Fri
Jul 17 2009
09:30 pm

Walter Cronkite was the calm center for the best group of television journalists ever assembled. He was professional and serious, but also an avuncular presence daily on the nation's airwaves. We grieved with him when JFK was killed, and shared his joy at the moon landing. He loved his family, sailing, the space program, and the craft of broadcast news. He worried about all sorts of infringements on good journalism. His optimism about American democracy and the value of news in assisting that democracy will be his legacy.

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redmondkr's picture

The passing of this most

The passing of this most trusted man in America is so sad. He had a long and fruitful life.


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Russ's picture

Cronkite and the Battle of the Bulge

During World War II, Walter Cronkite was a print/wire service reporter for United Press. In December 2004, sixty years after the Battle of the Bulge, he recounted his experiences as a reporter stationed on the front lines of that epic battle, smack in the middle of it. His piece on NPR recounting those chaotic days remains one of the most compelling things I have ever heard on the radio.

~Russ

Factchecker's picture

R.I.P., Uncle Walter

Well said, all. We've lost so much. I'm glad he lived a long and full life and saw his country turn the corner from the Bush disaster to President Obama.

P.S. I remember hearing that report in 2004, Russ. I remember exactly where I was then. It was a driveway moment when I couldn't leave the car, even though it was not home but at Parkwest hospital while I was dropping of a *ahem* "sample." Yeah, I know--thanks for the imagery.

tennesseevaluesauthority's picture

He Knew the Words

To me, Walter Cronkite was all about the words. The man did his research and could tell the story in a way that should still make modern television journalists (or all journalists, really) jealous. He was trusted because he knew that the best way to tell the story to Americans (and the world) was to simply tell it and not worry if he was hitting the "right demographic markets" or worrying if he was sounding "too educated."

I miss him and Frank Reynolds.

JWB's picture

When they tried to put wind

When they tried to put wind power generators within sight of his house he opposed them, as did some of the Kennedys and some other bigwigs. He apologetically acknowledged the contradiction (hypocrisy?), but said that nevertheless he liked things like he liked them. That was the real Walt.

What he had going for him was that the majority of viewers during his tenure were unsophisticated if not ignorant and his bias veiled. Today, when looking at old footage of his news shows, his liberal prejudice is transparent...the old hack. Not that there is anything wrong with that--as long as you don't try to make him into something else.

Oh yeah, and Walt eventually, after retirement, acknowledged his liberalism and his efforts to cover it up.

In fact though, his reporting in the early part of the Vietnam conflict was very statist and was a major source/cause of the general public supporting the war until the Americans were in it not just up to their necks but over their heads. (Not that they did not deserve what they got in the end, fleeing the country like the flim-flam artists and war criminals they were. If there had been proper war crimes trials, old Walt would have been right up there on the dock with Bobby McNamara and company.)

The fond memories of Walt say less about Walt than those who hold these memories.

There are no heros.

KC's picture

was a major source/cause of

was a major source/cause of the general public supporting the war until the Americans were in it not just up to their necks but over their heads. (Not that they did not deserve what they got in the end, fleeing the country like the flim-flam artists and war criminals they were. If there had been proper war crimes trials, old Walt would have been right up there on the dock with Bobby McNamara and company.)

Your over-reaching generalizations and accusations do a disservice to those who lived during those times and dealt with those issues.

Just twenty years after a war that possibly could have been avoided had not so many world leaders been so unwilling to confront the dangers and horrors of a Nazi Germany, it's true many made many wrong decisions, for the right reasons during the Cold War.

But I guess they could have avoided it all if only they had known then what you know now.

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present.
President Abraham Lincoln 1862

JWB's picture

The American and his fantasy

The American and his fantasy world.

Have someone read to you Pat Buchanan's "Churchhill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War." Actually the war could have been avoided if England and America had been knaves leading gullible fools.

Also, before quoting Abe, "Lincoln Unmasked" by Tho. J. DiLorenzo. Lincoln was a monster.

Though not included in DiLorezo's account, when New York union army units heard of his assasination, they cheered, sparking a general order prohibiting such outbursts. They "lived during those times...."

metulj's picture

Pat Buchanan has been

Pat Buchanan has been itching to put on his white sheets since about the middle of 2007 when that uppity boy from Illinois dared to defy Buchanan his perfect white world. Buchanan is nothing more than the mainstreaming of white supremacist thought.

As for your Lincoln bullshit, I bet you were clutching pearls when scholars were pointing out that Honest Abe had shared another bed with another man. Then, while your eyes popped out of your head and you screamed "NO WAY," the second part of the statement that it was common practice in the mid-19th Century was made and you missed out on learning something. Homonormative is no necessarily homosexual and bless all those evil critical thinkers who have to constantly make this point only to have it ignored for more salacious parts of the premise.

But I can see that you would dismiss Lincoln, because it goes against nature in the mind of someone who cites a white supremacist like Buchanan that a "white" man would ever do anything to help a "black" man, even if his motivations probably weren't about doing anything to help black men.

So, when you talk of Union soldiers cheering the news of his assassination, you have to remember that those soldiers were predominantly conscripts who, rightfully, resented being put in harm's way for a political entity that they were only newly familiar with if they were even familiar with it at all. Think about it. Where those conscripts fighting for freedom of black slaves?

Anyhow, just as the UT fraternities partied when MLK was killed, it isn't a stretch to think that Pat Buchanan jumped for joy, or, at least, felt justified for his racist viewpoints.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Seppuku is in a way the ultimate awful libertarian act -- Frank Popper

Stimulating the economy as best we can!

JWB's picture

Uncle Walt--

For more on the great man and his Vietnam war complicity:

JWB's picture

link

JWB's picture

Much to comtemplate--

"that a "white" man would ever do anything to help a "black" man, even if his motivations probably weren't about doing anything to help black men."

You do realize that this statement of yours makes no sense do you not?

KC's picture

The American and his fantasy

The American and his fantasy world.

You do seem to be living the dream quite well.

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present.
President Abraham Lincoln 1862

JWB's picture

Not at all...

On the contrary--I am realistic, informed, and knowledgeable; you operate on myths, e.g., A. Lincoln.

KC's picture

informed, and

informed, and knowledgeable

You back up your claims with Pat Buchanan, and you're "informed and knowledgeable?"

Now that's funny!

Here's a suggestion: put down Pat's propaganda and read some real history.

It must be tough for you finding stuff to read since Goebbels passed away.

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present.
President Abraham Lincoln 1862

JWB's picture

argumentum ad hominem--the

argumentum ad hominem--the true mark of the meanspirited, ignorant man.

"...read some real history." What did you have in mind--Classics Illustrated? Your high school civics impression of American history is not valid just because so many of your contemporaries share it.

Nevertheless, you seem to be knowlegeable as to the historical writings of Jos. Goebbels, or at least your are trying to create that impression. I was unaware of his history writing endeavors. Did you have some particular work to recommend?

Factchecker's picture

Your stupid is showing

So I guess it was public ignorance that allowed liberals to control our country from the end of poor, under appreciated Herbert Hoover's admin through most of the 60s and 70s. Damn good thing Saint Ronnie came along and eliminated the Fairness Doctrine so that Rush, Buchanon, Liddy, Hannity, Beck, Hume, Coulter, North, et. al., could educate us to the ways of small, zero debt gov't that sees the true value of free markets.

There are no heros.

Apparently there are no wingnuts who can spell. Or did you mean you're hungry for a sandwich?

JWB's picture

I was not praising the

I was not praising the Republicans and Conservatives. I was just ridiculing Democrats and Liberals. It is a trying task. They always respond to criticism by attacking Republicans and Conservatives and not dealing with their own numerous shortcomings. Like in your reply.

JWB's picture

Oh yes, and they also become

Oh yes, and they also become very petty.

michael kaplan's picture

The Most Trusted Person

The Most Trusted Person wasn't, unfortunately, trusted by his government. After Cronkite declared in 1968 that the Vietnam war was "unwinnable," it continued for another five years, with huge losses on both sides. With all the media tributes and coverage of Cronkite's death, I didn't hear a word of serious analysis on this issue.

JWB's picture

The serpent tasted the air

The serpent tasted the air and turned in another direction.

Factchecker's picture

Cronkite and Buchanan

Far be it for me to argue with someone who apparently believes the world would be better if it had adhered to Pat Buchanan's views.

Walt eventually, after retirement, acknowledged his liberalism and his efforts to cover it up.

Cronkite did a damn good job of this "covering up." Can this be said of today's anchors?

JWB's picture

You have read the book?

You have read the book? Don't lie now.

Bbeanster's picture

Lord, you're an angry little

Lord, you're an angry little man, JWB.
Once again, I'm reminded of the pissed-off mouse attempting to rape the elephant. He somehow gets himself up there in a position to do the deed and starts humping away. The elephant grunts and the mad mouse hollers "Hurts, don't it!!!"
I believe the reputations of Lincoln and Cronkite will survive your assault.

JWB's picture

Hit a nerve...

apparently I did. Oh, and Walt's kids did not care for him either.

KC's picture

JWB- shock value: high

JWB- shock value: high
entertainment value: high
irritation value: very high
eductational/informative value: low (as in way below sea level)or nil

You learn history from Pat Buchanan, who is not an historian. He is a promoter, a huckster, if you will.

You want to believe he's correct because his propaganda supports your beliefs.

That's your business.

But since your posts have no informative or educational significance, this is my last comment on this thread.

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present.
President Abraham Lincoln 1862

redmondkr's picture

JWB is nowhere near as

JWB is nowhere near as entertaining as The Coach and The Coach was an amateur.


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JWB's picture

You have read the book?

You have read the book? Don't lie now.

redmondkr's picture

POTTED PIGEONS OR BIRDS

From Recipes Tried and True , 1894
Pick, soak, and boil the birds with the same care as for roasting.
Make a crust as for chicken pie; lay the birds in whole, and season
with pepper, salt, bits of butter, and a little sweet marjoram; flour
them thickly; then strain the water in which they were boiled, and
fill up the vessel two-thirds full with it; cover with the crust; cut
hole in the center. Bake one hour and a half.


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Jim Lacey's picture

Cronkite and tobacco

While the almost universal praise for the late Walter Cronkite is understandable, I recall receiving in the mail an extended ad from Philip Morris featuring the most trusted man in America as an advocate of smoking. This was after his retirement, when I very much doubt he needed the money. A smoker myself, I of course had no objection to Cronkite's puffing on his pipe--but did he really have to work for the tobacco industry?

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