Peter’s ‘Insatiable Thirst for Knowledge’

NPR’s “Political Junkie,” a.k.a. Ken Rudin, offers up his own memory of his first encounter with Peter Jennings. The scene is that Rudin is working in ABC’s Political Unit and Jennings has just taken over the evening news for the second time, having returned from London:

“In a private conversation with a colleague at ABC’s Special Events unit, I had the temerity to say that I thought Jennings’ take on politics was naive and simplistic, or something to that effect. Within a day or so, my phone rings, and it’s Peter. He had heard what I said. Before guilt and dread could set in, before I could begin to assemble a coherent apology, Peter said he would be the first to admit he had plenty to learn about American politics, and asked if I could prepare for him a weekly memo on my take on the upcoming campaign,” Rudin recalls.

The radioman continues, “From that moment on, I found him to be someone with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. He didn’t merely want to know a little about everything; he wanted to know everything about everything. And he always showed sincere gratitude or appreciation for every tidbit I ever gave him.”