I was content to post not too much today, I really was, but then I heard that Peter Jennings had died.
When I was growing up, it was Huntley/Brinkley in our household (the reason I know the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 9th), then Walter Cronkite. When Cronkite retired in the early 1980s, I tried a number of folks: Chancellor then Brokaw, Rather. But eventually I found myself gravitating towards this Canadian fellow.
I think I found him more credible because he was somehow more the observer. I think his disastrous first shot at the anchor in his 20s made him work harder. Perhaps my favorite moment was on September 15, 2001 when he was talking to kids about the attacks, compassionate, yet not jingoistic.
When he said he’d be back when he went off the air in April, I figured, for a while, that maybe he would be.
The network has no clear choice to replace him. The folks who have been substituting for him already have a job (Elizabeth Vargas on Prime Time) or two (Charles Gibson on Prime Time and, more importantly for ABC’s bottom line, Good Morning America.) Koppel is set to leave Nightline soon to do his own thing.
As I’m sure all the news analysts are saying, the triumvirate is over, which is neither here nor there for me. But the passing of Peter Jennings is one that fills me with some sorrow. It’s strange that when you “invite someone into your home” electronically, you can get feelings of sadness when they’re gone.