On NBC News’ live Wednesday night debate coverage a clearly upset David Gregory was shocked that Barack Obama didn’t hit Mitt Romney with the liberal media’s favorite talking point, as he whined: “He didn’t bring up the 47 percent!” Obama not mentioning the hidden camera video of Romney talking about the 47 percent also stunned NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams who asked Savannah Guthrie: “Were you surprised we didn’t hear the number 47?”
Obama’s debate performance threw the NBC News crew for a loop as even the normally liberal team admitted Romney scored a stylistic victory, as he appeared more “energetic, aggressive” and “crisp” than the incumbent Obama. (video after the jump)
In a stunning omission on Wednesday's NBC Today, brief coverage of a 2007 video of Barack Obamacompletely ignored the then-Senator praising his controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright as a "great leader, not just in Chicago, but all across the country." The NBC morning show adopted a dismissive attitude toward the video, with co-host Savannah Guthrie leading off the broadcast: "Conservatives circulate a five-year-old video, in a move the Obama campaign calls desperate." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd further quoted Obama talking points: "In a transparent attempt to change the subject from his comments attacking half of the American people, Mitt Romney's allies re-circulated video of a 2007 event that was open to and extensively covered by the press at the time."
Leading off Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Savannah Guthrie declared the presidential race in one key battleground state all but over: "Tonight, both candidates are in Ohio as a spate of new polls shows the all-important bellwether may be slipping away for the Republican challenger."
In the report that followed, correspondent Ron Allen reiterated that "new polls show Ohio slipping away" from Romney and quickly asserted the cause: "Romney down by ten points in a new poll out this morning, and nearly that in another recent poll, after that video of Romney talking disparagingly about the 47% who pay no income tax."
In a surprisingly tough interview with President Obama aired on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie cited Mitt Romney's criticism that the President has sided with teachers' unions against education reform, to which Obama shot back: "I think Governor Romney and a number of folks try to politicize the issue and do a lot of teacher-bashing."
Guthrie followed up: "Can you really say that teachers' unions aren't slowing the pace of reform?" Obama repeated the anti-Romney talking point: "I just really get frustrated when I hear teacher-bashing as evidence of reform." While Guthrie made some effort to pin down the President, she ultimately allowed him to build up the "teacher-bashing" straw man as he dodged her questions.
NBC failed to press Obama adviser David Axelrod over the President's remarks about redistribution on Friday, chucking the story out of its news cycle after two full days. In contrast, the networks hammered Mitt Romney for three days over his comments on 47 percent of Americans who don't pay income taxes.
The Today show did find time, however, to cover the "Honey Boo Boo" nickname generator. The reporters laughed on set over each other's "Honey Boo Boo" nicknames.
While the Innocence of Muslims is still being blamed for the riots and murders in the Middle East, the national news media has no problem running a speculative story that disrespects the teachings of the Christian faith. New "evidence" now suggests that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene after all, but the artifact in question dates back to the 4th century A.D.
This all began when Harvard historian Dr. Karen King received a tiny strip of papyrus from an anonymous collector. After translating the Coptic script thereon, she found two phrases, one which reads, "Jesus said to them my wife. Elsewhere on the paper it continues, "She will be able to be my disciple."
ABC and CBS News brought it up on Thursday evening, but could only afford to allot a few seconds of coverage. NBC Nightly News did not mention it at all. All three network morning news broadcasts devoted significant attention to the story, and predictably worked in references to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code novel.
In an interview with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie teed up the liberal congresswoman to rip into Mitt Romney over a hidden camera video of him at a fundraiser: "Republicans and Democrats have criticized him for it. I'm sure Democrats view it as a gift from above, but do you think with the big issues facing our country, this is something that should be a substantive part of our campaign?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Predictably, Pelosi was eager for the topic to be an issue in the presidential race: "Absolutely. This is fundamental." She slammed Romney for having "demonstrated the demeaning attitude that...[he] has toward a large segment of the American people." In an odd slip of the tongue, she referred to "Governor Obama," but Guthrie never corrected her.
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough made one hyperbolic doomsday declaration after another about Mitt Romney's campaign: "This is one of the worst weeks for any presidential candidate in a general election that any of us can remember....Unemployment is still 8% plus, the economy is still in tatters, and Mitt Romney is blowing this race." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Scarborough frantically asserted: "[Republicans] are so depressed this morning, they just can't believe that Mitt Romney is blowing a race against a president who they believe has mismanaged the economy terribly over the past four years.....It is too much for many Republicans to handle." As the segment concluded, the former GOP Congressman went so far as to tell co-host Savannah Guthrie: "I'm going to go put a bag over my head now, so I will talk to you soon."
Pushing the narrative of Mitt Romney losing the presidential election on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie seized on an article in Politico that "details squabbling among Romney advisers, a lot of blind quotes, anonymous quotes." She turned to political director Chuck Todd and wondered: "Is this a fairly ominous sign for the campaign, that they're already blaming each other anonymously in print?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd proclaimed: "Well, this certainly doesn't happen in winning campaigns, right, Savannah? This is the type of thing you read about losing campaigns. It reads like a pre-bituary, if you will, as if people are looking to see who's going to get the blame for blowing the Republican Party's best chance at knocking off an incumbent president in nearly 30 years."
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..."
Responding to co-host Savannah Guthrie observing that Mitt Romney looked like he "was moving toward the center" on Monday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory asserted: "...he knows he's going to have to make tough choices if he becomes president. That he would indeed have to infuriate conservatives on some of these budget deals..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During an interview with Romney aired on Sunday's Meet the Press, Gregory grilled the Republican candidate on whether he would "cut a deal with Democrats that would cause conservatives to revolt." Speaking to Guthrie on Monday, Gregory touted Romney's "pragmatism" and "flashes of some bipartisanship."
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."
On Thursday, the hosts of NBC's Today could barely contain their glee over former President Bill Clinton addressing the Democratic National Convention, with Savannah Guthrie proclaiming: "Life of the party. Former President Bill Clinton delivers a powerful and partisan speech....blasting Republicans, and in the throes of a bad economy, making the case for four more years." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, Matt Lauer gushed that President Obama had "a really tough act to follow after what was an enthusiastic and powerful endorsement" from Clinton. In a later report, Meet the Press host David Gregory joined in the Clinton lovefest with his own rave review: "Bill Clinton simply owned the room here, stayed longer than he was supposed to, but nobody seemed to mind....it was an appearance that was the height of political stagecraft."
Gregory excitedly added: "Here was one of the party's biggest heros leveraging his enormous popularity to vouch for President Obama..." And observed that Clinton "was happier than ever in the spotlight."
At the top of Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie teased an upcoming interview with Paul Ryan by slamming the Republican vice presidential candidate: "Paul Ryan joins us to talk about where he thinks the presidential race is headed and criticism that he's played fast and loose with the truth." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Beginning the interview with Ryan minutes later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer parroted Guthrie's attack: "There are some people who are claiming that you played a little fast and loose with the truth on certain key elements. And I'm not just talking about Democratic analysts, I'm talking about some independent fact checkers. Would you concede that while many of the things you said were effective, some were not completely accurate?"
During the Today's Professionals panel segment on Tuesday's NBC Today, attorney Star Jones predicted that if Todd Akin continues his Senate run in Missouri, the entire Republican Party will be branded with his controversial remarks: "If he doesn't [get out], the Romney/Ryan ticket is going to be tarred with this feather for the entire campaign. They sponsored bills together that pretty much echo this sentiment." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, advertising executive Donny Deutsch struck the same tone, warning: "As far as the GOP, this is going to be devastating if he stays in. Because they have two big issues, the Hispanic vote and the female vote, and it gives them the ultimate poster boy. They're in trouble."
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd used reports of a Republican congressman skinny dipping during a 2011 trip to Israel to slam the GOP: "...a bunch of freshman House Republicans who came to Washington trying to stop things...create this confrontation with the President over the debt ceiling...created all sorts of economic havoc....they partied, got drunk and one of them went skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie teed up Todd by wondering if the actions of Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder on that trip were "a momentary personal embarrassment or does it have worse tidings for the party as a whole?" Todd responded: "This took place two weeks after the paralysis over the debt ceiling. Two weeks after the United States credit rating was downgraded.....It's not exactly what an institution with an approval rating hovering in the teens, on a good day, wants to be showing."
At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie seized on controversies involving Republican members of Congress and proclaimed: "Hot water....Two distractions for the GOP with the convention now just one week away." Introducing coverage of the incidents, fill-in cost Lester Holt similarly declared: "...some high-profile distractions for the Republican Party. Two congressmen under fire this morning, one for what he did, the other for what he said."
In an interview with Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie slammed Paul Ryan's proposed budget: "And the Ryan budget makes some very hard decisions and has some huge spending cuts....But how can you justify in the Ryan budget defense spending that stays flat and then giving a massive tax cut, which predominantly benefits the wealthy?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In reality, Ryan's budget does not include "huge spending cuts," but simply slows the rate of growth of government spending. That was a "nuance" that NBC political director Chuck Todd made sure to point out on Monday as he attempted to diffuse Republican attacks on the President for taking Medicare funds to pay for ObamaCare.
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, U.S. Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones responded to a New York Times story that trashed her as a "vixen, virgin, victim," telling co-host Savannah Guthrie: "...it was two days before I competed. And then the fact that it was from a U.S. media....they should be supporting our U.S. Olympic athletes, and instead they just ripped me to shreds....they just tore me apart, it was heartbreaking." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The day before two of the U.S. Congress's most liberal, anti-gun legislators introduced a bill to severely restrict the online sales of ammunition, an American Olympic athlete who uses hundreds if not thousands of rounds a day in practice won a gold medal at the London games.
One of the astounding stories to come out of this year's Summer Olympics is the amazing success of American shooter Kim Rhode, who won the gold medal in skeet shooting on Sunday, hitting an amazing 99 targets hit out of 100 possible. "She set a new Olympic record in the morning's qualifying round with 74 hits out of 75," Washington Post sports writer Rick Maese noted in today's paper. As part of her ongoing training, "Rhode averages 500 to 1,000 rounds a day, seven days a week," Maese noted in his positive human-interest story. But as the Scared Monkeys blog notes today:
Within hours of the horrible massacre at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, liberal reporters hijacked the tragedy to advance their anti-gun rights agenda. As they did in the wake of school shootings like Columbine (Back in 2000 the MRC documented, stories advocating gun control outnumbered those in favor of gun rights by a 10 to 1 ratio), the media were quick to heap blame on the NRA and Second Amendment supporters in their quest for more restrictions on guns.
On the very day of the Aurora shooting Time’sMichael Grunwald justified the oncoming push for gun control by the media when he pronounced: “There is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy....Gun control and the Second Amendment are issues, too, and now seems like a pretty good time to talk about them.” (videos after the jump)
Talking to special correspondent Tom Brokaw about Mitt Romney's 10-day international tour on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie suggested the effort was a mistake: "Is it a smart idea, an opportunity to look presidential? Or is it a week lost when he could be driving that message on the economy?"
Brokaw's first reaction was to gush over Barack Obama's 2008 trip abroad: "I actually interviewed President Obama, then-Senator, here in London after a very successful trip. Times were different. There was no Arab Spring at that time, Europe was not yet in an economic meltdown, this was a fresh face after eight years of George W. Bush, who was not popular." Brokaw then added: "But it's mandatory for a presidential candidate to make these kind of tours."
Seizing on the Colorado theater shooting to push for stricter gun laws, on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie teased an upcoming story: "...an undercover report that reveals just how easy it can be for anyone, even violent criminals, to buy assault weapons, no questions asked." Later introducing the segment, she fretted: "...it turns out Colorado has some of the weakest gun laws in the country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen began his hidden camera expose of online gun selling by admitting that it had little to do with the circumstances surrounding the Colorado tragedy: "It turns out this shooter, this alleged shooter in Colorado, had no rap sheet, so he was able to buy his guns in a store legally." Rossen quickly added: "But even if he had a violent criminal record he still could have bought them."
In an interview with Republican strategist Steve Schmidt on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie portrayed Mitt Romney's decision not to release more tax returns as a sign of guilt: "Mitt Romney is within the letter of the law, but he's on the low end of the norm. Do you think that he's left the impression with voters that perhaps he does have something to hide?"
A list appeared on screen of the amount of tax returns released by other presidential candidates in past years as Schmidt provided a bland response that only reinforced Guthrie's assertion: "...when you don't disclose something, one side is demanding you disclose it. People in your own party are saying you ought to disclose it. I think the American people look at it and they go immediately to, 'What's he hiding?' Whether that's a fair conclusion or not."
At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie kept up the drum beat for Mitt Romney to release more tax returns as she proclaimed: "Mounting pressure. Mitt Romney facing new calls to release more of his tax returns. And this time they're coming from prominent conservatives."
In the report that followed, correspondent Peter Alexander failed to back up Guthrie's headline until the very end of the segment: "...there is growing pressure, this morning, for Romney to share more of those tax returns. You'll remember his own father released 12 years' worth during his 1968 presidential bid. And now, Savannah, some prominent conservatives are urging Romney to put more returns out. They say get it over with. One even calling Romney's refusal to do so, quote, 'crazy.'" Alexander did not mention the name of a single "prominent conservative" in the report.
In an interview aired on Friday's NBC Today, former President Bill Clinton began by attacking Republicans: "I'm not sure both sides want the economy to get better....I know what Senator McConnell said, that his number one priority was winning the election." Co-host Savannah Guthrie helpfully added: "It sounds like you're saying the Republicans are basically rooting for the economy to fail." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That teed up Clinton perfectly to proclaim: "No, I didn't say that. Senator McConnell did. Senator McConnell said his number one goal was not to get the economy going again, it was to defeat the President. So I hope they're not rooting for it to fail. I think, you know, they really may believe that austerity now is the right policy."
In an interview with Romney campaign advisor Ed Gillespie on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted over Republicans dismantling false Obama campaign attacks that Romney outsourced jobs as head of Bain Capital: "I want to get to a new ad that your campaign is putting out today....are you calling the President a liar?"
Gillespie didn't shy away from the charge: "What we're saying, Savannah, is that this ad that has been running saying that Governor Romney as CEO of Bain Capital moved American jobs overseas is a lie...independent fact-checking organizations. Just three yesterday came out and said there's no evidence to support the charges in this campaign."
The very early returns are in for Savannah Guthrie's debut as the new co-anchor at NBC's Today show and so far they're not great. According to TV Newser's Chris Ariens, ABC's Good Morning America beat its morning show competitor in the ratings on Guthrie's first day in the co-anchor chair. Ariens reported that GMA won Monday morning's showdown among both total viewers and younger viewers:
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today to promote her new USA series Political Animals, actress Sigourney Weaver admitted that her character, a former first lady turned secretary of state, was based in part on Hillary Clinton: "Elaine Barrish Hammond is this very gifted politician with a very strong moral compass....we are inspired by Mrs. Clinton, who's such a remarkable woman and a great secretary of state. She was a great senator for New York State." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted Chief Justice John Roberts joining the Supreme Court majority in upholding ObamaCare as an "almost Nixon-to-China alignment with liberals on the Court." Special correspondent Tom Brokaw applauded the move: "I do think that it lowered the temperature about the debate about the politicalization of the Court. And that's a good thing for the country, however you feel about the decisions that they're making." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]