CONTAINING LINKS TO 51656 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM NOVEMBER 29, 2007
CBS laid the groundwork yesterday for today's confused news agenda. Yesterday its lead was the continuing nationwide slide in residential real estate values--ABC led with that today. Yesterday CBS previewed Food & Drug Administration hearings into limiting salt levels in our diet--NBC led with that today. Yesterday, CBS reported on politico.com's scoop about irregular funding for police security during Rudolph Giuliani's trips as mayor to the Hamptons for trysts with his then lover, now wife--that was Story of the Day today. But CBS today led with none of the above. Instead it chose Osama bin Laden's latest audio announcement, which aired on TV al-Jazeera.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR NOVEMBER 29, 2007: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailCBS2008 Rudolph Giuliani campaignExtra-marital affair security raises questionsKatie CouricNew York
video thumbnailNBC2008 issues: immigrationInflux of illegals energizes Republican baseDavid GregoryWashington DC
video thumbnailCBS2008 debate for Republicans in FloridaMessages targeted at early primary statesJeff GreenfieldNew York
video thumbnailABC
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2008 issues: immigrationInflux of illegals energizes Republican baseJohn BermanNew York
video thumbnailCBSSaudi exile Osama bin Laden manhunt continuesAudiotape message reveals hints of waning powerBob OrrWashington DC
video thumbnailABC
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Real estate housing market prices continue to fallMany recent buyers have negative home equityLaura MarquezCalifornia
video thumbnailNBCEconomy expansion continues: GDP projectionsWhite House envisions 2.7% growth in 2008Erin BurnettCNBC
video thumbnailABCSalt in the diet is unhealthy in excessFDA mulls sodium limits in processed foodsLisa StarkWashington DC
video thumbnailNBCCopper prices soar on global commodity exchangesLucrative market for construction, utility theftPeter AlexanderLas Vegas
video thumbnailCBSComputer systems vulnerable to viruses, wormsPCs secretly controled to generate e-mail spamDaniel SiebergWashington DC
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
CBS SETS TRENDS CBS laid the groundwork yesterday for today's confused news agenda. Yesterday its lead was the continuing nationwide slide in residential real estate values--ABC led with that today. Yesterday CBS previewed Food & Drug Administration hearings into limiting salt levels in our diet--NBC led with that today. Yesterday, CBS reported on politico.com's scoop about irregular funding for police security during Rudolph Giuliani's trips as mayor to the Hamptons for trysts with his then lover, now wife--that was Story of the Day today. But CBS today led with none of the above. Instead it chose Osama bin Laden's latest audio announcement, which aired on TV al-Jazeera.

All three networks followed up on CBS' Byron Pitts and the funding for Giuliani's police escorts. The candidate himself called the revelation that his official security expenses were reimbursed by obscure, unrelated municipal bureaucracies "a hit job." Were the details revealed in order to question Giuliani's record of fiscal rectitude? Or were they a backdoor way to remind voters that he had been cheating on his wife in the ritzy Long Island resort? Pitts' anchor Katie Couric settled for the latter: "It involves a situation that is, quite frankly you know, probably one you are not all that proud of." Giuliani picked the latter too: "This was really done to try to focus on my personal life," he told ABC's Jake Tapper. NBC's John Yang focused instead on the former, specifically Giuliani's "statistics-filled stump speech" in which he touts his record as Mayor of New York City, reducing crime, rolling back welfare. Yang previewed an analysis by The New York Times reporter Michael Cooper: "From time to time he will exaggerate. He will do a misleading number or he will get something just plain wrong." In the face of such scrutiny, Yang observed, "lately he seems to choose his words more carefully."


NUCLEAR IMMIGRATION Last night the Republican Presidential candidates debated in Florida on CNN, responding to questions submitted via YouTube. CBS had Jeff Greenfield file an assessment. He concluded that the "candidates' messages were aimed elsewhere." Bickering between Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney was designed to score points with caucusgoers in Iowa; John McCain's stalwart opposition to the torture technique of waterboarding was addressed at independent voters in New Hampshire; Mike Huckabee's anti-income-tax platform was targeted at "all those conservatives yet to settle on a choice." The Giuliani-Romney feud focused on the treatment of immigrants without legal residency status, what NBC's David Gregory called "the core of the fight for the GOP nomination." ABC's John Berman (subscription required) called immigration an issue that is "making an already heated Republican primary nuclear…permeating the political ads." Amid an "air of meanness and nastiness," CBS' Bob Schieffer was impressed by Huckabee's Reaganesque ability "to hold himself above the battle--but yet he was able to stick it to his opponents when he really needed to."


THE DEFENDER Democratic candidate John Edwards is the other candidate to get extra scrutiny this week--but Edwards enjoys a softball positive treatment. Tuesday he sat down with anchor Brian Williams for NBC's Making of a President series; now he is the subject of a Who Is? profile by Charles Gibson. ABC had George Stephanopoulos as Gibson's substitute anchor, but Gibson (no link) prerecorded his q-&-a. Edwards discussed his poor rural roots in the Carolinas before he went to law school. "What did you know of the law coming from a small town in South Carolina? I mean, beyond Perry Mason and The Defenders?" "Well, you just eliminated what I knew. That is what I knew. I mean, I knew what was on television."


BIN LADEN IS A BAD STUDENT CBS had Bob Orr dissect Osama bin Laden fourth audio message in three months for its lead: "Propaganda tapes now greatly outnumber attacks," Orr calculated, referring only to attacks on the territory of the United States, our so-called homeland. Orr perceived an erosion of bin Laden's leadership over the al-Qaeda network, under challenge from "former militants and clerics." Specifically Sheikh Salman al-Oadah, bin Laden's onetime mentor in Saudi Arabia, "recently condemned the 9/11 attacks," publishing a letter of reprimand to his former follower for "fostering a culture of violence and murder."


STUNTED GROWTH For the third day in a row, one of the three networks led with the weakening housing market. Tuesday it was CNBC's Carl Quintanilla on NBC; Wednesday it was Anthony Mason on CBS; now Laura Marquez (subscription required) surveys the worst markets for falling house prices. She ticked off Polk County Fla, Loudon County Va, Worcester County Mass and Solano County Cal, where she found an owner in the suburb of Fairfield who paid $580,000 two years ago for his $400,000 home. "The effects are devastating for local businesses," Marquez added, with lumber companies, plumbing suppliers and furniture stores feeling the pinch. At the White House, economists have responded to the housing slump by cutting their forecast for next year's Gross Domestic Product to 2.7% growth, "the slowest expansion for the US economy in four years," warned CNBC's Erin Burnett on NBC. They forecast that 15% fewer jobs would be created than they had expected. "Jobs have been the one area of strength in this economy."

Building is still booming globally, noted NBC's Peter Alexander, "catapulting the price of copper" to $2 from 25c per pound. "The result? A surge of copper thefts." He took us on a tour of denuded building sites in Las Vegas, where the metal has been stripped from light poles, air conditioning units, plumbing fixtures--"even high voltage power stations are targets." Nationwide the cost of stolen copper has topped $1bn. "Imagine the famous Strip with no lights."


KILLER CONDIMENTS ABC and NBC used the estimate of 150,000 annual deaths nationwide; CBS' Nancy Cordes yesterday cited 130,000. What is this killer? Excess salt in the diet. The source for this scary statistic is the American Medical Association, whose physicians lobbied the Food & Drug Administration to require salt warning labels because of its threat to our arteries, hearts and kidneys. ABC's Lisa Stark pointed out that 75% of our daily intake comes "not from the salt shaker but from processed foods and restaurant meals." Big Food's response was that its labels "already list sodium levels and consumers are ultimately responsible for what they eat," NBC's Tom Costello reported. Both ABC's Stark and CBS' Cordes contrasted a pair of salty American brands to their British namesakes, where the government has slashed sodium levels: Kellogg's Special K cereal has 60% less salt; McDonald's Chicken McNuggets fast food 50% less.

Does anyone happen to know whether the AMA's 150K annual estimate is accurate? It seems very high.


TURN IT OFF AT NIGHT "A hacker based in Russia" may be running a network of robots through your home, CBS' Daniel Sieberg warned. "A criminal finds your computer and plants a program that gives him total control. The criminal then uses your machine to find another one, and so on, up to hundreds of thousands to eventually form a supercomputer army." Then what does this evil genius do with all that computing power? He advises you on how to make your lover's penis grow larger. Well, Sieberg did not actually say that, he stated that botnets "are sending most of the world's spam e-mails"--which amounts to the same thing. Sieberg offered simple precautions, "even just turning your computer off at night."


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: newly decommissioned Pervez Musharraf was sworn in as civilian President of Pakistan…pro-life leader and former congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL) died, aged 83…the teddy bear teacher who offended some Moslems in Khartoum by taking the Prophet's name in vain will be jailed for two weeks not flogged with 40 strokes…former chess champion and opposition politician Garry Kasparov was released from jail in Moscow…the lights are shining on Broadway once more as New York City's theater stagehands end their strike.