Tuesday, April 05, 2005

It Happens To The Best Of Us

Drudge is reporting that ABC anchorman Peter Jennings has been diagnosed with lung cancer. In an internal e-mail sent to ABC News staff, Jennings told his colleagues, "I begin chemo-therapy next week. I will continue to do the broadcast. There will be good days and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky and some days really cranky!" Charles Gibson and Elizabeth Vargas are expected to be among the substitute anchors.

Out of all of the Big Three anchormen -- Brokaw (now Williams), Jennings, and Rather -- Peter Jennings was always the one I most enjoyed watching. Even before I knew of Dan Rather's failings, I thought he had a condescending tone when he spoke that made CBS broadcasts impossibly depressing. I've never cared much for Tom Brokaw, either, although it was amusing to watch him call states for Bush last election while looking like he just ate extremely sour prunes. For me, Jennings was the only one of the three who always seemed to treat his viewers and guests as equals without forcing his politics down anyone's throat. In fact, I've always found Peter Jennings to be easier to watch than almost any anchorman on television. That includes Bill O'Reilly, who is informative and enjoyable to a point but builds too much of his program around attacking guests that he doesn't agree with. Whether it's all an act or not, Jennings just seems friendly on the air, and it helps ABC News go down smoothly. I don't like to see bad fortune happen upon anyone, and I wish Peter Jennings a speedy recovery.

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