CONTAINING LINKS TO 51991 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM NOVEMBER 17, 2006
Yesterday's interruption of Iraq coverage caused by that North Carolina tornado proved to be a one-day wonder. For the fourth weekday out of five this week, Iraq was the lead story on all three networks. This time it was the hijack of 19 trucks from a 44-vehicle convoy operated by the Kuwait-based contractor Crescent Security Group: five drivers have been kidnapped at a fake police checkpoint, four of them Americans.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR NOVEMBER 17, 2006: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailCBSIraq: civilian contractors provide logistics supportConvoy hijackers kidnapped four American driversElizabeth PalmerBaghdad
video thumbnailABCIraq: civilian contractors provide logistics supportConvoy hijackers kidnapped four American driversJonathan KarlPentagon
video thumbnailCBSIraq: civilian contractors provide logistics supportTruckers are well paid, in constant dangerArmen KeteyianNew York
video thumbnailNBCVietnam-US diplomacy: President Bush to HanoiReflects on lessons from US defeat in warDavid GregoryHanoi
video thumbnailCBSVietnam-US diplomacy: President Bush to HanoiReflects on lessons from US defeat in warJim AxelrodHanoi
video thumbnailNBCVietnam economy undergoes rapid growthPost-war expatriates return to build businessesIan WilliamsHanoi
video thumbnailNBCCosmetic surgery trends and proceduresFDA revokes ban on silicone gel breast implantsRobert BazellNew York
video thumbnailABCDubai is booming, glamorous construction centerGuest workforce abused, forced into servitudeBrian RossNew York
video thumbnailABC
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Beauty queen gives up crown to go to warNational Guard volunteer honored in MinneapolisElizabeth VargasNew York
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
BACK TO IRAQ Yesterday's interruption of Iraq coverage caused by that North Carolina tornado proved to be a one-day wonder. For the fourth weekday out of five this week, Iraq was the lead story on all three networks. This time it was the hijack of 19 trucks from a 44-vehicle convoy operated by the Kuwait-based contractor Crescent Security Group: five drivers have been kidnapped at a fake police checkpoint, four of them Americans.

CBS covered the hijack most heavily. Elizabeth Palmer was the only Baghdad-based reporter assigned to the story: "More and more these days men who look like police are criminals in disguise." And Armen Keteyian followed up with a feature on the high pay and dangerous conditions encountered by civilians working on the military logistic supply lines. He recommended the book Cindy in Iraq by Cynthia Morgan, a memoir by a rare female trucker.

ABC and NBC covered the story from the Pentagon. ABC's Jonathan Karl, who broke the story yesterday with a brief stand-up, reported that this checkpoint was manned by soldiers from Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in stolen police commando uniforms. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski chose a human-interest angle, showcasing one trucker's distraught family in Minneapolis.


HANOI HILTON After stops in Moscow and Singapore, President George Bush arrived in Vietnam for the APEC Summit. Those earlier stops had not been deemed newsworthy enough to be covered on the nightly newscasts. Not this one in Hanoi. All three White House correspondents covered his comparisons between the Vietnam War--one he was "not eager to fight in," needled NBC's David Gregory--and the Iraq War. "We will succeed unless we quit," the President promised about the latter. CBS' Jim Axelrod heard an "eerie echo" of Lyndon Johnson's policies in Bush's rhetoric. NBC followed up with Ian Williams survey of the booming Vietnamese economy. Intel's is the latest huge American manufacturing investment there.


MUCH BIGGER The day's third big story covered by all three networks was the FDA's decision to revoke its ban on silicone gel breast implants for cosmetic surgery. NBC's Robert Bazell was amazed about how much more work is done now compared with 14 years ago when gel was banned: 300,000 augmented pairs of breasts, almost ten times as many.


WIFEBEATER CBS was the only network newscast that did not dignify OJ Simpson's new book, If I Did It, about his imaginary murder of his ex-wife with coverage this week, Katie Couric was proud to point out. Instead, she revived the freeSpeech commentary segment for the first time in two weeks to publicize the plight of battered wives. Activist Mary Lowry put in a plea for more shelter space for women on the receiving end of domestic violence.


CITIZEN SOLDIERS Both ABC and NBC returned to an Iraqi theme to end the week--not about the war itself but about the reservists called up from their daily lives to fight it. For NBC's Coming Home series, James Hattori profiled the California grade school where a nine-year-old boy organized care packages for his father's unit in Iraq. And ABC's Elizabeth Vargas (subscription required), returning to the anchor chair in substitution for Charles Gibson for the first time since her maternity leave, made Jessica Gaulke, Minneapolis' Queen of the Lakes beauty pageant winner, the Person of the Week. Queen Jessica's National Guard unit has been called up so she must now abdicate her crown and head off to war.


OVER THE WEEKEND President George Bush's Asian diplomacy continued and APTV's Mark Smith tagged along while the networks' weekday newscasts rested. The APEC Summit in Hanoi, supposedly about Economic Cooperation, concentrated on the threat of nuclear by North Korea instead. Smith followed up in Indonesia amid fervent anti-US protests. Protests, too, were staged by the civilians of the Gaza Strip. ABC's Wilf Dinnick showed us women forming a human shield to stymie an Israel Defense Force raid on a militant rocketeer.

Last week, CBS' Richard Roth was in Paris to profile the British-French spy who wrote a book on his infiltration of al-Qaeda. Over the weekend Roth was in London to tell us about the poisoned sushi that felled a Russian spy who wrote a book blasting Vladimir Putin. Alexander Litvinenko had apparently been investigating the recent assassination of Moscow investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.