Where Have You Gone Walter Cronkite?

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In this age of deep distrust, “the most trusted man in America” is sorely missed more than ever.

Walter Cronkite who reigned supreme at a time of journalistic  integrity, ( no millennials, that’s not an oxymoron) long before cable tabloid news became the norm and reputable journalists were replaced with  newscasters more  worthy of Loony Toons than a legitimate news organization.

Walter Cronkite wanted every news consumer in America to be skeptical of the news. But he was advocating critical thinking, not dismissal of the facts.

And That’s the Way it Was:

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The dilemma of a single TV set household having to choose between watching Walter Cronkite and Daffy Duck. Vintage ad Sony TV 1968

I recently came across this advertisement  from Sony TV from 1968, a tumultuous year if ever there was one, one that rivals ours for divisiveness and upheavals.

The ad presents a beleaguered dad who has to deal with the common dilemma faced by a one TV household, forced to choose between watching the nightly news with Walter Cronkite or giving in to the kiddies demand to watch cartoons.

Poor Pop.

After a long day as the breadwinner,  all he wants to do is come home, sit in his Barca Lounger and watch Walter Cronkite report on Vietnam. But Jr. after a long day of New Math wants the distraction of Daffy Duck. Mom who is  so is busy doing the dinner dishes, seems to want Walter too, but we don’t know for sure.

You’ve just come home from a hard day at the office,”  the copy begins.  “All you want to do is sit in front of the television and watch Walter Cronkite authoritatively reporting the news.

Unfortunately, your kids have just come home from a hard day at the playground. And all they want to do is sit in front of the television and relax to the soothing sound of Daffy Duck’s voice.  Obvious you have a problem.

The solution of course  was to get an additional small portable TV.  The 8 inch screen is big enough, Sony reassures us  “for a full set of parents ( Were taking it for granted your wife prefers Walter Cronkite to Daffy Duck too).”

Billed as a peacemaker, the TV cost $129.95 . But Sony  assures us, “Walter Cronkite is worth every penny of it.”

Today of course we don’t have to make  a choice between news or cartoons.  No, not just because we have so many devices to watch news and entertainment but because now  we can watch newscasters who have morphed into cartoon characters, with about the same respect for facts as Daffy Duck.

Sadly that’s the way it is…..

Note: Perhaps as a nod to  Walter Cronkite’s 100th birthday today,  Fox News,  issued what may be its only retraction after falsely claiming Hillary Clinton will be indicted over alleged investigations of the Clinton Foundation.

Fox News host Brett Baier during its initial report claimed authorities supposedly had enough evidence that would lead to an indictment of Hillary Clinton. As is often the case, Fox News based their reports on pure speculation and misinformation.

 

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© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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9 comments

  1. Pierre Lagacé

    We miss you Mister Cronkite.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Fifteen minutes, expanded first to 30 minutes, then to an hour. The evening news was informative, crafted by actual journalists who came to television from print media in most cases, and was free of speculation, lies, and bombast. If there were editorial comments to be made, they were identified as such with a notice on the screen.

    Much of the integrity of news broadcast was lost when cable news expanded the news to 24/7. You have to fill every minute of the day with news, and you tend to go with early breaking news before facts are pinned down. Benghazi, for example. Pressured to identify the details, the administration tried to respond before they knew themselves what was going on with any certainty. That blew up in their faces and we will never hear the end of it. Benghazi 10 surely is in out future.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Laura C.

    I’m a card-carrying Millenial (born 1991). As far back as I can remember, the news has always been sensationalist, unreliable, and downright upsetting. I stopped watching it altogether back in 2011, during the 24/7 coverage of the Luca Brazzi manhunt. The major news outlets seemed to be competing to out-report each other on gruesome details. it was then that I realized that consuming mainstream news was doing nothing to make me a better informed person or citizen.

    Instead, I rely on investigative reporting from the few trusted outlets left – not that I will ever stop being skeptical of what I read. 🙂

    Like

  4. Laura C.

    [That’s Magnotta, not Brazzi – apparently I have The Godfather on my mind :)]

    Like

    • Laura C.

      I’m a card carrying Millenial (born 1991). As far as I can recall, the mainstream news has always been sensationalist, unreliable, and downright upsetting. I stopped watching it altogether back in 2011, during the 24/7 coverage of the Luca [Magnotta] manhunt. The major news outlets seemed to be competing to out-report each other on gruesome minutiae. It was then I realized that consuming mainstream news was doing nothing to make me a better informed person or citizen.

      Instead, I rely in investigative reporting from the few trusted outlets left – not that I will ever stop being skeptical of what I read. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The 24/7 news cycle is a breeding ground for speculation and hyperventilation. As previously mentioned many of the early broadcast newscasters came from a print journalism background, which not only instilled integrity but a deep respect for facts. Today we have to be much more selective and do as you do and wade through the muck and rely on a few trusted outlets. And always remain a bit skeptical…its very healthy.

    Like

  6. Indeed this is disturbing. I find that only one program on television even makes an effort of going into detail about current events and that is Frontline. Once that goes, we will have no television that will give us the insight into understanding the world we live in that citizens need to make informed decisions. Instead we get hours on hours of the Kardashians. Back in the olden days we were much better informed with just three networks. Their executives cared to spend the money to give us the information we needed. Now it’s a free for all.

    Liked by 1 person

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