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
May 12, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

Teasing a story on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich entering the presidential race at the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira proclaimed: "Political hurdle. Newt Gingrich launches his run for the White House, but will his two divorces and an admitted affair during his time as House speaker hurt his chances of becoming president?"

Later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer introduced a report on Gingrich by declaring: "He is perhaps the best known Republican in the field to date. But Gingrich also has a messy personal life that includes two divorces, three marriages, and a lengthy affair." Correspondent Michael Isikoff described how, "Everywhere he goes, Newt Gingrich hears the questions [about his personal life]....Gingrich, who once campaigned as a family values candidate, has been dogged for years by criticism of marital infidelity..."

May 11, 2011, 5:15 PM EDT

During a report on Tuesday's Nightly News, White House correspondent Chuck Todd was largely dismissive of the current crop of Republican candidates: "[Mitt Romney] skipped the first debate last week, leaving Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty as the only major contender alongside a slew of long shots jockeying for attention."

But when it came to President Obama, Todd declared: "One of the few announced candidates for president was out campaigning and raising money today." Later, Todd put pressure on GOP hopefuls that had yet to announce: "With the clock ticking and President Obama raking in millions, some on the fence are making decisions."

In a similar report on Wednesday's Today, Todd proclaimed: "...the busiest presidential candidate hadn't been a Republican, it's been the incumbent, Barack Obama....[he] worked crowds in Texas, Tuesday, raising money in his push for a second term....with a confident president out raising millions, [GOP] candidates are starting to make decisions."

May 10, 2011, 12:14 PM EDT

In an interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner on Tuesday's Today on NBC, co-host Matt Lauer fretted over the upcoming debate on raising the nation's debt limit: "...after the news surfaced that Osama bin Laden had been killed there was this – a good feeling in this country....Are we going to see that unity shattered in the coming weeks when we start to debate things like the debt ceiling?"

Boehner explained the importance of addressing the issue: "45 of the last 50 years we spent more money than what we brought in. We cannot continue to do that without imprisoning the future for our kids and grandkids. So this is the moment, now, to address those problems as adults." In response, Lauer quoted Boehner's recent call for cutting trillions in spending and wondered: "When you look at the gut-wrenching negotiations that took place to get $39 billion in cuts for the 2011 continuing resolution, how in the world are you going to get trillions of dollars in cuts?"

May 9, 2011, 1:32 PM EDT

On NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, host David Gregory remained highly skeptical of the role enhanced interrogation tactics played in tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden: "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times.  And based on reporting this week in NBC News and outside, he never gave up the truth about the courier that led to bin Laden."

Gregory made the argument while speaking to a panel that included former CIA Director General Michael Hayden, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In response to Gregory's assertions, Chertoff referred to political partisans debating the issue: "...there will be people who will never be persuaded one way or the other about this." Gregory argued: "But it's a question of whether it's knowable....Is it objectively knowable?"

May 6, 2011, 5:24 PM EDT

During Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, Fox News contributor Juan Williams moved away from the pressing issues of national security and the economy to ask former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty: "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution, as the basis for what should be taught in our nation's schools?"

Perhaps Williams had caught the end of Thursday's Hardball on MSNBC only hours earlier, when, as NewsBusters Scott Whitlock reported, host Chris Matthews listed some of the questions he would like to ask the Republican presidential hopefuls, including: "Question to Mr. Candidate, do you believe in evolution? Are you a fundamentalist who believes in the Bible as written? Has man been around millions of years or, say, just about 6000?"

May 6, 2011, 11:59 AM EDT

In report from Pakistan on Friday's NBC Today, news anchor and soon-to-be co-host Ann Curry offered this description of Osama bin Laden's widow, Amal al-Sada: "After more than 10 years of marriage, Amal was known to be devoted to him....and she was much like him: simple, pious, not interested in luxuries like his other four wives. And it appears she lived his life on the run." [Audio available here]

A sound bite was featured from terrorism expert Evan Kohlman, who like Curry, adopted a sympathetic tone toward the al-Qaeda leader's spouse: "She joined bin Laden and she traveled with him during one of the most difficult parts of his life, which when he was mostly on the run, traveling across Pakistan, Afghanistan with few luxuries. And yet, she stuck by him."

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May 5, 2011, 2:06 PM EDT

Anchoring NBC News special report coverage of President Obama visiting Ground Zero on Thursday, Meet the Press host David Gregory used the opportunity to take a shot at critics of the administration: "...this [killing bin Laden] was the ultimate leadership moment for a commander in chief who in some ways had not been tested on this order. Who had been the target of criticism from Republicans..."

Gregory noted how some of the President's critics "have said that he has not shown the kind of leadership necessary to demonstrate he was capable of protecting America," adding, "despite the continuity of this administration with the previous administration's fight against terrorism, whether it's detainee policy or the surge of forces in Afghanistan." Of course, President Obama certainly did not campaign on continuity with the Bush administration's national security policy, but begrudgingly adopted it out of necessity.
 

May 4, 2011, 5:32 PM EDT

On NBC's Today on Wednesday, co-host Matt Lauer worried about Americans celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden: "...your children are going to see, and have already seen, people in the streets celebrating about the death of someone and that's a contradictory image for them." Today contributor and psychiatrist Gail Saltz replied: "Absolutely, very disturbing for them."

The segment was on how to talk to children about the killing of bin Laden and Saltz speculated that kids may ask: "Why are people partying, being happy that anybody was killed?" She suggested those who celebrated may now regret their actions: "I think it's really important to talk about this, because what you saw was a lot of people who, in the impulse of the moment, reacted in a way that later on they may not be happy about."

May 4, 2011, 1:43 PM EDT

A headline in The Washington Post's Wednesday Style section declared: "American Indians object to ‘Geronimo’ as code for bin Laden raid." Writer Neely Tucker goes on to lament: "In a triumphant moment for the United States, the moniker has left a sour taste among many Native Americans."

Tucker explained: "It was his [Geronimo's] name that the U.S. military chose as the code for the raid, and perhaps for Osama bin Laden himself, during the operation that killed the al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan." He later remarked: "It isn’t clear yet which branch of the military came up with the nickname — the Army, Navy, CIA or any of the anti-terror special forces groups involved in planning the raid — but it apparently wasn’t bin Laden’s nickname for very long."

May 3, 2011, 4:41 PM EDT

During the 11AM ET hour on MSNBC on Tuesday, anchor Thomas Roberts decried Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels voicing support for legislation to de-fund the state chapter of Planned Parenthood as "a move that has many questioning if politics is playing too much of a role in women's health."

Turning to Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum, Roberts declared: "...here's the national reality for everyone out there that may not understand what it is that Planned Parenthood does, and this was checked by Politifact, only 3% of services at national clinics are abortion-related." What he failed to mention was that Planned Parenthood is America's largest abortion provider, performing over 300,000 abortions per year. According to its annual report, Planned Parenthood of Indiana performed 5,580 abortions in 2010.

May 3, 2011, 12:43 PM EDT

On NBC's Nightly News on Monday, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel used a report on the history of the war on terror to attack the Bush administration for going to war in Iraq: "...when civil war in Iraq broke out, American troops were stuck....it was a distraction from the United States' original mission to find Bin Laden, stop Al Qaeda, and prevent another 9/11." [Audio available here]

Engel began his report by describing the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the September 11th attacks, but soon shifted into commentary as he mockingly proclaimed: "...regime change in Afghanistan, done with few troops and high technology, seemed so easy. The Bush White House tried it again in Iraq." He further ranted: "Afghanistan and Iraq were lumped together in what was called a 'global war on terrorism.' The truth was, there was never a connection between Iraq and Osama Bin Laden. There were no weapons of mass destruction, either."

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May 2, 2011, 2:12 PM EDT

In an interview with Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, host David Gregory worried: "There's a purist streak to the Tea Party, right? Don't compromise....As you think about yourself, are you here to legislate? Are you here to compromise?"

Rubio countered: "...we are dealing with major issues in our country, big issues that deserve big solutions....if we don't stand up and say that, who is going to stand up and say that?" Gregory continued to grill the Senator: "But you still have to compromise....you send a statement or you actually compromise and get things done. Which is what Senator Rubio believes in?" Rubio shot back: "To say we just compromised, be, 'Oh, we compromised for the sake of a compromise,' you know, that alone may get you some short-term lauds in the media, but in the long term it didn't accomplish anything."

April 28, 2011, 5:01 PM EDT

Both CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric and MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell incorrectly asserted that President Obama is the only president in U.S. history who has had his citizenship doubted. In reality, both CBSNews.com and MSNBC.com posted a 2009 Associated Press article that detailed 21st President Chester A. Arthur having to deal with a similar controversy in the 1880 presidential campaign.

On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, outgoing anchor Katie Couric began the broadcast by declaring: "It was an extraordinary moment, President Obama went on national television today and did what no other president has ever even been asked to do, prove he's a natural born U.S. citizen." On Thursday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, host Andrea Mitchell similarly proclaimed: "I mean, people who want to raise these conspiracy theorists – theories – and there is no other explanation other than, you know, sort of pure racism, because it's never been raised about a white president."

April 28, 2011, 12:49 PM EDT

In a report designed to separate fact from fiction on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie decided to blur fantasy and reality as she compared President Obama's press conference announcing the release of his birth certificate to a moment from the 1995 movie, "The American President." [Audio available here]

After a clip was played of Obama declaring: "We live in a serious time right now, and we do not have time for this kind of silliness. We've got better stuff to do," Guthrie proclaimed: "At that moment, the real president sounding a lot like that Hollywood one." Then footage ran of the fictional President Andrew Shepherd – played by actor Michael Douglas in the liberal film – denouncing one of his Republican opponents: "This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your 15 minutes are up. My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I am the president."

Douglas, of course, narrates the introduction to NBC Nightly News.

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April 19, 2011, 11:52 AM EDT

In a discussion with CNBC's Erin Burnett on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer was skeptical of Standard and Poor's downgrading of the chances of the U.S. addressing its massive debt and worried: "Is this a kind of a delicate line for the folks at the S & P to walk? Are they venturing into politics here when they should be sticking to fiscal policy?"

What Lauer failed to mention was that he was using the exact line put out by the Obama administration on Monday. At the top of the 8:00AM ET hour of the broadcast, news reader Natalie Morales reported: "The White House is minimizing the significance of the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade its outlook on U.S. government debt. The Obama administration saying it underscores the need for a bipartisan agreement to reduce the deficit and that the S & P's political judgment should not be given too much weight."

April 18, 2011, 6:11 PM EDT

On Saturday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt marked the 50th anniversary of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion as "one of the most infamous events in American history." In the report that followed, correspondent Mark Potter proclaimed: "This weekend Cuba is remembering a critical moment in history still felt today. Huge crowds have come out to celebrate in ways not seen here for years."

Sounding like he was reading a press release about the celebration, Potter declared: "In the Plaza of the Revolution, a massive display of military might and a celebration of Cuba's victory 50 years ago at the Bay of Pigs. The failed invasion planned by the CIA and backed by the US military is seen as a historic turning point for Fidel Castro." At no point in the story was the brutality of Castro's 50-year communist dictatorship mentioned.

April 18, 2011, 11:15 AM EDT

As part of the political panel on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, PBS host Tavis Smiley decried the recent budget deal in Congress to fund the government through the rest of 2011: "I believe that budgets are moral documents....And I'm not so sure that this is not anything more than an immoral document where the poor are concerned."

Smiley went on to lament how the budget negotiations "effectively locked out the American people, namely, the poor." He further ranted: "I don't understand why it is in this town that every debate about money always begins and ends with how we can further reward the rich and more punish the poor. I don't get that."

April 15, 2011, 6:10 PM EDT

Talking to political strategist Stu Rothenberg on her 1PM ET hour show on MSNBC on Friday, anchor Andrea Mitchell saw the Medicare reform proposal in Congressman Paul Ryan's 2012 budget as a major negative for the GOP: "Obviously the White House feels very good right now....it's sort of like a tar baby situation where they're loving the fact that the Republicans are now voting on Medicare cuts."

In response, Rothenberg argued: "For the last year, the political debate has been about the President and about the President's performance. And now Democrats can breathe a sigh of relief and say, 'Ah, now we have something to shoot at, it's about Republicans.'" He later added: "I think the Democrats are much more comfortable with the comparison between the Democrats' performance and the Republican proposals."

April 15, 2011, 11:16 AM EDT

In an interview with Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira exploited recent instances of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job to bash Republican efforts to curb government spending: "...the House signed a bill – passed a bill, I'm sorry – that would cut $4 billion from your budget. Are you worried about that?"

In response Lahood proclaimed: "Of course we're worried about it. And I think these incidents prove up the case that we can't let money stand in the way of safety....Money will never compromise safety. That will always be our priority for the flying public." Vieira followed up: "But just so I understand, are you saying that that $4 billion cut would negatively impact aviation safety?"

April 14, 2011, 3:37 PM EDT

On his 3PM ET hour show on MSNBC on Wednesday, host Martin Bashir enthusiastically reacted to President Obama's budget speech: "'We will invest in the future of America,' that's what President Obama just said in a much-anticipated speech on the budget....He offered a series of broad proposals and said it's time for the wealthiest Americans to pay their way and share in taxes."

Moments later, White House correspondent Mike Viqueira joined Bashir and proclaimed: "..the President's speech was part soaring, speaking to the aspirations and character of a nation, if you will." Bashir observed: "Mike, I don't want to sound as if I'm misrepresenting the President, but it appeared to me that he was suggesting that we can't be self-centered as far as fiscal policy is concerned. We can't simply slash programs everywhere without somehow expecting the wealthiest in society to contribute. Is that your impression?"