CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM JANUARY 11, 2007
The post-game coverage of President George Bush's primetime TV address on his new policy on Iraq (31 minutes) was almost as heavy as yesterday's pre-game (35 minutes). Both ABC and CBS conducted overnight opinion polls on popular support--or lack of it--for troop reinforcements. NBC led with the White House's efforts to promote the policy. ABC and CBS both led from Capitol Hill, where Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice faced a skeptical Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Rice dodged the vocabulary quiz about whether the troop increase was a "surge" or an "escalation." She called it an "augmentation."    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR JANUARY 11, 2007: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
click to playstoryanglereporterdateline
video thumbnailNBCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesSecretary Rice testifies at Senate hearingsChip ReidCapitol Hill
video thumbnailABCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesSecretary Rice testifies at Senate hearingsJake TapperCapitol Hill
video thumbnailCBSIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesSecretary Rice testifies at Senate hearingsGloria BorgerCapitol Hill
video thumbnailNBCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesPresident Bush advocates plan at Fort BenningDavid GregoryWhite House
video thumbnailCBSIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesPresident Bush advocates plan at Fort BenningJim AxelrodWhite House
video thumbnailABC
sub req
Iraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesPresident Bush advocates plan at Fort BenningMartha RaddatzWhite House
video thumbnailCBSIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesCBS News poll finds minimal Bush speech impactBob SchiefferWashington DC
video thumbnailCBSNew Orleans violent crime escalatesProtest against homicides, police action urgedByron PittsNew Orleans
video thumbnailNBCMLS Galaxy sign soccer star David BeckhamEnglishman moves to Los Angeles for $50m/yearDawna FriesenLondon
video thumbnailABCFetus development documented by ultrasound picturesNGTV docu shows multiple siblings in wombNed PotterNew York
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
PRIMETIME ADDRESS FALLOUT The post-game coverage of President George Bush's primetime TV address on his new policy on Iraq (31 minutes) was almost as heavy as yesterday's pre-game (35 minutes). Both ABC and CBS conducted overnight opinion polls on popular support--or lack of it--for troop reinforcements. NBC led with the White House's efforts to promote the policy. ABC and CBS both led from Capitol Hill, where Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice faced a skeptical Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Rice dodged the vocabulary quiz about whether the troop increase was a "surge" or an "escalation." She called it an "augmentation."

The tone of the hearings was "withering," according to ABC's Jake Tapper; NBC's Chip Reid heard "anger--especially among Democrats." Reid counted five senators on the committee with Presidential ambitions in 2008: Christopher Dodd, Joseph Biden, Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama, John Kerry. "All five vigorously oppose the plan. All five took their best shots at the Secretary of State."


SO WHAT? The opposition to the troop build-up the President announced in his speech is so widespread that ABC's George Stephanopoulos expected Congress to pass a resolution against it during the week of the State of the Union. An unnamed White House aide spun Stephanopoulos tenaciously. He said that such a vote would be no big deal: "If they have the votes, they have the votes." The aide saw a "silver lining" in the Congressional criticism. It creates a "good cop-bad cop dynamic" and puts "more pressure on the Iraqis actually to get their act together."

The White House aides NBC's David Gregory spoke to were not nearly as sanguine: they "concede that a vote in Congress against this strategy, even if it is just symbolic, would be a political blow." Gregory described the tone of Bush's speech as "subdued," "more candid than before" and "grim, as he predicted a bloody and violent year ahead."

CBS' Gloria Borger previewed the internal debate in both parties. Senate Republicans may mount a filibuster against the Democrats' resolution. However, "as many as a dozen Republican senators could jump ship. As for the Democrats, their noes are nearly unanimous." The debate for the Democrats concerns whether to go further and vote to cut off funds.

In a piece of sloppy reporting, Borger asserted that "some Democrats worry that if they cut off funding, they will get something they do not want--responsibility for what happens next." But she illustrated that claim by quoting Sen John McCain, a supporter of the President's policy. He said that Democrats, if they succeeded, "would assume responsibility for the consequences of failure." But Borger provided no evidence that defunders would shirk such responsibility.


NOT SO LOUD The President went on the road to try to drum up support for his new policy. "Bush picked about the friendliest audience he could find--soldiers at Fort Benning," CBS' Jim Axelrod observed, "but even rallying the troops is now a challenge. The mood was polite but muted." ABC's Martha Raddatz (subscription required) gave us a hint why military support may be turning lukewarm. In a "major policy shift" soldiers in the National Guard will no longer enjoy the promised five-year break between overseas deployments and those already in Iraq may now be ordered to stay longer than the single year they were told to expect.


OPINION POLL ABC News' overnight poll showed 36% popular support for Bush's troop build-up. CBS News found 30%. That network's Bob Schieffer explained the significance of the number: "It is a rare evening when an American President goes on national television and does not change some minds." This speech had zero impact on popular approval of the Bush's Iraq policy. CBS' Katie Couric suggested one reason why: "only one in three Americans actually watched it."


NO MORE WAR "A war protest" was what CBS' Byron Pitts called it, when New Orleans residents took to the streets to demand action to halt that city's escalating homicide rate: nine gun murders in the last eleven days. All three networks assigned reporters to the rally. ABC's Steve Osunsami (subscription required) blamed a "bloody turf war" between narcotics dealers. He listed the bullet points in the city's plan for new police measures and reported on the residents' reaction as "a band aid." NBC's Ron Mott saw Mayor Ray Nagin listen to the protests but he "did not address the crowd directly."


GALACTICO Soccer, as it is called only in the United States, has a new star. David Beckham has signed a five-year $250m contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy. CBS' Katie Couric, accurately, described Beckham as "kind of a hunk." But the coverage came not from California but from London.

He is a "global superstar," noted NBC's Dawna Friesen, whose motive for heading to Hollywood is apparently not the money. "It is all about the game, he says, about raising its stature in the US, where millions of kids play it but few adults watch it." Back in Britain "he is seen as past his prime," she needled, recalling his 2006 World Cup shortfall. CBS' Mark Phillips (no link), who called Beckham "a brand" with "a formerly famous wife, Posh Spice, of the briefly popular Spice Girls," filed his report from a football pitch, signing off by kicking his ball into the net. There was the bulge in the old onion bag--but no, he did not bend it.


FETAL FAMILY SNAPSHOTS Last year, before she went on maternity leave, ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas made a specialty of selecting stories on the sex-&-family beat. Vargas, substituting for Charles Gibson, stayed with familiar themes for ABC's closer from Ned Potter.

In December, Potter told us about a National Geographic TV documentary entitled In The Womb, which showed the fetal development of non-human mammals. On Sunday, NGTV will air Multiples in the Womb, showing how the embryos of human triplets behave, holding hands and kicking one another: "what happens when three brothers are growing at once," as Potter put it. "Incredible," Vargas murmured.


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: litigation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina produced a defeat for State Farm insurance. A federal court ruled that a storm surge is (covered) hurricane damage not (uncovered) flood damage…the House of Representatives approved federal research on human embryonic stem cells en route to a Presidential veto…Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced an increase in the size of the standing army by 35,000 soldiers and by 22,000 to the Marines Corps.