CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM JANUARY 30, 2008
The upshot of Tuesday's Republican primary in Florida was the designation of John McCain as his party's frontrunner. He beat Mitt Romney in Florida and then received third-place finisher Rudolph Giuliani's endorsement as he folded his candidacy. Giuliani called McCain "the most qualified candidate to be the next Commander-in-Chief" and "an American hero." The Story of the Day, however, was another withdrawal from the race, by Democratic third-place candidate John Edwards. Edwards' pullout was more newsworthy because it was not anticipated. ABC and NBC led with Edwards. CBS led with McCain.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR JANUARY 30, 2008: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
click to playstoryanglereporterdateline
video thumbnailNBC2008 John Edwards ends candidacyEmphasizes War on Poverty, endorses nobodyAndrea MitchellWashington DC
video thumbnailCBS2008 John Edwards ends candidacyLikely allegiance of his supporters assessedJeff GreenfieldNew York
video thumbnailABC2008 John McCain campaignNew GOP frontrunner after Fla win, Giuliani nodRon ClaiborneCalifornia
video thumbnailCBSEconomy expansion slows: recession risks assessedGDP slowed in 4Q07, sluggish 0.6% growthAnthony MasonNew York
video thumbnailABCReal estate home mortgage foreclosures increaseRepossession auctions attract bargain buyersLisa FletcherSan Diego
video thumbnailCBSMilitary personnel suffer mental health problemsOfficer faced court martial for suicide attemptDavid MartinPentagon
video thumbnailNBCMilitary personnel suffer mental health problemsIraq brain injuries frequently result in PTSDRobert BazellNew York
video thumbnailABCYear of the Rat celebrated in ChinaHoliday travelers still stranded by snowsStephanie SyChina
video thumbnailCBSCattle slaughterhouse animal cruelty abusesHumane Society video exposes aged cow tortureNancy CordesNew York
video thumbnailNBCBamboo from China is trendy commodity cropProduces soft fabric and sturdy flooringAnne ThompsonNew York
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
GOODBYE EDWARDS, FAREWELL GIULIANI The upshot of Tuesday's Republican primary in Florida was the designation of John McCain as his party's frontrunner. He beat Mitt Romney in Florida and then received third-place finisher Rudolph Giuliani's endorsement as he folded his candidacy. Giuliani called McCain "the most qualified candidate to be the next Commander-in-Chief" and "an American hero." The Story of the Day, however, was another withdrawal from the race, by Democratic third-place candidate John Edwards. Edwards' pullout was more newsworthy because it was not anticipated. ABC and NBC led with Edwards. CBS led with McCain.

The timing of Edwards' withdrawal "seems odd," mused CBS' Jim Axelrod, "if only because he repeatedly said he was staying through Super Tuesday." On the other hand, Edwards went "0-for-4 in primaries and caucuses" and was "behind in cash and delegates." ABC's David Muir (embargoed link) found Edwards "frustrated" at having to match up against "celebrity candidates" Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Now the demographic of the Democratic nominee is certain to be--unprecedentedly--not white male: "It is time for me to step aside and let history blaze its trail," Edwards conceded.

CBS' Axelrod offered Edwards kudos for often setting the policy agenda for the Democratic contest, "pushing for universal healthcare and restraints on lobbyists." Axelrod and Muir were on hand in New Orleans as Edwards underscored his signature theme of eliminating poverty by ending his campaign at a Katrina-devastated construction site in the Ninth Ward. Instead of endorsing either of his erstwhile rivals "for now Edwards is testing both on their pledge to his cause," noted NBC's Andrea Mitchell.

Sans such endorsement, who benefits from Edwards' withdrawal? NBC's Lee Cowan told his colleague Mitchell that the spin from the Obama campaign is that Edwards' base consists of voters who were already familiar with Rodham Clinton but decided not to support her. By that logic, their next choice would be anyone but Hillary.

CBS News' polling guru Kathy Frankovic told Jeff Greenfield that Edwards supporters tend to be less well-educated, less well-off white voters. Greenfield envisaged a split of Edwards' support with liberal populists in states like California siding with Obama, working class whites in the heartland siding with Rodham Clinton. ABC's George Stephanopoulos also foresaw a benefit for Rodham Clinton in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri and Tennessee. NBC's Mitchell disagreed. Her Super Tuesday calculus had Rodham Clinton succeeding in New York, New Jersey, California--plus Arkansas; Obama strong in Illinois, Georgia, Alabama--plus Kansas. NBC's Tim Russert saw Super Tuesday stalemate on the Democratic side because proportional representation rules prevent either candidate from scoring a decisive victory. Their race "is going to go on at least until early March."


MCCAIN ON THE MARCH John McCain is "the undisputed GOP frontrunner now," announced NBC's David Gregory. He "could not have asked for two better days," stated CBS' Bill Whitaker, leading off his network's newscast from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley where the Republicans were preparing to debate on CNN. "First the victory in Florida and tonight his big gift from Rudy Giuliani." ABC's Ron Claiborne was also in Simi Valley. He reckoned that McCain's Florida victory "completes an amazing transformation: down, out and almost broke last summer; today undeniably the Republican frontrunner." NBC's Gregory said McCain "came back after political near death over his support for the war and his moderate stance on immigration."

"McCain still faces stiff opposition," warned ABC's Claiborne. He quoted radio talkshow host Rush Limbaugh: "He is not the choice of conservatives." CBS' Whitaker cited Florida exit polls, which showed McCain's victory being achieved despite losing among the conservative base. McCain is "routinely savaged…for breaking ranks on immigration, taxes and global warming." Mitt Romney claimed the conservative mantle. "In a two-person race I like my chances," he asserted on ABC's Good Morning America. But is it a two-person race yet? NBC's Tim Russert thinks it is, declaring that the Presidential contest is "down to the Final Four," two candidates in each party. Yet CBS' Whitaker warned that "Romney is still vulnerable on his right as long as Mike Huckabee is competing for the same voters." And the CNN Reagan debate is a four-way, adding libertarian Ron Paul into the mix.


REPO BUS TO CONDO LAND The other major news of the day was made by the Federal Reserve Board. It cut short term interest rates to 3.0% . "If you are wondering how unusual it is for the Fed to cut interest rates by 1.25% in a week and a half," mused ABC's Betsy Stark (embargoed link) , "the answer is: 'It is unprecedented.'" She called the monetary stimulus "strong medicine" and repeated the Fed's litany of the economy's woes from falling financial markets to tight credit, from home sales to a lack of jobs. CBS' Anthony Mason noted that the "meager" growth in the Gross Domestic Product--up just 0.6% in 4Q07--was the slowest since the end of the last recession five years ago.

Just as CBS' Ben Tracy did yesterday, ABC's Lisa Fletcher got on the Repo Bus. Fletcher joined a tour of would-be homebuyers in San Diego where they see only already-foreclosed bank-owned condominiums selling at deep discounts. The bear market in housing has led rookie realtors to scrap their For Sale signs, noted NBC's Janet Shamlian: "Hardest hit are women reentering the workforce and twentysomethings looking to cash in on the boom. Many have left, leaving longtimers behind."


BRAIN DAMAGE CBS and NBC took different angles on the mental health problems of the military to illustrate army statistics showing a fivefold increase in soldiers' attempted suicides in the past five years. For NBC's In Depth, Robert Bazell looked at research that found a high incidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among soldiers who were rendered unconscious by brain injuries while serving in Iraq. Fully 44% of those who were knocked out during combat developed PTSD upon their return. CBS' David Martin brought us the case of Lt Elizabeth Whiteside, who tried to blow her brains out while serving in Iraq. Her commanding officer noted her diagnosis with mental illness, called it "an excuse" and had her court-martialed for illegal discharge of her weapon. The court martial dismissed the charge but the verdict had to be ratified by senior officers. The delay in processing the verdict caused the lieutenant such distress that she tried to kill herself again, this time with an overdose. The charges are now dropped but only after Whiteside was imprisoned under "psychiatric lockdown" at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


ELSEWHERE… Both ABC's Stephanie Sy and ITN's John Ray filing for NBC went to the railroad station in Guangzhou where tens of thousands of migrant workers continue to wait for trains in the hope that they can celebrate the Year of the Rat at home with their families. Ray said the snow that has shut down China's infrastructure is the heaviest in 50 years…CBS' Nancy Cordes brought us undercover videotape from the Humane Society of a slaughterhouse in Chino Cal. Workers at Westland Hallmark Meatpacking were shown torturing aged dairy cows with forklift trucks and power hoses. Cordes explained that so-called "downer cows" are ineligible to be processed as meat for the USDA's school lunch program. The cows were being mistreated in an effort to get them to walk to their deaths so they could become food…the new green plant is bamboo, Anne Thompson told us on NBC's Our Planet series. It grows so fast in China that it can reach 80 feet in 40 days. Sliced into slats for flooring it is stronger than oak. Pulverized into yarn for fabric it is softer than cotton yet "requires less water and fewer pesticides to grow."


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 NASA Messenger probe transmitted pictures showing signs of volcanic activity on Plant Mercury…a solar panel was repaired in a risky spacewalk on the International Space Station…Taliban guerrilla forces are increasing in size in Afghanistan, with some 20,000 now under arms…a rare snowstorm blanketed Jerusalem.