CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM FEBRUARY 02, 2007
A tornado-laden line of storms rampaged across central Florida, leaving at least 19 people dead and 10,000 residents without electricity. While all three networks led with the storm, CBS paid it special attention (11 min v ABC 5, NBC 6) because anchor Katie Couric was already in the state to publicize her network's coverage of Sunday's Super Bowl, which will be played in Miami. She anchored from Lady Lake, where the hurricane-proof Church of God had been dismantled.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR FEBRUARY 02, 2007: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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Tornado season: line of storms in central FloridaTwister kills 19 across four Florida countiesJeffrey KofmanFlorida
video thumbnailNBCTornado season: line of storms in central FloridaTwister kills 19 across four Florida countiesKerry SandersFlorida
video thumbnailCBSTornado season: line of storms in central FloridaEven well-built homes were reduced to rubbleSharyn AlfonsiFlorida
video thumbnailCBSTornado season: line of storms in central FloridaHurricane-proof church failed to survive twisterKatie CouricFlorida
video thumbnailABCGlobal warming greenhouse effect climate changeParis conference definitively blames humansBill BlakemoreParis
video thumbnailNBCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesIntelligence Estimate describes conflictAndrea MitchellWashington DC
video thumbnailABCHuman Papilloma Virus STD can cause cancerTexas mandates vaccine for pre-pubescent girlsJohn McKenzieNew York
video thumbnailNBCTennis former star Andrea Jaeger becomes nunChild cancer activism followed playing careerDawn FratangeloFlorida
video thumbnailCBSNFL Super Bowl XLI in Miami: Bears vs ColtsTight security against possible terrorist attackKatie CouricMiami
video thumbnailCBSNFL Super Bowl XLI in Miami: Bears vs ColtsGeorgia sod farm's field ruined by floodsSteve HartmanGeorgia
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
TWISTER PULVERIZES CENTRAL FLORIDA A tornado-laden line of storms rampaged across central Florida, leaving at least 19 people dead and 10,000 residents without electricity. While all three networks led with the storm, CBS paid it special attention (11 min v ABC 5, NBC 6) because anchor Katie Couric was already in the state to publicize her network's coverage of Sunday's Super Bowl, which will be played in Miami. She anchored from Lady Lake, where the hurricane-proof Church of God had been dismantled.

Couric toured the rubble with the church's pastor Larry Lynn. "It was used as a hurricane shelter and was designed to sustain winds of 150 mph," she commented. Inquired Couric: "Where is the steeple again?" She found a hymnal opened at I Surrender to Thee. "If you have not, you need to," suggested the preacher. He invited the anchor to attend his outdoor services in the yard on Sunday. "The church will be there. The building will not."


DAMAGE ASSESSMENT "There are no tornado sirens here in Florida," ABC's Jeffrey Kofman (subscription required) told us, so sleeping residents had no warning of the pre-dawn storm. Trailer parks were especially hard hit. But even well-built houses made of brick and frame were torn apart, CBS' Sharyn Alfonsi demonstrated from Volusia County, when they received direct impact: "Homes are reduced to toothpicks." ABC's Kofman showed us one elderly couple, roused by the storm and rendered homeless. Had they had eaten since the catastrophe? They could not, they replied. They had no teeth.

Rare as they are in Florida, tornados tend to occur if there happens to be an active El Nino current in the Pacific Ocean. In years such as this, meteorologist Bryan Norcross (no link) of WFOR-TV explained on CBS, the jetstream is pushed farther south than usual, making Florida vulnerable to such storms, especially in the month of February.

Normally, the weather that Floridians brace for is a hurricane. The massive newly built retirement community in Sumter County called The Villages, population 62,000, attracted many who moved inland from the coast in order to be safe. "Retirement in Florida is not always necessarily peaceful," NBC's Michelle Kosinski (at the tail of the Sanders videostream) understated. NBC's Kerry Sanders added that "a growing number of Floridians have no insurance" after premiums tripled in the wake of severe hurricane damage.


TOO DARNED HOT Severe weather on a global scale was the topic of a United Nations conference in Paris. CBS' Mark Phillips covered the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change yesterday. ABC and NBC took their turns. ABC's Bill Blakemore called the scientists "unanimous" and the evidence "unequivocal." Hotter temperatures have now penetrated a mile deep in the oceans "warming currents that have for millions of years acted as a cooling system for the planet." For the increase in warming to level off by 2050 "drastic cuts in greenhouse gasses must begin now, in the next ten years." NBC's Dawna Friesen added that even if humans stopped burning carbon today there is enough in the atmosphere already that temperatures will continue to climb: "There is no rewind button."


INTELLIGENTSIA The National Intelligence Estimate is the official assessment by all 16 of the United States' spy agencies of what is happening in Iraq. NBC assigned State Department correspondent Andrea Mitchell to summarize the report. She pointed out that "the administration now admits that sectarian violence is deadlier than attacks from al-Qaeda" and that "the term 'civil war' accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict." CBS used David Martin from the Pentagon. He downplayed the threat from Teheran: "The report makes clear that Iran is not what is wrong with Iraq." The Baghdad regime is so vulnerable that an "assassination of a major political or religious leader could trigger the government's death throes." Concluded Martin: "The US is closer to failure than it is to success."

ABC settled for a q-&-a session with its Pentagon man Jonathan Karl (no link). He said "this sounds worse than civil war because you have at least four different wars raging" in Iraq: a Sunni-Shiite conflict, internal violence inside each ethnic group, the fight against al-Qaeda, and criminal gang violence.


FIGHTING CANCER Last week, CBS' Cynthia Bowers looked into the question of compulsory vaccines for pre-teen girls to guard against future possible infection by the sexually-transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer. Now Republican Gov Rick Perry of Texas has ordered that all of the state's sixth-grade girls should have Gardasil shots. ABC's John McKenzie (subscription required) noted that Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, had "doubled its lobbying budget in Texas."

NBC took a human interest approach to cancer, assigning Dawn Fratangelo to profile Andrea Jaeger for its Making a Difference feature. Jaeger was once a tennis star on the professional tour. She retired with injuries and turned to charity work, setting up a camp for children with cancer. Now she has taken holy orders as a Dominican nun. She made a swap of her Olympic ring with one of the recovered cancer patients, who had joined the USArmy Rangers. Beneath her nun's habit, she wears that commando's dog tags.


BIG GAME CBS' busy Couric took a tour of Super Bowl anti-terrorist security in her In Focus feature before heading north to Lady Lake. She flew a helicopter with local police over the stadium around which the FAA will impose a ten-mile no-fly-zone. The Miami-Dade Police Department will get support from Homeland Security's ICE agents while the NFL has hired 3,000 private security guards. Couric demonstrated the airport-style metal-detector wanding that every spectator will undergo.


PLAYING FIELD The Super Bowl build-up also had light-hearted features. Tibbles & Bits was the nickname Brian Williams used on NBC for Kevin Tibbles' preview of the Animal Planet cable channel's counterprograming to the big game. The Puppy Bowl will show non-stop adorable video of baby dogs and cute kittens playing in a pen with a football-field motif.

CBS' Assignment America investigated the Super Bowl sod wars. A turf farm in Georgia was commissioned to grow the grass for the playing surface. Steve Hartman recounted the fanfare and ceremony at Jennings Sod Farm when it received the $250,000 contract. Then the rains came and the soggy sandy soil could no longer hold the roots together. The sod was unlayable and Jennings lost the contract to Southern Turf Nursery: "A huge coup in the highly-competitive sod industry."


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 Pentagon budget will have to be increased by $100bn this year because of the cost of war…unemployment rose to 4.6% in January…another USArmy helicopter, this time an Apache, is downed in Iraq.