After NBC finally covered the sex scandal plaguing the Drug Enforcement Administration with a mere 18-second news brief on Tuesday's Nightly News, Wednesday's Today offered a full two-minute report on agency chief Michele Leonhart stepping down in the wake of the controversy, but used oddly positive language to describe her troubled tenure.
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.
Introducing a report on Tuesday's CBS This Morning that examined the negative impact of forcing a wage hike on small businesses, co-host Norah O'Donnell declared: "A theater drama is playing out this morning in Los Angeles. The country's largest stage actors union votes on a plan forcing tiny theaters to pay everyone the minimum wage....many performers say getting a raise will do them more harm than good."
In CBS's first report on a new book detailing the Clinton Foundation foreign donation scandal, on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes avoided the specific accusations of corruption and instead focused on the Clinton campaign dismissing the controversy as a "distraction." Cordes even touted a "potential upside" for Hillary Clinton: "...all these attacks from different directions could help unify Democrats around her."
At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer announced Tim Tebow's return to football by proclaiming: "...one of the most popular and polarizing quarterbacks in NFL history returning to the game after three years." In another tease minutes later, fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered: "Is this a second chance or a publicity stunt?"
While both ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning on Monday discussed the ongoing scandal of the Clinton Foundation accepting millions of dollars in foreign donations, NBC's Today not only ignored the story but actually portrayed Hillary Clinton as a victim of Republican attacks.
On his Thursday night show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly observed that Hillary Clinton was not very well liked by the liberal base of the Democratic Party or the media: "I'm not sure that liberal Americans really like Hillary Clinton, alright? And I know that even though most of the liberal national press wants her to win because they hate Republicans, they don't much like her either. Am I wrong?" Bernie Goldberg argued that her likeability was irrelevant: "It doesn't matter either whether they like her or not. What does matter, what is important, is that they like her a lot more than they like any of the Republican candidates."
In a Wednesday interview with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – aired in full on Thursday morning – NBC's Today co-host Matt Lauer grilled the potential 2016 contender on the year-old Bridgegate controversy: "...we could be talking during a week where indictments could be handed down in what has now become known as Bridgegate....How much, in real terms, has Bridgegate tarnished you Governor?"
Despite the clear liberal agenda of postal worker Doug Hughes flying a gyrocopter into restricted Washington D.C. airspace to protest for campaign finance reform, the broadcast networks avoided linking the dangerous stunt to left-wing politics or the Democratic Party. Such avoidance stood in stark contrast to media eagerness to falsely blame conservatives and the Republican Party for deadly acts of violence in recent years, including a man flying a plane into an IRS building in 2010, the shooting of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, and the Colorado movie theater shooting in 2012.
Before disgruntled mailman Doug Hughes violated Washington D.C. airspace by landing his one-man gyrocopter on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, he sat down for a lengthy interview with the Tampa Bay Times and described in detail his plan to perform the dangerous stunt.
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today to grade the performance of the 2016 candidates and potential candidates thus far, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd declared that Hillary Clinton was doing all she could to contain her presidential aura: "You know, the irony here is you have a whole bunch of Republicans who are trying to look presidential. She's desperately trying to not look presidential."
After NBC devoted three full segments and over seven minutes of air time to promoting Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign at the top of Monday's Today, the network morning show offered another full segment at the top of the 7:30 a.m. ET half hour fawning over the 2016 contender, with co-host Matt Lauer proclaiming: "Let us begin this half hour, though, with more on Hillary Clinton's second run for the White House and what we can expect from her family this time around."
On Tuesday afternoon, MSNBC laughably touted an eight-second exchange with Hillary Clinton by White House correspondent Kristen Welker as an "exclusive interview." During the 1 p.m. ET hour of his show, anchor Thomas Roberts excitedly told viewers: "Want to go back to Iowa where I just mentioned that we have this new exclusive NBC video of Hillary Clinton out on the stump there in Iowa. And our correspondent Kristen Welker talked with Clinton exclusively."
In interviews with ABC and NBC following his Monday presidential announcement, Florida Senator Marco Rubio was treated to nearly identical questions pressing him on why he dared compete with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for the 2016 Republican nomination.
Amid a plethora of coverage on Monday's NBC Today fawning over Hillary Clinton's announcement of her presidential campaign, co-host Matt Lauer led off a discussion with Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd by wondering: "What's she running on? What's her message? If the Hillary Clinton campaign could write the headline on the front page of major newspapers this morning, what would they write?"
In an interview with Comedy Central's Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore on Friday's CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King wondered if the controversy swirling around newly-named Daily Show host Trevor Noah was racially motivated: "So keep it a hundred about Trevor Noah....do you think this would have happened if he was white?...Because first he's, you know, 'Trevor Noah, Trevor Noah,' and then there's this controversy about his tweets."
Throughout her MSNBC show on Thursday from Panama at the Summit of the Americas, host Andrea Mitchell wrung her hands over the Obama administration actually trying to stand up to a Latin American dictator: "...there are other issues here, including recent sanctions by the U.S. against Venezuela, which have really upset the Cubans and a lot of America's close allies here, Costa Rica and Colombia and others, who are not happy about the wording of that sanctioning of Venezuela, Cuba's closest ally."
While CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America both covered the latest problems with the Iran nuclear negotiations on Thursday, NBC's Today skipped the story altogether in favor of touting how President Obama "plays tourist" in Jamaica.
In an exclusive interview with new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie grilled the Pentagon chief on the Bowe Bergdahl exchange: "Do you think that the White House made a mistake in wrapping its arms around Bowe Bergdahl and saying, for example, that he served with honor and distinction, when the administration knew there were at least questions about the circumstances of him walking off the base?"
In a fawning softball interview with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie spent the entire segment asking if the left-wing heroine was going to run for president, even to the point of suggesting Hillary Clinton wasn't liberal enough.
On Monday, Comedy Central announced that South African comedian Trevor Noah would be replacing Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show. To get a feel for Noah's brand of humor, one could simply watch his debut on the fake news show in December of 2014, when he jokingly declared that present-day America had worse race relations than Apartheid South Africa.