Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Walter Cronkite - And That's The Way It Was

Walter Cronkite - And That's The Way It Was

Thanks to the power of the internet I can know when retired tv news anchors die within about 20 minutes. But also thanks to the internet I have a ton of random topics to write about. So this news and update about Walter Cronkite's death comes a little late. But hell, he's not going anywhere now, so it's not like it needs to be rushed. So Walter Cronkite died.. Ugh why couldn't it have been andy rooney?

Just watch the footage of the announcement of the deaths of President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and weep for the state of modern broadcast journalism. I can't even watch TV news anymore because if it isn't the story itself making me sad/angry, it's the fucking reporting that makes me want to throw a shoe at the TV.

There really is no news anymore. At least when it comes to politics. There is only meta-news. The story stopped being the focus. It's more along the lines of "How will the media react to this latest event?" I'm so sick of hearing shit like "Send us your tweets about health care and Michael Jackson so we can read 'em on the air! This is your #1 source for news!" I sure hold out hope that the mysterious circumstances behind the life and death of Walter get as much coverage as Michael Jackson.

It reminds me of the complaint that SNL almost never does skits anymore that aren't based on people being on television. It's either a fake TV show, a commercial, or reality show, etc. It's like we are incapable of understanding consequences unless it is being aired and watched on television.

Cronkite wasn't like this. He was the last great news reporter and he was humbled for it. Cronkite announced that he intended to retire from the CBS Evening News on February 14, 1980; at the time, CBS had a policy in place that called for mandatory retirement by age 65. Although sometimes compared to a father figure or an uncle figure, in an interview about his retirement he described himself as being more like a "comfortable old shoe" to his audience. By this, he meant that they could "comfortably put their foot in him like a slipper."

It's funny that even today, conservatives are still saying that he single handedly lost the Vietnam war for us. He posed a challenage to the viewers to think for themselves and said the stuff that no one was willing to say.

America's health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.
Walter Cronkite

Our job is only to hold up the mirror - to tell and show the public what has happened.
Walter Cronkite

We are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders.
Walter Cronkite

And that's the way he was Friday, July 17, 2009. Dead. Rest in peace, you are truly one of the last voices in journalism to ever listen to.

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