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Walter Cronkite
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Sep 13, 2021 17:44:04   #
therwol Loc: USA
 
TriX wrote:
When news outlets didn’t have an agenda and just reported the news.


At some point, he did come out against the Vietnam war.

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Sep 13, 2021 23:27:34   #
pendennis
 
He was a news anchor in an era when the news was confined to either print media or one of the other two channels, NBC or ABC. At the time, even printed media such as Time, Newsweek, NY Times, etc., leaned to the left. NBC had Huntley/Brinkley, and ABC was Howard K. Smith, neither of whom could be labeled as "Conservative". The only outlets which had a true conservative bent would have been WSJ and a few regional daily papers, including the Christian Science Monitor. Famously Cronkite said, during the 1968 Communist Tet Offensive, that the conflict was lost. However, the truth is that Tet was an absolute disaster for North Viet Nam, and the combat effectiveness of the Viet Cong was reduced to zero.

We accepted that brand of news at face value, with only people such as William F. Buckley to openly espouse a conservative viewpoint. Not until the 80's, when CNN was launched, and then when Fox News and the internet came along, did folks get a different viewpoint of the news.

By and large, the NY Times flew under false colors. They touted how they got at the truth in their news stories and investigative journalism, but they were/are the biggest apologists for Communism/Socialism to disgrace the printed page.

To wit: In the early years of the Soviet Union, Lenin, then Stalin allowed sympathizers and fellow travelers to tout the wonder of Communism, albeit under their control. A reporter from the NY Times, Walter Duranty, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting from the Soviet Union. It was discovered that his story was mostly fiction, and Duranty was discredited by any number of journalists and historians who wrote the truth. It's been demanded that the Pulitzer committee withdraw the prize, since Duranty's work was nearly all fiction. However, this demand has been largely ignored.

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Sep 14, 2021 05:55:04   #
DAN Phillips Loc: Graysville, GA
 
I remember Walter, a great newsman, caring and factual. Great man!

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Sep 14, 2021 07:16:52   #
whfowle Loc: Tampa first, now Albuquerque
 
What irritates me the most is what is considered news. Their choices favor what will bring in ratings: scandals, wrecks, police activities, politics, etc. Maybe, at the end, they will bring in one positive piece. Year by year, it seems to get worse. I would like it if they would not try to make money off the news and just report what happened today with a balance of good and some bad if important to the whole community. Not every robbery and killing. We all know that goes on in every big city. It doesn't need to be reported. The other irritant is how the so called local news always seems to repeat what is going on in Washington. If I wanted to know that, then I would be watching the major affiliate broadcasts out of New York.

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Sep 14, 2021 07:33:58   #
Canisdirus
 
His on air persona was very different from who he really was.
It was a LOT easier back then to shade personal beliefs.
So...what did he believe.
Liberal democrat...globalist...was in favor of a world government and global taxes...he even won a 'global governance award'...believed the US should give up some of its sovereign rights.
Heh..he also thought Jimmy Carter was the smartest President he ever met.

What you saw on the screen wasn't...Walter.

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Sep 14, 2021 07:52:59   #
markngolf Loc: Bridgewater, NJ
 
Every night we watched Walter Cronkite! He was a trusted source for the "news".
Mark

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Sep 14, 2021 07:56:38   #
bw79st Loc: New York City
 
The broadcasters didn't particularly want to carry a news division but did so to satisfy the "public interest" that the FCC required of a license holder. The networks supplied the stations with news to keep them happy. The networks, in turn, did not run their news divisions as profit centers as they were just complying with the FCC and playing the game so they would not get in trouble. Then in 1987 the "Fairness Doctrine" was dropped. The companies taking over the networks were requiring all divisions to show a profit. So the news divisions were now competing for advertisers and ratings. The days of Walter Cronkite had ended.

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Sep 14, 2021 08:02:04   #
OldShooter
 
As a photojournalist, it was my great privilege to have been assigned to several stories he covered in Europe, the Mideast, and northern Africa in the 1970s---though I don’t pretend to put myself in his league. Two points worth noting: At one time he was considered “the most trusted man in America,” which says something about the general regard for him. Second, journalism at that time was a first-name endeavor, except when it came to him. Everyone referred to and called him Mister Cronkite. That says something about the respect of his peers. Even in those days when journalism strived to find and report the facts, leaving the shaping of opinion to others, he was one of a kind, head and shoulders above all the rest.

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Sep 14, 2021 08:03:27   #
ecobin Loc: Paoli, PA
 
He was the best. Most of the anchors in that era were focused on the truth and not trying to spin anything - too bad spin is in!

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Sep 14, 2021 08:11:47   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
Wasn't he "The Most Trusted Man in America" at one time?

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Sep 14, 2021 08:50:10   #
brontodon
 
OldShooter wrote:
As a photojournalist, it was my great privilege to have been assigned to several stories he covered in Europe, the Mideast, and northern Africa in the 1970s...


I'm enjoying this discussion, but just to bring it back to photography for a moment, one of the best photography-related books I ever read was "Shooter," by the photojournalist David Hume Kennerly.

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Sep 14, 2021 09:26:56   #
StanMac Loc: Tennessee
 
TriX wrote:
When news outlets didn’t have an agenda and just reported the news.


IIRC, Cronkite did do a commentary/opinion piece at the end of his news segment, either nightly or at the end of the week. And they were always sensible and without ire or venom, like most are today.

Stan

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Sep 14, 2021 09:36:39   #
TriX Loc: Raleigh, NC
 
pendennis wrote:
Famously Cronkite said, during the 1968 Communist Tet Offensive, that the conflict was lost. However, the truth is that Tet was an absolute disaster for North Viet Nam, and the combat effectiveness of the Viet Cong was reduced to zero...


I couldn’t disagree more. The war WAS lost (difficult to deny that), and speaking as someone who served in VietNam during both the Tet offensive and the following year, I can tell you first-hand that the combat effectiveness of the VC was certainly NOT reduced “to zero”. In fact, Tet was a shock to both the US military and the American Public. I would agree that ultimately it was a military and political defeat for the North, but both the military and public were greatly surprised that the VC and NVA could launch an operation of this size when the general consensus was that the war could be won. If you recall, it prompted Westmoreland to request 200,000 more troops to win the war, and the ultimate result is well known.

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Sep 14, 2021 09:40:45   #
Canisdirus
 
TriX wrote:
I couldn’t disagree more. The war WAS lost (difficult to deny that), and speaking as someone who served in VietNam during both the Tet offensive and the following year, I can tell you first-hand that the combat effectiveness of the VC was certainly NOT reduced “to zero”. In fact, Tet was a shock to both the US military and the American Public


Well, a Vietnamese general has already said they were looking for a way out.
They failed every objective during the TET offensive...and were pretty spent.
But...lo and behold...they heard about Walter's comment that the war was lost.
That's when Vietnam realized they just had to wait...and win.

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Sep 14, 2021 09:49:52   #
TriX Loc: Raleigh, NC
 
Canisdirus wrote:
Well, a Vietnamese general has already said they were looking for a way out.
They failed every objective during the TET offensive...and were pretty spent.
But...lo and behold...they heard about Walter's comment that the war was lost.
That's when Vietnam realized they just had to wait...and win.


No, he told the truth. What they heard was Westmoreland request 200,000 more troops and President Johnson, realizing that the war was both un winnable using the current strategy and tactics and losing public support started negotiations with the north.

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