Let’s begin by saying the obvious, his death was unfortunate and no doubt a great loss for those who loved him. I was not a fan of Jennings’ and I’ll just leave it at that.
But in general I find the glorification of network news anchors — that comes with every retirement, death, etc — to reflect fairly poorly on the Mainstream Media. To be sure, it’s human that his current and former colleagues would want to remember a departed friend or mentor. But as a general principle, I think the networks go overboard on such things in order to maintain the stature of their profession. If so-and-so anchor is at the very top of this profession, then it must be hugely important because that’s the profession I’m in. Did we really need to be discussing Tom Brokaw’s departure for a couple years? Yes, I know NBC hyped it for ratings reasons and to hand-off the show properly to Brian Williams. But that’s not an argument making the case that the hype wasn’t hype. Now, Dan Rather was worth talking about because it’s a human interest story when a famous millionaire eats his own head on live television.