Good Night Peter Jennings.
I don’t usually reblog now, but I really wanted to write about this.
It’s been a while since I’ve felt this sad about somebody dying. With all the deaths of celebrites, famous names and other icons, I get down about a news anchor. I’m sure you all know by now that Peter Jennings, anchor of World News Tonight on the ABC network died at 67 of lung cancer. No, I’m not going to talk about his political views. No, I’m not going to say I liked him because he was democrat or republican. He was my favorite because — I grew up watching him.
I don’t remember a day in my youth when I didn’t watch Peter at dinner. Every night when my Dad came home, we sat down at the dinner table, and watched World News Tonight from across the family room. He was our guide to everything — to the Gulf War, to the elections of 2000 and 2004, and 9/11 (He logged in 60 hours on the air during the tragedy). He kept me in the know, and really, I didn’t like seeing the news presented from anybody else but him. I guess the only times I didn’t watch WNT was when Peter was on assignment or vacation. I never watched the NBC Nightly News or the CBS Evening News because I never felt the need to. Peter had an aura about him that made me want to watch him and a voice that was captivating, professional and not old. Even when I saw him last a few months ago, I had no idea he was 67. He never let his on-air persona change because he was getting older. Sure, his ratings were never that good compared to Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, but that never stopped me. Brokaw himself even said:
”[Peter] was born to be an anchor. Peter, of the three of us, was our prince. He seemed so timeless. He had such elan and style.” Call it brand loyalty, or maybe I just liked their broadcast graphics more, but I feel that I’ve lost a person I that I could introduce to my kids. I could of said, “hey, I watched that guy when I was young too.”
As of today, the triumvirate of evening news anchors are gone. To tell you the truth, they were the last people I trusted in broadcast news. You can call me blind, but you can’t avoid the impact they made in their time.
“Peter died with his family around him, without pain and in peace. He knew he’d lived a good life,” his wife and children said in a statement.
Rest in peace Peter.