August 8, 2005

OUTLASTED ANOTHER ONE (via joe shropshire):

Peter Jennings Dies at 67 (ABC News, 8/07/05)

ABC News Anchor Peter Jennings died today at his home in New York City. He was 67. On April 5, Jennings announced he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

He is survived by his wife Kayce Freed, his two children, Elizabeth, 25, and Christopher, 23, and his sister Sarah Jennings.

Sadly, it's hard to forget that Mr. Jennings was a key player in one of the most vile moments in television history. I'll always remember him as someone who would have traded dead American soldiers for a scoop.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 8, 2005 12:01 AM

Give him a (small) break - he was browbeaten by the watermelon man, that pre-cursor to Begala & Carville, Mike Wallace.

Posted by: ratbert at August 8, 2005 9:43 AM

Being Sean Connery's bitch carries no shame--being Wallace's is reason to twist your bed-sheets into a noose.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 9:51 AM

Sean Connery and Margaret Thatcher - you have one strange fantasy life!

Posted by: Robert Duquette at August 8, 2005 10:56 AM

Although the death certificate probably lists as lung cancer as the cause of death, I believe it should say Bush Derangement Syndrome, and I'm so sorry he died before he could witness the complete destruction of the world he was so very instrumental in creating.

Oh well, he'll still have the 72 virgins. That should be no small consolation for a ***** master like Jennings.

Posted by: erp at August 8, 2005 11:52 AM

Mr. Duquette:
There's a reason why Orrin's nickname is "Hadrian's Wall" and not "Lucky Pierre."

Posted by: Governor Breck at August 8, 2005 1:14 PM

Class all around.

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at August 8, 2005 2:39 PM


You think it classy to betray fellow Americans for a story? We thought better of you.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 2:51 PM

Jenning's career only has one memory, from one mistake. Argument by radical synechdoche. Except when it comes to the CinC, where no sin can trump his essential majesty.

Well, at least you've "outlasted" Peter Jennings.

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at August 8, 2005 2:55 PM


I'm glad to hear that you too think it's a mistake. I don't recall that he ever recanted, so it seems fair to assume that he went toi his grave believing his stories more important than the lives of American service men. That's evil.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 3:08 PM

The network evening news programs are utterly irrelevant to anyone who actually wants to educate themselves about what's going on. Anyone who reads this website daily would know far, far more about what's happening around the world than someone who watched Jennings and his colleagues. The same can be said for dozens, if not hundreds, of other blogs, of course...

Posted by: b at August 8, 2005 3:42 PM


I believe you've argued that technically Bush ought to be impeached for signing CFR? But no, Mr. Perlstein's right, nobody around here is ever critical of him...

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 8, 2005 3:54 PM


As pointed out in your link, the truly interesting follow-up would have been to ask Jennings whether he would have taken action to prevent lynchings and homicides if he had information that they would occur. Taking him at his word that he considers his role as journalistic observer paramount to all other considerations, he'd have to answer "no" or risk inconsistency. The latter would indicate that he holds the lives of American servicemen lower than those of other human beings, the former would suggest he'd better rethink his whole position.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 8, 2005 4:02 PM

Rick: my condolences to Peter Jennings' wife and daughters, and oj should have said the same. As far as his career was concerned, the PBS episode stuck because it wasn't a synecdoche. It was a grand demonstration of smug, self-important ill grace in a long career full of petty demonstrations of smug, self-important ill grace. He himself was certainly class all around at Reagan's funeral.

Posted by: joe shropshire at August 8, 2005 6:06 PM

Rick: Though not, I'll assume, a full-fledged anti-semite, Jennings was openly anti-Israel, putting the responsibility for everything wrong with the middle-east directly upon the temerity of the Israelis in defending themselves.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 8, 2005 7:13 PM

I'll never forget the swipe he took at Rudy on 9/11.

I watched him, would never watch Gunga Dan.

Posted by: Sandy P at August 8, 2005 10:01 PM


I can never keep it all straight--did he steal this wife from Richard Cohen or use Cohen's affair with his own wife to bail on the marriage for this wife?

Posted by: oj at August 9, 2005 11:46 AM


And he was Hanan Ashrawi's lover at one point.

Posted by: oj at August 9, 2005 11:47 AM

I neither know nor care. His personal life was his own business.

Posted by: joe shropshire at August 9, 2005 12:15 PM

Then why drag his wife and kids into it?

Posted by: oj at August 9, 2005 12:20 PM

It's polite to express condolences to a deceased person's family, and doing so doesn't drag anybody into anything. Loosen the jackboots, dude.

Posted by: joe shropshire at August 9, 2005 12:25 PM

Tamping down my overwhelming temptation to respond with some wiseacre remark ("I never said he didn't suffer"), there's a pattern here that's worth noting. Poorly educated Canadian gets driven out of New York, goes to Lebanon, meets exotic, politically driven woman and for the rest of his life sees events through her political prism.

PJ O'Rourke said you can tell which side is winning by where the good-looking women are, but he had the causation backward. The lost boys will end up where the women are.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 9, 2005 12:26 PM


Did you call them, or write?

Posted by: oj at August 9, 2005 12:31 PM

I would like to say something about Jennings, but I found him so unwatchable that I don't think I logged a solid 10 minutes during his career. The mere fact that OJ's friend is defending him is reason enough to suspect that he was not a good man.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 10, 2005 2:07 AM