Sometimes, NBC’s Today show bombards a viewer with bias. Other days, the spin is sprinkled throughout the show; July 7 fell into the latter catagory. In a segment on the North Korean nuclear standoff that aired at 7:05AM EDT, NBC reporter Jim Miklaszewski discussed that country’s recent missile launches. The piece featured a quote from Joseph Cirincione, who, as an NBC graphic identified, is a "nuclear weapons expert."
Cirincione: "[Kim Jong Il] is demanding that the U.S. negotiate with him, not that we surrender, that we come to the table and cut a deal."
Cirincione isn’t simply a "nuclear weapons expert." For eight years, he was the Director for Non-Proliferation at the liberal Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. As the MRC’s Brent Baker reported in a CyberAlert dated October 5th, 2004, he was also a generous donor to the John Kerry campaign. So, in this light, his comments calling for negotiations and reasonable dialogue with the North Korean dictator can be seen in a more honest context. Does anyone believe that Pat Toomey, President of the right-leaning Club for Growth, would ever be labeled as simply an "economics expert" and not have the phrase "conservative" tacked on? It should also be noted that during this segment, NBC, like CBS, didn’t find the time to mention the recent report that the missile North Korea recently launched was aimed at Hawaii.
A few minutes later, at 7:10, Today featured a segment on President Bush’s news conference in Chicago. NBC reporter Kelly O’Donnell seemed irked by the fact that local reporters would be allowed to question President Bush:
O'Donnell: "Advisors taking the questions and answers away from Washington so the President will not only take questions from those of us who always cover the President -- the national press corps -- but allowing local reporters to get in their chances as well. And this is going to be a part of series of events they will do. And advisors hope that it will create a different feeling and perhaps bring about some different subjects and that will be a different flavor, perhaps, as the, the President tries to change how some of the questions and answers may be perceived. And it may change some of the subject matter as well. We'll see as that proceeds."
Anyone notice the whiff of condescension? O’Donnell appeared to be implying that local reporters would allow Bush to get away with discussing "different subjects" and change how his answers are "perceived." In other words, they aren’t tough like the national media.
Finally, there’s this little gem from Matt Lauer. At 8:13AM EDT, he interviewed a psychologist and economics expert regarding a new study that says women want their husbands to earn more then them. Perhaps channeling his inner-Couric, he phrased the question this way:
Lauer: "Well, how do you both feel about this University of Virginia study that says that women, and these are even feminist minded women, who like it when their husband makes more money. That seems to make no sense to me."
It’s good to know that despite completely redesigning the Today studio, there’s still a little of that "Katie vibe" left at NBC.