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 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."      

June 16, 2011, 11:48 AM EDT

Appearing on Fox News's On the Record Wednesday night, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich slammed NBC News for its reporting earlier that day that Callista Gingrich was a main cause of the exodus of Gingrich staffers last week: "I believe NBC owes Callista an apology....I think the program this morning was totally irresponsible and personally reprehensible..."     

Host Greta Van Susteren asked Gingrich: "What was her role in the campaign prior to the departure? What is her role now? And had there been any internal conflicts with Callista and any of the people who left?" Gingrich responded: "Look, Callista and I have a very similar relationship to Nancy and Ronnie Reagan. And people blame Nancy Reagan for things that Ronald Reagan did."

June 14, 2011, 1:31 PM EDT

In an interview with President Obama on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry fretted over Republican calls for spending cuts before raising the nation's debt limit: "Do you think they're bluffing, given how financially disastrous it would be for the United States not to have the debt ceiling raised? And are you willing to make deep spending cuts?"

Obama laughably claimed: "Well, keep in mind, we've already made deep spending cuts. I mean, I've proposed a freeze on federal spending, during the last threatened government shutdown we made some really tough cuts..." He then used the opportunity to bash the GOP:

June 13, 2011, 1:03 PM EDT

While grilling former Pennsylvania Senator and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum on NBC's Sunday Meet the Press, host David Gregory was skeptical of the idea that Americans should be able to choose their own health care plan: "They're better off with the freedom that they've got in the vagaries of the private insurance market?"

Gregory was responding to Santorum's criticism of ObamaCare: "[Obama] doesn't believe Americans can actually make decisions for themselves, that he has to tell you how much money you're going to, you're going to spend on health care." After doubting the value of freedom in choosing medical insurance, Gregory pressed: "But you'd repeal the President's healthcare plan totally? Even covering pre-existing conditions, which most Republicans agree with?"

June 10, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

At the top of Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer declared that it "could be a tough day for potential presidential candidate Sarah Palin. We're live in Alaska, where thousands of her e-mails as governor there will be released today." Later, fellow co-host Ann Curry introduced a report on the upcoming release by proclaiming that Palin was "about to face a new political minefield."

Without having seen a single email, national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff argued that Palin "may now be facing a storm." The headline on screen throughout the segment read: "Problems for Palin? Thousands of E-mails to be Released."

June 9, 2011, 5:26 PM EDT

Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, advertising executive Donny Deutsch and psychotherapist Robi Ludwig both agreed that the American people should not stop being "shocked" by political sex scandals. Deutsch declared: "...we have to stop being shocked and amazed....when men who are conquerors by nature also chase women....we as a society have got to become a little more anesthetized to this."

Moments later, as Duetsch one again proclaimed, "Let's stop being shocked at this stuff!," Ludwig blamed American moral values for the attention the scandal received: "We're a very puritanical country and so we're a little bit sexually repressed. So on the one hand we like hearing stories about sex, but we want certain things from our leaders that maybe is not realistic and maybe that's the sad part."

June 9, 2011, 12:41 PM EDT

During a report on growing calls for Anthony Weiner to resign from Congress on Thursday's NBC Today, Politico's Maggie Haberman noted how former President Bill Clinton was particularly troubled by the sex scandal: "Bill Clinton is very unhappy with Anthony Weiner right now. The Clintons are not thrilled with this."

Congressional correspondent Luke Russert had described how "Among those Weiner has turned to since the scandal has broke is former President Bill Clinton, a close friend who presided at the Congressman's wedding and has referred to Weiner's wife [Huma Abedian] as his second daughter."

June 8, 2011, 3:56 PM EDT

Talking to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Wednesday's NBC Today, outgoing co-host Meredith Vieira questioned calls for disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner to resign: "Nancy Pelosi has formally asked the Ethics Committee to look into this. So why not just let them do their job and then let the chips fall where they may?"

Priebus replied: "I don't think we need to spend taxpayer dollars investigating whether or not Anthony Weiner's a creep or not." Vieira continued to brush aside talk of resignation: "...[Weiner] has said he does not believe he has broken any rules, he has no intention of resigning, it's up to the people, his constituents, to decide whether he should leave or not."

June 8, 2011, 10:50 AM EDT

Wednesday was Meredith Vieira's final day as co-host of NBC's Today. Since joining the broadcast in September 2006, she has brought staunch liberal advocacy to the morning news program, following the model of her predecessor, Katie Couric. News reader Ann Curry will take over as Matt Lauer's co-host, maintaining the broadcast's left-leaning perspective.

The Media Research Center has compiled Profiles in Bias on both Curry and Vieira, highlighting some of their most biased moments on Today. From Curry praising left-wing journalist Helen Thomas as her "mentor," to Vieira urging "rock star" Barack Obama to run for president, the two NBC hosts read from the same slanted script.

Below are some samples of Curry climbing the liberal ladder on the morning show and Vieira consistently waking up of the left side of the bed during her tenure:

June 7, 2011, 11:30 AM EDT

In an interview with Andrew Breitbart on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer suggested the conservative blogger should not have broken news of the scandal involving Congressman Anthony Weiner: "Did you worry that – you know, as a conservative, you don't want government in people's bedrooms. And so did you stop and have a debate with yourself about that?"

Moments earlier, Breitbart had noted feeling some sympathy for Weiner during Monday's press conference: "I felt so unbelievably sad for this guy." Lauer responded by wondering why that sympathy didn't keep the BigGovernment.com creator from re-posting Weiner's racy tweet on the web site last week: "But if you're sad for the guy then, did you not consider that at some point you might be sad for him when you first posted that photo ten days ago?"

June 6, 2011, 3:11 PM EDT

On Friday's Hardball on MSNBC, host Chris Matthews proposed a GOP conspiracy behind the indictment of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards: "Do you think there's politics in this prosecution? Was it just a Republican U.S. attorney going after this guy, sticking around to do the dirty work for the 'R's?" [Audio available here]

Matthews posed that question to Democratic strategist and former Edwards spokesperson Karen Finney, even she wasn't buying it: "You know, I don't know." Undeterred, Matthews continued his bizarre rant: "But this looks like one of those things you read about in third world countries or in India or somewhere or Pakistan, where they get someone who's been out of office a couple of years, get them while they're down, hit them with some incredible charge with campaign funding that nobody's ever heard of before and put them away for a while. It just looks like revenge against the party – against somebody that lost an election."

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June 6, 2011, 12:12 PM EDT

At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted objections to the indictment of former Democratic Senator John Edwards: "Some critics blast the government's case against the former presidential candidate. Why they say what he did may not have been against the law."

Introducing a later report on the scandal, fellow co-host Meredith Vieira similarly proclaimed: "There are growing questions over the indictment of former presidential candidate John Edwards for allegedly using campaign funds to hide an affair. Did the government overreach?" The headline that appeared on screen read: "Bad Guy or Bad Case?; Legal Experts Question Indictment of John Edwards."   

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."