It was no joke that Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in America. The man was the gold standard in television news. He set the bar high that all journalists look up to.
He covered it all, from World War II as a war correspondent, to presidential elections. From assassinations of the Kennedy’s and Martin Luther King to Vietnam, Watergate and the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
He reported the news for CBS from 1950 to his “retirement” in 1981. You could say he was the deliverer of American history for almost 45 years and he did it with calm and grace. Not insulting, but almost like a friend you know.
During the JFK assassination in 1963, he showed that calm that could be described as “amazing” while reporting the grim news on the president’s death.
See the video below.
President Lyndon Johnson looked at Cronkite as his downfall during the Vietnam war, when he commented, “If I lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America.”
The Democratic party even tried to recruit Cronkite to run for president in 1972. He received a 72% percent approval rating that year, 20 percent higher than President Nixon. He declined the offer.
As I reflect on his death, I can’t help but look at the news business I’ve been a part of for the last 15 years and shake my head in disgust. Pretenders and arrogant, self-righteous news hosts claiming to be “fair and balanced”. This business has changed for the worst and Cronkite’s death just confirmed it.
They don’t make ’em like him anymore. In fact, I highly doubt if we’ll see another news journalist like him in our lifetime.