Feeling the Loss of Jennings

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • August 09, 2005

by Karen Feld


We’re saddened by the passing of ABC anchor Peter Jennings. “Peter taught me real journalism – not just getting it right, but journalism in all its complexity,” his longtime producer, Sally Holm, told me from her summer home in Bridgton, Maine. Holm first met and worked with Peter and his wife, Kayce Freed – then an intern in the ABC London bureau – in 1982 during the Falklands war. The following year, Jennings moved to the U.S., and Holm produced his first segment for “World News Tonight” – a retrospective on the labor movement.

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Longtime ABC News anchor Peter Jennings died Sunday at the age of 67

“As cool, urbane and sophisticated as Peter appeared on camera, he felt intense passion that bubbled just beneath the surface,” said Holm, who worked closely with him at the network for 14 years. “He would get so emotional when we were doing a story like the ones on the kids in Sarajevo, we had to pre-tape the segment so he wouldn’t break up during a live segment.”

At press time, the family was leaning toward a private service for him this week and then a larger memorial service for his friends in September.

Another tough decision for O’Connor

Colleagues of retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor were more surprised than most of us when she announced her recent retirement: She didn’t tell them until 30 minutes before the public announcement. She’s now said privately that withholding that info wasn’t because she feared a leak, but because she knew other justices would have tried to talk her out of her decision to resign. Her husband, John O’Connor, who has been in failing health, sat in her office every day for the past two years. Now, we hear, this devoted wife is planning to put him in a nursing home. We wish both of them well.

Fox: Whatever Ailes ’em

Insiders say that the genius behind Fox News Channel, Roger Ailes, is likely to be named chairman of the Fox Television Stations. He would succeed Rupert Murdoch’s son Lachlan. Watch out, broadcast networks.

Beverly heels cop

Actor Eddie Murphy was once arrested in West Hollywood for being caught with a transsexual with big feet. The authorities were laughing over his arrest, as they had encountered him up in the “Alps” (“Swish Alps,” as they are nicknamed), often for the same reason. One can only wonder if the irreconcilable differences between Murphy and his soon-to-be ex-wife Nicole involved shoe sizes.

Moving around the White House

Washington Post reporter Mike Allen has accepted an offer from Time magazine to cover the White House. Currently, that’s Matt Cooper’s beat. We hear that Cooper, who is in the front of the current leak scandal, may be looking elsewhere. But Time historically had two reporters on that prime beat until John Dickerson took a leave a few months ago to write a memoir for Simon & Schuster about his relationship with his mother, the late Nancy Dickerson, CBS-TV’s first woman news correspondent. Dickerson plans to move to Slate in the fall to cover the next round of presidential campaigns.

Arianna’s direct advice

Internet hobbyist Arianna Huffington has sold a book to Little, Brown and Company. It’s intended to be “a straight-to-the-point manifesto for women on how to be bold, how to make yourself bulletproof, and how to say what you need to say and do while embracing, not dreading, the reactions of others.” Sounds like Arianna to me.

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