COMMENTS: Freed From FARC

Colombia grabbed headlines, not because of the visit by Presidential candidate John McCain, but because of the rescue of 15 hostages held by FARC narcoguerrillas in a bloodless raid by undercover government agents. Freed prisoners included Ingrid Betancourt, a French-Colombian politician and three Americans, shot down in a spy plane while conducting surveillance in the War on Drugs. ABC and CBS both led with the Colombian rescue. NBC chose to kick off with more weather porn, this time the California wild fires. In the last three weeks, NBC has led its newscast with natural disasters more often than its two rivals (8 of 13 weekdays v 2 ABC, 4 CBS) combined.

In tribute to the looming Fourth of July holiday, Tyndall Report will keep its notes on Wednesday's news brisk. No network filed from Colombia on the hostage release: NBC's Mark Potter and ABC's Jeffrey Kofman handled the FARC story from Miami; CBS had David Martin file from the Pentagon. Funnily enough, ABC had a correspondent in Cartagena. David Wright (embargoed link) was traveling with the McCain campaign. He stuck with trade policy and narcotics trafficking rather than the hostage rescue. The day's other campaign news was filed on NBC as Lee Cowan updated us on Barack Obama's centrist inflections as he shifts from a primary campaign to the General Election.


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