CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM JANUARY 21, 2008
The Presidential primary season pursued a bifurcated track in the South this Martin Luther King Day. The four major Republican contenders--Rudolph Giuliani, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney--assembled in Florida, where they vote next Tuesday. The three major Democrats--John Edwards, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama--were in South Carolina for a Monday night debate on CNN ahead of a Saturday ballot. Altogether Campaign 2008 accounted for 37% of the three-network newshole, with the Florida coverage qualifying as the Story of the Day. ABC logged its third Monday this month with limited commercials (24 min v CBS 19, NBC 19) courtesy of the pharmaceutical brands Lyrica and Caduet. ABC led with the friction between Obama and Rodham Clinton's husband Bill; CBS led from South Carolina; and NBC kicked off with the global economy as stock market prices fell worldwide even as Wall Street was closed in honor of the late Civil Rights leader.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR JANUARY 21, 2008: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
click to playstoryanglereporterdateline
video thumbnailABC2008 Florida Republican primaryGiuliani no longer has lead, four-way contestJake TapperFlorida
video thumbnailNBC2008 South Carolina primaryFeuding Democrats attend state's MLK observancesLee CowanSouth Carolina
video thumbnailABC2008 Hillary Rodham Clinton campaignUses husband Bill to go negative against ObamaDan HarrisNew York
video thumbnailCBSMartin Luther King Day holiday observancesCivil Rights leaders must pass political torchByron PittsAtlanta
video thumbnailCBSFinancial markets worldwide suffer selloffWorst global day for stocks since 9/11 attacksRichard RothLondon
video thumbnailNBCEconomy expansion slows: recession risks assessedCommodity hikes, housing woes, stagflation loomsCarl QuintanillaNew York
video thumbnailCBSWinter weatherFrigid cold snap across great plainsBianca SolorzanoNew York
video thumbnailNBCIraq: US-led invasion forces' combat continuesGen Petraeus negotiates with ex-insurgent SunnisRichard EngelBaghdad
video thumbnailABCMilitary personnel face family, personal problemsIraq deployment separates Fort Riley householdsMartha RaddatzBaghdad
video thumbnailCBSPregnancy miscarriage prevention researchEarly stage dietary caffeine can damage fetusThalia AssurasWashington DC
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
FLUFFY FLORIDA The Presidential primary season pursued a bifurcated track in the South this Martin Luther King Day. The four major Republican contenders--Rudolph Giuliani, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney--assembled in Florida, where they vote next Tuesday. The three major Democrats--John Edwards, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama--were in South Carolina for a Monday night debate on CNN ahead of a Saturday ballot. Altogether Campaign 2008 accounted for 37% of the three-network newshole, with the Florida coverage qualifying as the Story of the Day. ABC logged its third Monday this month with limited commercials (24 min v CBS 19, NBC 19) courtesy of the pharmaceutical brands Lyrica and Caduet. ABC led with the friction between Obama and Rodham Clinton's husband Bill; CBS led from South Carolina; and NBC kicked off with the global economy as stock market prices fell worldwide even as Wall Street was closed in honor of the late Civil Rights leader.

All three networks assigned reporters to cover the kick off of full-throated campaigning in Florida--even though the candidates' events were more quirky than enlightening. Rudolph Giuliani's campaign bus drove round the Daytona International Speedway. John McCain targeted Cuban-Americans in Little Havana. Mitt Romney's went sort of hip-hop in Jacksonville with an embarrassing rendition of "Who Let the Dogs Out?" Mike Huckabee pledged to run "no Mickey Mouse operation." Huckabee's celebrity martial artist surrogate Chuck Norris went after the 71-year-old McCain's age. ABC's Jake Tapper quoted McCain's soundbite in response: "I may have to send my 95-year-old mother over and wash Chuck's mouth out with soap."

There were scant serious tidbits to be gleaned from this fluff. NBC's Ron Allen reported that "most everyone is talking about the ailing economy" and ABC's Tapper found Giuliani emphasizing tax cuts in his attacks on both McCain and Romney. CBS' Nancy Cordes anticipated the end of Fred Thompson's candidacy as "some of his staffers are starting to take jobs with other campaigns." She speculated that McCain might have problems compared with South Carolina, where he won, since Florida makes only registered Republicans eligible to vote.


LION IN WINTER On the Democratic side, all three networks played soundbites from Barack Obama on ABC's Good Morning America concerning former President Clinton. Obama called the level of Bill's advocacy for his candidate wife "pretty troubling" and vowed "to directly confront" him when is statements are not "factually accurate." ABC's Dan Harris played a pair of soundbites and invited you, the viewer, to "judge for yourself."

Obama: "The Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last ten, 15 years--in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom."

Clinton: "Our principal opponent said that, since 1992, the Republicans have had all the good ideas."

NBC's Andrea Mitchell called the former President "a lion in winter, seeming to long for the days when he was the candidate." She cited Clinton's accusations that the Obama's opposition to the Iraq War was "a fairy tale" and that his campaign had intimidated caucusgoers in Nevada. Mitchell reported that both Sen Edward Kennedy and Rep Rahm Emmanuel, a former Clinton aide, have told Clinton to end his divisive tactics.


RACIAL CALCULUS Martin Luther King Day saw all three major Democratic Presidential candidates pay tribute to the Civil Rights leader in South Carolina, a state that "still flies the Stars & Bars to the Confederacy in many places," as NBC's Lee Cowan pointed out. CBS' Jim Axelrod repeated the expectations game that the Rodham Clinton campaign is now playing--"expecting a double digit loss in South Carolina" with "any closer margin" counting as "a good week."

ABC's George Stephanopoulos predicted that attacks from Rodham Clinton on Obama that seem "nasty or unfair" will alienate the Democrats' African-American base at the General Election. The longer the fight goes on, the more difficult a Rodham Clinton-Obama or an Obama-Rodham Clinton ticket becomes to achieve, yet the more it becomes a "political necessity" to heal that rift.

On ABC, Deborah Roberts (no link) examined Obama's appeal to white voters, calling it a "delicate challenge" to combine that with a mobilization of blacks by appealing to racial solidarity. Her argument relied on Shelby Steele's book A Bound Man. Steele characterized Obama's bargain with white voters thus: "I will not annoy you and exhaust you by rubbing your face in America's history of racism if you will not hold my race against me, if you will give me a chance."

CBS, by contrast, had Byron Pitts contrast Obama with the black political leaders who were proteges of King in the '60s: then "it was race and segregation; leaders today focus on better education, better jobs." With 9,500 African-Americans in elected political office nationwide, Pitts noted, "race is still an irresistible force in America but no longer an immovable object."


HAIRCUT NBC's Mike Taibbi reported from Wall Street that the holiday for Martin Luther King was fortuitous since it kept the New York Stock Exchange from participating in the selloff of stocks seen in China, India and Europe. CBS' Richard Roth called it a "global nosedive." ABC's Betsy Stark found investors worried that neither President George Bush nor Chairman Benjamin Bernanke "have enough weapons in their arsenal to keep the world's largest economy out of recession." In a typical recession, Stark calculated, the value of financial assets usually falls by between 20% and 25%; so far Wall Street prices have declined 14% from their peak. "So you can do the math."


OIL & GARLIC CBS has already launched a series entitled Hitting Home that seeks to illustrate the economic slowdown with personal vignettes of hard times. Randall Pinkston's piece on a small retailer in the New Jersey suburbs was the latest example. Shop at Garlic and Oil in Sparta NJ you want to help keep Kathryn Kaplan's head above water. Now NBC chimes in with a series actually called Hard Times. Its not-so-cheery kick-off had CNBC's Carl Quintanilla offer an Economics 101 definition of Stagflation.


CHOCK FULL OF NUTS For viewers who happen to be pregnant, all three networks offered the latest research results that advise against drinking coffee or tea or caffeine in any form because of the risk of miscarriage. NBC's in-house physician Nancy Snyderman pointed out that the risks are greatest in the first trimester of pregnancy. CBS' Thalia Assuras noted that women "suffering from morning sickness often stop drinking it" anyway, without the advice. ABC's Lisa Stark (embargoed link) outlined the medical theories to explain the research: "Caffeine may increase a fetus' heart rate or restrict blood flow."


ELSEWHERE… All three networks reminded us just how cold winter weather is. Meteorologist Bill Karins of NBC's WeatherPlus offered a forecast map. ABC's Barbara Pinto (embargoed link) replayed clips from Sunday's frigid NFL playoffs. CBS' Bianca Solorzano emphasized that deep freezes are "especially tough for the homeless"…NBC's Richard Engel returned to Baghdad where he followed Gen David Petraeus' efforts to persuade former Sunni insurgents, to cooperate with the Shiite-led government. "They are tough Sunni tribesmen--the negotiations are also tough"…ABC continued its Monday expanded-newshole series The Real 24. Martha Raddatz profiled a USArmy sergeant and captain from Fort Riley on the front in west Baghdad and intercut the soldiers' tours with their infant children and temporarily single mothers back in Kansas.


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: electricity is cut off from the Gaza Strip by an Israeli blockade…mid-January has a higher suicide rate than any other time of year…a cargo freighter shed its load in the English Channel, leaving stacks of lumber to wash up on England's southern coast…actress Suzanne Pleshette died, aged 70.