Before Fake News, Walter Cronkite Was 'Most Trusted Man In America'

By | August 8, 2019

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Walter Cronkite, longtime anchor of the CBS Evening News. Source: IMDB

Once there was a newsman named Walter Cronkite. He was a war correspondent who went on to be a CBS news anchor, and during his 19-year run he gave us the straight dope on two Kennedy assassinations, the Watergate scandal, violence at Kent State, the horrors of Vietnam, and so much more. In today's atmosphere of media partisanship and fake news it seems a bygone notion, but Cronkite was known as "the most trusted man in America."

Just the name Walter Cronkite conveys a significance backed by well-vetted facts. If Cronkite were alive today, he would tearfully lament the political tribalism that permeates through news organizations. In his day, truth mattered above all else. Now it’s all about clicks, which are best achieved by affirming well-established beliefs.

'Simple Basic Journalism'

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Cronkite on the Cbs Evening News. Source: IMDB

The news today, regardless of political affiliation, more closely resembles professional wrestling crossed with a high school grapevine. Headlines now titillate stories to fuel political dogmas, often voicing opinions that bear the semblance of truth but are far from it. 

No one said it better than Cronkite, the CBS Evening News anchor from 1962 to '81: “We all have our likes and our dislikes. But... when we're doing news, it is our duty to be sure that we do not permit our prejudices to show. That is simply basic journalism.” Sadly that’s a rather quaint concept today.