In recent days, the US media has been preoccupied with the death of Peter Jennings. His story even made the main news on UK television, though many on this side of the Atlantic may well have asked themselves, “Who was he and why did he make the headlines over here?”
Jennings was the ABC News Anchor / Reader for 20 years until his retirement at 67 some 4 months ago, when he was diagnosed with cancer. His death is now receiving the kind of coverage in the US media that would have been accorded to a member of the British Royal family some 40 years ago. Fellow news reader, Tom Brokaw eulogised Jennings as having “such elan and style”, and there is more of the same from every media outlet.
Jennings was the son of the Head of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, so did not exactly start at the bottom. Some insiders in the US have noted how charming he was. “Charming” in this context in the US is usually a euphemism for someone my mother would have snidely called a “ladies man”. In this sense, he may have had something in common with the late Robin Cook, though Jennings had the other sort of charm as well and no-one would accuse poor Robin of having that.
Jennings may well have been personable and he presented the news well enough, even if it was mostly biased and on a channel that has leached viewers for years. To have recorded his passing, on the ABC Network that he served, is certainly not out of place. But what made him so special and so different from many others who spent their lives in service, perhaps even at the forefront of medicine or science or defending their country? What made him so deserving of such respect and a kind of fawning treatment?
The answer, of course, in case you have not guessed, is that it is really all about the Media Class gloryfying its own. Peter Jennings and his kind in the media (i.e. those of good leftist persuasion) are in the front-line of the Media Class assault upon our senses; to the Media Class, they are the heroes of our times.