Tonight's untimely announcement of passing of Peter Jennings is a time for reflection and sadness. Throughout my life I have been a news aficionado and I have watched Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw since I was small. Previously I had watched the NBC Nightly News every night with my parents and had actually been conditioned to sit for dinner when I heard John Chancellor's voice.
The news of Jennings passing coupled with Rather and Brokaw's recent retirements (Rather's retirement having been forced by largely by the right wing elements that have overrun the internet and cable news) and the continuing reliance on the internet and incomplete cable news by the American public probably means the network newscasts that have been a staple of television since the 1950s are probably dead. In this information on demand age it is just too old fashioned for most Americans to sit in front of the TV while sitting at the dinner table at 6:30. Perhaps most will not mourn the passing of this tradition, but I will: The forces of personality that dominated the network newscasts cannot be overstated nor can the incomplete nature of cable news shows be understated. Walter Cronkite helped shape public opinion and the nation trusted him because he was a fair, honest broker of all that was going on in the world. Today the cable news channels substitute the substance of a Cronkite with screaming and emotion of shows like Crossfire, Hannity and Colmes and Hardball.
Peter Jennings death probably marks the official end of an era. Not only is it bad for the networks but in my humble opinion it is bad for America as well.
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- I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.