CONTAINING LINKS TO 51991 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM NOVEMBER 22, 2006
Tradition dictates that headlines on the eve of Thanksgiving should consist of light holiday fare. Lead with congested highways as families pack in the car to head for grandmother's house--and close with a heartwarming feature involving a turkey. This year, sure enough, Thanksgiving was Story of the Day. But the mood was clouded by yet more horrible news from Iraq.     
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR NOVEMBER 22, 2006: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailNBCIraq: sectarian Sunni vs Shiite violence escalatesUN reports on October toll of death squadsJim MiklaszewskiPentagon
video thumbnailCBSIraq: sectarian Sunni vs Shiite violence escalatesUN reports on October toll of death squadsElizabeth PalmerBaghdad
video thumbnailABCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesPerpetual deployment overstretches Marine CorpsJonathan KarlPentagon
video thumbnailNBCThanksgiving Day holidayFAA monitors congested skies, turbulent weatherTom CostelloVirginia
video thumbnailCBSAirline travel: anti-terrorism security precautionsScreening of infrequent fliers causes delaysCynthia BowersChicago
video thumbnailABCThanksgiving Day holidayButterball runs telephone turkey talklineDan HarrisNew York
video thumbnailNBCAlcohol: drunk driving prevention effortsFresno organizes blanket sobriety crackdownKeith MorrisonCalifornia
video thumbnailCBSMohegan Indians celebrate C18th chief in LondonQueen Elizabeth II attends formal reburialMark PhillipsLondon
video thumbnailABC2006 House races: Democrats gain controlClose count in Florida's 13th CD may be flawedJeffrey KofmanFlorida
video thumbnailCBSLiteracy programs for childrenBoxer Muhammad Ali heads plan for black boysKatie CouricNew York
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
THANKLESS Tradition dictates that headlines on the eve of Thanksgiving should consist of light holiday fare. Lead with congested highways as families pack in the car to head for grandmother's house--and close with a heartwarming feature involving a turkey. This year, sure enough, Thanksgiving was Story of the Day. But the mood was clouded by yet more horrible news from Iraq.

All three networks covered the awful report from the United Nations about the record-breaking number of civilian deaths from sectarian violence, more than 3,700, during the month of October. NBC broke with tradition starkly, assigning Jim Miklaszewski at the Pentagon to lead with the "alarming" bloodshed. He quoted the UN's Jan Egeland: "There is no place on Earth where so many civilians are killed by blunt violence."

The other two networks assigned the UN report to their Baghdad-based correspondents: ABC's Hilary Brown (no link) called the country "drenched in blood" and CBS' Elizabeth Palmer pointed out that "women are being singled out for abuse by religious extremists."

Also from the Pentagon, ABC's Jonathan Karl covered the warning by Gen James Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, that the continued stressful deployment of his troops is sapping their battle readiness: "The Marines are designed to be an invading force. They were never supposed to occupy Iraq."


TALKING TURKEY ABC adhered strictly to the Thanksgiving way, leading with ABC's David Muir (no link) at New York City's Grand Central Station watching the getaway rush and closing with Dan Harris. He was given the thankless task of finding one more way to make calling the Butterball telephone turkey talkline interesting. Yes, he really did say: "Let's talk turkey." The public relations bargain that Butterball has struck is that it gets the brand name indelibly associated with turkey…and in return its talkline experts have to answer that reporter's question time after time after time: "What is the single craziest phone call you have received?"


FLIGHT PATTERNS Even though the vast majority of Thanksgiving travel is done on the road, the new wrinkle this year was offered by the FAA, which opened its flight command center in Herndon Va to television cameras. CBS' Bob Orr (no link) led his newscast from Herndon live. NBC's Tom Costello filed a taped package on delays caused by an eastern seaboard storm. And CBS' Cynthia Bowers explained why lines at airports are even longer than usual: infrequent fliers, the non-business kind that travel only at holiday time, are not ready for the TSA screeners' "confusing carry-on rules" at the terminal gate.


FRESNO GO Besides all that turkey, we can expect to consume our share of alcohol. For the second time this week, drunk driving prevention came in for scrutiny. On Monday, ABC's Dan Harris (subscription required) described the ignition locks that can only be released by driver's negative breathalyzer test. Now Keith Morrison makes his contribution in NBC's What Works series with his tribute to Fresno, the city with the nation's toughest DUI crackdown. Fresno uses sobriety checkpoints, extra traffic cops, warrantless searches of parolees--and the drunks foot most of the bill themselves: it is "paid for mostly through vehicle impounds."


CASINO ROYALE There was a Thanksgiving tie-in to the ceremony in London attended by Queen Elizabeth II. She attended the formal reburial of a chief of Connecticut's Mohegan Indians who had died while on a mission to the court of George II in 1735 seeking to have his nation's lands restored. The grievances were not redressed but the Mohegans survived anyway, CBS' Mark Phillips told us, offering the inevitable Last of the Mohicans line. The monarch may not have restored lands but his descendent at least granted free publicity for the tribe's Mohegan Sun casino. "Times have improved," Phillips reflected.


FLORIDA RECOUNT Amid the holiday mood, there is little political coverage, except for ABC's Jeffrey Kofman, who covered the eventual result of the House race in Florida's 13th CD. The contest was decided by 369 votes and may be an example of an absent paper trail on electronic voting machines undercutting electoral integrity. The sole county using electronic machines had a 13% undercount, amounting to some 18,000 votes; the undercount in the four paper-trail counties was between 2% and 6%--and the losing Democratic candidate's base of support was in that suspect county.


POTTER’S LEGACY When CBS' Katie Couric was at NBC's Today she famously snagged exclusive access for the release of the latest Harry Potter book, a series published by Scholastic. Those publicity ties appear to have survived her move to CBS. Couric closed her newscast with a puff piece for Scolastic's Go the Distance reading project designed for illiterate African-American boys. The project is championed by Muhammad Ali. But the Greatest, who struggled with dyslexia at school, is unable to speak…so while his name was invoked, Couric had to settle for a sitdown with Ali's wife Lonnie.


MENTIONED IN PASSING The network newscasts do not assign correspondents to all of the news of the day. If Tyndall Report readers come across videostreamed reports online of stories that were mentioned only in passing, post the link in comments for us to check out.

Today's examples: OJ Simpson describes his motives for signing the If I Did It book deal…General Motors discontinues production of minivans…JFK assassination anniversary…Chemical plant explodes in Boston…Lebanon prepares for Pierre Gemayel's funeral.