The Legacy of Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite is dead, and the eulogies are overrwhelming. According to Lynda Hurst, of the Toronto star;

He quite likely held America together during the horrifying events of Nov. 22, 1963.

Only for the briefest moment, when he took off his glasses to blink back a tear, did Walter Cronkite show emotion at the news of President John F. Kennedy's death.

If these eulogies were repositories of the truth, then Walter Cronkite is evidently a God. I don't really know what to make of all these eulogies. Was Michael jackson really the greatest performer who ever lived? Maybe he was.

Walter Cronkite and Michael Jackson introduced us to two different moonwalks and it rather difficult if not impossible to fully understand the impact of either men. Suffice it to say, they were both loved, admired and respected, and, if we view walter Cronkite's legacy in perspective, they are both loathed as well -since Dan Rather, who was Cronkite's mentor, was essentilly exiled -just like Michael Jackson was.

As Dan Rather's mentor, Walter Cronkite's legacy is still being defined and written, and in the final analysis both men are like mirrors -the images we produce are our own.

All the right wing boards are calling Walter Cronkite a "Commie" and accusing him for single-handedly losing the Vietnam War by misrepresenting the outcome of the Tet offensive.

If you want to know who Walter Cronkite was and what the media has become, look in the mirror.

Listening to tribute after tribute by "mainstream" journalists who remember Mr. Cronkite, every reminiscence appears to share the same sentiment: "Walter Cronkite was why I wanted to work in broadcasting."

Everyone who watched Walter Cronkite somehow felt a personal connection to the newsman: whether they shared his coverage of the moon landing... or his agony announcing the assassination of President Kennedy... or endured with him the daily torment of an endless war in Vietnam or the despicable hostage-taking of diplomats in Iran. We connected with him, not because he was an outstanding journalist but because of his obvious compassion, modesty, and joyous enthusiasm.

To be brief, we connected to Dan Rather for the same reasons and the connection was inappropriately broken. Walter Cronkite's last day in the anchor chair at the CBS Evening News was on March 6, 1981, he was succeeded the following Monday by Dan Rather and he deserves the very same respect that is currently being extended to his mentor.

And that's the way it is.