CONTAINING LINKS TO 51656 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM JANUARY 07, 2008
Happy New Year everybody. Tyndall Report resumes its daily blog on the network nightly news with New Hampshire. On the eve of the first primary of Campaign 2008, all three newscasts were anchored from snowy New England. Pride of place went to Hillary Rodham Clinton--one time frontrunner, third place Iowa finisher behind John Edwards, trailer in NH opinion polls to Barack Obama--and her emotional monologue in a diner in Portsmouth in answer to an undecided voter's question: "How do you keep upbeat and so wonderful?" "It is not easy. It is not easy and I could not do it if I just did not, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do."     
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR JANUARY 07, 2008: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailCBS2008 New Hampshire primary previewedCandidates reflect emotional strain on stumpJim AxelrodNew Hampshire
video thumbnailABC2008 Hillary Rodham Clinton campaignComes close to tears over high stakes in raceKate SnowNew Hampshire
video thumbnailNBC2008 New Hampshire primary previewedObama attracts overflow crowdsBrian WilliamsNew Hampshire
video thumbnailNBC2008 New Hampshire primary previewedTight Romney-McCain showdown in Republican raceDavid GregoryNew Hampshire
video thumbnailCBS2008 New Hampshire primary previewedMcCain hopes to repeat success of Campaign 2000Katie CouricNew Hampshire
video thumbnailCBS2008 New Hampshire primary previewedRomney lowers expectations in two-way raceKatie CouricNew Hampshire
video thumbnailABC2008 New Hampshire primary previewedVoters enjoy intense contact with candidatesCharles GibsonNew Hampshire
video thumbnailCBSIran military expansion feared in Persian GulfUSNavy ships confronted in Straits of HormuzBob OrrPentagon
video thumbnailNBCDeath Penalty controversiesSupreme Court hears lethal injection argumentsPete WilliamsSupreme Court
video thumbnailABCHospital emergency room healthcare problemsDaylong pressures in Dallas' crowded Parkland ERBill WeirDallas
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
RODHAM CLINTON COMES CLOSE TO TEARS Happy New Year everybody. Tyndall Report resumes its daily blog on the network nightly news with New Hampshire. On the eve of the first primary of Campaign 2008, all three newscasts were anchored from snowy New England. Pride of place went to Hillary Rodham Clinton--one time frontrunner, third place Iowa finisher behind John Edwards, trailer in NH opinion polls to Barack Obama--and her emotional monologue in a diner in Portsmouth in answer to an undecided voter's question: "How do you keep upbeat and so wonderful?" "It is not easy. It is not easy and I could not do it if I just did not, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do."

All three newscasts kicked off with her extended soundbite. CBS' Jim Axelrod ran the longest excerpt; NBC's Andrea Mitchell the most tightly edited. ABC's Kate Snow gave us the play-by-play of HRC's physiognomy: she "never actually let a tear escape from her eye and roll down her face but if you were in the room you could tell she was clearly fighting back tears." It was also not clear what Rodham Clinton was talking about--the state of her candidacy or the state of the nation or both simultaneously: "I have so many opportunities from this country. I just do not want to see us fall backwards. You know? So, you know, this is very personal for me. It is not just political. It is not just public. I see what is happening and we have to reverse it."

Whatever Rodham Clinton meant, it was headline fare. ABC's Snow called it "the talk of New Hampshire politics." She quoted an unsympathetic rival Edwards: "Presidential campaigns are a tough business--but being President of the United States is also a very tough business." CBS' Axelrod countered with Obama's sympathy: "The grind can get a little tough out there." Axelrod called it "the most personal reaction we have ever seen" from Rodham Clinton and profiled Marianne Pernold Young, the 64-year-old questioner who prompted a response that "thousands of questions over the years from the most toughminded and aggressive reporters" had failed to elicit. NBC's Mitchell mused that a woman "known for her steely resolve" was "clearly showing signs of strain."


TAKE A DEEP BREATH Emotionalism aside, what is the Rodham Clinton strategy? NBC's Andrea Mitchell reported that she is trying "to reach women voters who are deserting her for Obama." She granted interviews with Maria Menounos, NBC's celebrity reporter for Access Hollywood and with Diane Sawyer of ABC's Good Morning America. She and her husband, the former President, "have taken control of campaign strategy," Mitchell pointed out. Bill "permitted cameras to follow Chelsea for the first time." Onetime Clintonite turned Sunday morning anchor George Stephanopoulos, of ABC's This Week, summarized their goal of having "everyone in the Democratic Party take a deep breath" so she has time to recover in order to score a huge delegate haul from California, New Jersey and New York in the February 5th primaries.


INSIDE & OUT All three networks had reporters--NBC's Lee Cowan (included in the Andrea Mitchell videostream), CBS' Dean Reynolds, ABC's David Wright (no link)--follow Obama, the new leader in the primary opinion polls. All pointed out that his crowds have now grown too large to fit, so he makes two speeches, one inside an auditorium, a second to those standing in line outside. ABC's Wright called him "brimming with confidence…Obama not Clinton seems to have the aura of inevitability."


RUSSERT, RUSSERT, RUSSERT The Republican race was cast as a contest between John McCain and Mitt Romney, NBC's David Gregory called it "a tight showdown;" his colleague Ron Allen favored "a death match." ABC's Ron Claiborne (embargoed link) emphasized McCain's "stunning comeback from near extinction" last summer, echoing the Arizona senator's own spin about his final 24 hours on the stump--the Mac is Back tour. ABC's John Berman (no link) envisaged a second-place finish for Romney, calling it "particularly stinging" since he had been governor of a next-door state and had outspent all of his rivals combined, with a $7m advertising budget. NBC's Gregory delineated the base of each campaign: "McCain's trump card is independent voters; Romney is counting on turning out the Republican base."

Tim Russert, anchor of NBC's Meet the Press, resorted to his usual trick of defining the important factor in an election by repeating it thrice. "Independents. Independents. Independents," he declaimed. Since they are entitled to vote in either party's primary the fate of both Romney and Rodham Clinton depends on how independents split their vote: "John McCain's worst enemy is Barack Obama because if Obama takes the independent vote it is the same as he needs to beat Mitt Romney."


ANCHORS ON THE BUS What did the three anchors do during their day in New Hampshire? NBC's Brian Williams and CBS' Katie Couric both rode along on a candidate's bus. She split her time between McCain and Romney. He snared a sitdown with Obama: "She would have cried, you know. That is how she used to deal with stuff like this. Her chin would tremble and she would get all weepy." No, Obama was not reflecting on his rival Rodham Clinton. He was imagining how his late mother would have responded to seeing his face on the cover of Newsweek. As for Obama's father, Williams reported that Obama interrupted his campaigning to place a telephone call to Raila Odinga, the leader of the opposition in Kenya, "his father's homeland where Obama is cooperating with the State Department in trying to stem the violence."

Couric had this to ask McCain: "Six months ago you were pretty much considered all washed up." "Yes I was." McCain looked forward to a General Election contest against Rodham Clinton or Obama or Edwards: "We will have a respectful debate. There will not be any of these negative ads and, you know, personal attacks." Apparently he was referring to his Republican rival Romney, to whom Couric made this suggestion: "You must be a bit frustrated though, governor. Come on! Level with me on that." "Why would I be frustrated? This is fabulous." Looking forward to the next contest in Michigan, the former Governor of Massachusetts styled himself as "a guy from Detroit."


MO MEMORIES ABC, courtesy of sponsor Pfizer, aired one of its occasional limited-commercial newscasts (23 min v CBS 19, NBC 20) on a heavy newsday when New Hampshire occupied 51% of the three-network newshole. Anchor Charles Gibson skipped a bus trip with a candidate in order to reminisce about his days as a political correspondent in the Granite State: "My favorite about New Hampshire politics comes from a candidate that I covered here in 1976, Morris Udall. He told the story of a voter that he talked with for about 20 minutes. They agreed on everything. 'So I have your vote?' said Udall. 'I do not know,' said the fellow. 'I have only met you twice.'"


ELSEWHERE… ABC used its extended newshole that it will enjoy every Monday in January to launch a series The Real 24 profiling the workload of around-the-clock institutions. Bill Weir kicked off the series with the emergency room at Parkland Hospital in Dallas…from the Pentagon both ABC's Jonathan Karl (embargoed link) and CBS' Bob Orr covered a confrontation between five small Iranian speedboats and three USNavy warships in the Straits of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. The navy was on alert lest the boats be suicide bombs but they veered out of the ships' path without incident at the last moment…at the Supreme Court both NBC's Pete Williams and CBS' Wyatt Andrews outlined arguments into whether a lethal injection was a cruel and unusual way to execute a Death Row inmate.


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 FBI reports a reduction in the national violent crime rate in the first half of 2007…the latest research into autism debunks the theory that it may be caused by mercury toxins in children's vaccine--the incidence of diagnosis continued to climb even after thimerosal was removed…Starbucks, the gourmet coffee chain, has decided to halt its rapid expansion, even going so far as to close same cafes.