Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Jennings Goes Where Countless Men Have Gone Before

It's sad to see Peter Jennings go. That probably goes without saying. I knew he was ill, but I guess I had just assumed he'd beat his cancer and return to television. Then, there's this article at NJ.com (New Jersey). Take a gander:
He (Jennings) was Mr. Spock to Brokaw's folksy Bones McCoy and Rather's impetuous Captain Kirk -- an alien intelligence from the planet Canada, offering not a hug or even a reassuring pat on the shoulder, but a poker face that was accented, on rare occasions, by a faintly raised eyebrow.

As much as I appreciate the reference, I've never quite bought the totemic status assigned to the network news anchor. Sure, it's a position of responsibility and distinction, but the constant grouping of these three men in a way as though they alone scaled the hights of Everest and therefore belong to a unique class above the rest of society has always bothered me. Maybe it's just a product of the time in which I grew up. For the generation that was informed soley by the calming voice of Walter Cronkite, maybe the idea of a network news anchor still means something. For me, its just a face or a personality. Today, I don't have to pick between just three different approaches to the news. While sticking Jennings, Rather and Brokaw in the future might affectively illustrate their various personality quirks, the future is also the last place the network news anchor belongs.
Post a Comment