CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM AUGUST 07, 2008
En route to Beijing to see the Olympic Games, the First Sports Fan dispensed with the geopolitics of relations with the People's Republic of China before he arrived. CBS and NBC both had their traveling White House correspondents lead off their newscasts President George Bush's speech in Bangkok exhorting the Communist regime to improve human rights. NBC's anchor Brian Williams was already in Beijing, where his network's sports division was gearing up for maximum coverage. CBS used substitute anchor Russ Mitchell. Yet the current President did not qualify as Story of the Day. ABC's lead did instead--the jockeying for position between former rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton over the agenda for the Democratic National Convention in Denver.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR AUGUST 07, 2008: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailABC2008 Democratic National Convention in DenverHillary Rodham Clinton may seek roll call voteJohn BermanChicago
video thumbnailNBCChina human rights abuses, political prisonersPresident Bush supports dissidents, religionsJohn YangBeijing
video thumbnailCBSChina violates telecommunications privacyWireless devices bugged, used for eavesdroppingBob OrrWashington DC
video thumbnailCBSMilitary detains terrorist suspects in Cuban campTribunal rejects heavy sentence for Salim HamdanWyatt AndrewsWashington DC
video thumbnailABCIraq: post-war reconstruction effortsWindfall oil revenues still do not pick up costsNick SchifrinBaghdad
video thumbnailNBCIran-US frictions: American may be held prisonerFormer FBI agent disappeared from Kish IslandPete WilliamsWashington DC
video thumbnailNBCMayor Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit adultery scandalJailed for bail violation after Canada visitKaren DrewDetroit
video thumbnailCBSMulticultural population, ethnic diversity increasesWhite Americans will soon become minorityNancy CordesWashington DC
video thumbnailCBSExurbs are between suburbs and rural countiesPopulation trends reverse, move back to citiesBen TracyCalifornia
video thumbnailABCKidney transplants from living organ donorsBereaved sister saves brother's fellow patientJohn McKenzieMinneapolis
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
DENVER CONVENTION PIPS BEIJING OLYMPICS En route to Beijing to see the Olympic Games, the First Sports Fan dispensed with the geopolitics of relations with the People's Republic of China before he arrived. CBS and NBC both had their traveling White House correspondents lead off their newscasts President George Bush's speech in Bangkok exhorting the Communist regime to improve human rights. NBC's anchor Brian Williams was already in Beijing, where his network's sports division was gearing up for maximum coverage. CBS used substitute anchor Russ Mitchell. Yet the current President did not qualify as Story of the Day. ABC's lead did instead--the jockeying for position between former rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton over the agenda for the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

ABC's John Berman seized on a YouTube video of Rodham Clinton envisioning a "catharsis" in Denver as a hint that she may call for a roll-call vote before she concedes the nomination thus undercutting the party's image of unity. NBC's Andrea Mitchell picked up on the Aristotelian phrase to contrast Obama's attempt "to avoid theatrics" with Rodham Clinton's "struggle as Greek drama." ABC's in-house political consultant Donna Brazile, who also happens to be a Denver superdelegate, undercut the network's decision to find headlines in the dispute: "There is really no division right now," she assured anchor Charles Gibson. CBS merely mentioned the pre-convention negotiations in passing.


BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED President George Bush decided to deliver his speech on human rights in China from 2000 miles away in Bangkok "because it could offend his hosts," NBC's John Yang explained. His visit to Beijing "is about athletics not politics." Still, CBS' Jim Axelrod pointed out, Bush will meet with his counterpart Hu Jintao on three occasions during his weekend of sports watching. The United States, Bush declared, "stands in firm opposition to China's detention of political dissidents and human rights advocates and religious activists." The People's Republic is also an active eavesdropper, CBS' Bob Orr warned, practicing cyberespionage to hack national security systems. In addition, its companies use industrial espionage and its organized cybergangs steal personal financial data. Even cell phones and BlackBerrys are not secure, Orr warned, since they can be activated remotely to serve as microphones to bug rooms. Switching them off is not enough protection--batteries have to be removed too.


AMPUTATED HANDS, BROKEN NECK ABC's David Muir (embargoed link) and NBC's Richard Engel both filed inspirational human interest sidebars in their run-up to the Games. Muir traveled to Luoshui in Sichuan Province to introduce us to an eleven-year-old schoolboy who dug himself out of the rubble of his collapsed schoolhouse after May's earthquake. His arms were so badly broken that his hands had to be amputated. Muir showcased his new prosthetic arm. Engel introduced us to Sang Lan, a teenage gymnast at the Goodwill Games in New York City in 1998. She was paralyzed when a vault went wrong and broke her neck. She is now a television journalist in Beijing and carried the Olympic torch in her wheelchair for part of the relay.


OIL TRICKLES DOWN, JUST NOT YET Both NBC and ABC looked at the benefits from the boom in crude oil prices on Iraq. In Baghdad, ABC's Nick Schifrin followed up Wednesday's coverage by CBS' Chip Reid of the Government Accountability Office report that the Iraqi government is running a $79bn annual surplus, thanks to oil exports, yet is still spending a tenth of that on infrastructure reconstruction. Schifrin ticked off the to-do list: the electricity supply operates for just ten hours each day; only 17% of sewage is treated; and one child in three has access to potable water. NBC's Ned Colt traveled to the north of the Persian Gulf to show us the offshore terminals that handle 90% of Iraq's oil exports. Trade there has tripled since April. Colt introduced us to the Iraqi navy, whose principal task is protecting those terminals--"only 1,000 sailors and no seagoing ships, just five slightly rusty patrol boats made in China."

Elsewhere in the Persian Gulf is Kish Island, where Bob Levinson, a onetime FBI agent turned organized crime investigator, was last seen some 18 months ago. He disappeared, his passport unused, his credit cards uncharged. Kish Island is part of Iran and NBC anchor Brian Williams asked President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about Levinson's status during his Exclusive Teheran interview last month. When Ahmadinejad replied "we are ready to help," NBC's Pete Williams reported, "to the FBI that was a breakthrough."


CHAUFFEUR’S CUBAN ORDEAL COULD END SOON NBC was the only network to assign a correspondent--Jim Miklaszewski on Wednesday--to the verdict of the military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base into Salim Hamdan, the driver for Osama bin Laden in 2001 who was taken prisoner in Afghanistan. Hamdan was acquitted of terrorist conspiracy and found guilty of the lesser charge of providing support. Now CBS' Wyatt Andrews was the lone correspondent assigned to the sentencing. The Pentagon sought a 30 year term; the tribunal decided on 66 months, almost all of which were already served before the hearing began. "Hamdan, who faced a life sentence just this morning, could technically be freed in five months."


AVOID ONTARIO Detroit is the nation's eleventh largest city, CBS' Dean Reynolds told us, so the tribulations of its mayor qualified for national attention, especially since the concerned alleged lies about sex, misuse of power to cover it up and, a new charge, assaulting a police officer who was trying to serve a sub-poena. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's latest scrape followed an official trip across the river to Windsor in Ontario. The terms of his bail forbade him from leaving the United States so off the jail he went. NBC had Karen Drew, a reporter from its Detroit affiliate WDIV-TV, update us. ABC mentioned the mayor's travails only in passing.


DWINDLING WHITE SUBURBS A couple of sociological trends caught the eye of CBS. As part of its Changing Times feature, Ben Tracy publicized the work of geographer James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, and his prediction of suburban decline. Tracy chose Sacramento as his example: apartments and condos and townhouses are being built within walking distance of workplaces and mass transit; large homes in farflung exurban subdivisions are standing empty. Nancy Cordes picked up on the work of demographer William Frey at the Brookings Institution, who predicts that the Census Bureau's forecast of a majority non-white population in the United States by 2050 could be realized "far sooner." Since 2000, the white population has increased 2%, whereas there are 26% more Asians and 28% more Hispanics. Sharyn Alfonsi (embargoed link) too covered Frey's projections for ABC's A Closer Look. Besides quoting Frey, Alfonsi astonishingly chose not a single person of color to deliver a soundbite on their looming majority status. Instead she found a "blond-haired, blue-eyed white woman" with this to say: "I do not mind it. I have been in California my whole life so I am used to it. I love diversity."


NON-MANIPULATION Last November, Tyndall Report misunderstood how adult-to-toddler kidney transplants worked and falsely accused ABC's John McKenzie of emotional manipulation by suggesting that 24-month-old Dominik Lawson could benefit from a full grown organ. McKenzie now tells us that the Lawson boy received a new kidney in May. The donor was the bereaved sister of a fellow patient. Mary Cousineau had passed the Lawson family in the hospital hallways as their son received dialysis and her nine-year-old brother Evan was dying. She did not consider donating her kidney at the time, only after Evan's death when she recognized Dominik in McKenzie's story.