On Thursday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was eager to share new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll numbers with viewers as he touted this headline from the results: "Our poll is also showing evidence this race is hurting the GOP, and we could see more of that tonight at the next debate..."
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.
By daring to stand up for herself in recent exchange with President Obama, the media quickly labeled Arizona Governor Jan Brewer a villain. On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams was aghast: "Who have you ever seen talking to the president like this?....The governor of Arizona with her finger in the face of the President of the United States. You don't see that often or maybe ever." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a vain attempt to justify President Obama's claim that "America is back," on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd excitedly announced to viewers: "In our new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, improvement in three key categories seems to indicate the statistical green shoots about the economy is now actually penetrating the American psyche."
So what stunning reversal of public sentiment did the new poll reveal? Here it is: "The big number, of course, is whether the country is headed in the right direction. In December, it was 22%. Now it shot up seven [eight] points to 30%. That's a one-year high." The graphic on screen showed that 61% of Americans still believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction.
Despite the fact that Nancy Pelosi has failed to produce any evidence to back up her claim that she "knows something" about Newt Gingrich that would end his candidacy, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer still touted her unfounded remarks: "...she makes this comment saying, 'Newt Gingrich will not be president, there's something I know.' Now that in itself sounds pretty alarming."
Talking to special correspondent Tom Brokaw, Lauer suggested Pelosi must have some really damaging information that needs to be made public: "Clearly, she's hinting that she learned something that will make, will disqualify him as president. Does she have the right to back out now and back off of that?"
In an interview with Mitt Romney following the State of the Union Tuesday night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams used the tax returns of the former Massachusetts governor as a weapon: "And it's fair to ask tonight, will you be explaining further the story of them, the back story....the amounts we've learned about today equaling unfathomable wealth for most Americans..."
Earlier in the evening, at the top of Nightly News, Williams was equally melodramatic: "...Mitt Romney, chose today to release his tax returns from the year 2010. He did it to help stop the questions about his wealth, but in releasing his taxes, he reveals what most Americans will regard as unimaginable wealth...." Williams signaled the media would not let go of the issue: "The numbers in these returns will likely get talked about for the rest of the way in this campaign."
Moments after President Obama concluded his State of the Union address on Tuesday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams could barely contain his glee over the speech: "A rousing recitation, a reminder of why the nation is great from President Obama." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Meet the Press host David Gregory was next to take up the pom-poms, as he proclaimed: "Well, this is the power of the presidency....This was a president who was very forceful.... This was his pitch for re-election. Economic fairness is at the core of it." Williams played off Gregory's comment and sounded like a White House spokesman: "Chuck Todd, anything wrong with reminding people that as a nation we're best when we have each other's backs and what is great about America?"
What was in Ann Curry's coffee this morning? In an uncharacteristically challenging interview with Obama advisor David Plouffe on Tuesday, the NBC Today co-host actually defended Mitt Romney's wealth and questioned why Democrats would criticize his success: "Now, what's wrong with that?...is that not the American dream?"
Her question became even more pointed as she pressed: "...isn't making a lot of hay over how much money he's earned and how much money he's paid in taxes, you know, really not just fanning the flames of this sort of idea of politics of envy?"
After eagerly awaiting the release of Mitt Romney's tax returns, on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer immediately wondered how the new information could hurt the Republican presidential candidate, asking chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd: "Do you see any surprises in here, anything that will give his rivals more ammunition?"
Todd wasted no time in reciting liberal talking points bashing Romney: "I think there is certainly some fodder for some of his Democratic opponents. Things like having a Swiss bank account. You know, that's not something a lot of ordinary Americans have....it certainly paints a picture of something that a lot of Americans cannot connect to."
Appearing on Saturday's NBC Today, Time magazine and MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin chatted with co-host Amy Robach about how thrilled the Obama White House has been with the Republican presidential race: "I think the White House is loving this. They've said all year the chaos in the Republican race is good."
That proclamation was prompted by Robach wondering if during the ongoing GOP primary season, "the Obama White House sitting back and enjoying the view?" Halperin asserted: "The President's State of the Union is coming up this week, I think that'll be a good moment for him...the contrast between a guy who is working...versus what's going on, on the Republican side..."
Worried that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was being too critical of President Obama on Sunday's Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory attempted to steer the discussion toward bashing Republicans: "Where have Republicans been culpable for the paralysis in Washington? You've spoken about the President....what role do Republicans play?"
Christie hit back, placing the burden for compromise back on Obama: "...my point to Republicans has been to you've got to force those conversations. Now if the President's not interested in having them, and if he's not interested in developing those relationships, then there's little the Republicans can do."
When did NBC News suddenly become concerned with the welfare of the Republican Party? On Monday's NBC Today, former Democratic staffer and current chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd hyped Republican fears of Newt Gingrich: "...look what Gingrich did when he was essentially on the ballot, if you will, in '96 and '98, he helped re-elect a Democratic president..."
Todd promoted the idea of the GOP in disarray: "So there is this panic that they could not just lose the presidency, but lose control of the House and actually blow their chances at picking up the Senate. That's why this panic that the establishment will just do whatever it takes to stop him [Gingrich]."
In an attempt to make the Republican presidential race appear chaotic, on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry turned to White House correspondent Chuck Todd and declared: "Even the word 'tumultuous' seems inadequate to describe what has happened to the GOP race in the last 24 hours." The on-screen headline screamed: "Campaign Craziness."
Todd saw only problems for the Republican candidates: "Mitt Romney still has an inability to win over conservatives and what does the party establishment do if Gingrich indeed does win South Carolina.... Do they try to rally around Romney one more time? Or do they try to say, 'You know what? Maybe it's time to look for somebody else again, because we don't think Gingrich is electable but now we're worried that Romney's not nominatable.'"
Having apparently run out of actual news to cover on Friday, the cast of NBC's Today gushed over President Obama singing a line from the song "Let's Stay Together" during a fundraiser at the Apollo Theater. After a clip played of the musical moment, weatherman Al Roker proclaimed: "He could be on The Voice." News anchor Natalie Morales excitedly added: "Sign him up." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer agreed, declaring Obama was "really very good." The sycophantic group went even further when fellow co-host Ann Curry touted: "...our editors actually did...a little mash-up between a little Obama, a little [singer] Al Green. Let's take a listen." After the ridiculous video, Curry admitted: "We obviously had too much time on our hands." Yeah, no kidding.
Using the same predictable liberal smear of shouting racism at any conservative who criticizes President Obama, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry ranted: "...you've been increasingly stepping up your characterization of President Obama as a 'food stamp president,' interestingly, in the lead-up now to South Carolina....Are you intentionally playing the race card to win votes?" [Audio available here and view video below]
Gingrich dismissed the assertion and rightfully condemned those hurling the outrageous accusation: "You know, modern liberals are just, I think frankly, totally off the deep end....their only answer is to yell racism and hide."
In an effort to once again run defense for Barack Obama, NBC's Today co-host Matt Lauer on Wednesday pushed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to agree that the President's sustained effort to pit economic classes against one another is just a matter of fairness: "Talk to me about that word 'envy.' Because I asked Governor Romney about this last week as well....why is it envy as opposed to unfairness?"
As Lauer mentioned, he did ask Mitt Romney an almost identical question on the January 11 broadcast: "Do you suggest that anyone who questions the policies and practices of Wall Street and financial institutions, anyone who has questions about the distribution of wealth and power in this country is envious? Is it about jealousy or is it about fairness?"
While Brian Williams warned of "those lethal weapons known as super-PACs" in the GOP primary race on NBC's Rock Center, he and correspondent Ted Koppel failed to recognize their own network's routine advocacy on behalf of liberal causes and in favor of Democratic candidates. Not to mention the barrage of negative coverage directed toward conservatives and Republicans.
The report itself on the Monday night broadcast was pushing the traditional liberal cause of greater government regulation of campaign finance. Koppel interviewed comedian Stephen Colbert, whose farcical super-PAC in South Carolina has begun running ads calling Mitt Romney a "serial killer." Koppel praised it as "proving how ridiculous this system has become."
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today to discuss Golden Globe wins for several of his films, producer Harvey Weinstein was particularly proud of the Margaret Thatcher biopic, "The Iron Lady," selectively praising the former British prime minister: "...you see the values that Margaret Thatcher espouses....she was a social progressive, she was pro-choice...pro-gay, pro, you know, health service."
While Weinstein acknowledged Thatcher to be "fiscally conservative," he seemed to warn those who see her as a conservative icon: "There are myths that we blow away in the movie....Those people who put her name in vain are just lying about it. So I think the movie's explosive and fantastic."
At the top of the 8 a.m. ET hour of NBC's Today on Monday, fill-in news anchor Tamron Hall promoted a fake campaign attack ad created by comedian Stephen Colbert which argues that if Mitt Romney believes corporations are people, "Then Mitt Romney is a serial killer. He's Mitt the Ripper." The ad follows with a woman screaming. [Audio available here]
Hall explained to viewers: "Colbert is using his fake bid for the White House to call attention to unlimited spending by anonymous super-PACs." After the news brief, fill-in co-host Natalie Morales declared: "I love Colbert. What he gets away with." Weatherman Al Roker joked: "He's a great American." Co-host Savannah Guthrie argued: "...it's only slightly more over the top than some of the ads we've seen." [View video after the jump]
On Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander promoted a photo of Mitt Romney that supposedly "shows Governor Romney on a tarmac, his feet kicked up, getting polished in front of a corporate jet." In reality, as National Public Radio reported on Friday, the picture in question actually shows Romney being wanded by an airport security official before boarding a charter flight.
In the same Thursday report, Alexander touted a Gordon Gekko impersonator greeting Romney in South Carolina without explaining the stunt was engineered by a left-wing group in the state.
On Friday's NBC Today, after touting an ad from the Democratic National Committee attacking Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital by using sound bites from his Republican opponents, co-host Matt Lauer asked Meet the Press host David Gregory: "David, is it too early to tell how big a gift these Republican candidates have given to Barack Obama and his campaign?"
In response, Gregory joked: "It may be a stocking stuffer at this point." He explained: "We know that this was going to be a line of attack that the President's going to use. I think that Romney, by the time of the general, will be pretty well prepared....But there's no question that the President will pick up this baton and run with it."