Skip to comments.New Biography of CBS Newsman Walter Cronkite Dents His Halo
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 Brinkleys 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 ...
Lets all focus on free snorkeling vacations rather than manipulation of news.
An old boyfriend of mine grew up on Marthas Vineyard and delivered groceries to Cronkite regularly and said he was
a nasty prick,regularly.
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.
I assume not with water??
Well, Cronkite got that one right. Too bad Rather didn’t spend time in the hoosegow for that stunt.
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.
” Walter has BLOOD on his hands for what he did about Viet Nam......lots and lots of YOUNG BLOOD.....hope he did his penance. “
” Barf. Walter “lied about Tet” Crankcase was the most deceitful man in America. He was worse than Dan Rather. “
Old Crank-case was NOT credible to me.
Hold on; I’ll get a few more gallons of water for us to drink, and join ya.
Krankheit was aptly named.
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?
Herr Krankheit was definitely archetypical for his successors in the “profession”...
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.
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.
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.
Uncle Walter was an atheist who did not believe in God.
For him there is no hope.