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 1, 2011, 1:02 PM EDT

In an interview with White House advisor David Plouffe on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried about liberals being unhappy with the proposal deal on the debt ceiling: "So did the President compromise here, David, or did he give in simply so that he wouldn't be labeled as the president who was on duty as the nation defaulted on its financial obligations?"

Plouffe defended the plan: "Now, listen, you're obviously seeing some criticism from my party, you're seeing some criticism from the Republican Party. But what this does is first of all we get significant deficit reduction..." Lauer continued to hit from the Left: "The President clearly wanted more revenues, he wanted to raise taxes on wealthiest Americans, he wanted to get rid of some tax cuts for corporations. Those are not in there. Is the fight over taxes over and did the President lose it?"

July 29, 2011, 1:42 PM EDT

On Friday, all three network morning shows played up the theme of stubborn House GOP conservatives opposing Speaker John Boehner's debt ceiling plan. On CBS's Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge proclaimed: "House Republicans will meet again this morning after hardline conservatives handed House Speaker John Boehner a major setback."

On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos announced: "The House Speaker's debt plan melts down after hours of arm twisting failed to subdue a Tea Party rebellion." On NBC's Today, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared: "A parade of those rebellious holdout Republicans were summoned to the Speaker's office."

July 28, 2011, 3:28 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared the delayed vote on House Speaker John Boehner's debt ceiling plan "took precious little time," and touted how "Democrats filled the time with sharp words." A sound bite was featured from Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen: "I've had kidney stones that are easier to pass than this."

O'Donnell focused particularly on Democrats in Congress whining about a movie clip shown in a private House GOP meeting: "House Republicans fired up their members to stick together at a meeting last night. And even played a movie clip, a violent scene from the Ben Affleck film 'The Town.'" She added: "...that got bad reviews from Democrats today."

July 27, 2011, 3:06 PM EDT

At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, as co-host Ann Curry declared that "Americans are just fed up with the stalemate" over the debt ceiling, fellow co-host Matt Lauer announced: "The latest setback came last night when House Speaker Boehner was told by the Congressional Budget Office that his proposal would cut spending far less than advertised."

In the report that followed, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell noted: "Speaker Boehner's team is going back to work to find more cuts, just as the public is so increasingly frustrated." O'Donnell went on to reiterate "a big setback" for the plan as "The Congressional Budget Office did the math and found the Boehner plan came up short on spending cuts."

July 26, 2011, 5:50 PM EDT

On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik "seemed to be heavily influenced by some people in this country who write and blog about the perceived threat from Islam."  

In the report that followed, correspondent Michael Isikoff noted how writings of Robert Spencer, the associate director of Stop the Islamization of America, were cited several times in Breivik's 1,500-page manifesto and declared that "some analysts say words can be weapons themselves." A sound bite was featured of Heidi Beirich of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center: "When you push the demonization of populations, you often end up with violence."

July 26, 2011, 4:54 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry touted President Obama trying to scare the American people into supporting his debt ceiling plan: "He called for public activism, so much so that we hear that Capitol Hill web sites were crashing last night because so many people were trying to e-mail their representatives. It looks like he spooked main street...will he also spook Wall Street?"

Curry directed that question to CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer, who promptly rejected such doom and gloom: "No, not at all. Frankly, Wall Street's very calm. The markets are looking pretty good today....No one's buying the panic, no one's buying the skyrocketing interest rates economic crisis scenario."

July 26, 2011, 4:04 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kristen Welker portrayed President Obama as the great compromiser while reporting on his Monday night address on the debt ceiling: "...the President still pushed for a balanced approach, cut spending and raise tax revenue....With time running out, the President called for compromise."

In contrast, Welker depicted House Speaker John Boehner as stubborn and unwilling to deal: "Boehner seemed to reject all talk of compromise, backing a House GOP plan....Earlier, the President did endorse a plan put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid....But Boehner said that's not the answer."

July 26, 2011, 11:49 AM EDT

During an NBC News special report following President Obama's Monday night speech that blamed the GOP for the debt ceiling stalemate, Meet the Press host David Gregory argued the President was doing John Boehner a favor: "...this is a president trying to help the Speaker of the House make the case to freshman Republicans who won't give at all on the idea of tax increases."

Gregory declared that Obama was "trying to create more pressure on them [Republicans] among the public, who are fed up with this, to say we've got to find some way to compromise here....he's actually trying to create some political room for his adversary in this fight."

July 25, 2011, 3:32 PM EDT

Appearing on Saturday's NBC Today, CNBC's John Harwood solely blamed House Republicans for the ongoing debt ceiling gridlock: "Speaker Boehner and President Obama, were negotiating in good faith. They wanted a deal....the House Republican caucus...would not accept what President Obama needed to make a deal, and that is real and significant tax hikes as a component."  

Harwood argued conservative House members were intimidating Boehner and declared: "That's why Boehner left the talks. That's why the United States' risk of default, while still low in my opinion, is higher than it was 24 hours ago." Later, Harwood touted how "Independents are starting to side with Democrats" and proclaimed: "House Republicans are not playing politics on this. It's crazy politics, what they're doing, and Republican leaders think it may hurt the party. But it's what they believe, and that's why we're at this point."

July 23, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

NBC and CBS polls released earlier this week determined that a significant portion of the American public remain opposed to any increase in the nation’s debt limit, but neither network has included that fact in their on-air reporting. And a poll released by ABC on Tuesday didn’t even bother to ask for public opinion on whether the raising the debt ceiling was a good idea or not.

The networks’ selective coverage of their own polls corresponds with CNN on-air hosts scandalously ignoring the fact that their polling found 66% of Americans supported the House GOP's 'Cut, Cap and Balance' plan and that 74% would support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

July 21, 2011, 3:55 PM EDT

Appearing on Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd lamented no deal being reached on the debt ceiling and solely blamed House Republicans: "Nobody has a plan that can get through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives....that's the issue. House Republicans don't like any of these ideas that are coming out of the Senate."

Co-host Matt Lauer wondered if a plan being worked out between Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid was "now dead" because of House GOP opposition. Todd floated a theory on how conservative members of Congress might fall in line: "...some sort of TARP-like moment...where the House voted down the big bailout of the banks, the markets reacted and then Congress voted again....that might be the only way something gets through the House....it actually probably would lead to the bigger deal after the near catastrophic financial reaction."

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?"