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
September 12, 2011, 2:53 PM EDT

Monday's NBC Today featured co-host Ann Curry live in Tehran doing a fawning "day in the life" profile of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. At one point, Curry noted the dictator's "grueling schedule" and wondered: "What is your primary motivation, as president? Why do you work so hard?" [Audio available here]

From beginning to end, Curry's report sounded more like propaganda on Iranian state television rather than a legitimate news story. She sympathetically declared: "A hard-driving schedule is the norm his aides say, claiming he sleeps just three hours a night and that his days often stretch to 2:00 a.m. They say even Iran's supreme leader has advised him to sleep more."

September 12, 2011, 11:12 AM EDT

Appearing on Monday's NBC Today to preview his exclusive interview with President Obama, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams revealed some of his softball questions: "I went on to ask him when he's going to channel his inner Harry Truman, as members of his base have been asking....I also asked him about all the people who voted for the man on the poster that said, 'Hope.' That answer was illuminating."  

Near the end of the segment, co-host Matt Lauer asked Williams about Obama's strategy of running against Republicans in Congress. Williams explained: "While not quite painting it as a do-nothing Congress, he's going to be running against Congress as he goes out into all these congressional districts." Lauer remarked: "Yeah, like 80% of people would like to get rid of that particular Congress." Williams added: "Yeah, 82%, I think."

September 9, 2011, 5:22 PM EDT

In a report on Friday's NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales profiled children who were born after the September 11th attacks and noted how celebrations following the death of Osama Bin Laden in May were "thrilling and confusing" for those children.

One girl worried: "I just don't think it's right to celebrate that somebody died, because they were all like, 'Oh, yay, he died, hooray!' But it's just not very nice to celebrate that somebody died." A boy observed: "I would celebrate a little, but at the same time I wouldn't."

September 9, 2011, 1:24 PM EDT

Throughout coverage of President Obama's address to Congress Thursday night, anchors and correspondents on both CBS and NBC gave fawning reviews of the new jobs plan, in some cases, even before the speech began. In contrast, ABC took a much more skeptical tone, with a focus on the President's falling poll numbers.  

Evening News anchor Scott Pelley opened CBS's coverage by proclaiming the President was "hanging out a 'help wanted' sign" for unemployed Americans, with chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell excitedly announcing moments later that Obama would put forward "an extraordinarily bold plan" to create jobs.

September 8, 2011, 5:53 PM EDT

Apparently the media civility police have become so sensitive to any slight of President Obama that MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell actually invented one such controversy out of thin air during her 1 p.m. ET hour show on Thursday. [Audio available here]

Speaking to Obama advisor Melody Barnes, Mitchell declared: "John Boehner today just slammed the President and said, you know, that the American people shouldn't be forced to watch some politician they don't want to listen to and frankly, most of them would rather watch a football game. Is that disrespectful?"    

September 8, 2011, 12:56 PM EDT

Talking to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry fretted over a handful of congressional Republicans declining to attend President Obama's upcoming jobs speech to a joint session of Congress: "At least three Republicans are not going to be in the audience....is this disrespectful to the office of the president, Joe?"

Scarborough responded: "I don't know if it's disrespectful. I don't think it's very smart....Americans want to see these two sides working together. Now, that may not excite the base, but that's exactly where middle America is."

August 31, 2011, 12:39 PM EDT

At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer warned: "Record flooding in the wake of Irene leading to new evacuations and dramatic rescues across the Northeast....As FEMA's disaster fund runs dangerously low." Moments later he announced the agency was "running into a serious money crunch because of Irene and in-fighting in Washington."

In a later report, correspondent Tom Costello singled out those responsible for the "infighting": "You can blame politics and the new budget realities. The Republican-controlled House already voted to give FEMA another $1 billion this fiscal year, but that increase is tied to budget cuts elsewhere. So Senate Democrats haven't acted."

August 30, 2011, 9:06 AM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer began a hostile interview with Dick Cheney by running through various derisive labels for the former Vice President: "You've been called 'controversial' and 'divisive.' Some people have called you the most divisive political figure in this country in a century." Cheney simply quipped: "You left out Darth Vader."

Later, Lauer interrogated Cheney on interrogation tactics used on terror suspects: "If an American citizen were to be taken into captivity in Iran, for example, and the government of Iran....Would it be okay for the Iranian government to waterboard that American citizen?" When Cheney rejected such an action, Lauer replied: "So why was it okay for us to use what most people would say was torture against terror suspects?"

August 29, 2011, 6:01 PM EDT

Monday's NBC Today featured another preview of the upcoming Dateline interview with Dick Cheney about his new memoir, with correspondent Jamie Gangel declaring the former Vice President to be "A conservative hero to his fans, Darth Vader to his critics." [Audio available here]

On Thursday, Gangel also appeared on the NBC morning show to promote the interview, with co-host Ann Curry proclaiming Cheney to be "one of the most controversial figures of our time."

On Monday, fellow co-host Matt Lauer kept up that theme as he announced: "Former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks out about his controversial new memoir....looks back on his controversial time in the White House. In an exclusive interview he pulls no punches, makes no apologies. No one's spared, from Colin Powell to Condoleezza Rice."

August 29, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer introduced a panel discussion on whether media coverage of Hurricane Irene was overdone by proclaiming: "Was this storm over-hyped? In some ways, it's a one-sentence argument, this storm killed more than 20 people and 4 million people are without power, and clearly there's misery and destruction. How could it have been over-hyped?"

Weatherman Al Roker completely dismissed the notion: "You look at the predictions, you look at the track, which was right on the money. And it is a Category 3 storm. There is no – there's no argument here....The preparations –  everything that was done, I would say we should do over again if we get the same scenario." Weather Channel Meteorologist Jim Cantore chimed in: "How many more times do we have to play pictures [of flooding] in Vermont?"

August 26, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

Update (17:48 EDT): Nagin was also interviewed on today's "Hardball," which was guest-hosted by Chris Jansing.

Teasing his Friday 3 p.m. ET hour show on MSNBC, anchor Martin Bashir proclaimed that he would have a special guest on to discuss incoming Hurricane Irene: "Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin joins us to explain what leaders must do to avoid the mistakes that were made six years ago." [Audio available here]

Bashir was "delighted" to have Nagin on the program and began by asking about the response of political leaders to the storm: "Is it your view, sir, that they are handling preparations for this hurricane in the best way possible?" Bashir followed up by wondering: "...with the benefit of your experience, what are the critical actions that you think need to be taken to ensure that Hurricane Irene, or any other act of mother nature, does not become Katrina, Part II?"

Thanks to Scott Whitlock for providing video after the jump

August 26, 2011, 11:06 AM EDT

During Thursday's 12 p.m. ET hour on MSNBC, host Contessa Brewer, who is soon to be leaving the anchor chair, declared that moderate Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman was "trying to turn things around with a new take-no-prisoners strategy, calling out his conservative competitors for their far-right views."

Brewer talked to Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of the liberal Slate magazine, who wrote a fawning profile of Huntsman for Vogue magazine. She wondered: "Is Jon Huntsman sort of an anti-Republican?" Weisberg didn't agree with that description, but argued: "He's what used to be the mainstream of the party, he's the kind of Republican who could win a national election against Democrats....But for some reason, for various reasons, the Republican Party seems to have been taken over by the Tea Party movement, by these sort of patriotic anarchists."    

August 25, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

Thursday's NBC Today previewed an upcoming Dateline interview with Dick Cheney about his new memoir and labeled the former Vice President "controversial" three times in less than a minute. Co-host Ann Curry proclaimed him to be "one of the most controversial figures of our time." [Audio available here]

Turning to correspondent Jamie Gangel, who conducted the interview, Curry noted: "I understand that you asked the former Vice President, in a wide-ranging conversation, about one of the biggest controversies of his time in office and that's the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques?"

Gangel described how Cheney's book was "filled with revelations and he does not back down on those controversial programs he championed that made him such a lightning rod for criticism after 9/11."

August 24, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

While both ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's Early Show on Tuesday gave due credit to Senator Marco Rubio for catching former First Lady Nancy Reagan as she tripped at Reagan Library event, NBC's Today strangely avoided making any mention of the Florida Republican being present, even as video footage clearly showed him holding Reagan's arm. [Audio available here; Video follows page break]

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."