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Walter Cronkite dies at 92

cronkite_jfk.jpg
Walter Cronkite announces the death of President John F. Kennedy, November 22, 1963


Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite died this evening surrounded by family from cerebral vascular disease. He was 92.

His death had been expected, but his passing really does close the chapter on the golden age of television and journalism.

CBS's special report on Cronkite can be viewed below.


Watch CBS Videos Online


As Cronkite would say in closing the CBS Evening News, "And that's the way it is."


Legendary CBS anchor Walter Cronkite dies at 92 [AP]


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Comments (39)

And that's the way it is, J... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

And that's the way it is, July 17, 2009.

Can remember years ago, the whole family gathered around to watch Walter in the evenings. Then he left us Dan Rather. The news world hasn't been the same since.

I wonder how many of us wil... (Below threshold)
Not Always Right:

I wonder how many of us will remember Walter not for his avuncular newscasts but for his lies about the Tet Offensive?

over at my site I'm collect... (Below threshold)

over at my site I'm collectin BBQ sauce recipes for use on Walter as he roasts in Hell.

Sorry...no RIP for him. Maybe he wasn't a bad man in his personal life. But his willful efforts during the Tet Offensive to turn an American VICTORY into a defeat were treasonous!

He THOUGHT he was ending the war. He CAUSED it to drag on for over half a decade...and millions died!

Adios, Walter. I won't miss ya!

Back then in the 60's, Walt... (Below threshold)
krkrjak Author Profile Page:

Back then in the 60's, Walter Cronkite was the only news program I'd watch. I stayed glued to the old black and white TV set all through the many hours he was on covering the Kennedy ordeal. I recall so vividly those moments when he made the announcement that John Kennedy had died. In all the years I watched his coverage of news and other events, that was the only time I ever witnessed him momentarily lose his composure, in that instant he was one of us. What an absolute professional. Only many years after his retirement from anchoring the news did I even learn of his liberal side, but I cannot ever recall that he let his personal beliefs slant his reporting of the news.

not always#2 and justrand#3... (Below threshold)
krkrjak Author Profile Page:

not always#2 and justrand#3

I believe you two have been drinking too much Kool Aid. What Walter Cronkite are you two talking about???

krkrjak, you may (or may no... (Below threshold)

krkrjak, you may (or may not) be aware of him declaring DEFEAT during the Tet Offensive by the Viet Cong and NVA. Cronkite KNEW what was happening...one of the most lopsided VICTORIES in Anmerican history.

But Walter wanted the war over...and so protrayed the Tet Offensive as a DEFEAT!

General Giap, years later, would declare that he nearly ordered surrender...but when he saw how the world press responded to Cronkite's "The war is over...we lost" nonsense the NVA fought on!

Cronkite LIED...intentionally.

A lot of people died, and the North Vietnamese buthcered the South years later because of his actions.

Fact.

Justrand #6Sorry, ... (Below threshold)
krkrjak Author Profile Page:

Justrand #6

Sorry, I'm not buying it. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

i read good story about wal... (Below threshold)

i read good story about walter dead and disease definition

http://news.limauais.com/walter-cronkite-dies-cause-of-cerebral-vascular-disease/

Sorry, I'm not bu... (Below threshold)
Brett:
Sorry, I'm not buying it. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

There's no need to "buy" anything, it's documented fact, I saw the broadcast where he said it, and its on youtube somewhere. When my dad saw that, we never watched CBS new again. None of us could stomach someone on national TV actively pulling for our enemies to win.

Of course my tolerance has been worn down a bit since then - given that the *president of the United States* has the same philosophy!

Libs never want to 'buy' th... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Libs never want to 'buy' the truth, they'd rather be given the far left liberal BS for nothing.

Take a look at the death totals of the Tet Offensive, and tell me who lost.

Wow, another famous person ... (Below threshold)
sri:

Wow, another famous person to leave. Walter (referred to as "Uncle Walt") was a great man that knew how to deliver news. I wish these noobs nowadays had such skills. Prayers to Walter's family and friends. In his memory, for his fans I have collected some great sites and articles (more than 200) to know all about Walter Cronkite. If you are interested take a look at the below link
markthispage.blogspot.com/2009/07/walter-cronkite-another-famous-person.html

Bret is correct. Walter lie... (Below threshold)
Locomotive Breath:

Bret is correct. Walter lied to us about Tet. I remember very clearly Cronkite on the air saying "this is a war we can not win" after the VC had very nearly been destroyed.

Minor quibble but I think W... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Minor quibble but I think Walt Disney was the man who had been given the affectionate nickname "Uncle Walt".

krkrjak and Justrand,... (Below threshold)

krkrjak and Justrand,

My belief falls somewhere in between yours. We were "in country" in Vietnam, so journalists were compelled to follow the lead of our South Vietnamese hosts when they reported events. Unfortunately, the Vietcong, who were schooled by the Soviets and the Red Chinese, were masters of news media manipulation. They were also very effective terrorists and very proficient at leaving little evidence of their activities behind.

A typical scenario: Vietcong forces enter a village in the dead of night. They force the villagers to stand in the center of the village. They take the teenage boys and young men with them. They raid food supplies and steal possessions that are useful or valuable in some way. They warn the villagers not to talk, or they will come back and kill every man, woman, and child left in the village. To drive home their point, they pull a child at random from the group and slit her throat. Then they leave.

The next day, US/South Vietnamese forces, hot on the trail of the VC, enter the same village. But the frightened villagers won't say anything. The South Vietnamese figure out that the Vietcong has been there, based on who and what is missing. Because the villagers refuse to talk, the village is marked as a possible VC hide-out. US soldiers sweep the jungle around the village, firing at anything that moves (they called it "spray and pray"). US forces burn down the village, with the frightened villagers huddled nearby, watching their village go up in flames. American news crews film everything.

The news film and a brief (and usually very incomplete) report is then sent to New York. Journalists in New York watch reel after reel of film of US troops burning villages, spraying the jungle with bullets, and generally looking confused and uncertain. And their response is "My God, what the hell are we doing over there?"

American news crews on hand for the Tet Offensive extensively filmed South Vietnamese and American forces caught off-guard by the coordinated attacks during Tet. We were surprised because there was supposed to be a cease-fire during the Tet (New Year) holiday. Even though South Vietnamese forces eventually scored a great victory, the film of the early losses incurred in the surprise attack stunned journalists. No one thought the Vietcong was capable of secretly planning and coordinating such an extensive attack. It was at that point that Cronkite and other journalists began to question what America had gotten itself into, and whether we should pull out before any more "disasters" like the first day of Tet occurred. Cronkite was sincere, but woefully misinformed.

Regardless, I still prefer the "old lion" news reporters like Cronkite, Eric Severeid, David Brinkley, etc. who were first and foremost eloquent wordsmiths, initially drafted from the newsroom to read news stories in front of the camera. They were intellectual giants compared to most of the vacant, blow-dried nincompoops on cable TV news today.

Years after Vietnam fell, T... (Below threshold)
J:

Years after Vietnam fell, Time magazine testified, in court under oath, that they had an agenda and reported the news in such a way as to cause their goal, our defeat, to occur, and they were successful. Shortly before Tet the north vietnames army slaughtered 4,000 people in a town near their kickoff point for tet. It is evident from succeeding events that cronkite also had an agenda and was probably woefully ignorant of facts on the ground. In any event, his name will always be infamous with people of that era that wanted only success for the USA and not the defeat that the left desired.

the ratio of NVA/VC KILL... (Below threshold)

the ratio of NVA/VC KILLED to American KILLED in the Tet Offensive was nearly 98:2.

When all Allied KILLED are lumped in the ratio of enemy to allied KILLED is 91:9.

I stress "killed" because the number of NVA/VC wounded could never be established...and the 45,000 is one of the LOW estimates.

91:9 ratio...which had General Giap considering surrender, until Walter Cronkite ushered in a new era of Agenda Journalism!

I have backed off wish Cronkite eternal damnation...but I can't offer up an RIP either. He THOUGHT he was ending the war...he in FACT prolonged it!

At BEST he was a well-intentioned fool! Purgatory sounds about right!

Michael L,#14Ya go... (Below threshold)
krkrjak Author Profile Page:

Michael L,#14

Ya got it right. For the rest of those that do not have their facts correct, Cronkite NEVER said that we were losing or had lost the Tet Offensive, in an editorial piece he did say the VIETNAM WAR was not winnable. That was not a lie, that was the truth. Did we win the damn war? Johnson had no clear policy or plan to win that war, Cronkite and others knew it. To do what was necessary to win that war Johnson believed, would pull China into the mix. Johnson's idea of winning was to wear the north down through attrition. Yeah, that sure did work well didn't it. Guys and gals, get your facts straight.

He almost single-handedly i... (Below threshold)
devildog666:

He almost single-handedly is responsible for losing the Vietnam War. His progressive lies about the TET offensive and slanted reporting end up costing thousands of additional American lives and tens of thousands of Vietnamese lives.

May the SOB spend eternity in hell.

Cronkite was a traitor. His... (Below threshold)
Harold:

Cronkite was a traitor. His deliberate fraudulent reporting gave aid and comfort to the enemy.

And yes we did win the Vietnam War militarily.

At the time we left we had completely decimated the Viet Cong and thoroughly defeated the NVA. The South Vietamese were in control of more than 90% of the country.

Traitors like Ted Kennedy saw to it that we could not continue to supply South Vietnam with materiel and continue bombing support.

The North saw that we had abandoned the South, attacked and conquered, slaughtering huge numbers of people.

The left is solely responsible for the defeat in Vietnam and the mass murder of millions of people in the Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

The left is an enemy fifth column with deep pathological hatred for the west, especially America. It seeks to destroy its history, its institutions, its wealth and its power to do good around the world.

Hussein continues this tradition in Iraq and domestically.

This ardent and dedicated l... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

This ardent and dedicated leftist distorted, misrepresented, lied and covered-up, all for the advancement of the liberal agenda. His contempt for the US and the American people was breathtaking. Like Teddy Kennedy, his death comes decades too late.

My 86yr. old mother ... (Below threshold)
MPR:


My 86yr. old mother was waxing nostalgic about how wonderful it was to have Walter tell us "how it was". The anchors on the news today would love to have the audience and the power to shape opinion the way uncle Walter did. Good thing they don't.

Walter Cronkite, RIP
John Podhoretz - 07.17.2009 - 8:50 PM

Walter Cronkite has died at the age of 92, and it's a mark of how the world has changed since his heyday that not a person under the age of 25 will have any idea who he was--and not a person under the age of 25 has probably ever watched the program that made him, for a time, the most trusted man in America and the most august personage in the news business.

Cronkite was a key figure in many ways, but foremost among them, perhaps, was the fact that he cleared the way for the mainstream media and the Establishment to join what Lionel Trilling called "the adversary culture." Cronkite, the gravelly voice of accepted American wisdom, whose comportment suggested he kept his money in bonds and would never even have considered exceeding the speed limit, devastated President Lyndon Johnson in the wake of the 1968 Tet Offensive by declaring that the United States "was mired in stalemate" in Vietnam--when Johnson knew that Tet had been a military triumph.

This on-air editorial, spoken during the most-watched newscast in the country when that meant 30 million people were watching (as opposed to 7 million today, with the nation having added more than 100 million in population), was a transformational moment in American history.

"If I've lost Cronkite," Johnson was reputed to have said, "I've lost middle America," and shortly thereafter he announced he would not run for reelection. This was a mark of Johnson's own poor political instincts--a president who thought a rich and powerful anchorman living the high life in New York city was the voice of the silent majority was a man out of touch with reality--but it was a leading indicator of how the media were changing. Cronkite didn't know what he was talking about when it came to Tet, as the late Peter Braestrup demonstrated in his colossal expose of the scandalous media coverage of the battle, Big Story. But he knew that among the people who mattered to him, and who were the leading edge of ideological fashion, Tet was a failure because the war in Vietnam was bad, and he took to the airwaves to say so.

Cronkite's retirement in 1982 put Dan Rather in the anchor chair, but Rather was never able to command the lofty heights of his predecessor. That was in part due to Rather's own peculiar personality, but also to developments--technical developments involving the rise of cable television and, eventually, the personal computer--that would bring to a blessed end the shared monopoly over American news enjoyed by CBS, NBC, ABC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, and Newsweek.

When Rather attempted, in 2004, to bring down a president in the midst of a close reelection bid with a report based on obviously forged papers--a greater journalistic sin than Cronkite's, by far--he was undone in 12 hours by a lawyer in Atlanta commenting on a blog and a jazz musician in Los Angeles with a blog who demonstrated the papers in question had been produced at least a decade after the report claimed they had. Had there been an Internet in 1968, and military bloggers aplenty, Cronkite's false conclusion about Tet would have been challenged immediately; we would not have had to wait for Braestrup to publish his enormous book nine years later.

So the passing of Walter Cronkite is a moment to remember an era that has passed, an era toward which we should not experience a moment's nostalgia.

Since the lefty media is fa... (Below threshold)
914:

Since the lefty media is fawning over Him....I lump him in with "Lurch", "Wacko Jacko" and the "Swimmer" soon to be fawned over and remembered only for the good intents never accomplished.

We didn't lose the Viet Nam... (Below threshold)
e blum:

We didn't lose the Viet Nam war militariy, we lost it politically. Thanks to Cronkite and his ilk, public opinion forced a political solution that caused, in my opinion, an unconscionable result. I don't remember who said the following, but it applies: (paraphrased) Only speak good of the dead. Cronkite is dead...Good.

I see there are lots of 'wa... (Below threshold)

I see there are lots of 'watch his most famous moments' all over the place right now...

If you watch carefully you just might see the exact moment that objective press died in America.

Wow, another famous person ... (Below threshold)
Sri:

Wow, another famous person to leave. Walter (referred to as "Uncle Walt") was a great man that knew how to deliver news. I wish these noobs nowadays had such skills. Prayers to Walter's family and friends. In his memory, for his fans I have collected some great sites and articles (more than 200) to know all about Walter Cronkite. If you are interested take a look at the below link
http://markthispage.blogspot.com/2009/07/walter-cronkite-another-famous-person.html

The biggest mistake we have... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

The biggest mistake we have made as a country was to rely on the major media and politicians to force public policy. They did it in Vietnam, and they almost did it in Iraq. They will do it again in Afghanistan. Heard any good Afghanistan reports lately? How about Iraq? (...crickets chirping...)

The key to understanding both these groups as to view them as adolescent schoolgirls, giddily exchanging gossip and avoiding anything that sounds "icky". The American Idol mentality. Throw in a double handful of narcissistic bitchiness and you pretty well have the picture. Some of the biggest egos in America are in our own US Congress and the east coast media.

Uncle Walter started the trend. I agree with the posts above about how he gutted public support for the Vietnam war. I remember watching it, and I remember what followed, and it was a disgrace.

Cronkite had a long and prosperous career, but I'm not sure I agree that he should be revered as "The most trusted man in America". The unvarnished view of history is not so generous.

A decent LIBERAL.(Sounds co... (Below threshold)
Trajan:

A decent LIBERAL.(Sounds contradictory, doesn't it?)....as opposed to Rather,et.al.

The fact Cronkite knew Tet ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

The fact Cronkite knew Tet had not been lost and was simply stating his opinion changed him from a journalist to a commenter. May he have to face those who lost their lives do to the prolonging of a war whos outcome Walter sought to influence. Sadly he does not get to face the wrath of those who suffered because he presented opinion as fact. Be betrayed America just as surely as Jane Fonda or any other traitor to this country. He should be buried face down.

A decent liberal? I have a ... (Below threshold)
MPR:

A decent liberal? I have a hard time wrapping my head around that one. Maybe "friendly liberal" or "polite liberal" or how bout "fair liberal" even. Liberals are liberal for different reasons and I used to call some friends but, now "acquaintances" fits better. I have family that are liberals, love them because they're family but, we have heated discussions nose to nose at holidays until mom calls a truce. I used this example once with a friend of mine that was struggling with the liberal "friend" issue. Okay, you're both sitting in a room and you have a green button and red button on the table in front of both of you. Green, yes and red, no. Not rocket science here. Now a question comes on the monitor in front of you that says, "Do you want higher taxes so that government can take care of everyone's(including illegals) needs whatever that means? You push the NO button and your "friend" pushes the YES button. Related question, "should rich or 'well off' Americans pay higher taxes because they have "won the lottery of life"(thanks Dicky G.) and just because it's fair? You push NO and lib friend pushes YES. Go down the list, you know, Defense, War on Terror, Gitmo, Immigration, Supreme Court Justices using foreign law and making policy from the bench. Then the abortion question. Do you believe that life begins at conception or is that above your pay grade also? You push YES and lib friend pushes NO. Regardless of your answer to the previous question should tax payer money be used for abortions at anytime up to and including partial birth as Obamalala does? For any reason? You, NO. Libfriend, YES. Hmmmmm.
Does the international community loves us more now that Obamalala is president and he apologizes to them, whenever he gets the opportunity, for America's arrogance and mistreatment of our friends? You, NO. L.F. YES.
Okay, last one. Would you vote for Obamalala if the election was today? Knowing what we know now? You, NOOOOO. L.F. YESSSSS.
Even if you're a RINO and not Conservative, do you need friends like that? Enough of them are in Congress for all of us to share. SHEEEEEESH.

He almost single-h... (Below threshold)
jp2:
He almost single-handedly is responsible for losing the Vietnam War

Staggering.

(I always thought it was the hippies myself. At least a toss up between them, left wing colleges and universal health care. Maybe the unions too.)

Hilarious.You guys... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Hilarious.

You guys blame WALTER FREAKING CRONKITE for "losing" the Vietnam War.

The Vietnam War was never going to be "won." It should never have been fought. There was no compelling US interest there, and the Vietnamese were never going to give up. Would YOU, if a foreign army occupied half of America, and was bombing the shit out of the other half?

If any ONE person could be held responsible for the Vietnam Fiasco, it would be McGeorge Bundy, National Security Advisor in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

It was he who encouraged Johnson to Americanize the war, even though HE KNEW prospects for success were minimal at best.

No wonder you guys are so wrong about Iraq. You didn't learn anything from Vietnam!

We didn't learn anything hu... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

We didn't learn anything huh Bruce? We did not hang Ho, but seems like Saddam is not longer with us. We fought the Viet Nam war in the south. Had the general run the war it would have been fought in the North where the problem originated. I suspect it was before your time however you feel qualified to comment because you like all liberals are so full of shit you stink and you really need to spead that smell around. Makes you feel good and it is alway about feeling good is it not? Wonder how the South Viet Namese felt when the cowardly Democrats denied them the wherewithal to defend themselves? Your history professor lied to you.

Dude, I'm almost 55 years o... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Dude, I'm almost 55 years old. A couple of years too young to be drafted into that shitstorm, but not too young to be paying attention.

Wanna try arguing without throwing words around like "cowardly", "full of shit", and "you stink"? What are you, twelve?

If you read a book occasionally that wasn't published by Regnery Press you might learn something there, Mr Ragshaft.

Books, you know...those leather-bound pages that aren't on a monitor shining in your mom's basement.

While we're at it, Mr Ragsh... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

While we're at it, Mr Ragshaft the Third, try answering my question.

If a foreign army occupied half of America, and a foreign air force was bombing the other half, would you EVER give up fighting them? Would ANY real American give up? What would you think of Americans who cooperated with these foreigners?

I don't think you understan... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

I don't think you understand Brucie, Viet Nam was two, not one, separate countries. In the north, we had the PRVN (Peoples Republic). Usually, countries who's names include "people's republic" are not the peoples and not republics. In the South, we have and elected government. Communists in the north and free people in the south. Got that Brucie? I know you are unaware of SEATO also and it is not my job to enlighten you what that is, however ask someone older than you to explain what NATO is, was and what it was for. Now transfer that to South East Asia. We were under obligation to help with the defense of a free nation which had a treaty with use, who was under attack by its communist neighbor. Had we fought that war in the north, capture Hanoi, like we captured Bagdad, prevented Russians from resupplying Hanoi, block Haiphong harbor, captured and held territory. I think that war would have lasted two months. Why bother with an idiot like you Bruce? I was there. You were not.

Mr.Henry, Depends o... (Below threshold)

Mr.Henry,
Depends on whose perspective is being
viewed as to a shit storm.
So what does that make those who served in
that shit storm, like the ones whose names
are on the Wall in D.C.
Of course since you were so young back then,
you probably took notice of communism too.

So you say.And I s... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

So you say.

And I stormed Omaha Beach.

Were you "there" when the South Vietnamese government was "elected", General Ragsdorf? Because if you were, you were the only one, since the elections that were called for at the 1954 Geneva Conference WERE NEVER HELD. So don't make me laugh when you pose as a historian. Whether you served in Vietnam or whether you didn't, the "elected government" of "free people" in the South existed only in your mind.

Umm, I know about NATO, I know about SEATO, I know about a good many things I learned without being unlucky enough to be drafted into Vietnam.

And again with the 12 year old schtick? "Brucie"? Really? That's your attempt to demean me? A guy who calls himself Zeldorf is gonna make fun of someone's name?

You're entitled to your own opinion, of course, Perfesser. But not your own facts. The imaginary Vietnamese election of 1955 is only one example, I fear, of things you know that ain't so.

Two further points. One, read up on the history of Vietnam in the immediate period after World War 2, the return of the French, and how it BECAME "two separate countries".

And, two, what about my hypothetical questions? What would you do if this country was occupied by a foreign army? Would you fight, or submit?

Bruce, if we're going to us... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Bruce, if we're going to use your logic, I guess we'll have to say that WWII was unwinnable, what with us bombing and then occupying Italy, Germany, and Japan. I mean, they are all still fighting us, right?

Yeah, Tim, I guess you got ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Yeah, Tim, I guess you got me there. Is my face red, or what?




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