COMMENTS: Thursday’s Thoughts

Besides The Philippines, there were three other foreign hotspots. CBS' Jeff Glor filed from Haiti, where United Nations peacekeepers are responsible for introducing the cholera that has killed 8,000 since the 2010 earthquake. NBC's in-house physician Nancy Snyderman showed us the same catastrophe last month, after a hiatus of coverage of almost three years.

From London, CBS' Mark Phillips documented the spread of the Snowden Effect, as PressThink's Jay Rosen calls it: the changes in governments worldwide as a result of Edward Snowden's spilling of National Security Agency secrets. Phillips introduced us to Sir John Sawers of MI6 and Sir Iain Lobban of GCHQ, previously shrouded in secrecy, a pair of spymasters forced to testify in public about how much more difficult their lives are now. Phillips repeated, without substantiation or detail, their claim that Britain's eavesdropping has resulted in the foiling of 34 plots since 2005, a little more than four each year. Phillips showed us a cartoon diagram on a "jihadi group's Website" that offers tips on how to dodge buggers -- so the Snowden Effect spreads even to amateurs.

Check out the last three years of ABC's coverage of the struggles faced by military families during the long months of deployment at war. You will see that there are two recurrent themes: childbirth at home while the warrior father is in the field; and joyous, tearful reunions when the warrior parent returns home. So now, ABC's Josh Elliott offers us a twofer in his profile of Captain Lotz: in part one, Elliott embedded with troops in Afghanistan, shows Lotz cellphone video of his newborn daughter; then he promos tomorrow's part two, the homecoming, complete with triumphal soundtrack music.

Meanwhile, on CBS, Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes brings us a military story that is not so heartwarming: the 3,500 complaints of rape in the ranks filed during the first nine months of this year, complete with the outraged testimony of Arianna Clay. If you look at how the military sexual abuse story has evolved this year, it has always been an inside-the-Beltway scandal, yet its focus has shifted from the Pentagon to Capitol Hill. The central figure in Cordes' report was Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democrat from New York State, not Clay, the raped marine.


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