Campaign Watch

By Kyle Drennen | September 13, 2012 | 11:43 AM EDT

Continuing to attack Mitt Romney's reaction to the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie urged Senator John McCain to admit Romney made a mistake: "Was it correct for Mitt Romney to seize on that political opportunity at a moment when the U.S. Ambassador had been killed?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

McCain stood behind Romney's criticism of the Obama administration's initial response to the attacks and added some of his own: "Look, what this is all about is American weakness and the President's inability to lead....Iraq is dissolving, our relations with Israel are at a tension point. He – I'd like to see the President of the United States speak up once for the 20,000 people that are being massacred in Syria. There is an absence of American leadership in the region..."

By Kyle Drennen | September 12, 2012 | 5:14 PM EDT

On her 1 p.m. et MSNBC program on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell interrogated former United Nations Ambassador and Romney advisor Richard Williamson on the Republican presidential candidate's criticism of President Obama's response to attacks in Egypt and Libya: "Does it seem to be injecting politics into a national tragedy?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Williamson dismissed Mitchell's question: "Andrea, you're an experienced reporter. You've had the same questions asked about your own reporting from time to time....You're engaging in a process question. The importance is the substance of what's going on in the Middle East, where the U.S. is being compromised and in retreat."

By Kyle Drennen | September 12, 2012 | 12:11 PM EDT

At the top of Wednesday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd denounced Mitt Romney for daring to criticize the Obama administration's handling of the attack on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya: "[The Romney campaign] wish they had that press release back, because as the hours unfolded....this statement looks crass and tone deaf in the light of this day." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Todd was referring to the Romney campaign condemning a statement by the U.S. embassy in Cairo that essentially apologized to the Islamist protesters attacking the diplomatic grounds. Todd proclaimed: "Now here's what we don't get. Why the Romney campaign didn't wait until it had all the facts....Now they're actually in a political box, because what can they do? They know that they've made a mistake."

By Kyle Drennen | September 11, 2012 | 11:40 AM EDT

Promoting his fawning profile of President Obama for the October issue of Vanity Fair on Tuesday's NBC Today, contributing editor Michael Lewis described a game of basketball he played with the commander in chief: "...it was actually very revealing...he doesn't let anybody treat him like the president. If you're watching the game, you'd have no idea who – which one is the president...he likes a really challenging environment...it's a relationship among equals." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

The gushing from Lewis was prompted by co-host Matt Lauer wondering: "What did you see about the way he [Obama] handles himself on the court that sheds some light on his personality and how he might handle himself in the job?" Lewis observed: "...he's effective on the court, he's a good basketball player – but he plays a game that seems very risk averse....But then all of a sudden, when there's a risk to take, it's boom. He's got the personality of a sniper."

By Kyle Drennen | September 10, 2012 | 4:41 PM EDT

Eager to get a jump-start on biased coverage of the next presidential race, on Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell salivated over a possible Hillary Clinton run: "Well, the conventions were barely over before politicians in both parties started talking about likely contenders for 2016, and overshadowing all others is the woman who wasn't even there."

Mitchell sympathetically observed: "Hillary has been waiting a long time for her chance to be president, after losing a bitter primary fight to then-Senator Barack Obama four years ago." Mitchell then proclaimed: "She says she has no plans to run, but if she did, some say she would clear the field."

By Matt Vespa | September 10, 2012 | 3:46 PM EDT

One the eve of the nation's third-largest school district seeing a massive teacher's strike ABC's World News was strangely silent. Of course, even as other media outlets have covered the story, they've often done a poor job at presenting the public relevant information. For example, as my NewsBusters colleague Scott Whitlock reported today, CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network morning show on Monday to note that Chicago teachers make on average $71,000 a year.

By Kyle Drennen | September 10, 2012 | 12:08 PM EDT

At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer eagerly touted an Obama campaign photo-op: "One pizza shop owner in Florida got a little excited when he met President Obama, gave him a bear hug and then lifted him up....By the way, he's a Republican." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd announced that Obama had "clearly found a bounce in his campaign step, on display as he visited a Florida sports bar, even making a birther joke....Later the President got a whole new lesson in retail politics, when he got a very enthusiastic welcome from a Florida pizza shop owner."

By Brad Wilmouth | September 7, 2012 | 11:09 PM EDT

Appearing as regular panel member on Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, as he recounted former President Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention, liberal Washington Post columnist Colby King claimed that "the amount of hate that the Republicans have for Barack Obama is just astounding," calling it "raw, visceral hate."

A bit later, after right-leaning panel member Charles Krauthammer offered criticism of Michelle Obama's speech, King lambasted him for not giving the First Lady a pass from substantive analysis and ended up gratuitously suggesting that dying was the only thing President Obama and wife Michelle could do to make the conservative Krauthammer happy. King:

By Kyle Drennen | September 7, 2012 | 4:59 PM EDT

On Friday's NBC Today, less than two hours before another poor jobs report, co-host Matt Lauer touted a bold economic prediction: "Some of the analysts I've been reading have said that no matter who is president over the next four years, the economy will add about 12 million jobs just because of the cycle it's in." CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer agreed with the rosy scenario: "...a lot of pent-up demand in autos and pent-up demand in exports. It's not such a bad moment."

Earlier in the discussion, Cramer predicted that the upcoming jobs numbers would be "a little better than expected" from the projection of 135,000 jobs created in August, with "Maybe 10,000 jobs more than that." At the top of the 9 a.m. hour, fill-in news anchor Tamron Hall delivered the much more disappointing reality: "[The unemployment rate] now stands at 8.1% for the month of August, down .2% from July, but only because more people gave up looking for work. The economy added 96,000 jobs last month."

By Kyle Drennen | September 7, 2012 | 12:38 PM EDT

Comparing the RNC and DNC conventions on Friday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough declared a knockout for Democrats: "...if we're going pound for pound, round for round, this wasn't Ali versus Frasier, this was Muhammed Ali versus Chuck Wepner...It was ugly..." The liberal crowd assembled around Scarborough at a bar in Charlotte all cheered and applauded the statement. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Scarborough's boxing reference was to a 1975 fight when Wepner went 15 rounds with the heavyweight champion Ali before losing. On the conventions, he argued that Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden "all hit home runs...all hit it out of the park," while in Tampa, "you had a Republican convention that was trying to figure out how to love Mitt Romney."

By Brad Wilmouth | September 7, 2012 | 8:02 AM EDT

During the midnight hour of MSNBC's Thursday night Democratic National Convention coverage, host Chris Matthews managed to squeeze in another charge of racism against a black President by "right wingers" as he brought up the birther movement and asserted:

By Brad Wilmouth | September 7, 2012 | 7:32 AM EDT

During the midnight hour of MSNBC's Thursday night Democratic National Convention coverage, MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman -- formerly of Newsweek -- declared that it was "brilliant" for President Obama to suggest that Republicans are being "unpatriotic" in trying to make an issue of the economy's poor performance during his time in office.

Shortly past midnight, Fineman asserted: