CONTAINING LINKS TO 57176 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM JULY 9, 2008
Hi guys. Sorry to be behind in my posting. I am working through the weekend to catch up. For those who need an update on the latest disparity in coverage between that media phenomenon and that mere Presidential candidate, here are the numbers. In the seven weeks since the primary season ended (04jun08-23jul08), John McCain has logged 67 minutes on the three broadcast networks' weekday nightly newscasts, Barack Obama 166. Do not construe this as undercoverage of McCain. For the record McCain '08 in the first six months (Jan-Jun) logged 203 minutes. That is plenty. It is more for the first two quarters than any other candidate in the previous five cycles: more than Bush '88 (167), Perot '92 (161), Clinton '92 (158), Kerry '04 (157), Bush '04 (133), Dole '96 (130), Bush '00 (111) and so on. McCain is getting plenty of coverage, judged as an historical candidate. Yet Obama, in the first six months of 2008, just broke the mold: 389 minutes. Obama gets more positive coverage, more negative coverage and more trivial coverage. Who else has stories filed about them on how he shakes hands with his wife? Or whether Jesse Jackson wants to castrate him? Or how he is lampooned on the cover of The New Yorker? The way the networks are covering this race, it is not a contest between Obama and McCain, it is a referendum on Obama. Obama's every last tic and subclause is hyperanalyzed to see if he is qualified to be President. The implicit message of the coverage is that if he is qualified, he wins. If not, McCain is President by default.

UPDATE: Here is an audio feed of Tyndall and the Project for Excellence in Journalism's Tom Rosenstiel on Friday's PBS Newshour.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR JULY 9, 2008: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
click to playstoryanglereporterdateline
video thumbnailCBSIran-Israel frictions: Teheran testfires missilesBoasts of 1200-mile range, can reach Tel AvivLara LoganWashington DC
video thumbnailABC2008 Barack Obama campaignFather's Day address irritated Jesse JacksonJake TapperWashington DC
video thumbnailCBSSen Edward Kennedy (D-MA) has brain cancerReturns to Senate floor to standing ovationChip ReidCapitol Hill
video thumbnailNBCNational Security Agency eavesdrops on citizensSenate amends FISA rules, immunizes telecomsPete WilliamsWashington DC
video thumbnailNBCFEMA housing trailers have toxic indoor airHouse hearings into manufacturers' formaldehydeMartin SavidgeNew Orleans
video thumbnailABCSudan civil war: ethnic cleansing in DarfurUN peacekeeping forces undermanned, ineffectiveBob WoodruffSudan
video thumbnailNBCColombia civil war: FARC narcoguerrillasHostage Ingrid Betancourt reflects on freedomAnn CurryParis
video thumbnailCBSWild forest fires in western statesHigh winds fan flames in Sierra Nevada foothillsDave PriceCalifornia
video thumbnailCBSWar on Drugs: prescription medicine abuseControled narcotics sold online, no RX requiredJohn BlackstoneSan Francisco
video thumbnailABCLittle Miss Colorado murder mystery unsolvedDA uses DNA analysis to exonerate family membersDan HarrisNew York
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
UPDATE ON OBAMA THE PHENOMENON Hi guys. Sorry to be behind in my posting. I am working through the weekend to catch up. For those who need an update on the latest disparity in coverage between that media phenomenon and that mere Presidential candidate, here are the numbers. In the seven weeks since the primary season ended (04jun08-23jul08), John McCain has logged 67 minutes on the three broadcast networks' weekday nightly newscasts, Barack Obama 166. Do not construe this as undercoverage of McCain. For the record McCain '08 in the first six months (Jan-Jun) logged 203 minutes. That is plenty. It is more for the first two quarters than any other candidate in the previous five cycles: more than Bush '88 (167), Perot '92 (161), Clinton '92 (158), Kerry '04 (157), Bush '04 (133), Dole '96 (130), Bush '00 (111) and so on. McCain is getting plenty of coverage, judged as an historical candidate. Yet Obama, in the first six months of 2008, just broke the mold: 389 minutes. Obama gets more positive coverage, more negative coverage and more trivial coverage. Who else has stories filed about them on how he shakes hands with his wife? Or whether Jesse Jackson wants to castrate him? Or how he is lampooned on the cover of The New Yorker? The way the networks are covering this race, it is not a contest between Obama and McCain, it is a referendum on Obama. Obama's every last tic and subclause is hyperanalyzed to see if he is qualified to be President. The implicit message of the coverage is that if he is qualified, he wins. If not, McCain is President by default.

UPDATE: Here is an audio feed of Tyndall and the Project for Excellence in Journalism's Tom Rosenstiel on Friday's PBS Newshour.


Jan-Jun (mins) Democrat Republican
1988 Dukakis/Bush 53 167
1992 Clinton/Bush 158 94
1996 Clinton/Dole 37 130
2000 Gore/Bush 71 111
2004 Kerry/Bush 157 133
2008 Obama/McCain 389 203


JOHN MCCAIN WANTS TO AVOID A HOLOCAUST Republican Presidential candidate John McCain took the opportunity presented by a foreign policy flare-up to showcase his Commander-in-Chief chops. All three networks led with the tightening of tensions between Iran and Israel, as Teheran test fired nine missiles including a Shahab 3 with 1200-mile range, which is far enough to bombard Tel Aviv. McCain followed up by granting interviews with all three network anchors, logging enough total time to qualify as Story of the Day. His key soundbite, invoking the Third Reich, would have satisfied Godwin's Law: "We cannot afford to have a second Holocaust."

None of the networks filed from either Iran or Israel on the missile tests: NBC's Jim Miklaszewski and ABC's Jonathan Karl (embargoed link) were at the Pentagon; Lara Logan filed from the DC bureau for CBS. The McCain interviews were pre-taped: NBC's Brian Williams added a question about the candidate's Vietnam War ad; CBS' Katie Couric followed up on McCain's economic platform; ABC's Charles Gibson tried to get McCain to call Barack Obama for flipping and flopping.


ANATOMICAL SENSITIVITY Obama made news by being insulted, sotto voce, by Jesse Jackson on Fox News Channel. ABC's Jake Tapper filed on Jackson's fantasy of castrating the candidate for criticizing young black men, Bill Cosby style, but not the social conditions in which they live. Tapper did not actually spell it out that they were testicles that Jackson wanted to cut off--he referred to "nuts" as "a sensitive part of Obama's anatomy." NBC's Andrea Mitchell summarized the story in a brief standup. Other brief political stand-ups came from CBS' Chip Reid on the standing ovation that greeted Edward Kennedy as he left cancer treatment to vote in the Senate and from NBC's Pete Williams on the bill to extend the wiretapping of international telephone calls and the immunity granted to the telecoms corporations that sidestepped required warrants.


ARMENíS TRAILERS NBC's Martin Savidge checked on the story that has been owned by CBS' Armen Keteyian: the toxic indoor air from formaldehyde in FEMA's emergency housing trailers. Keteyian had an Exclusive Tuesday, on their unsafe manufacture at Gulf Stream Coach's plant in Indiana; New Orleans based Savidge covered hearings on Capitol Hill.


BLUE HELMET BLUES In overseas news, Today's Ann Curry was in Paris for NBC, claiming an Exclusive sitdown with Ingrid Betancourt, the French-Colombian politician who was one of the hostages held by FARC guerrillas. ABC's Bob Woodruff chose an African warzone for his report on the obstacles facing United Nations peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur Province--undermanned, with restricted access, lacking helicopters, facing heavily-armed militias.


SKIPPING PRESCRIPTIONS Domestically, ABC's Laura Marquez (embargoed link) and David Price of CBS' Early Show updated us on the California wildfires. NBC skipped the story, having been the only newscast to cover it Tuesday with George Lewis. CBS provided publicity for a report on drugs from the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University: John Blackstone showed us how easy it is to buy narcotics without a prescription from online pharmacies.


REMEMBERING JONBENET All three networks followed up on the JonBenet Ramsey murder mystery--the Little Miss Colorado slain on Boxing Day in 1996. NBC's John Larson (no link) and ABC's Dan Harris covered the DNA analysis that led to the official exoneration of the six-year-old girl's late mother, her father and brother. In a throwback to one of the abiding concerns of her stint as Today anchor, CBS' Katie Couric turned to the family's defense attorney Lin Wood for an interview on his reaction.