CONTAINING LINKS TO 57176 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM JULY 10, 2008
For the second straight day John McCain was Story of the Day. Wednesday, the Republican Presidential candidate himself set the agenda, granting interviews to all three of the network anchors. Now, McCain finds himself thrust into the spotlight by the words of his senior economic advisor. Phil Gramm, the onetime GOP senator from Texas, told The Washington Times that the economic slowdown was being exaggerated in the public imagination by a "nation of whiners." McCain immediately repudiated Gramm's words, joking that such comments qualify him for the post of Ambassador to Belarus. ABC led with Gramm's comments; NBC selected the continuing economic woes of the airline industry; CBS kicked off with the Food & Drug Administration and its inability to isolate the cause of this spring's salmonella outbreak.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR JULY 10, 2008: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailABC2008 John McCain campaignKey economic aide Phil Gramm disdains whinersDavid WrightWashington DC
video thumbnailNBC2008 Barack Obama campaignJesse Jackson's wrath helps differentiate himLee CowanChicago
video thumbnailNBCAirline industry in financial troublePleads with passengers to lobby for federal aidTom CostelloWashington DC
video thumbnailABCAirline travel: carriers focus on fuel efficiencyWeight saving includes canceled inflight moviesLisa StarkWashington DC
video thumbnailCBSIran-Israel frictions: Teheran testfires missilesHypes missile prowess, photo evidence doctoredDavid MartinPentagon
video thumbnailCBSWindmill farms generate electricityGrid delivery from remote regions is problematicDaniel SiebergTexas
video thumbnailCBSTomatoes tainted with salmonella toxinFDA cannot track produce distribution chainKelly CobiellaMiami
video thumbnailABCTomatoes tainted with salmonella toxinWorries ruin sales, farmers plow crop underLisa FletcherCalifornia
video thumbnailNBCAutism coverageGenetic analysis studies intermarried kinRobert BazellNew York
video thumbnailCBSFootball league organized for women playersIWFL Chicago Force head for playoff successMichelle MillerChicago
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
MCCAIN ADVISOR GRAMM COMPLAINS ABOUT WHINING For the second straight day John McCain was Story of the Day. Wednesday, the Republican Presidential candidate himself set the agenda, granting interviews to all three of the network anchors. Now, McCain finds himself thrust into the spotlight by the words of his senior economic advisor. Phil Gramm, the onetime GOP senator from Texas, told The Washington Times that the economic slowdown was being exaggerated in the public imagination by a "nation of whiners." McCain immediately repudiated Gramm's words, joking that such comments qualify him for the post of Ambassador to Belarus. ABC led with Gramm's comments; NBC selected the continuing economic woes of the airline industry; CBS kicked off with the Food & Drug Administration and its inability to isolate the cause of this spring's salmonella outbreak.

McCain's damage control after Gramm's comments and Barack Obama's sarcastic riposte that the United States does not need a second Dr Phil were covered by NBC's Kelly O'Donnell and ABC's David Wright. In a gesture of evenhandedness, NBC paired Gramm's comments with those by Obama backer Jesse Jackson Wednesday--although Jackson's expressed desire to castrate Obama hardly qualifies as the words of a backer. Lee Cowan observed that Jackson's words may have succeeded in differentiating Obama from the civil rights leader, his fellow Chicagoan. NBC political director Chuck Todd speculated to Cowan that the rift may be a positive inasmuch as Jackson is "a polarizing figure." CBS did not assign a reporter to either Gramm or Jackson, but had political analyst Jeff Greenfield debrief anchor Katie Couric on both.


STRIPPING PAINT AND MOVIES As the airline industry grapples with the high cost of aviation fuel, ABC and NBC settled on different angles. NBC's Tom Costello focused on the industry's lobbying campaign against commodities speculation in the oil market. The carriers have asked their frequent flying passengers to lobby federal regulators to crack down on market manipulation in a bid to make fuel cheaper. ABC's Lisa Stark used the news hook of USAirways' announcement that it is discontinuing in-flight movies to profile airlines' weight-loss efforts. The in-flight entertainment system is so heavy it costs $10m annually to fly around. NBC's In Depth feature was a preview of a primetime Business Nation documentary on CNBC by Tyler Mathisen on the Fuel Smart energy saving program at American Airlines. Planes are balanced so their center of gravity is as efficient as possible and there is a plan to replace pain with decals, for a potential savings of $19m.


FAKE PHOTO FANFARE Only CBS had a reporter follow up to debunk the fanfare that led all three newscasts Wednesday. It turns out that Teheran's claims, complete with photographic evidence, to have testfired a missile with the range to threaten Tel Aviv were hyped. The missile flew only 600 miles instead of the claimed 1250 and the four launched in the Agence France-Presse image consisted of three missiles and a Photoshopped clone. As for Iran's nuclear enrichment program, "beset with difficulties," was the way David Martin characterized it. ABC and NBC mentioned the fixed photo only in passing.


WINDSWEPT IN SWEETWATER Texas oilman T Boone Pickens attracted enough attention Tuesday from ABC's Betsy Stark and CBS anchor Katie Couric to qualify as Story of the Day with his advocacy of wind power as a substitute source of energy. Pickens inspired technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg to file a follow-up on CBS from atop a 300-foot windmill in Sweetwater Texas. Sieberg pointed out a flaw in his plan for windmill farms on the Texas plains: they are so far away from urban demand centers for electricity that a massive grid investment will be required to deliver the power. The turbines at Sweetwater were manufactured by General Electric, the owner of NBC, CBS' rival.


SALAD DAYS Both ABC and CBS updated us on the salmonella outbreak that has caused more than a thousand known cases with no known cause. CBS' Kelly Cobiella explained that the Food & Drug Administration has no system for tracking fresh produce through the distribution chain from farm to table. The salmonella could be in tomatoes or in cilantro or in peppers. ABC's Lisa Fletcher took us down on the farm where rotten tomatoes have had to be plowed back into the soil because the salmonella scare has killed the market. Nancy Cordes followed up with an Investigation into FDA bureaucracy for CBS. She found that generous year-end bonuses are being paid to executives rather than scientists and inspectors.


AUTISTIC KISSING COUSINS Both NBC's Robert Bazell and ABC's John McKenzie told us about the latest autism research in Science into the role of genes. In A Closer Look, McKenzie pointed to evidence that the genes are unactivated, suggesting that early therapy is efficacious because it triggers activation. Bazell told us that genes are easier to isolate in cultures where there is plenty of intermarriage between first cousins, so the study in Science focused on the Middle East, Pakistan and Turkey.


FORCE & INTENSITY For no apparent reason both CBS and ABC decided to close their newscasts with the Independent Women's Football League. CBS' Michelle Miller introduced us to the lady gridders of the Chicago Force, while ABC's John Berman (embargoed link) searched out the New England Intensity.