Walter Cronkite died today, at age 92.
Once upon a time, a better time, he and Edward R. Murrow and Eric Sevareid and a host of other newsmen, first on radio during WW2 and then with the newfangled thing called television, informed us, instructed us, told us the truth.
Walter Cronkite was considered the most trusted man in America.
After he went to Vietnam and came home to say that the war was a disaster, Lyndon Baines Johnson famously said “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost America.”
No such man exists today.
There is no one, man or woman, in what we still foolishly call the news business (although it has become something else altogether) who would even be fit to clean up Cronkite’s studio after he’d left if the world were fair.
Because the world wasn’t fair, and because he helped us deal with that and understand it and try to make things better, he was irreplaceable.
When (I predict) Chris Matthews somehow attempts to tie him to Tim Russert this coming Monday night, turn off the TV, I urge you, and spend a few minutes wondering whatever became of our free press and realize what it has become.