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
July 12, 2011, 1:17 PM EDT

In an interview with radio host Laura Ingraham on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer fretted over the lack of a deal on raising the debt ceiling and called on Republicans to abandon their opposition to tax increases: "When it comes to taxes, this issue of revenues, is there any way this deal gets done without the Republicans compromising somewhat on taxes?" [Audio available here]

Ingraham pointed out: "...if the Republicans hadn't taken the House of Representatives last November, if the Tea Party hadn't kind of risen up and gotten all of this populist influence, we wouldn't even be having a discussion on any spending cuts." Lauer responded by again demanding the GOP give in: "President Obama talks about shared sacrifice. Where is the shared sacrifice going to come from on the Republican side?"

July 11, 2011, 3:34 PM EDT

During the roundtable discussion on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson claimed the fight over the debt ceiling would be a political "winner" for President Obama, prompting host David Gregory to declare that the commander in chief would look like "the debt slayer."

Gregory then turned to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd and wondered why debt ceiling negotiations broke down. Todd placed the blame squarely on Republicans: "Well, it broke down because Speaker Boehner couldn't get an agreement on taxes. Let's remember, he was not – he did not believe he was politically strong enough in his own caucus to remain leader of the House Republicans....Eric Cantor said no."

July 11, 2011, 12:35 PM EDT

In an interview with Tim Pawlenty on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory cited New York Times columnist David Brooks slamming Republican opposition to tax increases in debt ceiling negotiations as "fanaticism" and proclaimed: "There is this purity test which is no tax increases, no revenue increases at all."

Pawlenty responded by pointing out Brooks's liberal leanings: "Well, with all due respect to, to David Brooks, this is not the time for Rockefeller Republicanism." Gregory continued to push for the GOP to accept tax hikes as part of a deal: "Is that good governing for Republicans who control the House to say, 'Sorry, no tax increases period,' even when they're looking at getting potentially $4 trillion in spending cuts?"

July 1, 2011, 4:43 PM EDT

On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams praised China's high-speed rail system and lamented that United States had not done the same: "China is rocketing ahead of the U.S. with high-speed rail. And it has a lot of people wondering how long we can keep chugging along the same old track."

Touting the completion of a new rail line between Beijing and Shanghai, Williams proclaimed: "Which raises again the question, when it comes to trains, why is America, home of the iron horse and the golden spike, still on the slow track?" Correspondent Adrienne Mong filed a report riding the rails across China, touting the high-speed system as "smoother, sleeker, greener than a jet plane."

July 1, 2011, 12:49 PM EDT

While NBC's Today on Thursday characterized President Obama's attacks on congressional Republicans as "feisty," on Friday, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell appeared on the broadcast and declared that "Republicans made it unusually personal" in responding to the White House  criticism.

Despite the President's claim in his Wednesday press conference that his daughters worked harder than GOP members of Congess, O'Donnell focused on Republican mudslinging: "The summer heat must really be getting to them around here with more than the usual frustration in both parties over the debt limit showdown and more personal comments directed to the President from Republicans."  

June 30, 2011, 3:41 PM EDT

At the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry proclaimed: "President Obama calls out Congress to strike a deficit reduction deal during a feisty news conference." Moments later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer added that the President "gave Congress a pretty good tongue lashing on Wednesday."

Curry further described how Obama "rebuked Congress for taking recesses instead of tackling legislation to try to help turn around the economy." In a later report on the press conference, White House correspondent Chuck Todd announced: "On issues ranging from taxes, the debt ceiling, even Libya, President Obama issued a blistering critique of Republicans in Congress. And essentially in blunt terms said it's time to step up and stop complaining."

June 29, 2011, 4:02 PM EDT

Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow slammed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "...his brand at this point is, 'I'm the guy who screams at my own constituents'....his brand is 'I will be rude.' And rudeness is actually what he's trying to sell as a form of political authenticity."

Co-host Ann Curry mentioned Christie criticizing President Obama for being too focused on popularity rather than policy and wondered: "Does the New Jersey Governor have a point that the President is making mistakes because he wants too much to be liked?" As Maddow launched into her rant against Christie, Curry interrupted: "But beyond argument and ad hominem, let's talk about, though, about Obama specifically. Do you think he's trying too hard to be liked?"

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June 29, 2011, 12:47 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared that Michele Bachmann "faces new candidate scrutiny, including financial records for a family business" and proceeded to hype a non-controversy of a mental health clinic run by Michele Bachmann's husband accepting Medicaid reimbursements for treating low-income patients.

O'Donnell implied such reimbursements conflicted with the Minnesota Congresswoman calling "for less government spending and opposes an expansion of Medicaid." Appearing on the broadcast minutes later, left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow cited O'Donnell's report and proclaimed: "Michele Bachmann is trying to make this case that she's a purist Tea Party candidate despite the fact that she has this hypocrisy problem with having benefitted herself from so much government spending."

June 28, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

In an interview with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on Tuesday's Today, co-host Matt Lauer highlighted concerns about the Minnesota Republican's chances in the presidential race: "Amy Kremer, who's a leader of the Tea Party movement, said...that you will be – and this is her word, not mine – quote, 'Palinized' in this campaign. Do you understand the verb, and what would your definition of it be?"  

While Bachmann attempted to discuss her record, Lauer remained focused on the remark: "I'm not trying to interrupt, but I'm asking you specifically about what this leader of the Tea Party is worried about, that you will be 'Palinized.' Again, that's her word. What do you understand that to mean?" Bachmann defined the term for him: "I think that means that there will be a media onslaught of attack. But that's nothing new....There will be attacks that come....And I'm prepared."

June 27, 2011, 1:27 PM EDT

Reporting on Michele Bachmann officially entering the presidential race on Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared that "step one" for the Minnesota Congresswoman was "redefining [her] public image" by "turning down the flame-thrower persona."

Following O'Donnell's report and taped interview with Bachmann, co-host Ann Curry interviewed fellow Republican presidential candidate and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Curry asked about Bachmann's chances: "She has been described as being too far outside the mainstream to be president. You know her. You're both from Minnesota. Do you agree with that or disagree with that?"

June 24, 2011, 3:18 PM EDT

In an exclusive interview with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer played a clip of a woman attacking the Republican as hypocritical for sending his children to private school while cutting funding for public schools. Lauer agreed with her premise: "I thought it was a fair question."

Lauer sympathized with the woman and argued: "...what she was asking you was – she clearly sends her kids to public schools and she's saying, 'Governor, I understand you send your kids to private schools, but is it possible, though, then you don't understand how these cuts are going to affect families,' like her's on a daily basis. Why isn't it a fair question?"

June 23, 2011, 3:57 PM EDT

Talking to former Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted low approval ratings for some newly elected Republican governors and theorized: "They went into office with messages of austerity. And now a year later, you look at their approval ratings and they're falling. Is this buyer's remorse?"

A graphic appeared on screen showing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with a 43% approval rating, Ohio's John Kasich at 33% and Florida's Rick Scott at 29%. Lauer failed to mention that President Obama's own approval rating stood at 43%, according to a Thursday Gallup poll, with his disapproval hitting 50%. In addition, Lauer failed to note that the source for those low Republican approval ratings, Public Policy Polling, was a Democratic polling firm.

June 23, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT

On Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd recited Obama administration spin as he gave a fully positive assessment of the President's Wednesday announcement of an Afghanistan troop withdrawal: "The President went with the most aggressive compromised withdrawal plan he could get commanders at the Pentagon to sign off on."

Moments later, Todd declared: "It was a sober sounding president, not a triumphant one, who announced from the White House that he's fulfilling his promise to begin the drawdown of U.S. forces next month." The headline on screen throughout the report touted a line from the speech that the White House was probably pleased with: "'A Position of Strength'; Obama Defends Plan For U.S. Troop Withdrawal."

June 22, 2011, 1:25 PM EDT

During a fluffy human interest story on Wednesday's NBC Today about a man in Holland who built a full-size replica of the biblical Noah's Ark, correspondent Janet Shamlian turned serious for a moment, wondering: "But how realistic is this Dutchman's dream of doom? Because of global warming, the concept of a flood happening here is not unheard of." [Audio available here]

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June 21, 2011, 12:26 PM EDT

In a report on the Arizona wildfires on Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Miguel Almaguer touted how "The Forest Service says this historic wildfire season is caused in part by climate change." After promoting that politically charged claim, Almaguer declared that Senator John McCain had created a "firestorm" by noting that illegal immigrants have contributed to past wildfires.

At the top of the show, co-host Ann Curry proclaimed: "Heated controversy. A debate blows up over John McCain blaming some wildfires in Arizona on illegal border-crossers." Later, she framed an interview with McCain this way: "Now to more on that controversial comment by Arizona Senator John McCain....We spoke to the Senator earlier this morning. We began by asking him if he was trying to use this current tragedy for a political purpose."

June 20, 2011, 4:15 PM EDT

Promoting his new book, 'Katrina's Secrets,' on Monday's NBC Today, former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin stood by his assertion that racism played a role in the Bush administration's response to the storm: "I'm not telling you that President Bush was a racist or what have you. But I think race and class and politics played in just about every aspect of this disaster."

Co-host Matt Lauer claimed that Nagin was "very honest and open" in the book, at least in his ability to "blame President Bush, FEMA Director Michael Brown and others for slow federal response." After quoting Nagin's suggestion in the book that race was a factor, Lauer referred to the accusation as a "Kanye West moment" and wondered: "What proof do you have that it contributed to the slow response?"

June 20, 2011, 12:49 PM EDT

Appearing on Sunday's Meet the Press, NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel worried about the cost of combating terrorism and took the opportunity to bash the effort: "You talk about money the U.S. spent fighting this global war on terrorism. I think, which is a terrible misnomer, it's like a war on fear or something like that. And I think in many ways it has been a war of fear." [Audio available here]

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June 20, 2011, 11:21 AM EDT

On NBC's Sunday Meet the Press, host David Gregory took on an alarmist tone as he worried that any significant attempts to address the nation's enormous debt could lead to violence: "Look at the images that came out of Greece this week as you've got...big cuts in public spending. And this is the result, rioting in the streets....Could we have that kind of reaction here?"

Gregory posed that question to Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham early in the program, further fretting: "Are we headed in this direction with the kind of actions we're talking about in terms of cutting public spending?...Is there a risk...that these draconian cuts in spending that so many Americans think are necessary may actually halt what we're still...seeing as a very fragile, very weak economic recovery?"

June 17, 2011, 3:51 PM EDT

As news broke Thursday morning of Congressman Anthony Weiner's upcoming resignation, congressional correspondent Luke Russert appeared on NBC's Today and sympathetically declared: "...this is really a sad ending, a lot would say, to what was once a bright, promising political career."

Moments later, NBC political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd similarly touted Weiner's role in Democratic politics: "...he was serving as sort of the bombastic angry progressive, you know, trying to almost be the anti-Tea Party liberal in Congress taking on these folks. He'd become sort of a hero to the more progressive left, who were always upset that Democrats don't stand up for themselves. So here was the guy that had all this potential to become a huge political figure..."

 

June 16, 2011, 4:17 PM EDT

During Thursday NBC News special coverage of New York Congressman Anthony Weiner announcing his resignation, congressional correspondent Kelly O'Donnell remarked to Nightly News anchor Brian Williams: "Anthony Weiner showed much of his strength as a Congressman in what he talked about just now in trying to talk about a message that was something other than this scandal." [Audio available here]

After Weiner finished speaking, Williams wondered: "Kelly, was there ever any salvaging this? It's been – it's been said that if he'd been candid at the beginning he could still have his seat in Congress." O'Donnell acknowledged how damaging the lying was, but then sympathetically observed: "The underlying nature of this type of scandal, which was so embarrassing, also made it very difficult for him to go forward because he has been mocked in a way that no one would ever wish on their enemy."