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 26, 2011, 4:54 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry touted President Obama trying to scare the American people into supporting his debt ceiling plan: "He called for public activism, so much so that we hear that Capitol Hill web sites were crashing last night because so many people were trying to e-mail their representatives. It looks like he spooked main street...will he also spook Wall Street?"

Curry directed that question to CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer, who promptly rejected such doom and gloom: "No, not at all. Frankly, Wall Street's very calm. The markets are looking pretty good today....No one's buying the panic, no one's buying the skyrocketing interest rates economic crisis scenario."

July 26, 2011, 4:04 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kristen Welker portrayed President Obama as the great compromiser while reporting on his Monday night address on the debt ceiling: "...the President still pushed for a balanced approach, cut spending and raise tax revenue....With time running out, the President called for compromise."

In contrast, Welker depicted House Speaker John Boehner as stubborn and unwilling to deal: "Boehner seemed to reject all talk of compromise, backing a House GOP plan....Earlier, the President did endorse a plan put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid....But Boehner said that's not the answer."

July 26, 2011, 11:49 AM EDT

During an NBC News special report following President Obama's Monday night speech that blamed the GOP for the debt ceiling stalemate, Meet the Press host David Gregory argued the President was doing John Boehner a favor: "...this is a president trying to help the Speaker of the House make the case to freshman Republicans who won't give at all on the idea of tax increases."

Gregory declared that Obama was "trying to create more pressure on them [Republicans] among the public, who are fed up with this, to say we've got to find some way to compromise here....he's actually trying to create some political room for his adversary in this fight."

July 25, 2011, 3:32 PM EDT

Appearing on Saturday's NBC Today, CNBC's John Harwood solely blamed House Republicans for the ongoing debt ceiling gridlock: "Speaker Boehner and President Obama, were negotiating in good faith. They wanted a deal....the House Republican caucus...would not accept what President Obama needed to make a deal, and that is real and significant tax hikes as a component."  

Harwood argued conservative House members were intimidating Boehner and declared: "That's why Boehner left the talks. That's why the United States' risk of default, while still low in my opinion, is higher than it was 24 hours ago." Later, Harwood touted how "Independents are starting to side with Democrats" and proclaimed: "House Republicans are not playing politics on this. It's crazy politics, what they're doing, and Republican leaders think it may hurt the party. But it's what they believe, and that's why we're at this point."

July 23, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

NBC and CBS polls released earlier this week determined that a significant portion of the American public remain opposed to any increase in the nation’s debt limit, but neither network has included that fact in their on-air reporting. And a poll released by ABC on Tuesday didn’t even bother to ask for public opinion on whether the raising the debt ceiling was a good idea or not.

The networks’ selective coverage of their own polls corresponds with CNN on-air hosts scandalously ignoring the fact that their polling found 66% of Americans supported the House GOP's 'Cut, Cap and Balance' plan and that 74% would support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

July 21, 2011, 3:55 PM EDT

Appearing on Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd lamented no deal being reached on the debt ceiling and solely blamed House Republicans: "Nobody has a plan that can get through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives....that's the issue. House Republicans don't like any of these ideas that are coming out of the Senate."

Co-host Matt Lauer wondered if a plan being worked out between Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid was "now dead" because of House GOP opposition. Todd floated a theory on how conservative members of Congress might fall in line: "...some sort of TARP-like moment...where the House voted down the big bailout of the banks, the markets reacted and then Congress voted again....that might be the only way something gets through the House....it actually probably would lead to the bigger deal after the near catastrophic financial reaction."

July 21, 2011, 12:25 PM EDT

On Thursday's NBC Today, congressional correspondent Kelly O'Donnell reported on a war of words between Republican Congressman Allen West and Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "...West, a freshman Republican who hit 'send' on a nasty e-mail to Wasserman-Schultz....Democratic congresswomen accuse West of sexual harassment."

While O'Donnell quoted from West's email – in which he referred to Wasserman-Schultz as "vile, unprofessional, and despicable" and "not a lady" – O'Donnell failed to bring up past offensive comments Wasserman-Shultz directed toward West. In the fall of 2010, Wasserman-Schultz personally led a protest outside West's campaign office, calling him an "extremist" who "wears his extreme disrespect as a badge of honor" and "thinks it's okay to objectify and denigrate women."

July 20, 2011, 5:44 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd promoted the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, declaring that when it came to raising the nation's debt ceiling, "...it was a landslide as far as what the public preferred. 58% preferring the President's vision on that front versus 36% [for the Republican proposal]."

Todd went on to conclude that "most of this poll shows that the middle of the country and a majority of Americans basically don't like the Republican position on this debt plan." He blamed conservatives for GOP stubbornness: "But who does like the Republican position right now on all of these fronts and, you know, sticking to their guns on taxes? Tea Party supporters. And that is why you're seeing Republicans, they're caught between their Tea Party supporters who want them to do one thing and frankly independents who want them to do another."

July 19, 2011, 1:35 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry admonished Republicans for trying to pass a balanced budget amendment as part of a debt ceiling agreement: "Tea Party conservatives love this plan. The President has already said that he's going to veto it. Do we really have time for a plan that is really just show?" [Audio available here]

In response, congressional correspondent Kelly O'Donnell touted White House reaction: "They issued the veto threat, and they also said that this would really force the government to not be able to spend on things like Medicare, Social Security, prevent spending for future disasters. And they even renamed it...The White House is calling it 'duck, dodge and dismantle.'"

View video after the jump

July 18, 2011, 3:52 PM EDT

Monday's NBC Today decided to devote a six-minute segment in the 8 a.m. ET hour to America's "obsession" with breasts, with co-host Ann Curry declaring: "...they have become an object of sort of undue fascination." As the report was teased throughout the broadcast and during the segment itself, 54 pairs of breasts appeared on screen, with some images repeated.

Update:  It turns out that in the 9 a.m. ET hour, the show also featured a fashion segment with several female models displaying different types of bras.

The irony of doing a segment filled with images of breasts while asking why people were obsessed with them seemed to be lost on NBC reporters and pundits as they decried the amount of attention given to that part of the female anatomy. Fill-in co-host Lester Holt referred to it as a "tempest in a C cup." Correspondent Amy Robach reported: "Just how much are breasts on the human mind? A quick Google for them, paired with 'boobs' and the slang word starting with a 'T,' turns up almost a billion hits."

July 18, 2011, 11:32 AM EDT

In an interview with the Dalai Lama aired on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry bizarrely asked the Tibetan spiritual leader about the debt ceiling fight in Congress: "The President is in a fierce struggle with his political opponents over the future of the nation's finances. What is the best way, your best advice, in how to find compromise with those you deeply disagree with?" [Audio available here]

The Dalai Lama responded by saying both sides "must work together" to come to a deal: "this is economic problem. It is not the interest of this party or that party. It's a national sort of interest." Curry noted how, "The Dalai lama says he offered President Obama comfort," during a weekend meeting at the White House.  

View video after the jump      

July 14, 2011, 11:48 AM EDT

Appearing on Thursday's NBC Today, MSNBC host Martin Bashir shared his thoughts on the tabloid phone hacking scandal in Britain and proclaimed that News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch was "...a combination of Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist, and someone like James 'Whitey' Bulger, the mobster." [Audio available here]

Despite Bashir's outrageous comparison – Abramoff was convicted on corruption charges and Bulger is accused of 19 murders during his time as the head of the Irish mob in Boston – co-host Matt Lauer offered no objection to the claim.

View video after the jump

 

July 13, 2011, 6:13 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Stephanie Gosk reported the latest details on the phone hacking scandal in Britain involving a Rupert Murdoch owned tabloid and declared: "Damage to the company [News Corporation] may have already been done. And some say it is about time."

Gosk noted that included, "actor Hugh Grant, who in recent months has led his own campaign against the tabloids." A sound bite was played of Grant: "we're talking about pretty nasty people." Gosk went on to speculate that the scandal may spread and put "pressure on Rupert Murdoch's worldwide media empire," which of course includes Fox News. She also argued that in Britain, Murdoch's "political support...has all but disappeared."

July 13, 2011, 12:07 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry talked to left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews about the debt ceiling fight, who cheered Senator Mitch McConnell's plan to give President Obama sole authority to raise the nation's credit limit: "...the White House seems to be happy that somebody on the other side realizes how dangerous this is going to be next week."

Later, Matthews went further in his praise for McConnell, pleased that the Senate Minority Leader was moving away from conservatives: "I think what the White House is happy about is that finally Mitch McConnell who's a leader, just like the President is a leader, is separating himself from the protesters out there on the Right."

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."