The most trusted man in America?

Russ Vaughn
The only member of my family who doesn't look at me like I'm crazy when I express my utter contempt for Walter Cronkite is my wife; and convincing her that the kindly, avuncular, old Walter was a traitor in my eyes took the first several years of our marriage. She could better understand why John Kerry and Jane Fonda were in my Triumvirate of Traitors but Uncle Walter was more of a leap.

Maybe this latest revelation, that Cronkite wasn't just reporting slanted news on the war but was in the business of manufacturing news critical of the war. Yes I know that if you read through the entire article there is a disclaimer by his son where he discounts the veracity of FBI informers but what else is he going to say, "Yeah, daddy was an unprincipled, jerk who used his powerful podium to sell out our brave troops all because he was a closet liberal?"

In fact, before his death, Cronkite did confess his well known liberal persuasion and in fact seemed quite proud of it. I wonder if the old useful idiot, lying on his deathbed, gave any thought to the damage he helped to inflict on his nation, and if so, was he still so proud of it?

For those of you too young to understand the still-simmering anger of old Vietnam War vets to, the so-called, "Most trusted man in America," perhaps a few of paragraphs from David Horowitz' Discover the Networks website will make things a bit clearer for you.

In April 1962 Cronkite succeeded veteran Douglas Edwards as Anchor and Managing Editor of the CBS Evening News, a position Cronkite would keep until his retirement in 1981.

From the outset, critics accused Cronkite of politically slanting the news to the left. This bias, they said, was evidenced not so much by Cronkite's words as by his choice of what stories CBS covered, and by his habit of raising his eyebrows and scowling to show his disapproval of statements made by conservatives and Republicans. In 1964, amid accusations of such bias, CBS replaced Cronkite as anchor at the political conventions with Robert Trout and Roger Mudd.

Cronkite strongly influenced the politics and outcome of the Vietnam War. In 1968 the Communist forces in South Vietnam, facing defeat, staged massive kamikaze attacks on U.S. positions in Saigon and elsewhere during the Chinese New Year celebration called Tet. This suicidal "Tet Offensive" was a military disaster that cost the lives of 100 Communist fighters for every American killed. But as a top Communist general said years later on the Public Broadcasting Service documentary series Vietnam, those on the left in the American press turned this Marxist military defeat into a political victory for the Communist side.

"It seems now more certain than ever," Walter Cronkite told his audience in a de facto editorial, "that the bloody experience of Vietnam is a stalemate" and that the war was "unwinnable." Cronkite's statement and call for U.S. withdrawal helped turn public opinion against the war. It also demoralized American troops and Democratic President Lyndon Johnson, who was said to have declared that losing Cronkite's support meant he had lost the backing of Middle America. 

When Republican President Richard Nixon refused to withdraw U.S. forces from Vietnam, the Democrats used the Watergate scandal to topple his presidency. Cronkite played a key role in the political process that ousted Nixon -- chiefly by broadcasting a news story every night on the CBS Evening News under the banner "Watergate." At the time, Cronkite insisted that he was non-partisan, objective and fair. After his retirement, however, he acknowledged his liberal political views.

"Everybody knows that there's a liberal, that there's a heavy liberal persuasion among correspondents," said Cronkite in 1996, speaking to his colleagues at the Radio and TV Correspondents Association dinner.

Now do you understand?

The only member of my family who doesn't look at me like I'm crazy when I express my utter contempt for Walter Cronkite is my wife; and convincing her that the kindly, avuncular, old Walter was a traitor in my eyes took the first several years of our marriage. She could better understand why John Kerry and Jane Fonda were in my Triumvirate of Traitors but Uncle Walter was more of a leap.

Maybe this latest revelation, that Cronkite wasn't just reporting slanted news on the war but was in the business of manufacturing news critical of the war. Yes I know that if you read through the entire article there is a disclaimer by his son where he discounts the veracity of FBI informers but what else is he going to say, "Yeah, daddy was an unprincipled, jerk who used his powerful podium to sell out our brave troops all because he was a closet liberal?"

In fact, before his death, Cronkite did confess his well known liberal persuasion and in fact seemed quite proud of it. I wonder if the old useful idiot, lying on his deathbed, gave any thought to the damage he helped to inflict on his nation, and if so, was he still so proud of it?

For those of you too young to understand the still-simmering anger of old Vietnam War vets to, the so-called, "Most trusted man in America," perhaps a few of paragraphs from David Horowitz' Discover the Networks website will make things a bit clearer for you.

In April 1962 Cronkite succeeded veteran Douglas Edwards as Anchor and Managing Editor of the CBS Evening News, a position Cronkite would keep until his retirement in 1981.

From the outset, critics accused Cronkite of politically slanting the news to the left. This bias, they said, was evidenced not so much by Cronkite's words as by his choice of what stories CBS covered, and by his habit of raising his eyebrows and scowling to show his disapproval of statements made by conservatives and Republicans. In 1964, amid accusations of such bias, CBS replaced Cronkite as anchor at the political conventions with Robert Trout and Roger Mudd.

Cronkite strongly influenced the politics and outcome of the Vietnam War. In 1968 the Communist forces in South Vietnam, facing defeat, staged massive kamikaze attacks on U.S. positions in Saigon and elsewhere during the Chinese New Year celebration called Tet. This suicidal "Tet Offensive" was a military disaster that cost the lives of 100 Communist fighters for every American killed. But as a top Communist general said years later on the Public Broadcasting Service documentary series Vietnam, those on the left in the American press turned this Marxist military defeat into a political victory for the Communist side.

"It seems now more certain than ever," Walter Cronkite told his audience in a de facto editorial, "that the bloody experience of Vietnam is a stalemate" and that the war was "unwinnable." Cronkite's statement and call for U.S. withdrawal helped turn public opinion against the war. It also demoralized American troops and Democratic President Lyndon Johnson, who was said to have declared that losing Cronkite's support meant he had lost the backing of Middle America. 

When Republican President Richard Nixon refused to withdraw U.S. forces from Vietnam, the Democrats used the Watergate scandal to topple his presidency. Cronkite played a key role in the political process that ousted Nixon -- chiefly by broadcasting a news story every night on the CBS Evening News under the banner "Watergate." At the time, Cronkite insisted that he was non-partisan, objective and fair. After his retirement, however, he acknowledged his liberal political views.

"Everybody knows that there's a liberal, that there's a heavy liberal persuasion among correspondents," said Cronkite in 1996, speaking to his colleagues at the Radio and TV Correspondents Association dinner.

Now do you understand?