And that's the way it is... Walter Cronkite is Gravely Ill

According to reports, Walter Cronkite is gravely ill and not expected to live much longer. He is 92. Story here.

Allow me to get it out of the way… Walter Cronkite is still alive? I thought he died years ago.

A real giant in the news business. About the only time I’ve been really moved by a newscast was in college, when we watched a tape of Cronkite breaking the news of the shooting of Martin Luther King Jr. And his Vietnam editorials- I wasn’t there at the time, but even in retrospect they looked like a very powerful indictment of the war.

I was there, and they were.

Best wishes, Uncle Walter. You were one of the few I trusted.

Cronckite is, and will always be, the epitome of class act in the news.

For generations to come in television journalism classes, Cronkite will be the ideal model of a great broadcast journalist to emulate. I feel sorry for younger people who never had the opportunity to see his broadcasts live - you always felt you were in safe hands when he reported.

I agree with DMark. My earliest memory of Walter was during coverage of JFK’s assassination. He kept the country informed and mourned with us. And of course, during Apollo 11, our TV was tuned to CBS and Uncle Walter. “Man on the moon. My Golly.” He summed up everybody’s amazement and pride in man’s greatest technical achievement. I knew he was still living, but amazed that he’s been with us so long, over 25 years since his retirement. He’s a class act. They broke the mold when they made him.

Even Lyndon Johnson said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, then I’ve lost Middle America.”

When he finally does croak, please allow me to be the first to read from the copy:

“Walter Cronkite died at 12:15 this afternoon…”

And then I’ll somberly take off my glasses and look up at the clock:

“That’s some 23 minutes ago…”

(I don’t know how many times I’ve seen that JFK assassination footage but it’s burned into my memory!)

Weird…last night’s Jeopardy had a Cronkite category.

I was raised on Uncle Walter and the CBS Evening News.

And when he is gone, the Last True Journalist will be dead.

All that will be left will be hacks, producing Infotainment-Like Products.

And not a one of them has the faintest clue what it means to be a journalist like Cronkite.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been so many years since he retired. Journalism hasn’t been the same since, and never will be.

Even nowadays, there are probably lots of journalists (or would-be ones at least) who are as classy and trustworthy as Walter was, they just can’t rise high in the business today. Newscasters of Walter’s era had a pretty sweet set-up with there being only 3 major networks, which meant that the audience was much more entrenched and less dependent on sensationalism.

I didn’t realize how good he was at his job until he retired and noone ever quite measured up…