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."
Throughout the coverage of the latest Anthony Weiner sex scandal on Wednesday's NBC Today, hosts and correspondents repeatedly made comparisons between Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, and her long-time boss Hillary Clinton. At one point, Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski declared that Abedin "has learned from the master, Hillary Clinton" on how to deal with scandal. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a later segment, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd similarly touted Clinton as Abedin's mentor in damage control: "But you can't help but remember, Huma 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."
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough made a strange analogy while discussing the latest Anthony Weiner sex scandal: "You know, let's just say he is the Chuck Yeager of sex scandals, he is constantly pushing the envelope, and breaking – I mean this is like The Right Stuff for sex scandals. Nobody has ever been here before, he is in new ground, new territory." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments earlier, Scarborough put Weiner in line with other disgraced politicians making political comebacks: "We now officially live in the age of Bill Clinton, where you can survive a scandal. I mean, you look at Mark Sanford, you look at David Vitter, you of course look at President Bill Clinton, you look at Eliot Spitzer....it's not about the scandal, it's about competence. And the question is, can these people do their jobs?"
In an adoring softball interview with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on her Monday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell eagerly wondered if the Democrat was leading the way in turning the solidly red state blue: "Take a look at Texas Monthly, both you and your brother [Congressman Joaquin Castro] and Wendy Davis are on the cover of Texas Monthly. Is there a Democratic revival coming up in Texas?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Castro seized the opportunity to proclaim: "It is an exciting time to be in Texas right now, as a Democrat....And the question is not if Texas is going to become a competitive state, and eventually a blue state, the question really is just when, how long is it going to take?...but it's going to happen. And you can feel that excitement right now in the air."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, during a report on a attack against Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison that freed hundreds of Al Qaeda terrorists, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel couldn't resist slamming the U.S. for past abuses at the facility: "Abu Ghraib prison, notorious for American abuses and humiliations that [turned] an untold number against the United States, remains an open wound." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Engel began the segment by dismissing the Iraq war as a futile effort: "Iraq is now back in a civil war U.S. officials tell NBC News. The hard-fought U.S. surge there, the benefits of an American war to stop Iraq's civil war, are being wiped out. In car bombs, ambushes and gun fights, more than 250 killed in ten days."
While eulogizing left-wing White House correspondent Helen Thomas on Saturday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell conveniently minimized the controversial end to Thomas's journalistic career: "No longer in daily journalism, she drew criticism for taking sides on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. But by then she was already a legend." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At no point did Mitchell play a sound bite of Thomas's offensive 2010 remarks that Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Poland and Germany.
On Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Mara Schiavocampo offered a fawning report on the 20th anniversary of the popular children's show, Bill Nye, The Science Guy, describing its host as "Part teacher, part crusader." A sound bite followed of Nye declaring: "Climate change is happening." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While Schiavocampo started by describing the success of educational program, she quickly turned to promote Nye's advocacy: "But don't let his friendly appearance fool you....Bill Nye has become a firebrand for science, an advocate regularly speaking out about topics like evolution and climate change."
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie promoted a video of Rahm Emanuel caught dancing at a Chicago music festival: "Rahm's rhythm. You know, a lot of people find it just hard to sit still when they hear Robin Thicke's hit summer anthem Blurred Lines. Well now you can add Rahm Emanuel, Chicago's mayor, to that group." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While the video prompted a full discussion of the Mayor's dance moves among the morning show cast, the broadcast completely skipped any mention of Chicago's credit rating just being downgraded. On Thursday's Nightly News, correspondent John Yang reported: "Moody's gave a big hit to the city's credit rating, knocking it down three pegs. Moody's mentioned not only a $36 billion unfunded pension obligation that the city has, but interestingly, also mentioned the gun violence that's been plaguing this city. Chicago, from the beginning the year through May, has paid $40 million in police overtime."
During a report on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News on the widely panned cover of Rolling Stone magazine featuring Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a sound bite was included of New York Times media columnist David Carr defending the offensive display: "I think that Rolling Stone committed an act of journalism in both publishing this photo and publishing the story that they did." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Throughout the segment, NBC correspondent John Yang described the near-universal condemnation of the cover, but led up to Carr's commentary by declaring: "Rolling Stone has a history of serious journalism, like the story that led to the resignation of U.S. Afghanistan commander, General Stanley McChrystal. In 1970, Charles Manson appeared on Rolling Stone's cover, and other news magazines have had controversial covers, including Hitler and Osama Bin Laden on the front of Time."
In a live interview with Trayvon Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer urged them to condemn the justice system for the acquittal of their son's shooter George Zimmerman: "Do you think the legal system failed Trayvon?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer set up the question by quoting their attorney Benjamin Crump, also a guest on the program: "Here's something Mr. Crump said after the jury was selected, 'It's important that they know,' meaning the jurors, 'Trayvon Martin's parents have put their faith in the justice system. They're praying the justice system doesn't fail them. They want justice for their son.'"
On Wednesday's NBC Today, a report by correspondent Kerry Sanders featured a series of sound bites of public figures, all of them liberal, reacting to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman. Most of the statements focused on using Martin's death to call for the elimination of Stand Your Ground self-defense laws. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Sanders began the slanted segment by highlighting protests against the verdict: "Four days after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter, the number of rallies in memory of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is growing....In Florida's capitol, dozens of demonstrators peacefully occupied the Governor's office....The Governor wasn't there, but they vow to stay until he gets back."
In a softball exchange with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards on her Tuesday 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell recited one liberal talking point after another to denigrate pro-life legislation in states across the country: "On Friday, Texas became the 16th state to tighten regulations on abortion clinics in the past three years, effectively putting most of them out of business. This is part of a growing movement by states to restrict access to family planning and other women's health facilities." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to Richards, Mitchell implored: "What can you or Planned Parenthood and other groups do to try to keep some of these clinics open?" Richards used the opportunity to proclaim: "Look, this is a very extreme set of bills that are going to close down dozens of health centers in Texas.... I think it's a growing theme, unfortunately, in many states where politicians are putting their own political agenda ahead of women's health care."
In a contentious exchange with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory lectured the Republican for writing a letter to the NFL opposing Obama administration efforts to use the sports league to promote ObamaCare: "...it was striking how political it was....You refer to it as a bill; it's actually the law of the land....How can you write such a letter at a time when don't you feel the need for people to understand what the new law is?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
McConnell stood by his opposition: "It's a massive, complicated, unpopular bill. Obviously, if we had the votes, we would repeal it." Gregory ranted: "But, Leader, it's not – but you support the democratic process. This is not a bill. This has been passed; this is the law of the land. You refer to it as a bill. Doesn't that undermine? I mean, if the shoe were on the other foot and it were a law that was passed by Republicans in Congress, would you not refer to it as the law of the land and want to see it implemented as best it could be, despite the fact you disagree with it?"
On his 11 a.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Thomas Roberts condemned America's current social contract as being "so wrong," launching into an angry rant about the supposed persecution of certain groups in the country and making demands of his liberal network to move even farther left: "I want to challenge this network. We had to have an 'I am other' agenda..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Roberts recited imagined lines of attack against such groups: "Being an other, whether it's LGBT, because you're then suspected of being a pedophile and a rabid disease carrier. And if you are a woman, well, you certainly don't have a right to your own body and your own reproductive health because if you do, then you're just a slut who wants to sleep around and use abortion as birth control. And then if you're Hispanic, well you're just a taker, you're not a maker, and you want to come here and have anchor babies and you just want to lay off the land."