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New Biography of CBS Newsman Walter Cronkite Dents His Halo
The Daily Beast ^ | 5/21/12 | Howard Kurtz

Posted on 05/21/2012 9:36:28 AM PDT by Obadiah

In the early 1970s, the most trusted man in America did a very untrustworthy thing. Unbeknownst to the millions who tuned in religiously to the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite cut a deal with Pan Am to fly his family to vacation spots around the world. Together with a handful of friends, they roamed from the South Pacific to Haiti, with Cronkite snorkeling, swimming, and drinking, thanks to a friend at the airline. According to Douglas Brinkley’s sweeping and masterful biography Cronkite, the news division president, Dick Salant, was upset at what he deemed a blatant conflict of interest, but took no action against his star anchor. This was not the Cronkite I grew up admiring from the time I watched his image flickering on a small black-and-white set, the voice of authority in an age when we still revered, without a trace of cynicism, those who spoon-fed us the news.

(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: 57states; biography; mediabias; mediawingofthednc; mymuslimfaith; pages; panam; partisanmediashills; waltercronkite
Old, Uncle Walter, once ostensible the most trusted man in America. No we know he was really the father of Journ-O-Lists.
1 posted on 05/21/2012 9:36:42 AM PDT by Obadiah
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To: Obadiah

Cronkite was patient zero for the bias virus infecting the journalistic body politic.


2 posted on 05/21/2012 9:40:32 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Obadiah

Where is he buried? I’d like to go water the flowers on his grave!


3 posted on 05/21/2012 9:42:55 AM PDT by JaguarXKE (If my Fluffy had a puppy, it would look like the puppy Obama ate!)
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To: Obadiah

For knowledgeable patriots here on FR, the hugely overrated Commie’s reputation long ago, was not dented but, due just alone to his outright lies concerning the unequivocal American victory in the Tet Offensive, an outright full vehicular total.


4 posted on 05/21/2012 9:43:04 AM PDT by EyeGuy (Armed, judgmental, fiscally responsible heterosexual.)
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To: Obadiah

Saint Walter. /s


5 posted on 05/21/2012 9:43:16 AM PDT by forgotten man (forgotten man)
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To: Obadiah
He was a LIBERAL DEMOCRAT.......they ALL think they are ABOVE everyone else!!

Walter has BLOOD on his hands for what he did about Viet Nam......lots and lots of YOUNG BLOOD.....hope he did his penance.

6 posted on 05/21/2012 9:44:37 AM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Obadiah
Here is Cronkite's appallingly outrageous speech to the Unite Nations, wherein he calls for the U.S. to give up its sovereignty.

Here's an excerpt from that speech:

"It seems to many of us that if we are to avoid the eventual catastrophic world conflict we must strengthen the United Nations as a first step toward a world government patterned after our own government with a legislature, executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws and keep the peace.

To do that, of course, we Americans will have to yield up some of our sovereignty. That would be a bitter pill. It would take a lot of courage, a lot of faith in the new order.

But the American colonies did it once and brought forth one of the most nearly perfect unions the world has ever seen.

The circumstances were vastly different, obviously. While the colonies differed on many questions, at least the people of the colonies were of the same Anglo-Saxon stock. Yet just because the task appears forbiddingly hard, we should not shirk it.

We cannot defer this responsibility to posterity.

7 posted on 05/21/2012 9:45:33 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: Obadiah
" I came to realize that the man who once dominated television journalism was more complicated—and occasionally more unethical—than the legend that surrounds him. Had Cronkite engaged in some of the same questionable conduct today—he secretly bugged a committee room at the 1952 GOP convention—he would have been bashed by the blogs, pilloried by the pundits, and quite possibly ousted by his employer. That he endured and prospered, essentially unscathed, until his death in 2009 reminded me of how impervious the monopoly media were in those days, largely shielded from the scrutiny they inflicted on everyone else. "
8 posted on 05/21/2012 9:45:59 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: Obadiah

“Uncle Waltie” was a commie.


9 posted on 05/21/2012 9:47:22 AM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: ReformationFan

“Uncle Waltie” was a commie.

and.. That’s the way it is..


10 posted on 05/21/2012 9:48:32 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: dead
" after Cronkite had belatedly turned against LBJ’s Vietnam War, he met privately with Robert Kennedy. “You must announce your intention to run against Johnson, to show people there will be a way out of this terrible war,” he said in Kennedy’s Senate office. Soon afterward, Cronkite got an exclusive interview in which Kennedy left the door open for a possible run—the very candidacy that the anchor had urged him to undertake. (Kennedy announced three days later.)"
11 posted on 05/21/2012 9:48:46 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: Obadiah

“If you believe that we ‘lost’ the Vietnam War, as opposed to simply canceling it like a TV series that has dropped in the ratings, then you should know we did not lose it to Ho Chi Minh. We lost it to Walter Cronkite.” — Jim Morris


12 posted on 05/21/2012 9:48:59 AM PDT by Lexington Green (''Those who bite the hand that feeds them will lick the boots that kick them.'' -- Eric Hoffer)
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To: Obadiah

Cronkite will always be an asshat to me for his relentless cheer leading for the enemy. A lot of good, decent American boys of my generation were unnecessarily forced to give their lives in Viet Nam because Cronkite kept giving the enemy encouragement to push onward when they were prepared to give up. May he rot in hell and keep Jane Fonda warm when her time comes to join him.


13 posted on 05/21/2012 9:49:10 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Obadiah

Dougie Brinkley was the “historian” that wrote hagiography for J ‘effin Kerry. If Brinkley is saying these things about the old commie then chances are it’s only the tip of the iceberg.


14 posted on 05/21/2012 9:50:09 AM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: Obadiah
"I thought that some day the roof was going to fall in ... I don’t know why to this day I got away with it,” Cronkite is quoted as saying years later. But he often gave himself deniability with linguistic hedging. Cronkite once told me his liberalism “affected how I looked at the world” but not his reporting.
15 posted on 05/21/2012 9:51:07 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: Obadiah

Cronkite was not as far to the left as Barack Obama, but he openly advocated one world government.

Cronkite acknowledged Communism was not a good thing in his own biography, but he figured some trade and interaction with the western nations would help fix up the shortages and misery it caused.

Cronkite worked in Moscow as a United Press reporter from 1946 to 1948. Cronkite said his reports were censored but the UP never told its readers about it.

I do admire Cronkite for being a workhorse who used his work ethic to get far in the news business.

The airline deal doesn’t surprise me. Cronkite worked for an airline in the 1930’s and had friends in the business.


16 posted on 05/21/2012 9:53:42 AM PDT by Nextrush (PRESIDENT SARAH PALIN IS MY DREAM)
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To: Maceman
"at least the people of the colonies were of the same Anglo-Saxon stock"

And...if we had stayed that way, we would have a real America today, without the pandering, white-guilt, "feelings" crowd we have today, and we would not be in Debt up to our eyeballs from handing out Taxpayer earnings to non-blievers, non-productive, and the irresponsible.

17 posted on 05/21/2012 9:54:47 AM PDT by traditional1 (Don't gotsta worry 'bout no mo'gage, don't gotsta worry 'bout no gas; Obama gonna take care o' me!)
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To: Obadiah

First words that enter my mind when I hear the name Walter Cronkite - disgusting, nauseating, traitor, liar, pestilence, plague.


18 posted on 05/21/2012 9:55:32 AM PDT by Chgogal (WSJ, Coulter, Kristol, Krauthammer, Rove et al., STFU. Thank you.)
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To: Obadiah

On the day that CBS chairman Les Moonves fired several people over Rather’s botched story on George W. Bush and the National Guard—having already deposed Rather as anchor—Cronkite barged into Moonves’s office and congratulated him on doing the right thing. Moonves was able to sleep that night, he recalled, because “Walter said it was OK.”


19 posted on 05/21/2012 9:56:12 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: Obadiah
Uncle Walter = Uncle Joe Stalin
'ol Walter "evolved" into a communist..he was always a 'rat.

20 posted on 05/21/2012 9:56:53 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (WA. DC E$tabli$hment; DNC/RNC/Unionists...Brazilian saying: "$@me Old $hit; different flie$". :^)
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To: Obadiah
Barf. Walter "lied about Tet" Crankcase was the most deceitful man in America. He was worse than Dan Rather.
21 posted on 05/21/2012 9:57:38 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Obadiah
Slight of hand

Lets all focus on free snorkeling vacations rather than manipulation of news.

22 posted on 05/21/2012 10:02:17 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: dead

An old boyfriend of mine grew up on Marthas Vineyard and delivered groceries to Cronkite regularly and said he was
a nasty prick,regularly.


23 posted on 05/21/2012 10:02:38 AM PDT by americas.best.days...
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To: Obadiah

I hope there are more of us here that have seen Cronkite for what he always was; untrustworthy, but talented; blessed with a good voice and education but no lover of America or truth. I’ve known this since the ‘68 campaign... Know it because I was a working on-the-street newsman (we were never called journalists), reporting for a CBS affiliate station. Behind the scenes, everybody acknowledged his liberal bias. He was one of the reasons I left the news business.


24 posted on 05/21/2012 10:03:32 AM PDT by Ace's Dad (Reagan Contra; in-country off the USS Racine.)
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To: JaguarXKE

I assume not with water??


25 posted on 05/21/2012 10:04:12 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: kcvl

Well, Cronkite got that one right. Too bad Rather didn’t spend time in the hoosegow for that stunt.


26 posted on 05/21/2012 10:08:31 AM PDT by fatnotlazy
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To: Obadiah

Fired by MSNBC in 2003 for telling a caller to the show that he was a “sodomite” who should “get AIDS and die.”...Is this like the broad who hoped Clarence Thomas’ wife gave him butter and eggs so he could die of a heart attack? Did she get fired? I don’t think so. Oh, she was a commie.


27 posted on 05/21/2012 10:12:45 AM PDT by Safetgiver (The predator class is upset because they are being shot.)
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To: Ann Archy

” Walter has BLOOD on his hands for what he did about Viet Nam......lots and lots of YOUNG BLOOD.....hope he did his penance. “

Bingo


28 posted on 05/21/2012 10:13:12 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

” Barf. Walter “lied about Tet” Crankcase was the most deceitful man in America. He was worse than Dan Rather. “

Yep


29 posted on 05/21/2012 10:15:09 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: Obadiah

Old Crank-case was NOT credible to me.


30 posted on 05/21/2012 10:15:54 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: JaguarXKE

Here:

http://yourfuneralguy.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/walter-cronkite-funeralburial-location-funeral-program-yourfuneralguy/

Hold on; I’ll get a few more gallons of water for us to drink, and join ya.


31 posted on 05/21/2012 10:16:02 AM PDT by carriage_hill (All liberals & most demoncraps think that life is just a sponge bath, with a happy ending.)
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To: Obadiah

Krankheit was aptly named.


32 posted on 05/21/2012 10:21:06 AM PDT by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
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To: Obadiah
Cronkite was a nasty partisan propagandist who managed to cover his true identity because of the media bubble at the time.

Isn't it odd that Howard Kurtz who denies media bias and shades the truth or hides facts to promote the DNC at every opportunity is planted his smiling picture on this introspective?

33 posted on 05/21/2012 10:29:24 AM PDT by Baynative (REMEMBER: Without America there is no free world!)
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To: dead

Herr Krankheit was definitely archetypical for his successors in the “profession”...


34 posted on 05/21/2012 10:30:10 AM PDT by mikrofon (See B.S.)
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To: Obadiah
Here is an obituary I wrote on the occasion of his death in 2009:

My Own Dad and Uncle Walter

I have no doubt that eventually some of the reactions to the passing of Walter Cronkite on the boards of Free Republic will be held up as examples of right wing "hate." And some of the replies, I have no doubt, will be pretty rough. The left will seize on them to further its own purposes but in doing so it will misunderstand the real source of our sense of betrayal arising out of our experience with Walter Cronkite.

We do not hate Walter Cronkite because he is a leftist, we are outraged at him because he was an impostor. He seduced us and he subtly betrayed us.

It is difficult to explain to people under 50 the special relationship between Middle America and Walter Cronkite who, himself, was a product of Middle America. He served honorably as a war correspondent, flying missions over Germany and landing in a glider in operation Market Garden. I treasure memories of watching Walter Cronkite specials with my dad. It is difficult to portray in today's age of 500 television stations with HDTV and TiVo and God knows what new technology the intimate relationship which grew with Walter Cronkite as we watched him on the old black-and-white program, You Are There. It is not an exaggeration to say that a whole generation of Americans got a basic understanding of the visual history of the 20th century from Walter Cronkite's, The 20th Century. Television in those days was still very special, something one planned all week to see with one's family. The truth is, as we bonded with our dads, we bonded with Walter Cronkite.

That is how he became known as "Uncle Walter" because he really did have an avuncular manner. He trained himself to have a deliberate cadence in his speech. He was the picture of trustworthy rectitude with his graying hair and reserved demeanor. He was our "anchor" in every sense. When he closed his newscast announcing, "that's the way it is" we believed him, we accepted that if Uncle Walter put his name to it, it must be so.

When the space age came, he was there at the launches to explain it to us. When Kennedy was assassinated, he was there with a tear in his eye to make the awful news official. So, when the bona fide World War II correspondent went to Vietnam in the wake of the Tet offensive and donned his fatigue jacket, looked into the camera and told us that the war in Vietnam was, in effect, unwinnable, Lyndon Johnson instantly reacted, "if we have lost Walter Cronkite we have middle America."

Walter Cronkite was politically correct on all the issues but not offensively so. While political correctness was certainly very much a part of the fabric of our country, there were no competitive outlets to expose the worst excrescences of the phenomenon. In other words we did not know what political correctness was because we had no alternative reality. Walter Cronkite was not politically correct he was simply correct.

My dad had grown up on a hardscrabble farm in a depression which started for the South long before the Wall Street crash of 1929. He was a Southern conservative and a believing Protestant. He carried these values all his life and all his life he was skeptical of Yankee values as much as he admired Yankee success. I grew up exposed to all of the politically correct dogma of the age and I was often frankly taken aback when I heard my father express skepticism about the received wisdom which I was learning from my professors.

Walter Cronkite's political correctness is best understood in the context of civil rights. But it is even more revealing to look at Walter Cronkite in the context of civil rights from the other end of the telescope because it reveals how Walter Cronkite saw himself. Without question, concerning civil rights, Cronkite saw himself morally responsible to conduct a crusade on behalf of virtue. There was good and there was evil plain to see and, as America's anchor, it was Cronkite's role to make clear to America which was which.

There is a danger for a reporter in such circumstances. The temptations of hubris are seductive and as opportunistic as a virus. If you are right about civil rights, the temptation is to be right about Vietnam. If you are right about civil rights and Vietnam, the temptation is to be right about Watergate. If your experience in civil rights convinces you that you were right about Watergate and Vietnam, and is very tempting also to be right about one world government. If you operate in a world without talk radio or the Internet, there is no antiviral drug to arrest your hubristic virus.

If crusading on behalf of civil rights, against Vietnam, and Nixonian corruption introduced advocacy into your reporting and also made history and changed America so why stop there? After all, you were at CBS, walking in the very footsteps of Edward R. Murrow.

Cronkite finished his career at CBS in bitterness, much as Edward R. Murrow finished his. Walter Cronkite retired to the fringes of post-pioneer television and to his sailboat and to the salons of Manhattan and Georgetown to speak out from time to time on issues of the day with, revealing it seemed, an increasingly discernible leftward bent to his positions.

I have no doubt that Walter Cronkite finished his days secure in the conviction that he was a reporter who never lost sight of his duty to report who, what, where, why, and when. If he were to admit to any degree that he indulged an opportunity to shape the news and to shape American as well, I have no doubt he would be comfortable about his role and not particularly distressed that I am exercised about it.

Judged by today's standards of talk radio and strident partisanship of MSNBC, Walter Cronkite was a comparatively benign, moderately left of center, but otherwise down the middle, reporter. But judged by the path he opened for television journalism, he was particularly dangerous because he put a respectable face on a "news" media that was to become treacherous, detached from the middle of America from which Walter Cronkite came and which he personified. He seduced America into trusting an alien not just in our midst but in our homes. He made us defenseless to the traducers to come, to the Olbermanns and Matthews, the Daniel Schorr's and the Nina Totenberg's and, ultimately, to the Alinskys and Obamas.

It is harsh to say that, finally, Walter Cronkite was a deceiver, but it is the truth. It is necessary for the next-generation to know this history. Walter Cronkite was not what he presented himself to be. He was a leftist and he exploited a medium and a persona to advance his leftist views. He was as effective as he was stealthy. Most of us for most of the years he was doing it to us had not the slightest suspicion that we were being shaped as we were being informed.

Cronkite outlived my dad by two decades though he was only born five years after my father. They both endured the Great Depression and fought in World War II in their own way. From my desk I can see a picture of my father and his World War II Navy uniform. They both were exponents of middle America. They lived the values of their time and place. They both prospered through the diligent application of the traditional moral values America had given them. My father bequeathed them to me, Walter Cronkite leaves a more ambivalent legacy.


35 posted on 05/21/2012 10:31:31 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Obadiah
Cronkite was a propagandist working for libs/communist and above all, himself. A bigger assh#le than all the others combined. He is the mother of all the little assh#les that followed in the network newsrooms, because he showed them that they could manipulate the news and crush dissent and conservatives.

If I could, I'd take my dog to take a dump on his grave site. My dad served in 2/4 in Operation Starlite and used to just get angry whenever he saw the news with any CBS reporters. All he would say was, "they're so full of cr@p".

I've got a bottle of Dom waiting for Rather to assume room temperature.... cause doncha know he used to say he was a Marine and therefore couldn't be a liberal.

All I know is that they'll die like everybody else, but with one big exception. They have NO HONOR and know they're lives were nothing and all that remains of them are the faux praise of other quislings, cowards, traitors and scum. I'd rather be buried with the kind words of honorable men than praised from the top of buildings by a Kennedy, Clinton, (insert liberal douche-bag name here), because they know it's all mud and slime.

Cronkite NEVER had a halo. All he had was a sphincter over his head like all good turds.

36 posted on 05/21/2012 10:31:50 AM PDT by Dick Vomer (democrats are like flies, whatever they don't eat they sh#t on.)
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To: JaguarXKE
Where is he buried? I’d like to go water the flowers on his grave!

Mount Moriah Cemetery in Kansas City.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=39563159
37 posted on 05/21/2012 10:34:39 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: EyeGuy

So true


38 posted on 05/21/2012 10:42:41 AM PDT by uncbob
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To: kcvl

Cronkite was a Kennedy Man through and through. When he thought that LBJ was prosecuting JFKs war in Vietnam he was an enthusiastic cheerleader. Out on YouTube you can easily find the segment where Walter flew a combat mission in the backseat of a B-57 Canberra. He was practically wetting himself with glee over having dropped bombs on the enemy as he got out of the aircraft.

Yet, when the opportunity (Tet) to launch another Kennedy at the White House came along he wasted no time in using his stature and weight with the public to kill the sitting Presidents presidency via shameless hit-piece.


39 posted on 05/21/2012 10:43:25 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: Ann Archy

Uncle Walter was an atheist who did not believe in God.

For him there is no hope.


40 posted on 05/21/2012 11:13:42 AM PDT by LeonardFMason
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To: traditional1
"at least the people of the colonies were of the same Anglo-Saxon stock"

The colonial and 19th century US had a larger percentage black population than we have today. It was only the large wave of European immigration in the 1870-1920 era that boosted the white population to the range it is today.

41 posted on 05/21/2012 2:38:49 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: nathanbedford

Excellent.


42 posted on 05/21/2012 2:57:00 PM PDT by eddie willers
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To: nathanbedford
That is actually good and well-written. Kudos.

I don't think you could really call Cronkite "politically correct" and still have the word mean much, though. Cronkite retired in 1981 and the wave of political correctness didn't come until later. Sure he had his opinions and he thought they were right. Sure there were things you couldn't say in television. But it wasn't much like things would be later (especially on college campuses).

There is a danger for a reporter in such circumstances. The temptations of hubris are seductive and as opportunistic as a virus. If you are right about civil rights, the temptation is to be right about Vietnam. If you are right about civil rights and Vietnam, the temptation is to be right about Watergate. If your experience in civil rights convinces you that you were right about Watergate and Vietnam, and is very tempting also to be right about one world government. If you operate in a world without talk radio or the Internet, there is no antiviral drug to arrest your hubristic virus.

If crusading on behalf of civil rights, against Vietnam, and Nixonian corruption introduced advocacy into your reporting and also made history and changed America so why stop there?

But why start there? With civil rights. Is it a Southern thing? Uncle Walter was also "right" about Hitler, so maybe his hubris started back then. When Cronkite became "the most trusted man in America" it was inevitable that it would go to his head.

Walter Cronkite was politically correct on all the issues but not offensively so. While political correctness was certainly very much a part of the fabric of our country, there were no competitive outlets to expose the worst excrescences of the phenomenon. In other words we did not know what political correctness was because we had no alternative reality. Walter Cronkite was not politically correct he was simply correct.

Really, my dad always knew Uncle Walter was biased. Nobody could do much about it, but it was apparent from the mid-60s or so on.

But judged by the path he opened for television journalism, he was particularly dangerous because he put a respectable face on a "news" media that was to become treacherous, detached from the middle of America from which Walter Cronkite came and which he personified. He seduced America into trusting an alien not just in our midst but in our homes. He made us defenseless to the traducers to come, to the Olbermanns and Matthews, the Daniel Schorr's and the Nina Totenberg's and, ultimately, to the Alinskys and Obamas.

Daniel Schorr was Cronkite's contemporary at CBS (his contemporary in life as well -- both born in 1916).

But all this "treachery" and "betrayal" -- doesn't that have an ominous sound for you? Maybe a little to reminiscent of some ugly stuff in the past?

Early television always provided a simplified, prettified view of the world. Finding out that everything out in the world isn't Father Knows Best, or The Brady Bunch or The CBS Evening News is all a part of growing up.

Cronkite's ratings were always quite high back in those days of just three big networks. Olbermann's and Matthews's are abysmal. Sure, Uncle Wally made for a more liberal America. But by the time he left office retired in 1981, the country was already swinging back to the right, so maybe he wasn't that important after all.

43 posted on 05/21/2012 5:40:19 PM PDT by x
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To: nathanbedford
Really, my dad always knew Uncle Walter was biased. Nobody could do much about it, but it was apparent from the mid-60s or so on.

I guess I went too far there. I don't have first-hand recollections of the 60s. People who were observant could probably see that CBS had an agenda back then -- all those documentaries about migrant workers and Appalachia were clearly angling for something.

But, as you say, very many viewers did still trust Wally in those days. They assumed that he was apolitical and unbiased and really did tell you "the way it is." In the Nixon years everything got more polarized, television news and its viewers included. By the time I came along in the 70s it was pretty clear what Cronkite was all about and hard to have illusions.

Was Walter Cronkite seduced by his reputation? Sure. But Civil Rights probably wasn't as formative for him as it was for younger people. Like a lot of people of his generation, the change from Depression poverty to postwar affluence fueled a feeling that anything was possible.

The New York circles Cronkite moved in went left in the 1960s and he went with them. Tell someone he's "the most trusted man in America" and it's sure to go to his head. It could be he had the same self-righteousness of a lot of young people in those days, but he got there by a different path.

Was Uncle Walter "the thin end of the wedge"? I guess so, but all early television was like that. It imitated the way people lived at the time in small-town America, but as the way people lived in New York and Los Angeles and other big cities changed, television changed as well.

44 posted on 05/22/2012 2:45:12 PM PDT by x
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To: Obadiah

This Kurtz piece is worth a full read. I knew Kronkite was one sick piece of sh**, but he’s even slimier and more corrupt than I remember.


45 posted on 05/22/2012 11:31:40 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: x
Thank you for two thoughtful reactions to my obituary of Walter Cronkite.

I have a distinct recollection of returning home from school and encountering my mother watching what I think were the Army-McCarthy hearings on black-and-white television. In those days Americans divided along the cleft, pro or con Joseph McCarthy. People who were opposed to Joe McCarthy believed that the Rosenbergs were innocent of giving our atomic secrets to the Russians and believed that Whittaker Chambers was lying and Alger Hiss was innocent.

These were not just watercooler subjects for discussion, these were watershed moments in America in the 1950s and were taken very seriously indeed. If you broke on one side you turned the litmus paper Republican and if you broke on the other side you turned the litmus paper Democrat. All of intelligentsia, academia, and, significant to our discussion, the media tended to turn the litmus paper Democrat. In this context we see Edward R Murrow on CBS undertaking in at least two specials on See It Now to take down Joseph McCarthy.

I do not think it is accidental that Edward R Murrow had made his bones as a war correspondent in London during the blitz and I do not think it is of no significance that Walter Cronkite followed him as a war correspondent into the battle for Europe a couple of years later. So Cronkite succeeded Edward R Murrow in both roles.

CBS in those days was known as the Tiffany network and no one believed more fervently in the eternal truth of that description than the "journalists" at CBS News. CBS ever since Edward R Murrow's political assassination of Joseph McCarthy has been at pains to exalt its role and the "courage" of Edward R Murrow with repeated specials, with lengthy footage, and with panel discussions and presentations etc. It requires no leap of imagination to believe that Walter Cronkite saw himself under the same obligation to the world as he saw played out by his predecessor to shape history when history demanded it. Yet, it was also that CBS felt uneasy and felt the need to justify its departure of its role as journalists for partisan advocacy. They justified the transmogrification ultimately by saying that the ends justified the means. The same rationalization was easier to profess at the time of their departure from reporting into advocacy during the civil rights movement.

Hubris is the inevitable result of feeling oneself anointed.

Nor do I think it is to be forgotten that Richard Nixon was on the wrong side of the litmus paper test, having virtually single-handedly turned around the case against Alger Hiss by converting it into a matter of perjury. Alger Hiss was a member of academia, he was a fixture of the establishment being endorsed by the testimony of two Supreme Court justices, he was the darling of the media. People believed that Nixon has never been forgiven for his treatment of Helen Gahagan Douglas, I believe that he is never been forgiven for exposing Alger Hiss.

Why would CBS News support Kennedy over Nixon? Why would the media, CBS not excepted, flagrantly bend their reporting to undermine Richard Nixon even before there was any indication of a Watergate scandal? Why would these same media overlook the wiretapping of Roosevelt Kennedy and Johnson and wax indignant at the recordings of Nixon? Why would the media overlook how Kennedy stole the 1960 election in Illinois and along the border in Texas but fulminate against Nixon's dirty tricks? Why would Walter Cronkite run a very effective special pointing to the guilt of Richard Nixon during the investigation stage of Watergate? Why would Dan Rather not scruple against the use of bogus documents in an effort to throw an election against George W. Bush? The examples go on and on.

Because The Tiffany Network has been anointed by God to save America. Of course it is not just the Tiffany Network but all wannabes who feel an equally compelling urgency to save America from herself.

One can connect dots and come up with a straight line from Edward R Murrow through Walter Cronkite to Dan Rather. It seems that the Greeks had it about right concerning hubris: those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad, or, simply elevate and exalt.


46 posted on 05/23/2012 10:49:38 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Obadiah

Perhaps Johnny Carson played Walter a little more truthfully than we thought:

“Kids, wet your finger like so. Now, go jam that little sucker in the wall socket. Trust your Uncle Walter, it won’t hurt a bit!”


47 posted on 05/23/2012 10:53:04 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Obadiah
The full Howard Kurtz piece is HERE and it is worth a full read. I knew Cronkite was a slimy piece of sh**, but I never knew just how disgusting a human being he was.
48 posted on 05/24/2012 11:39:23 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: nathanbedford

That’s a great post.
I once saw Murrow interview Harpo Marx (Harpo actually handled his end of the “interview” wordlessly, as was his character). I remember coming away from watching that interview with the impression that Murrow was a self-important blowhard.


49 posted on 05/24/2012 11:45:59 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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