension of anti-abortion politics." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While co-host Matt Lauer began by wondering if President Obama had "miscalculated on the issue," he quickly seized on Maddow's supposed "logic" on the topic: "...you hear people saying President Obama could suffer because of this in the election, and yet, you use your logic there, if the majority of women in this country say that they use birth control, could this backfire on the Republican candidates who are now making it the issue?"
In his softball Sunday interview with President Obama before the Super Bowl, Today co-host Matt Lauer invited the Democratic commander in chief to speculate on Mitt Romney's ability to connect with voters: "He's a guy who's been incredibly successful in his life and career. He's made a lot of money, it's not a crime...can [he] identify with the middle class and the underclass in this country?"
While Obama refused to "comment on any particular candidate" he had no trouble hitting Lauer's easy pitch: "...people also want to see is that everybody is doing their fair share. That we're all pulling together....Whoever the Republican nominee is, I fundamentally disagree with a formula that would go back to the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place."
Once again touting the latest cover of New Yorker magazine, NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer lobbed this softball to President Obama in a pre-Super Bowl interview: "...you watching the big game on TV...on screen it's not the Patriots and the Giants. It's Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, same team, and they are pummeling each other. And look at the smile on your face there. Is art imitating life here?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Obama began to answer: "Well, you know, look, I've been through these primaries, they're tough." Lauer quickly followed up: "But does this help you?" In an interview with Mitt Romney on Wednesday, Lauer promoted the same magazine cover and wondered about the ongoing primary race: "How can it not damage you?"
Following Democratic National Committee talking points to the letter at the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams saw Donald Trump's endorsement of Mitt Romney as an excuse to bash the Republican frontrunner: "New fallout from Mitt Romney's choice of words about the very poor, and tonight a new endorsement from a man who's catchphrase is 'You're fired.'"
In the report that followed, correspondent Peter Alexander gleefully touted Democrats smearing Romney in the wake of Trump's backing: "For Romney, the endorsement of a billionaire businessman with this as his signature line [clip of Trump saying "You're fired"] Gave Democrats new fodder for attacks on cable." A nasty sound bite followed from DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "They both like firing people and they’ve both made millions doing it."
Since announcing that it would no longer provide funding to Planned Parenthood on Wednesday, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has been subject to a vicious smear campaign by the abortion provider, a campaign which NBC News has worked to advance over the past 48 hours.
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams sounded the alarm: "Caught in the middle. Two of the biggest names in women's health, tonight in a bitter fight over money and it may be thousands of women who pay the biggest price." In a later tease of the upcoming report he made no secret of who he thought the villain of the story was: "A decision that's making a lot of women furious at the world's largest breast cancer organization. Why did it cut off funds for critical breast cancer screenings?"
Sounding like an Obama campaign spokesman on Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander touted how a recent gaffe by Mitt Romney was "not the first time...Remember that he said corporations are people, or there was the $10,000 bet during the debate."
Alexander proclaimed it to be, "just one more item that could go on to the president's re-election campaign team's greatest hits reel against Romney." At the top of the broadcast, co-host Ann Curry hyped: "GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney deals with a backlash to this controversial comment." The edited sound bite that followed ignored the full context of Romney's remark: "I'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there."
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams fretted over winter doing a "disappearing act" and proclaimed: "It was so warm today across much of the country, as you know, they're calling it June-uary. It's got a lot of people wondering whatever happened to winter?" The headline on screen pondered: "Where's Winter?"
In the report that followed, chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson added to the alarmism as she declared: "This most unusual January ending on a remarkably mild note across the country....2,890 daily high temperature records broken or tied." She later cited climatologist and global warming proponent Dr. Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research: "Add to that a world warming because of climate change and it stacks the deck, Dr. Meehl says, against a traditional winter."
Discussing the recall of two Pfizer brands of birth control pills on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry pressed Dr. Keri Peterson on an "option" for women who "may be now vulnerable to being pregnant." Peterson offered this tip: "There are options....You're going to want to use condoms immediately...there are also over-the-counter termination kits available that you can take right away." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]