CONTAINING LINKS TO 35725 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM FEBRUARY 1, 2008
After four straight days of Campaign 2008 hogging the headlines, the week ended with the economy as Story of the Day. The Labor Department reported that the national workforce shrank in January, losing 17,000 jobs. This was the first monthly decline in employment since 2003, 52 months ago. CBS led with the labor market. ABC led with the economy too--a business story as Microsoft, the computer software firm, launched a $45bn takeover bid for Yahoo!, the Internet portal and search engine. NBC decided to kick off with campaign coverage, summarizing the highlights of Thursday night's CNN Democratic debate in Hollywood.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR FEBRUARY 1, 2008: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailCBSUnemployment: 4.9% jobless rate in JanuaryWorkforce shrinks for first time in 52 monthsAnthony MasonNew York
video thumbnailABCInternet search engine Yahoo! takeover bidMicrosoft offers $45bn to take on GoogleDavid MuirNew York
video thumbnailNBC2008 Super Tuesday primary scheduledRodham Clinton, Obama debate on electabilityLee CowanNew Mexico
video thumbnailABC2008 Presidential race Democratic field overviewTicket may be Rodham Clinton-Obama or vice versaJake TapperWashington DC
video thumbnailABC2008 Hillary Rodham Clinton campaignAppeal to women on gender grounds analyzedCokie RobertsNew Jersey
video thumbnailNBC2008 John McCain campaignMust win over conservatives to prevailKelly O'DonnellIllinois
video thumbnailCBSState of the Union address by President BushHypocritical applause for earmarks denunciationSharyl AttkissonCapitol Hill
video thumbnailNBCIraq: terrorist bombers attack civilian targetsMentally retarded women exploded, kill 73Richard EngelIraq
video thumbnailCBSIraq: terrorist bombers attack civilian targetsLack of female police to frisk women bombersJeff GlorBaghdad
video thumbnailNBCNFL post-season playoffs, Super Bowl XLIILeague seeks to cut stadium's carbon footprintSimran SethiPhoenix
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
LOST JOBS After four straight days of Campaign 2008 hogging the headlines, the week ended with the economy as Story of the Day. The Labor Department reported that the national workforce shrank in January, losing 17,000 jobs. This was the first monthly decline in employment since 2003, 52 months ago. CBS led with the labor market. ABC led with the economy too--a business story as Microsoft, the computer software firm, launched a $45bn takeover bid for Yahoo!, the Internet portal and search engine. NBC decided to kick off with campaign coverage, summarizing the highlights of Thursday night's CNN Democratic debate in Hollywood.

CBS' Anthony Mason showed us the labor market statistics since October and concluded that "the trend line is alarming." ABC's Betsy Stark (embargoed link) singled out construction, financial services, state governments and manufacturing as the weakest sectors for hiring, with healthcare remaining robust "thanks to an aging population." From the White House, NBC's Savannah Guthrie noted that President George Bush had repeatedly emphasized that continuing growth in the labor force is "a sign that the economy was fundamentally strong. Well! Tonight that winning streak is over." For the manufacturing sector, Guthrie added, the streak never started: "Nearly 4m jobs have been lost in the last decade."


SEARCHING FOR PROFITS Why does Microsoft want its Yahoo!? "When it comes to Internet searching both companies have been left in the dust by Google," answered ABC's David Muir, and online search "is where the money is." Muir contrasted Google's annual revenue of $16bn with Yahoo!'s $6bn. CBS' Anthony Mason (at the tail of his unemployment videostream) contrasted market share: Google 77%, Yahoo! 16%. Jim Cramer, anchor of CNBC's Mad Money told NBC anchor Brian Williams that "Google finally has a competitor. I thought this was a master stroke by Microsoft." ABC's Muir pointed out that perhaps the shoe is on the other foot as Google is already going after Microsoft, "offering the same kinds of computer applications that for years have been Microsoft's bread and butter. Many of those programs are now free."


BEST BEHAVIOR The two-way on CNN between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Kodak Theater was an amicable affair: "Miss Manners would have been proud," NBC's Lee Cowan reflected, "from the gentlemanly chair holding to the friendly elbow hugs." Cowan's analysis was that each candidate was trying to project electability come November, playing Rodham Clinton's key laugh line--"It did take a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush and I think it might take another one to clean up after the second Bush"--and pointing to Obama's claim that "he is simply more appealing to independents and moderates." ABC's George Stephanopoulos accounted for the collegial tone by noting that each campaign was where it wanted to be: she has the lead; he has the momentum. And ABC's Jake Tapper picked up on the "talk of the town" of a possible ticket containing both of them. JFK picked LBJ and Ronald Reagan picked George Bush, he reminded us: "Enemies uniting for political gain--American as apple pie."

ABC also aired clips from a roundtable of women voters from New Jersey hosted by Cokie Roberts on whether gender solidarity was a factor in the support for Rodham Clinton. As Roberts herself put it: "Do you see yourself maybe walking into that voting booth and as you go to pull the lever say: 'Oh shoot! It is just time!'?" Here is one answer from Mary Hickey: "It is just a matter of time. I mean to me it is inevitable that there will be. There is no question that a woman cannot be president. It is simply a question: 'Is this the right woman?'"


MCCAIN MAY NOT BE CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH Both NBC and CBS examined the remaining obstacle for John McCain on his path to the Republican nomination: what CBS' Jeff Greenfield called "significant opposition…on the political right." He cited the decision by former Sen Rick Santorum, "a hero among social conservatives" to endorse Mitt Romney and opposition to McCain on talkradio from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Hugh Hewitt. Greenfield zeroed in on three key transgressions by the pro-war, pro-life McCain: "opposing drilling in the Arctic, opposing the Bush tax cuts in years back, compromising with Democrats on judges." The critical test for Romney on Super Tuesday will be if he can get "the Huckabee voters to stop voting for Mike Huckabee and join him to stop McCain." On NBC, Kelly O'Donnell took the opposite view: "There are some signs that the disappointment--and even contempt--we have seen inside the Republican Party is beginning to settle down." She called it "a valuable frontrunner benefit--old critics become pragmatic friends."


HOLLOW APPLAUSE George Bush's final State of the Union speech on Monday was ignored by the networks' newscasts on Tuesday. CBS relented a little at week's end, assigning Sharyl Attkisson to a Follow the Money feature on her pet peeve--federal porkbarrel spending. The President received a standing ovation when he pledged to veto appropriations that contained undebated earmarked items. Attkisson examined the videotape in order to expose the hypocrisy of members applauding a ban on the very pet projects that they championed. Attkisson singled out Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Rep Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Rep Jerry Lewis (R-CA) for their hollow applause--and offered a backhanded compliment to Sen Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for their intellectual honesty. Stevens "was one of the first to sit back down" as the applause ended and Pelosi "did not even pretend to applaud."


BAGHDAD RETURNS For the first time this year, Iraq was newsworthy enough to attract simultaneous coverage by the Baghdad reporter of all three newscasts. The news was a double bombing of the city's outdoor pet markets, killing at least 70 people, perhaps 90. NBC's Richard Engel called the attack "one of the most cruel since the start of the war." Engel said the explosion was caused by two women wearing dynamite-and-ball-bearing vests "on a suicide mission." ABC's Hilary Brown (embargoed link) called them "severely mentally handicapped" and speculated that the women were not suicidal but had been murdered too, by remote control, "perhaps duped into the attacks." CBS' Jeff Glor focused on their gender. In Iraq, male police officers frisk men to search for explosives and female police officers frisk women. Yet since the police academy was transferred by US forces to local control, the training of women to become police officers has stopped. Women already in uniform "are constantly being forced off the job." The upshot is that using women as bombers is "a growing insurgent trend."


MERE FOOTBALL The pre-game build-up to Super Bowl XLII included the following features. ABC's Charles Gibson offered free publicity to Waterproof Garments, a firm that could afford just a two second ad--full 30 second spots cost $2.7m--but was not allowed to air it by Fox Sports, or as Gibson called them "the network broadcasting the Super Bowl"…on NBC's Our Planet, Simran Sethi showed us the tree plantings, the ethanol limo fleet, the solar panels and the hydroelectric plant that will try to reduce the game's carbon footprint by 30%…ABC's Person of the Week was Greg Gadson, former West Point linebacker, now colonel, who had both his legs blown off in Iraq and will be the New York Giants' honorary co-captain in his sideline wheelchair…and CBS' Nancy Cordes (no link) warned hardcore fans that they increased their risk of a heart attack if they get too emotionally involved. There was one flaw to her report, however. It was based on German research about Munich fans during the World Cup. And everyone knows that watching football is much more stressful than watching mere football.


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 Commission, a new book by Philip Shenon of The New York Times claims that the 9/11 Commission ignored al-Qaeda evidence…China's railroad system is gradually being restored in time for New Year…Chantix, the cigarette quitting medication, may be a factor in 37 suicides…NASA will celebrate its 50th anniversary by broadcasting Across the Universe into outer space.