Ted Koppel said goodbye last night to ABC News, with which he’s been for the past 42 years, and to “Nightline,” with which he’s been for the past 25 years. I will miss him. He was my favorite of the news heavyweights who used to grace us with their impressive combinations of intelligence, eloquence, hard-won journalistic experience, broad knowledge, and calm, dignified news reporting and interviews. I’m not much impressed with the way TV news is going or with those who are taking over the jobs once held by the likes of Jennings, Rather, Brokaw, and now Koppel. Perhaps they will grow into their roles, but I doubt that they’ll given the chance to by news organizations that seem to be increasingly focused on youth, glitter, and, of course, dollars over substance, on “emotional reporting,” as one leading news organization boasts of its new hotshot anchorman, over graceful and dependable sobriety and reason. I guess I sound like an old fuddy-duddy pining for the “good old days.” But, in some ways, the old days WERE better than today.
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