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Advancing Progressive Ideas

Walter Cronkite, 92, Passes Away

CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Dubbed "The Most Trusted Man in America," the Edward R. Murrow recruit made a name for himself, among many other things, by having the courage to report, against the U.S. military's line, that the Vietnam War was unwinnable. Glenn Greenwald at Salon speaks to why Cronkite's passing is such a tremendous loss, and why no one in the mainstream media grasps the enormous irony of their eulogizing him. His article is an absolute must-read. If you want the takeaway, you can get the general idea from the two quotes he uses to lead off his article:

"For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. . . . To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past" -- Walter Cronkite, CBS Evening News, February 27, 1968.

"I think there are a lot of critics who think that [in the run-up to the Iraq War] . . . . if we did not stand up and say this is bogus, and you're a liar, and why are you doing this, that we didn't do our job. I respectfully disagree. It's not our role" -- David Gregory, MSNBC, May 28, 2008.

Re: Walter Cronkite, 92, Passes Away

Sad to hear this. Condolences to the family of Walter Cronkite. May the almighty God bless you more. The death of Walter Cronkite elicited tributes from colleagues, presidents past and present, world-famous astronauts and those who hoped in vain to fill his empty anchor chair, all honoring the avuncular face of TV journalism who became the "most trusted man in America." Cronkite was the face of the "CBS Evening News" from 1962 to 1981, when stories ranged from the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to racial and anti-war riots, Watergate and the Iranian hostage and cash check crisis. He followed the 1960s space race with open fascination, anchoring marathon broadcasts of major flights from the first suborbital shot to the first moon landing, exclaiming, "Look at those pictures, wow!" as Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon's surface in 1969. In 1998, for CNN, he went back to Cape Canaveral to cover John Glenn's return to space after 36 years.

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