CONTAINING LINKS TO 51991 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM NOVEMBER 18, 2013
November is an unusual month for tornado season in the midwest. So when a line of 75 twisters touched down in seven states on Sunday afternoon, the devastation was surprising enough to warrant headline coverage as Story of the Day on Monday, even though only eight people had been killed. All three newscasts led from Washington Ill, a small town near Peoria, evoking the tried-and-true iconography of tornado damage: the tattered Stars and Stripes flying amid the debris, and Christian survivors saying their prayers as they picked through their belongings.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR NOVEMBER 18, 2013: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
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video thumbnailCBSTornado seasonWashington Ill wiped out by late season twisterDean ReynoldsIllinois
video thumbnailABCTornado seasonHomeowner takes video, loses house, finds catAlex PerezIllinois
video thumbnailCBSTornado seasonYoung Kokomo mother saves toddler in bathtubDon DahlerIndiana
video thumbnailNBCTornado seasonTown with unbeaten HS football team takes hitKate SnowIllinois
video thumbnailCBSTyphoon Haiyan batters The PhilippinesUSMC relief effort uses Osprey helicoptersSeth DoaneThe Philippines
video thumbnailNBCTyphoon Haiyan batters The PhilippinesEmergency clinic on remote Homonhon IslandNancy SnydermanThe Philippines
video thumbnailNBC2014 Wyoming Senate race: Liz Cheney runsDisavows her sister Mary's lesbian marriageAndrea MitchellWashington DC
video thumbnailABCJFK assassination in Dallas rememberedZapruder Film enhanced: 26-second visual recordByron PittsDallas
video thumbnailNBCJFK assassination in Dallas rememberedSecret Service agent Clint Hill writes memoirSavannah GuthrieDallas
video thumbnailCBSJFK assassination in Dallas rememberedParkland Hospital physician blames back braceBob SchiefferDallas
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
NOVEMBER GOES WILD IN THE MIDWEST November is an unusual month for tornado season in the midwest. So when a line of 75 twisters touched down in seven states on Sunday afternoon, the devastation was surprising enough to warrant headline coverage as Story of the Day on Monday, even though only eight people had been killed. All three newscasts led from Washington Ill, a small town near Peoria, evoking the tried-and-true iconography of tornado damage: the tattered Stars and Stripes flying amid the debris, and Christian survivors saying their prayers as they picked through their belongings.

CBS and NBC both kicked off their newscasts with a by-the-books round-up of the devastation. NBC's Kevin Tibbles hitched a ride from the Channel 5 news helicopter at his network's affiliate in Peoria to survey the debris field. Even the station's anchor team had to suspend its live storm coverage to take shelter. CBS' Dean Reynolds told us that this was the worst November tornado damage in Illinois since 1986.

ABC kicked off with human interest instead under its xTreme Weather Team logo. Alex Perez narrated the homevideo of Washington Ill resident Kris Lancaster: Lancaster cut his head because he was too slow to turn his camera off and find refuge (an amateur mistake unlike Peoria's Channel 5 professionals); he discovered his house destroyed; and then, after a tearful search, found his pet cat Titi alive in the basement. CBS also used the human touch to illustrate nature's wrath: Don Dahler, in Kokomo Ind, brought us the smiling toddler that her pregnant mother Courtney Bray saved from her crib by huddling in the bathtub. The crib was crushed as the house collapsed.

Ginger Zee on ABC (at the tail of the Perez videostream) and the Weather Channel's Mike Seidel (at the tail of the Tibbles videostream) on NBC were both called on to explain the meteorology of the storm. They failed to do the right thing and address the climatology as well. Is climate change a factor in creating the conditions for such an unusually intense autumnal weather system? Neither Zee nor Seidel mentioned global warming.

NBC evinced a special interest in Friday Night Lights with Ron Mott in New Jersey to end last week. It continued that football theme with Kate Snow in Illinois. The township's exhilaration Saturday, when the Washington Community High School's team ended the regular season 12-0, heading to the Illinois state playoffs, was punctured by the twister. Coach Darrell Crouch had his undefeated players lead the clean-up effort. Go Panthers!


ABOVE THE PHILIPPINES WITH THE PENTAGON NBC's Kevin Tibbles was not the only correspondent to take to the skies -- but at least his helicopter was a journalistic one. Covering the relief effort in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan from the air, CBS' Seth Doane and NBC's Nancy Snyderman provided free positive publicity to the Pentagon by becoming its passengers. Doane offered an Osprey's eye view of the coastal destruction courtesy of the United States Marine Corps. Snyderman played amateur navigator for a USNavy pilot heading for the remote island of Homonhom.

This time Dr Nancy, NBC's in-house physician, was attending the clinic run by Dr Pranav Shetty of the International Medical Corps. On Friday, she helped out at an Israeli military clinic in Bogo City; last Wednesday it was the Mammoth Medical Mission in the ruins of the city hall in Tanauan.

Meanwhile ABC covered The Philippines not at all. Since Typhoon Haiyan formed ABC has found it half as newsworthy (16 min v NBC 37, CBS 30) as its rivals have.


GOSK SKIPS THE CORRECTION The in-house physicians at CBS and ABC did the proper thing, updating their reports from last week about the guidelines for increased use of prescription statins. Last Tuesday all three newscasts -- ABC's Richard Besser, CBS' Jon LaPook, NBC's Stephanie Gosk -- covered the recommendation by the American Heart Association, which would have permanently hooked fully one third of the population on these drugs. Now ABC's Dr Rich and CBS' Dr Jon raise a warning flag. Researchers at Brigham & Women's Hospital double-checked the AHA risk calculator and warned that half of those falling under the guidelines would have been medicated unnecessarily.

NBC's Gosk, a general assignment reporter, not a physician, skipped the correction. Stephanie -- First, Do No Harm!

The other pharmaceuticals story of the day concerned the vaccine Bexsero. It is not approved by the Food & Drug Administration but will be administered on the campus at Princeton University anyway, because of an emergency outbreak of meningitis. ABC's Linsey Davis covered the shots Friday; now Elaine Quijano catches up on CBS.


JOURNALISTIC MISDEMEANOR BLOTTER Filed under the category of underlying events that would not be newsworthy if there had not been a video camera there to record them: John Miller narrates the dashboardcam from a state police traffic stop gone wrong outside Taos NM.

Filed under the category of reporters how abandon the role of journalist to cast themselves as central character in their own reality TV show: ABC's Matt Gutman plays deep sea freediver, holding his breath under water for five minutes, to illustrate the duress that killed Nick Mevoli at Dean's Hole in The Bahamas. Gutman had to rely on the imaginations of his network's Virtual View computer animators to guess what actually happened to Mevoli, 220-feet below the surface. In a piece of cross-promotion with ABC's sibling in the Disney corporation, Gutman also threw in BlueEyeFX video from ESPN's E:60.

Filed under the category of using satirical comedy clips as a marker to validate the newsworthiness of a story, ABC's Linsey Davis -- unlike her colleagues here, here, and here -- did not use a clip from Comedy Central's Daily Show for validation. Instead, like her colleague Robin Roberts did here, Davis picked NBC's Saturday Night Live. Davis' package on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was ABC's third in the last four weekdays; during that time neither NBC nor CBS has found Mayor Ford worthy of a correspondent's attention.

Finally, filed under the category of notorious individuals who attract coverage for what they once did, not what they just did, George Zimmerman caught the eye of ABC's Steve Osunsami. Zimmerman, the gunman who killed the teenager Trayvon Martin without committing a crime, has been arrested in a domestic dispute. This is the seventh time since his acquittal that Zimmerman has been covered by a correspondent on the evening newscasts -- six of the seven were on ABC.


TIP OF THE HAT TO FOX The Sunday morning political show that attracted all the buzz on Monday was Chris Wallace's FOX News Sunday. His guest was Wyoming Senate candidate, Republican Liz Cheney, who found herself in a family feud with her sister Mary and her sister-in-law Heather Poe. Liz went on the record as opposing the right of lesbians to get married. All three newscasts used the soundbite from Wallace's show to jump on the Cheneys: CBS' Nancy Cordes, NBC's Andrea Mitchell, and ABC's Jonathan Karl. Both Mitchell and Karl went to their networks' archives to find a q-&-a with father Dick on the same-sex issue. ABC's used Karl himself; NBC used Today's Savannah Guthrie.


JFK WEEK GETS UNDER WAY Today anchor Savannah Guthrie appeared on the NBC newscast in her own package, as all three newscasts launched weeklong series to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Kennedy. She updated her own two-part interview, here and here, from 18 months ago with Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent who was assigned to protect First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy at the time. Hill granted the interview to promote his book Five Days in November.

On CBS, Bob Schieffer had previously got the jump on the 50th anniversary coverage with promotion for Philip Shenon's book A Cruel and Shocking Act on the Warren Commission, and a replay of enhanced audio from that day from the Dallas police scanner. Now Schieffer finds Kenneth Salyer, a brain surgeon who had been at the President's deathbed at Parkland Hospital. Dr Salyer's theory was to blame JFK's back brace: if he had not been wearing a corset, he would not have sat so upright in the convertible after the first shot and so would not have offered such an inviting target for the fatal bullet.

As CBS' Schieffer had aired enhanced audio, so ABC's Byron Pitts aired enhanced video. Anthony Davison, a history buff from New Zealand, has worked on the 26 seconds of the home movie shot by Abraham Zapruder, the footage that Zapruder sold to LIFE magazine for $150K and that is now property of Dallas' Sixth Floor Museum. Pitts a veteran CBS newsman, now works for ABC so he did what ABC reporters do so often: he included a fictionalized clip from a Hollywood movie as part of his documentary report. Obviously, the movie Pitts picked to add to the list was Oliver Stone's JFK.