CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM FEBRUARY 14, 2007
Chrysler plans to lay off thousands of autoworkers--reporters called it the St Valentine's Day massacre. Special forces from Fort Bragg away at war sent Valentines messages home to their sweethearts. Lonely sheep farmers in Wales are looking for love. A massive blizzard caused lovers to be unreunited because of flight delays and flowers undelivered because of snowed-in roads. The Story of the Day was the weather, leading all three newscasts. The theme of the day was clearly Cupid.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR FEBRUARY 14, 2007: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
click to playstoryanglereporterdateline
video thumbnailABCWinter weatherBlizzard conditions from Ohio to New EnglandNancy Weiner CordesNew York State
video thumbnailNBCWinter weatherBlizzard conditions from Ohio to New EnglandRehema EllisMassachusetts
video thumbnailNBCWinter weatherAirline travel disrupted by east coast stormTom CostelloWashington DC
video thumbnailCBSAutomobile industry in financial troubleChrysler to close plants, lay off 13,000 workersAnthony MasonNew York
video thumbnailABCIran military expansion feared in Persian GulfPresident Bush claims Quds Force has Iraq roleBrian RossNew York
video thumbnailNBCIran military expansion feared in Persian GulfPresident Bush claims Quds Force has Iraq roleDavid GregoryWhite House
video thumbnailCBSIraq: war refugees seek to emigrate to USMilitary interpreters need lifesaving visasLara LoganBaghdad
video thumbnailCBSWar on Drugs: teenage prescription medicine abuseBlack market in ADD medication, painkillersSharyn AlfonsiNew York
video thumbnailABC
sub req
Lonely bachelor farmers in Wales look for loveFaces on milk bottles advertise for romanceDavid WrightWales
video thumbnailNBCMilitary personnel face family, personal problemsFort Bragg wives separated from their ValentinesMartin SavidgeNorth Carolina
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
HEARTS & FLOWERS Chrysler plans to lay off thousands of autoworkers--reporters called it the St Valentine's Day massacre. Special forces from Fort Bragg away at war sent Valentines messages home to their sweethearts. Lonely sheep farmers in Wales are looking for love. A massive blizzard caused lovers to be unreunited because of flight delays and flowers undelivered because of snowed-in roads. The Story of the Day was the weather, leading all three newscasts. The theme of the day was clearly Cupid.

Snowfalls were as deep as two feet from Ohio to New England and 12 deaths were reported. ABC chose Albany NY as its representative snow town: "For east coast florists all of this comes on the worst day possible," Nancy Cordes commented. CBS chose Suffern NY for Kelly Wallace's report including electricity blackouts that "guarantee candlelight dinners tonight for hundreds of thousands" and a mass outdoor white wedding in St Louis for 100 couples. NBC took a survey approach with Rehema Ellis--"Mother Nature is not showing much love on this Valentine's Day"--in Springfield Mass throwing to Kevin Tibbles in Cleveland--"those who made it City Hall found their trip to the altar postponed"--throwing to Mike Taibbi who found a florist in Scranton Pa with "bouquets he was determined to deliver."

CBS skipped a separate story on how airline travel was disrupted while both ABC's Lisa Stark (subscription required) and NBC's Tom Costello ended up at Reagan National Airport. Costello received a call from MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough, who was stuck in a plane in New York for "nine very long hours" on a runway.


DAIMLER’S DUMB DEAL All three networks pointed out that Chrysler was the last of Detroit's Big Three to announce mass layoffs. Its 13,000 makes the industry's hemorrhage of jobs add up to a 105,000 total. To cover higher labor costs, Chrysler has to "tack a couple of thousand dollars onto the price of every car," ABC's Dean Reynolds (subscription required) explained, with the upshot that it "cannot afford to add the extras and creature comforts that are driving customers to Toyota or Honda."

Of course, Chrysler is no longer, strictly speaking, part of Detroit. It is German owned. "The marriage was never smooth," CNBC's Phil LeBeau acknowledged, but "few expected" Daimler's announcement that it was considering a divorce. Back in 1998, Daimler paid $40bn for Chrysler, CBS' Anthony Mason reminded us. "Estimates are that if they do sell they would get less than half of that back." Mason called "the most intriguing idea" a sale to a Chinese auto manufacturer looking for an established brand name and a foothold in the United States.


QUDS FORCE Yesterday NBC's Andrea Mitchell reported on the speculation by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace that Iran's military involvement in Iraq may be independent of the Teheran government. Now his Commander-in-Chief George Bush has picked up on that theme, naming the commando unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard as an anti-US player at his news conference. CBS' Jim Axelrod cited the President's pledge that his troops will "fire on any Iranians found plotting in Iraq" while "not talking about attacking or invading Iran."

ABC's Brian Ross repeated the Pentagon's claim of "conclusive evidence" that 170 of the 3,000-or-so US military dead in Iraq were killed by Quds Force explosives. Ross called it a "group of secret agents and hitmen that answers only to the religious authority of the Iranian government." Thus Monday's insistence by secular President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Ross' colleague Diane Sawyer (subscription required) that he has no forces inside Iraq seems plausible. "It is possible that ministers in the Iranian government do not know what the Quds Force is doing," ABC's in-house consultant Richard Clarke explained.


FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS NBC's David Gregory also chose the Quds Force as his lead from the Presidential press conference but he followed up with Bush's shifting aspirations for the US military occupation in Iraq. Quoting the goal as "relative peace," Gregory observed that "he appeared to temper his definition of success" to countenance perpetual terrorist violence. Predicted the President: "Zero carbombings--it never will happen that way." NBC has a history of being interested in whether the conflict in Iraq constitutes a civil war, so Gregory quoted the President's confession that he is unable "to give you a first-hand assessment" on that question. Gregory summed up the President's policy thus: "I can be eloquent--but all that matters now…is how events proceed on the ground."

Eloquence is an unprecedented addition to this President's techniques of leadership.


QUOTA SYSTEM There are as many as two million refugees caused by the conflict in Iraq. So far 466 Iraqis have been permitted to find refuge in the United States. The announcement that the quota has been raised to 7,000 inspired both ABC and CBS to focus on a single category of would-be emigrant: interpreters for the US military who have been sentenced to death for collaboration with occupation forces. Inside Iraq, noted CBS' Lara Logan, "interpreters have to keep their faces hidden to survive working so closely with US troops." There are 10,000 such translators in Iraq, vulnerable to being "hunted down and murdered." Yet at present the US offers just 50 immigration visas each year. "I have to hide like a rat," one woman told Logan, who concluded that "their only hope lies outside the country they never wanted to leave."

From Amman in Jordan ABC's Dan Harris took A Closer Look at one crippled former interpreter, his leg amputated after a roadside bomb explosion. The 22-year-old is nicknamed Opie for his fondness for TV's Oprah talkshow. If Opie goes home "he could get killed…He says he has sacrificed to help America and now America should help him."


SANDWICH GENERATIONS NBC continued its Trading Places series on issues facing the elderly and their adult children who happen to be NBC News correspondents. The latest concerned the parents of in-house physician Nancy Snyderman who are relocating from Fort Wayne to Princeton to be closer to their daughter.

CBS focused on a younger demographic. Sharyn Alfonsi looked into the latest fad among teenagers. A White House survey estimated that two millions teenagers abuse prescription pills to get high. "You may have to lock up grandma's medicine cabinet," Alfonsi warned. Most popped are Attention Deficit Disorder prescriptions like Adderall and painkillers like Oxycontin. "Only marijuana is more popular," she asserted, which is hard to believe. Surely alcohol tops the list as teenagers' favorite illicit buzz.


MILKING IT NBC closed with Martin Savidge's portrait of the military wives of Fort Bragg. "Couples that rushed to marry before deployment now face their first Valentine's Day apart," Savidge worried, as the florist made a delivery that was phoned in from Balad in Iraq. "He is so sweet," the lonelyheart smiled as she smelled her soldier's roses.

Of all the lovelorn bachelors in the world, it is incredible that both CBS and ABC should settle on the same sheep farming village in Wales for their closing Valentine's Day feature. ABC's David Wright (subscription required) explained that the men were so lonely because "yuppies have been snapping up these beautiful country houses. That means it is increasingly hard to find a date." CBS' Mark Phillips posted subtitles so we could understand the accent one bachelor was using--he was speaking English, not Welsh!--amid the "brooding romantic quality" of the hill country there. "They stuck their pictures on milk bottles like so many missing kids" under the slogan Fancy a Farmer.

The gimmick has spawned a veritable media frenzy, Wright reflected: "More than a thousand newspapers worldwide picked up on the idea"--and a pair of American TV networks.


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: Justice Anthony Kennedy continues to oppose TV news cameras covering Supreme Court proceedings…on Wall Street the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at another record high…military checkpoints were set up on Baghdad highways disrupting the city's traffic…State Farm has stopped offering real estate insurance in the entire state of Mississippi.