CONTAINING LINKS TO 51991 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM NOVEMBER 28, 2006
NATO's role in Afghanistan may have been the top topic at the alliance summit in Latvia but it did not top the networks' agenda. All three White House correspondents filed the night's lead on Iraq. All previewed the talks in Amman between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President George Bush. ABC's Martha Raddatz did not even travel to Riga with the press corps. She went straight ahead to Jordan.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR NOVEMBER 28, 2006: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailABCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesPresident Bush previews talks with PM al-MalikiMartha RaddatzWhite House
video thumbnailNBCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesPresident Bush previews talks with PM al-MalikiDavid GregoryWhite House
video thumbnailNBCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesIs al-Qaeda primary foe of US or disorganized?Jim MiklaszewskiPentagon
video thumbnailABC
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Iraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesUSMC forces may pull out of al-Anbar provinceJonathan KarlPentagon
video thumbnailCBSIraq: political coalition government under firePreacher Muqtada al-Sadr is key power playerElizabeth PalmerBaghdad
video thumbnailCBSPope Benedict XVI visits TurkeyMeets leader of religious affairs in AnkaraAllen PizzeyTurkey
video thumbnailABCOrganic food is all the rage: sales skyrocketImports required to help meet growing demandBill WeirNew Hampshire
video thumbnailNBCMovie production facilities thrive in ShreveportTax break meant for New Orleans moves up riverDon TeagueLouisiana
video thumbnailCBSHoly Land's Dead Sea starved of water, shrinksJordan River diverted upstream for irrigationRichard RothIsrael
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
BLOWN In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, NBC committed itself to a long-term presence in the Gulf Coast region. Don Teague's report was the latest contribution. Moviemaking had been one of the industries New Orleans had tried to attract before the storm hit. Louisiana even offered tax breaks to production companies. The floods put paid to that plan--but not to the tax break. So production has now moved to Shreveport. Teague previewed scenes from The Guardian and Homeland Security. Stars love the smalltown privacy: "For some reason paparazzi cannot seem to find Shreveport on a map." NBC just blew that secret.


JET YOGHURT In the second part of ABC's The Truth About Organics series, Bill Weir explored the problem of keeping up with the sector's booming growth. The Stonyfield Farm yoghurt dairy in New Hampshire is so strapped for suppliers that it has to import ingredients from 40 different countries--strawberries from China, apple puree from Turkey. Milk from New Zealand may have to be flown in in powdered form: "Burning jet fuel to make yoghurt is a tough reality for this environmentalist."


ATTA TURK The day's other big story was also overseas. Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey kicked off in Ankara. All three networks assigned correspondents to the papal train. CBS' Allen Pizzey saw his hosts play politics with the Pope, claiming he has relaxed his opposition to Turkey's admission into the European Union. ABC's David Wright (subscription required) heard Benedict defuse a quarrel about his infamous speech criticizing Islam for using violence to acquire converts: "The Pope did not take the bait." NBC's Keith Miller surveyed the "widespread opposition" to the visit in that 99% Moslem country and the popular expectation of a papal apology for fomenting Islamophobia. None was forthcoming.


BIG FEET As the three network anchors headed for the airport to fly to Amman to cover Bush's talks with al-Maliki, NBC's Richard Engel and CBS' Richard Roth formed an advance guard for their Big Foot colleagues

Engel surveyed the diplomatic lay of the land. Regional leaders want talks on the Palestinian and Lebanese conflicts. "The problem is that Bush will be on the ground for less than 24 hours. Will that be enough time?" Engel pointed out that while the US is refusing to negotiate with Iran, Teheran is "an alternative address to Washington where Middle East diplomacy can take place," putting out feelers to both Baghdad and Cairo.

Roth showed us the physical result of the frictions between Israel and Jordan and Syria: no agreement on water management. As a result the River Jordan has been diverted for irrigation and its flow into the Dead Sea is nothing more than "a trickle of sewage." The sea's waters are shrinking and growing yet more salty. Tourist resorts are now high and dry, a mile from the shore. The water is more buoyant than ever. To prove it Roth bobbed around reading his newspaper: "It is impossible to sink in."


POWER PLAYER CBS rounded out the coverage with a backgrounder from Baghdad on Iraqi politics. Muqtada al-Sadr, commander of the Mahdi Army militia, controls the 30-strong bloc in parliament that gives al-Maliki's coalition its majority. Elizabeth Palmer told us that the militia has grown eightfold in the last year to its current 60,000-man strength. His message is "ferociously anti-American;" his party has taken over important ministries; his followers have infiltrated the police; and "his gunmen are said to run the death squads that torture and murder Sunnis."


MILITARY MANEUVERS A trio of Pentagon correspondents offered Iraq follow-ups. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski scrutinized Bush's claim that al-Qaeda was the primary threat there: the US military wavers between claims that the group is "looking to dominate Baghdad" and that it is being "systematically dismantled." Miklaszewski's intelligence sources calculated that al-Qaeda comprises "2% or 3% of enemy forces."

ABC's Jonathan Karl (subscription required) forecast that the US would stop fighting in the western Sunni-dominated al-Anbar province altogether--"essentially writing off al-Anbar"--and the 30,000-or-so Marines stationed there would be pulled back to Baghdad. The province would fall under the military control of local Iraqi forces.

CBS' David Martin previewed the report of the Iraq Study Group. Because the Bush Administration has always insisted that it will not accept a "timetable for withdrawal" the ISG has altered its wording to describe the same thing in different terms: a "timetable for the Iraqi government to take greater responsibility."


ALL EYES ON IRAQ NATO's role in Afghanistan may have been the top topic at the alliance summit in Latvia but it did not top the networks' agenda. All three White House correspondents filed the night's lead on Iraq. All previewed the talks in Amman between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President George Bush. ABC's Martha Raddatz did not even travel to Riga with the press corps. She went straight ahead to Jordan.

The President's speech in Riga inspired the three leads. NBC's David Gregory emphasized Bush's refusal to withdraw US troops: "He blamed the violence not on civil war but on Sunni terrorists." ABC's Raddatz reported "serious doubts" among unnamed defense officials as to whether al-Maliki is "willing or able" to quell the violence. "The Iraqi government could collapse within weeks," she was told. CBS' Jim Axelrod speculated that al-Maliki may pressure Bush to withdraw US troops.


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: The issues facing the NATO alliance at its summit in Latvia…Federal Reserve Chairman Benjamin Bernanke's predictions of economic growth and inflation…The year-over-year 3.5% decline in real estate house prices…Manslaughter charges filed against guards at a Florida boot camp for juvenile offenders.