Monday, August 08, 2005

Dead Anchor Bandwagon

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Fare thee well, Jennings.
It's funny that, logically, I shouldn't really care. I didn't know the man, didn't watch ABC (I'm a NBC girl from way back) but when the Whatever shouted over the running water of the shower that he'd died, I let out a confused "what?" And not because I didn't hear the words.
Television anchors are part of our lives, for better or worse. They tell us terrible news, which Jennings did for sixty hours after 9/11. For the majority of my life, the choice of news was Jennings, Rather or Brokaw. Now Brokaw is semi-retired (leaving us with the hawtt Brian Williams) and Rather is gone, and now Jennings is really gone. It's sad to see these familiar faces that showed up most days at 6:30 for the majority of my life disappearing. In short, I feel really old.
Also, I love the euphemisms and evasive phrases reporters use when describing someone they actually know. On the Today show (waiting for my Pete Bouchard cut-in fix to ease my Monday blues) they cut to a reporter who'd worked with Jennings at ABC and Ann Curry asked him how he was feeling, and how it was to work with the "legendary" Jennings.
"Peter Jennings was intimidating and inspiring," he deadpanned, blinking furiously.
The Whatever let out a laugh as he tied his shoe. "'He was a raging prick, Ann,'" he guffawed. "'I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but I hated that guy.'"
After watching a coworker live with (and die from) lung cancer, I extend my sympathies to Jennings's family. It's a nasty thing to watch someone you care about struggling so much. I also wish I weren't singing "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" in my mind, because I know darn well it's not about Jennings.

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