There are really very few times when the phrase “the end of an era” is actually true. But in the case of Walter Cronkite, it could not be more appropriate. He presided over so many of the most significant events of the latter half of the twentieth century that it almost seems as if he were a part of them.
Cronkite represented a generation of television journalism that can never be repeated. The concentration of media to only three networks elevated their impact and influence. So when a dignified and experienced reporter rose to the position of anchor at CBS, it was just matter of time before his calm and confidant delivery inspired a measure of respect that has never been matched. And if ever there were a time to heed his words, it is now:
Cronkite: It was quite clear when they founded the Fox network that they intended to be a conservative organization. Beyond conservative, a far right-wing organization.
It must have been comments like those above that led to Bill O’Reilly dismissing Cronkite as a leftist a couple of years ago:
“Just look at what Walter Cronkite and Bill Moyers have done since they left CBS News; both men allied themselves with the far-left and are proud of it.”
But that’s nothing compared to what the Fox Nation community is saying about Cronkite today:
- Cronkite was a commie sympathizer, only in his day most of us didnt realize it.
- Cronkite was about a far left-wing, Marxist ideologue as there ever was.
- Oh, come on. Let’s be serious. This guy put the BS and CBS.
- He was a left wing liberal. I turned Fox off as soon as they started on their all nite rant about him.
Remember, O’Reilly is the guy who is so outraged about what he considers to be Internet hate sites. His bellicose rants against any blog that would dare to disagree with him are legendary. He has compared Daily Kos and the Huffington Post to Nazis and the KKK. And he attaches full blame to the site’s namesake even if it was an anonymous visitor making the offending comments. So what will O’Reilly say about these comments on the very same day that Cronkite passed away? Will he accuse Fox Nation of being a hate site that’s worse than the Nazis?
O’Reilly likes to position himself as an everyman who is looking out for “the folks” (despite his multimillion dollar media empire). And he relentlessly badgers his viewers with ratings data to satiate his massive ego. But for some perspective on the relative influence of O’Reilly and Cronkite, note that some 18 million people watched Cronkite on a typical night. About the same number continue to watch the nightly broadcast network news programs. O’Reilly pulls in about 2% of that.
And that’s the way it is. R.I.P. Uncle Walter.