Thursday, August 11, 2005

Peter Jennings ABC Special

Watched a good hour of the special that ABC ran on Peter Jennings last night. I typically do not watch broadcast network news, because of people like Dan Rather and the goofs who have trodden through NBC. I never really gave ABC a shot, because Peter Jennings was so wholely unremarkable at first glance. We didn't watch ABC much either, for whatever reason, so I never knew about many of the "Peter Jennings Reporting" shows.

I'm kind of mad, in retrospect, that I was so jaded against the ability of network news anchors to be impartial and interesting as to have dismissed Peter Jennings' work completely.

I do however have a copy of the book he co-wrote, "In Search of America", which given what I now know about his outright love for my country, I will finish reading with great interest.

Peter's life is a testament to the greatness inherent in our country, and that meritocracies work. Much of his success it seems was not due to him being exceptionally smart or talented. In fact, he did not even graduate High School. It wasn't handed to him by someone else. He didn't fall into it.

His success was attributable to qualities that each and every human being conciously decides whether or not they want to exhibit. He completely defied the "Peter Principle". Peter was motivated, principled, fair, hard-working, and was unwilling to settle for mediocrity. He did not assume that he was above anyone, and didn't assume that his audience wouldn't understand complex stories. In short, he was humble. This is probably why he was basically a well kept secret, despite the millions of people who watched his broadcasts. He was simultaneously utterly remarkable, and utterly unremarkable.

I hardly knew him, but he certainly will be missed.

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