CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM JANUARY 11, 2008
The state of the economy is showing signs that it may dominate the new year's news environment. Both CBS and NBC led with economic stories--the consolidation in the ailing home mortgage industry and yet more indicators of recession respectively--as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell again, losing 246 points to close the week at 12606. On the campaign trail. Democratic contender Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed a $70bn package of fiscal stimulus for the working poor. No single economic story grabbed headlines, however. ABC led instead with the Department of Homeland Security's plans for a universal identity card for all adults. So the Story of the Day was a celebrity scandal--the fall from grace of track and field star Marion Jones, heading to federal prison for six months for lying about cheating.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR JANUARY 11, 2008: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailCBSReal estate home mortgage foreclosures increaseDistressed lender Countrywide sold for $4bnAnthony MasonNew York
video thumbnailNBCEconomy expansion slows: recession risks assessedWorries from real estate, banks, consumersMaria BartiromoNew York
video thumbnailNBCUS dollar price declines on foreign exchange marketsHelps agribusiness exports, tourism industryKevin TibblesIllinois
video thumbnailCBSEconomy expansion slows: recession risks assessedOutline impact on typical middle class householdSandra HughesCalifornia
video thumbnailABCPoverty: hunger, food banks and soup kitchensFlorida restaurants allowed to donate leftoversCharles GibsonNew York
video thumbnailNBC2008 issues: economyDemocrats call for stimulus, GOP for tax reliefAndrea MitchellWashington DC
video thumbnailCBS2008 Mitt Romney campaignDepends on rivals' chaos, victory in MichiganBill WhitakerDetroit
video thumbnailNBC2008 political journalism trendsSaturation coverage by European news mediaJim MacedaBerlin
video thumbnailABCHomeland Security requires universal ID cardStates must pay to upgrade driver's licensesPierre ThomasWashington DC
video thumbnailCBSTrack & field athlete Marion Jones admits perjuryPrison term of six months for lies about dopingMichelle MillerNew York State
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
MONEY WORRIES The state of the economy is showing signs that it may dominate the new year's news environment. Both CBS and NBC led with economic stories--the consolidation in the ailing home mortgage industry and yet more indicators of recession respectively--as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell again, losing 246 points to close the week at 12606. On the campaign trail. Democratic contender Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed a $70bn package of fiscal stimulus for the working poor. No single economic story grabbed headlines, however. ABC led instead with the Department of Homeland Security's plans for a universal identity card for all adults. So the Story of the Day was a celebrity scandal--the fall from grace of track and field star Marion Jones, heading to federal prison for six months for lying about cheating.

NBC, as usual, turned to its sibling financial news network to cover the economy. CNBC's Maria Bartiromo led off NBC's newscast with corporate woes: Merrill Lynch may announce a further $15bn in losses from its speculation in the home mortgage market; American Express warned that more of its credit card holders have become delinquent payers; and "once proud" Wall Street financial houses are turning to foreign governments such as abu-Dhabi, Singapore and the People's Republic of China for infusions of capital. On CBS, Anthony Mason focused on Countrywide Financial: the firm that services one out of every six American home mortgage is "tottering on the brink of bankruptcy" and has been forced to sell its business. Bank of America paid $4bn. Betsy Stark covered Wall Street for ABC. An analyst told her that "spending is down on everything from hamburgers to diamond rings"--as the stock price of both McDonald's and Tiffany declined.


FINANCIAL FEATURES The networks' Friday features all turned to money too. NBC sent Kevin Tibbles down on the farm for his In Depth report on the sole sector of the economy that resists a downturn. The US dollar declined so rapidly on foreign exchange markets in 2007--10% against the Euro, 15% against Canada's loon, 6% against Japan's yen--that Illinois' dairy products and other exports are now cheap overseas.

ABC anchor Charles Gibson presented poverty activist Jack Davis, an eleven-year-old from Miami, as its Person of the Week for helping out Florida soup kitchens. The boy lobbied the legislature to relieve restaurants of legal liability if the leftovers they donate to the hungry cause food poisoning. Now, the homeless are better fed but no lawsuits are allowed if salmonella spreads on Skid Row.

CBS kicked off a series entitled Hitting Home that will dramatize the impact of recession on average families by profiling individual households. Sandra Hughes introduced us to the Julian family of four from Simi Valley, whose mother Dori was laid off in the real estate collapse. The upshots: their 15-year-old son has transferred from private to public school; the family's vacation home and second car may be sold; moviegoing has switched from theaters to the home; and restaurant dining is scaled back as father Dean is "doing a lot of cooking" even as he searches for a second job.


PLUS CA CHANGE Just as Chip Reid did for CBS yesterday, NBC used the news hook of mounting money headlines to contrast the economic platforms of the major Presidential candidates. The bottom line of Andrea Mitchell's survey is that Democrats favor fiscal stimulus while Republicans prefer spending restraint and tax cuts.

So some things are stable in this unpredictable political season.


REVISITING THE SIXTIES ABC and CBS focused on candidates rather than issues. CBS' Bill Whitaker brought us an update on Republican Mitt Romney, second in Iowa, second in New Hampshire, hoping for first in Michigan, the state his father governed in the 1960s. Romney's "greatest ally," noted Whitaker, is "chaos…a war of attrition that leaves them all bloodied limping into Super Tuesday with no clear leader of the pack."

On ABC, Kate Snow (embargoed link) examined a possible backlash of "negative publicity and bad feeling" against Hillary Rodham Clinton among African-Americans for inartful criticisms of Barack Obama. Snow referred to the circulation of an e-mail "with a detailed list of comments from the Clintons" including a characterization of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, signed by President Lyndon Johnson, as the beginning of the realization of Martin Luther King's dream. The vague Snow mentioned only unattributed expressions of "outrage" and unsourced references to "racial code words." But there must be something to the discontent: in just one day husband Bill "dialed into no less than four top radio programs with predominantly African-American listeners."

NBC took the European view of the "real buzz" over the Democratic race. Jim Maceda filed from Berlin where the book Barack Obama: the Black Kennedy by Christoph von Marschall is flying off the shelves. And, yes, Maceda did illustrate his story with that 1963 soundbite: "Ich bin ein Berliner." Or as they say in English: "I am a jam doughnut."


CHAOS & CONFUSION ABC had Pierre Thomas lead its newscast with a confusing story about the upgrade of security features in state drivers' licenses required by the federal Department of Homeland Security. The feds are forcing Departments of Motor Vehicles nationwide to spend $4bn on the changes and, so far, six states have refused to comply. Licenses from those six states will no longer by accepted as valid ID by the DHS' Transportation Security Administration as early as this May, ensuring "potential chaos at airports," Thomas warned, with some passengers being turned away from flights. Adding to the confusion, NBC's Pete Williams told us that similarly non-secure licenses from all of the other 44 states will still be valid since the upgrades need not be implemented until 2014 or 2017.


MARION IS NOT MARTINA And then there was the Marion Jones prison sentence, the Story of the Day only because it was covered by reporters on all three newscasts. NBC's Mike Taibbi reminded us that the 2000 Sydney Olympics athlete's guilty plea still does not include an admission that she knowingly took steroids. ABC's Bill Weir (embargoed link) noted that "the woman who commanded multimillion dollar endorsements is now reportedly broke." CBS' Michelle Miller asserted that Jones was "once the most famous woman in sports." Why should Miller disdain Martina Navratilova so undeservedly?


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 continued his Middle East diplomacy, moving from the Holy Land to the Persian Gulf…a rare sight, snow fell in Baghdad…the price of an ounce of gold exceeded $900 for the first time on world metals markets…OJ Simpson, the former NFL star, was accused of violating bail in the case of the feud over his memorabilia…the NBA's Hawks and Heats will play a do-over of the 52-second endgame of a recent contest because the official scorer erroneously disqualified Miami star Shaquille O'Neal.