RIP, Walter Cronkite


The AP reports on the passing of a media legend:

NEW YORK – The death of Walter Cronkite elicited tributes from colleagues, presidents past and present, world-famous astronauts and those who hoped in vain to fill his empty anchor chair, all honoring the avuncular face of TV journalism who became the “most trusted man in America.”

Cronkite died with his family by his side Friday night at his Manhattan home after a long illness, CBS vice president Linda Mason said. Marlene Adler, Cronkite’s chief of staff, said Cronkite died of cerebrovascular disease. He was 92.

“It’s hard to imagine a man for whom I had more admiration,” Mike Wallace of “60 Minutes” said on CNN. “… He was a superb reporter and honorable man.”

Cronkite was the face of the “CBS Evening News” from 1962 to 1981, when stories ranged from the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to racial and anti-war riots, Watergate and the Iranian hostage crisis.

It was Cronkite who read the bulletins coming from Dallas when Kennedy was shot Nov. 22, 1963, interrupting a live CBS-TV broadcast of a soap opera.

“Walter was who I wanted to be when I grew up,” said CBS’s “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer, 72, who began working at CBS News in 1969.

“He set a standard for all of us. He made television news what it became.”

Cronkite died just three days before the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, another earthshaking moment of history linked inexorably with his reporting.

He was undoubtedly unashamed over the fact that the mainstream media was liberally biased, and wore his liberal heart on his sleeve often, especially in his later years. I was not a fan at all, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wish his family peace and comfort during what surely must be a bittersweet time in their lives right now.

The tributes and commentary are pouring in at Memeorandum. And the Anchoress has a good round-up here.