Okay, what’s wrong with this picture…

You may or may not have already heard that long-time ABC Anchor Peter Jennings died on Sunday, succumbing finally to the lung cancer that he recently announced he was battling.

I read about it on CNN’s website.

Here’s a screen-shot. Tell me what’s wrong with this picture:

I’ll give you a hint… obituaries and other dark news probably shouldn’t appear under the ENTERTAINMENT banner. It makes some of us giggle.

I haven’t watched TV in ages, but I’ll still miss Peter Jennings. He was the voice of the Real World for me during the 80s — for whatever reason, my family always watched ABC’s World News Tonight. If it was good news, if it was bad news, if it was offbeat news, it was Peter Jennings telling my family about it.

Nowadays it’s Google and CNN. The news of the 21st century has no personality for me. It’s delivery is an eyeball “skim” at high speeds, rather than a mellifluous baritone.

–Howard

18 thoughts on “Okay, what’s wrong with this picture…”

  1. I’m guessing

    Gonna take a guess that if we look back in CNN’s archives, we’d find that most any Celeb that died had the obit run in the Entertainment section…

    I’m just guessing… He was a massively popular (for reasons that surpass my understanding) TV personality…

    And god knows some of his opinions were pretty darn entertaining…

    At any rate, here’s to the man… Rest in peace, guy…

    1. Before or after

      Before or after they started praising anything Clinton did/said?

      Sorry for the minor politics trolling… The mid to late 90’s just plain made me ill though…

      1. Re: Before or after

        *nods*

        There is no news of consequence on American TV any more. It’s all sound-bites, spin, and blatantly biased editorialism serving someone or other’s political agenda. “Tell people what’s happening” has been supplanted by “Tell people what they ought to be thinking about it.”

  2. Out of all the biases in American News Media, Mr. Jennings’ were the most repressed. He did a better job of delivering unbiased reporting than any of the other anchors.

    He also had the best hair. If that man did wear a hair-piece or a comb-over, it was much better than those used by his contemporaries. That matters a lot to me, for some reason. Newsfolk are plastic enough without badly faked hair.

    1. Peter Jennings

      My family watched ABC World News Tonight when I was growing up as well as several other channels. At about the age of 6 the centered solidly on ABC and that’s what I got used to watching every single night until I was about 16 and the interweb got a hold on me.

      Even now when I don’t have cable and have never bothered to hook up an antenna to my TV I find that I trust things that I hear from Peter Jennings more than anyone else in TV News-land. I’m sad that he’s gone. This seems to me to be a big win for those who would rather pander than educate and inform.

  3. It’s under entertainment because he was, technically, in the entertainment biz.

    That tells you just how serious you should take the news, eh?

    1. I know WHY it’s under Entertainment. You’re missing my point, which is that it reads like “Entertainment! Peter Jennings Dies of Lung Cancer.”

      –Howard

      1. Well, my local ABC affiliate considered it entertaining enough to hold a 15+ minute Special Report on the life of Peter Jennings. In the middle of my show. >_<

  4. for my set

    I think for a lot of the under 25 set the three faces we associate with news are now gone. Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, and Tom Brokaw. They were the big 3 before bloody CNN. When my mother dragged me out to watch Tiananmen Square or the Berlin Wall come down with the stern words of “This is history you need to see it.” It was one of those three reporting.

    And yes I to always giggle when someone dies and it comes under the banner heading of Entertainment. I use to work for a small news paper and my boss got mad at me when I put the obituaries under the local news section. Apparently they were supposed to go under the Church section next to the classifieds.

    1. Re: for my set

      I’m a… bit older. I remember when it was Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley and Harry Reasoner.

      Heck, I *think* I remember the originals of Dan Rather as a correspondent out of Southeast Asia.

      Those were the days when you still did not question the news. If Uncle Walter said it, then by cracky, “that’s the way it is.” The day Cronkite retired was a sad day; news was never the same after that. They *still* bring him back for stuff like Shuttle re-launches and political conventions, more as a historical perspective, because he was *there*. And they’ve even drug him into the 21st Century; he’s supposedly now blogging for Arianna Huffington over on her site…..

      Tayler is right, the fact that Jennings’ death is clasified Entertainment is doubly ironic; it’s as if they’re finally admitting that Sales does drive Editorial and not vice versa… and that they think this is supposed to be amusing, not informative. But speaking as someone who grew up listening to the ol’ Crankcase every night from the time I first understood what news was until the day he retied, and as a sometime journalist myself, when Walter Cronkite finally dies, *that*, my friends, will be the end of an era. The man is entering his fourth generation of journalism, and whatever your take on his views, he’s got to be doing something right, or they wouldn’t keep calling him back.

      (p.s. to Howard: Found you via Schlock and …)

  5. I couldn’t agree more about modern news. I have very fond memories of my father watching World News Tonight every evening and associating the voice of Peter Jennings to discussions of the world’s news that evening.

    For all the talk given to network news reaching more towards sensationalism, Peter Jennings always struck me as a source with credibility. As a field reporter, he demonstrated over and over again that he knew the history of the situation he was covering. As an anchor, he would continually add suggestions on how to present the news that evening.

    One surefire way you knew he was good: Conservatives frequently claimed that his liberal bias showed and some liberals claimed he had a conservative bias. I believe it was Malcolm Gladwell (but I may be wrong) who analyzed his facial expressions during the 2000 campaign and noted that he seemed to cover conservative topics with more enthusiasm. Anyone who can throw off both sides like that has to be good ; )

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