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Peter and Me

As the world said good-bye to Peter Jennings last week, I recalled my one and only meeting with the late ABC-TV anchorman–and it was certainly worth remembering.

On the Sunday before the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston, I was invited to a reception for the media covering the convention. It was a cast of thousands, with the famosos from the television networks mixing with print reporters from smaller outlets.

Flanked by his producer, there was Peter Jennings, surrounded by admirers and autograph seekers. Patiently, I waited my turn to meet him, with the urge strong to let the anchor know I wrote for a conservative publication. Upon shaking his hand and saying "John Gizzi of HUMAN EVENTS," he replied without hesitation: "I know who you are. I read you."

Speechless was the only way I could describe my reaction to learning that the anchor long accused of left-of-center bias actually read my column in the nation’s oldest conservative newsweekly. Later, I learned that Jennings was himself a political "junkie;"

"Your story doesn’t surprise me in the least," said Ted Koppel, host of ABC’s "Nightline" and longtime colleague of Jennings. Recalling their first assignment together covering Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964, Koppel told me "neither one of us knew diddly about American politics, Peter being from Canada and me from Great Britain." But Jennings, Koppell added, "realized how little he knew and did something about it. By the time he had returned from the Middle East and been here a little longer, he became a political junkie."

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ?ť and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ?ť and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â?ť video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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