CONTAINING LINKS TO 51991 STORIES FROM THE NETWORKS' NIGHTLY NEWSCASTS
     TYNDALL HEADLINE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM NOVEMBER 8, 2013
The day's agenda was dominated by a pair of breaking international stories, both of which were covered by a correspondent on all three newscasts. The Story of the Day was the progress in the nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in Geneva. Secretary of State John Kerry was on hand for a possible preliminary deal. Yet none of the newscasts led with Iranian nukes. NBC and ABC both kicked off with the other global crisis, the devastation in The Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan. CBS chose to lead with healthcare reform: the expansion of coverage for the mentally ill.    
     TYNDALL PICKS FOR NOVEMBER 8, 2013: CLICK ON GRID ELEMENTS TO SEARCH FOR MATCHING ITEMS
click to playstoryanglereporterdateline
video thumbnailNBCTyphoon Haiyan batters The PhilippinesHigh winds, heavy seas put 10m people at riskAngus WalkerThe Philippines
video thumbnailNBCIran nuclear weapons program suspectedDiplomacy in Geneva nears pact on partial haltAnn CurrySwitzerland
video thumbnailNBCHealthcare reform: universal and managed carePledge to restore canceled plans is hard to keepChuck ToddWhite House
video thumbnailCBSHealthcare reform: universal and managed careVolunteer trio makes simple app to rival siteJohn BlackstoneSan Francisco
video thumbnailNBCMental illness incidence, diagnosis, treatmentSecy Sebelius extends insurance coverage rulesRehema EllisNew York
video thumbnailCBSUnemployment: joblessness, corporate layoffs persistOctober rate is 7.3%, net new hiring of 204KAnthony MasonNew York
video thumbnailNBCPrisons: innocent inmates exonerated eventuallyTexas prosecutor jailed for lies 25 years laterPete WilliamsWashington DC
video thumbnailABCShoplifting incidence increases at retail storesThieves gather as flash mobs for speed-stealingPierre ThomasWashington DC
video thumbnailCBSNFL lockerroom bullying: Miami Dolphins caseInvestigate suspended lineman: jocular or bully?Jim AxelrodFlorida
video thumbnailNBCLibya: US diplomats assassinated in BenghaziEyewitness book author lied, deceived 60 MinutesStephanie GoskNew York
 
TYNDALL BLOG: DAILY NOTES ON NETWORK TELEVISION NIGHTLY NEWS
IRAN & HAIYAN The day's agenda was dominated by a pair of breaking international stories, both of which were covered by a correspondent on all three newscasts. The Story of the Day was the progress in the nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in Geneva. Secretary of State John Kerry was on hand for a possible preliminary deal. Yet none of the newscasts led with Iranian nukes. NBC and ABC both kicked off with the other global crisis, the devastation in The Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan. CBS chose to lead with healthcare reform: the expansion of coverage for the mentally ill.

Only NBC had a correspondent, Angus Walker, file from The Philippines. ABC used its New-York-based meteorologist Ginger Zee, although she managed to fold in a soundbite from her colleague Gloria Riviera in Manila. CBS did file from Asia, but miles away from the storm: Seth Doane was at his base in Beijing.

NBC's Walker did the right thing, examining whether this huge storm, with its 200mph winds, might have been exacerbated by climate change from global warming. He included a soundbite from Carl Parker at the Weather Channel, NBC's corporate sibling network. Neither Doane nor Zee mentioned global warming, even in passing. Zee was more interested in the technology of scatterometry that weather satellites use to measure storms. While ten million people may be at risk in the path of the storm down below, Zee showed us a Virtual View computer animation of this monitoring from space. Doane offered a glimmer of optimism: because of the speed of typhoon's passage it may trigger fewer mudslides than a slower-moving, more drenching system would.

NBC's Ann Curry and CBS' Elizabeth Palmer were both assigned to Geneva for the nuclear talks with Iran. Palmer filed only a brief stand-up, so Curry's package was the comprehensive one. Curry included Iran's Foreign Minister Mohamman Javad Jarif in favor of diplomacy, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in opposition to a mooted deal to relieve some sanctions, and President Barack Obama insisting to Chuck Todd in NBC's Thursday's Exclusive that any deal be verifiable. From Washington, ABC's Martha Raddatz spent more time on Netanyahu's objections than on the diplomacy itself (Raddatz did not even identify the Swiss location of the talks) while Bob Schieffer, anchor of CBS' Sunday morning show Face the Nation, aired a preview, with onetime Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta insisting on skepticism.


HEALTHCARE REFORMS True to form, ABC skipped coverage of the twists and turns of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Since the federal exchange Website failed to launch at the beginning of October, ABC (20 min v CBS 76, NBC 51) has downplayed the story. Following up on his Exclusive sitdown with Barack Obama on Thursday, NBC's Chuck Todd detailed the legislative and bureaucratic complications of getting the President's promise implemented to offer individual insurance under the ACA that renewed plans already in place. Contrast those complications with thehealthsherpa.com, the California insurance shopping application CBS' John Blackstone discovered in San Francisco, built by a trio of twentysomethings on the weekends and in their spare time. Hats off to Ning Liang, George Kalogeropoulos and Michael Wasser!

At the same time, both NBC's Rehema Ellis and CBS' Major Garrett covered the mental healthcare reform, which was CBS' lead. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that co-payments, deductibles, visits to the doctor, and hospital stays would be covered at parity for both mental and physical illnesses. NBC's Ellis emphasized the healthcare angle to this announcement; CBS, which has covered the gun control debate heavily all year, had Garrett identify Sebelius' announcement as one of the 23 executive orders promised as a package to curb gun violence.


COVERAGE TRENDS AT ABC Not only does ABC downplay the importance of healthcare reform and gun control, it also rarely considers the monthly unemployment report to be worthy of a correspondent's attention. Again, true to form, CBS' Anthony Mason filed on the October data -- a 7.3% jobless rate, 204K net new workers hired -- while ABC and NBC mentioned the data only in passing.

So what does ABC cover instead? Pierre Thomas' report on the latest trend in shoplifting -- thieves hitting stores en masse as a flash mob -- was an example of the property crime beat. ABC also likes stories on home burglaries and automobile theft. What all three types of crime have in common is the availability of CCTV surveillance video to lend the packages some visual punch. Thomas played video from six different shoplifting sprees, including four separate replays of a single theft from a Sports Authority store in Chicago.


LAW & ORDER In Texas, Michael Morton was wrongly convicted for murdering his wife. It was not the potentially exculpatory evidence withheld by prosecutor Ken Anderson that exonerated Morton, but DNA testing instead, which implicated a known killer. Nevertheless, prosecutor, now Judge Anderson found himself in trouble anyway for the miscarriage. NBC's Pete Williams weighs the scales of justice: the innocent Morton served 25 years in prison; the misbehaving Anderson gets ten days in jail.


WELCOME HOME On Thursday, ABC's Josh Elliott filed the first part of his tale of Captain Lotz, the homewardbound soldier. It was clear that Elliott was cleaving closely to ABC's trusted formula for military families: either describe the baby born at home while the father is away at war; or show joyful, tearful footage of the warrior returning to his family's embrace. If you look at both parts of Elliott's tale of the reunion at Fort Drum (here and here), you will see that there is nothing to warrant its being stretched over two newscasts. Much of the content is replicated. Its tone is uniformly saccharine. All of it is predictable.

Speaking of replicated content. CBS' Steve Hartman went On the Road to Oklahoma in March to tell us about Ed Bray. He does the same now that Bray has graduated to the karaoke machine.


NBC’S KATE SNOW USED TO WORK FOR ABC Thursday, I commented on the ABC house style, as evinced by David Muir: drop the names of celebrities…fold in a movie clip…cross-promote other coverage by the network. Meet Kate Snow on NBC, publicizing the publicity NBC News has signed up to lavish on Virgin Galactica's space tourism, its celebrity owner Richard Branson, and its celebrity maiden voyage passengers diCaprio, Bieber, Kutcher. What fictional footage did Snow edit into her actuality video? A clip from Gravity.

To balance Snow's self-congatulation of NBC's own project, her colleague Stephanie Gosk offered some flagellation for a rival, CBS' 60 Minutes. Lara Logan's cross-promotion for the publication of The Embassy House, the book by Morgan Jones aka Dylan Davies, has become a debacle. Jay Rosen at PressThink has offered a tick-tock, to which I have contributed in the comments thread. Gosk covers two of the major issues clearly: the failed fact checking and 60 Minutes' incestuous corporate ties to Simon & Schuster. She is not up to speed on the culture wars angle or the Big Get style of television journalism.


ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? Jim Axelrod makes it five days out of five this week that CBS has covered the NFL lockerroom scandal at the Miami Dolphins. Previously here is James Brown and Mark Strassmann (here, here, and here). Axelrod's addition is that Richie Incognito, the suspended offensive lineman, was the object of a woman's complaints about lewd behavior with a golf club at the team's celebrity tournament.

Alternately, there was inappropriate behavior on a basketball court: Robin Roberts, anchor of ABC's Good Morning America, filed a preview for her primetime 20/20 documentary The Tape They Can't Erase. Roberts sits down with Mike Rice, the onetime hoops coach at Rutgers University, whose abusive behavior was caught on video. Roberts demonstrates a certain insecurity about her own journalistic judgment by resorting to clips of Rice being commented on and being joked about in order to demonstrate just how outrageous his behavior was.

Come on, Robin, tell us yourself. You do not have to rely on anchor Diane Sawyer on the news, on comedian Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, on a skit on Saturday Night Live to make your point.


PERSONS OF THE WEEK ABC anchor Diane Sawyer decided to name the a capella singing group Pentatonix as her network's Persons of the Week. I invite you to look at Sawyer's report and tell me how many of the basic journalistic Who? What? When? Where? Why? questions were answered.

Maybe Sawyer believes she has answered the Why? Why are Pentatonix a chart-topping group? Because these clips.