CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM DECEMBER 12, 2006
The two-week momentum towards a new strategy for the war in Iraq has come to a screeching halt. The Amman Summit and the Iraq Study Group both presaged a Presidential speech to the nation unveiling his new course. Both ABC and NBC led with the news from the White House that the speech has been delayed until after the New Year. CBS led with facts on the ground in Baghdad--another massive killer truckbomb.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR DECEMBER 12, 2006: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailABCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesPresident Bush delays speech on new strategyMartha RaddatzWhite House
video thumbnailNBCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesPresident Bush delays speech on new strategyDavid GregoryWhite House
video thumbnailCBSIraq: terrorist truckbomb targets civiliansBaghdad day labor hiring zone attack kills 70Randall PinkstonBaghdad
video thumbnailNBCAfghanistan's Taliban regime aftermath, fightingArmy patrol tries to block border infiltrationJim MacedaAfghanistan
video thumbnailNBCIllegal immigration increases, sparks backlashMeatpacking plant workers raided for false IDPete WilliamsWashington DC
video thumbnailABCFood poisoning from e.coli taint in produceNo uniform federal regulation of food safetyLisa StarkWashington DC
video thumbnailCBSBritish royals: Princess Diana inquest in LondonSons organize gala entertainment in her honorSheila MacVicarLondon
video thumbnailCBSPhotography project promotes Salvation Army sheltersHomeless children given cameras, depict dreamsKatie CouricNew York
video thumbnailNBCPhilanthropy and charitable donation trendsFederally approved list unscreened for fraudsLisa MyersWashington DC
video thumbnailABCHuman cell biology visualized by animated videoHarvard professor depicts how proteins functionRobert KrulwichNew York
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
IRAQ PROCRASTINATION The two-week momentum towards a new strategy for the war in Iraq has come to a screeching halt. The Amman Summit and the Iraq Study Group both presaged a Presidential speech to the nation unveiling his new course. Both ABC and NBC led with the news from the White House that the speech has been delayed until after the New Year. CBS led with facts on the ground in Baghdad--another massive killer truckbomb.

"Stalling"--that is how NBC's David Gregory quoted the Democrats on the delay. Majority Leader Harry Reid declared of Bush: "The ball remains in his court and time is running out." ABC's Martha Raddatz reported that the President put off his speech because he is "particularly interested" in a 40,000-troop military reinforcement in Baghdad and al-Anbar province.

ABC again consulted its military analyst Jack Keane, the former general. CBS consulted its political analyst Nicolle Wallace (no link), a former aide at the Bush White House. Keane asserted that deploying the extra troops would bring "decisive victory." Wallace told us that the White House's task was to alter Bush's strategy "to be different enough--and it still has to be consistent with the President's initial goals and vision."

Both Keane and Wallace seem more like advocates than analysts.

Contrast this with ABC's George Stephanopoulos (no link), who delivered the results of his network's poll on the Iraq War. Very much like CBS' poll yesterday, ABC's found majority support for ISG proposals and minimal support (15%) for Bush's troop buildup: "If he chooses that route he is going into a hurricane-force head wind."


JOBLESS The driver of the truckbomb in Baghdad's Tayaran Square posed as a contractor seeking to hire day labor. He lured would-be workers to him--and then exploded, killing 70 or so. "Devious and murderous," ABC's Dan Harris (subscription required) called it. CBS' Randall Pinkston noted the irony that these unemployed were killed just as Gen Peter Chiarelli called for more work in order to produce less violence.


FRONT FOOTAGE NBC obtained dynamic video of fighting in Afghanistan's Kunar province close to the Pakistan border. Jim Maceda was embedded with a 60-man USArmy unit assigned to block infiltration by Taliban fighters. He showed them launching unmanned spy planes, using night scanners, videotaping their own firefights. "The enemy, they say, is getting bolder…this hot zone is getting hotter."


FOOD FOR THOUGHT A couple of unrelated stories examined the federal government's uncoordinated relationship with the food industry.

NBC's Pete Williams told us how Social Security and Immigration & Customs do not communicate. ICE raided a chain of Swift & Co meatpacking plants in search of illegal immigrant employees working with phony Social Security IDs. The raids arrested 600 workers in six states. Social Security only flags fabricated ID numbers, not authentic ones diverted for workers without documents.

ABC's Lisa Stark had A Closer Look into the Taco Bell chain's problem with e.coli poisoning. Apparently onions are now no longer thought to be to blame. Stark found no uniform federal system for ensuring food safety but "a patchwork of oversight and regulations." The food industry itself is "pushing for the government to do more to protect the food supply."

Please regulate me before I poison again!


MADE-UP NEWS CBS assigned Sheila MacVicar to a second day of royal watching as she gave free publicity to the promotional interview by Prince William and Prince Harry in London for a gala entertainment in honor of their late mother.

So much for the King's English. The two princes were so nearly unintelligible that CBS felt compelled to subtitle their garbled speech, as uninteresting as it was. But worse than that, MacVicar chose to illustrate her account of Princess Diana's death almost ten years ago with clips from the newly-released movie The Queen.

Now, we know that the networks love to jazz up news stories with current clips from mass entertainment. But the clips from The Queen were used to portray an actual news event that actually happened. Is that not what CBS News' archives are there for?


HARDLY FLEECED NBC uses its Fleecing of America logo to announce ripoffs and scandals and outrages but this latest offering by Lisa Myers fell short of the mark. Her complaint was about the federal government's version of the United Way, the Combined Federal Campaign. It publishes a book of eligible charities to streamline the $260m in donations by government workers. Myers revealed that 6% of the non-profits had fallen short on payroll tax payments and other charities were suspected of "abusive and potentially criminally activity." Out of the 20,000 suggested by CFC, the grand total under suspicion of fraud…was fifteen.


NOT GRANTED Also in that giving spirit, CBS' Katie Couric promoted a Christmas card fundraising scheme, sponsored by General Motors, on behalf of the Salvation Army. The scheme had celebrity photojournalist Linda Solomon train children at the army's homeless shelters in Raleigh and Orlando to use disposable cameras to depict their wishes. "Game Boys and iPods were not on their list," said Couric. One wished for a home, another for her mother to live for ever. The scheme does not grant each wish…it merely allows each child to take a picture to express it.


LET’S GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE The pictures ABC's Robert Krulwich displayed were far from mawkish. Robert Lu a professor of life sciences at Harvard University, decided that textbooks do not work for teaching biology in human cells. Instead he had XVIVO create an animated video showing how proteins organize to build our body.

Check out how the motor protein drags the membrane sack.