“And that’s the way it was…” – Remembering Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite, born at St. Joseph, Missouri on 4 November 1916, died last evening at New York City. While in high school at Houston, Texas he was a cub reporter at the Houston Post, and had a paper route, possibly the only journalist to deliver his own words to subscribers. He left college for a job at the Houston Press, then worked at several small radio stations before joining United Press to cover World War II. He waded ashore on D-Day, parachuted into combat, and flew bomber missions. He was UP's lead correspondent for the Nuremburg trials, then reopened several European offices before opening and managing the Moscow office. Edward R. Murrow hired him at CBS in 1950. When he led the CBS team at the 1952 party conventions he was called the anchor, a term that is now almost universal in TV news. In April of 1962 Cronkite became the anchor of the CBS Evening News, although he insisted on Managing Editor as his title, a position he held until 1981. When he returned from Vietnam after the Tet offensive of 1968 and described the war as a stalemate, President Johnson decided not to run for reelection.

Today, instead of hearing "Uncle Walter's" baritone delivery of the news, I get my news delivered by e-mail and the web; however given the state of affairs of the main-stream media today, to hear him say one more time, "And that's the way it was." – would be music to my ears.

“I am a news presenter, a news broadcaster, an anchorman, a managing editor – not a commentator or analyst. I feel no compulsion to be a pundit.”

“I think somebody ought to do a survey as to how many great, important men have quit to spend time with their families who spent any more time with their family.”

“Interviewing friends is a tough one. Your duty to the interview must transcend your friendship. Occasionally you'll lose a friend.”

“It is a seldom proffered argument as to the advantages of a free press that it has a major function in keeping the government itself informed as to what the government is doing.”

“Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine.”

“We've got a great percentage of our population that, to our great shame, either cannot or, equally unfortunate, will not read. And that portion of our public is growing. Those people are suckers for the demagogue.”

     All from Walter Cronkite, 1916 – 2009

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James A. Restucci is the author of this blog. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Internal License.

6 Responses to “And that’s the way it was…” – Remembering Walter Cronkite

  1. AvatarTVNews says:

    PBS = Publicly Broadcast Socialism.

    For over two decades PBS and NPR repeatedly bashed anything even remotely conservative. They never missed a chance to ridicule, make fun of and condemn all forms of Capitalism. The on air talent made light of each and every Republican that showed up on their radar, speaking of them as if they were errant kindergarten students.

    Then the Republicans got control of congress.

    And the well meaning people at NPR and PBS had the nerve to act surprised when they found their budgets at the top of the chopping block. They sent out pleas to “save NPR” and “stop the looting of PBS.”

    Statistics show us if we play enough games the other team is going to win one once in a while. You would think the enlightened intellectuals at PBS and NPR would have considered that fact before gnawing to the bone the hand that eventually will be in charge of feeding them.

    I have no sympathy for the boys and girls at either organization.

  2. Avatarjimr says:

    I have to admit though, Public Television hasn’t gone the way of the Mainsteam Media and Charlie Rich and the McNeil Leher News Hour, is still just that.

  3. Avatarjimr says:

    What, Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper and Sheppard Smith don’t do it for ya 🙂 Just kidding, I agree wholeheartedly with you both.

    Gone are the days of true reporting, welcome to the age reality television.

  4. AvatarEagleWatch says:

    With Edward R Morrow and Walter Cronkite gone, I can’t think of a journalist that’s left. If Watergate ruined American journalistm (and I think it did), the passing of Mr Cronkite marks its extinction.

  5. Avatarjimr says:

    Agreed TV

  6. AvatarTVNews says:

    He was the one of the last of the real journalists.