Monday, August 08, 2005

Peter Jennings

Peter Jennings is dead.

Peter Jennings was my most favourite US media anchor.

I had no idea of the US media before travelling to the US. When I visited the US the first time I used to watch only C-SPAN and CNN. Within a few months of my first visit the 9/11 tragedy took place. I was watching Aaron Brown, whom I used to like a lot too, on CNN that day morning. Hours later I started flipping channels and I saw Peter Jennings covering the event for ABC. I admired his style so much that I googled and found that he is a media celebrity. I read a lot about him on the net in the next couple of days.

In all my visits to the US later I almost never missed an edition of 'World News Tonight with Peter Jennings'.

A few months back I heard that Jennings was fighting cancer. I hoped he would fight it successfully ...

Update: A touching piece by Saheli:

    I don't really know what to say, except he's the single most present public figure in my life so far, even counting the relative recent absence. I really can't imagine my childhood and youth without him. When considering the formation of any of my thinking on politics, my sense of the globe, my sense of what's current--at the beginning of all of it is some World News Tonight segment, some introduction by Peter Jennings. I'm just so sad that I was in New York, with people he knew, and I never got to meet him.

10 Comments:

At 7:21 AM, Blogger Ramadoss Magesh said...

Hi Anand,

Its really sad. I too like him. This link offers a more comprehensive coverage on him.

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/PeterJennings/

Best regards,
Magesh

 
At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anand said...

Thanks Magesh. A rich tribute there.

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger Vikram A. said...

Hi Anand,

Thanks for this nice piece. Peter Jennings' should really be an inspiration for many people. Here's a guy who didn't finsih high school, yet he was able to have a highly successful career doing what he loved.

Also, if you remember, in the days after 9/11, the network news anchors were on the air for as much as 18 hours a day. To handle this stress, Jennings unfortunately started smoking again (13 year after quitting). Maybe previous years of smoking had already badly damaged his lungs, but it is a sad story.

Vikram

 
At 12:09 AM, Blogger Saheli said...

I know a lot of New Yorkers who started smoking again after 9/11, sadly. :-( Even some who started for the first time. The combined stress of that and the polluted air could not have been helpful.

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger Sunil said...

Yes....Jennings was one of the few media anchors in the US television whom I liked. Excellent style and control on TV, and largely an excellent role model as well. Will be missed.

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anand said...

Thanks Vikram, Saheli, and Sunil.

I must say that I'm a bit surprised that so many of us stress the smoking part! There could be some empirical evidence that smokers are prone to get cancer, but, is the evidence conclusive? Even if that's the case I don't see the point of all the obits highlighting that.

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger Dilip D'Souza said...

Always liked Jennings the best of the big three (him and Brokaw, Rather), so it's sad he's gone. Will there ever be newsanchors like these again?

But on the big channels, my favourite was always Ted Koppel on Nightline.

 
At 10:16 PM, Blogger Saheli said...

Ohmygosh, it's absolutely conclusive!! From a recent newspaper article on the fact that some nonsmokers do get lung cancer:

About 10 percent of men and 20 percent of women with lung cancer never smoked, and the number of nonsmokers with the disease doesn't seem to be rising significantly, said Dr. Michael Thun, chief epidemiologist for the American Cancer Society

I agree entirely with the article, it shouldn't be a blame game. Nobody deserves lung cancer. But ignoring the proven link is terrible! Nobody knew this better than Jennings--ABC was relentless in exposing the facts about smoking and how addictive and unhealthy it is. I've had a couple professors who were friends and colleagues of his, and there's no doubt he wanted and would have wanted people to remind each other--especially young people--how important it is not to start smoking, to quit as soon as possible, and not to start again.

Wow, I knew that in India smoking is a huge problem--it exacerbates the Brown cloud, the TB problems, and so much more--but I hope everyone in India gets educated about how terrible it is for you. Cancer-sticks, coffin-nails--they're all deserved names.

 
At 10:39 PM, Blogger Ramadoss Magesh said...

Hi Anand,

Just wanted to respond to your comment on the correlation between smoking and cancer..I have some personal interest in knowing about various types of cancer, its causes, treatement and stuffs..The statement i make are based on my general knowledge acquired through my readings..so the facts could be a little wrong..

Peter Jennings was diagnosed of having lung cancer sometime this april-may(atleast was made public then..)..and I presume that the disease lead to his unfortunate demise. Though the cause for a variety of cancers cannot be said so conclusively.. Lung Cancer is one type of cancer where it is estimated that more than 80% of the cases are due to tobacco smoking..

I did some googling for this post and some sites say that the question "How exactly does cigarette smoking cause lung cancer?" has not been answered definitively. And ofcourse a deterministic causality(here I use the word to mean if u smoke ur bound to get cancer kind of logic) is very unlikely gn that human body is a very complex system..

In this particular case he seems to be a known smoker so there is a point in people brining in smoking habit while discussing the end of his life..

Best regards,
Magesh

ps:: Its a strange coincidence that just today while writing this post one hears about Dana Reeve,the wife of the superman actor diagnosed of lung cancer due to non-smoking related..

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger Anand said...

Thanks Saheli and Magesh. I guess I was pretty ignorant about these things!

 

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