Friday, July 17, 2009
The Most Trusted Man In America
Walter Cronkite died today…
As a young girl I would imagine that my real parents were coming to get me at any moment. I couldn’t possibly belong to the wolves I was being raised by. My imaginary Moms alternated from Colleen Dewhurst to Rosalind Russell or Maureen Stapleton.
My imaginary father was always Walter Cronkite.
He had a kind face. I loved the way his eyes crinkled when he smiled. His voice was deep, yet gentle. And he was wise. A wise gentle man.
From 1962 to 1981 Walter Cronkite delivered to the nation the nightly news. He was always calm and informative. His face never betrayed a personal feeling or opinion. His job was to give us the facts, and he did.
It was only while announcing the death of President Kennedy that Mr. Cronkite let emotion creep in. I was in grammar school when John Kennedy died yet I vividly remember Mr. Cronkite’s voice cracking as he removed his glasses and wiped away a tear as he looked at the newsroom clock and announced that our President had died.
From as early as I can remember I was interested in politics and world affairs and current events. I feel honored to have been able to receive my news from Mr. Cronkite. I wish our children had someone like that to experience the world’s events through.
The legend of Walter Cronkite will never come our way again. Even in the best of all possible newscasts he is impossible to replace.
This excerpt from his online bio sums it up for me …
Cronkite raised television news broad casting to a level of professionalism that was praised around the world. His qualifications as a newspaperman and war correspondent, along with his unwillingness to stray from a hard news format that dealt only with important events and their facts, demonstrated that acceptance and popularity in television news need not rest on covering trivial topics. Walter Cronkite continues to be admired by both his colleagues and by his audience. For many people he is the example of what a broadcast journalist should be.
In a sea of weeping and wailing buffoons. In a rat’s nest of snarking and snarling heads. In a pit of destructive and hateful circus performers... Amen to that …
I believe I got my hunger for always knowing the whole story from watching Walter Cronkite. I believe I got my curiosity about far away places and people vastly different from me from Walter Cronkite. I know I got my insistence on presenting things in their full context from Walter Cronkite – and for that I am deeply grateful.
I am also grateful to have had the opportunity to watch Mr. Cronkite deliver the news with my son beside me. Although he was very young I remember Jeffrey saying that Mr. Cronkite made him feel “smarter”, and gave him a sense that “the world will be OK”
Peaceful journey Mr. Cronkite …