CONTAINING LINKS TO 1280 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     COMMENTS: PENTAGONíS NEXT BOSS

The confirmation hearings for Robert Gates, nominee for Defense Secretary, were the Story of the Day. Even though the hearings were held on Capitol Hill by the Senate Armed Services Committee, each network assigned its lead coverage to its Pentagon correspondent.

Gates' key soundbite was the admission that the US is "not currently winning" the war in Iraq. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski called it a "sharp departure" from the Bush Administration's current line. ABC's Jonathan Karl (subscription required) pointed out Gates' later clarification: "We are not losing either." CBS' David Martin heard Gates' "bluntly criticize" his predecessor's policies: a shortage of US occupation troops, the disbanding of the Iraqi Army and the purge of the Baath Party.

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