Walter Cronkite, the last of his kind, is no more. Cronkite died yesterday at the age of 92 and television lost not just an icon, for whom the term "anchorman" was coined, but the last media journalist who was 100% trustworthy. I was somewhat disgusted that our local newspaper noted his passing with the headline "Legendary CBS anchor Cronkite dies at 92" on the BACK PAGE of the front section. If it was up to me, the story on the politician who's hoping for the Governor's job, which isn't available until NEXT year, could've waited a day. If anyone deserved a front page good bye, it was Cronkite.
Cronkite wasn't just the man who was pure grace under pressure, he became America's "Uncle Walter"....that uncle you could always trust to tell you the truth. As a small child I remember him fighting back tears, voice cracking as he announced the assassination of Pres. John Kennedy. I recall him allowing his professorial lecture voice to dissolve into total joy as, watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, he was said to have exclaimed,"Look at those pictures....wow!" Even cooler, he was still broadcasting when one of the original astronauts, John Glenn, went BACK into space 36 years after his first flight.
Walter Cronkite set the standard in his day by giving you facts, not his opinion. I think the only time he ever decided to step into "Editorial Country" was when he proclaimed the Vietnam War a stalemate which was merely killing American G.I.s. Some say that proclamation aided in getting this country out of that war. I was only 10 but remember thinking it must be pretty awful if Uncle Walter was disagreeing with the President.
I've missed his style of broadcasting for years now...not so much because he drifted into a well deserved retirement but because he seemed to have taken his style with him. I can't imagine Cronkite lowering himself to the level some so called "newsmen/women" utilize to share the news. I'm thankful to have grown up in a time where ethics meant something and the guy on the 6:00 news could be trusted to share the story with you, rather than preach at you.
I'm betting that Cronkite is now enjoying his beloved sailing in more heavenly waters. Here's wishing him smooth sailing and beautiful sunsets.