July 18, 2009

Walter Cronkite.

1. Dead, now, at 92.

2. "The most trusted man in America" — that's the cliché about Cronkite. Do you think: He's dead now, so everyone is going to have to say the expected thing and mouth that cliché? Or do you fall into a reverie about how there hasn't been anyone around in a long time — certainly not in journalism — who would embody trust for the entire nation? Oh, America! Where is the trust?!

3. Were we better when we had that trust? Or is skepticism and a critical eye better? Imagine trusting a media figure today? Some blogger?

4. Did you trust Cronkite? Did you watch Cronkite? I preferred Huntley and Brinkley back in the day. Easier to trust 2 guys, don't you think? Nah. Today, 2 guys... I think of Hannity and Colmes. That's a formula for untrustworthiness. Neither has to take responsibility for getting it right. You're supposed to average it out or something. But for the evening news-read, the one-man anchor, the Cronkite style, has prevailed — even as no one watches anymore. I haven't watched the evening news on a regular basis since the 1970s — long before Cronkite retired. I don't need or want the day's events funneled/filtered through one man. That's not how I get my confidence that I have any idea what's going on in the world.

6. Cronkite getting emotional announcing the death of President Kennedy. It was back when emotion was not slathered over everything. How different things were — how muted and calm — even as the most shocking event had occurred. The emotion occurs at 5:18 on this clip, and, though it has been talked about for decades, by today's standards, is hardly worth mentioning:

133 comments:

rhhardin said...

Now Obama is the most trusted man in America.

Bruce Hayden said...

To be a bit cynical, the idea that you can trust journalists is not really that good an idea.

dac said...

I loved Walter - when he ended his career I stopped watching the evening news.

rhhardin said...

When Kennedy died, the mail girls were crying, and you can't run a business with crying mail girls, so they closed up for the day.

I went flying for the afternoon. A day off was a day off back then.

The group hug was beginning to take off then though, and the warning signs were ignored.

rhhardin said...

Cronkite does get credit for losing the Vietnam war.

Bissage said...

There will always be a loving spot in my heart for Walter Cronkite. I was only a little kid at the time, but I’ll never forget lying on my belly in my pajamas in front of the TV set enthralled by his deep and sonorous voice. He was like the voice of God.

Similarly, I’ll never forget how impressed I was hearing him narrate the John Wanamaker Christmas Light Show or those wonderful highlight reels produced by NFL Films.

Rest in Peace, Uncle Walt.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Walter was 1000% better than the insane howler monkeys on cable news these days (left and right).

Does anyone watch the network news these days?

Bruce Hayden said...

Whoops, wasn't done yet.

We should have seen what is coming, and what we saw this last election, with much of the MSM being totally in the tank for one side, shilling for him, while trying to destroy his opponents, when Cronkite was so emotional at Kennedy's assassination.

Ask yourself, how many in journalism today would have been so broken up if George W. Bush had been assassinated in office, or worse, Dick Cheney? Indeed, the only real issue with the former being assassinated is that the later would have taken over (kinda like where we are right now a little bit with a clown taking over the #2 slot from evil incarnate).

Few remember now, but Kennedy was not universally liked or respected while in office. I was reminded of this when I found a First Family parody record at my parents' house a couple of years ago. They had really funny accents, thought they were sophisticated, and in retrospect, were corrupt as all get out.

My point is that much of the MSM even back then was heavily invested in the left. It just wasn't as obvious as it became later.

Oh, and then there was Vietnam.

Quayle said...

The press will keep repeating "the most trusted man in America" as a way to reassure themselves that they aren't totally to blame for their industry crash.

They'll repeat it in the hopes that people will think that they could be the most trusted people in America.

Or even trusted a little.

dbp said...

We shouldn't have trusted him.

There are too many alternatives now for anyone to replace his dominance and that is a good thing.

AllenS said...

If Walter Cronkite, news reader, was the most trusted man in America, I guess that all the news readers of today, could be called the most untrusted people in America.

I wonder how Walter would handle this global warming nonevent?

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add to my Kennedy list, that at the time of his death, we had lived through his abortive invasion of Cuba and his interactions with the Soviet Union. Also, the 1960 election was far from clean, and most of us knew it. But, Nixon, contrasted with AlGore, took the high road, and conceded, knowing both that the election has been bought by Jack Kennedy's father and his mafia connections, and that withdrawing was for the best of the country.

That said, looking back, despite my biases at the time, I would suggest that despite being rolled by Khrushchev, Jack Kennedy was the last Democratic President that I have respected and/or thought he did a decently good job (ok, Clinton wasn't a total failure like the rest of them have been and are - he was just venal and his wife corrupt). My point on dissing him now is to point out that he wasn't universally loved or respected at the time of his death, and that Cronkite was showing the MSM biases even back in 1963 that have become ever more evident since then.

dick said...

How true that the Kennedy image has been burnished over the years to something it definitelywas not while he was in office. He was liked but not respected that much. It was a tossup whether he would be re-elected in 1964. It was the whole industry and the respect for Jackie that made it really seem like Camelot. Will the truth about that administration ever come out?

I rather lost my appreciation for Cronkite when he mis-reported the Tet Offensive news and in a sense doomed the South Vietnamese govt. Even after the North Vietnamese confessed that they were about ready to toss in the towle but then realized that the reporting gave them a second chance Cronkite never admitted the truth of his mis-reporting. My respect for the newsmen went downhill from there. I always liked Huntley and Brinkley better than Cronkite and trusted them more.

EnigmatiCore said...

Courage.

The Crack Emcee said...

Walter Cronkite was a liar, and a coward, who claimed the Tet Offensive - that one battle - meant we lost Vietnam. After what we just saw over Iraq ("We lost!") you ought to be able to understand what an epic crime that was against the country - a crime we've never really recovered from.

I'm readying a piece on this pantywaist, but won't be able to get it up until later. Just let it be known, I despise the man, just as I despise most journalists today. Their lies are legion and their cowardice stinks up the joint.

"Uncle Walter"?

Ha! That bastard ain't my fuckin' uncle.

The Macho Response

bearing said...

Skepticism is better. Trust is dangerous.

That said:

Watching the clip again, I am struck deeply by the fact that, despite good reason to believe already that the president was likely dead, Cronkite's emotional reaction came only at the very moment that the report was officially confirmed.

You see there an instinct that official confirmation, not speculation however plausible, is what makes something news. I admire that. No one is perfect, Cronkite was not a perfect journalist, but that instinct is admirable.

Dennis said...

Frankly, I found him rather pompous in the 60s and almost supercilious after that. He was, to use the British term, simply a "news reader" who somehow managed to convince many viewers that he had some secret source of wisdom.

He later destroyed any remaining credibility by joining Ted Kennedy in opposing the wind farm energy project off Cape Cod because he might see the turbines from his house. When called on his hypocrisy, he begged to be let off because he was an old man. What a poseur!

Dennis said...

Frankly, I found him rather pompous in the 60s and almost supercilious after that. He was, to use the British term, simply a "news reader" who somehow managed to convince many viewers that he had some secret source of wisdom.

He later destroyed any remaining credibility by joining Ted Kennedy in opposing the wind farm energy project off Cape Cod because he might see the turbines from his house. When called on his hypocrisy, he begged to be let off because he was an old man. What a poseur!

Bruce Hayden said...

How true that the Kennedy image has been burnished over the years to something it definitely was not while he was in office.

As evidenced by that First Family record we had so long ago, Camelot at the time was the object of much humor and almost disdain by many on the right at the time.

Looking back though, it is almost as if the Kennedys' aspirations here to royalty were a harbinger of what was to come on the left (though JFK doesn't look the least bit leftist in retrospect, except in this regard). Truman, Ike, and even Nixon, were normal guys, who just maybe worked harder, and were in the right place at the right time. Sure FDR was aristocratic (as was his cousin). But it was probably played down more than anything back then.

It was the Kennedy idea of bringing the Best and the Brightest into Washington to run it, and that they, the Democrats running the country at the time, were somehow much better than the rest of us, that has led, I think, to a lot of the problems we are seeing right now with the Obama Administration and the entrenched corrupt politicians in Washington right now.

Bruce Hayden said...

I rather lost my appreciation for Cronkite when he mis-reported the Tet Offensive news and in a sense doomed the South Vietnamese govt.

I think that this has to be remembered. The Communists greatly overextended with their Tet Offensive. It effectively destroyed the Viet Cong, and henceforth, we would mostly be fighting the NVA. It was a major military victory for us, but, thanks to the MSM at the time, led by Cronkite, a major political loss for us, that we never recovered from.

kathleen said...

"Courage"

lolll exactly. I take that to mean "who gives a s***". Thank you for that EnigmatiCore.

Pogo said...

Godspeed, Mr. Cronkite.

The level of trust in the news media reached its apogee under your tenure, and it has since returned to the squalid levels of falsehood and calumny common to the era of yellow journalism of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

We were wrong to trust you, I fear, though not because we are ourselves liars, but because we learned we had been deceived throughout your reign, and increasingly since.

................

The great Samuel Johnson described the origins of mistrust in the Rambler #79 (December 18, 1750):

"Whoever ... is overrun with suspicion, and detects artifice and stratagem in every proposal, must either have learned by experience or observation the wickedness of mankind, and been taught to avoid fraud by having often suffered or seen treachery; or he must derive his judgment from the consciousness of his own disposition, and impute to others the same inclinations which he feels predominant in himself."

Bruce Hayden said...

And that brings me to the question of whether the press (MSM) should be leading public opinion, or merely reporting the facts. I don't think that when Cronkite was breaking up over Kennedy being assassinated, or misreporting Tet, that we had any idea of where this was all going.

Part of the problem is that they need to portray themselves as unbiased reporters of fact for legitimacy. Why give them any more credibility or legal protections if they are, in the end, political hacks for one side? I don't think that you can.

John Lynch said...

I'm 34. I've spent a lot more time hearing about Cronkite than seeing him on television.

My reaction was "he was still alive?"

I think it's a generational thing.

My early experience with TV news was watching Dan Rather freak out on election night while Reagan and Bush won.

Bruce Hayden said...

Pogo - nicely said

Bruce Hayden said...

My early experience with TV news was watching Dan Rather freak out on election night while Reagan and Bush won.

Little did we know where Rather was going to go from there, resulting finally in his RatherGate scandal with his attempt to destroy another Bush politically.

Lexington Green said...

"Were we better when we had that trust?"

No.

It was delusional.
Americans still have too much trust of these corrupt media institutions.

John Lynch said...

It occurred to me that I'm in for a bunch of Boomer nostalgia over this. Ugh.

William said...

It's hard to work up much of a grudge against Cronkite. He was wrong about a lot of things, but he was wrong in a kindly, decent way. We come from different places and take different routes to our seperate graves. Like most wealthy liberals, Cronkite's journey was more a trip to Martha's Vineyard than an arduous pilgrimage to the City of God. Nonetheless, he made an honourable journey. According to his lights, he tried to be dispassionate and honest in reporting the news. I think he wished to be a decent man and, for the most part, succeeded.

Cedarford said...

Chronkite was part and parcel of the Left's effort beginning in the early 60s to use the mass media they then controlled as a vehicle for progressive societal opinion remolding and advancing "social justice".
By the end stages of the Carter Administration, Americans began realizing that there was blatant Leftist agenda advocacy in the electronic MSM and Hollywood...and that there were plenty of other places to get far more balanced, and simply far more....information.

Chronkite himself was a news reader, a job title the Brits are far more honest with in describing their "trusted, all-wise anchors". He just said what his Jewish progressive producers and elite school news writers put in front of him to say on TelePrompter...much as his natural spawn, Obama, now does.
It is a talent through....only certain people have..they may not have a brain in their head and go near-incoherent when off-script (see Dan Rather, Sarah Palin, Peter Jennings, Teddy Kennedy, Larry King, Geraldo, Barack Obama, and Uncle Walter) - but they get rich money or political power rewards.
Others with the talent, the gift, are actually capable of articulating their own thoughts whether you like them or not (see Rush Limbaugh, Paul Harvey, Tom Brokaw, Ronald Reagan, BIll Clinton)

To wit with "Walter" dying...I read it 1st on Drudge with about the same vague interest as reading about a dead TV drama celebrity from the 50s I never heard of.

former law student said...

Walter Cronkite was a liar, and a coward, who claimed the Tet Offensive - that one battle - meant we lost Vietnam.

Walter Cronkite went ashore on D-Day, parachuted with the l0lst Airborne, and flew bombing mission over Germany. I wonder what bravery the coward who dishonors Cronkite from the safety of his keyboard has exhibited.

Jim Treacher said...

Walter Cronkite was the Most Trusted Man in America in much the same way Michael Jackson was the World's Best Babysitter.

g2loq said...

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor—he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garment, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation—he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city—he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.......Cicero, 42 B.C.E.

Jim Treacher said...

The word you're looking for, FLS, is "chickenhawk."

PatCA said...

Trusting a news announcer's version of reality is a dangerous thing.

I'm sure he was a fine man, and he did his best, but the idea that these people are announcing truths is, thank goodness, thoroughly passe. The network news of course will do its best to deny that reality in their coverage of his death. They know what died with him.

Lem said...

..Neither has to take responsibility for getting it right.

And thats how the maligned "intant replay" was introduced to baseball.

It's a miracle we don't have more cameras everywhere.

Pogo said...

As to mistrust, a bound copy of Johnson's Rambler was held aloft by a fake missionary in Polynesia (Raratonga, the Cook Islands, 1838), whenever he was trying to make a serious point. The Polynesians were illiterate, and fascinated by the pieces of paper that allowed the white man to communicate with one another without sound. They mistook his book for the Bible, of course.

He converted several island people to a bogus religion in this manner, later replacing it with a more convincing leather-bound law book.



Things haven't changed much, really.

Invisible Man said...

Ask yourself, how many in journalism today would have been so broken up if George W. Bush had been assassinated in office, or worse, Dick Cheney?

Bruce,

Indulge in your sick twisted fantasies if you'd like, but nobody outside of the extremely, extremely extreme fringe would have wished for W to be assissinated. You can not like or even hate someone without wanting them dead. I'd love to hear some examples of liberals who wanted W dead. If for one would never have wanted something like that for myself or for my country. But keep harboring fantasies.

Yet, we have heard a constant drum beat of conservatives talking about "revolution" when talking about this current President, and I don't hear even a bit of acknowledgment from you or other voices about this. A
Republican candidate in Virginia, just this week talked about "resort(ing) to the bullet box", but I haven't heard a peep of denunciation. So maybe, you might want consider some self-evaluation when trying to pin your worst fears on the other side of the aisle.

Jim said...

Invisible -

That is a beautiful couple of straw people that you have constructed there.

1) Bruce never said that liberals were trying to assassinate Bush, nor did he imply that they were. What he did was draw an analogy to the way JFK's death was treated by the way that Bush would have been treated in a similar situation.

2) "Revolution" is not equal to "assassination." This country was founded on "revolution," and yet somehow the King of England managed to survive. Your hyperventilating hysteria aside, there has been no call to kill Obama other than from the extreme, extremists who are no part of any mainstream political movement.

You should really find yourself a fainting couch to lie down on, you've obviously looked upon your strawmen and given yourself the vapors.

Jim said...

Invisible,

"But keep harboring fantasies."

BTW, you owe Bruce an apology for the "sick, twisted" way you attempted to use his words.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Jim said...

Speaking of assassination fantasies, I guess this film was roundly condemned by liberals when it was released to much fanfare at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Oh, it wasn't? Oops...I guess all the folks at dailyKos and the Huffington Post must have too busy that day to get their panties in a bunch to get upset about how the mainstream film industry was engaging in "sick, twisted" fantasies to have noticed.

Should I hold my breath waiting for the Hollywood crowd to fete an Obama assassination fantasy or is that something they reserve for assassinating Republicans?

Henry Buck said...

Great post Bissage. I too, remember that voice. I doubt many other people here will understand the meaning it holds, though.

Randy said...

These days, many people have a cardboard / cartoon-like impression of Cronkite. This interactive graphic prepared by the Wall Street Journal provides a more detailed view of his experience and achievements.

Big Mike said...

@Invisible, I live in Virginia and your screed is the first I've heard of the "bullet box." Are you sure you understand the Southern dialect?

As to your statement "but nobody outside of the extremely, extremely extreme fringe would have wished for W to be assissinated [sic]," then I guess you're saying that the type of people who post on Daily Kos and who belong to MoveOn.org are members of the "extremely, extremely extreme fringe," because I have seen postings that plumped for Cheney to be assassinated first, then Bush. Sorry, but from everything I have seen so far they look like the hardcore base of the Democrat party.

If you are a Democrat and you wish to repudiate the Daily Kossacks and MoveOn types, be my guest. But I don't think you will.

reader_iam said...

The assassination of a president strikes me as an assault upon us all, our very system of government. For that reason, one hears family tales of people crying over President Kennedy's assassination who vehemently disliked him. For that reason, I don't think the "soap opera" analysis really applies in this case. I'm just too young to remember JFK's assassination (though I have memories of RFK's and MLK's), but I vividly recall the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. At the time, I worked in a very, very liberal environment, and yet people--male and female alike--were visibly upset. I don't think the reporting media were chortling either (and due to the timing of that attempt, I saw the breaking news because I'd left work on break to go to my parents' house).

Big Mike said...

Getting back to Cronkite, my sense was that he actively disliked both LBJ and Nixon, perhaps because neither was Jack Kennedy (but I'm speculating) and he let his feelings cloud his news judgment. But I could be wrong.

I do remember that everybody in the US was pretty shocked that the Viet Cong could actually penetrate the US Embassy in downtown Saigon during the Tet offensive. Everybody had been watching the US Marines fighting for their lives in Khe San, and the notion that the NVA and Viet Cong had enough strength to besiege Khe San and still simultaneously assault so many South Vietnamese cities was stunning. By then, of course, the US military was believed by nobody at all, so when they tried to tell the truth, that Tet was a US military victory, no one believed them.

My contempt for Walter Cronkite is of more recent vintage, when I learned that he joined the Kennedy clan in lobbying against the wind farm off Cape Cod. Apparently he was incapable of realizing that "everybody must sacrifice" includes wealthy retired newsmen, giving up a tiny portion of the bay they love to sail in.

Invisible Man said...

BTW, you owe Bruce an apology for the "sick, twisted" way you attempted to use his words.

In your dreams. He made a sweeping generalization about liberals with ZERO evidence. In the 7 months of Obama's presidency, we've seen vastly more plots and talk of any assissination of W. His comment held absolutely zero merit. I can find actual Republicans talking out loud about this stuff, the most I hear from you guys is some strawman about Daily Kos.


As to the bullet box comment, here it is in the Washington Post for your evidence.

reader_iam said...

As for Walter Cronkite, his tenure as an anchor almost exactly overlaps my growing-up period (I was born in 1961). His voice seems associated with so many events of that that two decades (for example, the moon landing), and that's true even though--while we watched the evening newscasts--we were primarily a newspaper family.

I think today's skepticism is FAR healthier (though I also think it can be overdone, and suspect that's sometimes done for effect, soap opera of a different type), and I would NOT want to be in an era where we look up to an anchor, of all things, as a beacon of leadership and truth. But that was a different time, and television, especially television journalism, was still pretty young. It was what it was, and we were what we were.

Onward ho.

rightwingprof said...

We were a Huntley-Brinkley household and never trusted Cronkite. I would have more respect for him had he ever admitted that he lied about the Tet Offensive.

AlphaLiberal said...

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. . . . .

They don't make reporters like that anymore (h/t Greenwald). Now it's all sycophants.

AlphaLiberal said...

Don's miss this story about the American Conservative Union selling their opinion to the highest bidder.

Principles. And that's not the only case of mercenary punditry.

Don't know if this happened in Cronkite's day.

Sheepman said...

I was sittin' home alone one night in L.A.,
Watchin' old Cronkite on the seven o'clock news.
It seems there was an earthquake that
Left nothin' but a Panama hat
And a pair of old Greek shoes.
Didn't seem like much was happenin',
So I turned it off and went to grab another beer.
Seems like every time you turn around
There's another hard-luck story that you're gonna hear
And there's really nothin' anyone can say
And I never did plan to go anyway
To Black Diamond Bay.

AlphaLiberal said...

rightwingprof, wouldn't a real prof have a footnote?

Jim said...

Invisible

" the most I hear from you guys is some strawman about Daily Kos."

Funny how you say that after I posted the link to the film that was made about assassinating Bush.

That you intentionally ignored the proof of liberal assassination fantasies in order is telling.

Your plaintive wailing about non-existent Obama threats somehow loses all its credibility when you refuse to even so much as acknowledge how liberals actually celebrated a film about killing President Bush.

You're have exposed yourself as a hypocritical fool whose only defense is the erection of blatantly false strawmen.

You're sad.

rcocean said...

I appreciate Cronkite, Smith, and Huntley and Brinkley, when I compare them to the truly awful, empty headed suits that succeeded them... Rather, Jennings, and Brokaw.

OTOH, Cronkite just read what the producers put in front of him. No real substantive difference between him and Ted Baxter in that respect. A glorified ventriloquist dummy.

David said...

Cronkite had taste and restraint. He also had a stellar journalistic history, having been a grunt reporter during the war. He wasn't a pretty face. Today his average looks might restrain his career. He was great a setting a tone: inflection of voice, facial expression, all restrained. He was lucky to be opposite Sevareid so much, because Servareid was so grave and glum that Cronkite sparkled by comparison. He treated everything, first and foremost his own job, with respect.

There were better journalists, because the scope and scale of TV reporting was so limited. (It was a big deal when the news went from 15 to 30 minutes.) But there was no one with more journalistic influence, and no one who used their influence with more restraint. Along with Murrow (and to a lesser extent Huntley and Brinkley) he created the cultural influence and credbility of television news, a asset now being cheapened and squandered by opinionated jerks on both sides of the political divide.

Chip Ahoy said...

Your many perceptive and erudite remarks and insights are most elucidating.

Out of respect and in honor of his passing I have an idea I'd like to pitch.

AJ Lynch said...

Bissage:

John Wanamaker Xmas light show or John Wanamaker anything! Damn you must be older than me. Heh.

AJ Lynch said...

Cronkite ended up living and sailing on Martha's Vineyard with the richest of the rich.

Was he the first talking head to really make big bucks?

AJ Lynch said...

Chip:
That will be a big seller brother! Maybe even more so than those extra-strength suspenders they must sell in Florida. You know- the ones that hold your pants way up high almost to your armpits.

ironrailsironweights said...

The last time I watched an evening network news show, a year or more ago, I couldn't help but notice that almost all the commercials were for medicines and other health-related products. Guess that's a pretty good indicator of the average age of most viewers.

Peter

Big Mike said...

@Invisible, thanks for the link. I hadn't been planning to write a check for Crabill, and now for certain I won't.

But why did you stop reading at the first paragraph. A little farther down we read: "(S)he said she wanted to make clear that she was not advocating armed resistance. 'I have no desire to see this country erupt in any kind of violent revolution,' Crabill said. 'I don't even own a gun.'"

So even Crabill is backing off her remarks. But it has not escaped my notice that you are not repudiating the Daily Kossacks nor the MoveOn types who advocated assassinating Cheney and Bush. May I assume that you support their views?

Joe said...

I lost all respect for Cronkite when I learned through a man who had flown in Vietnam that Cronkite had repeatedly lied about aircraft losses.

William T Sherman said...

"I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing."

Walter Cronkite
The Larry King Show
October 29, 2004


Screw Cronkite

Invisible Man said...

So even Crabill is backing off her remarks. But it has not escaped my notice that you are not repudiating the Daily Kossacks nor the MoveOn types who advocated assassinating Cheney and Bush. May I assume that you support their views?

First, I repudiate anyone who would wish someone dead over civil political differences, including liberals/conservatives/Democrats/Republicans/Libertarians/etc.

Second, I can't repudiate "types" of people, but I will repudiate actual people who you show me would say such a thing. I've been to both sites and have never seen these "types" that you speak of, but if you show me some evidence I'll dislike them just as much as I do the Ted Nugents and Hannitty's.

Third, I think you should read that account again. Obviously the words were said by Crabill, then she supported her own statement when given the chance to walk them back. And then after they became public knowledge, only then she finally try to clarify. That ain't an apology, that's a CYA. Crap like that is highly reckless and I've seen way to much of it not by anonymous commentors but actual Republican public figures about Obama.

And lastly to Jim, yes I will denounce some British people who I don't know, never heard of, aren't Americans, Democrats, American liberals or in any way affiliated with me but made a morbid, ghastly movie that was shown in Canada which I guess was kind a close to Troy, Michigan where I grew up. Now I want you to denounce Putin for being an asshat in meeting Obama.

Invisible Man said...

Jim,

Next I want you to repudiate Silvio Berlusconi.

NKVD said...

One less commie - good.

knox said...

...we had been deceived throughout your reign, and increasingly since.

Thanks for saying it better than I ever could.

I have always assumed Cronkite's Viet Nam comments were an effort to run with the cool crowd.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Cronkite acknowledged some years ago that he was a Socialist; had been for years. Sure, Cronkite's "title" was the "Most Trusted Man in America." Man we sure were dumb back then, believing reporters would deliver news honestly.

In early 1968, Giap probably thought he'd been gifted by the Gods for the Tet victory that Cronkite gave to the NVA. My bet is that there's an encrusted "Hero of the State" medal in Hanoi's secret archives that might never see the light of day.

Uncle Valter is the model for today's media; lie, cheat, distort, and misrepresent the news in order to support Socialism in all ways. The Media is doing that for Obama in so many ways.

Donna B. said...

reader_iam is correct. My family's vote was split -- my mom for Kennedy, my Dad for Nixon. We also owned Vaughn Meader's record. (I'm trying to remember, but I think there were two of them.)

Both my parents laughed at those. You didn't have to dislike the Kennedy's to find those funny. I sort of hope enough time has passed that maybe they might get some replay now.

I learned about the shooting when I walked home for lunch and found my mother and aunt glued to the TV and crying. I went back to school hungry and it was announced that Kennedy had died and school was dismissed. It was just as well as nothing was being discussed except what we'd like to do to whoever killed him.

The next few years were highly emotional and scary, MLK, RFK, seemingly never-ending wars and 6-day wars, riots and burning cities.

The area we were living in at the time was even having its own little "war". It got bad enough that my Mom forbid me to go outside or answer the door.

When she answered it, it was with a shotgun in her hand. Google Reies Tijerina for more. I think his granddaughter is trying to resurrect that controversy.

In short, the assassination of JFK triggered an upheaval in this country. Those who came of age after 1979 don't understand... and if such things started happening again inside the U.S., our 24/7 cable dummy talking heads would be reporting the end of the world "as we know it".

Blame Cronkite for all you want except the show of emotion at Kennedy's death. That was real and most of the country was feeling it.

kathleen said...

You can always count on Alphaliberal and his ilk to provide today's Talking Point, nevermind if it's a complete non sequitur in the thread.

ironrailsironweights said...

In short, the assassination of JFK triggered an upheaval in this country. Those who came of age after 1979 don't understand... and if such things started happening again inside the U.S., our 24/7 cable dummy talking heads would be reporting the end of the world "as we know it".

It's been said that if you think in cultural rather than chronological terms, the 1950's ended and the 1960's began not on December 31, 1959, but with JFK's assassination almost four years later. In turn, the 1960's ended a few years into the next decade, either with the fall of South Vietnam or the Arab oil embargo.

Peter

Jeremy said...

Only the right wing jerkoffs who spend most of their petty lives on this site, whining and bitching about damn near everything, would spend an entire thread denigrating a man like Walter Cronkite, within hours of his death.

With the exception of only a few, you're a creepy and thoroughly disgusting group of assholes who can't bring themselves, for even one day, to separate petty politics from humanity.

I'd feel sorry for you if not for the fact that I know most of you are pure unadulterated losers.

rhhardin said...

this story about the American Conservative Union selling their opinion to the highest bidder

My opinion is for sale, if anybody is interested.

Methadras said...

All of these people keep dying for Obama to keep his marxist bullshit off the front pages and headlines of tv and print. He has to be the luckiest fraud in recent memory.

Cedarford said...

Wright - In early 1968, Giap probably thought he'd been gifted by the Gods for the Tet victory that Cronkite gave to the NVA. My bet is that there's an encrusted "Hero of the State" medal in Hanoi's secret archives that might never see the light of day.

No probably about it. Gen Giap wrote extensive memoirs and he was very specific in his gratitude for Fellow Travellers, and Jews of Great Historical affinity for the Soviet Union - doing their best in university intelligensia and the media to swing the war to favor the "Peoples Forces". He also credited "tireless work of the Soviets, and the Left in Europe" for helping him win by propaganda what he couldn't do on the battlefield.
Giap didn't credit Democrats directly, but noted that with Nixon's fall and the ensuing aid cutoff...Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia would all become progressive communist states..Though things went unexpectedly in Cambodia from "a renegade, incorrect variant of Maoism".
Giap also noted the Americans were good fighters and their artillery and B-52s were the most damaging. And he admitted that Nixon's bombing and mining of Haiphong "truly broke us and forced Leadership to end years of deliberate stalling in Paris to make it end before we had to sue for peace on more favorable terms to the Americans and the Puppet Regime".

dick said...

We are not just denigrating Cronkite. We are telling it like it is, not like the MSM will portray him. We had to live through the results of his lies. Many Americans died because of his lies when the NVA continued the war rather than surrender as they were ready to. The south Vietnamese ended up in re-education camps because of him. The country suffered through years of torture because of him. In many ways the Cambodian and Laotian genocides happened because of his lies.

He was trusted to tell the truth and did not. Later he finally showed his true colors with his attitude towards the wind farm when it might actually spoil his view. NIMBY writ large.

You can lie to yourself all you want but that is what you are doing. Learn from people who lived through all that.

Jeremy said...

Dick - "We are not just denigrating Cronkite."

Right:

"One less commie - good."

"Cronkite does get credit for losing the Vietnam war."

"We shouldn't have trusted him."

"Walter Cronkite was a liar, and a coward..."

"What a poseur!"

"My reaction was "he was still alive?"

As if ANY of these fools have ever done anything of consequence in their entire little lives.

Disgusting.

Jeremy said...

William T Sherman - He was talking about a Bin Laden VIDEO suddenly appearing before an election...you moron.

Jeremy said...

Over 70 comments denigrating Walter Cronkite.

Ann...you have one hell of a following.

AJ Lynch said...

Jeremy:

I suggest you re-read the 80 comments.

Some are negative and some are positive and some do not offer an opinion of Cronkite.

Alex said...

Good riddance to "Uncle Valter". One less Commie!

I'm going to have a drink tonight to celebrate his timely death!

rhhardin said...

I always assumed, with Cronkite, that he was meant for some other audience.

Just like most of the stuff in the media.

Alex said...

BTW, Archie Bunker hated Uncle Valter too. I'm with Archie! Hope Uncle Valter finds it nice and TOASTY where he will be residing with Uncle Joe and Uncle Adolf!

Henry Buck said...

Nicholson Baker's novel "Checkpoint" also includes a Bush assassination fantasy.

The Obama stuff was mostly brought up by other Democrats, during the primaries, as a reason not to vote for him.

Iapetus said...

I think people may have tended to confuse Cronkite with another beloved W of those bygone days, Walt Disney. I can see why kids trusted Uncle Walt, but by his colossal misjudgment WC proved to be in the toilet for the VC.

Henry Buck said...

And look, here's a "mockumentary" about Bush being assassinated in Chicago: Death of a President

Henry Buck said...

New York Daily News April 11, 2007:

A FAMED CITY theater group is inviting controversy by staging a play in which a character thinly veiled as President Bush gets assassinated.

"President and Man" begins a five-day run at The Duke on 42nd St. tonight as one of eight one-act plays staged by the Naked Angels Theater Company, whose members include Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick.

jag said...

"The Most Trusted Man in America"

Really?

Even at the height of his career, Cronkite was the face of TV journalism for, what, roughly one third of households? The majority of viewers, including my folks, looked elsewhere.

Also, wasn't he forced out by CBS to make room for Dan Rather?

If only the media could refrain from reducing a man's life to an advertising slogan. He was an accomplished TV journalist in the age before the fragmentation of markets. A credit to his profession. But this tendency to canonize dead celebrities wears thin.

Henry Buck said...

Although, to be fair, the New York
times criticized an artist's depiction of Bush with a gun pointed at his head, on a sheet of fake 37 cent stamps, as "crude and obvious."

Cedarford said...

Same day Walter Cronkite died, a more interesting man, perhaps, Henry Allingham - passed.

Henry had lived long enough to be the Oldest Man in The World.

He was also one of the 3 last Brit Vets of WWI. The last survivor of the Battle of Jutland. The last survivor of the Naval Air Service. The last surviving founding member of the Royal Air Force. The only WWI Vet for the last 20 years to have served aboard ship, in an air squadron, and seconded to the Army. He was dispatched to aid in trenches - to defuse & clear Hun bombs.

"My memory will always be of the smell of mud and rotting flesh"

Outlived all his children. His wife dead of old age back in 1970.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1200516/After-113-remarkable-years-Henry-Allingham-worlds-oldest-man-passes-history.html;jsessionid=4707E680976A37E9417870CA5BF97881

Worked for Ford Motor Co, for 30 years and a variety of firms after his retirement from Ford. Was a non-degreed engineer, rising from air, naval, and auto mechanic.

He joked recently that his long age was due to cigarettes, whiskey, and wild, wild women. (Then confessed he actually began watching his health and cutting back on the booze, sex, and cigarettes in his 80s..)

Uncle Walter may have had the more celebrity-filled life and died wealthier ..... but maybe, just maybe...if there is a heaven...Walter will get sight of an honor guard of angels lined up for Allingham, with news he gets sent himself to Purgatory for "many years of duplicity">.

BJM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremy said...

There are many, many really, really sick people posting comments on this thread.

Losers.

BJM said...

The thing we forget about the impact of the Kennedy assassination is that it was the first 100% media saturation/wall-to-wall coverage of an event in real time.

As to Cronkite, I never cared for his patronizing delivery and as an DOD contractor working at CINCPAC from 66-69, I knew Cronkite was lying.

However to be fair, everyone was lying. The command, DOD, SecDef, the WH, the media; everyone.

Although the media earned a special place in hell for their duplicity as they reported "pacification" hand out data as if it were tenable or real. TIME was the most egregious.

The penultimate book on the war is Esquire correspondent/writer Michael Herr's "Dispatches". The helicopter gunner scene from Full Metal Jacket is taken directly from Dispatches.

Alex said...

There are many, many really, really sick people posting comments on this thread.

Losers.

7/18/09 5:45 PM

What just because I'm celebrating Uncle Valter's death that makes me sick and a loser? You'll have to come up with more objective criteria then that!

Ralph L said...

The one good thing Cronkite did was get LBJ out of the White House, but I doubt it was intentional.

Wasn't Rather the first one to make more than $1 million a year, or am I thinking of Baba Wawa the first woman to do so? I know Rather was getting ~$5 mil in the 80's while CBS was cutting newsroom jobs and foreign desks.

Baron Zemo said...

You should heed the wise words of that savant Jeremy.

He is the true soul of the Althouse blog.

The Crack Emcee said...

Former Law Student,

"Walter Cronkite went ashore on D-Day, parachuted with the l0lst Airborne, and flew bombing mission over Germany. I wonder what bravery the coward who dishonors Cronkite from the safety of his keyboard has exhibited."

Ha! You fool! Who do you think you're talking to? I grew in the most fearsome gang territory in America - South Central, Los Angeles - and have a body full of scars to prove it, all from standing up to people your punk ass wouldn't dare look in the eye. I've been stabbed, shot at, strangled, hit by two-by-fours, and knocked-the-fuck-out, in more fights (that I didn't start) than I can count, and guess what? I'm still here, talking shit.

Not everybody has the luxury of living a life of leisure in cushy surroundings and I - as a foster child - definitely never qualified. Every house I went to was a Lord of the Flies situation and I was determined, not just to live, but to survive every assault. Ever been awakened with a table leg to the gut, only to be hit in the mouth as you buckled? I have - all because I was "the new kid". I'm positive most of you wouldn't have survived my childhood because most of the people I grew up with didn't.

Also, I served in the United States military during the Iranian Hostage crisis, and won several medals, specifically for bravery. And more-than-a-few women owe their very lives to my intervention as they were accosted in public and everybody else "didn't want to get involved". In case you can't tell, by the way I write, I'm made from a different kind of stuff than the rest of y'all.

Let me tell you something: My father served in Germany during WWII, suffering horrible nightmares for the rest of his entire life, so I know a fucking reporter going ashore on D-Day don't mean he was "in the shit". Same thing with parachuting or flying overhead - which, both, sound like pretty safe endeavors to me.

I've got friend who went to Iraq, a Newsweek photographer, and I told him to go with the Marines if he wanted to shoot the shit. It hadn't occurred to him on his own, which I think was typical of those pussies who lived in The Green Zone.

Only those of you who qualify as "civilians" (in, both, the military and gang terms) would assume that A) you know anything about what it takes for someone like me to repeatedly gather my will and physically head face-first into my greatest fears - merely from reading about someone who's had to do it as a fact of life - or B) you could possibly understand, from the safety of your home with Mommy and Daddy's protection, what others - especially people in ghettos - have to live with, or C) everyone who speaks could possibly be as big a bunch of pussies as the rest of you appear to be.

I wasn't raised that way, bitch: I raised myself. Haven't you heard?

It's called The Macho Response

Ralph L said...

Walter Cronkite.
1. Dead, now, at 92.
Dead, later, still 92.

MadisonMan said...

We only had CBS at home when I was growing up (WFBG until it changed monikers) -- so Walter Cronkite dying is like part of my childhood dying.

William T Sherman said...

**He was talking about a Bin Laden VIDEO suddenly appearing before an election...you moron.**

And the barking mad Cronkite opined that Bin Laden released the video on orders from the Bush White House.

Defend that one dimwit.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

If TV and Cronkite were around 300 years ago, he could have broadcast that 'Washington was losing the war' when Washington was pushed out of NY and it wouldn't have made any difference. The country had debated it and our representatives had pledged 'our lives, our fortune and our sacred honor' in the cause. This was not the case in VN. We had not debated it. It was a police action; the state is supposed to have an effective monopoly on violence. Hard claim under the circumstances. It would have been different if we knew who was in the neighborhood that they wanted us there, that we had allies but we didn't.

Jim said...

Invisible -

"And lastly to Jim, yes I will denounce some British people who I don't know, never heard of, aren't Americans, Democrats, American liberals or in any way affiliated with me but made a morbid, ghastly movie that was shown in Canada which I guess was kind a close to Troy, Michigan where I grew up."

The TIFF is one of the biggest film festivals in the world, and it is primarily a showcase for American films trying to market their product to Canadians. Do yourself a favor and see how many of "liberal elite" are in attendance at the TIFF: pretty much everybody who's anybody in the Hollywood and New York social scene. You know, the same ones who spent the last 8 years telling America how horrible it was that they have no freedom of speech under Bush. I guess they mean that other freedom of speech because they were certainly free to fantasize about killing Bush. Show me even one criticism from one of those people, or any other even quasi-liberal person who ever condemned the film. Go ahead. I dare you. You can't, and you know it.

Now man up. You said liberals didn't fantasize about assassinating Republicans. I proved you were either lying or out of the country for the last 8 years and completely ignorant of reality. Admit it. Or are you still willing to lie about it some more?

"Now I want you to denounce Putin for being an asshat in meeting Obama."

Why? Did Obama's wittle feewings get hurt that Putin didn't fall all over himself to worship at his feet the way you and your friends do? Awwww.....poor wittle Obama. Welcome to the real world, moron.

JAL said...

It's a very real possibility that Cronkite is overrated.

Seems to me he was the start of journalists trying to shape and make the news in his bid to contribute to end the Vietnam War.

Too bad that era hasn't ended yet.

Revenant said...

It is easy to be trusted when you control access to information.

former law student said...

Many Americans died because of his lies when the NVA continued the war rather than surrender as they were ready to.

In 1968, South Vietnam was more ready to surrender than North Vietnam was.

Revenant said...

In 1968, South Vietnam was more ready to surrender than North Vietnam was.

In 1941, the free nations of the world were more ready to surrender than the Axis was. But it still wouldn't have been admirable for an American newscaster to recommend surrender.

Hector Owen said...

I was always sort of, I dunno, would the word be "bemused," by his name, which in German means sickness, illness, or disease: "Krankheit," pronounced exactly the same. Now, here's Walter Sickness with the news.

Hector Owen said...

I liked his "You Are There" shows a lot. Time travel on a budget.

Bissage said...

(1) Henry Buck . . . thanks much.

(2) AJ Lynch . . . heck, I’m so old I can remember when Wanamaker's organ got circumcised.

Paul Snively said...

Honestly, I think it tells us everything we need to know that, as a nation, we're supposed to mourn Walter Cronkite's death, but no one seems to note that it's the anniversary of the death of Adam Smith, who did vastly more good for vastly more people than Mr. Cronkite ever could have.

PerfectMomentProject said...

Must trusted is a cliche, perhaps, but honestly, Walter Cronkite was the second most important man in my life.

Walter Cronkite reinforced the lessons my father gave me.

And then in so many ways, he became the man who helped shape my life into the extraordinary journey that it's been.

Thank you, Mr. Cronkite.

William said...

Walter had a receding hairline and a paunch. He wasn't hired for his looks. He delivered the news in a crisp, dispassionate way that was the opposite of showy. He seemed to be a decent man who tried to bear honest witness to the events of his time. I think it is fair to say that he got some important things wrong and some of the eternal verities he believed in were nothing more than the prejudices of the Martha's Vinyard crowd......To conservatives, I would observe that great men like Wellington, Lincoln, Churchill were on the wrong side on many important issues. Walter deserves a little charity for his missed calls. I would make a similar observation to liberals. Cronkite got a lot of things wrong and does not deserve canonization. I have not heard a single reservation uttered about Cronkite's wisdom during all the tv coverage of his career......Life is lived forward and understood backward for most people. But not for liberals. Cronkite joins a distinguished line of journalists from Lincoln Steffens to Beatrice Webb to Theodore White who missed the big story and whose myopia was called visionary by their peers.

dick said...

fls,

And you know specifically that South Vietnam was more ready to surrender in 1968 than the North was precisely how. We already know from the leading general that the North was ready to surrender. How do you know about the South being ready to surrender.

Alex said...

fls,

And you know specifically that South Vietnam was more ready to surrender in 1968 than the North was precisely how. We already know from the leading general that the North was ready to surrender. How do you know about the South being ready to surrender.

==================================
Because everything a leftist says is lies and bullshit.

Alex said...

Now the questions is why does the leftist hate America so much? Why does FLS/Obama/Pelosi/Alinsky want to destroy America and replace it with some kind of Communist Utopia?

knox said...

Now, here's Walter Sickness with the news.

LOL.

knox said...

Now, someone tell us what "Walter" means.

Floridan said...

Here's my idea of why Cronkite was the prototypical journalist -- he went along on a bombing raid over Germany in the days before the Allies had air superiority.

How many of our pontificators (whether professional journalists or bloggers) would have the guts to do that for a story?

The airwar over Europe was the deadliest battle for Americans in WWII.

Ralph L said...

when Wanamaker's organ got circumcised.
It became a Wurlitzer.

William said...

I think a fair obituary of Charles Lindbergh would take note of the fact that at a crucial moment in history he was sympathetic to Hitler. This doesn't make Lindbergh a bad man, but he missed that call. Likewise I think a fair obituary of Walter Cronkite should take note of the fact that he misinterpreted the meaning of the Tet Offensive.....I'm sure Cronkite was decent man and was right about a lot of things, but those who don't acknowledge their mistakes are bound to repeat them. Can't liberals at least admit that Walter's views were in some instances distorted?

f1b0nacc1 said...

William,

I don't entirely agree with our assessment of Cronkite (he missed a whole lot more than just Tet's meaning, and he didn't just 'miss' Tet, there is some evidence that he willfully misrepresented it), but your core point that all great men are on the bad side of some issues is a valid and thoughtful one. That sort of balance and reason is all too often missing from these threads...

Jeremy said...

William said..."Can't liberals at least admit that Walter's views were in some instances distorted?"

Sure they can, but what makes you think "liberals" see Cronkite as some kind of God like figure? People who report or read the news on a daily basis are reliant upon the information they receive, and sometimes what they report is sometimes not accurate. (Ever watch Fox News?)

Cronkite was a respected and yes, revered journalist and news show host, but I've never read anything suggesting that liberals never saw him as being wrong about ANYTHING.

This silly notion being put forth here, by many of the local wingnuts, that Walter Cronkite "lost the Vietnam War" is just right wing drivel. Most here evidently forget Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Kissinger, McNamara and many others who contributed to the situation.

Instead, they blame Walter Cronkite??

Anybody who's taken the time to read anything of substance relating to the Vietnam War knows there are many factors that created the fiasco it became, and the end result we experienced.

Unfortunately, most here could care less about facts or actual history, but only trashing anybody they feel is not just like them.

Big Mike said...

@Jim, there's no point in losing your temper at Invisible Man or any other far leftist who comments on this blog. One minor-league Republican fringe candidate mis-speaks in the heat of her own rhetoric, and in his strange universe what she's really doing is expressing the hidden desires for all Republicans. (Kind of like Biden, for the Obama administration.) The Democrat base applauds movies about assassinating George W. Bush, but, in his universe, that's only a teensy-weensy, tiny handful of the very, very extreme extremists. That's not really the base, you see. Daily Kos told him so, and the great Markos would not lie.

At any rate, as I said, there's no point in losing your temper. He chooses not to live in the real world and you cannot make him live there. Sometimes I get into a fey mood and twit the Invisible Man or the inaptly-named AlphaLiberal (he's a liberal, but only the most desperate woman would mistake him for an alpha male), just for the sake of making fun of them. But it's only to score some cheap points, not because I think they can be persuaded to see reality.

(I stopped teasing Jeremy because the Professor asked us not to feed the trolls.)

And there's absolutely no point in telling a liberal male to "man up."

Baron Zemo said...

Please do not denigrate Jeremy and his immense contribution to this place.

He is the new face of this space.

A protected and cherished cog in the Althouse machine.

All hail him!!!!!!

former law student said...

We already know from the leading general that the North was ready to surrender. How do you know about the South being ready to surrender.

I need to get a reading list for you guys but my internet keeps going out. If you're relying on what General Giap said, remember what Dr. Fred Schwarz said:

You can trust the Communists -- to be Communists.

==================================
Because everything a leftist says is lies and bullshit.

Find another source, then, if you don't already have one: I assure you that General Giap is much further to the left than I am.

Big Mike said...

@FLS, you sure about that?

former law student said...

I had to go out and repair the phone line at the junction box -- the screw terminals were fearfully corroded.

While I'm looking, here's a quote from "Conservapedia, The Trustworthy Encyclopedia."

[T]he Viet Cong's surprise Tet Offensive in January 1968 deeply hurt both the Viet Cong infrastructure and American and South Vietnamese morale.

If North Vietnam had been ready to surrender, this was a closely kept secret. Certainly Westmoreland did not press his advantage, although he did suggest he could win the war with an additional 200K troops. Considering US troop levels had shot up ("escalated") from less than 20K in 1963 to more than half a million in 1968, without being able to break the back of the Communist resistance, this request received much opposition from the age group from which the additional 200K would be drawn, ending in the Siege of Chicago, in Norman Mailer's phrase.

Jeremy said...

Transcript of the February '68 Vietnam commentary by Walter Cronkite. It saved 1,000's of American lives:

"Tonight, back in more familiar surroundings in New York, we'd like to sum up our findings in Vietnam, an analysis that must be speculative, personal, subjective. Who won and who lost in the great Tet offensive against the cities? I'm not sure.

The Vietcong did not win by a knockout, but neither did we. The referees of history may make it a draw. Another standoff may be coming in the big battles expected south of the Demilitarized Zone. Khesanh could well fall, with a terrible loss in American lives, prestige and morale, and this is a tragedy of our stubbornness there; but the bastion no longer is a key to the rest of the northern regions, and it is doubtful that the American forces can be defeated across the breadth of the DMZ with any substantial loss of ground. Another standoff.

On the political front, past performance gives no confidence that the Vietnamese government can cope with its problems, now compounded by the attack on the cities. It may not fall, it may hold on, but it probably won't show the dynamic qualities demanded of this young nation. Another standoff.

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. They may be right, that Hanoi's winter-spring offensive has been forced by the Communist realization that they could not win the longer war of attrition, and that the Communists hope that any success in the offensive will improve their position for eventual negotiations. It would improve their position, and it would also require our realization, that we should have had all along, that any negotiations must be that -- negotiations, not the dictation of peace terms.

For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. This summer's almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation; and for every means we have to escalate, the enemy can match us, and that applies to invasion of the North, the use of nuclear weapons, or the mere commitment of one hundred, or two hundred, or three hundred thousand more American troops to the battle. And with each escalation, the world comes closer to the brink of cosmic disaster.

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. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy's intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations.

But 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.

This is Walter Cronkite. Good night."

Jeremy said...

Baron Zemo - Nehmen Sie dass alter Hahn von Ihrem und schieben Sie ihn herauf Ihre saggy alte Ass.

PrestoPundit said...

No. I didn't trust Cronkite.

It was obvious every night that Cronkite was a partisan pulling for the Democrat Party and for Big Government and that he was against the Republican Team and against classic limited government. Cronkite was an obvious "Homer" and the home team was the Democrats.

So there was no trust there.

But my dad watched Cronkite and then Rather every night, regardless.

It seemed insane, dad knew these guys were not straight shooters, but he couldn't stop watching the stuff, as if he enjoyed being put upon by the biased news.

reader_iam said...

I'm impressed, PrestoPundit: You've taken good care of yourself. You look at least 10, if not 15-20, years younger than what your actual age must be.

Jim Howard said...

Here's a pretty good summary of some of the many many hate filled death wish fantasies from prominent left wingers:

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