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.

Latest from Kyle Drennen
August 22, 2011, 5:32 PM EDT

On Saturday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Kristen Welker fawned over President Obama's 10-day excursion to Martha's Vineyard, declaring: "...his first public outing...A bookstore in Vineyard Haven where he, Malia, and Sasha bought eight books." A crowd outside the store could be heard chanting: "Four more years! Four more years!"

Welker noted how "no cameras were allowed when the President played golf." Though she was happy to report that "NBC News did capture him for a few brief moments from afar. Taking some shots, and doing a quick golf cart drive-by."

August 22, 2011, 11:46 AM EDT

In an interview with former press secretary and current Obama campaign advisor Robert Gibbs on Sunday's Meet the Press, substitute host Savannah Guthrie pushed the President from the left: "If the President thinks more should be done, if he thinks there should be more stimulus, why doesn't he just go for broke? Why doesn't he go out there and ask for it, make a case for it?"

Guthrie worried that Obama was "pre-settling" and that, "He's making a political calculus about what he thinks might be able to pass and not getting out there and fighting for what he thinks is best of the economy." Gibbs responded: "...the President's going to fight for exactly what he believes is best for the economy because he's done that every single day he's been president. But you just mentioned it, Savannah. What can get through Congress?"

August 20, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

Appearing on Thursday's O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel slammed fill-in host Laura Ingraham: "Let me say this. That Bill O'Reilly told me he had a secret weapon, I didn't know it was just a pretty girl that he would bring in." Ingraham responded: "That's very condescending, sir. A pretty girl. These are serious questions." [Audio available here]

Ingraham was questioning Rangel on whether or not President Obama's economic policies have benefitted minorities. The New York Congressman dodged such questions as he continually blamed Republicans for unemployment remaining high.

August 19, 2011, 1:38 PM EDT

Filling in for Andrea Mitchell during Thursday's 1 p.m. ET hour on MSNBC, Savannah Guthrie talked to correspondent Kristen Welker about President Obama's vacation plans: "Kristen, do you have any idea what he and the First Family plan to do while they're spending this time on Martha's Vineyard? I'm going to venture a guess there will be golf and ice cream, if past vacations are any indication."

Welker enthused: "I think you're absolutely right about that, Savannah. I think there's going to be golf, I think there's going to be ice cream. We've passed some really good-looking cupcake shops as well. So I bet there are going to be some cupcakes and some swimming time with his family."

August 18, 2011, 3:37 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer teased an upcoming segment on unemployment by fretting: "And just ahead, help not wanted. If you're one of the 14 million Americans looking for work, you may have noticed a growing trend. Employers are posting job ads that say they're seeking only people who are currently employed or just recently laid off. Is that discrimination?"
                        
Later, Lauer asked Today financial editor Jean Chatzky about the practice: "This sounds like discrimination, job discrimination to me. Why isn't it?" Chatzky had to explain the legal definition of discrimination to Lauer: "It isn't because the test for discrimination is that it has to apply to something that you can't change about yourself. So a disability, your age, your gender, your race. Unemployment status is fungible, it's changeable..."

August 17, 2011, 11:39 AM EDT

At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer declared: "In your face. The Tea Party puts its confrontational style on display during a stop on President Obama's bus tour." Later, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd lamented how "uplifting moments" of Obama's Midwest tour were interrupted by "a bitter taste of the energy and confrontational style of the Tea Party."  

Throughout Todd's report, the headline on screen read: "The Politics of Anger; Tea Party Tactics Change Race for President." Todd noted how: "For their part, the leading Republican presidential candidates are going out of their way to defend the Tea Party's in-your-face tactics." In a sound bite, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza explained that Republicans, "want a candidate who is willing to fight President Obama on all fronts at all times. They want confrontation, not conciliation."

August 16, 2011, 12:26 PM EDT

During an interview with former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "How does the President get this excitement going again surrounding his re-election bid so that he can keep this office?" Throughout the segment, the headline on screen read: "Beyond Hope and Change; How Can President Regain Magic of 2008?"

In response to Lauer, Gibbs claimed: "First and foremost, the President is not focused on keeping his job. Most of all, he's focused on creating jobs for the American people." Gibbs also used the opportunity to bash the GOP: "The Republicans are going to have to make a choice. Are they going to swear allegiance to the Tea Party or are they going to work on behalf of the United States of America?"

August 15, 2011, 1:40 PM EDT

On Monday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd described liberal wishful thinking as "conventional wisdom" as he explained how: "The Obama team has been taking comfort in the fact that they believe this Republican race is moving to the Right, that it's a race to the Right. And they take comfort in that and they think that's going to help them long term."

At the same time, Todd seemed perplexed that the President's poll numbers had fallen despite the conservative values of the Republican 2012 contenders: "But as that happened – and it was a lot of attention over the last four or five days....the President's numbers have still gone down. And that Gallup number, where it dropped in the daily tracking below 40 for the very first time in the presidency."

August 12, 2011, 4:29 PM EDT

On Friday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Lester Holt interviewed Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and was skeptical of her political relevance: "Can you name an instance where you have moved the needle, where you have significantly altered the outcome of a particular debate?"

Bachmann pointed to her stand on the debt ceiling as evidence: "In particular now, on the last two months when I've been the leading voice, almost the lone voice in the wilderness of Washington, fighting against raising the debt ceiling, people paid attention." Holt replied: "But they didn't follow."

If NBC didn't think Bachmann had any influence over the national political debate, then why was this her sixth appearance on Today this year? And why more than any other GOP candidate?   

August 11, 2011, 4:33 PM EDT

Filling in for host Martin Bashir during the 3 p.m. ET hour on MSNBC on Thursday, left-wing Washington Post writer Jonathan Capehart outrageously compared British Prime Minister David Cameron to deposed Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak for asking UK law enforcement to disrupt social media communication among criminals planning violent riots.

Capehart ranted:

If shutting down social networking, or even the internet, over fears that it's used to organize and possibly bring about civil unrest sounds familiar, it should...when things hit a boiling point in Egypt earlier this year, the entire internet was unplugged for fear that people were using it as a tool to bring about the revolution they so badly desired. And how did that attempt at censorship work out, Prime Minister? Not so well.

[Special thanks to MRC intern Alex Fitzsimmons for providing video of the segment after the break]  

August 11, 2011, 12:20 PM EDT

During a panel discussion about the Michele Bachmann Newsweek cover, left-wing advertising executive Donny Deutsch acknowledged that "It is politically biased," but didn't see any problem with that: "Who says the media's not biased?...Why can't they make a statement? Obviously that was a real picture...It's not a flattering article....why can't you write an unflattering biased article?"  

The discussion actually began with Dr. Nancy Snyderman, someone just as liberal as Deutsch, denouncing the Newsweek cover: "Sexist, ridiculous, not fair. The inside copy, the word 'rage' is never used....She is charismatic and engaging and this made her look cruel and mean." Snyderman even preemptively declared: "And Donny Deutsch can say whatever he wants, but he's wrong."

August 10, 2011, 6:06 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Martin Fletcher borrowed a line from Karl Marx as he explained the cause of violent riots in London: "It's a collision between two worlds here, the haves and the have-nots."

Fletcher played up the class warfare angle as he noted how in a wealthy part of the British capital, "This building, 106 New Bond Street, has just been sold for $42 million cash. And what's more, there were 22 cash bidders on the property." He then pointed out: "On an average wage, to buy a house it would take a Londoner 31 years."

Anchor Brian Williams introduced Fletcher's report by proclaiming: "...more on the anger and hopelessness that's fueling a kind of tale of two cities."

August 10, 2011, 5:08 PM EDT

At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer declared: "President Obama faces new criticism from members of his own party, is he doing enough to manage the [economic] crisis?...Should he, for example, demand that Congress cut short its summer vacation to address the situation?" In the segment that followed, the headline on screen read: "Dems Urge Obama to Get Tough With GOP & Congress."

Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd explained that "there are a lot of Democrats out there that believe this is a leadership test for President Obama....And many Democrats are increasingly upset about the way the President negotiates with Republicans." A sound bite was included from left-wing Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank fretting: "The Democratic base is as furious as they've been at any point in the last 16 years....they can't challenge Barack Obama because that would hand the presidency to the Republicans."

August 9, 2011, 6:13 PM EDT

During a discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today of a nasty divorce custody case, psychologist Gail Saltz bizarrely shoe-horned in this observation: "This is reflective of a national problem....We have taken on this 'Do whatever feels good in the moment,' with no regard for a moral compass...calling the president a liar..." Co-host Matt Lauer declared: "The end of civility."

The husband involved in the case was accused of bashing his ex-wife on his personal blog, causing the judge to order him to shut down the web site. Lauer used that fact to smear all blogs: "[The judge] said of the blog, it included, quote, 'Inaccurate, denigrating and belittling comments...it amounts to outright cruelty'....My first reaction to that is, has this judge ever gone on other blogs? That's what they're all about."

August 9, 2011, 12:42 PM EDT

While anchor Brian Williams described Newsweek's controversial cover photo of Michelle Bachmann as "clearly a misfire" on Monday's NBC Nightly News, on Tuesday's Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell saw an opportunity to portray Bachmann as "extreme." Meanwhile, CBS completely ignored the story and ABC only provided a news brief on the topic.

On Tuesday's Today, while Mitchell described the Newsweek cover, she skipped over accusations that it was sexist. She did manage to include a defense of the cover from both Newsweek editor Tina Brown and the author of the Bachmann article, Lois Romano, both of whom argued the clearly unflattering picture somehow captured Bachmann's "intensity." A statement was included from Alex Wagner of The Huffington Post labeling the cover "unfair."  

August 8, 2011, 3:41 PM EDT

On Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Martin Fletcher reported on a deadly polar bear attack in Norway and explained: "The attack began at dawn with a bear looking for food....it's believed that with global warming, food is scarce. A post-mortem showed this polar bear was 110 pounds underweight, with almost no fat reserves. It must have been starving."

Fletcher began the report by declaring: "And today in the Arctic Circle, one of the most beautiful and hostile places on the planet, it's warmer than usual. There isn't much food for the polar bears. So when a group of British youngsters on a wildlife adventure trip set up camp for the night they became bait for a bear."

August 8, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT

At the top of Saturday's NBC Today, CNBC's chief Washington correspondent John Harwood told co-host Lester Holt that the downgrade of U.S. debt provided President Obama with "a tangible consequence to point to for Republican brinksmanship on the debt and deficit reduction deal."

Harwood observed: "Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, always said, 'We don't want co-ownership of the economy,'" and predicted, "You can expect the administration to say, 'You've got it now.'"

August 8, 2011, 11:32 AM EDT

On Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC, host David Gregory allowed Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to blame Standard and Poor's downgrade of U.S. debt on the Tea Party without challenge. However, minutes later, in an interview with Arizona Senator John McCain, Gregory was quick to accuse Republicans of "politicizing" the issue by criticizing Democrats.

After quoting a statement from House Speaker John Boehner on the downgrade – which cited the unwillingness of Democrats to curb massive government spending as a cause – Gregory fretted to McCain: "Do you not see this downgrade as something akin to war that should galvanize political leadership on both sides of the aisle, rather than politicizing it?"

 

August 5, 2011, 12:35 PM EDT

At the end of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Harry Smith, formerly of CBS, made his first appearance on the network with a fawning birthday message to President Obama: "Happy birthday, Mr. President. Once upon a time, when you were a young man, all you had to do was show up and teeming throngs of people would gather to cheer you on....They even wrote songs about you." [Audio available here]
 
Smith then lamented: "As a young person yourself, you were convinced anything was possible. But here you were this week, all by yourself in the Oval Office, signing the debt ceiling bill, looking for all the world like a guy who was chagrined, resigned, fatigued. With all due respect, you look like a guy who is turning 50."

View video after the jump

August 3, 2011, 4:56 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams fretted: "There's still enough congressional gridlock to go around....One thing that did not get resolved today, a stalemate over the Federal Aviation Administration budget. And partisan bickering on this one is costing real Americans, tens of thousands of workers, costing them their paychecks."

Correspondent Lisa Myers quickly found who to blame for the deadlock: "The partisan bickering centers on the insistence of House Republicans that any bill to keep the FAA operating also curb costly subsidies for flights to and from 13 rural airports, some in the states of powerful Democrats."