Indigo Insights

Friday, May 02, 2003
Especially for the ladies who find Peter Jennings swoon-bait on his evening news program for ABC, and even bristle if a criticism of his biased news is alluded to, here are a few excerpts from today's MRC Alert. Discount the suave, James Bond aura and this is what is left of Peter Jennings. At least to those of us who are not enamored of him. Two examples.

Herrrrrrrrrrrrrre's Peter
After running multiple stories about the "failure" of U.S. troops to prevent the looting of Iraq's national museum, with ABC's Peter Jennings going so far as to charge that "the U.S. did not act according to international law to prevent it," on Thursday's World News Tonight Jennings read a short item about how "the looting at the national museum may not have been as extensive as some people first reported" and "it turns out that many pieces were removed before the war." Those "some people" would be Peter Jennings' own World News Tonight, though he didn't remind his viewers, as well as other ABC News programs.

Being a TV news anchor means never having to say you're sorry.

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Having kept quiet for 14 years, a former ABC News correspondent has gone public for the first time with allegations that network anchorman Peter Jennings manipulated news scripts during the 1980s in order to praise the Marxist-backed Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

Fourteen years ago, Peter Jennings forced then-ABC News reporter Peter Collins to insert into a story language which cast in a positive light the communist Sandinista thugs of Nicaragua, praising their efforts to create "an unselfish society" and successes in "land reform" and reducing infant mortality, Collins this week told Marc Morano of the MRC's

The quote in question was featured in the August 7, 1989 edition of the MRC's Notable Quotables. On the July 19 World NewsTonight, Collins reported: "The Sandinistas brought with them Marxist ideas about spreading wealth and creating a new, unselfish society. And in the first few years, they did manage to reduce illiteracy, the infant death rate and launched the biggest land reform in Central America. But the Reagan Administration saw the Sandinistas as a threat and forced them into a war with the U.S.-backed Contras."

"[Jennings] was unhappy with my coverage because I tried to tell both sides of the story," he added.

In an exclusive interview with , Collins alleged that Jennings personally dictated changes in a Collins television script in order to praise the Sandinista government for its "new, unselfish society," for successfully reducing illiteracy and "launch[ing] the biggest land reform in Central America."

Asked why he believed Jennings wanted his script changed to reflect a more positive spin about the Sandinista government, Collins was unequivocal. "Because I presume that Peter Jennings felt that the Sandinista regime, which was a communist regime -- no questions about it -- were mere benign agrarian reformers...[Jennings] was a believer, was and is," Collins explained....

Collins is speaking publicly about his years at ABC and CNN for the first time because he has walked away from the news business and no longer desires to work in the industry.