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
February 4, 2011, 4:17 PM EST

As the centennial celebration of President Ronald Reagan's birth approaches, the Media Research Center has released its special report on media bias against the late commander in chief, Rewriting Ronald Reagan: How the Media Have Worked to Distort, Dismantle and Destroy His Legacy. NewsBusters has complied a video montage displaying some of the worst media attacks over the years.  

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February 4, 2011, 12:46 PM EST

On Thursday, Louisiana Federal District Court Judge Martin Feldman found that the Obama Interior Department was in contempt of his ruling that the offshore oil drilling moratorium, imposed by the administration in 2010, was unconstitutional. After Feldman struck down the initial drilling ban, the Interior Department simply established a second ban that was virtually identical.

While the story was reported on Thursday by wire services like the Associated Press and picked up by frequently cited internet news sites like Politico, the television media, including ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN, all ignored the story.

February 3, 2011, 10:29 AM EST

On his Wednesday 4PM ET show on MSNBC, host Dylan Ratigan denounced the fact that the recent Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), convened to detail the causes of the 2008 economic collapse, only had a budget of $8 million, while back in 1998, the "Clinton-Lewinsky blowjob investigation" had a $40 million budget. He was apparently referring to special prosecutor Ken Starr investigating perjury charges against the former president.

The report from the FCIC was highly partisan, with the six Democrats on the commission claiming that primary reason for the financial crisis was the lack of government regulation in the private sector. As a result, the four Republican commissioner refused to sign on to the findings and released their own dissenting report.

February 2, 2011, 3:45 PM EST

In a pre-taped interview with gun control advocate New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, aired during Wednesday's 1PM ET hour on MSNBC, host Andrea Mitchell browbeat President Obama for having "absolutely nothing, not one word....not even a sentence" about gun control in his State of the Union address.

Prior to the interview, Mitchell touted Bloomberg's anti-gun crusade: "Michael Bloomberg is on a mission, a mission to curb guns, especially the semiautomatic pistols and the magazine used in Tucson. He sent New York undercover investigators to buy guns and ammo at a Phoenix gun show last month." While she noted how the Arizona attorney general "says Bloomberg overstepped his bounds" she seemed to cheer the Mayor's defiance: "I talked to the mayor last night and he's only just beginning to fight."

February 2, 2011, 10:27 AM EST

Speaking to physicist Michio Kaku on Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge fretted over the recent series of severe winter storms and wondered: "...nine storms in seven weeks, why is this happening?...a lot of people want to talk about global warming and thinking that that may actually come into play here. Is that accurate? Is that having an effect on what's going on?"

Dr. Kaku agreed with the suggestion: "Yes. It seems to violate common sense, but as the Earth begins to heat up, that means more moist air in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico on average. Which creates more precipitation, and eventually more snow." Wragge followed up: "Is this going to continue?" Kaku argued: "...on average, temperatures are going to rise. Remember, last year was the hottest year ever recorded in the history of science, next to 2005, since 1880. So the Earth is heating up. We can debate exactly what's driving it. But, hey, get used to it. We're going to have more energy sloshing around the Earth, more extremes, and swings."

February 1, 2011, 4:31 PM EST

Teasing an upcoming story on new federal dietary guidelines on Monday's CBS Evening News, fill-in anchor Harry Smith announced: "The assault on salt. Chances are you are eating too much of it." Smith later introduced the segment by fretting: "Two out of three Americans are overweight or obese, an epidemic that is expected to send health care costs skyrocketing."

In the report that followed, correspondent Michelle Miller explained: "USDA is now urging Americans...to wean themselves off excess sodium and improve their overall eating habits." She spoke with nutritionist Lisa Young, who insisted, "We need to get the food industry on board." Miller declared: "...the problem is the salt that's already in processed foods....That's why the government is now pressuring food companies to cut the salt in their products or face regulation."

February 1, 2011, 12:02 PM EST

On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, news reader Jeff Glor declared: "Former First Daughter Barbara Bush is taking a very public stand in support of same-sex marriage." After a sound bite was played of Bush doing a video for the left-wing group New Yorkers for Marriage Equality, Glor added: "During his presidency, her father pushed an amendment banning same-sex marriage."

While Glor touted the move on air, on CBSNews.com's Political Hotsheet blog on Tuesday, an article on Bush's advocacy proclaimed: "Barbara has had gay friends dating back at least to her time at Yale University, and her support for same-sex marriage comes as no surprise to her friends. She used to take one gay friend to the White House for dinner with her family when she was in Washington."

February 1, 2011, 11:15 AM EST

On CBS's Sunday Morning, 'Fast Draw' cartoonist Josh Landis commented on people believing in false claims despite evidence to the contrary and warned: "Some false beliefs might make you laugh but others are dangerous, like the belief, debunked again this month, that vaccines cause autism."

But CBS News didn't admit to viewers that while that belief has been repeatedly disproved by scientific studies, CBS has often presented the idea as a possible credible cause of autism in children. A report on the disease on the July 14, 2005 broadcast of the CBS Evening News featured a sound bite from left-wing environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who argued that a chemical once widely used in vaccines was a cause of autism: "The science connecting brain damage with thimerosal is absolutely overwhelming."

January 31, 2011, 1:35 PM EST

At the top of the 7:30AM ET half hour on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge happily proclaimed: "After 130 years, [Thomas] Edison's invention is basically being phased out....The government is replacing the incandescent bulb with a much more energy efficient light."

Wragge portrayed the government ban as a new "choice" for consumers: "Consumers will now have a choice of two different kinds of bulbs, the CFL and LED and we're going to tell you the difference and which one is better for you, which one's going to be a little more cost effective." Co-host Erica Hill lamented: "It's a tough transition....It's hard to let go." Wragge reassured her: "Well, we're going to hopefully make that process a little easier for you." Hill concluded: "It's been a good run, Thomas Edison."

January 28, 2011, 2:47 PM EST

Reporting on the creation of a Senate Tea Party Caucus on Thursday's CBS Evening News, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes declared that while "Conservative crusader Jim Demint, and the freshmen Senators he worked to elect, planted their Tea Party flag," the movement's "assertiveness has caused some heartburn for GOP leaders."

As evidence of the supposed indigestion, Cordes cited favorite media targets, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin: "Bachmann insisted on delivering a separate Tea Party response to the State of the Union....Tea Party enthusiast Sarah Palin invoked a vulgar acronym to describe the President's speech." Cordes was referring to Palin's comment that "There were a lot of WTF moments throughout that speech."

January 28, 2011, 11:35 AM EST

At the top of Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge cheered President Obama's recent Q & A on YouTube: "Obama opens up. The President answers YouTube questions on everything from the war in Afghanistan to the Super Bowl. We'll go live to the White House for the latest on his version of the Fireside Chat."

While Frankin Roosevelt used his famous radio 'Fireside Chats' to keep the American people informed on public policy during the Great Depression, senior White House correspondent Bill Plante touted how with Obama, "the questions were less political and more personal. Like, what's he giving Michelle for Valentine's Day?" Another important topic of discussion: "He was asked his pick to win the Super Bowl. Mr. Obama is running for re-election and he went with the politically safe answer."           

January 27, 2011, 5:17 PM EST

On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric proclaimed: "The federal commission that investigated the financial meltdown has reportedly concluded it could have been avoided. The New York Times says a report due out tomorrow finds plenty of fault to go around, including mismanagement by corporations and lax regulation by the government."

Couric made sure to point out: "The report also says that contrary to popular belief, the government's push to increase home ownership in this country was not a major contributor to the meltdown." What she failed to mention was that New York Times article also explained: "The partisan nature of the findings, however, could undermine its impact. Of the 10 commission members, only the six appointed by Democrats...attended the news conference [publicizing the report]." It went on to add: "The four Republican commissioners have prepared two separate dissents; three of them planned to hold a conference call Thursday afternoon."  

January 26, 2011, 3:55 PM EST

Prior to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric wondered what the message of the midterm elections was, to which political analyst Jeff Greenfield replied: "You've got 87 new members of the House, many of whom are fired up with a kind of militancy we very rarely see, even among new members."

Greenfield went to proclaim: "One of the things Obama politically is going to try to do – not just tonight but over the next year – is to separate out the middle from what he will try to paint as a much too ideological Republican majority." He then used the "militant" label a second time in describing tensions between new Tea Party members and Republican leadership: "It's also going to be a lot of pressure on new Speaker – the new House Speaker John Boehner. I mean, there's a tension between John Boehner and the more militant Tea Party folks."

January 26, 2011, 11:53 AM EST

During coverage of President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, all three broadcast networks, CBS, NBC and ABC, managed to compare the tone of the speech to that of Ronald Reagan. Reporters and pundits uniformly praised the supposed optimism of Obama. [Audio available here]

On CBS, Evening News anchor Katie Couric touted how political analyst Jeff Greenfield thought it was "down right Reaganesque" and that "some" have argued "this could be his Reagan moment." Greenfield himself declared: "He kept talking about winning the future and that was always a big theme about Reagan....the constant reiteration of optimism....he was clearly striking rhetorical notes that reminded me of Mr. Reagan."

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January 24, 2011, 12:25 PM EST

Talking to New York Senator Chuck Schumer on Sunday's Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer said of a video statement released by President Obama on Saturday: "If I didn't know better and had my eyes closed I might have thought that was President Reagan talking." Schieffer specifically referred to Obama's call for spending cuts, noting: "It sounded very much like a speech that a Republican would make."

After Schumer promised his party was serious about deficit reduction, Schieffer proceeded to characterize Republican calls for spending cuts in much less flattering light: "Eric Cantor said this morning, under hard questioning I should add, that yes indeed cancer research would also be on the table when you talk about cutting spending. Can you envision cuts in cancer research?"

January 21, 2011, 4:42 PM EST

On MSNBC's Ed Show on Thursday, despite initially regretting his comparison of Republicans to Nazis, Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen later doubled down: "[Indiana Congressman] Mike Pence talked about government takeover of health care....he wants to be concise, careful, and consistent. Well, that's somebody...who lived in a previous century who worked for bad people, that's what he did." [Audio available here]

Host Ed Schultz offered no challenge to that statement as he wrapped up the segment, simply replying, "sure." In the question that preceded Cohen's attack on Pence, Schultz even tried to defend the Tennessee Congressman's Tuesday outburst on the House floor in which he claimed Republicans were using Nazi propaganda tactics in their opposition to ObamaCare: "I think a lot of liberals in this country admire you for calling them [Republicans] liars because the numbers are what they are....you're talking about a messaging machine that they definitely have followed to get their point across about health care, which you think is having an effect."

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January 20, 2011, 4:14 PM EST

Following a segment on American school children learning Chinese as a second language at the end of Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric tried her hand at reciting part of her sign off in Mandarin, telling viewers, "míngtianjiàn wanan," meaning, "See you tomorrow, good night." [Audio available here]

In the prior report, correspondent Terry McCarthy was critical of Americans for not having better foreign language skills: "Americans generally assume everyone speaks English....But Americans do not generally share such multilingual talents." He then cheered efforts in one Los Angeles elementary school to teach Chinese alongside English, starting in Kindergarten: "These kids have been studying Chinese for four years and they're pretty good....the Chinese immersion program is so popular, they have a waiting list."

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January 20, 2011, 12:08 PM EST

On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric was dismissive of a vote by House Republicans to repeal ObamaCare as she asked congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes: "There is no chance this repeal will succeed, it's a largely symbolic measure. So what's the point?" Cordes described it as "the first step in their long-term effort to wipe this health care law off the books."

Cordes proclaimed that "The party line vote capped a vigorous debate....In which Republicans vilified the health care law, and Democrats exalted it." However, only seconds earlier in the report, an image appeared on screen of the House of Representatives vote tally, showing that three Democratic members of Congress joined Republicans in voting for repeal. No sound bites of those three Democrats were featured.

January 19, 2011, 6:08 PM EST

Wednesday's CBS Early Show adopted a hostile tone in its coverage of the upcoming vote by House Republicans to repeal ObamaCare, with co-host Chris Wragge proclaiming: "The battle over health care heats up again today. The House plans a vote on repealing the legislation. It fulfills a campaign promise for Republicans and begins a two-year effort to try to dismantle the law."

In the report that followed, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes portrayed the GOP as an eager aggressor: "This is a day that House Republicans have been waiting for, for months. The day that they get to vote to undo a law that they fiercely oppose." The headline on screen throughout the segment read: "GOP vs. Obama; House to Vote on Repealing Healthcare Reform."

January 18, 2011, 1:35 PM EST

On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes reported on Sarah Palin's first interview since the Tucson shooting: "She accused the Left and the news media of trying to destroy her message, trying to destroy her, said she was being accused of being an accessory to murder." Cordes forgot to mention her role in furthering those accusations against the former Alaska governor.

After playing a clip of Palin's Monday interview on Fox News' Hannity, Cordes mentioned: "The early response I'm hearing from some on the Left about this interview is, 'Look we never said she was an accessory to murder, we simply said she was an accessory to in-civility in politics.'" On the day of the shooting, reporting for the CBS Evening News, Cordes implied Palin played a role in inciting the violence: "Giffords was one of 20 Democrats whose districts were lit up in cross hairs on a Sarah Palin campaign Web site last spring. Giffords and many others complained that someone unstable might act on that imagery."