Interviewing Ben Carson for the first time on NBC’s Today on Tuesday, co-host Matt Lauer condescended to the Republican presidential candidate while citing the latest polling: “In the last four to six weeks you have gone from number one in Iowa to number three, and your decline seems to coincide with some very troubling world events....Is it a coincidence that your numbers are going down as Americans are coming to terms with moments like that?”
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. His media analysis has been routinely cited by nationally syndicated radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, as well as on Fox News and The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.com website. He joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science.
While promoting his new movie, Chi-raq, about gun violence in Chicago, during the 9 a.m. ET hour on Tuesday’s NBC Today, director Spike Lee claimed: “...it's easier for an African-American, a black person, to be President of the United States than to be president of a Hollywood studio or TV network cable.”
In an interview with Hillary Clinton aired on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose wondered why the Democratic frontrunner was running: “Why do you want to be president? I mean, you’ve had a remarkable life....You’ve been in the White House. There it is over there....Is it about history?...Is it about the first woman?”
Introducing a report on Monday’s CBS This Morning about the climate change conference being held in Paris, co-host Norah O’Donnell worried that “security concerns threaten to overshadow the talks.” Correspondent Margaret Brennan followed: “The world's two biggest polluters, China and the U.S., kicked off the climate change summit....The goal in Paris is to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit from pre-industrial levels, but the terror threat is diverting attention.”
Talking to Bloomberg Politics managing editor Mark Halperin on Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer wondered if the shooting outside a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado would hurt the GOP politically: “...does the attack take the issue of Planned Parenthood off the table for Republican candidates who don't want to be seen or don't want to risk taking advantage of a tragedy or being on the wrong side of a tragedy?”
At the top of NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, host Chuck Todd dismissed security concerns over terrorism as nothing more that bigotry: “How will the ISIS threat and the politics of fear impact the 2016 campaign? Also, Syrian refugees and America, are there legitimate reasons to slow the process or is this just Islamaphobia?” Teasing the upcoming segment later in the show, Todd proclaimed: “...the Republican presidential candidates have been playing on the politics of fear in an extraordinary way.”
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh blasted President Obama for treating Republicans as a greater enemy than ISIS terrorists: “Barack Obama's number one enemy is the Republican Party and the conservative movement. You see he gets animated, he doesn't need cue cards, he doesn’t need Teleprompter when he starts ripping into them.”
On Friday, NBC’s Today lambasted Republicans for daring to oppose President Obama on the process of accepting Syrian refugees into the U.S. Co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “Defying the President, the House on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to impose stringent new screening rules.”
Teasing an upcoming report that amounted to Obama administration propaganda on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “Fighting for family leave....How one mom's courageous battle for more time at home made it all the way to the White House.”
On Thursday, nearly 48 hours after Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that there was a “legitimacy” or a “rationale” behind the January terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, NBC’s Today finally noticed the highly controversial remarks. ABC and CBS continued to ignore Kerry’s offensive comments.
Appearing on Wednesday’s NBC Today, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge repeatedly ripped President Obama’s failing foreign policy against ISIS as co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer sat back without comment.
In a tirade on Monday, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith dismissed legitimate security concerns in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks as a “collective freak-out” that was potentially “dangerous.” He then proceeded to condemn anyone opposed to bringing thousands of Syrian refugees to the United States as “extreme forces within our own political system” that lead us “towards self-destruction.”
Following a press conference in which President Obama stubbornly refused to admit any failures in his strategy to fight ISIS, reporters on NBC and ABC were stunned by the commander-in-chief’s dismissive attitude toward the legitimate tough questioning he received.
In an interview with former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie was incredulous of his criticism of President Obama’s strategy against ISIS: “You wrote in The Washington Post that the President should wage war to defeat ISIS, quote, ‘not merely to harass it.’ That is pretty tough language. Let me be direct with you, are you saying the President is dabbling at war with ISIS?”
On Friday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell actually fact-checked Hillary Clinton’s suspicious tale of trying to join the Marines in 1975: “Those comments are being mocked by Republicans today and they’re getting two Pinocchios from Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler....Why on earth would she go to a Marine recruiter in 1975?...It doesn't make sense.”
As questions began to be raised regarding Hillary Clinton’s dubious claim that she once tried to join the Marines in 1975, on Friday, only NBC’s Today briefly noted the controversy, with co-host Savannah Guthrie warning: “Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is facing scrutiny about a story from her past that she repeated on the campaign trail this week, and it could come up at tomorrow's debate.”
In an interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan for 60 Minutes, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley scolded the congressman for criticizing President Obama’s unconstitutional executive action on illegal immigration: “On your first day as speaker you said you were going to wipe the slate clean. And then in your very first news conference you said the President has, quote, ‘Proven himself untrustworthy on immigration.’ That’s not wiping the slate clean, that’s blowing chalk dust in the President's face.”
Appearing on FNC’s O’Reilly Factor Wednesday night, both Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina hammered the obvious double standard against conservatives in the liberal media. Host Bill O’Reilly asked Rubio: “Is the media out to get you?” Rubio replied: “I do think there’s a bias against – at least a double standard when it comes to those of us who are conservatives. They hold us to a different standard than they hold Democrats and I think you see – and liberals, especially.”
On Wednesday’s NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander actually attempted to discredit Marco Rubio’s rhetorical observation that “Welders make more money than philosophers.” Taking the comment literally, Alexander asserted: “That was one of the most memorable lines of the night, but it's also not true. Government statistics show that philosophers, philosophy teachers in this country, make on average almost twice as much as welders.”
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows interviewed Florida Senator Marco Rubio following Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate and grilled him on GOP opposition to illegal immigration. On NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “One of the most heated exchanges...came over immigration, and Trump's vow to deport 11 million illegal immigrants. Some on the stage suggested that is a gift to Democrats....I asked him if he agreed that his party’s handling of that issue is alienating the Latino voters.”