Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd blamed Republicans for ObamaCare beginning to collapse under its own weight: "...you could argue that there are some Republicans that are trying to sabotage the law, that they're hoping to not get it off the ground and then they can suddenly make the case, 'See, we've got to get rid of it.' And they've got some state governors that are openly trying to sabotage it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd went on to attack Republican senators who protested an effort by the Obama administration to use the NFL to promote ObamaCare: "Look at what [Mitch] McConnell and [John] Cornyn did to the sports leagues? That was a shakedown. That was a threatening letter by the two leaders of the Senate Republicans, who essentially said, 'If you participate in this, if you help them try to enact this law of the land, be careful, there's going to be political repercussions.'"
In the wake of her filibuster in the Texas state senate on Tuesday, NBC, ABC, and CBS all expressed their outrage at Texas Governor Rick Perry daring to criticize their anointed abortion "folk hero" Wendy Davis. On Friday, Today co-host Matt Lauer announced: "The battle over abortion gets very personal as Governor Rick Perry takes on a female senator whose filibuster helped block a controversial bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer attached the "folk hero" label to Davis as she fretted over "Perry creating a kind of high noon between the two of them." In the report that followed, correspondent David Kerley hyped Perry's mild critique of Davis as setting up "a true Texas showdown" and exclaimed: "Today, Perry made it personal."
Leading off a panel discussion on Thursday's NBC Today applauding the Supreme Court's gay marriage decisions, co-host Natalie Morales proclaimed: "Wednesday's historic ruling on same-sex marriage is being celebrated across the country, but it was sixteen years ago when Ellen Degeneres marked a milestone, breaking a huge barrier in front of millions of people on primetime TV." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After a clip played of Degeneres coming out on her sitcom in 1997, fill-in co-host Carson Daly posed the question: "So how much influence has pop culture had on America's changing attitude and the Supreme Court decision?" Later in the segment, Morales observed: "I mean, pop culture always seems to be ahead of the courts in these instances, right?"
Celebrating Wednesday's Supreme Court rulings in favor of gay marriage, on Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez reported live from San Francisco city hall and announced: "In one of the country's oldest and largest gay neighborhoods, vindication. It was the day San Francisco's Castro District had been waiting for." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A series of sound bites followed of gay rights activists expressing their jubilation over the ruling. The plaintiff in the Defense of Marriage Act case, Edith Windsor, declared "The beginning of the end of stigma." Rabbi Camile Shira Angel proclaimed: "I feel blessed with every fiber of my being to be an American and a Californian today." Ellen Cerf, identified as an "equality supporter," tearfully uttered: "I love America every day, but I love it so much today."
Reporting from the White House lawn during NBC's live coverage of the Supreme Court's rulings in favor of gay marriage on Wednesday, correspondent Peter Alexander touted how the decisions were "very personally satisfying for the President, who it was only about a year ago during the course of the campaign...came out and said that he has had this personal evolution on the topic..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes later, Alexander recited a tweet from the President: "He said the following: 'Today's DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #marriageequality,' and then he wrote, '#loveislove.'" After quoting a similar celebratory tweet from Obama advisor Jim Messina, Alexander observed: "Clearly this is a very content White House on this day."
During live coverage of the Supreme Court's gay marriage rulings on Wednesday, NBC legal analyst Lisa Bloom could barely contain her enthusiasm at the decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8: "There is no question that this is a sweeping historic decision for gay rights....I think this is only the beginning, by the way. This is the decision today, but this is going to engender many more cases to come to further protect gay rights." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Bloom went on to praise the liberal justices making up the majority opinion: "...all three women on the Court voted with the majority, they tend to be the pro-civil rights bloc." She further declared the cases to be "some of the biggest civil rights issues of our time."
On Tuesday, successive MSNBC hosts used the failing health of former South African president Nelson Mandela to promote President Obama's upcoming trip to Africa. Daily Rundown host Chuck Todd lead the way when he announced: "We have some developing news that we just have to share. Nelson Mandela's daughter, Zindzi Mandela, tells NBC that she was with Nelson Mandela, that she told him of President Obama's upcoming visit to South Africa. And in Zindzi's words, she told him, quote, 'Obama is coming, and he opened his eyes and gave me a smile.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Appearing on MSNBC moments after the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the Voting Rights Act, NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd wrung his hands over the prospect of Congress having to make adjustments to the 1965 law: "I don't think Congress is mature enough to do this right now, to be perfectly blunt. That the political, ideological, sort of the way some of these members conduct themselves, I am a pessimist on their ability to do something like this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Was Todd referring to both Republicans and Democrats? His remarks seconds before that declaration seemed to reveal which political party was on his mind: "...inertia [against the Voting Rights Act] is going to be what, particularly some Republicans, who believe this should be left to the states, that there shouldn't be the federal government involvement that there is when it does have to do with issues regarding voting."
In a desperate attempt to dismiss the ongoing IRS scandal, on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown on Tuesday, host and NBC News political director Chuck Todd seized on reports "that it wasn't just conservative groups who were targeted by the IRS" and wondered if it was "turning into a story of Republicans overplaying their hand." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to his panel of guests, absent any conservative, Todd proclaimed: "The IRS 'scandal' looks like it's a bureaucratic scandal. Not the political scandal that Republicans were wishing that they had come up with." He made air quotes with his hands as he said the word "scandal." Panelist Michelle Bernard eagerly agreed with Todd's assertion: "Absolutely. They – it appears that they have really overplayed their hand."
Moderating a Google+ Hangout of gay rights activists on Monday afternoon in preparation for upcoming Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage, NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell threw in some advocacy of her own, noting that the effort to push gay marriage was "taking longer than anyone would want, but it's moving in the right direction."
In an interview with liberal economist Jeffrey Sachs for Meet the Press's Press Pass segment on Sunday, moderator David Gregory worried about skepticism of big government: "...a lot of it has to do with what role does a government play in creating more structural balance in the economy, creating more jobs...doing what nobody else can do for the economy....but that the country writ large does not support....So what changes that and what happens in the absence of that movement back toward government playing a bigger role and spending all of that money?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Sachs began his response by leveling criticism against the Obama administration's massive stimulus program: "...there's a lot of skepticism, and it's understandable. If the government wastes money or runs huge deficits and so forth, you can't be very confident....What you can't do is say, 'We're going to spend a trillion dollars, or nearly a trillion dollars, and we're going to work it out in the next five weeks and we're going to throw it on to the floor of Congress before anyone can even read it.'"
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory lobbed this softball to Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez about the immigration bill being debated in Congress: "...are you going to be able to overcome conservative opposition to the idea of reforming a pathway to citizenship to get meaningful reform?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later on the show, after political director Chuck Todd fretted that the legislation may not pass the House, Gregory seized on comments from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham on the June 16 broadcast: "[He] was saying it's a death spiral for the GOP if they don't get reform done. But there are a lot of people in the House who might be willing to take him on, on that."
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams heralded protests in Brazil "driven by economic injustice," followed by correspondent Mark Potter in Rio de Janeiro detailing the motivation: "Many in the crowds complained about rampant corruption, crime, low wages, and a lack of social services....As Brazil spends billions to build stadiums for next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics."
What Williams and Potter failed to mention was the fact that NBC is a beneficiary of the Olympics, having exclusive rights to broadcast the games. In 2011, NBC's parent company Comcast paid the International Olympic Committee $4.38 billion to continue to cover the Olympics from 2014 to 2020, with goal being "to use the Olympics as a way to raise its number of subscribers and the monthly fees they pay."
Introducing a report on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer announced "a significant breakthrough in a bitter fight on Capitol Hill," followed by correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declaring that "immigration is pitting Republican versus Republican."
O'Donnell explained that Senate lawmakers "worked late into the night writing a new version of immigration reform with more border security," noting how, "Democrats want to get something passed with a dozen or more Republicans, and that's the hard part."
President Obama's speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was much anticipated by the network morning shows on Wednesday. On ABC's Good Morning America, Jonathan Karl announced: "Expectations are high." On CBS This Morning, Major Garrett touted the White House hope that the address would rank among past "famous and memorable speeches." On NBC's Today, Matt Lauer reminisced over the President being "greeted like a rock star" in 2008. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, after Obama's lackluster performance on Wednesday, there was nothing but silence on Thursday's morning shows, not even a mention of the supposedly "historic speech" that was promised.
Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Wednesday, NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd came up with a long list of excuses for President Obama's poor speech performance in Berlin: "I want to give you a little context here....there was an attempt to shrink the crowd size....Maybe they would have gotten 25, 30, 40,000 people....President Obama feeds off a crowd very well." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd then grasped at other reasons for the lackluster event: "...you had that very distracting glass and you could just see that the President himself wasn't feeding off of the crowd. And I think look, part of it, it was hot. Those folks were out there for two and a half hours...it can sap your energy a little bit. And I just wonder if that added a little bit to this."
On her eponymous 1 p.m. ET show on MSNBC on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell ranted against House Republicans daring to introduce pro-life legislation to limit abortions: "The House is expected to vote by tonight on controversial new restrictions that would go against Roe v. Wade. And if they were to pass the Senate, the President would of course veto it...So what's the point?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, Mitchell derisively wondered: "Here we have another abortion fight that seems to be just House Republicans, or those who are against abortion rights, picking a fight even though they know they won't win. What is going on politically?" Coles replied: "If you look at what happened to the Republicans at the last election, when they chose to make social issues – they put it at the front of the agenda, it didn't do them any good."
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, reporting on President Obama's trip to Europe, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd fretted over the commander-in-chief's declining popularity overseas: "Obama comes to this [G-8] summit...to a much more muted reception than in the past. Once heralded as the anti-George Bush...now he's on the defensive over U.S. policies, including some he's kept in place from the Bush era." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd listed some of the ways in which Obama hasn't been liberal enough for European sensibilities: "The NSA surveillance programs, widely panned on this privacy-conscious continent. The failure to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, his hesitancy to engage in Syria, and a perceived lack of focus on climate change."
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell seized on NSA leaker Edward Snowden attacking former Vice President Dick Cheney, who labeled Snowden a traitor for publicizing classified information: "Snowden wrote, 'Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell went out of her way to hit Cheney on Monday's Today, noting that he "helped institute warrantless evesdropping, no court orders required, a policy Congress later rejected in favor of the current surveillance programs."
The hosts on Monday's NBC Today were all in agreement that New City Mayor Michael Bloomberg forcing all residents to sort out rotten food scraps from their garbage for composting – and to hold on to the refuse for days – was a "great idea" that would be "good for the environment." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer briefly explained the program: "[Bloomberg] wants you to take your food scraps, put them in a container about the size of a picnic basket in your home, hold them for a few days and then later put them in some larger...containers out on the sidewalk....This is going to be part of a voluntary program at first, which will then become a mandatory program." He added that "they've tried it with a few pilot programs here in New York and the participation was very high."
In a report on Monday's NBC Today about new leaks from National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell took a jab at former Vice President Dick Cheney: "Cheney, who helped institute warrantless evesdropping, no court orders required, a policy Congress later rejected in favor of the current surveillance programs." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The implication from Mitchell seemed to be that the NSA surveillance program under the Bush administration was wrong but that the program under President Obama is fine. She failed to mention Obama's dramatic shift on the issue, having been a harsh critic of such methods under President Bush.
Amid the debate over immigration reform and media predictions that the Republican Party will never again win a national election due to demographic shifts in the country, correspondent Tom Costello appeared on Friday's NBC Today to eagerly promote a new study: "You know, by 2043, just three decades from now, the Census Bureau says whites will be a minority....a changing complexion that will have huge, social, political and economic implications for the entire country."
Costello remarked: "Far from the 50s, a new kaleidoscope of color....For the year ending July 2012, the Asian population expanded by 530,000 people, African Americans added 560,000, and the Hispanic population grew by the most, 1.1 million people. Non-Hispanic whites, long the dominant demographic group in the country, added only 175,000 people to their ranks, and for the first time, deaths, by a slim margin, out-paced births for whites..."
During a fawning report on Hillary Clinton's "first time kicking off the Clinton Global Initiative" on Friday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander also cheered the "double feature" of Clinton and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaking at the event: "Today it is Bill Clinton who could soon be advising his wife's next presidential bid, giving her possible rival Chris Christie the reins for a major platform to showcase his own leadership skills."
Continuing to hype Christie hobnobbing with Democrats, Alexander declared: "Chris Christie, the Jersey-shore-reopening, carnival-playing presidential pal is the former President's guest of honor, speaking this afternoon, while his Republican rivals address a conference of religious conservatives. Insiders say, for the moment, Christie is focused on 2013, not 2016, eyeing his own re-election race in a heavily blue state."
In a report for Friday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander gushed over Hillary Clinton speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative: "Call it Hillary Clinton 3.0." A sound bite played of Clinton joking: "So after visiting 112 nations over four years, I'm still jet lagged." Alexander added: "But no signs of wear..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alexander continued the Hillary promotion as if she was already running for president: "[Clinton] is essentially raising the curtain on her next act, empowering women and girls.... Her recent return to the spotlight certainly appears carefully choreographed. The newly renamed Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and a brand new Twitter account, nearly a half million followers waiting to hear what's 'TBD.'"
On Tuesday's NBC Today, the hosts of the morning show applauded Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine promoting the proposed immigration bill by addressing the Senate in Spanish. Co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "...something happened on the Senate floor on Tuesday that apparently has never happened before in history....Tim Kaine delivering an entire speech in Spanish in support of the immigration reform bill..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie noted some mixed reaction: "This was to the delight of some Hispanic civil rights groups. But one of those groups actually said they wanted the immigration debate to be something that everyone could understand, thought it should be in English." However, she happily concluded: "Nevertheless, it's hard to get a first these days, especially in the U.S. Senate. This apparently was one."
While a series of Obama administration scandals have left many Americans questioning the trustworthiness of government officials and bureaucrats, NBC News decided to use the recent National Security Agency leaks by Booz Allen contractor Edward Snowden to bash the role of the private sector in assisting with intelligence gathering. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman summed up the network's smear campaign during a panel discussion on Wednesday's NBC Today about the NSA snooping controversy: "...the number of contractors who aren't government workers, who are hired because they're young and geeky and they have computer skills....But they also are rather unmoored, they don't have a sense of patriotism, they don't really belong anywhere, so their sense of right and wrong is very different than how we see it."
On Tuesday night's O'Reilly Factor, mentioning his appearance on NBC's Today that morning, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly observed that the Peacock Network was having a difficult time covering the scandals plaguing the Obama administration: "Look, even when I was at the Today show this morning, NBC News, okay? I would say the most fervent Obama news agency in the country....Even them, they're going, 'Whoa, whoa.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guest Monica Crowley replied: "Even NBC, Holy smokes! That's when you know he's in trouble..." O'Reilly added: "...they can't defend him anymore, the President, because he's in charge." Crowley countered: "Well, I mean, look, they still go to great lengths to protect him." O'Reilly declared: "Not today they didn't."
In an interview with Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer seemed perplexed by the Fox News host asserting that "the Obama administration doesn't tell us anything" about numerous government scandals: "So you think there's been less transparency under this administrations than there has been under past administrations?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly responded: "I don't know. I mean maybe, but I can't find out anything. Can you? I don't know what happened in Benghazi, I don't know what happened in the IRS, I don't know what happened with James Rosen....they won't tell us anything."
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald corrected co-host Savannah Guthrie on her framing of the NSA phone and email surveillance controversy after she inaccurately cited government leaker Edward Snowden: "Snowden makes what I consider to be a rather remarkable claim stating, quote, 'I, sitting at my desk certainly had the authorities to wiretap you'....He didn't say that he had the ability to do it....He said he had the legal authority to do it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Greenwald responded: "That isn't what he said. He didn't say he had the legal authority. That's a word you included in the statement that he didn't actually include....he said authority, not 'legal authority,' which is what you just quoted him as saying. And what I'm telling you is that is a misquotation..."
After fretting that numerous government scandals were becoming a "big problem" for President Obama at the top of Friday's NBC Today, in the 7:30 a.m. ET half hour, correspondent Andrea Mitchell eagerly engaged in reporting that was more enjoyable, the promotion of a new Hollywood biopic of Hillary Clinton ahead of the former secretary of state's potential 2016 presidential run. [Watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell began the puff peice by proclaiming: "Hillary Clinton has been America's first lady a senator from New York, and most recently, secretary of state. But a new film called Rodham will focus on Hillary Rodham's days fresh out of law school." Mitchell's supposed news story devolved into entertainment gossip: "So who will play a young Hillary? Reports have linked some of Hollywood's hottest stars to the film, including Scarlet Johansson and Reese Witherspoon. A source close to the film wouldn't confirm that, but did tell NBC News Kerry Mulligan is being strongly considered for the role. The British actress most recently appeared in The Great Gatsby."