At the top of Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory interviewed Democratic Congressman John Lewis about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech and seized the opportunity to bash President Obama's political opponents: "...in your view, a lot of people can't get comfortable with the idea of an African American president...Do you see some of the same trappings of resentment and fear in our modern-day politics?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory further teed up Lewis to bash conservatives: "And you even said during your speech yesterday [at the MLK speech anniversary], 'There are forces, there are people who want to take us back.' What specifically are you talking about?" Lewis ranted: "Well, I hear people over and over again saying, 'We want to take our country back.' Take it back where? Where are we going?...when I was growing up, I saw those signs that said, "White Men," "Colored Men"...Those signs are gone."
In an exclusive interview with Bradley Manning's attorney David Coombs on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie read a "bombshell announcement" from the convicted military leaker: "I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female." After referring to Manning as "he" throughout the segment, Guthrie immediately switched pronouns: "Why did she choose this moment to announce this?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie then fretted: "She wants hormone therapy. Fort Leavenworth does not provide that. Are you going to sue to try to force the government to give her hormone therapy, and perhaps a sex-reassignment surgery?" Coombs replied: "...as far as the hormone therapy, yes. I'm hoping Fort Leavenworth would do the right thing and provide that. If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that they are forced to do so."
While NBC, ABC, and CBS have censored coverage of the ongoing IRS scandal for weeks – even as new revelations have moved it higher up the rungs of the Obama administration – on Wednesday and Thursday, the networks all eagerly hyped 40-year-old tapes of President Richard Nixon discussing the Watergate scandal. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Perhaps the most infuriating was NBC, which hasn't touched the IRS story in 56 days, sending correspondent Peter Alexander to the lawn of the Obama White House to report on the decades-old Nixon recordings for Thursday's Today: "39 years have now passed since President Nixon abruptly resigned. Still, his life fuels our fascination. And these tapes, more than 340 hours worth, give us an unparalleled window into an unprecedented time of presidential turmoil." If only there was some current "presidential turmoil" Alexander could cover.
On Wednesday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, fill-in co-host Kathleen Matthews, wife of Hardball host Chris Matthews, lamented Republicans distracting President Obama from pushing his liberal agenda: "...the President's got the gnats of August swarming around him, with Ted Cruz out there fighting against ObamaCare. So, hard to kind of keep that message and that kind of – that solid message moving forward while he's having to swat what he probably perceives as some of the gnats..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza laid blame for Obama's failures on just about everything except the President himself: "I actually think that problem is even more exacerbated now because of the rapidity of the news cycle, because of Twitter, because of sort of YouTube, because of all of the ways in which you can get distracted and off message and being forced to respond to things."
Hyping a story on global warming for Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Lester Holt proclaimed: "Sounding the alarm. A leaked report about the danger happening all around us tonight." Introducing the segment, Holt declared that the study "from one of the world's most prestigious groups of scientists...has a lot of people taking notice because of the alarming conclusions about climate change." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Curry lead off the one-sided fearmongering by warning viewers: "The key finding in this leaked draft report is that it's, quote, 'extremely likely,' as in greater than 95%, that human activity is the main cause of the planet's temperature rise in the last 60 years." She cited a recent trip to the Arctic to bolster the case: "At the top of the world in Arctic, Greenland, scientists like Dr. Jason Box study the icy landscape. He says all this might be lost to climate change, mostly caused by humans burning fossil fuels."
Rather than focus on the myriad of problems plaguing the implementation of ObamaCare, on Tuesday, all three network morning shows instead provided coverage of the First Family getting a second dog. On NBC's Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander happily announced: "Move over Bo, there's a new dog in town, Sunny. And for her inaugural play date, the White House released it's own music video. A pair of presidential pets frolicking on the South Lawn, that'll get tails wagging." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, news reader Elizabeth Vargas reported: "The one-year-old female Portuguese water dog is described as full of energy and very affectionate. First Lady Michelle Obama took to Instagram to make the announcement, tweeting, 'So excited to introduce the newest member of the Obama family – our puppy, Sunny!'" On CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose declared: "That is the same breed as Obama's other dog, Bo....The two dogs appear to be getting along just fine."
Filling in for Andrea Mitchell on her 1 p.m. et MSNBC show on Monday, Hardball host Chris Matthews wrapped up an interview with Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz by adorning her with praise: "Congresswoman, I want to congratulate you on one thing that nobody ever gives you credit for, which is uniting the Democratic Party as it's never been united." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Matthews, co-hosting with his wife Kathleen, continued to gush: "And I'm telling you, it's not – I grew up with a Democratic Party that was never united, and you are united. And that's something the Republicans are going to envy you for." A beaming Wasserman Schultz replied: "Thank you. We're very proud of that."
At the end of Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory excitedly announced to his panel of guests: "We're coming up on an anniversary that is going to give the President an opportunity to highlight some – a presidential leadership moment." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory was referring to the upcoming 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech and teed up Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards: "President Obama going to recreate that moment, in effect, on the – on the Washington Mall. How significant is it?" Edwards replied in part: "I think he's going to speak to economic inequality....give him an opportunity to follow up on the Dr. King dream, saying it's social equality."
In an impressive display of journalistic gymnastics on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie and Meet the Press moderator David Gregory managed to have an entire discussion about U.S. policy in Egypt without mentioning President Obama by name. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Plenty of vague substitutions were used, including "the President" "the White House" "the administration" and most popularly, "the U.S." Anything to avoid actually holding Barack Obama accountable for the internal strife plaguing a key ally in the Middle East. Even the headline on screen during the morning show segment read: "Chaos in Egypt; What Options Does U.S. Have?" They at least briefly showed Obama on screen during the segment.
While NBC marked the one-year anniversary of the Bin Laden killing with a fawning Inside the Situation Room profile of President Obama, on Thursday, the cast of Today chided former White House aide Reggie Love for revealing that he and the President "must have played 15 games of spades" during the 2011 operation. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After playing the sound bite of Love, co-host Matt Lauer quickly added: "We should note, from what we understand, the President was in the Situation Room during all of the actual raid." He then remarked: "We wonder how they feel about Mr. Love writing about this." Fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie joked: "Bring, bring. Reggie it's the White House, line two." Weatherman Al Roker chimed in: "Remember that non-disclosure thing you signed?"
Perhaps in response to the backlash against a planned miniseries on Hillary Clinton, Thursday's NBC Today aired an unusually critical story about the "chaos" at the Clinton Foundation and the possible negative political fallout for the would-be 2016 presidential contender. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
White House correspondent Peter Alexander informed viewers: "As first reported by the New York Times, a 2011 review of the foundation raised concerns about infighting, bad management, and conflicts of interest. Observers say, echoing problems in Bill Clinton's White House and his wife's 2008 campaign."
Leading off Saturday's NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Kate Snow declared: "Healthy choices? Big challenges ahead for when the new health care law takes effect. Will you have to change your doctor?" However, in the report that followed, not one word was mentioned of President Obama's repeated promise that people would be able to keep their own doctor under the new law. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the segment, Snow reiterated: "When the Affordable Health Care Act goes into effect on October 1, a lot of Americans around retirement age will have some challenging choices to make. Like, should they switch to a new kind of health care coverage? And if they do, will that mean changing doctors?"
While NBC's senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers did a full report on Tuesday's Nightly News about ObamaCare causing cutbacks in worker hours across the country, Wednesday's Today couldn't find time to even mention the damage the law was inflicting. Instead, the morning show updated viewers on a rodeo clown that mocked President Obama at a state fair finally facing justice. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
News reader Natalie Morales announced: "The rodeo clown who wore a President Obama mask during a performance at the Missouri State Fair has been banned for life. Fair officials say they're also reviewing their contract with the company that ran the event. The weekend incident sparked outrage nationwide after video of the event went viral." She somberly added: "Fair officials did not release the identity of that clown."
While NBC's Today has done 35 stories on the Kardashians in the past six months and frequently promotes the family's reality show, a panel discussion on Tuesday's program posed this question: "Are We Keeping Up Too Much With the Kardashians?" Why the sudden introspection? It might have something to do President Obama being critical of a culture in which kids are "monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Monday morning, only NBC's Today deemed President Obama being mocked during a rodeo at the Missouri State Fair to be national news, going so far as to wonder if it was "Rodeo Racism" and playing a sound bite of one spectator declaring the incident to be "Like an effigy at a Klan rally." Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning mentioned the local controversy. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The mockery in question involved a rodeo clown wearing a Barack Obama mask and being chased by a bull, with the announcer shouting: "As soon as this bull comes out, Obama, don't you move. He's going to getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha!" While certainly inappropriate, the comparison of the event to a "Klan rally" by Perry Beam – a spectator who took video of the incident – was over the top.
On Friday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, while previewing President Obama's upcoming press conference, host Andrea Mitchell turned to The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and lamented the lack of liberal policy successes in the President's second term: "There's a disappointment factor because he doesn't have immigration reform, he doesn't have any notches on his belt, if you will, on domestic legislation..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Cillizza commiserated with Mitchell and declared: "Well, Andrea, and look, you know, I think if you said at the start of the year, "By August, would President Obama have something to point to say we reacted to Newtown?"....I mean that was sort of the thing that we were talking about every day. Could some sort of gun control measure pass? I think everyone expected something to pass."
While MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell admitted that the planned NBC biopic of Hillary Clinton was a "bad idea," on her Thursday 1 p.m. ET hour show she and her guests scolded Republicans for refusing to allow the biased network to moderate GOP primary debates: "That's where you get debates where the audience is cheering because they were all hand picked by local or state parties, that's where you get candidates like Mitt Romney talking about self-deportation to try to play to the crowd." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell made that observation while discussing the topic with former Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, not exactly someone with the best interests of the GOP at heart. Gibbs ranted: "If you're only going to do debates in front of diehard Republicans that 100% agree with you, you're going to end up pushing yourself farther and farther and farther to the right....you're not going to win any national elections."
On July 31, 2013, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell celebrated her 35th anniversary at the network and was predictably praised by her media colleagues. Calling in to Mitchell's 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show that day, former Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw listed numerous historic events that occurred the year Mitchell was hired in 1978, concluding: "The biggest story of all, Andrea Mitchell joins NBC News and no one in public life is ever safe again." While that fawning sentiment may have been true for conservatives and Republicans in public life, it was certainly never the case for political figures with the last name Clinton, Kennedy or Obama.
Setting up an interview on Tuesday's NBC Today with author Christopher Andersen about his new book on President Kennedy's final days, co-host Savannah Guthrie began with a gauzy introduction: "As we approach November's 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, the facts and folklore surrounding his life and family are still captivating the world....the images of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his young family continue to inspire nostalgia for a bygone era filled with hope and promise." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After labeling him and Jackie Kennedy "one of the original power couples," Guthrie noted: "But plagued by personal tragedy and allegations of infidelity, the veil over Camelot has long since been lifted." Turning to Andersen, Guthrie observed: "You write about the alleged infidelities of the former president." Andersen had to correct her: "Yes. Well, not alleged. Established."
On Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Ann Curry reported from Tehran on the installation of new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, touting how the cleric "promises to change virtually everything Mahmoud Ahmandinejad has done." Moments later, she announced: "...today Iran has a moderate president promising sweeping change." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a similar report for Sunday's Nightly News, Curry declared that the transfer of power "appears full of goodwill" while teeing up Rouhani addressing the Iranian parliament. Wrapping up the segment, she proclaimed: "After his remarks, President Rouhani immediately named his entire cabinet, most fellow moderates. He was clearly signaling the direction he wants Iran to go and how fast."
As moderator David Gregory hyped a "feud" over national security between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Senator Rick Santorum called out a stunning media double standard: "...the media has a fascination with how divided the Republican Party is and tends to ignore the divisions within the Democratic Party. And I think they are as very much as real on this issue." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough similarly noted Democratic divisions on matters of national security and surveillance: "Well, but it's not just the Republican Party....there are going to be those battles going on in the Democratic Party."
Late Thursday, news broke of the State Department ordering numerous U.S. embassies across the Middle East closed on Sunday, August 4 due to terror threats from Al Qaeda. While the Big Three network evening newscasts all covered the important development that night, not one of them made any mention of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi, the perpetrators of which remain at large.
By Friday morning, the networks managed to add brief mentions of Benghazi to their reporting. On NBC's Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell noted: "... in the aftermath of Benghazi, the State Department is not taking any chances....Amidst ongoing turmoil across the Middle East, from Cairo's Tahrir Square to the civil war in Syria, and past attacks on U.S. diplomatic posts, from Benghazi, Libya last year..."
During a panel discussion on Thursday's NBC Today about comments from Pope Francis on homosexuality, co-host Matt Lauer asked the group of usual liberal pundits if the Pontiff's remarks were a "watershed moment for gays in the Church" or "just a very minor shift." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Advertising executive Donny Deutsch cheered: "I think it was a watershed moment. I think we're seeing a moment in time from the Catholic Church, all across what's happening in this country with laws being passed, that the gay lifestyle is finally becoming like, 'Yeah, so what?'"
During a panel discussion on Thursday's NBC Today about some school districts arming teachers to defend against mass shootings, fill-in co-host Carson Daly teed up New Jersey American Federation of Teachers president Donna Chiera to slam the idea: "Donna, you're a teacher. What's the impact – what do you think the impact would be on a child if they knew their teacher was carrying a gun?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Chiera launched into a bizarre rant: "I would hate for students to say, 'Oh, my goodness, if I answer the wrong question, is my teacher going to shoot me? If I make my teacher angry, is my teacher going to shoot me?'" Rather than reject such an absurd notion, Daly soberly wondered: "Do you think they would they make that connection?" News reader Natalie Morales and weatherman Al Roker also maintained straight faces following the outrageous commentary.
After a tease of upcoming coverage of the Anthony Weiner sex scandal, on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer tried to make the news of political controversy bipartisan: "Republicans are facing a few issues of their own, highlighted by a war of words between Chris Christie and Rand Paul." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the report, fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie announced a "heated feud" between the two Republicans, followed by correspondent Peter Alexander proclaiming: "A Republican family feud growing nastier by the sound bite." As the headline on screen declared a "war of words," Alexander asserted: "The fight has exposed deep divisions within the party on national security and federal spending."
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared that Hillary Clinton's lunch with President Obama put the possible 2016 Democratic contender "a safe distance from the scandal in New York that now includes a longtime aide." Introducing a report on the meeting, Williams noted how "Bill and Hillary Clinton are trying to keep their distance from any associations with Anthony Weiner, whose wife is a longtime Hillary Clinton aide and confidante..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Continuing to fret over the impact the scandal may have on the Clintons, correspondent Andrea Mitchell decried Weiner's continued candidacy for New York City mayor: "Weiner has become a tabloid nightmare for his wife, Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's aide. And for the Clintons, resurrecting embarrassing flashbacks they'd hoped were long forgotten. Weiner said again today, he isn't going away..."
At the top of Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams seized on Pope Francis expressing compassion toward gay people of faith and framed the comments as a major shift for the Catholic Church: "Making history. We're on the Pope's plane as he makes some stunning comments that sure sounded revolutionary..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later introducing a report on the topic, Williams proclaimed: "To the journalists sitting in the back of his plane flying him back to the Vatican from Rio, the Pope's words today during a surprise airborne news conference seemed, if not revolutionary, certainly newsworthy and historic in terms of the Catholic Church."
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie seized on Hillary Clinton having lunch with President Obama to promote NBC's upcoming four-part miniseries on the former secretary of state and first lady: "[She] has been traveling around the country giving speeches as you know, as she considers whether to get into the 2016 presidential campaign. Well, whether she runs or whether she doesn't, NBC says it will move forward with a new miniseries about her life." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
As the headline on screen blared, "Hillary Goes Hollywood," Guthrie touted the casting for Clinton: "This is slated to be a four-part movie starring Oscar nominee Diane Lane, and it will recount Clinton's final years as first lady up to the present. No word yet on who would play other characters, such as Bill Clinton, perhaps Monica Lewinsky."
On Monday's NBC Today, following a report on the latest fallout from the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, Hillary Clinton sycophant Andrea Mitchell fretted over the impact of the controversy on the former secretary of state: "This is terribly painful....this is getting to the point where it is really splashing up against the Clintons because it's almost unavoidable that people are making comparisons to the way Hillary Clinton handled Bill Clinton's difficulties in the 1992 campaign." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On July 24, it was Todaymaking that comparison between Wiener and Clinton, with chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd observing: "But you can't help but remember, [Weiner's wife] Huma [Abedin] works for Hillary Clinton. Is that her political role model? Is that her political role model as a spouse? Is that where she's getting her advice? Well, we know what Hillary Clinton did as a political spouse in the same situation."
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell couldn't contain her glee over Carolina Kennedy being appointed U.S. ambassador to Japan: "Caroline Kennedy was almost born to be an ambassador, a picture perfect daughter in a telegenic first family. She captured our hearts all the way through her intense personal heartbreak." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell acknowledged that Kennedy "has no particular experience in Japan," but quickly brushed it aside: "...she has something that the Japanese consider far more important in an ambassador, and that is a celebrated family name and a direct line to her very good friend in the Oval Office." On Wednesday's Nightly News, Mitchell gushed: "The Kennedy name is magic in Japan."