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
November 9, 2010, 5:57 PM EST

Previewing President Obama's upcoming speech in Indonesia during Tuesday's 2PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Tamron Hall wondered if the troop surge in Afghanistan had hurt the President's image in the Muslim world: "How much of the skepticism comes from the fact that he's added more troops on the ground in Afghanistan?"

Hall asked that question of Time magazine's deputy international editor Bobby Ghosh, who agreed and even went further: "There's certainly a lot of that, the troops on the ground, the drone campaign in Pakistan, which, unfortunately, from time to time kills innocent people. That certainly gets a lot of play around the world."

November 9, 2010, 11:36 AM EST

At the top of Monday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric warned viewers: "They promised to fight childhood obesity, but the biggest chains may be working harder than ever to get kids hooked on fast foods." Moments later she touted a new study: "...the big chains promised to help fight childhood obesity, but a report out today suggests they've done the exact opposite."

Couric fretted over the findings: "...out of more than 3,000 possible kids meal combinations at the major chains, only 12 meet nutritional guidelines for pre-schoolers....last year, children between the ages of 6 and 11 saw 26% more ads for McDonald's than they did just two years earlier." Correspondent Ben Tracy attacked the marketing strategy: "First there's the hot new movie kids just have to see....Then there's the fast food movie toy tie in they just have to get. And with the toys come this, a Happy Meal packed with calories and fat....a happy deal for marketers but an unhealthy one for children."

November 8, 2010, 5:57 PM EST

On Monday's CBS Early Show, political analyst John Dickerson discussed President Obama's strategy against Republicans in Congress, particularly on tax cuts: "[He] said there's got to be a way to pay for it, again trying to put pressure on Republicans to say if you want to spend $700 billion, you've got to find the cuts, make them own those cuts, which are painful and might be quite unpopular."

Earlier, co-host Harry Smith asked about the possibility of Obama and the GOP working together on stopping earmark spending. Again, Dickerson saw the issue as a chance for the President to go after his opponents: "...an opportunity for the President not only to get involved in the conversation but, also, to perhaps drive a bit of a wedge within the Republican caucus, they have different opinions in the Senate, Mitch McConnell has a more favorable opinion of earmarks than say some of the tea party-backed conservative candidates or some House members and the President can say, 'hey, maybe I have a chance to cause a little mischief in the Republican caucus.'"

November 8, 2010, 1:21 PM EST

On Friday, CBS's Early Show previewed President Obama's upcoming 60 Minutes interview by showing a clip of the softest moment of the exchange and skipping over a series of more challenging questions from correspondent Steve Kroft.

While the preview featured Kroft sympathetically asking the President if he hadn't "sold his successes well enough," the 60 Minutes correspondent began the interview by questioning Obama's policies: "At your news conference, you seemed unwilling to accept the idea that this was a rejection, in any way, of your agenda and your policies. Is this a defeat, a reflection on your leadership?" Obama responded by lamenting: "And people looked at that and they said, 'boy, this feels as if there's a huge expansion of government,' and-" Kroft interjected: "Well, it was a huge expansion of government."

November 5, 2010, 5:41 PM EDT

During her 1PM ET show on MSNBC on Friday, host Andrea Mitchell decried President Obama showing willingness to extend all the Bush tax cuts: "We got the big hint from Robert Gibbs yesterday that that is now on the table as far as the President's concerned. How does extending tax cuts for the very – the wealthy, the millionaires, how does that help the unemployed?"

Mitchell directed that question to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who expressed opposition to extending the tax cuts: "Well, in my opinion, given our analysis, it's not going to be a job creator. We can look back at what happened in the previous decade and we know that that's not true." Mitchell interrupted her, demanding to know why Obama would give in on the issue: "Then why is the President willing to negotiate that away now? Is it because he's negotiating from weakness?"

November 5, 2010, 11:47 AM EDT

In a preview of President Obama's upcoming 60 Minutes interview on Friday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Steve Kroft is shown commiserating with the commander-in-chief over midterm election losses: "People have made the argument you lost control of the narrative, you've let other people define you, that you haven't sold your successes well enough."

Kroft was understanding as he lamented Obama's political problems: "People who were among your most ardent supporters...feel a little disappointed, that they think that you've lost your mojo, that you lost your ability, that touch you had during the campaign to inspire and lead." He noted how "everybody in Washington writes about this sort of aloofness that you have. And I'm sure that drives you crazy."  

November 4, 2010, 5:39 PM EDT

At the top of Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric worried: "Can the President and the new speaker find common ground or are we headed for gridlock?" Moments later, she made it clear who would be to blame: "And while the President spoke of seeking common ground with the new majority, presumptive Speaker John Boehner said the GOP victory is a rejection of the Obama agenda."

Later, Couric continued to preemptively blame Republicans for any government stalemate: "We were initially hearing a lot of talk about cooperation and bipartisanship, but it seemed as if, at least the Republicans, in particular, really dug in their heels today and we were hearing a very different tone." She turned to political correspondent Jeff Greenfield and wondered: "Is compromise unlikely at this point?"

November 4, 2010, 1:35 PM EDT

On Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith saw Republican goals to limit government spending as antithetical to improving the economy: "How do you unleash the economy and not spend any money, oh, by the way, because that's the other mandate, is don't increase the deficit and don't – don't – 'I don't want one more cent of tax on me.'"

Smith put the question to Time magazine Washington deputy bureau chief Michael Crowley, who was equally skeptical: "I think it may be impossible, frankly. What Democrats would like to do is they would say you actually have to spend more money, have the government put money into the economy to get it moving again." He warned against conservative policies: "Republicans say we're spending too much, maybe cut taxes, but tax cuts aren't free, either, tax cuts increase the deficit. Maybe you could loosen regulations but you saw what happened on Wall Street when things were deregulated. It's really not as simple at this point as doing any of those things without taking a big risk that comes along with it."

November 3, 2010, 2:22 PM EDT

During live MSNBC coverage leading up to President Obama's Wednesday 1PM ET press conference, former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather urged the President to aggressively take on Republicans in the wake of the midterm elections: "[Obama] has to realize that Mitch McConnell has virtually said so that politically he wants to cut out his heart and throw his liver to the dogs." [Audio available here]

Rather declared that the President should "take the Harry Truman, who lost big in1946 and said 'I'm going to fight them. I'm going to fight them.'...He has to be a fighter." He lamented how Obama's "reputation as president so far is he's a little soft. He plays soft." Rather concluded: "He's got to demonstrate, and I think in this news conference, 'yes, I will work with them, but I'm prepared to fight them on things that really matter to me.'"

Video below

November 2, 2010, 12:16 PM EDT

On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith continued to fret over government gridlock in the wake Republican electoral gains, asking Ann Coulter: "...big Republican wave just rolls in there. There'll be a routine vote, for instance, to increase the debt ceiling and the tea party guys are going to say, 'over my dead body.' And the government comes to a screeching halt. Then what happens?"

Coulter responded by predicting how the liberal media would spin such a scenario: "Well, the media will blame the Republicans. But, it's no longer 1995. That was the last time there was a government shutdown. And America, when there's a government shutdown, they're all responsible. The President is as responsible as Congress. But now we have the internet, so I think the Americans are going to know it this time."

November 1, 2010, 5:32 PM EDT

On Saturday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Wyatt Andrews previewed the Washington DC 'Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear,' organized by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert: "Almost all of the folks we found said they hope it's about the moderates of America....Stewart seems to have touched what you might call the anti-anger nerve."

Andrews went on to chide conservative figures for divisiveness: "In a year when the President was called a liar and when Fox's Glenn Beck labeled the President a power-hungry socialist and a Nazi." He described how: "Stewart took Beck on." Andrews then explained that rally participants "told us they wanted less name-calling in the media and more accomplishment in Washington." However, he failed to make any mention of Stewart's own long list of vulgar name-calling incidents.

November 1, 2010, 1:02 PM EDT

On Monday, while both ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today covered the scandal involving reporters at CBS Anchorage affiliate KTVA caught on tape discussing ways to attack Republican Joe Miller's senate campaign, CBS's Early Show failed to make any mention of the incident.

On Good Morning America, White House correspondent Jake Tapper reported: "In Alaska, some reporters with the local CBS affiliate at a rally for Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller accidently left a message on the voice mail of Miller's spokesman." An audio clip of the voice mail played: "You know that of all the people that will show up tonight at least one of them will be a registered sex offender. We need to find that one person." Tapper followed with a clip of Sarah Palin condemning the comments on Fox News Sunday: "Those are corrupt bastards, Chris. That's what's wrong with the media today."

November 1, 2010, 11:48 AM EDT

In an interview with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith was already predicting failure if the GOP won control of Congress: "1994 was an important year for Republicans....Some people would say that didn't end so well for the Republicans, especially with the stalemated government. Have you any concerns that that might happen again?"

Barbour, who is also head of the Republican Governors Association, shot back: "It's going to be up to the President. I think the Republicans are going to hear the people very plainly, 'cut out all this spending, don't raise our taxes. Focus on job creation, economic growth.' What's the President going to hear? And I can't answer that."

October 30, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

On Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith got into the Halloween spirit by dressing up as Sue Sylvester, the cheerleading coach from the show 'Glee,' and on NBC's Today, correspondent Tamron Hall showed up as President Obama. For Smith, it was the second consecutive Halloween he chose a female persona, going as celebrity chef Julia Child in 2009.

[Video below]

October 29, 2010, 3:25 PM EDT

On Friday, the CBS Early Show and NBC's Today avoided any discussion of the Democratic Party's racial insensitivity in trying to get black Florida senate candidate Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race. On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos quoted Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on that very issue.

All three network morning shows conducted interviews with Meek, but only Stephanopoulos asked if the candidate was offended by the notion that Democratic Party officials were trying to force him out: "Michael Steele put out a statement last night where he said, 'Even the conversations sent a chilling signal to all voters.' He went on to say, 'One can only imagine the response if Republican leadership tried to force out of the race in the 11th hour a qualified black candidate like Kendrick Meek.' Were you offended by these conversations?" Meek replied by implying Steele was playing the race card: "Let's put it this way, I mean, you know the reason why Michael Steele put out the statement and I'll just leave it at that."

October 28, 2010, 5:55 PM EDT

While all three broadcast networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS, highlighted MoveOn.org protestor Lauren Valle being stepped on outside Monday's Kentucky senate debate, only CBS reported new video showing Valle running up to Rand Paul's car and trying to shove a sign into the Republican candidate's face.

The morning and evening newscasts on Tuesday all pointed to the scuffle as evidence of the 2010 campaign getting "ugly." On ABC's Good Morning America, correspondent Jake Tapper declared: "In the Kentucky senate race, the bitter and heated contest between Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Rand Paul, continued in a debate...The tensions spilled into the crowd, when Rand Paul supporters attacked a Jack Conway supporter wearing a Rand Paul wig." On CBS's Early Show, correspondent Nancy Cordes remarked: "...there was an ugly scene outside the debate, when what appeared to be Rand Paul supporters grabbed a protester from the liberal organization MoveOn.org. After wrestling her to the ground, one of them stepped on her head."

October 28, 2010, 10:34 AM EDT

On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric warned of violence against abortion doctors, based flyers being circulated by a pro-life group: "Their pictures are showing up on posters. Now doctors who perform abortions fear for their lives." The posters in question did not call for any violence whatsoever.

Despite that fact, Couric later introduced the story by declaring: "Now some doctors in North Carolina...fear they're being marked for murder." Correspondent Michelle Miller reported: "They look like wanted posters from the wild west, but they're not photos of criminals, but of doctors in North Carolina who perform abortions." She noted how the doctors in question "asked us to block their faces." In dramatic fashion, a doctor with a blurred face and altered voice argued: "It doesn't say 'wanted dead or alive,' but the implication is very clearly there."

October 27, 2010, 1:36 PM EDT

[Update: New video Shows Lauren Valle shoving sign into Rand Paul's face.]

On Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith interviewed MoveOn.org protestor Lauran Valle, who was stepped on during a protest outside of the Kentucky senate debate on Monday: "Less than a week before election day, the races are heating up, some even turn ugly. We'll speak exclusively with a woman who was stomped on the head during a campaign melee."

While CBS was eager to talk to Ms. Valle, in September 2009 the network failed to give any coverage to a man having his finger bitten off by a MoveOn.org supporter at a California ObamaCare rally. At the September 2 event, 65-year-old William Rice, an ObamaCare opponent, got into an altercation with an unidentified MoveOn protestor, who proceeded to bite off the tip of Rice's left pinky finger. Not only did CBS not interview Rice about the violent attack, but it offered no mention of the incident at all.   

October 26, 2010, 1:31 PM EDT

Appearing on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, Arizona Senator John McCain spoke of his admiration for Sarah Palin and criticized continued media efforts to go after his former running mate: "I continue to hold her in the highest regard and continue to be entertained by the attacks of the liberal media against her. It's very entertaining to watch."

McCain made the comment as part of his response to co-host Harry Smith asking about a possible Palin presidential run in 2012: "There's still speculation about her running two years from now. If she runs, will she have your support?" McCain's initial reply was this: "Sarah would be an outstanding candidate. But neither she nor I would want to say I would endorse her at this time. I'm proud of her. I'm very grateful for all the things she's done to invigorate our party....she will continue to play a major role in the American political scene."

October 21, 2010, 6:22 PM EDT

On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric described British efforts to curb government spending: "Britain's new conservative government outlined the sharpest cuts in public spending in six decades....to see if that kind of severe belt-tightening can cure an ailing economy."

Correspondent Mark Phillips warned of the fiscally conservative approach: "It's a high-stakes roll of the economic dice involving massive spending cuts and huge job losses." He rolled a pair of dice onto a Monopoly board as he made that declaration. After detailing some of the planned cuts, Phillips explained: "The projected government job losses –  490,000, about one in ten government workers."