CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM JANUARY 08, 2008
The New Hampshire primary made major news for the second straight day. Again, all three network anchors were based in the Granite State. Again, the first primary of Campaign 2008 took up more than half (31 min) of the three-network newshole. But because the nightly newscasts aired just before the polls closed and before results were announced, none of the preview coverage is available online. The networks chose to post how they covered Hillary Rodham Clinton's victory after the fact rather than their anticipation of her defeat at the hands of Barack Obama. For the record, Tyndall Report offers highlights here of what television viewers saw on air but online readers are unable to videostream.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR JANUARY 08, 2008: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailCBSIran military expansion feared in Persian GulfUSNavy releases videotape of Iranian speedboatsKimberly DozierPentagon
video thumbnailNBCIran military expansion feared in Persian GulfUSNavy releases videotape of Iranian speedboatsJim MiklaszewskiPentagon
video thumbnailCBSTornado seasonRare midwinter twisters from Ark to WiscCynthia BowersWisconsin
video thumbnailNBCConsumer electronics home entertainment trendsLatest devices feature wireless, combo functionsGeorge LewisLas Vegas
video thumbnailNBCHollywood screenwriters' union strike continuesGolden Globes ceremony canceled, presser insteadPeter AlexanderHollywood
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
PRIMARY PREVIEW NOT POSTED ONLINE The New Hampshire primary made major news for the second straight day. Again, all three network anchors were based in the Granite State. Again, the first primary of Campaign 2008 took up more than half (31 min) of the three-network newshole. But because the nightly newscasts aired just before the polls closed and before results were announced, none of the preview coverage is available online. The networks chose to post how they covered Hillary Rodham Clinton's victory after the fact rather than their anticipation of her defeat at the hands of Barack Obama. For the record, Tyndall Report offers highlights here of what television viewers saw on air but online readers are unable to videostream.

Voter turnout was high. ABC led off with David Muir's neutral overview of crowded precincts, without reference to which candidate or party that may favor. "A large number of undeclared independent voters are weighing in on the Democratic side," unidentified election officials told him. He cited the delivery of extra ballots to some polling stations and long lines of same-day registrants as evidence.


MANNING THE EXITS All three networks had their Sunday morning anchors offer highlights from the exit polls. George Stephanopoulos (no link) of ABC's This Week told anchor Charles Gibson that although participation was high, it was not disproportionately so, favoring any particular candidate. Thus independents and younger voters were voting in larger numbers than normal, but so were partisans and older cohorts. On NBC, Meet the Press Tim Russert (no link), too, saw independents "flexing their muscle" yet he did not share Stephanopoulos' caveat that it was not disproportionately so. Bob Schieffer (no link) of CBS' Face the Nation offered Rodham Clinton the optimistic prospect that she might have carried both the female vote and Democratic Party regulars, two blocs she failed to win over in Iowa. Russert stated that the volume of women voters would be key to victory--and whether they would skew young, to help Obama, or old, to help Rodham Clinton.


ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE CBS had a reporter at the campaign headquarters of all three of the leading Democrats. Dean Reynolds (no link) told us that Barack Obama "expects a good result tonight and, at the point, there is no reason for him to think otherwise." Jim Axelrod (no link) found a Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign "preparing for a loss." He found not one aide "that is arguing otherwise." Only Chip Reid (no link) crystal ball was clear: John Edwards is "accepting the likelihood that they are going to finish in third place here."

NBC, who covered Rodham Clinton and Obama but skipped Edwards, was in lockstep with CBS. Andrea Mitchell (no link), too, told us that, "barring a surprise," Rodham Clinton does not expect to win but would "like to avoid a big defeat." Mitchell called Obama "relaxed, exuding confidence." At Obama headquarters Lee Cowan (no link) found aides not trying to manage expectations: "I think actually they are trying to feed off those expectations."


ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE The candidate-focused coverage on CBS also assigned a reporter to the top three Republicans. Kelly Cobiella (no link) asked John McCain whether the primary was a "must-win" for him. "Sure, sure--but we will win. We will win." Bill Whitaker (no link) admired Mitt Romney for working "tirelessly to convince his neighbors that he is the real agent of change" before concluding that Romney needed an Obama sweep among independents to keep support away from McCain: "Politics makes strange fellows." And Nancy Cordes (no link) saw Mike Huckabee calibrate the expectations game just right: "He knew from the beginning he did not have a shot at first or second here but he would love to come in third and beat Rudy Giuliani…even a fourth place finish would be a huge improvement."

On NBC, Kelly O'Donnell (no link) called the Republican field "chaotic" with "no clear frontrunner." She called the primary "a single elimination match" between Romney and McCain, whose "resurgence has to pay off tonight." Ron Allen (no link) was surprised to find Romney not playing the expectations game but "predicting victory" instead. Allen warned that Romney's hope that independent voters would defect from McCain in order to back Obama may be in vain: "There are indications that might not be happening."


ZIGGY STARDUST The only individual campaign to be covered on ABC was Rodham Clinton's and Kate Snow (no link) decided not to focus on the primary but on the campaign stylings of husband Bill. Snow repeated his complaints against the news media for its "sanitizing coverage" of Obama and his dismissal as a "fairy tale" of the concept that Obama had been unwavering in his opposition to the decision to invade Iraq. Snow explained that the former President's evidence was an article that Obama wrote for The New York Times in 2004 on how he would have voted on the Senate's resolution of authorization: "I do not know. What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made." Snow quoted Obama's legitimate rebuttal--Snow did not call it legitimate but Tyndall Report does--against Clinton for using the "I do not know" portion: "He keeps on giving half the quote."

ABC's campaign coverage was more feature minded than candidate focused. Jake Tapper (embargoed link) played a clip from that famous David Bowie song to illustrate how Ch-ch-ch-changes were all the candidates campaigned on. That platform is pabulum, Tapper insisted: "The desire for new, for different, is American as apple pie." And anchor Charles Gibson (no link) introduced us to his network's rookie panel of off-air solo reporters, one attached to each candidate assigned to attend every campaign event. Their job? "Shoot. Report. Edit. Blog. Upload." Their results are to be found on Facebook and at ABCnews.com.


LOCKSTEP On this heavy day of news, a pair of stories was covered by reporters on all three newscasts. From the Pentagon, ABC's Jonathan Karl (embargoed link), CBS' Kimberly Dozier and NBC's Jim Miklaszewski, all narrated the videotape released by the USNavy to document its ships' ultimately non-violent confrontation with a quintet of Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboats in the Straits of Hormuz. The audio included a nearly inaudible snippet from a speedboater saying: "We will explode." Dozier called the tone "mocking," Karl "eerie," Miklaszewski "ominous." The second story was a rare midwinter storm that spawned a line of tornadoes from Arkansas to the Great Lakes: NBC's Kevin Tibbles and CBS' Cynthia Bowers covered the damage from Wisconsin, ABC's Barbara Pinto (embargoed link) from Illinois.


ELSEWHERE… NBC (61% v CBS 72%, ABC 77%) devoted the lowest proportion of its newshole to Campaign 2008 coverage, making way for a couple of frivolous entertainment-related features. George Lewis strolled round the consumer electronics industry's trade show in Las Vegas, where he was informed in no uncertain terms that he was not hip enough to wear hi-tech wi-fi viewing spectacles. Peter Alexander in Hollywood reported on his own bosses' decision to treat the Golden Globe Awards as a news event to be covered by NBC News--it is a creation of journalists after all--rather than as a celebrity gala to be covered by NBC Entertainment since stars will not cross picket lines. The screenwriters' strike "is proving to be Hollywood's biggest partycrasher."


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: President George Bush set of on his eight-day Arab-Israeli peace mission to the Middle East…the Pentagon released cockpit footage of an F-16 air raid in Iraq against a suspected bomb-making facility thought to be operated by al-Qaeda…statins, the medicines that are designed to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol, may also prevent cancer…Nicolas Sarkozy, the newly divorced President of France, may get married again