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Don’t Mourn the Passing of Cronkite’s Era
Shout Bits Blog ^ | 7/18/09 | Shout Bits

Posted on 07/18/2009 3:48:35 PM PDT by Shout Bits

CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite died yesterday, so it is this blog's duty to tread lightly on his memory. His moniker as the most trusted man, however, speaks volumes about the naivety of Americans in the 1960's and the limited news sources then available.

While this blog hopes to tread lightly, the mainstream media rarely returns the favor. When Sen. Thurmond died, the press jumped on his segregationist past as a Democrat (while omitting the Democrat part). When Charlton Heston died, the press jumped on his supposedly controversial support of basic gun rights. When Pres. Reagan died, the media openly speculated as to whether the disease that claimed him explained his shaky second term. To this day, Hollywood slimes the late Pres. Nixon. Of course when Sen. Ted Kennedy fell seriously ill, the press had a blackout about Chappaquiddick. When the time comes for the ailing Sen. Byrd, don't expect a retrospective on his Ku Klux Klan activities.

Certainly, Cronkite was a likeable, nerdy news man grown from the days of radio. His delivery set new standards for dryness and apparent objectivity. Still, Cronkite was an active liberal, and he used the power of his anchor chair to advance his agenda.

Most famously, Cronkite declared the Vietnam War unwinnable, much to the dismay of Pres. Johnson. All evidence suggests that victory was quite possible. The US and South Vietnam troops won every notable battle of the war. The US, despite Chinese and Russian opposition, maintained air superiority throughout most of the war. The ratio of Allied to Northern casualties was also fully consistent with victory. The desperate suicidal Northern tactic of late January 1968, the Tet Offensive, was a disaster for the communists, costing them ruinous losses and revealing many of their secret resources. At that moment, when the US had repelled the North's efforts, Cronkite handed the communists a sword with his unwinnable editorial. Even years later when Pres. Nixon returned the fight to the North's resources with operation Linebacker, the weight of public opinion, fueled by the evening news, resulted in political capitulation.

But it is simply not reasonable to pin Vietnam on Cronkite. Cronkite certainly didn't devise Johnson's limited warfare sensibilities. Nobody elected Cronkite, and nobody was forced to believe his message of defeat. Most importantly, Cronkite was perfectly clear he was editorializing, not reporting. Rather than dig into Cronkite's politics, this blog asks why 1960's America believed him so. Frankly, it is hard to blame the public, because they were working in the dark.

1960's America had pathetically limited news resources, most of them left leaning. Public opinion was cultivated by three channels of TV, each a clone of the other, plus one PBS channel. The traditional news paper had already peaked in its media dominance by then, and many radio stations got their news from the same TV oligarchy. No cable, internet, or blogs then existed to challenge the media elite's filtering of the news. The media of the early and mid 20th century was famously cozy with Washington, making the term spin wholly unnecessary.

How times have changed. When Dan Rather, Cronkite's media heir, presented a letter suggesting that Pres. Bush (43) had received inappropriate favors during the Vietnam War, bloggers tore the document's credibility to shreds within a single news cycle. Rather, with the hubris of the old days, simply dismissed any criticism out of hand. Rather is now a reporter for HD Net, an extended basic cable special interest broadcaster. Independent thinkers, armed with the internet, reduced the most powerful newsman to a disgraced hack.

In Cronkite's day, no one was watching the watchdog. In the modern era, there is no single watchdog, and the people are better off for it. People remain vulnerable to groupthink and manipulation by the media they trust, but today there is no excuse for ignorance. While the US rightly mourns Cronkite's passing, the rest of us should celebrate the passing of his era in media.


TOPICS: Politics
KEYWORDS: cronkite

1 posted on 07/18/2009 3:48:35 PM PDT by Shout Bits
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To: Shout Bits
Over the last month or so Satan has been calling his faithful home. First George Tiller, then Robert McNamara, and now Walter Cronkite.

There'll be more of course ~ always are, but these guys had to be at the top of the list.

2 posted on 07/18/2009 3:51:42 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Shout Bits
Cronkite was not just an "active liberal". He was a 1930's Communist, influenced by FDR, the wobblies, and the whole Socialist Party agenda pushed by the Democrats after the 1932 election, and solidified in the aftermath of WWII (all else was "Nazism", and the Russian Communists were Saints and Saviors).

This bozo undermined the war in Vietnam and pulled his Fellow Traveler LBJ with him, leading to the defeatism that prolonged that war and increased the American dead.

No sorrow from this corner.

3 posted on 07/18/2009 3:58:55 PM PDT by Regulator (Welcome to Zimbabwe! Now hand over your property)
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To: Shout Bits
I don't mourn him. He was a colossal, godless, LIBERAL. Who knows where he wound up ... .

I do miss Tony Snow. What a guy! I miss him.

4 posted on 07/18/2009 3:59:05 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Shout Bits
Now THAT was nicely said. My favorite part was where the writer talks about how within one news cycle, bloggers (FReepers, actually!) analyzed the phony Bush Air National Guard papers proffered by Dan Rather and "reduced the most powerful newsman to a disgraced hack." But I also liked the last sentence, because it's about celebrating the RIGHT thing: "While the US rightly mourns Cronkite's passing, the rest of us should celebrate the passing of his era in media."
5 posted on 07/18/2009 4:01:30 PM PDT by Finny ("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent.)
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To: muawiyah
Over the last month or so Satan has been calling his faithful home. First George Tiller, then Robert McNamara, and now Walter Cronkite. There'll be more of course ~ always are, but these guys had to be at the top of the list.

I hope he has Chappaquiddick Ted on speeddial

6 posted on 07/18/2009 4:06:42 PM PDT by digger48
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To: digger48
Hmmm ~ ya' think maybe it's time for the Leftwingtard "unsuccessful brain surgery" brigade to get drafted?

That'd have to include the VP ~ he's had it THREE TIMES and is in obviously very bad shape. Can't even keep his Democrat thugcrackerasshat filter in place and just blurts out all sorts of things.

7 posted on 07/18/2009 4:14:59 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Who is Robert McNamara?


8 posted on 07/18/2009 4:15:40 PM PDT by KansasGirl (I still think Obama is just plain creepy.)
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To: Shout Bits
"...the rest of us should celebrate the passing of his era in media."

I'll drink to that!

Seriously, if anything saves this country, liberty, capitalism and the West, it will be the Internet. No wonder Obama's new head of White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein, wants to regulate the Internet: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/07/cass_sunsteins_despicable_idea.html
9 posted on 07/18/2009 4:16:28 PM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast (I love my country, but I fear it, for it does not love me.)
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To: KansasGirl

Robert Strange McNamara (June 9, 1916 – July 6, 2009) was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense.


10 posted on 07/18/2009 4:16:41 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Shout Bits
Two men that if never lived, the USA would be a better place to live, walter cronkite and john mccain.
11 posted on 07/18/2009 4:21:47 PM PDT by gbt289 (Tired of rinos....)
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To: Shout Bits

Cronkite was the first biased TV newsman.


12 posted on 07/18/2009 4:23:32 PM PDT by lonestar (Obama is turning Bush's "mess" into a catastrophe.)
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To: Finny

“Now THAT was nicely said.”

I had the same thought.

Too bad more people won’t be reading it. The MSM still has a tight grip on the news many people receive. Nor do we own the internet. Talk radio is pretty much ours, thank goodness.


13 posted on 07/18/2009 4:26:41 PM PDT by ChessExpert (The unemployment rate was 4.5% when Democrats took control of Congress. What is it today?)
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To: Shout Bits

Cronkite may be dead but his legacy of biased newscasting and leftwing bootlicking lives on.


14 posted on 07/18/2009 5:01:35 PM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: Oshkalaboomboom
Okay, but at least he e-n-u-n-c-i-a-t-e-d and didn't roll his eyes and and flap his hands (at least on-air). Today's on-air personalities are so juiced up on RedBull they look like they're ready to launch into space without booster rockets.

Or maybe I'm just old school....

15 posted on 07/18/2009 6:02:46 PM PDT by kittykat77
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To: Shout Bits

You are way too kind. He has the blood of American soldiers on his hands, he sold the Vietnamese people into slavery.

He can rot in Hell!


16 posted on 07/18/2009 7:52:40 PM PDT by Vietnam Vet From New Mexico (Pray For Our Troops)
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To: Shout Bits
I am in my 70’s now,I was never a CBS fan, nor Walter Cronkite.
My husband and I watched Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.
17 posted on 07/18/2009 9:14:49 PM PDT by rose
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