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A Tribute To Peter Jennings

<B>Andy Rooney</B> Joins 2,800 Friends At A Memorial Service

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney. It was broadcast on Sept. 25, 2005.

There was a memorial service Tuesday for Peter Jennings, the ABC World News Tonight anchor who died on Aug. 7.

What you probably don't know is what a close group the reporters are who give this country their news. They may not always be liked or respected by viewers but they like and respect each other. They are closer than are the people in any other business or profession.

The service for Peter was held in Carnegie Hall. It holds 2,800 people and it was full. How many of you have 2,800 friends?

People started coming for the 11 o'clock service at 9:45. There was some hand shaking and a great deal of hugging and kissing.

I got a little of that when Diane Sawyer arrived.

Charlie Gibson, of course, a possible replacement for Peter.

Chris Matthews…Morley Safer…Tim Russert of NBC…

Lesley Stahl…

My daughter Emily and son Brian came together. Both of them worked with Peter.

Katie Couric of NBC… Jane Pauley of NBC. I tend to confuse them.

Aaron Brown…Ed Bradley.

Behind Ed there is Les Moonves, head of CBS. We should have gotten a better picture of him.

Andrew Heyward, CBS News president. We have many bosses.

Bob Schieffer…

Robin McNeill, sorely missing now from McNeill, Lehrer.

Gay Talese.. My friend Kurt Vonnegut and his friendly wife, Jill Krementz.

Ben Bradley…Sally Quinn, Mrs. Bradley.

Roger Ailes, the newest power in broadcasting.

Walter Cronkite with Joanna Simon.

Abe Rosenthal, of The New York Times.

Paula Zahn…Don Hewitt - no longer a boss.

Dan Rather, a most friendly rival of Peter's.

Larry King was there.

Barbara Walters…Brit Hume…Sam Donaldson.

Jeff Fager, current producer of 60 Minutes.

Michael Eisner, head of Disney.

Al Sharpton…Bob Simon…Jeff Greenfield, who I wish had never left CBS.

Steve Kroft, who isn't about to leave CBS.

Ted Koppel - who gave one of the best speeches.

Ken Auletta - writes wisely about television.

Connie Chung…Cokie Roberts…Jon Stewart… Charlie Rose.

Brian Williams.

And last and least, Mike Wallace.

It was the most illustrious gathering of news people that has ever taken place. A terrorist attack on Carnegie Hall that day would have wiped out broadcast news.

If ABC wants to pay a lasting tribute to Peter Jennings they could provide one hour of prime time news every night of the week without commercials. Call it The Jennings Hour.

Written By Andy Rooney Written By Andy Rooney