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
March 23, 2015, 3:19 PM EDT

Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, Bloomberg Politics managing editor Mark Halperin saw problems for Hillary Clinton running unopposed for the 2016 Democratic nomination: "...the Republicans are running in a field of thirteen or fourteen, she's running against herself and right now she's kind of losing."
 

March 23, 2015, 11:54 AM EDT

On Monday's NBC Today, while discussing Senator Ted Cruz's announcement of his presidential candidacy, co-host Savannah Guthrie described the Texas Republican as "whip smart, a real conservative firebrand, knows how to throw those rhetorical bombs that the base loves."

March 22, 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

Ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s expected Monday announcement declaring his candidacy for President of the United States, NBC’s Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd on Sunday teed up California’s Democratic Governor Jerry Brown to blast the Republican as “absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

March 20, 2015, 5:09 PM EDT

Filling in as host of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Friday, NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander brought on radical Palestinian activist and executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Yousef Munayyer to condemn Israel and the Republican Party. Alexander lobbed this softball: "What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?"

Alexander lobbed this softball: "What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?"

 

Munayyer seized the opportunity to praise Democrats while denouncing Israel and its Republican allies in the United States:

Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship....What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

Rather than challenge such defamatory accusations, Alexander responded with this question: "Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?"

Munayyer replied: "Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether."

Earlier in the exchange, Alexander helped Munayyer make his anti-Israel case: "Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, 'The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't.'"

Munayyer began to respond: "And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-" Alexander actually interrupted his guest in order to finish the man's sentence: "Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S."

Munayyer proclaimed: "Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure."

 

 

 

Here is a full transcript of the March 20 interview:

12:29 PM ET

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I don't want a one-state solution, I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. But for that, circumstances have to change.

ANDREA MITCHELL: But you were reelected on a mandate. Certainly Israeli voters, your supporters, believe you were reelected on a mandate against a two-state solution, that is the way the White House is interpreting. They're strongly considering not blocking a vote for statehood for Palestinians.

NETANYAHU: Well, first of all, that state would become a terrorist state. So we need the conditions of recognition of the Jewish state and real security in order to have a realistic two-state solution.

PETER ALEXANDER: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there walking back a promise he made to reject the establishment of a Palestinian state, appeasing hardliners just before divisive elections in Israel. But has too much diplomatic and political damage already been done or is there hope for a two-state solution? We're joined by Yousef Munayyer. Is that right – Munayyer?

YOUSEF MUNAYYER: Munayyer.

ALEXANDER: We practiced it and I got it right. I wanted to make sure I got it right when you were sitting here. You're the executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Competition – the Israeli Occupation, excuse me. You're a Palestinian-American, you're an activist on behalf of Palestine, and you write that Netanyahu's win is the best thing to happen for your cause. Why's that?

MUNAYYER: Well, let me be clear, I certainly don't support any of Mr. Netanyahu's policies, but of the plausible outcomes of this election, I think his election, his victory, was actually the best plausible outcome, precisely because the mask has fallen very clearly off of the intentions of the Israeli government and the Israeli state, which not really interested in peace. You know, we heard the interview with Andrea yesterday and the comments that Mr. Netanyahu made and it's clear that this is a man who never misses an opportunity to make excuses not to make peace.

ALEXANDER: Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, "The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't."

MUNAYYER: And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-

ALEXANDER: Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S.

MUNAYYER: Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure. Look, think about it this way, the Israeli state controls territory in where 12.5 million people live. Four and a half million of them have no right to vote within the Israeli system. If you put that in an American context, that's as if you had 120 million Americans in the United States unable to vote because of their, basically because of their ethnic and religious background. That's unconscionable, that does not – you know, that's not what American values are about.

And yet, this is the only answer we get from the Israeli Prime Minister that's supported by an Israeli public. So this is not going to change from within. This is only going to change when the Israeli public is forced to decide between maintaining this occupation forever or ending it and becoming a real member of the international community in the 21st century.

ALEXANDER: I want to ask you about domestic politics, if I can. Speaker John Boehner today saying that he will be heading off to Israel a little bit later this month. What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?

MUNAYYER: Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship. This is not just about Barack Obama and President Netanyahu [sic], this is about a direct clash between the values that Americans hold dear and the values that Benjamin Netanyahu represents.

What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

ALEXANDER: Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?

MUNAYYER: Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether.

ALEXANDER: Yousef Munayyer, nice to see you again. I appreciate your time, thank you.

MUNAYYER: Thanks for having me.

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2015/03/20/palestinian-activist-blasts-israel-and-racist-gop-nbc-reporter-asks-if#sthash.usFfBtez.dpuf

Alexander lobbed this softball: "What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?"

 

Munayyer seized the opportunity to praise Democrats while denouncing Israel and its Republican allies in the United States:

Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship....What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

Rather than challenge such defamatory accusations, Alexander responded with this question: "Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?"

Munayyer replied: "Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether."

Earlier in the exchange, Alexander helped Munayyer make his anti-Israel case: "Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, 'The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't.'"

Munayyer began to respond: "And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-" Alexander actually interrupted his guest in order to finish the man's sentence: "Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S."

Munayyer proclaimed: "Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure."

 

 

 

Here is a full transcript of the March 20 interview:

12:29 PM ET

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I don't want a one-state solution, I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. But for that, circumstances have to change.

ANDREA MITCHELL: But you were reelected on a mandate. Certainly Israeli voters, your supporters, believe you were reelected on a mandate against a two-state solution, that is the way the White House is interpreting. They're strongly considering not blocking a vote for statehood for Palestinians.

NETANYAHU: Well, first of all, that state would become a terrorist state. So we need the conditions of recognition of the Jewish state and real security in order to have a realistic two-state solution.

PETER ALEXANDER: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there walking back a promise he made to reject the establishment of a Palestinian state, appeasing hardliners just before divisive elections in Israel. But has too much diplomatic and political damage already been done or is there hope for a two-state solution? We're joined by Yousef Munayyer. Is that right – Munayyer?

YOUSEF MUNAYYER: Munayyer.

ALEXANDER: We practiced it and I got it right. I wanted to make sure I got it right when you were sitting here. You're the executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Competition – the Israeli Occupation, excuse me. You're a Palestinian-American, you're an activist on behalf of Palestine, and you write that Netanyahu's win is the best thing to happen for your cause. Why's that?

MUNAYYER: Well, let me be clear, I certainly don't support any of Mr. Netanyahu's policies, but of the plausible outcomes of this election, I think his election, his victory, was actually the best plausible outcome, precisely because the mask has fallen very clearly off of the intentions of the Israeli government and the Israeli state, which not really interested in peace. You know, we heard the interview with Andrea yesterday and the comments that Mr. Netanyahu made and it's clear that this is a man who never misses an opportunity to make excuses not to make peace.

ALEXANDER: Let me put up on the screen right now some of what you wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times this week, where you say, among other things, "The biggest losers in this election were those who made the argument that change could come from within Israel. It can't and it won't."

MUNAYYER: And that's exactly what I believe. It won't come from the inside. And it's precisely because-

ALEXANDER: Because you think there's the need for real pressure from the outside now because Israel clearly isn't going to do it on its own and not with the help of the U.S.

MUNAYYER: Absolutely. And the help of the U.S. will be needed, but in a way that is to introduce that pressure. Look, think about it this way, the Israeli state controls territory in where 12.5 million people live. Four and a half million of them have no right to vote within the Israeli system. If you put that in an American context, that's as if you had 120 million Americans in the United States unable to vote because of their, basically because of their ethnic and religious background. That's unconscionable, that does not – you know, that's not what American values are about.

And yet, this is the only answer we get from the Israeli Prime Minister that's supported by an Israeli public. So this is not going to change from within. This is only going to change when the Israeli public is forced to decide between maintaining this occupation forever or ending it and becoming a real member of the international community in the 21st century.

ALEXANDER: I want to ask you about domestic politics, if I can. Speaker John Boehner today saying that he will be heading off to Israel a little bit later this month. What is your take on the back and forth right now between the President and Democrats and congressional Republicans vis-a-vis Israel and ultimately the Israeli-Palestinian situation?

MUNAYYER: Well, there's clearly a partisan divide here. And I think it's much deeper than just the people at the top of the U.S.-Israel relationship. This is not just about Barack Obama and President Netanyahu [sic], this is about a direct clash between the values that Americans hold dear and the values that Benjamin Netanyahu represents.

What we have today at the base of the Democratic Party are younger demographics and minority demographics, all of which are turning away from the values that Israel is presenting to the world, which is this exclusivist, status-quo, very conservative perspective on their situation and their world view. And this is something that jives very much with the narrative at the base of the Republican Party, which is very much xenophobic and nativist and at many times racist.

ALEXANDER: Is Hillary Clinton a better answer for you guys going forward?

MUNAYYER: Again, I think it's not so much about the politicians at the top, but the movements at the bases which are gonna change the way American public opinion and the people that represent them eventually relate to this issue altogether.

ALEXANDER: Yousef Munayyer, nice to see you again. I appreciate your time, thank you.

MUNAYYER: Thanks for having me.

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2015/03/20/palestinian-activist-blasts-israel-and-racist-gop-nbc-reporter-asks-if#sthash.usFfBtez.dpuf
March 20, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT

On Friday, all three network morning shows touted President Obama's petulant "congratulatory" phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the commander-in-chief issued diplomatic threats to the newly reelected Jewish leader and America's closest ally.

March 19, 2015, 5:02 PM EDT

Starting off her interview with newly reelected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, NBC's Andrea Mitchell acknowledged his win – then told him how bad it was: "Prime Minister, congratulations on your victory. But – there's always a but – critics and analysts here and around the world are saying, 'At what cost?' Your hard turn right on the Palestinian issue, what you said about the Arab voters coming out in droves, they say, are costing you, costing you support around the world."

March 19, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT

Thursday's NBC Today seized on President Obama's seeming advocacy for mandatory voting in the United States during a town hall event on Wednesday, with fill-in news anchor Tamron Hall declaring: "The President said the U.S. should be making it easier to vote, not harder. He says if everyone voted, it would completely change the political map."

March 18, 2015, 5:04 PM EDT

While in mourning over the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on her Thursday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell avoided talking to any Israeli officials and instead brought on former Palestinian Authority spokesperson Diana Buttu to denounce the victory of the Jewish leader.

March 18, 2015, 12:58 PM EDT

Appearing on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, pollster Frank Luntz reacted to the Tuesday re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by scolding efforts by former Obama campaign aides to defeat the foreign leader: "I think the Obama administration today has got to be very disappointed because they had their people over there trying to make a difference and Netanyahu pointed that out. And Israeli's don't want other people, including Americans, telling them how to vote."

March 17, 2015, 5:06 PM EDT

Reporting live from Tel Aviv and campaigning hard against the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on her MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell invited on one guest after another to denounce the Likud party leader.

March 17, 2015, 10:56 AM EDT

On Tuesday, only ABC's Good Morning America reported a new CNN poll showing a decline in Hillary Clinton's popularity following the e-mail scandal, with a majority of Americans viewing the controversy as a "serious problem" for the 2016 Democratic contender. Neither NBC's Today nor CBS This Morning mentioned the poll results.
 

March 16, 2015, 5:58 PM EDT

Talking to former CBS political analyst Jeff Greenfield at an event for 92Y in New York, NBC's Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd praised his network's handling of the Brian Williams scandal: "Look, I am proud of my news organization, that it proved that nobody's bigger, nobody is above integrity and credibility. Period." That declaration was prompted by Greenfield taking a shot at how Fox News handled similar allegations against host Bill O'Reilly.

March 16, 2015, 1:14 PM EDT

While both ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning on Monday covered the latest developments in the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal and the Clinton Foundation accepting money from foreign governments, NBC's Today didn't bother to update viewers on either of the controversies continuing to swirl around the likely 2016 contender.

March 13, 2015, 12:37 PM EDT

During a report on Friday's NBC Today about the manhunt for suspects in the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, correspondent Craig Melvin touted protesters in the community being undeterred by the violence: "One of the protest organizers, Rasheen Aldridge, says he hopes for the officers' recovery, but is determined not to let the shootings slow their movement."

March 12, 2015, 5:10 PM EDT

On her MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell kept pushing the blatant falsehood that the open letter by Senate Republicans to Iran regarding nuclear negotiations was an "unprecedented" move: "Let's talk about this letter now, because this is unprecedented." Mitchell's guest, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, launched into a rant about how politically damaging the letter was for Republicans.

March 12, 2015, 11:37 AM EDT

Keeping up the pressure on Hillary Clinton on Thursday, NBC's Today was the only network morning show to provide a full report on the latest developments in the e-mail scandal still swirling around the 2016 Democratic contender. ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning had already moved on, each offering only seconds-long news briefs on the controversy.

March 11, 2015, 5:01 PM EDT

Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Wednesday, Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer lectured the liberal journalist for daring to ask about the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal: "Either you're going to listen to her and believe her that, in fact, she complied with the spirit and the letter of the law or you're not going to trust anything she says....And all of this, I think, is politics. I think it is sad. And most people want to hear what Hillary Clinton has to say about the issues."

March 11, 2015, 11:29 AM EDT

To its credit, Wednesday's NBC Today actually brought on Republican Senator Rand Paul to react to Hillary Clinton's Tuesday press conference regarding the email scandal. However, co-host Matt Lauer used the second half of the interview to parrot Clinton's attacks on the GOP: "...she talked about this open letter that you and forty-six other Republican senators wrote and then signed and sent off to the leaders of Iran during very delicate negotiations over this nuclear deal. She said that you and the others were either trying help Iran or undermine...the commander-in-chief."

March 10, 2015, 4:10 PM EDT

On his Tuesday MSNBC show, host Thomas Roberts scolded Republicans for sending a letter to Iran objecting to the ongoing nuclear negotiations: "Certainly there's great politics at play here in dealing with the President's foreign policy....So this is another jab at the President's foreign policy, of trying to undercut it. What's the precedent, though, of a letter like this?" In reality, there have been several instances of Democratic members of Congress openly reaching out to foreign governments in defiance of Republican presidents.

March 10, 2015, 1:14 PM EDT

After softening her coverage of the Hillary Clinton email scandal on Monday's NBC Nightly News, on Tuesday's Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell tried to excuse Clinton's initial unwillingness to address the controversy: "She may be reluctant because of what happened in April 1994. Under pressure, she held a White House news conference about an Arkansas land deal, it led to more investigations."