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Monday, August 08, 2005

2005 - The Year TV News Changed Forever:

First, Tom Brokaw rode off into the sunset. Then Dan Rather resigned as a result of his involvement in Memogate. More shocking to me though was the news that yesterday, Peter Jennings, long time ABC anchorman, died of lung cancer at the age of 67.

I have some lasting memories of Peter Jennings. I recall him as the co-anchor with Frank Reynolds, who would die himself while employed at ABC News. I recall Jennings' introduction of the day's top stories: "We begin tonight with..." I recall his occasional Canadian-ness: about spoken as a-boot is always a personal favorite. But mostly, I will recall that it always seemed to be Jennings that was on the television when something awful happened. When Challenger exploded in mid-air, when Reagan was shot, and, most recently, when the Twin Towers plummeted to the ground, it was the coolness, the commanding presence of Jennings that took over. When I was last in Knoxville, I stopped by the September 11th Memorial downtown and watched with attentive recollection the way that Jennings handled himself during the crisis. How he made it through the entire broadcast on September 11th is beyond me, but he did, and he did it well.

Many of us like to talk about how ideologically left of center broadcast news is, and Jennings was no different. I stopped watching network news a long time ago, but the things above are how I will remember Peter Jennings, not his political leanings. Truly, Peter Jennings not just as a news anchor, but as a father, as a husband, and as a man, will be missed.


.: posted by Dave 7:55 AM

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