Friday, July 17, 2009


Walter Cronkite, legendary broadcast journalist and news anchor, died today at the age of 92. He was a trusted voice in turbulent times, and brought us the daily news and the historic events, the moon landings and political conventions, the assassinations and wars. His broadcast after the Tet Offensive is often credited with turning the American public against the Vietnam war. Long before television news deteriorated to around-the-clock infotainment, Cronkite earned our trust without super graphics or computer generated flash, without ranting or teasing or pandering to popular taste.

They don't make 'em like Walter anymore. Nowadays, news anchors are better looking and less informed, pretty faces without a trace of understanding in their eyes, mere teleprompter readers with studio tans and perfect smiles. These days, the job seems closer to modeling than reportage. We're going to miss Cronkite.

Cronkite reports the assassination of President John F Kennedy.

Cronkite's reports from Vietnam challenged the hawks and swayed public opinion.

Update: a good note from Salon's Glenn Greenwald, "Celebrating Cronkite While Ignoring What He Did." Click here for the story.

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