Sunday, August 07, 2005

A Not Right special report


UPDATE: Hat tip to Kyle at Zac Attack for the picture

You can believe me when I say I never watch television news, because I literally had no idea that Peter Jennings was even sick, let alone dying. This seriously shocks me. I really thought he was going to be an anchor forever. His voice ranks near the top of my favorite cadences of all time. I'm stunned and saddened to see him exit so soon.

The picture on the left is taken from a textbook from 1966. Of course, the kids' hairstyles and clothing give that away all by themselves. But as you can see, Peter's been around longer than his appearance and relevance would have suggested. Even in second grade (when I got this book at my school's clearance sale), I remember thinking how far he had come.

Jennings' departure abruptly ends an era of legendary broadcasters. Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings were practically the only network evening-news names that I've ever known, and over the space of seven months they've all gone. While I understand that all good things must end, it's still been abrupt. Brokaw retired, conservatives ran Rather out on a rail and Jennings died of lung cancer. These men were often considered the "liberal elite," which in today's media environment means that they were somewhere to the left of Fox News. I will miss all three. Not because I think they're liberal paragons, but because their respective absences make the current for-profit cable-news model all the more glaring. That's a cancer of a different kind.

On a related note, I see that broadcaster Shana Alexander also died back in June. She was the liberal debater on 60 Minutes (against James Kilpatrick) in the late 1970s. She was the inspiration for Jane Curtin's Weekend Update persona on Saturday Night Live, whom Dan Aykroyd would often call an "ignorant slut" because he couldn't really call her on what she said.

With karma like this, Bill O'Reilly will live to be 130.

10 comments:

The Manning Report said...

so funny tonight, i rarely get to listen to matt drudge's radio show because its so late but im on break so i listened. and the first hour of the show he was bashing internet sites for saying that jennings was dead when all of his sources and abc hadnt said anything. well of course like an hour later, abc radio breaks into his show and announces jennings died. lol.
bummer though, discovery just got no go for 1st landing, hopefully they get it next time around.

Ian McGibboney said...

Where do you work at this time of night? And why am I the only one being made fun of for being up at this time? Dammit! :)

Flamingo Jones said...

I want to know how Jennings managed to look so good at 67. He didn't look that old at all...he looked at least 15 years younger. I think that contributed to people our age just assuming he'd be around forever.

Alisha said...

Ian, I still cannot believe that you didn't know that Jennings had lung cancer....you really should watch the news sometimes. His last broadcast was when he announced his cancer and it was very sad...his voice was different so it made it even more real. Regardless, I'm sad to see he's gone. I doubt that the world will ever see such big names as Brokaw, Rather, and Jennings. I'm sad to see what's important to people because on MSN the big story is something dumb about Madonna and Jennings get a little box off to the side. PATHEDIC!!

Anonymous said...

actually when i said im on break i meant school, lol
i dont work that late

Ian McGibboney said...

So you take night classes, Manning? Late-late night courses, I take it?

Flamingo, yes. Earlier tody I was telling my sister about Jennings' death and I honestly couldn't remember if he was 67 or 57. It seemed weird either way.

Alisha, I'm glad you finally decided to comment after years of cyber-stalking :)

Anonymous said...
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Abdul said...

Peter Jennings was not constant in America, but by half that he who
cannot be a hero with the Americans. The cancer of the lung must not consider very well at this moment. The times people become, later that this the data, but inserts to the other time. In some countries it does not allow that you who you select it are. Never that Peter Jennings used.
Bless, Abdul

gambitch said...

Abdul, I'll be very honest. I do not understand what you are saying.

It appears English is not your strongest language. But you seem to know Peter Jennings. Are you another member of Ian's growing global audience?

(Hey Ian, you're world famous now!)

Ian McGibboney said...

Oh, good. Anybody got some gas money?