CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM JANUARY 15, 2008
Election Day for Republicans in Michigan's Presidential primary was the Story of the Day even though none of the three network newscasts made the vote its lead. And since the result was called for Mitt Romney over John McCain between their early east coast newscasts and their later west coast feed, their coverage before the polls closed is not posted online. Here Tyndall Report offers an unlinked summary to how the contest-in-progress was reported. As for their lead stories, ABC chose the Food & Drug Administration's decision to allow the sale of food from cloned livestock; CBS and NBC both led with yet more troubles in the economy.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR JANUARY 15, 2008: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
click to playstoryanglereporterdateline
video thumbnailNBCEconomy expansion slows: recession risks assessedWorries spread from banks, consumers, retailersCarl QuintanillaNew York
video thumbnailCBSBank system suffers global lack of liquid fundsBig American banks need foreign capital infusionAnthony MasonNew York
video thumbnailNBCIran military expansion feared in Persian GulfHormuz speedboats' audio threat unauthenticatedJim MiklaszewskiPentagon
video thumbnailNBCAnimal cloning in agriculture safety researchSale of dairy, meat from clones OK's by FDARobert BazellConnecticut
video thumbnailABCHospital emergency room healthcare problemsWaiting lines even impact heart attack casesJohn McKenzieNew York
video thumbnailCBSMinneapolis I-35 highway bridge collapseNTSB blames failure on gusset plate design flawBen TracyWashington DC
video thumbnailCBSSocial Security system disability abusesExaminers say managers insist claims be deniedArmen KeteyianAtlanta
video thumbnailNBCPublic school no-coed gender segregation permittedFla boys only experiment raises reading scoresRehema EllisNew York
video thumbnailABCFrance's President Sarkozy may marry againUndiplomatic romance with singer Carla BruniJim SciuttoParis
video thumbnailCBSGraffiti artist Banksy decorates London streetsPaints walls in secret; murals sold at auctionElizabeth PalmerLondon
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
MICHIGAN AWAITS MITT’S VICTORY Election Day for Republicans in Michigan's Presidential primary was the Story of the Day even though none of the three network newscasts made the vote its lead. And since the result was called for Mitt Romney over John McCain between their early east coast newscasts and their later west coast feed, their coverage before the polls closed is not posted online. Here Tyndall Report offers an unlinked summary to how the contest-in-progress was reported. As for their lead stories, ABC chose the Food & Drug Administration's decision to allow the sale of food from cloned livestock; CBS and NBC both led with yet more troubles in the economy.

The third contender in the primary besides Romney and McCain was Mike Huckabee. CBS used a wheel format to file a report from each of the candidates before anchor Katie Couric sat down to discuss the findings of the exit polls. NBC had Ron Allen (no link) handle all the candidate chores--"each of the three leading Republicans is courting a different audience"--before consulting those same exit polls. ABC did not bother with the candidates and covered exit polls only.

Romney, CBS' Bill Whitaker (no link) told us, a native son of a Detroit auto executive, was campaigning on the economy. McCain was looking for independent minded voters, CBS' Chip Reid (no link) reported, using the candidate's own soundbite: "We are depending on Republicans, Democrats, independents, libertarians, vegetarians, Trotskyites." Huckabee had planned to spend just one day in Michigan, CBS' Nancy Cordes (no link) reported, but returned to show "we are in play even in a northern industrial state."

The exit polls, as usual, were the province of the networks' Sunday morning anchors. George Stephanopoulos of ABC's This Week picked up on the news that the Republican primary "is being dominated by Republicans." The independent vote had fallen to 25% of the turnout (compared with 35% in 2000) and Democrats from 17% to 7%. On NBC, Meet the Press' Tim Russert noted how much less important an issue the war in Iraq was compared with the state of the economy--"good news…bad news" for George Bush. Russert was in Las Vegas with NBC anchor Brian Williams in preparation for that night's MSNBC debate for the Democratic contenders before Saturday's Nevada caucuses.

On CBS, Face the Nation's Bob Schieffer (no link) shared chores with Jeff Greenfield. Greenfield noted that Michigan voters made their selection on the basis of issues, unlike those in New Hampshire whose criterion was the personal attributes of the candidates--and issues voters tend to support Romney. Schieffer speculated that a Romney victory in Michigan would be "good news for Rudy Giuliani, good news for Fred Thompson." Republicans, opined Greenfield, "are an organized party. They like a frontrunner. This time, good luck finding one!"


GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS There was such a welter of negative economic news that the networks could not agree where to start. December retail sales declined…wholesale inflation in 2007 accelerated…prices fell on Wall Street. NBC had Carl Quintanilla of its sibling financial news channel CNBC lead with consumer weakness. Over the Christmas holiday "Americans spent less on electronics, appliances, clothing, autos, even music and books " and credit card companies expect late payments to increase.

On CBS, Anthony Mason led with the "worst period since the Great Depression" for the major banks. They "are scrambling to raise new capital wherever they can get it and that means overseas." Altogether $40bn has been pumped in from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, abu Dhabi, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and the People's Republic of China.

Betsy Stark (embargoed link) took A Closer Look for ABC at a single bank that made $9.8bn in losses in a single quarter of last year. Stark reported that there had been signs that the real estate housing market was forming a bubble as early as 2004--"even the political environment helped feed the frenzy"--yet Citigroup kept investing in those "exotic new mortgages" until its "big bet went bust." Concluded Stark: "What a mess it is!" Her banking analysts told her that "even with today's loss, Citi is still at risk to lose billions more."


JAWBONE GOTCHA President George Bush's peace efforts in the Middle East have been all but ignored on the network nightly newscasts. Last week only two reports were filed, by NBC's David Gregory and ABC's Martha Raddatz. Now Terry Moran (embargoed link), anchor of ABC's Nightline, has caught up with the President in Riyadh with an Exclusive. Moran's topic, however, was not regional peace but the price of oil. "What can you say to the King here to get those high oil prices down?" "I will say to him that if it is possible your Majesty, you know, consider what high prices are doing to your--one of your--largest customers." It was an answer that offered Moran the perfect gotcha. He replayed candidate Bush's soundbite from the Presidential debates of 2000 when a barrel of crude cost less than $20, one fifth of its current level: "The President of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price."

Last Thursday CBS' Richard Roth offered the caution that the audio track of the Pentagon's videotape account of USNavy warships' confrontation with five small Iranian speedboats in the Straits of Hormuz had been recorded separately and dubbed in. The words on the audio were: "I am coming to you. You will explode in a few minutes." Now NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reveals that the words were recorded on Channel 16, "a frequency like a CB radio that is open to everyone." Thus the Pentagon has no way of knowing whether that voice was even Iranian.


CULTURE OF DENIAL CBS aired the second part of Armen Keteyian's two-month-long Investigation into disability payments--or the lack of them--disbursed by the Social Security Administration. Yesterday, Keteyian detailed the months long waiting periods facing applicants who file appeals against a refusal of benefits. Now Keteyian alleges that the bureaucracy has a "culture built on denial" under which examiners have quotas for the number of benefits they may approve and managers discipline those who grant too many. Keteyian saw a bureaucracy "reeling from budget cuts and high staff turnover, doctors making decisions outside their specialties and inexperienced examiners under pressure to keep costs down." Commissioner Michael Astrue denied the allegations--sort of: "You can approve too many and you can approve too few and they are both wrong."


PUPPY DOGS’ TAILS NBC's series this week is called The Truth About Boys and Girls, a study in gender differences. Yesterday Robert Bazell introduced us to neurological scans of the differences between memory in male brains and female brains. Bazell told us that she stores the factual details of a memory and the emotions attached to it in the same gray matter whereas he segregates the two and allocates details and emotions to separate storage. Now Rehema Ellis introduces us to the fourth grade mathematics classes at the Woodward Avenue Elementary School in Orlando. They are classes, plural, because boys and girls are taught numbers separately. Since coed math was canned, boys have become better readers, with 85% at statewide levels, up from 55% when they learned with girls.

Ellis did not tell us whether math scores improved too--or whether reading classes are also gender segregated.


EUROFUN Both CBS and ABC chose to close with lighthearted news from Europe. ABC's Jim Sciutto chose Parisian romance. Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France, and Carla Bruni "pop singer, former supermodel and former girlfriend to Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Donald Trump" are soon to be married. Their ostentatious jetsetting engagement has been so heavily covered by paparazzi that his new nickname is "President Bling-Bling." CBS had Elizabeth Palmer file from the Portobello Road in London where Banksy, the clandestine street artist, left a graffiti stencil painting on a wall next to a felafel shop. Rather than protest the defacement, the building's landlord put the mural up for sale on eBay.com. Now the only problem 999toyota, the auction's $400,000 winner, has is how to remove the art and leave the building standing.


ELSEWHERE… Hospital emergency room overcrowding means that delays affect even heart attack patients. Both CBS' Jon LaPook and ABC's John McKenzie examined the latest statistics…Cloning of livestock is so expensive that it will likely be used only for breeding but NBC's Robert Bazell and ABC's Lisa Stark (embargoed link) both forecast a future, now the FDA has granted permission, when meat and dairy from the offspring of clones--goats, cattle and pigs but not sheep--will enter the food chain…the National Transportation Safety Board released its report on the collapse of the I-35 highway bridge in Minneapolis in August. CBS' Ben Tracy reported that the gosset plates that bound the beams together were half as thick as they should have been. There are 465 bridges with a similar design still standing nationwide. The plates on all will have to be inspected.


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: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held talks in Baghdad to encourage political reforms…a bomb in Beirut targeted US diplomats and killed three local Lebanese…the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the active military continues to increase…cancer research pioneer Judah Folkman died, aged 74…the Supreme Court imposed limits on lawsuits over losses from fraudulent trading of securities.