CONTAINING LINKS TO 51991 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM MAY 04, 2007
Mental health researchers at the Pentagon received maximum publicity for their study of the ill effects of war on soldiers and Marines. Combat frequently causes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder--and stress can translate into breakdown of military discipline and ethics. The upshot is incidents of brutality against civilians, a willingness to torture prisoners and to turn a blind eye to the war crimes of comrades. All three networks led their newscasts with their Pentagon correspondent's coverage of this distressing study to make it the Story of the Day.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR MAY 04, 2007: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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Military personnel suffer mental health problemsSoldiers suffer combat stress, erodes disciplineJonathan KarlPentagon
video thumbnailNBCMilitary personnel suffer mental health problemsFemale soldiers treated for post-rape traumaDawn FratangeloWisconsin
video thumbnailCBSIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesSoldier documents surviving IED roadside bombAllen PizzeyBaghdad
video thumbnailABCIraq: education system survives amid violenceNewly-built girls' school wired with explosivesMiguel MarquezBaghdad
video thumbnailABCGlobal warming greenhouse effect climate changeUN scientists propose carbon-reduction measuresBill BlakemoreNew York
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France elections: presidential race run-off setConservative Sarkozy ahead of socialist RoyalDavid WrightParis
video thumbnailCBS2008 Presidential race Republican field overviewRonald Reagan's legacy is key theme of debateJeff GreenfieldNew York
video thumbnailNBC2008 Presidential race Republican field overviewFrontrunners' performance in debate assessedDavid GregoryWashington DC
video thumbnailNBCIllegal immigration increases, sparks backlashFederal civil rights probe of LAPD meleePeter AlexanderLos Angeles
video thumbnailCBSVirginia settlement in Jamestown 400th anniversaryArcheologists reconstruct grueling early yearsMark PhillipsVirginia
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
INSANITY OF WAR Mental health researchers at the Pentagon received maximum publicity for their study of the ill effects of war on soldiers and Marines. Combat frequently causes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder--and stress can translate into breakdown of military discipline and ethics. The upshot is incidents of brutality against civilians, a willingness to torture prisoners and to turn a blind eye to the war crimes of comrades. All three networks led their newscasts with their Pentagon correspondent's coverage of this distressing study to make it the Story of the Day.

NBC's Jim Miklaszewski spelled it out: "The unrelenting combat in Iraq is sending thousands of American troops home as emotional casualties of war." Meanwhile, CBS' David Martin worried about the adverse consequences for Iraqi civilians when soldiers fail to "think straight in the midst of combat and casualties." He showed the mantra being repeated during USMC basic training--"do not go to your dark side"--where "honor" is defined as "doing the right thing when no one is looking, sir," as one recruit put it. The study found that 20% of Iraq veterans display psychiatric symptoms, ABC's Jonathan Karl (subscription required) pointed out. Its recommended remedy for this psychiatric damage is shorter tours of duty and longer periods at home between rotations. The army's policy, Karl noted, is the precise opposite.

NBC followed up with an In Depth report by Dawn Fratangelo on the particular mental illness suffered by women soldiers, "the other PTSD." There is a high incidence of rape on the battlefield--military women sexually assaulted by their own comrades in arms. The aftermath often consists of nightmares, insomnia, suicidal thoughts and denial, a syndrome that Veterans Affairs shrinks have labeled Military Sexual Trauma.


BOMBS AWAY Both ABC and CBS filed from Iraq itself. CBS' Allen Pizzey obtained home video of a soldier's eye view from inside a HumVee. Specialist Jordan Spurlin had his dashboard-mounted camera running when it was rocked by a roadside bomb. "First you feel the blast wave come across you. And then you hear the sound. And then you feel the actual explosion itself," the 24-year-old Spurlin recalled. "The whole time you are thinking: 'I hope I am all right.'" No one was injured by the detonation of the Improvised Explosive Device but we got to see the vehicle being rocked and we heard the adrenaline-charged exhilaration of Spurlin's "band of brothers" when they realized they were still safe and sound. Pizzey called it "the profane joy of being alive."

A common complaint about the networks' coverage of Iraq is that it concentrates on violence without the balance of reconstruction. ABC's story from Baghdad demonstrates that even when reporters respond and seek out that school building project, the result is not necessarily positive. Miguel Marquez showed us a new girls' school whose building crew had been infiltrated by saboteurs even as it was being supervised by the US military. The 400-student school in Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad, had been "wired for destruction as it was being built" with explosives buried in floors, walls and ceilings. The hidden material was discovered safely before the school's opening day.


SILVER SHOTGUN The United Nations' intergovernmental panel of scientists met in Bangkok to discuss global warming. Rather than doom and gloom they met to recommend what policies should be adopted to save the planet from greenhouse gas emissions. ABC's Bill Blakemore did not land a trip to Thailand but he did outline their proposals from the New York bureau. Green activist John Holdren of the Energy Policy Commission told Blakemore that the panel did not offer a "silver bullet" but a "silver shotgun," a scattershot of actions that, taken together, is supposed to kill off the threat from carbon dioxide. Blakemore went down the menu: carbon taxes; sequestrating of carbon from burned coal; subsidies for alternate electricity generation; higher automobile fuel efficiency; investment in mass transit; conservation in heating, cooling and lighting of buildings.


NEGATIVE AMERICAN For the first time, a nightly newscast assigned a reporter to the presidential election in France. ABC sent David Wright (subscription required) to Paris to handicap Sunday's run-off vote between conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and socialist Segolene Royal. The opinion polls have bad news for Royal: "More than one million voters would have to change their minds" for her to win. A tactic for going negative in France is to criticize a politician for his "unabashed admiration" for the United States. Sarkozy-bashers call him "an American with a French passport." Wright quoted Sarkozy's clarification: "I will be an exacting friend of the US, an ally unafraid to speak up."


REAGANESQUE In electoral politics in the United States, all three networks summarized last night's ten-way Republican debate at the Reagan Library in California's Simi Valley. CBS' Jeff Greenfield saw Ronald Reagan looming over the field, counting the invocation of his name 19 times. Greenfield called him "the Republican FDR," an inspiration to today's GOP, because Reagan was the only President in the past 80 years to see his own party win the election at the end of his term--a tough task for the current incumbent to pull off, with his 32% job approval rating.

NBC's David Gregory sized up the three GOP frontrunners, Rudolph Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney. He focused on the "new angst" Giuliani is causing conservatives for his tepid opposition to the Roe vs Wade abortion ruling. He called McCain's criticism of the management of the war an "indirect swipe" at President George Bush. As for Romney, "many felt he came off commanding and telegenic." Outside the top trio, ABC's George Stephanopoulos judged that Sam Brownback made the most progress as a "compassionate conservative" with "a very smooth, very strong, polished performance."


MAKING A FEDERAL CASE OUT OF IT The fallout from the violence in MacArthur Park by Los Angeles' riot police after the May Day pro-immigration parade continued. Now the FBI is involved, checking whether the marchers' civil rights were abused. NBC's Peter Alexander quoted Chief of Police William Bratton's personal apology to Pedro Sevcec, anchor of NBC's Spanish news on Telemundo: "Unexplainable. I do not have an answer at this time. I was very shocked at the video when I first saw it." TV camerawoman Patti Ballaz of KTTV has filed a lawsuit against the police for assaulting her. She told CBS' Bill Whitaker what one cop said to her before she was knocked over: "Let us do double time because it is tussle time." Then he laughed at her, Ballaz recalled.


FORMER COLONY The 400th anniversary of the Jamestown landing was celebrated. NBC's Bob Faw chose a jaunty royal angle, as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II attended the ceremonies. Crowds were drawn "by the majesty of those hats" and one spectator bragged that she had "got the wave down" swiveling one's wrist rather than flapping one's hand.

As ABC's Ned Potter had done on Tuesday, CBS' Mark Phillips took the historical approach, profiling the work of archeologist William Kelso, who has uncovered the fort's foundations on dry land. Previously they were believed washed away under James River mud. That discovery has transformed Jamestown from a "mythological place" known for the "imagined romance" of Pocahontas to a "place of hard history" where more than half the original settlers died, "a place that very nearly failed."

A tedious nitpick about both reports--Faw and Phillips called Jamestown "British" but England and Scotland were not united into Great Britain until a century later, in 1707. Those who landed in Virginia in 1607 would have been English not British.


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 regional summit on Iraq's reconstruction at Sharm el-Sheikh concluded without any direct talks between the United States and Iran…a major new oil field has been discovered in Bohai Bay in China…heavy storms caused flooding in New Orleans.