CBS) The "most trusted man in America" is gone. Walter Cronkite, who personified television journalism for more than a generation as anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News," has died. CBS … see full wiki
Walter Cronkite is gone. He was an American icon who set the standard for journalistic excellence. He was 92 years old. During his long and distinguished career Mr. Cronkite covered more major news stories than any other journalist in history. Prior to joining CBS News he was a distinguished war correspondent for United Press International. He joined CBS in 1950 and served in a number of important posts including Moscow Bureau Chief, an especially important slot in the days of the Cold War. He was also the host of two popular CBS News programs "You Are There" and "The Twentieth Century". No one in the history of broadcasting was ever more prepared to assume the role of nightly news anchor. It's not even close! To give you some perspective, when Walter took over the CBS Evening News is 1963 the broadcast was expanded from 15 minutes to a full half hour. It seemed positively revolutionary at the time! During his nearly two decades at the anchor desk Walter Cronkite covered the civil rights movement, the fledgling U.S. space program, the Vietnam War,political assassinations and the Watergate scandal. The list goes on and on. And as you might expect, it was Walter Cronkite who was the first to break the news that John Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. When he had to announce to the nation that the President was dead he did so with such grace and genuine emotion. He fought to hold back the tears. Those who saw it will never forget that footage.
In 2009, it is inconceivable that anyone in broadcast journalism could ever be considered "the most trusted person in America". There are so many shills on the air these days. During his nearly two decades as anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News" Walter Cronkite earned the respect and trust of the American people. He was surrounded by an impressive group of seasoned correspondents who were only interested in getting the story and making sure that they got it right. Yes, there were opinions expressed once or twice a week on the "CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite". That task fell to another one of Ed Murrow's boys at CBS Eric Sevareid. Mr. Sevareid was no longer a reporter and CBS offered him a chance to offer his commentary on the issues of the day. These editorials were clearly labelled as such and Mr. Sevareid's observations were always thoughtful and never inflamatory. Managing editor Walter Cronkite would never allow anything less. I was a faithful viewer of the broadcast for all those many years. And I can honestly report that I never really knew what Walter's political views were. And that's the way it was......and the way it should be.