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
July 21, 2011, 12:25 PM EDT

On Thursday's NBC Today, congressional correspondent Kelly O'Donnell reported on a war of words between Republican Congressman Allen West and Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "...West, a freshman Republican who hit 'send' on a nasty e-mail to Wasserman-Schultz....Democratic congresswomen accuse West of sexual harassment."

While O'Donnell quoted from West's email – in which he referred to Wasserman-Schultz as "vile, unprofessional, and despicable" and "not a lady" – O'Donnell failed to bring up past offensive comments Wasserman-Shultz directed toward West. In the fall of 2010, Wasserman-Schultz personally led a protest outside West's campaign office, calling him an "extremist" who "wears his extreme disrespect as a badge of honor" and "thinks it's okay to objectify and denigrate women."

July 20, 2011, 5:44 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd promoted the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, declaring that when it came to raising the nation's debt ceiling, "...it was a landslide as far as what the public preferred. 58% preferring the President's vision on that front versus 36% [for the Republican proposal]."

Todd went on to conclude that "most of this poll shows that the middle of the country and a majority of Americans basically don't like the Republican position on this debt plan." He blamed conservatives for GOP stubbornness: "But who does like the Republican position right now on all of these fronts and, you know, sticking to their guns on taxes? Tea Party supporters. And that is why you're seeing Republicans, they're caught between their Tea Party supporters who want them to do one thing and frankly independents who want them to do another."

July 19, 2011, 1:35 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry admonished Republicans for trying to pass a balanced budget amendment as part of a debt ceiling agreement: "Tea Party conservatives love this plan. The President has already said that he's going to veto it. Do we really have time for a plan that is really just show?" [Audio available here]

In response, congressional correspondent Kelly O'Donnell touted White House reaction: "They issued the veto threat, and they also said that this would really force the government to not be able to spend on things like Medicare, Social Security, prevent spending for future disasters. And they even renamed it...The White House is calling it 'duck, dodge and dismantle.'"

View video after the jump

July 18, 2011, 3:52 PM EDT

Monday's NBC Today decided to devote a six-minute segment in the 8 a.m. ET hour to America's "obsession" with breasts, with co-host Ann Curry declaring: "...they have become an object of sort of undue fascination." As the report was teased throughout the broadcast and during the segment itself, 54 pairs of breasts appeared on screen, with some images repeated.

Update:  It turns out that in the 9 a.m. ET hour, the show also featured a fashion segment with several female models displaying different types of bras.

The irony of doing a segment filled with images of breasts while asking why people were obsessed with them seemed to be lost on NBC reporters and pundits as they decried the amount of attention given to that part of the female anatomy. Fill-in co-host Lester Holt referred to it as a "tempest in a C cup." Correspondent Amy Robach reported: "Just how much are breasts on the human mind? A quick Google for them, paired with 'boobs' and the slang word starting with a 'T,' turns up almost a billion hits."

July 18, 2011, 11:32 AM EDT

In an interview with the Dalai Lama aired on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry bizarrely asked the Tibetan spiritual leader about the debt ceiling fight in Congress: "The President is in a fierce struggle with his political opponents over the future of the nation's finances. What is the best way, your best advice, in how to find compromise with those you deeply disagree with?" [Audio available here]

The Dalai Lama responded by saying both sides "must work together" to come to a deal: "this is economic problem. It is not the interest of this party or that party. It's a national sort of interest." Curry noted how, "The Dalai lama says he offered President Obama comfort," during a weekend meeting at the White House.  

View video after the jump      

July 14, 2011, 11:48 AM EDT

Appearing on Thursday's NBC Today, MSNBC host Martin Bashir shared his thoughts on the tabloid phone hacking scandal in Britain and proclaimed that News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch was "...a combination of Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist, and someone like James 'Whitey' Bulger, the mobster." [Audio available here]

Despite Bashir's outrageous comparison – Abramoff was convicted on corruption charges and Bulger is accused of 19 murders during his time as the head of the Irish mob in Boston – co-host Matt Lauer offered no objection to the claim.

View video after the jump

 

July 13, 2011, 6:13 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Stephanie Gosk reported the latest details on the phone hacking scandal in Britain involving a Rupert Murdoch owned tabloid and declared: "Damage to the company [News Corporation] may have already been done. And some say it is about time."

Gosk noted that included, "actor Hugh Grant, who in recent months has led his own campaign against the tabloids." A sound bite was played of Grant: "we're talking about pretty nasty people." Gosk went on to speculate that the scandal may spread and put "pressure on Rupert Murdoch's worldwide media empire," which of course includes Fox News. She also argued that in Britain, Murdoch's "political support...has all but disappeared."

July 13, 2011, 12:07 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry talked to left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews about the debt ceiling fight, who cheered Senator Mitch McConnell's plan to give President Obama sole authority to raise the nation's credit limit: "...the White House seems to be happy that somebody on the other side realizes how dangerous this is going to be next week."

Later, Matthews went further in his praise for McConnell, pleased that the Senate Minority Leader was moving away from conservatives: "I think what the White House is happy about is that finally Mitch McConnell who's a leader, just like the President is a leader, is separating himself from the protesters out there on the Right."

July 12, 2011, 1:17 PM EDT

In an interview with radio host Laura Ingraham on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer fretted over the lack of a deal on raising the debt ceiling and called on Republicans to abandon their opposition to tax increases: "When it comes to taxes, this issue of revenues, is there any way this deal gets done without the Republicans compromising somewhat on taxes?" [Audio available here]

Ingraham pointed out: "...if the Republicans hadn't taken the House of Representatives last November, if the Tea Party hadn't kind of risen up and gotten all of this populist influence, we wouldn't even be having a discussion on any spending cuts." Lauer responded by again demanding the GOP give in: "President Obama talks about shared sacrifice. Where is the shared sacrifice going to come from on the Republican side?"

July 11, 2011, 3:34 PM EDT

During the roundtable discussion on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson claimed the fight over the debt ceiling would be a political "winner" for President Obama, prompting host David Gregory to declare that the commander in chief would look like "the debt slayer."

Gregory then turned to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd and wondered why debt ceiling negotiations broke down. Todd placed the blame squarely on Republicans: "Well, it broke down because Speaker Boehner couldn't get an agreement on taxes. Let's remember, he was not – he did not believe he was politically strong enough in his own caucus to remain leader of the House Republicans....Eric Cantor said no."

July 11, 2011, 12:35 PM EDT

In an interview with Tim Pawlenty on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory cited New York Times columnist David Brooks slamming Republican opposition to tax increases in debt ceiling negotiations as "fanaticism" and proclaimed: "There is this purity test which is no tax increases, no revenue increases at all."

Pawlenty responded by pointing out Brooks's liberal leanings: "Well, with all due respect to, to David Brooks, this is not the time for Rockefeller Republicanism." Gregory continued to push for the GOP to accept tax hikes as part of a deal: "Is that good governing for Republicans who control the House to say, 'Sorry, no tax increases period,' even when they're looking at getting potentially $4 trillion in spending cuts?"

July 1, 2011, 4:43 PM EDT

On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams praised China's high-speed rail system and lamented that United States had not done the same: "China is rocketing ahead of the U.S. with high-speed rail. And it has a lot of people wondering how long we can keep chugging along the same old track."

Touting the completion of a new rail line between Beijing and Shanghai, Williams proclaimed: "Which raises again the question, when it comes to trains, why is America, home of the iron horse and the golden spike, still on the slow track?" Correspondent Adrienne Mong filed a report riding the rails across China, touting the high-speed system as "smoother, sleeker, greener than a jet plane."

July 1, 2011, 12:49 PM EDT

While NBC's Today on Thursday characterized President Obama's attacks on congressional Republicans as "feisty," on Friday, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell appeared on the broadcast and declared that "Republicans made it unusually personal" in responding to the White House  criticism.

Despite the President's claim in his Wednesday press conference that his daughters worked harder than GOP members of Congess, O'Donnell focused on Republican mudslinging: "The summer heat must really be getting to them around here with more than the usual frustration in both parties over the debt limit showdown and more personal comments directed to the President from Republicans."  

June 30, 2011, 3:41 PM EDT

At the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry proclaimed: "President Obama calls out Congress to strike a deficit reduction deal during a feisty news conference." Moments later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer added that the President "gave Congress a pretty good tongue lashing on Wednesday."

Curry further described how Obama "rebuked Congress for taking recesses instead of tackling legislation to try to help turn around the economy." In a later report on the press conference, White House correspondent Chuck Todd announced: "On issues ranging from taxes, the debt ceiling, even Libya, President Obama issued a blistering critique of Republicans in Congress. And essentially in blunt terms said it's time to step up and stop complaining."

June 29, 2011, 4:02 PM EDT

Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow slammed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "...his brand at this point is, 'I'm the guy who screams at my own constituents'....his brand is 'I will be rude.' And rudeness is actually what he's trying to sell as a form of political authenticity."

Co-host Ann Curry mentioned Christie criticizing President Obama for being too focused on popularity rather than policy and wondered: "Does the New Jersey Governor have a point that the President is making mistakes because he wants too much to be liked?" As Maddow launched into her rant against Christie, Curry interrupted: "But beyond argument and ad hominem, let's talk about, though, about Obama specifically. Do you think he's trying too hard to be liked?"

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June 29, 2011, 12:47 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared that Michele Bachmann "faces new candidate scrutiny, including financial records for a family business" and proceeded to hype a non-controversy of a mental health clinic run by Michele Bachmann's husband accepting Medicaid reimbursements for treating low-income patients.

O'Donnell implied such reimbursements conflicted with the Minnesota Congresswoman calling "for less government spending and opposes an expansion of Medicaid." Appearing on the broadcast minutes later, left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow cited O'Donnell's report and proclaimed: "Michele Bachmann is trying to make this case that she's a purist Tea Party candidate despite the fact that she has this hypocrisy problem with having benefitted herself from so much government spending."

June 28, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

In an interview with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on Tuesday's Today, co-host Matt Lauer highlighted concerns about the Minnesota Republican's chances in the presidential race: "Amy Kremer, who's a leader of the Tea Party movement, said...that you will be – and this is her word, not mine – quote, 'Palinized' in this campaign. Do you understand the verb, and what would your definition of it be?"  

While Bachmann attempted to discuss her record, Lauer remained focused on the remark: "I'm not trying to interrupt, but I'm asking you specifically about what this leader of the Tea Party is worried about, that you will be 'Palinized.' Again, that's her word. What do you understand that to mean?" Bachmann defined the term for him: "I think that means that there will be a media onslaught of attack. But that's nothing new....There will be attacks that come....And I'm prepared."

June 27, 2011, 1:27 PM EDT

Reporting on Michele Bachmann officially entering the presidential race on Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared that "step one" for the Minnesota Congresswoman was "redefining [her] public image" by "turning down the flame-thrower persona."

Following O'Donnell's report and taped interview with Bachmann, co-host Ann Curry interviewed fellow Republican presidential candidate and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Curry asked about Bachmann's chances: "She has been described as being too far outside the mainstream to be president. You know her. You're both from Minnesota. Do you agree with that or disagree with that?"

June 24, 2011, 3:18 PM EDT

In an exclusive interview with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer played a clip of a woman attacking the Republican as hypocritical for sending his children to private school while cutting funding for public schools. Lauer agreed with her premise: "I thought it was a fair question."

Lauer sympathized with the woman and argued: "...what she was asking you was – she clearly sends her kids to public schools and she's saying, 'Governor, I understand you send your kids to private schools, but is it possible, though, then you don't understand how these cuts are going to affect families,' like her's on a daily basis. Why isn't it a fair question?"

June 23, 2011, 3:57 PM EDT

Talking to former Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted low approval ratings for some newly elected Republican governors and theorized: "They went into office with messages of austerity. And now a year later, you look at their approval ratings and they're falling. Is this buyer's remorse?"

A graphic appeared on screen showing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with a 43% approval rating, Ohio's John Kasich at 33% and Florida's Rick Scott at 29%. Lauer failed to mention that President Obama's own approval rating stood at 43%, according to a Thursday Gallup poll, with his disapproval hitting 50%. In addition, Lauer failed to note that the source for those low Republican approval ratings, Public Policy Polling, was a Democratic polling firm.