Peter Jennings was the only network news anchor in whom I had any trust at all. And he was the only one I liked; I certainly liked the personable Jennings far more than I did the robotic Tom Brokaw or the angry Dan Rather. Jennings exuded a calm intelligence I learned to appreciate more and more as cable news became more and more hysterical and confrontational.
Jennings was the one Terry and I would turn to for analysis of major events, most especially presidential elections. He always seemed legitimately interested in whatever was going on and to actually understand what was happening. He asked smart questions (which you’d think was a quality you’d take for granted in your big-name journalists, but really, not so much these days), and he seemed to be disgusted by all the right things (see: election 2000). I always felt that Jennings had journalistic integrity, a quality that’s increasingly lacking in our media.
Losing Peter Jennings means that now the only two news people worth watching on television are Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann. Of course, I don’t have cable, so I just won’t be watching any TV news anymore.
Rest well, Mr. Jennings.