Joining the rest of the media in mourning the primary defeat of Republican Indiana Senator Richard Lugar on Tuesday, on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams praised the "old-school moderate" who "was attacked for working to compromise with the White House" and lamented: "His defeat comes close to ending the era of centrist Republicans in the Senate."
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.
To get reaction to President Obama's flip-flop on gay marriage, Thursday's NBC Today brought on openly gay left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who quickly attacked Republicans on the issue: "It's a very, very conservative Republican Party on this issue....Mitt Romney, who wants to roll back gay rights nationwide."
Co-host Ann Curry helped Maddow along by asking series of questions from the left: "...[Obama's] leaving it to the states, there's no movement to do something federally, in terms of making a change, I mean, what actually changes?....Is it clear, though, that this will not satisfy gay marriage activists?...that there's going to be an increase in their demands to push this further forward? Have it be on the platforms for the Democratic Party?"
In a panel discussion on Thursday's NBC Today about President Obama announcing his support for gay marriage on Wednesday, co-host Savannah Guthrie confessed to the group of all liberal pundits: "...so many people in the media seem to uniformly support same-sex marriage." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That fact was made blatantly obvious by the discussion that preceded Guthrie's admission. The panel featured openly gay CNBC host Suze Orman, who voiced her support of the President's move: "Yeah, part of me is like, 'What took you so long, President Obama?' This is something that should have been done, in my opinion anyway – obviously, I would think that – a long time ago."
Touting new recommendations from an Institute of Medicine panel on obesity on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, science correspondent Robert Bazell proclaimed to viewers: "...a sea change in how we perceive obesity. No longer a question of individual responsibility, but a need to change what's called an 'obesity-promoting environment.' Calling on corporations, government and individuals to act."
At the top of the broadcast, anchor Brian Williams sounded the alarm: "Weight of the nation. An American health crisis out of control, and tonight a reality check on what it might take to turn things around." Later teasing the upcoming story, he declared: "Getting past the question of will power, what's really to blame for a nation of exploding waistlines? Tonight, there is a surprising new answer."
As Matt Lauer went after Mitt Romney over comments about the auto bailout on Wednesday's NBC Today, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham took the morning show host and his colleagues to task: "Matt, as much as the Democrats, and maybe even you at times, want to turn this into a referendum on Romney, this is Romney running against an incumbent president who has a record that the media ought to start talking about and that the media also wants to avoid." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following Vice President Biden praising the NBC sitcom Will & Grace for changing attitudes toward homosexuality on Sunday's Meet the Press, on Monday's Today, co-host Ann Curry made a similar declaration: "...there weren't a lot of gay role models on television....Now, there – this is, we're in the wake of Will and Grace, you know, we've seen Glee on television..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Curry made the observation while talking to openly gay Bravo network executive and talk show host Andy Cohen detailing his coming-out story in a new memoir. Noting gay characters on television, Curry wondered: "Is it any easier for people?" Cohen declared: "I think with more visibility of gay people on TV you feel like you know them. And you feel wow, maybe it's okay. So I hope so, yes."
Providing a forum to actor and Obama supporter Robert De Niro on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory teed up the celebrity to praise the President: "...you talked about your inspiration and your support for President Obama. Are you as inspired? Are you as hopeful? Are you as satisfied with what he's done as president as he stands for re-election?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
De Niro gave a predictably positive review: "You know, it's very easy to criticize people. I think he's done a good job....as far as Bin Laden and other things that he stepped up – being a liberal president, supposedly – that were effective." De Niro then predicted: "I know he'll do better in the next four years, when he won't have to worry whether he's going to be elected or not."
Talking to Meet the Press host David Gregory on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry pushed for Mitt Romney to move away from conservatives: "...does he have to work really hard now to backtrack off of some of his positions in the past, as he was trying to win the primary...?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a stunning double standard, in her very next question, Curry fretted about President Obama distancing himself from Vice President Biden's support of gay marriage: "There's been some backtracking, it seems, by the White House. Is it possible that the White House could cause itself some damage in backtracking too much off of this?"
In a complete violation of journalistic ethics, Friday's NBC Today aired an invented hidden camera scenario in which two teen girls were portrayed as participating in racial discrimination as judges of a fake singing contest. Reporter Natalie Morales described the shameful stunt as "such a great education for parents" and "truly a lesson for all of us." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Morales described the scheme: "Allison and the girl next to her, Nia, think they're here to judge a singing contest. They don't know that the other judges are actors we've planted to discriminate against Nick Rodriguez, who is also working with us....The actors go after Nick. Using insults experts say are common for Latino boys." The male actor denigrated Rodriguez for wearing a "backwards hat" and joked that "he could do some salsa dancing or whatever." The female actor suggested Rodriguez "could be illegal" and "May be involved in drugs."
In a fawning interview with liberal comedian Stephen Colbert on Friday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host David Gregory gushed over the Comedy Central host being a factor in the 2012 presidential race: "What a treat for me to be in for Matt [Lauer] today....Stephen Colbert is a man who has had a loud and influential voice in this political season."
Gregory began the farcical exchange by proclaiming to Colbert: "You have a super-PAC and you have a character on television. And you have a real impact on this race." Colbert himself was skeptical: "How do I have an impact on the race?" Still, Gregory urged the fake newsman to share his supposed wisdom: "What are you exposing about the race and about the political system in 2012 that you think the rest of us miss?"
Interviewing President Obama about the killing of Osama Bin Laden on Wednesday's NBC Rock Center, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams couldn't resist gushing over the level-headed commander-in-chief: "How do you keep an even keel? Even when we look back on the videotape of that night, there's no real depiction that there's something afoot."
Williams was referring to the President attending the White House Correspondents' Dinner as the mission to kill Bin Laden was underway, having to "laugh it up" and "live a little bit of a lie for the public good." Obama explained: "You know, that was a little bit of acting going on there, because my mind was elsewhere."
Talking to Meet the Press host David Gregory on the NBC Sunday show's web-based feature Press Pass, Saturday Night Live cast member and Obama impersonator Fred Armisen confessed: "I've grown to like him more and more. You know, I was always – I've just been a fan of his, if you could say that about a president. So that's the other kind of good part of it, is you know, getting to like him more and more."
By contrast, fellow cast member Jason Sudeikis told Gregory he wished he could impersonate someone more exciting than Mitt Romney: "I'd prefer that he did something scandalous or something and, you know, incredibly stupid, as opposed to just boring....I mean, he's like a butter sandwich with unsalted butter and the crust cut off."
Talking to NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams about President Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan on Wednesday's Today, co-host Ann Curry hoped the move would quiet Republicans: "Meantime, by using the commander-in-chief mantel to make this visit, to extend an arm and hand to our troops, does he blunt any of the Republican criticism that he is...politicizing, essentially, a military victory?"
Curry was of course referring to the Obama campaign team using the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden to attack Mitt Romney. In response to Curry's DNC-approved framing of the trip, Williams proclaimed: "Presidents do get to use the machinery of the presidency to make their points. Nine years ago last night we saw the carrier landing and 'Mission Accomplished'...that's something George W. Bush got to do. And the White House is framing this...the way they want it framed."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, panelist and attorney Star Jones fretted over a recent campaign ad mocking President Obama's celebrity status and implied racial overtones in the criticism: "...what worries me is that it's another attempt to paint Obama as an 'other.' You know, they tried that with 'Oh, he ate dog meat when he was a boy.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Even fellow liberal panelist, advertising executive Donny Deutsch, called out Jones for her suggestion: "I hope this is not a black/white issue....Star, you're misreading." Jones stood by her accusation: "When you're pointing the finger saying he's different than us in some way, I think it's a....subconscious attempt to differentiate him from the rest."
In an interview with senior Mitt Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie on Sunday's Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory noted how President Obama was "certainly using" the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden "against Governor Romney" and quickly justified the crass political move by claiming "the same sort of tactics that were used in a lot of people's eyes" by President Bush.
After playing a sound bite of Vice President Biden suggesting Mitt Romney would not have ordered the killing of Bin Laden, Gregory proclaimed: "Here's an example, back in 2004, of an ad that he [President Bush] ran as he was running for reelection....Using images from the World Trade Center. A lot of people see that as the very same thing. Is it not?"
Despite Wisconsin's unemployment rate being well below the national rate and steadily falling, on Saturday's NBC Nightly News correspondent Ron Allen selectively hyped job losses: "With the protesters serenading Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker and urging voters to recall him from office June 5th, the state's job losses add to the list of grievances. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012."
That same Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that Wisconsin's unemployment rate fell from 7.6% to 6.8% in that same time period. Ignoring that reality, Allen featured a sound bite from an unidentified woman who ranted: "No other state has lost jobs like this. Wisconsin alone moved sort of off the rails of the national recovery."
In a fawning interview with Barack Obama's half-sister Auma Obama on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry lobbed softballs about the President: "...you describe an almost instantaneous connection when you met your brother Barack Obama. Can you describe why, how, you made this instantaneous connection?...What void do you think you filled in his life?"
Citing Auma's new memoir, "And Then Life Happens," Curry pondered: "So I wonder, reading the book, whether you think that filling these gaps, for your brother, about how he knew his father, if you had not been able to do that, if he would be who he is today? If he would have been able to achieve becoming President of the United States?"
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry could barely contain her glee over President Obama's comedic performance at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner: "I mean, he is Shecky, Shecky Obama. I'm telling you, he knows about timing. He's terrific." Curry was referring to famous stand-up comedian Shecky Greene. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Fellow co-host Matt Lauer asked Curry and weatherman Al Roker about being guests at the event. Roker declared: "It was a good time, it really was. I thought the President did fantastically. Jimmy Kimmel, I think was a little nervous, but boy, he delivered." Curry replied: "It would be hard not to be nervous following the President." Lauer chimed in: "[Obama's] very good, there's no question."
At the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Fired for trying to get pregnant. Tonight, the teacher versus the Catholic school." Guthrie was referring to Indiana Catholic school teacher Emily Herx claiming she was fired after receiving in vitro fertilization treatments and touted the case as "another legal showdown over religious and reproductive rights."
In the report that followed, correspondent Katy Tur declared: "It is one woman's battle against infertility and the restrictions of the Catholic Church." After promoting Herx's allegation that parish Monsignor John Kuzmic called her "a grave immoral sinner" for having the treatment, a sound bite played of Herx lamenting: "My husband was heartbroken, my family was heartbroken. It's been very emotional and traumatic for all of us."
In a supposed discussion of financial ethics with left-wing Harvard professor Michael Sandel on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry decried people being able to pay more money to get through airport security faster: "...there's an inherent unfairness to it....it's about those with money having an easier life than those who don't. And there's something fundamentally unfair about that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Sandel was on to hawk his new book, "What Money Can't Buy," which Curry touted as, "a hard look at what's up for grabs in our society and asks, even if we can buy something, should we?" Sandel put different "moral dilemmas" to the morning show hosts, including the airport security line scenario. Curry went on to indict American society: "...not everyone has access to being able to get money, to work for money.... until America becomes fair in terms of how able people are – can be to make money, until the playing field is fair, it is unfair."