CONTAINING LINKS TO 51991 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM NOVEMBER 14, 2006
For the third straight weekday, Iraq was Story of the Day. This time a mass kidnapping of bureaucrats from the Education Ministry in downtown Baghdad was the lead on all three newscasts. Unfortunately (for the networks) late-breaking developments undercut their headlines. As they went on air, word filtered out that fortunately (for the hostages) most had been released.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR NOVEMBER 14, 2006: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailCBSIraq: mass kidnapping of eduction bureaucratsAbducted by gunmen dressed as police commandosElizabeth PalmerBaghdad
video thumbnailABCImmigrant teenagers get continuing HS educationHouston night school for legals and illegalsCharles GibsonHouston
video thumbnailABCIraq: mass kidnapping of eduction bureaucratsAbducted by gunmen dressed as police commandosTerry McCarthyBaghdad
video thumbnailNBCIraq: mass kidnapping of eduction bureaucratsAbducted by gunmen dressed as police commandosTom AspellBaghdad
video thumbnailABC
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Automobile industry in financial troubleDetroit's leaders seek relief from White HouseDean ReynoldsDetroit
video thumbnailNBCHouse Majority Leader contest: Hoyer vs MurthaMurtha criticized for lobbyist ties, Abscam roleLisa MyersWashington DC
video thumbnailCBSFederal tax code reforms, tax rates debatedDemocrats seek Alternative Minimum Tax reliefSharyl AttkissonCapitol Hill
video thumbnailNBCSudan civil war: ethnic cleansing in DarfurWomen and girls raped as weapon of warAnn CurryChad
video thumbnailABCChief Justice John Roberts progress reportDescribes chore of controling his colleaguesJan Crawford GreenburgMiami
video thumbnailCBSHeart disease and cardiac arrests coverageDelayed angioplasty is no better than noneJon LaPookNew York
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
IRAQ AGAIN For the third straight weekday, Iraq was Story of the Day. This time a mass kidnapping of bureaucrats from the Education Ministry in downtown Baghdad was the lead on all three newscasts. Unfortunately (for the networks) late-breaking developments undercut their headlines. As they went on air, word filtered out that fortunately (for the hostages) most had been released.

CBS focused on the education angle: Elizabeth Palmer in Baghdad combined her kidnap coverage with campus protests at Baghdad University against anti-academic violence and the mass emigration by professors in response. Katie Couric interviewed Zainab al-Suwaij of the American Islamic Congress: this brain drain, she explained, was caused by "Taliban-type" opposition to intellectuals. NBC's Tom Aspell also reported that academics are seen as "too liberal" nowadays in Baghdad.

ABC's Terry McCarthy chose the political angle in reporting the kidnapping. The Education Ministry is run by Sunnis and the Interior Ministry is run by Shiites. The kidnappers wore hard-to-obtain blue camouflage uniforms of police commandos, so McCarthy suspected an inside job. NBC's Richard Engel (at the end of the Aspell package) argued that the party that runs the Education Ministry is linked to Sunni supporters of al-Qaeda--not what one would call "too liberal."


TOO LATE FOR MICHIGAN The headline from the White House was President George Bush's talks with execs from GM, Ford and Chrysler. The economic plight of Detroit's Big Three is usually an NBC favorite amassing 39 minutes of coverage (ABC 25, CBS 20) on automobile industry woes during the first ten months this year. This time ABC took the lead, with Dean Reynolds (subscription required) detailing probably futile pleas for relief on healthcare costs, dollar-yen currency rates and alternate fuel subsidies. If the White House had been serious about bailing Michigan out, it would obviously have made the effort before GOP candidates were defeated for both governor and senator in that state last week. NBC called on sister network CNBC for a stand-up from Philip LeBeau. CBS did not assign a reporter to the story.


BARONS OF THE HILL The new bosses of Capitol Hill are gradually being introduced to the nation. Rep John Murtha is running for House Majority Leader. NBC's Lisa Myers questioned his ethics, citing hefty campaign contributions from lobbyists for military contractors. But dredging up the 1980 ABSCAM investigation was a low blow. She showed FBI undercover agents offering Murtha a bribe on hidden camera--Murtha turned the money down and was never indicted. So what's the story?

The new House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel was profiled by CBS' Sharyl Attkisson. He pitched middle-class tax relief, promising to lift the burden of the Alternative Minimum Tax. She insisted that a tax cut for the middle meant a tax hike for the top. "If you want to pin me to the cross" sighed Rangel, the rich may have to pay more.


CROSSOVERS ABC and NBC both crosspromoted with newscasts in other dayparts. Today's Ann Curry continued her yesterday's reporting on the Crisis in Darfur. She showed how rape is used as a weapon of ethnic cleansing. Teenage girls are left with bite marks or scars from knife slashes as a visible mark of their defilement.

ABC's new law correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg snared a sit-down with Chief Justice John Roberts for Nightline. The event was a symposium at the University of Miami. The topic was how the Chief is able to control his eight fellow justices. "So you cannot tell Justice Scalia what to do?" She asked…


PIT STOPPED London's Great Ormond Street Hospital has a friend in CBS News. Last month the children's hospital was featured by CBS' Elizabeth Palmer because it is publishing a sequel to Peter Pan, the children's book. Now, it gets the attention of Mark Phillips. We have seen the story before in the US--how NASCAR pit crews teach efficient coordination to non-sports-related teams. This time it was the Euro version--how Formula One pit crews teach efficient coordination to the hospital's ICU.

Sorry, the story does not appear online. However generous F1 may be with its advice to doctors, it is well known as being stingy with its video. Presumably the rights did not clear to see Phillips' report streamed.


HEART NOT IN IT After yesterday's story from the New England Journal of Medicine about heart attack patients dying because cardiologists are not ready to receive them quickly enough (more training from Formula One needed) from hospital emergency rooms, CBS' Jon LaPook followed up with American Heart Association research about useless angioplasty. It found that the procedure, when performed more than two days after a heart attack, is no more beneficial than if it had never been done at all.

LaPook failed to follow up with questions a reporter would ask: How much does all this unnecessary angioplasty cost? Who profits from these procedures? How many patients have undergone them? And given Lisa Stark's report on ABC (subscription required) that 90,000 patients of all types die each year from infections they pick up from being in hospital, how many heart patients have died from unnecessary angioplasty?

Dr LaPook is one of the additions Katie Couric has added to the reporting team at CBS. So far, as a medical correspondent…LaPook makes a fine doctor.