Accuracy in Media

American Profile, a popular weekly, four-color magazine that celebrates hometown American life, put Walter Cronkite on its cover in its November 20 edition, calling him “the most trusted man in America.” That’s what he was called back in 1973 when most people didn’t know any better. There’s no reason to call him that today.

The former CBS Evening News anchorman played a pivotal role in America’s Vietnam defeat and the deaths of millions. Cronkite is also notable for becoming an ardent advocate of world government in his old age. In retirement, he has come out of the liberal closet in more ways than one, declaring his opposition to the invasion of Iraq and saying he has no problem with homosexual marriages.

We certainly are amazed and impressed that Cronkite is 89 and still working.  It’s sad to read in the article that his wife recently passed away, and that he continues to feel this loss deeply. But his longevity and personal loss should not be sufficient reason to whitewash or ignore the damage that he inflicted on our nation throughout his career.

The American Profile story by Beverly Keel notes that Cronkite, then anchorman of the CBS Evening News, turned against the Vietnam War, causing then-President Johnson to reportedly say, “If I’ve lost Cronkite I’ve lost middle America.” This was a time when the CBS Evening News had many more viewers, and most people relied on just three network evening news programs for information about current events. What the story doesn’t make clear is that this moment for Cronkite was nothing to be proud of. The collapse of Vietnam produced the boat people and the Cambodian genocide.

The profile notes that when he was on the air announcing that President Kennedy had been assassinated, he took off his glasses and brushed away a tear. Cronkite says he is not ashamed of that in any way.

He should not be ashamed. That was a terrible moment in history, and journalists should not have to hold back the tears that so many shed.

But when did Cronkite shed a tear for the American soldiers who died in vain in Vietnam or the boat people or the victims of the Khmer Rouge?

American Profile hyped Cronkite’s biography, A Reporter’s Life, urging readers to order the book by calling a toll-free number or sending $29.99 to a “Cronkite Book Offer” in Arizona. That’s the book in which Cronkite urges world government. It reflects the liberalism that guided his years and misguided our nation. 

We don’t trust him and never did.

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