Monday, August 8, 2005

Peter Jennings & The End of an Era

I walked to the bus stop not knowing that the world had stopped. It was when I arrived at school and I heard his voice that I finally realized our nation was under attack. For sixty hours following the attacks on 9/11 I heard only one voice, the voice of Peter Jennings. He was calm, yet at times showed emotion. He was strong, yet subtle in displays of human weakness. His voice I will miss the most. Peter Jennings, 67, died yesterday at his home of lung cancer.

April 5th I wrote a post about Jennings' announcement that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. It was that shocking to me. You have to realize that the only voice I've ever known on ABC's World News Tonight was that of Jennings. He became the anchor in 1983, two years before I was born. Of course I've watched the Powerhouse-3, Jennings, Rather, and Brokaw, my entire life, but of the 3 he was always my favorite. There was something about his voice, his smirk, his style. On 9/11 and the days that followed, the news was personal again like it had not been since the days of Walter Cronkite that fateful November in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated, Oswald was shot on national television, and a country mourned and buried their president.

Sadly, this I believe this may be the end of something amazing. With the emergence of the 24-hour news networks, Fox News, and CNN, the days of commanding broadcast anchors are quickly departing. Jennings was the last to go. Without Brokaw, without Rather, and without Jennings, news will just be news again. With Brokaw we had a warning that he was soon to retire, with Rather we had a scandal that pointed toward the exit, but with Jennings we just woke up one morning and he was gone. What we should love about America is that every night a man on television who came into our homes to tell us the news was once a dropout and he made it. His is the ultimate success story.
Peter Jennings


Tara A. Rowe said...

Here's a link to a Washington Post editorial that I felt was right on the money with the Jennings story:

Nick Speth said...

Most conservatives can't forget Jennings's this quote following the election of a Republican House:

"Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It's clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around. It's the job of the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week. Parenting and governing don't have to be dirty words: the nation can't be run by an angry two-year-old."

I mean, follow this out and what he said was "the nation can't be run by the voters," right? Still of all the anchors on major news, Jennings was my favorite. I'll just stick to CNN, Fox News, and yes the occasional CSPAN.

Nick Speth said...

That quote was 1996 during the Gingrich revolution, btw

Tara A. Rowe said...

The Gingrich revolution was a tantrum. Jennings wasn't perfect, but in my book there is no one on his level except for Conkrite.

Glad to hear you've taken to watching CSPAN. I knew I liked you for some reason.

Nick Speth said...

If it was a temper tantrum, how come Republicans haven't lost it since? I mean, the normal tantrum wears off in a few minutes.