My Feeble Ode To Peter Jennings
Charlie Rose doesn't have transcripts. But he did about the best job anyone could have done in remembering Mr. Jennings.
Forgive the length, but a man such as Jennings does not deserve a snarky silly excuse of a post. I'll leave that to Fafblog. After all they did a pretty decent job when the great Dr. Hunter S left us.
I grew up with Peter Jennings. My mother was a news addict which I am now convinced is a genetic trait passed along the X chromosome from the maternal side of the family. While today's anchors attempt to be brave by broadcasting from the middle of Hurricane's. Peter Jennings was the first to establish a news bureau in the middle of Israel! If it weren't for him who knows when we would find out there was an Israeli-Palestinian conflict!
Yes Peter Jennings embedded himself! Without an army protecting him. So maybe it was the looks and his youth, but my mother loved him from day one. She learned a lot of English from that man. She also was able to hold her own in any political discussion she chose to partake in. Which was basically anytime my dad heard some crapsky news on 1010 WINS, that besides the networks lazy reporting, would have been only half understood by my dad. If he decided to open his mouth about that, my mother would cite Peter Jennings as her source of factactular lusciousness that would leave my dad mumbling utter nonsense that even he knew he couldn't stand behind. Such was the stubborness in my family. Which I am now convinced is also a genetic trait, in this instance, the Y chromosome houses said gene, and it is passed obviously down from the paternal side.
Enough, I stopped watching once I discovered News Hour. So I would only hear Peter Jennings references when my parents would visit. They are now retired and live in Portugal most of the year. I would get second hand accounts from my mother discussing much of the news you weren't hearing on the cable greats. I would read something in the blogosphere that day and report it to my mother and she would sometimes scoop me with information from Peter Jennings, or how she would typically refer to it in its entirous "world news tonight with Peter Jennings."
Such was the case when the Social Security nonsense began. Just as the regular media was still beating the dead horse of "faith based voters," Peter Jennings discussed Social Security. He started with the source. (I can't find a transcript if someone watched as religiously as my mom, please send a link to the transcript).
He started to educate the public of the notion that "if it is broke, this is why." He proceeded to describe a simple graphic discription of how money from the people would funnel to Washington and that Congress and the President had spent Clinton's budget surplus. He went on to educate people that the surplus was built up to avoid the so-called shortfall. Etc. Etc. All things that would be hashed out all over the internets in the comming months.
I don't know maybe it was this show.
In other words, Peter Jennings was the first to say, if their is a problem, its the fault of the Congress and the President for squandering all that money they got from Clinton.
For once, I am advocating another media navel gazing experience with the death of Peter Jennings. In part because all of them will elude to lung cancer and the dangers of smoking, which should kick some habits for sure. That's not a bad way of going about it either. However, moreso, a navel gazing centering on the one person with whom they can all learn volumes from (such is the state of our media). If the media will be picking lint for a while they might as well be thinking about what a true journalist should be. An educator of the public.
Mr. Jennings, rest in peace. We here in blogdom are trying like hell to bring your standards back. Give some time and we'll make you proud!
Media In Trouble