CONTAINING LINKS TO 49685 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM FEBRUARY 05, 2007
Weather made news again. Last Friday's Story of the Day was the devastation left by tornados in central Florida. Next a mass of frigid air descended on the northern tier of states from the Great Lakes to New England. CBS, the network that broadcast Sunday's Super Bowl, led its newscast from Indianapolis, where the victorious Colts were welcomed home by frozen fans. ABC and NBC chose the losing city, chilly Chicago.     
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR FEBRUARY 05, 2007: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
click to playstoryanglereporterdateline
video thumbnailNBCWinter weatherFrigid cold from Great Lakes to New EnglandKevin TibblesChicago
video thumbnailNBCFederal budget for FY08 submitted: $2.9tr spendingIncludes war costs, program cuts, no tax hikesDavid GregoryWhite House
video thumbnailABCFederal budget for FY08 submitted: $2.9tr spendingIncludes war costs, program cuts, no tax hikesJonathan KarlWhite House
video thumbnailABCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesGOP filibusters no-build-up Senate resolutionJake TapperCapitol Hill
video thumbnailCBSIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesGOP filibusters no-build-up Senate resolutionSharyl AttkissonCapitol Hill
video thumbnailABC
sub req
Syria-Iraq diplomacy makes progressPresident al-Assad blasts US political inactionDiane SawyerDamascus
video thumbnailNBC2008 Rudolph Giuliani candidacy announcedFormer NYC mayor has image as strong leaderRon AllenNew York
video thumbnailABCAbortion: restrictions offer rape, incest exemptionsPro-lifer pregnant from rape opposes them tooDan HarrisCalifornia
video thumbnailABCPrescription anti-depressants side-effects risksWarning to teenagers may be counterproductiveNancy Weiner CordesNew York
video thumbnailCBSInternet hardcore pornography proliferatesSurfing teenagers stumble across ambush pornDaniel SiebergNew York
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
BRRRRRR Weather made news again. Last Friday's Story of the Day was the devastation left by tornados in central Florida. Next a mass of frigid air descended on the northern tier of states from the Great Lakes to New England. CBS, the network that broadcast Sunday's Super Bowl, led its newscast from Indianapolis, where the victorious Colts were welcomed home by frozen fans. ABC and NBC chose the losing city, chilly Chicago.

"There are just not enough adjectives to describe how bitter and bone chilling this cold snap really is," complained NBC's Kevin Tibbles beside the Chicago waterfront. How cold was it? School buses would not start so hundreds of thousands of students got an unexpected day off in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, CBS' Cynthia Bowers told us. ABC's Dean Reynolds (subscription required) quoted a tow truck operator's explanation of why his business was so brisk: "Nothing starts. Nothing moves. Everything breaks." Back on NBC, when he was two minutes into his report, even Tibbles' splendid hat was proving ineffective. He dropped a hint that he wanted to wrap up his report: "It takes less than five minutes for any exposed skin to be frostbitten."


NO BALONEY The White House grabbed the attention of ABC and NBC when it submitted its $2.9tr federal budget for Fiscal Year 2008. NBC's David Gregory traced its projections for spending on the war in Iraq: $170bn this year, $145bn next, $50bn in 2009, zero spending in 2010 and beyond. He quoted George Bush's explanation for why this timeline was "no timeline" but "just projections." The President said: "We do not want to send mixed signals to an enemy or to a struggling democracy or to our troops." So he was sending mixed signals to Congress instead.

ABC's Jonathan Karl aired a clip of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, interviewed on his network's This Week in 2003. Rumsfeld cited cost projections for the entire war effort at less than $50bn. When George Stephanopoulos countered with a $300bn estimate, Rumsfeld answered: "Baloney!"

Karl concluded that "Democrats have already declared this budget dead on arrival." Accordingly, CBS did not assign a correspondent to cover the casket.


LINE IN THE SAND IN THE WATER The White House seems to be achieving greater success orchestrating a Senate filibuster to block a resolution in opposition to its troop build-up in Baghdad. ABC's Jake Tapper outlined the tactics: eliminate the middle ground and create a stark choice--either approve the plan or vote against funding it. Republicans want to introduce "a different resolution opposing any cuts in funding for Iraq" and Democrats are blocking that vote. CBS' Sharyl Attkisson consulted her network's political analyst Douglas Brinkley, who got so excited he mixed his metaphors: "Everybody is in dangerous waters now. It is like that moment in the Alamo where the line is drawn in the sand. These resolutions are saying: Which side are you on? Let us see your true colors."


SEE CLEARLY NOW From the region, ABC's Diane Sawyer (subscription required) grabbed an Exclusive sit-down with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. The London-trained ophthamologist talked to Sawyer in English about Iraq. He criticized the Bush team for its inaction in trying to find a political solution: "They only talk about troops and power, not about the political process." Sawyer suggested that politics in Iraq are under way: "Americans would say they voted. They now have the beginnings of democracy there." Answered the dictator al-Assad: "What is the benefit of democracy if you are dead? After the war, more than 700,000 Iraqis were killed. So is it democracy for killing? Democracy is a tool to have a better life."


RUDY’S HAT IN RING The day's development in Campaign 2008 was the announcement by Rudolph Giuliani that he will seek the Republican nomination. NBC's Ron Allen profiled the former mayor of New York City. "Celebrity" was the explanation Allen provided for Giuliani's current opinion poll lead in the GOP field. After all, he is "pro-abortion rights, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights." CBS' Gloria Borger stated that "his candidacy will test just how much sway cultural conservatives have in the Republican Party." She outlined how Giuliani might mobilize support in more liberal states to fashion a win: "If states like California and New Jersey move up their primaries, he feels that he can just do so-so in Iowa and New Hampshire" yet still prevail.


NO EXCEPTIONS ABC unveiled a series called Tests of Faith, which profiles religious individuals confronted by situations in which they are tempted to act in defiance of their beliefs. Dan Harris retold the story of Lee Ezell, a teenage girl, freshly converted to Christianity, who was raped and became pregnant. Rather than have an abortion, she gave her baby daughter up for adoption. The daughter is all grown up, now a grandmother herself. She and her birth mother are reunited and travel the country as pro-life public speakers and activists. Their opposition to abortion is total: they believe that it should be banned for everyone, in all circumstances, even after rape or incest. Pro-life issues are "a matter of human rights. And there is more than one human being to be considered," Ezell told Harris.


TEEN TRAVAILS The hardships of teenage life were featured by CBS and ABC. ABC's Nancy Cordes speculated that the warning labels on anti-depressants that the pills sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts has deterred some psychiatrists from prescribing medication to their depressed teen patients: "The warnings led to a 20% drop in anti-depressant usage among those under 18." In the darkest of ironies, lacking medication, more teens may now be killing themselves. The suicide rate spiked in 2004, the very year that the labels were introduced.

CBS' Daniel Sieberg reported on a survey in Pediatrics magazine that found that 34% of teenagers and older pre-teens accidentally stumble across pornography online by "clicking on a pop-up ad or a spam e-mail message or simply misspelling a Website." He called this type of smut "ambush porn." Sieberg did not offer an estimate of how many find their pornography on purpose. Maybe that is the remaining 66%.

What were the copy editors thinking when they allowed anchor Katie Couric to offer her misleading introduction to Sieberg's report? Referring to that 34% statistic, she said "nearly half of our kids are being ambushed by obscene Websites." Not only is one third considerably less than "nearly half" but the survey also asked no children under ten about their experiences, an age group where most of "our kids" are to be found.


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: cable TV's Cartoon Network has paid Boston police $2m for the unintended free publicity it received for Aqua Teen Hunger Force last week…the Missouri man arrested last month for abducting a pair of boys has now apparently admitted to molesting them…oh yes, and the Indianapolis Colts did win the NFL Super Bowl.