Flirting with Faith

Flirting with Faith


Walter Cronkite and the Death of Trust

posted by Joan Ball

“Newsman Walter Cronkite, who died at the age of 92, was so thoroughly and uniquely linked with the word “trust” that it is tempting to say that the word should be buried with him. In the generation since he left the anchor desk at the CBS Evening News, there have been other public figures who inspire passion, devotion, confidence, intensity and personal identification. But trust, that milder but deeper sentiment — Cronkite owned it.” So writes Jim Poniewozik in a story for Time.com.


When is the last time you heard the words trust and news reporter in the same sentence? I posted a piece in May titled Who Do You Trust and Why Do You Trust Them? where I pondered this question of trust as a lost virtue in our fast-paced, take-no-prisoners culture. Is it possible that the death of this iconic American communicator marks the end of an era where one could be trusting without appearing to be a rube? Or, as the lede in Time Magazine suggests, have the Enrons, Madoff’s and their ilk pressed us so far beyond the point of no return that trust – like its cousins chivalry and honor – have gone the way of the dodo?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this…



   

 


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Jack

posted July 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm


Trust isn’t a lost virtue, as a nation we trust in God, at least that is what it says on our currency, but when it comes to parents, neighbors,teachers, pastors, politicians,or any other human we set ourselves up for disappointment when we blindly give our trust.
Deceit and evil aren’t a new development in the world. It all began long ago when the serpent told Eve to eat of the fruit, and don’t you think that Able trusted his back to his brother Cain. We have to give our trust to others in order to live in society, our only other option would be to becme a hermit and have no contact with others.
I can’t name anyone that has been disappointed by trusting God, but even with the best of intentions man can’t help but fail in his endeavors to be perfect, we always seem to messup and betray anothers trust, often those that we are closest to.



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kenneth

posted July 20, 2009 at 7:05 pm


We had better find a way to reclaim trust in the public and private spheres, or we (and our children) are going to live in an increasingly vicious world of authoritarian governments, predatory capitalism and the blind, irrational forms of extremism that arise in reaction to these forces.



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Joan Ball

posted July 21, 2009 at 11:29 pm


Kenneth: I agree. That is part of the reason that I am so interested in this subject.



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Scott Farrell

posted August 4, 2009 at 12:57 pm


Thanks for this piece, Joan. Trust is an element of our society that has been badly abused, and is wildly misunderstood – and there’s no greater evidence of either of those things than the number of banks, lending agencies and financial firms that are trying to convince their clients and investors that, after a few months (a whole quarter!) without any sort of scandals or corruption coming to light, that they are “worthy of trust” once again. (And they wonder why consumer confidence is at an all-time low!)
It’s interesting that you equate “trust” and “chivalry.” You and your readers might enjoy looking into that connection a little deeper at my website – http://www.ChivalryToday.com – or reading my latest blog about Walter Cronkite and the ideals of chivalry in today’s world at http://chivalrytoday.blogspot.com/
Trust must live on in today’s world if we are to keep from plunging into chaos and ruin. Thanks for sparking a very interesting discussion!



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