On Thursday, all three network morning shows took out the long knives and savaged Ted Cruz for naming Carly Fiorina as his running mate. The CBS, NBC, and ABC broadcasts dismissed the move as a “desperate” “Hail Mary pass” and touted Republican frontrunner Donald Trump mocking the announcement. At the top of CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose set the nasty tone of the coverage: “Critics hammer Ted Cruz's announcement of a running mate as a desperate attempt to revive his campaign.”
Kyle Drennen is the Media Research Center's Senior News Analyst and a Contributing Editor to NewsBusters. He is the co-author of the 2014 Media Reality Check study, TV News Blacks Out This Year’s Bad Election News for Democrats.
In 2009, he captured the infamous comment from then-Newsweek editor Evan Thomas comparing President Obama to God. Later that same year, he exposed for MSNBC deceptively editing video footage of a Tea Party rally to conceal the racial identity of an African American participant, forcing the liberal network to respond to criticism and explain its actions.
His media analysis has been cited by nationally syndicated radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, as well as media outlets including Fox News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.com, The Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Politico, National Review, among others.
Kyle joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science. He lives in Northern Virginia and can be contacted via email at email@example.com.
On Wednesday, NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning agreed that the Republican primary race was “over” and openly mocked Donald Trump’s opponents. On Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie asked: “So Trump is calling himself the presumptive nominee. Is he right, is this over?” Political analyst Nicolle Wallace relied on pop culture to declare an end to the nomination contest: “Yeah, there’s a line in Sex and the City where Carrie says to Mr. Big, ‘It's so over, we need a new word for over’...”
On Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, while co-host Gayle King noted that “a petition against the retail giant Target is gaining a lot of momentum” over the company’s transgender bathroom policy, financial contributor Mellody Hobson dismissed the protest: “You know, it's very hard for these kind of boycotts to work. We haven't seen real success since the civil rights era in the 1960s.”
During an interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King cued up a clip of Hamilton actor Lin-Manuel Miranda rapping his demand that Congress provide financial aid to Puerto Rico. On HBO’s Last Week Tonight on Sunday, left-wing host John Oliver capped off a lengthy monologue lobbying Congress to provide assistance to the island with the musical performance.
During an interview with President Obama in Germany, aired on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose lobbed softballs that invited Obama to condemn any European opposition to taking in refugees from the Middle East as “far-right nationalism.” Rose observed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was Obama’s “favorite global leader...willing to make moral decisions when it may not be in her political interest.” Obama replied: “That's exactly right....if you look at what she's doing right now with respect to the refugee crisis..."
On Monday, all three network morning shows parroted Donald Trump’s campaign talking points by dismissing Ted Cruz and John Kasich teaming up to stop the GOP frontrunner as an act of “desperation” that came “too little, too late.” Appearing on NBC’s Today, Bloomberg Politics managing editor Mark Halperin proclaimed: “Donald Trump, to be stopped, they need to do something different....This is different, but it’s also desperate, and it’s a reflection of just how strong a position Trump is in.”
After NBC and ABC rushed to label Donald Trump “moderate” during Thursday’s evening newscasts following his move to left on transgender bathrooms and abortion, on Friday morning, all three network morning shows touted the Republican frontrunner “sounding strikingly more moderate on social issues” as he worked to “tone it down” on the campaign trail.
On Thursday, both NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America reveled in ESPN firing baseball analyst Curt Schilling after the former all-star pitcher objected on social media to liberal demands that transgender people be allowed to use whichever bathroom they choose. At the top of Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie announced: “He's out. Former all-star pitcher Curt Schilling fired by ESPN after another controversial post to social media. What he said this time that could cost him his job.”
After asking on Wednesday whether Bernie Sanders “knows when the game is over,” on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer lamented that the Democratic presidential candidate was “digging in his heels despite speculation over whether it is time for him to bow out of the race.”
During a town hall event on Thursday’s NBC Today, the hosts urged Donald Trump to move left on a series of issues and the Republican frontrunner happily obliged, adopting liberal positions on transgender bathrooms, abortion, and taxes. Willie Geist read a viewer's question: “Mr. Trump, please be specific, tell us your views on LGBT, how you plan to be inclusive as President. Speak about North Carolina bathroom law in particular.”
On Wednesday, NBC’s Today used the outcome of the New York primary to declare the nomination contests on both the Democratic and Republican sides to be over. At the top of the show, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: “Decisive victories. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton walk away with big wins in New York. Both now talking like the general election is set....So have New York values ended the race for Cruz? What about Kasich and Sanders?”
On Monday, all three network evening newscasts touted liberal protesters flooding into the streets around the Supreme Court to demand that the justices uphold President Obama’s unilateral executive action granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Leading off NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt proclaimed: “Immigration furor: The fate of millions now hanging in the balance. What happens if there is a tie?”
During a taped softball interview with Hillary Clinton aired on CBS’s Late Show Monday night, liberal host Stephen Colbert fretted that Republicans would run the Democratic frontrunner through a “meat slicer” if she became president.
In an interview with Bernie Sanders on Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie worried that the Democratic presidential candidate’s criticism of frontrunner Hillary Clinton was similar to Donald Trump’s latest line of attack: “Donald Trump is test driving a new nickname for Hillary Clinton, ‘crooked Hillary.’ Maybe he uses fewer words, but have you been making the same argument against her?”
In a report for Monday’s NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales highlighted a new interview with Monica Lewinsky in the The Guardian and used the words of the former White House intern to scold Republican frontrunner Donald Trump for bringing up Bill Clinton’s past sex scandals during the 2016 campaign.
During an MSNBC town hall event with Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Thursday, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd dismissed the Texas Senator’s condemnation of Planned Parenthood by insisting that scandal surrounding the abortion provider was “made up.”
Opening her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Friday, host Andrea Mitchell triumphantly proclaimed: “Tough crowd. It's crickets for Ted Cruz in Manhattan but Donald Trump is speaking their language at the big party dinner.” In a report minutes later, she announced: “Cruz had a terrible night at the Republican black-tie gala here for the state party..."
On ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday, co-host George Stephanopoulos told Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus that the GOP was “breaking apart” and quoted Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to bolster his claim.
On her Wednesday night show, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly described a recent meeting with Donald Trump to “clear the air” in wake the Republican frontrunner’s months of public attacks against her. However, appearing at the annual Women in the World forum on April 6, Kelly ripped into her media colleagues for their excessive and skewed coverage of the billionaire’s campaign.
Keeping up the drumbeat against North Carolina’s religious freedom law on Wednesday, the three network morning shows seized on Republican Governor Pat McCrory amending the legislation and used the development to further hammer the state.