COMMENTS: Wild Trees, Kiddie Kandids, Floating Crosses

It would be unthinkable for each of the newscasts not to round out its content with seasonal fare. Both CBS and ABC covered the happy ending for the Dominguez family near Paradise in California's Sierra Nevada. Father Frederick, sons Christopher, 18, and Joshua, 12, and daughter Alexis, 15, set off in a pick-up truck into the mountains after church on Sunday to find a wild Christmas tree. "Lost and stuck in a blizzard the four took shelter in a drainage pipe under the road," narrated ABC's Brian Rooney, and waited to be rescued. A helicopter found the letters HELP spelled out with wood in the snow after "a harrowing three nights spent lost in a snowy, icy forest," as CBS' Sandra Hughes put it. They were six miles away from where their truck was parked.

CBS' closer sent Anthony Mason to a Kiddie Kandids booth in the New Jersey suburbs where child photographer Alex Brock takes those pictures of sweet ones that end up on a family's holiday cards. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas the firm takes 2.5m snaps nationwide. "It is a job that requires the patience of Job," Mason demonstrated. He asked Brock for a trick of the trade: "I cross my eyes a lot. That makes kids happy."

NBC's Christmas special consisted of Andrea Mitchell's survey of the Presidential candidates' ads. "Most of the campaigns have decided that attack ads do not work while people are wrapping presents and watching It's a Wonderful Life." Most campaigns, that is, except for Mitt Romney's, who blasts Mike Huckabee for extending forgiveness to too many felons. Mitchell showed us the cute nuclear family of Barack Obama; John Edwards hoping for miracles for the poor; Hillary Rodham Clinton's joking about campaign promises as wrapped presents--and she showed the strange floating white cross moving above Mike Huckabee's right shoulder, which turned out to be, not a religious symbol for his Christian supporters, but a bookcase.


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