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 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'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."

August 3, 2011, 12:11 PM EDT

Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer blamed the debt ceiling standoff for stocks falling on Wall Street: "All people can talk about is the whole slow down that Washington triggered, the 'manufactured crisis,' as the President mentioned..." Co-host Ann Curry wondered: "To what degree did the spending cuts called for in this bill have an influence in this perception?"

Cramer argued: "We've seen a trillion dollars lost in the stock market. Much of it is associated with companies that were doing well because of government – some people call it hand outs, I would say spending – and I think that, that is a huge part of the decline." Curry touted an over-the-top prediction: "One advocacy group, the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, says the economy could lose 1.8 million jobs in the next year due to the cuts in this deal."

August 2, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT

On Monday, Politico reported that "several sources" in a private meeting of House Democrats confirmed that Vice President Joe Biden accused Tea Party Republicans of having "acted like terrorists." CBS and ABC completely punted the story on their evening and morning newscasts. NBC made mention of the controversy, but only to further Biden's denial of having made the comment.

CBS's omission was particularly stunning given that Evening News anchor Scott Pelley interviewed the Vice President on Monday. Politico noted that Pelley actually did ask about the 'terrorist' remark: "'I did not use the terrorism word,' Biden told CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley." However, Pelley's question and Biden's denial were completely scrubbed from the portion of the interview aired on Monday's Evening News or Tuesday's Early Show.

August 1, 2011, 4:04 PM EDT

In a discussion with Meet the Press host David Gregory and Tom Brokaw on Monday's NBC Today about the debt ceiling deal, co-host Ann Curry contemptuously wondered: " you think that members of the Tea Party Caucus know how to govern or are they – do they understand that standing up for a cause is not the same as governing?" [Audio available here]

Interestingly, Brokaw rejected Curry's argument: "Well, I don't think that you can separate the two. The fact is that they were elected to pursue the goals that they took before their constituents and said, 'This is what we believe in, this is why we're going to Washington.' And they have changed the tenor of the debate there and the details of it." He further added: "...this has been a big morning for them so far..."

View video after the jump

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 actually probably would lead to the bigger deal after the near catastrophic financial reaction."