Taking a gratuitous shot at Republicans at the end of his Wednesday MSNBC show, The Daily Rundown, NBC political director Chuck Todd insisted on making this declaration: "By the way, though, all of the committee chairs in the House Republican conference....All white men....Picture of the party's potential problems." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd, who is himself a white man, was reacting to Democratic strategist Karen Finney making a "shameless plug" for the number of women elected to Congress, who she hoped would bring "a little bit of sanity to the process." As Todd hit the House GOP, Finney chimed in: "White men....Very representative."
In yet another example of climate change fearmongering following Hurricane Sandy, on Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams hyped a fantasy illustration from the New York Times: "...an artist's depiction of the Statue of Liberty submerged in New York Harbor, a kind of what-if warning about climate change and our new coastlines up and down the east coast." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson used Sandy to bolster the case: "...train stations in New Jersey inundated by torrents of water from Superstorm Sandy....scientists say this kind of destruction could become far more frequent because of the heat-trapping greenhouse gases warming the planet."
In an interview with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer was puzzled by GOP opposition to the billionaire investor's call for higher taxes: "One of the ideas being pushed out there by the Right is that if you raise taxes on the wealthy it will have a chilling effect on hiring and investment in this country....Why do you think Republicans are clinging so tightly to that idea?" Buffett replied: "Well, I think they're worried about primaries next time, but I think you're seeing people peel away from that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Earlier in the discussion, Lauer wondered: "...you favor a minimum tax rate for the wealthy....Do you see the political will in Washington right now to accomplish that and come up with a compromise?" Buffett replied: "I think there's a general feeling among the American public certainly, and even among many in Congress, that the rich like me have been getting away with low tax rates, and that it's time to make the tax rates more progressive."
During a discussion of the new film Lincoln on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, documentary film maker Ken Burns ranted about one of the supposed lessons he took away from the movie: "Race is always there in America....Do you think we'd have a secession movement in Texas and the other places, faddish secession movement, if this president wasn't African-American? Do you think the vitriol that came out of some elements of the Tea Party would have been at the same level had this President not been Africa-American?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie enthusiastically touted: "...we've seen a few Republicans peeling off from a pledge they signed to Grover Norquist, who, of course, is a lobbyist, an anti-tax lobbyist, who's been very powerful among conservatives. Is that a significant move?"
Todd replied by urging the rest of the GOP to similarly abandon core conservative principles: "I'll be impressed when you start seeing House Republicans do it....where it looks like Republicans are softening, it's Senate Republicans. If this deal could be cut between the Senate Republicans and the White House, we wouldn't even be talking about this...the fiscal cliff wouldn't be an issue."
Leading off Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams wrung his hands over Israel suffering fewer casualties than Gaza in the ongoing Mideast conflict: "It is a lop-sided fight right now, the estimated death toll is more than a hundred in Gaza, with three Israelis reported dead. The fusillade of rockets from Gaza into Israel is being answered by air strikes, many from drones, many aimed at individuals inside buildings, inside densely packed neighborhoods."
Williams's desire for a fairer fight was reminiscent of former NBC commentator John Chancellor's reaction to the Persian Gulf War in 1992, telling then-Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw: "Greenpeace, the public interest organization, believes that the Iraqi death toll, civilian and military, before and after the war, may be as high as 198,000. Allied military dead are counted in the low hundreds. The disparity is huge and somewhat embarrassing."
Appearing on Saturday's NBC Today, CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood completely dismissed the scandal surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attack as merely leftover campaign politics: "...what we're seeing in the Petraeus scandal and the Benghazi issue being prolonged is an extension of some of the conflict and the bitterness that we had during the election campaign." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Harwood predicted the whole controversy would just go away: "I'm not sure what the resolution of that is going to be. I think ultimately that energy is going to get spent and lawmakers are going to turn to the real crisis that is looming over the American economy, which is the fiscal cliff..."
In an interview with liberal historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin for NBC's Press Pass, Meet the Press moderator David Gregory invited her to draw parallels between President Obama and Abraham Lincoln: "It seems like it's so hard to put Lincoln in a modern political context...But there is a leadership lesson that you think is important now and is important for President Obama embarking on a second term, as he seeks to be what he's always wanted to be, which is not just a president, but a great president."
Kearns-Goodwin used the newly released film about Lincoln to make the point: "Absolutely. I mean I think the timing of it couldn't be better. And it's just coincidence that it really happened to be....there's this great scene, it's not just a scene, but Lincoln's actual words, 'I am clothed with immense power. You will get this vote.' So a president is clothed in immense power if they use the leadership skills to make it happen."
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, New York Times foreign affairs columnist Tom Friedman worked to downplay the terrorist attack in Libya: "There are diplomats that go to dangerous places, and sometimes...they get killed. It is a tragedy. To me, Libya is not a scandal, it's a tragedy."
While the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was indeed a tragedy, Friedman has insisted on protecting the Obama administration from criticism over the attack. On the October 21 Meet the Press, he declared of the growing scandal: "To me, this is an utterly contrived story in the sense that 'this is the end of,' you know, 'Obama's foreign policy.'"
Last week it was Republican strategist Steve Schmidt blaming Mitt Romney's loss on conservative "loons and wackos," this week on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, fellow Republican strategist Mike Murphy joined the media chorus demanding the GOP move left: "...if we don't modernize conservatism, we can go extinct....we've got to get kind of a party view of America that's not right out of Rush Limbaugh's dream journal." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Murphy explained how to "modernize" the party: "We alienate young voters because of gay marriage, we have a policy problem. We alienate Latinos – the fastest growing voter group in the country, because of our fetish on so-called amnesty....It's a fundamental rethink that begins with policy..." Moments later, he asserted: "...the biggest problem Mitt Romney had was the Republican primary. That's what's driving the Republican brand right now to a disaster."
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie interviewed Jordan's Queen Noor and former CIA operative Valerie Plame about their effort to rid the world of all nuclear weapons: "...two women taking on a big challenge....leading an initiative called Global Zero. The goal, to eliminate nuclear weapons around the world." The headline on screen declared them to be "on a mission."
At one point, Guthrie suggested the naivety of the goal: "The counter-argument to that is, 'Wait a minute, all the bad actors in the world are racing toward more nuclear weapons. Can we really afford to do that?' Noor replied: "Well, I think if the United States and Russia, who have 90% of the world's arsenal of nuclear weapons, do continue to make the deep cuts that started during Reagan, that Obama has built up on, that President Obama now in his next term can make with the Russians, significant credible cuts in, then the rest of the nuclear states will join a process..."
At the end of an interview with Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "I think it was 1999, you were named Time magazine's Person of the Year, alright? So I was just actually on a panel the other day where they're trying to figure out 2012's Person of the Year. Who should it be?... it could be Barack Obama, it can be – I mean, there are a lot of candidates. Who do you think it should be?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At first, Bezos dodged the question: "You have put me on the spot. I don't know." But he then agreed with Lauer's suggestion: "In an election year, you know, Obama would be a pretty good choice."
In a series of reports following President Obama's Wednesday afternoon press conference, NBC News repeatedly portrayed Obama as a magnanimous victor "reaching out" to his opponents, while Republicans were tarred as uncooperative and on the attack.
On Wednesday's Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd nearly ran out of positive adjectives to describe the President's demeanor at the presser: "It was a loose, confident, and at times aggressive President Obama....He even extended an olive branch and encouraged growing common ground between the two parties....he was genial and even reflective."
According to Todd's account, the only thing that spoiled Obama's sunny disposition was having to respond to "negative comments from Republican senators on the possibility that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice could become secretary of state." Comments that made the commander-in-chief "visibly angry."
Following President Obama's Wednesday afternoon press conference, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams continued his longtime obsession with the liberal fantasy film The American President and his eagerness to compare Obama to Michael Douglas's fictional presidential character: "...the President today almost conjuring the wording of Aaron Sorkin from the movie American President, as will be pointed out all day, really decided to throw down." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Referring to Obama's indignation at critics of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who made false statements about the terrorist attack in Libya, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell gushed: "This was President Andrew Shepherd really coming through in the East Room of the White House. Because this was President Obama saying, 'If you want to pick a fight with my U.N. ambassador, and blame her for something that was not her responsibility on Benghazi, then you come after me'....It was dramatic. He is angry."
In a transparent effort to yet again applaud the left-wing Occupy Wall Street movement on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams introduced the broadcast's Making a Difference segment by proclaiming: "We all remember the Occupy Wall Street movement. We covered them here a lot....Whatever you think of their agenda and them, they've re-formed now, into Occupy Sandy. They're redirecting their energy into helping hurricane victims..."
In the report that followed, correspondent Katy Tur announced: "Remember the Occupy Wall Street movement famous for taking over New York's Zuccotti Park and coining the term 1%? Well, now they have Occupy Sandy. Within days after Sandy hit, Occupy went to work."
In attempt to deflect the growing scandal surrounding former CIA director David Petreaus away from President Obama, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd parroted administration spin on the controversy: "...they do believe they're a little insulated here, because Petraeus isn't considered an Obama guy. If anything, he's more of a Republican guy at the end of the day." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Anchor Brian Williams wondered about the timing of the scandal: "What if this had come out during the election campaign?" Todd described how relieved the Obama campaign team was that it didn't: "Well, look, it's something that the political team here at the White House is glad that they didn't have to test that hypothetical."
Eager to draw a comparison between Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln during a report for Saturday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Kevin Tibbles observed of the new film about the nation's 16th president: "No coincidence, perhaps, the film opens the week America's 21st century President won re-election in difficult times fraught with partisan bickering. Times in which many ask, what would Lincoln do?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Tibbles suggested the similarity immediately following a sound bite from director Steven Spielberg: "Lincoln advocated things we hold dear today. He advocated that government can be a positive force for the good of all people."
During an exchange on NBC's Press Pass on Sunday, Meet the Press moderator David Gregory and BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith wrung their hands over political divisiveness on social media sites like Twitter, but only managed to cite a list of Obama critics as the worst offenders.
Gregory lamented: "We talk about how polarized the country is....we see this reflected in particularly nasty ways....Donald Trump on election night tweeting....Jack Welch talking about a jobless report....Tone, tenor, and message, really polarizing on Twitter." Smith added: "We did a post on election night of people, you know, demanding Obama's assassination....We got a lot of emails from folks on that list saying, 'Hey, could you please take me off that, I certainly didn't really mean to say that in public.'"
In a report for Monday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Anne Thompson seized on Hurricane Sandy to continue pushing the argument for man-made global warming: "Now some politicians are connecting the dots, blaming the gases that come from burning coal, oil and gas for changing the climate." A clip followed of New York's Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo declaring: "Climate change, extreme weather, call it what you will. It is undeniable." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Thompson did acknowledge that "when it comes to one specific event like Sandy, most scientists are more cautious." However, the segment only featured sound bites of climate experts making dire declarations. The Weather Channel's Tom Moore fretted: "This is something we've never seen before, any of the meteorologists here, for that matter. And it's something very, very unusual."
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, liberal historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin pleaded for the American people to excuse extramarital affairs of public figures like David Petraeus: "What would we have done if FDR had not been our leader because he had an affair with Lucy Mercer? Think of the productive years that Clinton could have had if Monica Lewinsky hadn't derailed them. We've got to figure out a way that we give a private sphere for our public leaders. We're not gonna get the best people in public life if we don't do that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Sounding more like a Democratic strategist on Sunday's Meet the Press than NBC's political director, Chuck Todd urged President Obama to force congressional Republicans into a corner on the fiscal cliff: "...go do it with 65-70 members of the Senate, cut the deal, bring it over to the House....box Boehner in....did the President learn anything from his first term about how to deal with congressional Republicans? Which is don't do it through the leadership."
Moments later, liberal pundit and historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin described how Obama could "build his mandate": "...he has to mobilize that base. That base was energized on election nigh....It's there to bring pressure on obstructionists if they don't get a deal done from the outside in....The Tea Party pressured everybody that summer, why can't his coalition, which is bigger, pressure people from the outside in?"
During a discussion on Monday, NBC's Today show crew could barely contain their enthusiasm at the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president again in 2016, with new third-hour co-host Willie Geist proclaiming: "Can you think of a more qualified human being? She lived in the White House for eight years with another President, she was a United States senator, and now she's got every world leader on speed dial, so there'd be no questions about her qualifications." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Early in the conversation, Geist touted how "there are already polls out in Iowa, she's got 58% of the vote for 2016" and argued her run was "inevitable." Fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie thought Clinton could definitely be persuaded: "...if the head of the party comes to her in two years, if everybody comes around and says, 'You've got to do it, you could be the first female president,' I think it would be hard for her to say no." News reader Natalie Morales added: "Are we ready for a female president? I think most of America probably is."
At the end of a Friday interview with Mark Kelly, former astronaut and husband of former Congresswoman Gabrille Giffords, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie made sure to bring up the favorite liberal talking point of the need for more gun control: "...you gave a stinging rebuke in your statement to political leaders who haven't done anything about gun control....What do you hope will change? And are you expecting President Obama to do something about gun control in a second term?"
Kelly avoided putting the President on hook: "I don't expect him to in the beginning part of his second term. But, you know...we have a Congress that can address it as well." He then argued: "...it's obviously a problem. I mean, we have gun violence that happens time and time again in this country. And I think almost everybody would agree that we have a problem....repeatedly we lost the opportunity and I hope somebody, you know, picks up that mantle and tries to do something about it." Guthrie agreed: "Well, this obviously underscores the need for the issue to be addressed in some way."
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today to promote his new book, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, author and former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham made a comparison between the founding father and the current commander-in-chief: "[Jefferson] was a tall, cool, cerebral president who won re-election, who was actually really good at politics even though he didn't want to act as though he was. So there's some similarities with President Obama." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Meacham did also use the comparison to offer some criticism of Obama: "[Jefferson] understood that to get along in Washington it was really important to understand the politics of the personal, which is something that President Obama has not been so good at. He likes to play basketball with his staff. He likes to play golf with his staff. He doesn't like to reach out to Congress."
Throughout Friday's NBC Today, hosts and reporters gushed over a video released by the Obama campaign of the President tearing up as he talked to supporters at a Chicago campaign office. At the top of the show, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Thanking the team. President Obama gets tearful in a speech to young campaign staffers." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, fill-in co-host Willie Geist declared: "You know, the President known for his cool, some say aloof demeanor, but now we've seen tears twice in the span of about a week." In a report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd noted: "In a video released by the Obama campaign, a tearful President thanks his campaign workers." The headline on screen read: "Tears for Four More Years; Emotional President Obama Thanks Campaign Workers."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell provided a gushing profile of the First Family winning four more years in the White House: "Obama's family is key to his success....Like the Kennedys, the Obamas swept into their first term on the promise of hope....And now with four more years ahead, the First Family continues to be the President's strongest base of support." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Set to various musical scores, Mitchell's report looked at the Obamas and past first families: "For generations of Americans, the Kennedy White House is the iconic standard for the First Family. Young and beautiful, their two-child home represented a timely American portrait....Ron [Reagan] was a striking contrast to his father's rugged conservative image, making headlines with a risque appearance on Saturday Night Live."
After NBC News spent a week hyping President Obama's response to Hurricane Sandy as a major boon for his re-election campaign, on Thursday's Today, political director Chuck Todd completely dismissed Republicans citing the event as one reason for Mitt Romney's defeat: "Believe it or not, that Sandy finger-pointing is something that is being pushed around...when you look at the entire scope of this election and the demographics...it's a pretty absurd idea."
Moments later, co-host Matt Lauer grilled former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on some in the GOP being critical of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie praising Obama's handling of the storm. Barbour explained: "Hurricane Sandy saved Barack Obama's presidency....But that's not Chris Christie's fault. Now, I do think the news media made a much bigger deal out of it, that made it sound like Christie was almost endorsing Obama. All Christie said was, is the President's trying to be a good partner."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd cited Florida as evidence of "this demographic time bomb went off and caught the Republicans off guard," referring to the Hispanic vote in Tuesday's election. He then predicted the same "bomb" could go off in other states in the future: "...it's going to happen in Georgia....Texas and the state of Arizona..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During a panel discussion moments earlier, there was universal consensus among NBC journalists that GOP must abandon its principles to attract more voters. Meet the Press moderator David Gregory proclaimed: "The party has got to find a way to reach out to Latinos, the fastest growing voting bloc, to become a more diverse party with the ability to shed some of the orthodoxy around taxes, around spending over the role of government, and this process is going to begin this morning, the soul searching and redefinition."
In a fawning report on Wednesday's NBC Today on President Obama winning re-election, correspondent Kristen Welker provided gauzy commentary: "...the Chicago crowd was electrified as the President delivered a soaring speech in which he thanked all those who supported him, including his family....The President's daughters are a little taller, his hair grayer, but in his speech, Mr. Obama sounded a lot like the man America first elected four years ago." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Welker touted how "the President struck a tone of healing" and "joked that unlike 2008, the first daughters will not be getting a dog this year." She also noted that one of Obama's first phone calls "was to former President Bill Clinton, of course, one of his top surrogates during this campaign season."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kristen Welker described an Obama campaign "filled with anticipation and nostalgia" and the President giving his final stump speech in Iowa "With an eye on his future" and having "reached back to the past." Welker continued to fawn: "...the state which gave Mr. Obama his first 2008 victory, launching his improbable and historic journey. An emotional night, even for a president known for keeping his cool." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the report, Welker touted: "And while [Obama's] top surrogates stormed the battleground states, some of the biggest names in entertainment also lent their voices, from Jay-Z to Bruce Springsteen..."