Friday, July 17, 2009

And that's the way it was...

...just because he said so. Just home from work to hear the news of Walter Cronkite's death at 92. I can't really describe the phenomenon that was Walter Cronkite at the peak of his power to someone who wasn't there to observe and experience it. There's no individual, indeed, there's no instituttion in American live today that commands the air of authority that Cronkite carried for so long. America trusted him, and he fulfilled that trust with integrity on and off the air.

Rest in peace, Uncle Walter.

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Anonymous Terry Parkhurst said...

After Walter Cronkite visited what was then South Vietnam, in early 1968, after the Tet offensive (if memory serves) and announced, on air, that the war was essentially unwinnable, President Johnson reportedly said, "If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost the country."

That's the way it was indeed.

11:47 PM  
Blogger libhom said...

Can you imagine a reporter or news reader these days telling the truth about the war on Iraq like Cronkite told the truth about Vietnam? Corporate interests sure have locked down the content on their media.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Terry Parkhurst said...

Correction: in doing further research, last night, I found that what then President Johnson said, was "If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost the middle class." My mistake is that I have heard that LBJ said, "..lost America." But that's the problem with second-hand information.

The quote dates itself also, by dint of the fact that it refers to the "middle class." At that time, it wasn't a debatable thing, such as last year's question about "Does making more than $250,000 a year, make you rich?"

The middle class, in 1968, could refer to assembly line workers in Detroit, MI or even at the AMC (American Motors Corporation) line in Kenosha WI. The middle class meant you owned your own house, had medical coverage for your family adn a car or two, in the driveway. It meant you were akin to the character than Clint Eastwood portrayed in the movie, "Gran Torino."

To the point made by the last post, indeed you won't find anyone on either MSNBC or certainly FOX News, speaking out against the government. Those who did, in the past few years, were suddenly unable to be "embedded" with the troops. That happened to one photographer of note - can't recall his name - who published photos, such as the little Iraqi girl, covered with her parents blood (killed in front of her at a checkpoint, when they misunderstood and didn't stop), to his website.

Freedom of the press is just about gone. The Internet counters some of that, but as for MM (Mainsteam Media) money just doesn't talk, it screams.

2:46 PM  

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