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
June 3, 2011, 5:36 PM EDT

As news broke of Dr. Jack's Kevorkian death on Friday, MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing invited on defense attorney and friend Geoffrey Fieger to praise the convicted criminal known as 'Dr. Death': "Dr. Jack Kevorkian will be looked at as a hero, a true hero, and as a martyr for what they did to him for nine years. Putting him in prison..." [Audio available here]

Jansing began the interview by wondering about Kevorkian's legacy: "Was he a dying patient's savior or a cold-blooded killer?" As soon as she introduced Fieger, he immediately argued: "I doubt very many people will ever remember him as a cold-blooded killer. Obviously there's some on the fringe, but I think most of us would recognize his, not only his greatness and his kindness and his beneficence and his importance."

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June 3, 2011, 2:54 PM EDT

An otherwise straightforward report on bad economic news on Friday's NBC Today cited economist Diane Swonk, who argued government stimulus prevented things from getting worse: "We basically had a massive coronary during the financial crisis....Financial stimulus and monetary stimulus, you know, got us to the stage where we're healing but we're in still in a lot of rehab."

Correspondent Tom Costello set up the sound bite by declaring: "To get things moving, the government has already cut payroll taxes while the Fed has  pumped in $600 billion of stimulus money." He lamented: "But more government spending is unlikely given the political battle over the debt ceiling in Washington."

June 2, 2011, 4:25 PM EDT

Trying to play up the idea of chaos in the Republican 2012 field, on Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd argued Sarah Palin's bus tour making a stop in New Hampshire on Thursday was "a little bit of a slap in Mitt Romney's face" on the day he was planning to announce his candidacy.

Co-host Meredith Vieira had asked Todd about Romney's upcoming announcement and claimed the former Massachusetts governor would have to "steal back the spotlight" from Palin. Todd declared that Palin was "not even giving him [Romney] one news cycle to make his case."

June 2, 2011, 12:53 PM EDT

At the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira worried about the impact of the Twitter photo scandal on Congressman Anthony Weiner's career: "Will the scandal and his response to it derail his political ambitions?"

Talking to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd later, Vieira pointed out how "the people who write the headlines in New York City are obviously having a heyday with this" but then soberly added, "beyond the laughs here, this guy is a rising star in this state, especially in the city of New York, considered a front-runner for the next mayoral campaign....What about the political toll?"

June 1, 2011, 3:08 PM EDT

Updated with video

On Wednesday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Ann Curry fretted over Sarah Palin not sucking up to the press, complaining "[she] seems to delight in having a bad relationship with what she calls the 'lamestream media.'" Curry added that Palin was "angering some Republicans as well, about this tour, by not notifying them ahead of time." [Audio available here]

Curry discussed Palin's bus tour with former Republican National Committee Chairman and newly named MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele. She further pushed the idea that Palin was alienating fellow Republicans: "The Republican chairman of Pennsylvania says the lack of information is irking many GOP leaders in the states Palin is expected to visit. Could not playing well with her team backfire for Sarah Palin?"

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May 31, 2011, 12:41 PM EDT

On her Friday 1 p.m. ET MSNBC show, NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell characterized Sarah Palin participating in the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally in Washington as a "distraction," with the headline on-screen wondering if the former Alaska Governor was "stealing their thunder."

After declaring that Palin was "once again showing that she sure knows how to seize the political spotlight," Mitchell spoke with Rolling Thunder spokesman Ted Shpak, and asked: "When did you first hear that Sarah Palin was coming? Did you invite her?" Shpak incorrectly claimed: "No, she wasn't invited. We heard yesterday she came out with a press release that she was coming to Rolling Thunder."

May 27, 2011, 12:23 PM EDT

Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory largely dismissed the possibility of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan entering the 2012 presidential race: "He's got some of his own problems in terms of being the intellectual force behind Medicare reform that is actually hurting the Republican Party."

While Gregory noted that Ryan "didn't close the door" to a potential run, he played up the idea that reforming Medicare would be a political loser in the campaign: "...as they [Republicans] found out in New York-26, in that upstate New York race, that this is an issue that Democrats are going to be able to use against the Republicans if they don't change their message about how Medicare's going to be changed."

May 26, 2011, 5:52 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer invited on Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to tout federally mandated stickers that detail the fuel efficiency of new cars: "Another way to save money is to buy a fuel efficient car and today the federal government is unveiling new fuel economy labels that you soon will be seeing on all new cars."

Lauer asked LaHood, "$3.81, the average for a gallon of gas right now across the country. How much pressure on the administration to get that price down?" LaHood used the opportunity to cheer the new labels: "Gas prices are killing family budgets. The President gets it. This is part of the President's plan – these new labels – part of the President's plan to help people save money at the pump....The President gets it. This is part of our plan here."

May 26, 2011, 1:05 PM EDT

On Thursday's NBC Today, senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers kept up the attack on Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for having a line of credit with the jeweler Tiffany's five years ago: "Gingrich has always described himself as frugal and fiscally conservative, which is why this story about a huge line of credit at Tiffany's just won't go away."

Myers touted the story as great fodder for late night comics, who "have had a field day," and remarked that Gingrich "and his wife, Calista, have been dubbed the 'Blingriches.'" She noted how "The questions just keep on coming," playing a clip of Gingrich being grilled by CBS host Bob Schieffer on Sunday's Face the Nation.

May 25, 2011, 11:53 AM EDT

All three network morning shows on Wednesday cheered Democrat Kathy Hochul winning the special election in New York's 26th congressional district and framed the outcome as a rejection of Republican plans to reform Medicare. On NBC's Today, news reporter Ann Curry proclaimed: "The race hinged on Hochul's opposition to a Republican-led plan to make deep cuts in Medicare." [Audio available here]

On ABC's Good Morning America, news reporter Josh Elliot declared Hochul's win to be "a seismic event in the political world" and a "shocking upset." Like Curry, he declared: "The GOP candidate lost after backing that Republican plan to cut billions from Medicare." In reality, the Republican budget plan increases Medicare spending from $563 billion to $953 billion ten years from now. That’s an increase of nearly 70%.

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May 23, 2011, 4:35 PM EDT

At the end of Sunday's Meet the Press, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell scolded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for daring to criticize President Obama's call for Israel to return to 1967 borders: "...he criticized the President, and in such a fashion! He lectured him in the Oval Office....basically treating him like a school boy."

Mitchell went on to declare: "People even who work for Netanyahu, some Israeli officials, told him later that he went too far. That it was, it was really rude and that there would be blowback to this." The leading voice of criticism in Israel was Netanyahu's liberal political opponent, Tzipi Livini, who also called on the Prime Minister to resign.

May 23, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

On Monday's Today on NBC, correspondent Norah O'Donnell excitedly touted President Obama's stop in Ireland on his latest European trip as she proclaimed: "The Irish eyes are smiling today as this country welcomes President Obama. And I can tell you that the people here in Moneygall are overjoyed that Obama has Irish roots."

The report opened with a musical rendition of 'There's no one as Irish as Barack Obama,' as O'Donnell described how "Obama's ancestral hometown....got a face lift, a fresh coat of paint and an Obama Café." After discovering from a local priest that Obama's Irish ancestors were well-off shoemakers that may have provided charitable aid to others in the small town, O'Donnell wondered: "So you're telling me that his great, great, great, great grandfather and ancestors were community organizers?"

May 19, 2011, 5:01 PM EDT

At the top of NBC's Nightly News on Wednesday, anchor Brian Williams teased a story on charter public schools: "In our 'Education Nation' report tonight, the agonizing lottery for kids and their families to get into the best schools, but are they the best schools?" He later declared that families "put everything on the line for a coveted spot in a charter school, but do these schools really deliver?"

Introducing a report by education correspondent Rehema Ellis, Williams touted her examining "the questions being raised about whether charter schools are truly better schools." After detailing anxious parents hoping their children would win a lottery to attend a charter school outside of Atlanta, Ellis warned: "For all the excitement around charter schools, there is also growing concern that, overall, they may not be the answer for what ails America's public schools."

May 19, 2011, 11:26 AM EDT

Talking to Los Angeles Times reporter Robin Abcarian about the Arnold Schwarznegger scandal on Thursday, NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer wondered if the liberal paper was now justified in accusing the Republican of groping women as he ran for governor of California in 2003: "In some ways, eight years later, do you and other folks at the paper feel vindicated?"    

Abcarian argued: "We don't feel vindicated....We felt at the time we published those allegations in 2003 that they were important, they were verified....There was no question to us that he was a serial sexual groper at the least." Both Lauer and Abcarian seemed to miss the fact that Schwarzenegger admitted to a consensual affair with his housekeeper, not to sexually harassing and assaulting women.

May 18, 2011, 12:07 PM EDT

Update: Correction made below

In an interview with John Hudson of the left-wing magazine The Atlantic, screenwriter and producer Aaron Sorkin described where he gets his news and quickly launched into a tirade against conservative media figures: "Beck and Limbaugh are eye-poppingly awful. It would be easier to buy their love of America if they didn't have such hate for Americans. They're my generation's Joe McCarthy..."

Sorkin claimed Beck and Limbaugh were guilty of "tarring anyone who disagrees with them with schoolyard epithets and, of course, being 'un-American' or even on the side of America's enemies....They appeal to the worst in the worst among us..."

May 17, 2011, 5:51 PM EDT

During coverage of Arnold Schwarzengger's admitted affair on Tuesday, members of NBC's Today promoted his wife and their former colleague, Maria Shriver. Correspondent Natalie Morales declared that despite "much public scrutiny" of their marriage, "Many say it was Maria's enduring support through it all that allowed them to become one of America's most powerful couples."

Morales described Shriver as, "a member of the Kennedy political dynasty who became a network news correspondent....[then] left her long-time job at NBC News to support her husband's political career." Morales touted how Shriver's "support then, led to his landslide victory," and remarked: "Since then, the Republican foreign-born action movie star and the liberal polished member of one of America's most prestigious families, became a formidable team."

May 17, 2011, 12:39 PM EDT

While reporting on the sexual assault case against International Monetary Fund Chairman Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Tuesday's Today, NBC correspondent Jeff Rossen noted how the would-be Socialist Party candidate for the French presidency had "worried his political opponent, current French President Nicolas Sarkozy, would try to frame him with a fake rape..."

Rossen further added that Strauss-Kahn once told a French newspaper that the rape victim would be "promised 500,000 or a million euros to invent this story" by Sarkozy. Following Rossen's report, correspondent Michelle Kosinski highlighted French outrage over Strauss-Kahn's arrest: "I would say that the reaction ranges from disbelief to outright disgust. To see their VIP paraded before cameras, the socialists are calling it 'inhumane'....they're saying that this looks like a humiliating public exhibition like something from ancient times."
                        
The headline on screen during the segment read: "French Conspiracy Theories; Was Banker Set Up as Part of Political Plot?"

May 16, 2011, 4:32 PM EDT

In the 10AM ET hour on NBC's Today on Monday, co-host Kathie Lee Gifford applauded the new HBO movie on the 2008 financial crisis, 'Too Big to Fail,' as "not a partisan film at all." However, after asserting that "It didn't take one side or the other," she touted the liberal moral of the story: "that greed is what got us there and lack of regulation."

Left-wing actor Ed Asner, who plays the role of billionaire Warren Buffet, came on to promote the film: "...this movie is practically a study course. You go back and learn each time that you watch it....you become involved and very informed..." He added that the "tragedy" of the crisis "has not been repaired yet." Gifford agreed: "No, it certainly hasn't. Everything's still in place for it to happen again."

May 16, 2011, 1:27 PM EDT

After accusing presidential candidate Newt Gingrich of racism during an interview on Sunday's Meet the Press, NBC host David Gregory later posed this question to the show's political panel: "Do you think he [Gingrich] dialed back the reputation as...a flamethrower?...I mean, talking about Obama and anti-colonial views, about anti-Americanism."

The mostly liberal panelists used the opportunity to bash Gingrich and the Republican 2012 field in general. Time magazine political analyst Mark Halperin remarked that "the animating force in the Republican Party today is be in Barack Obama's face, be aggressive, be out to destroy his presidency."

May 13, 2011, 11:38 AM EDT

On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams incredulously noted how "...it's become fashionable among some to say...that so-called enhanced interrogation, what some define as torture...helped contribute to the death of bin Laden." He then touted: "Today Senator John McCain headed to the floor of the U.S. Senate to refute that."

In the clip that followed, McCain declared: "In my personal experience, the abuse of prisoners sometimes produces good intelligence, but often produces bad intelligence. Because under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear whether it is true or false." He then asserted: "The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. The best intelligence gained from a CIA detainee was obtained through standard non-coercive means."