CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM DECEMBER 25, 2006
While Christians all over the globe celebrated the birthday of their Prince of Peace, CBS led its Christmas newscast with the US military occupation in Iraq. Soldiers may sing Silent Night and dress up in red Santa Claus hats in Baghdad but they are still under attack. ABC chose a more traditional lead as its way to cover the Story of the Day--a round-up from the Vatican and soup kitchens and Christmas trees around the nation. NBC decided on no news at all, broadcasting NFL football instead.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR DECEMBER 25, 2006: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
click to playstoryanglereporterdateline
video thumbnailABC
sub req
Iraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesGen Joseph Fil inspects remote army outpostsTerry McCarthyBaghdad
video thumbnailCBSIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesUS military celebrates Christmas amid attacksRandall PinkstonBaghdad
video thumbnailCBSChristmas holiday seasonRetail, consumer items winners, losers surveyedBill WhitakerLos Angeles
video thumbnailABC
sub req
Soul singer James Brown dies, aged 73ObituaryMiguel MarquezLos Angeles
video thumbnailABCApparel trade in Africa supplied by charitiesDonated used American clothes end up for saleMike LeeGhana
video thumbnailABCHistorical figure of Jesus Christ investigatedBibilical Nazareth-Bethlehem journey retracedWilf DinnickWest Bank
video thumbnailCBSTV executive Frank Stanton dies, aged 98Had key founding role in broadcast networksRuss MitchellNew York
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
LACK OF PEACE AND GOODWILL While Christians all over the globe celebrated the birthday of their Prince of Peace, CBS led its Christmas newscast with the US military occupation in Iraq. Soldiers may sing Silent Night and dress up in red Santa Claus hats in Baghdad but they are still under attack. ABC chose a more traditional lead as its way to cover the Story of the Day--a round-up from the Vatican and soup kitchens and Christmas trees around the nation. NBC decided on no news at all, broadcasting NFL football instead.

ABC's Lisa Stark (no link) focused on the celebrations: "a day to rejoice," she called it. CBS' Bill Whitaker followed Mammon instead. "Santa was carrying a mixed bag for America's retailers." Online commerce boomed as did consumer electronics. Luxury items sold well too: "If you had the cachet, you heard the ka-ching." And yes, Whitaker really did say that for discount stores, the season was "ho-ho-hum."


TURKEY IN IRAQ In Iraq itself, ABC's Terry McCarthy (subscription required) found a "war that knows no holidays." He followed Gen Joseph Fil of the USArmy's First Cavalry as he checked on his troops' morale in person at remote outposts miles away from the food hall at headquarters. Camp Gator Swamp, for example, is "fairly Spartan." CBS' Randall Pinkston reported from the feast itself: the very military police unit that organized the Christmas program at Camp Victory suffered three fatalities.

CBS' Jim Axelrod looked into links between the Shiite opposition leader abdul-Aziz al-Hakim and Teheran. A US military raid may have arrested Iranian spies in the act of plotting with al-Hakim's militia. Axelrod reminded us that the White House may be grooming al-Hakim as an alternative to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.


GODFATHER MEETS MAKER The major news of Christmas Day was the death of soul singer James Brown, at age 73. Substitute anchor Russ Mitchell (no link) filed CBS' obituary: "He lit up the stage with his tight pants, provocative moves and electric voice." Mitchell included clips from his own interview. About nicknames--"I like the Godfather of Soul. I do not want to be King." And about race relations--"The black man will never be free in America. I believe it. I am living it." ABC had Miguel Marquez (subscription required) recap Brown's 50-year career. Simply put, "his music and his moves make you feel good."


CUT AND RUN ABC's substitute anchor was Kate Snow (no link), who assigned herself to an unseasonal Medicine on the Cutting Edge feature on the 600,000 hysterectomies performed each year nationwide. More hospitals are investing in surgical robots at a cost of $1.5m each, training extra. "It is as if you have miniaturized yourself and you are sitting in the pelvis," one gynecologist explained. Post-operative hospital stays after minimal invasion last two days as opposed to the traditional six weeks.


FOLLOW THAT STAR ABC also added a couple of interesting features from abroad that did have a Yuletide hook.

From Ghana, ABC's Mike Lee traced what happens to those millions of articles of used clothing that Americans donate to help the poor. Roughly one third is sold by charities to raise funds rather than given away to be worn--and ends up eventually as wares on the stalls of African street vendors. "Cheap used American clothes are one reason why local clothing makers are losing tens of thousands of jobs," was one criticism Lee cited.

From the Holy Land, Wilf Dinnick showed us what the contemporary trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem looks like, following the 36-mile route that the pregnant Virgin Mary took by Biblical tradition. He crossed borders; paid customs taxes; faced military barricades. The final stage, from Jericho to Bethlehem, is impassable, cut off by the Israeli security fence.


GOLDEN AGE CBS was duty-bound to pay tribute to Frank Stanton, one of its founding fathers: "He helped shape network television as we know it today." Dr Stanton--"because of his PhD in psychology," Mitchell reminded us--the 25-year president of the network, died at age 98. He scheduled the first regular nightly newscast, organized the first Presidential debate and created the first Sunday morning talkshow, Face the Nation.


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: Israel may resume peace talks with Syria…the FBI is criticized for a too-limited investigation into the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City…the civil war in Somalia expands as Ethiopian forces invade.