Saturday, July 18, 2009

And That's The Way It Is....

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.

8 comments:

The Old Fart said...

Walter was one of a Kind, A true Gentleman and a Newman's Newsman. He was up there with Edward R Murrow.

I am too young to remember the Assassination of JFK (though remember watching the funeral on TV). When Walter removed his glasses for a second and paused, he also showed his Human side as well as being a Newsman.

Great Post Hope, thank you for sharing.

Dr.John said...

I miss him too. It really is hard to get real news.

Susan at Stony River said...

What a lovely man; I'm so glad he worked so long and lived so long and was so loved.

hope said...

Old Fart...I was only 5 when JFK died but I remember the funeral. Kept wondering why John John was in SHORT pants in November. Sigh. Uncle Walter was human when it mattered. Too bad the rest of them can't figure out how to do that.

Amen, Dr. John!

Susan, it's truly like America lost its favorite uncle...even bigger than our buddy, Paul Harvey.

mapstew said...

I have heard of the man, but would not, at this side of the pond, been too familiar with his work.

He sounds like he was one of the old school.

R.I.P.

The Old Fart said...

Hope just wanted to let you know you guessed correctly, Dr John was first so he gets Honorable Mention, (you all do).

Visit the blog and you will see a bit more of me with the answer.

Bill

hope said...

Map, he deserves the title "legendary" because he did it the old fashion way...he earned it. :)

Thanks Old Fart...glad to have you here.

Winifred said...

I don't know Walter Cronkite but I have heard of him. However I think that it's probably the same in ohter countries that the true professionals of TV and journalism have gone. In my youth it was Richard Dimbleby, his was the voice of reason. I also used to love to hear Alistair Cook's Letter From America which ran from 1946 until 2004. Lovely!

Here in the UK they all seem to be trying to create news rather than inform us about it. Just don't trust anyone now. Sad that standards have dropped so badly.