Today, my spouse and I saw the Walter Cronkite exhibit at the LBJ Library in Austin. It was terrific and worth the struggle to get there through the Austin traffic. The exhibit will be there until the first of the year and is definitely worth seeing. Cronkite was a remarkable guy and reported on the major events during my life. He was probably the last great reporter. He was objective in his reporting and didn’t give the usual liberal or conservative slant. It was just straight, interesting news and ended with “that’s the way it is.”
Cronkite was born in Missouri and moved to Texas when he was 10. He attended public school in Houston and then attended the University of Texas. He ran out of money and didn’t graduate from UT. It was probably okay that he didn’t graduate because college is for those who don’t have the natural talent of folks like Walter Cronkite or a Mark Twain.
He started reporting after dropping out of college and progressed to became the most distinguished of all broadcast journalist. He reported on the Great Depression, World War II, the Nuremberg Nazis trials. the moon landing, Vietnam, Watergate and probably the most emotional of all reports, the assassination of John Kennedy.
After a visit to Vietnam and the realization of the hopelessness of the situation he did give an editorial comment at the end of his newscast, suggesting that we should pull out and try to negotiate an honorable peace. LBJ said that if he had lost Walter Cronkite , he had lost Vietnam. That editorial comment was made in good taste and is so unlike the current journalist who bad-mouth everything and think they are making policy.
The only time that Cronkite seemed to chock up when reporting was when he announced that Kennedy was dead. That made everyone chock up, including me. He also became pretty emotional when Armstrong set foot on the moon.
Things seemed to deteriorate when Cronkite left the air. I had hopes for Dan Rather because he was a fellow Texan. Rather dropped the news to an all time low with his false report on President Bush. Now the airway is filled with experts on the left and right espousing their views and screaming at each other. I had rather watch the commercials than listen to the news and the political pundits.
So, I get most of the news from my computer as I sit on the poerch. I do miss Walter Cronkite and it’s higly unlikely we will ever see another broadcast journalist with his class.