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Cronkite – News Media ‘Gold Standard’

From the ever hagiographic Associated Press:

Cronkite remembered as ‘honorable’ and ‘an icon’

By Frazier Moore, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK – The death of Walter Cronkite elicited tributes from colleagues, presidents past and present, world-famous astronauts and those who hoped in vain to fill his empty anchor chair, all honoring the avuncular face of TV journalism who became the "most trusted man in America."

Cronkite died with his family by his side Friday night at his Manhattan home after a long illness, CBS vice president Linda Mason said. Marlene Adler, Cronkite’s chief of staff, said Cronkite died of cerebrovascular disease. He was 92.

"It’s hard to imagine a man for whom I had more admiration," Mike Wallace of "60 Minutes" said on CNN. "… He was a superb reporter and honorable man." …

Walter was who I wanted to be when I grew up," said CBS’s "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer, 72, who began working at CBS News in 1969.

"He set a standard for all of us. He made television news what it became." …

Cronkite was the broadcaster to whom the title "anchorman" was first applied, and he became so identified in that role that his name became the term for it in other languages. (Swedish anchors are known as Kronkiters; in Holland, they are Cronkiters.) …

"Walter Cronkite was and always will be the gold standard," said ABC News anchor Charles Gibson. "His objectivity, his evenhandedness, his news judgment are all great examples." …

But when Cronkite took sides, he helped shape the times. After the 1968 Tet offensive, he visited Vietnam and wrote and narrated a "speculative, personal" report advocating negotiations leading to the withdrawal of American troops.

"We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds," he said, and concluded, "We are mired in stalemate."

After the broadcast, President Lyndon B. Johnson reportedly said, "If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America." …

In the fall of 1972, responding to reports in The Washington Post, Cronkite aired a two-part series on Watergate that helped ensure national attention to the then-emerging scandal…

We don’t normally post articles about the death of celebrities. But given our interest in media bias, we thought we would make an exception.

It is also entertaining to see the unintentionally ironic things that some are saying about Mr. Cronkite.

The man, who perhaps as much as anyone, lost the war in Vietnam and wasted the lives of so many Americans, Vietnamese and Cambodians.

That Mr. Cronkite is considered the gold standard for objectivity and honesty for the news business, tells you all you need to know about the standards of the news business.


And speaking of honesty, we could find no links using Google to anyone calling newscasters in Sweden or Holland  “Kronkiters’ or ‘Cronkiters.’

We did, however, find some people who were highly skeptical.

Still, it must be true.

It came from Mr. Cronkite’s autobiography, A Reporter’s Life.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, July 18th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

32 Responses to “Cronkite – News Media ‘Gold Standard’”

  1. Steve says:

    It’s good to see that Mr. Cronkite inspired those around him to honesty right up to the end.

    From Newsday:

    Cronkite’s assistant denies CBS newsman is gravely ill

    June 19, 2009

    Walter Cronkite’s longtime assistant denied reports on Friday night that the retired anchorman of “CBS Evening News” is gravely ill.

    Marlene Adler, Cronkite’s assistant, said by phone late Friday, “he is aging. He’s suffering the challenges of age, but he’s not gravely ill. Only God knows when life will end and for Walter, it’s not imminent.” …


  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    After the broadcast, President Lyndon B. Johnson reportedly said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America.” …

    That may or may not be the actual quote as it was assembled by, I believe, Morley Safer.

    In any case, it illustrates the rein-holding of the nation’s political bent by the MSM and how politicians are addicted to it like crack-whores.

    And, you might also pigeon-hole WC as one of our first truly political elitists.


    • Melly says:

      Well said.
      And if there were any questions about WC’s liberal leanings, one just has to read/listen to his public statements later in life.

      “The American people no longer support the war in Iraq. The war is being carried on by a stubborn president who, like Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War, does not want to lose. But from the beginning this has been an ill-considered and poorly prosecuted war that, like the Vietnam War, has diminished respect for America. We believe Mr. Bush would like to drag the war on long enough to hand it off to another president.
      The war in Iraq reminds us of the tragedy of the Vietnam War. Both wars began with false assertions by the president to the American people and the Congress. Like Vietnam, the Iraq War has introduced a new vocabulary: “shock and awe,” “mission accomplished,” “the surge.” Like Vietnam, we have destroyed cities in order to save them. It is not a strategy for success.

      The Bush administration has attempted to forestall ending the war by putting in more troops, but more troops will not solve the problem. We have lost the hearts and minds of most of the Iraqi people, and victory no longer seems to be even a remote possibility. It is time to end our occupation of Iraq, and bring our troops home.

      This war has had only limited body counts. There are reports that more than one million Iraqis have died in the war. These reports cannot be corroborated because the US military does not make public the number of the Iraqi dead and injured. There are also reports that some four million Iraqis have been displaced and are refugees either abroad or within their own country. Iraqis with the resources to leave the country have left. They are frightened. They don’t trust the US, its allies or its mercenaries to protect them and their interests.


      The invasion of Iraq was illegal from the start.”


  3. sheehanjihad says:

    I used to watch Cronkite religiously, every night. That is, until that fateful evening he declared the war “lost” because of the Tet offensive. We beat the ever loving crap out of the North Vietnamese, as was evidenced by General Giap’s own admission years later, and had we pressed harder, straight forward and prosecuted the war from that time forward with the intent of winning it all, we could have.

    Cronkite set off the wave of anti war sentiment by his “that’s the way I say it is” bullcrap line….and he was more responsible for the denigration and waste of lives of our Military than any liberal leftist jerk protestor ever was. I stopped watching him that night, and by the way, I never watched him again, having lost all respect for someone I mistakenly thought was a true American. It had nothing to do with ideology, or my stance on the conflict, it had to do with someone betraying a long time trust, and foisting his own opinion as though it was the thoughts of all of America.

    Not that it matters, but to me, he started the downward spiral of television news by tacitly showing the left how easily the country could be swayed by slanted reporting. It’s just me….but that’s the way it was. And we all know how “that’s the way it is” now.

  4. GL0120 says:

    Let’s not forget the man who followed in Cronkite’s footsteps – the honorable and objective Dan “Documents, I’ve got documents” Rather.

  5. proreason says:

    I wonder what the 3 million Cambodians who lost their lives after Cronkite declared the Vietnam war was lost would say if they could.

    Isn’t it curious that he said it after our overwhelming victory in the Tet offensive when the VIet Cong were on the verge of capitulating.

    It kind of makes you wonder what side he was really on, doesn’t it?

    And, I don’t know the exact count, but probably 10 to 30,000 of our fathers, brothers and friends also died after that despicable traitor sabotaged our country. God bless those heroes and the many other brave souls who were spit upon, and are still held in contempt, by the forces of evil in the world.

    Cronkite was the model for the current generation of secret traitors / America haters / communist-facists who are on the verge of crowing from the rooftops over their final victory over our country.

  6. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    SJ, I had a elementary school teacher who fawned over Cronkite and probably felt that the man could do no wrong. But then again at that time I was only about seven years old so what did I know about the world?

    As I got older I did read and see video clips of the man proclaiming that the war in Vietnam was lost because of the Tet Offensive. I know that as a young reporter he also covered WWII. Did he also proclaim back then that the war was lost when the Battle of the Bulge was in full swing?

    But I lost all respect for the man when he began to align himself with the group People for the American Way. He might have been a great reporter at one time, but somewhere in life he lost the way.

    • proreason says:

      “Did he also proclaim back then that the war was lost when the Battle of the Bulge was in full swing?”


      But then, the USSR was on our side in that war.

    • jobeth says:

      12 – I too lost all respect for him once he let it be known how far left he was. I was surprised, as back then it was rare for an anchor to let it be known what his personal beiefs were. But things did change and out he came…along with the rest of the MSM.

      Oh well…he’s the least of our problems now a days. I wish he were the only thing we had to deal with.

    • catie says:

      !2, Pro, Jobeth, I will never forget when my cousin came home from his first tour in Viet Nam not long after Tet and our family had a reunion in honor of his being home. He said that he would never watch nor would he ever forgive Cronkite for his statement. It had a negative ripple effect through the unit he was with. I remember my folks watching Huntley/Brinkley for the most part when I was a kid.
      When he chirped up about the current war in Iraq and there was no respect left for him from me. He is a traitor yet the fact that Fox spent most of the night heralding him made me puke. A bit off topic but luckily Ghost Adventures was on so I could calm myself by watching that. At least that was interest, the Moon River Brewing Co. in Savannah, GA; where we went on a Ghost Tour with the OSC while stationed at Fort. Stewart.
      My one question is how long do we have to hear the constant drone about how this was the third most wonderful man to ever walk the earth-besides the Messiah aka The One & JFK.

    • jobeth says:

      Catie…I’m with you on the Fox coverage!!!!! I was so angry at the non stop 15 minute loop of comments on how wonderful he was. Every 15 minutes! We first thought they would say their bit and Hannity would be broadcast. But no…how silly we were..They continued to repeat the SAME loop.

      At 11 the reruns come on…and they kept cutting in to those as well. I finally gave up. I was sick of watching the same video loop as well.

      Hey Fox…..Enough!!!! We know he is gone…sorry for his family…and we expect a mention of his memorial service, but STOP the over the top coverage!!!! I feel like I’m watching a Michael Jackson rerun.

    • bronzeprofessor says:

      I feel so out of the loop at my spry and untested age of 38. Zero memories of Cronkite here. I remember Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw better. Kid of the 80s. What about Jane Paulie, anyone remember her?

  7. Chinnubie says:

    Funny how back then it was dissent to slam the Vietnam War and it is considered good to be against the Iraq/Afghanistan War but it is BAD or WRONG to dissent against the policies of this current administration.

    Liberals and their ilk are nothing more than hypocritical moronic retards. Now let me tell you how I really feel………

  8. Fuzzlenutter says:

    Walter Cronkite: America’s first public Moonbat…

  9. Steve says:

    Some all too telling quotes from Mr. Cronkite:

    There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free. – Walter Cronkite

    Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets. You take a little pill of news every day – 23 minutes – and that’s supposed to be enough. – Walter Cronkite

    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. Probably less. – Walter Cronkite

    This opens the door on another chapter of history. – Walter Cronkite

    Our job is only to hold up the mirror – to tell and show the public what has happened. – Walter Cronkite

    Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine. – Walter Cronkite

    America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system. – Walter Cronkite

    I am dumbfounded that there hasn’t been a crackdown with the libel and slander laws on some of these would-be writers and reporters on the Internet. – Walter Cronkite

    Be kind to an old man. – Walter Cronkite

    The perils of duck hunting are great- especially for the duck – Walter Cronkite

    I think it is absolutely essential in a democracy to have competition in the media, a lot of competition, and we seem to be moving away from that. – Walter Cronkite

    The very first day we were there, … I started getting notes in my box to call this Bernard Shaw. – Walter Cronkite

    When Moses was alive, these pyramids were a thousand years old Here began the history of architecture. Here people learned to measure time by a calendar, to plot the stars by astronomy and chart the earth by geometry. And here they developed that most awesome of all ideas – the idea of eternity. – Walter Cronkite

    Dan Rather and I just aren’t especially chummy. – Walter Cronkite

    The great sadness of my life is that I never achieved the hour newscast, which would not have been twice as good as the half-hour newscast, but many times as good. – Walter Cronkite

    Television is a high-impact medium. It does some things no other force can do-transmitting electronic pictures through the air. Still, as an explored, comprehensive medium, it is not a substitute for print. – Walter Cronkite

    In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story. – Walter Cronkite

    There’s a little more ego involved in these jobs than people might realize. – Walter Cronkite

    I asked [my doctors] if I’d be able to play singles tennis and they said I could. That made me very happy since I haven’t played in five years. – Walter Cronkite

    I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got. – Walter Cronkite

    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. – Walter Cronkite

    Errol Flynn died on a 70-foot boat with a 17-year-old girl. Walter has always wanted to go that way, but he’s going to have to settle for a 17-footer with a 70-year-old. – Walter Cronkite

    When you’re bringing in a fairly unknown candidate challenging a sitting president, the population needs a lot more information than reduced coverage provides. – Walter Cronkite

    I’ve gone from the most trusted man in America to one of the most debated. – Walter Cronkite

    We are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders. – Walter Cronkite

    I don’t think those things live forever with the public. They’re more likely to live with us journalists than the public itself. – Walter Cronkite

    To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion….It is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy and did the best they could. – Walter Cronkite

    I want to say that probably 24 hours after I told CBS that I was stepping down at my 65th birthday, I was already regretting it. And I regretted it every day since. – Walter Cronkite

    There’s a difference between that and showboating. There’s definitely [some] showboating. Usually it’s obvious, to us journalists anyway — whether it’s obvious to the public, I don’t know. – Walter Cronkite


    In typical fashion, even his joke about Errol Flynn is based on a lie.

    But do note his comments about writers on the internet.

  10. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    PR, Cronkite might not have proclaimed it, but I’m sure he had reservations on how the Ardennes Offensive was going to play out. Thankfully there were a few American units such as the 101st Airborne and others that when surrounded, told the German high command to go to hell when told to surrender. Too bad we don’t see more of a such ‘Can Do’ spirit in our society today. A majority of our fellow Americans have been duped into accepting defeatism and that we’re the cause of all the world’s evils. Thanks to the MSM.

  11. curvyred says:

    “He made television news what it became” = 100% correct – and why I no longer watch “television news”

  12. GetBackJack says:

    I’m sure Cronkite is celebrating in Hell along with Giap and McNamara.

  13. VMAN says:

    I must say when I say this article on S&L I held my breath. Would there be a bunch of soaring eulogies to the man? I should have known better and I apologize to everyone. My father, a life long Republican, couldn’t stand the man and for good reason. It just too bad that we will now have to go through, probably, weeks of praise for the man, even on Fox.

  14. rocketman says:

    Right on SJ !! I was there and as you said, we kicked the crap out of them… Wonder what WhoreHouse Harry would have said?

  15. LewWaters says:

    Well over 40,000 American Troops lost their lives after Cronkite joined in with others undermining our efforts there and actually extending the war, not shortening it.

    I can only hope he will face each and every one of those Brave Souls in his descent to hell.

  16. Liberals Demise says:

    Suffice to say, “Sail on Sailor!”

  17. David says:

    God has a sense of irony… To juxtapose Cronkite; the world’s oldest man, veteran of two world wars and founding member of the RAF passed away as well. Yesterday I was browsing through youtube videos of Cronkite. I was impressed just by the major events he had the privilege of covering (Being a Reagan baby myself). Now I can think instead o the even bigger window of life that Mr. Henry Allingham witnessed.
    Godspeed Mr. Allingham.

  18. Colonel1961 says:

    He defined ‘useful idiot’. Let him rot in hell…

  19. rocketman says:

    Senator Harry Reid

  20. jrmcdonald says:

    Remember the joke that Mark Twain had about his Father? It was, ‘ when I was 12, I thought my Father was the most stupid man I knew; when I turned 21, I was suprized how much he had learned.’

    I feel the same way about Cronkrite, only in reverse.

  21. Warmonger Infidel says:

    Cronkite and McNamara…

    Guilty of the same crimes, dead in the same week.

    Nuff said.

  22. neocon mom says:

    “And speaking of honesty, we could find no links using Google to anyone calling newscasters in Sweden or Holland “Kronkiters’ or ‘Cronkiters”

    The word in German is “krankheit”. It literally means “sickness” or “illness”. I don’t speak any other tongues or dialects of the region, but I know there are many similarities, and it could well be why no one would want to be called such a term.

    I had heard a story of Cronkite’s Jewish heritage, and that Prussians in keeping track of Jews and forcing them into neighborhoods, would officially rename them insulting and humiliating terms. While this sounds feasible, given the veracity of Cronkite’s reporting over the years, the story as it relates to his ancestry must be called into question.

    He did indeed bring an “illness” to the profession that has metastasized and looks untreatable.

  23. bronzeprofessor says:

    Apparently this is a classic duplicitous quote from Cronkite, 1970:

    From Newsbusters

    Well, we all have our prejudices, we all have our biases, we have a structural problem in writing a news story or presenting it on television as to time and length, position in the paper, position on the news broadcast. These things are all going to be affected by our own beliefs, of course they are. But we are professional journalists. This is the difference. We are trying to reach an objective state, we are trying to be objective. We have been taught from the day we went to school, when we began to know we wanted to be journalists, integrity, truth, honesty, and a definite attempt to be objective. We try to present the news as objectively as possible, whether we like it or don’t like it. Now that is objective.

    Full URL: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2009/07/18/cronkite-said-he-was-liberal-liberals-arent-committed-point-view

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