web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Uncle Walter’s Good Fortune


Media-Monitor-logo

Several readers responded to last week’s Monitor on the departure of Dan Rather from CBS News by making reference to Rather’s predecessor, the legendary Walter Cronkite, as some sort of paragon of journalistic objectivity. The Monitor begs to differ.

It was Cronkite’s good fortune that his heyday came and went in the era prior to the arrival of cable news, talk radio and the Internet. In that far-off time, Americans watching television had to settle for the Big Three networks and a smattering of local stations. There was little recourse for viewers who weren’t comfortable with the narrow worldview promulgated by a relatively small group of liberal white men living and working in close proximity to one another within a few square blocks of prime Manhattan real estate – a neighborhood, if one can call it that, as unrepresentative of America as a neighborhood could possibly be.

In a such a homogeneous media universe, it was easy for men like Cronkite to assume that whatever they passed along to Mr. And Mrs. America would be accepted as unvarnished truth, free of any bias or spin. And, by and large, what they dished out night after night was accepted by most viewers, simply because there was no real means to effectively counter what the Big Boys at CBS, NBC and ABC were saying.

Indeed, Cronkite’s famous sign-off line, “And that’s the way it is,” conveyed a smug, satisfied arrogance that in a mere half-hour broadcast – 22 minutes after commercials – he and his colleagues had tied up the world in one nice easy package for the rubes in the hinterland.

The late Richard Salant, president of CBS News for much of Cronkite’s tenure, once admitted that “if I were a tyrannical boss, I would forbid Walter to end the Evening News that way.” Salant’s problem with that sign-off, wrote Gary Paul Gates in Air Time: The Inside Story of CBS News, was due “not so much to the line’s corniness as to its grossly misleading implication that viewers had just been informed of all the news there was to report.”

In the years since his retirement, Cronkite has revealed himself to be the liberal many of his critics always suspected him of being, which is his right, of course, but it does raise questions about the slant and emphasis he chose to use when putting together newscasts in the tumultuous Vietnam/Watergate years.

Cronkite has also revealed a daffy side, as when he responded a few months ago to a question from Esquire magazine about whether Oprah Winfrey would make a good president. “Well, apparently so,” he responded. “She seems to have an understanding of our problems. A great deal of that probably comes from being African-American and suffering the indignities of that. And se certainly has shown that she has a literate approach to solving problems. So I’d like to think she’d make a good president…”

This is the same Cronkite who, when a new videotape from Osama bin Laden surfaced a few days before the 2004 presidential election, saw it as some nefarious plot hatched in the bowels of the Bush White House. Appearing on CNN’s “Larry King Live” on Oct. 29, the Friday immediately preceding the election, Uncle Walter formally linked hands with nutjob conspiracy mongers:

“So now,” Cronkite told King, “the question is, basically, right now, how will this affect the election? And I have a feeling that it could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I’m inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manger of the White House, who is a very clever man, that he probably set up bin Laden to this thing…”

So it was all a Karl Rove production, according to the Sage of Black Rock. Can you just picture the scenario? Karl Rove, anxiously pondering the latest tracking polls that show a race too close to call with just days remaining, puts in a call to bin Laden, who’s been hiding in a cave somewhere, and asks him to give Bush a boost by releasing a video. That’s the way it is, apparently, inside the mind of Walter Cronkite.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Uncle Walter’s Good Fortune”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Front-Page-102414

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

Assemblyman Hikind talks with a group of Israeli solders.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/uncle-walters-good-fortune/2006/07/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: