On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, one week after NBC TV star Alec Baldwin got booted off an American Airlines flight for refusing to turn off his iPad, anchor Brian Williams declared: "Now we turn to the latest skirmish in the battle over electronic devices on airplanes and what some passengers are seeing as a kind of a double standard here, now that we've learned pilots will be allowed to use iPads in the cockpit."
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.
Opening NBC's Nightly News on Wednesday, anchor Brian Williams touted the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq as an Obama administration accomplishment while slamming the war effort itself: "The President promised they'd be out by New Year's Eve and here they come....The war started with the event somebody called 'shock and awe' and it became a tragic and prolonged slog."
In the report that followed, White House correspondent Kristen Welker announced: "Mr. Obama has opposed the war since his days as a state senator. And today he said it's harder to end a war than to begin one....The President, facing a tough re-election battle, did not declare victory in Iraq, but has called the withdrawal a campaign promise kept."
Following Time managing editor Rick Stengel revealing the magazine's "Person of the Year" to be "The Protester" on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry attempted to compared the Arab Spring democracy movement in the Middle East to Occupy Wall Street: "Are there links between what had happened in the Arab Spring...and also what's happening now on Wall Street and all across this country?" [Audio available here]
Also noting the suppressed 2009 Green Movement in Iran and the recent election protests in Russia, Curry added: "...there seems to be this kind of global protest." Stengel enthusiastically agreed with Curry's comparison: "Absolutely. There's this contagion of protests....what happened in the Arab world did influence Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland and the protests in Greece and Madrid." [View video after the jump]
Following all three network morning shows on Monday declaring home improvement chain Lowe's was "sparking outrage" by pulling ads from TLC's All-American Muslim, on Tuesday, NBC's Today offered a report on the controversy, with co-host Ann Curry proclaiming: "Lowe's is facing a growing backlash this morning after pulling its advertising from a reality show featuring an all-Muslim cast."
On November 9, Today news anchor Natalie Morales interviewed the cast of the show and wondered: "Did you feel that there were a lot of misconceptions out there in America today still, especially after 9/11, about Muslims in America?...Do you all still feel that way today, that there are stereotypes, that there is an injustice when it comes to how Muslims are perceived and how it feels to be Muslim in America?"
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman decried Mitt Romney proposing a $10,000 bet in the latest Republican debate: "I watched it live, and it was one of those moments where I immediately went [gasp] and you could just – even in your own living room, everything came to a halt. It was a disastrous move."
Advertising executive Donny Deutsch disagreed while still taking a shot at the GOP field: "Look, with the inane things the candidates are saying, in the scheme of things, it's not a big deal." He further added: "Jack Kennedy's family was the fifth wealthiest family in the country when he was elected. This is not a barometer, it's irrelevant."
In a report for Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander described the rise of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, noting how the NFL player's devout Christian faith has earned him the nickname of "God's Quarterback." Alexander went on to declare: "Many Americans were first introduced to Tebow during this controversial anti-abortion ad that aired during the 2010 Super Bowl."
While Alexander's report only featured a brief clip of the ad, if the full spot had been shown, viewers would have seen for themselves the complete lack of controversy in the commercial. In fact, the ad never even used the word abortion.
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer asked new NBC special correspondent Ted Koppel about the success of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign: "He has said some very controversial things over the last month....Is being outspoken – and some would even say a little bit reckless – necessarily a bad thing in this election cycle?"
Koppel lamented how Gingrich had not been damaged by scandal: "For some reason or another, the three marriages don't seem to have hurt Newt Gingrich. For some reason or another, taking 1.6 million from Freddie Mac [don't seem to have hurt]." He later observed that Gingrich was like the class clown of the GOP 2012 field: "There's the sort of kid that has everybody laughing in class all the time. At the moment, that's Newt."
Appearing on Sunday's Meet the Press, Koppel told moderator David Gregory that the idea that Gingrich could be overcoming past political baggage, "leaves me absolutely breathless."
On Friday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host Chuck Todd posed this question to guests Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post and Jonathan Martin of Politico: "Is this the single best week in the Obama re-election effort?"
Todd elaborated on his hyperbolic question by announcing: "The argument I've already heard from team Obama is yesterday that they were giddy that the first line of attack from team Romney [against Newt Gingrich] was Paul Ryan." Todd explained: "So they're sitting there going this is great because Romney is moving to the right to try to stop Newt. And so, even if he becomes the nominee, he's got like a longer path back."
On Friday's NBC Today, following a sound bite of President Obama attacking Republicans for using the word "appeasement" to describe his foreign policy, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd proclaimed: "I think [Obama] would love to have a foreign policy conversation. That's why you're not going to hear this much."
Substitute co-host and Meet the Press moderator David Gregory raised the issue, noting that the President has, "been attacked this week by Republicans for practicing a policy, in their words, of 'appeasement' in foreign affairs." After playing Obama's response, he prompted Todd by observing: "That sounded like a president who said, 'If you want to have this fight, let's have this fight.'"
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams fretted: "The Obama administration blocks a plan to make the 'morning-after' pill more easily available to young girls. Is this about medicine, politics or something else?" Moments later, he proclaimed: "We begin tonight with this surprise decision that takes us right to the intersection of medicine, science and politics."
The CBS Evening News also lead with the decision as anchor Scott Pelley hyped: "No White House has ever overruled a safety recommendation by the Food and Drug Administration, but it happened today." In the report that followed, correspondent Wyatt Andrews announced that by overruling the FDA, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, "stunned many public health proponents."
In an interview with former Vice President Dan Quayle on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer pushed Quayle to admit that Mitt Romney was wrong to oppose Obama's auto bailout: "[He] said, 'You know what? Let Chrysler fail.'...There would have been thousands of jobs lost. Did he get it wrong? Did President Obama get it right by bailing out the auto industry?"
Quayle endorsed Romney on Tuesday, prompting Lauer to ask: "You've seen the polls, he's always between 20 and 25%. Conservatives have tried to find anybody to pass him....why is he the Rodney Dangerfield of the race, Mitt Romney, why doesn't he get any respect?" The headline on screen throughout the segment read: "Decision 2012; Dan Quayle on Volatile GOP Race."
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd promoted the President's speech in Osawatomie, Kansas calling for an extension of payroll tax cuts as "the Obama version of prairie populism" and touted how the commander in chief, "cast himself and the Democratic Party as the protectors of a middle class under Republican assault."
Throughout the report, Todd alternated between reciting White House talking points and playing sound bites of the President. Todd explained: "And in case folks missed the references to the middle class, the President used the phrase 20 times....Using phrases like 'fair shot' and 'fair share,' he even used the language of the Occupy Wall Street movement." A clip was played of Obama declaring: "These aren't Democratic values or Republican values, these aren't 1% values or 99% values. They're American values."
Updated [12:15 ET]: More analysis and full transcript added.
In an interview with Obama campaign advisor Robert Gibbs on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry teed up the President's former press secretary with this softball: "In 2008, the President campaigned on this idea of hope and change....Can you give us one example of what the President has done that has inspired hope or created change in this country?" [Audio available here]
Gibbs proclaimed: "Ann, we'd have to – you'd have to give me about an hour to go through them all." He then argued: "There's thousands of examples of what this president's done to make this country a better place....I think this campaign is going to be a positive future-oriented campaign about who best can get the American people and the middle class to a place of greater genuine security." [Video video after the jump]
On NBC's Rock Center on Monday, correspondent Harry Smith did a glowing profile of New York City Traffic Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, praising her as a "bold bureaucrat....on a mission to tame New York's mean streets. Her goal, untangle the gridlock and make it safer, greener and cleaner."
As Smith explained in his report, a big part of that plan involved shutting down streets throughout the city, making them only accessible to pedestrians and bicycles: "In Times Square, business improved almost overnight, with half the cars and trucks gone, the 356,000 daily visitors could breathe a little easier, and Sadik-Khan became the high priestess of people-friendly cities."
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, White House correspondent Bill Plante hyped an upcoming speech by President Obama: "The President is going to Osawatomie, Kansas....where former President Teddy Roosevelt made a famous speech more than a century ago...it was a call for economic fairness, not unlike the President's own argument for taxing millionaires to extend the payroll tax cuts." [Audio available here]
As Plante quoted Roosevelt's call for a "square deal" in 1910, the headline on screen read: "Channeling Teddy: Obama To Echo Historic Roosevelt Speech." A sound bite was included from liberal historian Douglas Brinkley declaring: "[Obama's] trying to paint the Republicans as sort of being anti-American, of being Grinch-like, being misers....He's got to reclaim the great American center right now, and the figure who speaks for the center is Theodore Roosevelt." [View video after the jump]
As NBC's Meet the Press panel ripped into Newt Gingrich on Sunday for his comments on poor children in inner cities lacking working role models, Manchester Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid was the lone voice of dissent: "I think he gets a bum rap on the child labor thing."
That prompted host David Gregory to declare: "Are you really saying that the working poor in this country don't have good role models of how to work hard?...How do you get to that practical solution and not see it as a kind of grotesque distortion of what's really happening out there?"
In an interview with Donald Trump on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer hit Newt Gingrich for pointing out that poor inner city children lack role models: "He made some controversial comments recently about the poor and jobs....Maureen Dowd in the Times on Sunday said, 'Has he not heard of the working poor?'"
Lauer turned to Trump and fretted: "Did Newt Gingrich unfairly characterize what's happening in poor communities across this country?" Trump replied: "No, it wasn't maybe politically correct but it happens to be the truth....[Gingrich] is looking at the inner city, where Obama has done nothing..." Lauer pressed: "But do children in those inner city areas really have no role models who work?"
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams fretted over comments made by Newt Gingrich about providing school jobs for inner-city students: "The Newt Gingrich that a lot of folks will remember from his speakership days back in the '90s was back on display making statements about controversial issues that left some of his critics slack-jawed."
In an interview with the former Speaker aired on Thursday's ABC World News, chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper similarly cautioned: "And then the other concern has to do with your propensity to make outrageous, interesting, however – whatever adjective you'd like to assign – remarks, the most recent one about child labor laws, for example, being stupid."
On Friday's NBC Today, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin gushed over a new class at Georgetown University taught by liberal professor Michael Eric Dyson: "Race, class, gender, culture, all things that would be covered in most sociology classes and they're covered in Michael Eric Dyson's as well, but the issues are examined in a way that uniquely appeals to college students."
Melvin touted how, "Jay-Z's street rhymes that became stage anthems are being taught at one of America's top schools." He promoted the course as serious education: "In the Georgetown University syllabus, it's called, 'The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Odyssey of Jay-Z.' For about 140 students twice a week it's 90 minutes of head bouncing and dissecting....Dyson uses Jay-Z's 2010 memoir 'Decoded' to break down lyrics, but maintains a traditional classroom, using articles, guest speakers, essays and exams."
In an interview with Vice President Joe Biden in Iraq aired on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry depicted the war effort there as a failure: "In a war that was started to protect the world from weapons of mass destruction that were never found, can the United States claim victory?" [Audio available here]
Biden agreed with Curry as he took a jab at the Bush administration: "We're not claiming victory. What we're claiming here is that we've done the job our administration set out to do, to end a war we did not start, to end it in a responsible way, to bring Americans home, to end the bleeding, both financially and physically that this war has caused..." [View video after the jump]