During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt and PBS host Tavis Smiley began writing the Republican Party's obituary before any votes had been counted, after co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Which party stands to suffer the most long-term damage if they lose today?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Schmidt proclaimed: "Well, if the Republicans lose, there's gonna be a civil war that breaks out in the Republican Party." Smiley followed by ranting that the GOP would be on the decline no matter what the outcome of the election: "I think we agree on this, though, Steve, the GOP is toast in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America ever if they can't expand their base. They may win tomorrow, but they're not going to win long term." Schmidt replied: "No doubt."
In an interview with senior Romney advisor Ed Gillespie on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer ripped into an ads run by the Governor's campaign in Ohio about the auto industry: "The reaction was swift and unanimous, Ed. They were painted as misleading by independent fact-checkers. Ohio newspapers said they were an exercise in deception, a masterpiece of misdirection, and Chrysler and GM called them inaccurate and campaign politics at its cynical worst." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer jabbed: "How could this happen to the guy who is the son of a car-maker and the guy who is supposed to have the business resume?" Gillespie defended the ad regarding Chrysler expanding Jeep production in China: "...the ad is accurate. The head of Fiat came out and said that they were going to open production in China for Jeep. That's what the ad says, and that's accurate."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory urged both Obama campaign advisor David Plouffe and Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to agree that Hurricane Sandy provided a boost to the President: "The indelible images of this week had to do with Hurricane Sandy and an impact on this race because of the President's time and the images that we saw..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory added: "Governor Christie in New Jersey, who as we heard gave him [Obama] such high marks...was this the October surprise, these political foes, together in leadership, and Christie giving the President such high marks?"
Reporting for Thursday's NBC Rock Center, chief foreign affairs correspondent Richard Engel ranted over the lack of infrastructure spending to protect against Hurricane Sandy and tried to blame it on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: "...the thing we've spent the most money on, a trillion-plus dollars, the most American lives on, and that has been bringing democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, with very questionable results." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Rather than be in Lybia covering the growing scandal over the Obama administration's botched response to the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Engel sat in the NBC News New York studio and proclaimed: "People I've spoken to, experts in this field, say we would be a lot safer, not just richer, if we had spent a lot of that money on improving infrastructure."
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, special correspondent Tom Brokaw strained to explain why New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg endorsing President Obama would be helpful: "[It] may not move the needle, for example, in Colorado, but in Ohio and in places where they're trying to get white men, they can say, 'Look, this guy has got the endorsement of the Mayor of New York.'" Why would someone in Ohio care?
Co-host Matt Lauer noted that the endorsement "wasn't a very warm hug," prompting Brokaw to argue: "It wasn't a warm hug, but it was tough on Romney about not being the guy that he was when he was Governor of Massachusetts."
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd depicted the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy as a boost for President Obama and a struggle for Governor Romney. Todd touted Obama receiving praise from "the GOP's convention keynote speaker" New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and how a trip to the storm-ravaged state was "a chance to show his empathetic side."
At the same time, Todd proclaimed that "Mitt Romney spent his Wednesday full-time on the trail in Florida, trying to balance campaigning and showing sensitivity for the storm victims." The headline on screen summed up the framing of the report: "President Tours Destruction & Gov. Romney Resumes Campaign."
Right on cue following Hurricane Sandy devastating the east coast, correspondent Harry Smith appeared on Thursday's NBC Today to sound the global warming alarm: "First it was Hurricane Irene, then last October's freak snowstorm, and now Sandy. Mother nature has put an unprecedented strain on the power grid and some experts are wondering if climate change is to blame." The headline on-screen wondered: "Is Global Warming to Blame for Storm Damage?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Previewing an upcoming report for Thursday's Rock Center, Smith warned viewers: "There is a growing consensus that this is all part of a new normal....Many a climate scientist say there is a reason this is happening." A sound bite followed of Ben Strauss from Climate Central: "We're seeing more and more extreme weather events. Leading to greater and greater economic damages. And I'm very suspicious that climate change is an important player for many of these."
Hawking a new NBC Publishing ebook on Wednesday's NBC Today about the network's election night television coverage dating back to 1948, author and TV Guide business editor Steve Battaglio touted a moment featured in the book of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams during election night in 2008: "Brian knew that it was going to be a very special night....having a pretty good idea that Barack Obama was going to win, and how do you tell this story of the first African-American president? It was such a monumental event." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Wednesday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd seized on the latest CBS News/New York Times poll showing narrow leads for President Obama in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida as "evidence, potentially, to back up the Obama spin" that "Romney has run out of routes to 270 electoral votes...so they are throwing Hail Marys in new states." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Keir Simmons reported from the European Weather Center in Britain that projected Hurricane Sandy's path and touted how "Global warming could make their work more important than ever." The center's Professor Alan Thorpe explained: "If it turned out to be the case that such storms became more common, then our weather forecasting models need to factor that in." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Simmons then cited Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to bolster the point: "Already the scientists are planning more research to help them, and all of us, plan for the future. Because if it's true, as New York's governor says, that we are now dealing with extreme weather patterns in a way we haven't seen, then centers like the one you've just seen are more important than ever."
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski asserted that impending Hurricane Sandy would help Barack Obama in the election, with Scarborough proclaiming: "Mitt Romney had momentum….This was Mitt Romney's best weekend, and it stops. The momentum stops."
Brzezinski eagerly predicted how the President would be perceived during the storm: "…expect command centers up and down the east coast and the President to be very visible at all of them, telling people about the federal dollars that are on the way, and that will be advantage Obama." Meanwhile, she claimed Romney would be “in an awkward situation," and that "anything he does might look so blatantly political and almost needy, because he’s just not in the equation when the country’s under siege from a massive storm."
On Friday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd described how "both sides are dealing with some unexpected political speed bumps on the trail" and began by detailing the supposed obstacles for the Romney campaign:
...it's Indiana's Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who made controversial comments about abortion and rape on Tuesday...another unforced error for Team Romney and Republicans, national campaign co-chair John Sununu made these eyebrow-raising commentsin response to Colin Powell's endorsement of President Obama.
During a 20-minute interview with President Obama aired on Thursday's NBC Rock Center, host Brian Williams devoted a total of 1 minute 36 seconds to the subject of the terrorist attack in Libya. At the same time, four segments of soft coverage of the President's re-election campaign received a combined total of 2 minutes 19 seconds.
The promotional fluff included the President stopping by a pizza shop in Iowa (1 min 3 sec), appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (30 sec), having singer Katy Perry perform at a rally in Las Vegas (31 sec), and him picking up some donuts at a Krispy Kreme in Tampa (15 sec).
Continuing to hype Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's opposition to abortion as some kind of scandal for Mitt Romney, on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "...the Romney campaign is also dealing with a new controversy, trying to distance itself from this comment..."
After playing a sound bite of Mourdock explaining in a Tuesday senatorial debate that he believed an unborn child conceived by rape was still a life "intended by God," Alexander touted an ad of Romney endorsing the Indiana Republican. He then observed how, "Mr. Romney, who's been carefully courting women voters, ignored the controversy" and declared that the Governor's campaign has "been trying to steer away from it's party's right-wing since the contentious primaries..."
In an interview with President Obama on Wednesday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams lobbed this softball: "How is it that with – what, 13 days to go, you're fighting for your life in a 47/47 race?... So after the excitement of '08, given the power of incumbency, you got Bin Laden, you did not expect to be sitting on a more substantial race than we are as we sit here today?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Obama argued he was exceeding media expectations: "...we always knew this was gonna be a close race from the start....you guys have some short memories. Folks in your business were writing me off a year ago, saying there's no way I would win."
In a continued effort to tag Mitt Romney with a flip-flopper label, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that Romney's performance in the final presidential debate "seemed to be a move to the center" on foreign policy issues and asserted that the Governor was "taking positions he has not taken before."
In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell declared: "Mitt Romney's switch to a more moderate foreign policy last night was clearly aimed at independent women voters.... Clearly having decided that undecided voters, those swing voters, are more likely to choose a moderate Republican than a hawk."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie brought on liberal MSNBC host Krystal Ball and radio host Michael Smerconish to discuss campaign strategy in the final two weeks before the presidential election, with the headline on-screen claiming: "Left vs. Right on Final Race for the White House."
There's one problem with that assertion, Smerconish prominently supported President Obama in 2008 and has routinely filled in for left-wing Hardball host Chris Matthews on MSNBC in the years since. Apparently having someone on the left like Ball and someone center-left like Smerconish is NBC's idea of balance.
Shortly following the conclusion of the final presidential debate Monday night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams posed this question to Richard Haas of the Council on Foreign Relations: "I noticed a columnist for the New York Times tonight tweeted out that this was an etch-a-sketch moment for Governor Romney....Did you see that kind of movement on his part?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williams reminded viewers of the origin of the phrase: "It was obviously a knock of the campaign story that came up about changing policy, moving toward the center with an ease of erasing an etch-a-sketch." Haas avoided any validation of the liberal talking point: "I'm almost more comfortable, Brian, leaving the politics to others, about, you know, what Governor Romney was trying to do tonight."
At the end of an interview with vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie parroted Democratic attacks on Mitt Romney's foreign policy credentials: "John Kerry said, 'this is the most inexperienced foreign policy ticket to run in decades,' talking about you and Governor Romney. What specific national security experience qualifies Governor Romney to be commander in chief?"
At the top of an interview with Joe Biden only seconds later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer teed up the Vice President to slam Romney on the same issue: "[I] started by asking him if he thought Governor Romney is a qualified candidate when it comes to his vision and understanding of foreign policy." Not surprisingly, Biden declared: "No, he's not."
Appearing as a panelist on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, Republican strategist Mike Murphy called out journalists for refusing to provide balanced coverage of abortion: "It's always amazed me how the media assumes there's no such thing in the world as a pro-life woman, it's the most under-represented, you know, group in the world, we never talk about them." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Murphy's observation was prompted by former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers proclaiming that Romney has "been all over the map on every issue that's important to women in this election," meaning contraception and abortion. Her comments followed moderator David Gregory declaring: "...understanding women's choices today, pressures they face, about access to contraception, about abortion...the President wants to – to drive up that wedge and get women to vote for him."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory grilled Florida Senator Marco Rubio on Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" comment: "Can you understand why some women have that reaction, that he seems sort of out of touch with what modern women are going through?"
Gregory also seized on Romney's support of flexible work schedules for women as more evidence of a supposed disconnect: "He talked about the – the importance of flexibility so that, you know, women could get home early to be with their kids and make dinner. And he's gotten some criticism for that because it seems that there's a narrow view of what women's view – roles are, both at home and in the workplace."
At the end of Thursday's NBC Rock Center, host Brian Williams touted an "unexpected moment" with the widow of Robert F. Kennedy when he asked "what she remembered about Fidel Castro, who, it turns out, she's met several times." Kennedy fondly remembered: "He was very warm, very emotional. He clearly would have liked to have been friends with President Kennedy and with Bobby."
Williams lamented the friendship that never was: "It certainly didn't work out that way. And of the three men, only Castro survives."
With Friday's Gallup tracking poll showing Mitt Romney with a 51-45 lead over Barack Obama, the crew at NBC's Today decided to focus on a much more reliable method of predicting the next President of the United States: Halloween mask sales. Co-host Matt Lauer announced: "...there's some science behind this when it comes to the election. For example, according to the Huffington Post, this year Obama masks are out-selling Romney masks by more than 30%." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer detailed how the candidate with stronger mask sales has won the past several presidential contests. Co-host Savannah Guthrie declared: "That's a perfect record....the polls are all over the place, so you know what? Maybe it's as good a predictor as any."
In a rare moment of genuine criticism of President Obama's response to the Libya terrorist attack, on Friday's NBC Today, Meet the Press moderator David Gregory slammed government "confusion" after the event: "...the administration response on this was both sluggish, sloppy and incoherent at some times..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory's criticism was prompted by co-host Savannah Guthrie asking about Monday's upcoming foreign policy debate. While Gregory briefly noted "missteps" on the issue by Mitt Romney in the second debate, he quickly pointed to Obama's controversial comments about the attack during a Thursday Daily Show appearance: "The President's being criticized for his – his talking points on this, on Jon Stewart saying when four Americans are killed it's 'not optimal'..."
Near the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie jumped on "a comment from Mitt Romney's son Tagg that's getting some attention....he said he wanted to, quote, 'take a swing' at the President for some of the attacks on his dad." Pretending it was a newsworthy item, she added: "The Romney campaign says this was just a joke. We'll get into that."
Introducing a campaign report minutes later, Guthrie declared the Romney son's comment in jest was "making some waves." Correspondent Peter Alexander promised viewers, "We'll play that comment for you from Tagg Romney in just a moment." For all the build-up to the supposedly controversial comments, at the end of his report, Alexander revealed the light-hearted nature of them: "During a radio interview Wednesday, Governor Romney's oldest son Tagg joked about his reaction to some of the contentious exchanges during Tuesday's debate."
Between Wednesday's Nightly News and Thursday's Today, NBC displayed an obsession with the liberal meme of attacking Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" remark during Tuesday's presidential debate. The network's delusional hyping of the manufactured controversy reached a crescendo when Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski appeared on Today to proclaim: "Romney just completely doesn't have any leg to stand on when it comes to women and the economy." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Today co-host Savannah Guthrie teed up Brzezinski to slam Romney: "...it has taken on a life of its own. The Democrats love it. They think it really shows Mitt Romney at his most awkward. But if the fight is for independent, undecided women voters, do you think this is an issue that's weighty enough to resonate?"
On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer played the part of Obama campaign stooge when he promoted the President deflecting Libya criticism by slamming Mitt Romney: "...[He] firmly and pointedly chastised Governor Romney for politicizing a tragedy like this, a national tragedy. The father of Ambassador Stevens said, quote, 'It would be really abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer then turned to Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and sanctimoniously demanded: "So I want your response, not to the President, but to the father of Ambassador Stevens." Ryan responded: "What we owe Chris Stevens, what we owe these Americans who gave their lives, are to make sure that we get to the bottom of this so we can prevent something like this from happening again."
Displaying a stunning double standard on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie gave Vice President Joe Biden plenty of room to applaud President Obama's debate performance, while fellow co-host Matt Lauer hammered Congressman Paul Ryan on issue after issue.
In her first question to Biden, Guthrie wondered if the President had "repaired the damage from his lackluster performance in the first debate," then followed up with: "Is the President's strategy here to beat Romney by disqualifying him in the minds of voters?" Meanwhile, Lauer began his interview with Ryan by asking essentially the same question: "A lot of the reporting this morning says that the President was the aggressor and may have won back some of the momentum lost after the first debate. Would you agree with that?"
In a fawning softball interview with First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday's NBC Today, special correspondent Ryan Seacrest was eager to know how she helps the President during debates: "What did you say to him when the two of you walked backstage after the first debate?...Have you spoken to him about the prep?...does he make eye contact with you? Does he look at you for encouragement?"
The First Lady explained: "I'm perched. I'm looking at him. I'm smiling. I'm giving a thumbs up if he can see it....I assume that he can, so I make sure that I'm always giving him that positive love."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, during a panel discussion previewing the second presidential debate, co-host Matt Lauer mandated that Mitt Romney answer charges that he's moderated his positions: "How does Mitt Romney answer that question tonight of, 'Why have you moved to the middle, have become more moderate in these closing weeks?'"
Former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt rejected Lauer's assertion: "I don't think he has to answer that question." Lauer immediately interrupted: "What if he's asked that question?" Former Democratic governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm joined Lauer in ganging up on Schmidt: "Oh, I think he does. He absolutely does."