On Monday’s NBC Today, a look back at Nancy Reagan’s various appearances on the morning show over the years showed her repeatedly combating liberal media bias demonstrated by the hosts with whom she sat down.
Kyle Drennen is the Media Research Center's Senior News Analyst and a Contributing Editor to NewsBusters. He is the co-author of the 2014 Media Reality Check study, TV News Blacks Out This Year’s Bad Election News for Democrats.
In 2009, he captured the infamous comment from then-Newsweek editor Evan Thomas comparing President Obama to God. Later that same year, he exposed for MSNBC deceptively editing video footage of a Tea Party rally to conceal the racial identity of an African American participant, forcing the liberal network to respond to criticism and explain its actions.
His media analysis has been cited by nationally syndicated radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, as well as media outlets including Fox News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.com, The Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Politico, National Review, among others.
Kyle joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science. He lives in Northern Virginia and can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While remembering the legacy of Nancy Reagan on Monday, all three network morning shows made sure to highlight an issue in which she broke with much of the Republican Party – embryonic stem cell research. On NBC’s Today, Peter Alexander touted: “With Alzheimer's Disease robbing her husband's memory, Mrs. Reagan was again cast into a supporting role, with a new cause, a champion of stem cell research – an effort that went against the party of Reagan.”
Calling in to an NBC special report about the death of Nancy Reagan on Sunday, correspondent Andrea Mitchell was eager to use the former First Lady’s passing to attack the current crop of Republican presidential candidates: “...we know that she did not believe in extremes. That she believed in compromise. That she believed, as did her husband, in walking – in working across party lines....So I would think that she would be pretty concerned about the state of the Republican Party.”
In an exclusive interview with Mitt Romney on Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer labeled the 2012 Republican presidential nominee as both a “traitor” and a “hero” to his party: “Depending who you listen to this morning, Governor, you are either a traitor who proves that the establishment of the Republican Party is so afraid they can't control Donald Trump, that they'll do anything to stop him. Or you're a hero who has finally put this race into perspective.”
On Friday, the NBC, CBS, and ABC morning shows all blasted Thursday’s Republican presidential debate as “vulgar” “silly” and “childish.” The same networks that have routinely provided ample airtime to Donald Trump’s personal attacks on his rivals, lectured the GOP contenders on civility.
Appearing during MSNBC’s 12 p.m. ET hour on Thursday, liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus followed Hillary Clinton’s campaign talking points to the letter by laughably declaring the escalating investigation into the e-mail scandal was somehow “good news” for the Democratic frontrunner.
On Thursday, all three network morning shows thrilled over Hillary Clinton holding a “star-studded” fundraiser in New York City while worrying that her e-mail scandal “won’t go away” in the wake of new developments about the FBI investigation. NBC's Kristen Welker touted Clinton “celebrating her strong Super Tuesday....with a star-studded fundraiser at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Katy Perry, Elton John, and more.”
On her 11 a.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Wednesday, host Tamron Hall claimed “the GOP is planning actively to challenge” Donald Trump’s candidacy “to get him out of the way of the nomination” and predicted doom for Republicans if Trump were to lose the nomination during a contested convention.
In an interview with “Caitlyn” (formerly Bruce) Jenner for Wednesday’s NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales protrayed the reality TV star being a “staunch Republican” as controversial, but not Jenner’s transgender activism.
While both NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning on Tuesday managed to at least offer seconds of coverage to the State Department releasing the last batch of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, ABC’s Good Morning America completely censored the topic from its political reporting.
While discussing NASA’s effort to build a new supersonic passenger jet to replace the Concord, on Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-hosts Carson Daly and Savannah Guthrie accidentally outed fellow co-host Matt Lauer’s posh lifestyle.
On Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted over “anger” being “a major theme of this presidential campaign.” Fellow co-host Matt Lauer was perplexed: “You know, even in states where things are going pretty well, voters are still angry. But, why?” Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw attempted to answer that question by blaming Republicans: “President Obama promised change, but he initiated a blue-state agenda – health care overhaul, same-sex marriage – and met intractable GOP opposition.”
Reporting for CBS This Morning on Monday, Entertainment Tonight host Kevin Frazier offered rave reviews of Sunday’s Oscars pushing one liberal agenda item after another: “You know, there was no way last night's broadcast could be just about the awards....the real spotlight was on Oscars lack of diversity and the show's host Chris Rock owned the night.”
Filling in for host Andrea Mitchell during MSNBC’s 12 p.m. ET hour, anchor Kate Snow freely admitted that her report attacking a new Republican voter I.D. in Texas was orchestrated by the Democratic Party: “A Republican-led legislature here passed a new voter I.D. law five years ago....The Democratic Party here has been worried about what those requirements might mean for turnout on Tuesday, but they then put us in touch with Cassandra Enoch Brown, who’s been trying to get a new I.D. for her mother.”
Despite the hosts of NBC’s Today repeatedly demanding that Marco Rubio attack Donald Trump just two days earlier, after the Florida senator did just that in Thursday’s GOP debate, Friday’s edition of the morning show led off with co-host Matt Lauer fretting: “Texas smackdown. Things get ugly at the Republican debate, with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both taking repeated shots at Donald Trump....Has the low road become the new road to the nomination?”
On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell was giddy over reports that President Obama was considering Republican Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court: “...the trial balloon, if you will, that came out of the Obama White House, of nominating a Republican to try to put the Republican Senate on notice, and try to back them up against the wall.”
Displaying a stunning double standard on Thursday’s NBC Today, host Savannah Guthrie immediately dismissed 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney calling for the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns: “Donald Trump has been very clear, I mean when he was sitting right here, he said, ‘I pay low taxes because I don't want to pay high taxes.’ Is there a bombshell there? Does it matter for Trump? Who cares?”
After playing a clip of Hillary Clinton being confronted about her dishonesty during a CNN town hall event, on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O’Donnell tried to defend the Democratic frontrunner by pointing to the dishonesty of herself and her fellow journalists.O’Donnell turned to fellow co-hosts Gayle King and Charlie Rose, asking: “Have you guys ever told a lie?” After they both replied that they had, O’Donnell admitted: “Yeah, so have I.”
In back-to-back interviews on Wednesday’s NBC Today, hosts Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist repeatedly urged Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Donald Trump to attack each other. Talking to Rubio first, Guthrie pleaded: “You've got you and Ted Cruz and some of the other candidates fighting each other, and Trump sailing to victory. A lot of Republicans asking this morning, why not take on Trump directly? What's your answer to that?”
Talking to Republican Colorado Senator Cory Gardner during her MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell lectured the GOP lawmaker on opposing President Obama’s plan to shut down Guantanamo Bay and bring terrorist detainees to prisons inside the United States: “So we’re holding prisoners, paying for them, and arguably hurting our standing in the world because Guantanamo has become such a red flag everywhere in the world, when we could have them locked up in the U.S. and put away for life.”