Idol Chatter

waltercroncite.jpgHe was the last trusted anchor.
He was the man in the cultural pulpit.
He was the one whom we trusted.
He was what we once knew every night: the one who brought an unbiased representation of the news of the day.
Before Brian Williams. Before Charlie Gibson. Before Katie Couric. Before Tom Brokaw. Before Peter Jennings. Before Dan Rather. Before Larry King. Before Wolf Blitzer. Before even Hannity and The Factor, there was the honorable, the revered, the respected and the trusted Walter Cronkite.
Walter Cronkite died at 92-years-old late Friday night. He was a wonderful and inspiring man. More than Michael Jackson, more than Farrah Fawcett, more than Karl Malden, more than Billy Mays, more than Ed McMahan…a man has died whom countless Americans trusted.
And it’s been a long time since we’ve trusted anyone as much since then.

With all respect to John Chancellor, Peter Jenkins, Roger Mudd, David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Katie Couric, Charlie Gibson, and others, it’s been a long time since our culture trusted anyone as much as Walter Cronkite. He was the one who told us that we landed on the moon. He was the one who told us that the Watergate Hotel had been broken into. He was the one who told us that Vietnam was more than just a covert war. And he was the one who told us it was over. And with all respect to the talented anchors of CNN, Fox News and CNBC, no one in our generation has earned our trust as much has Walter Cronkite.
And that’s why it is such a tragedy that he has passed. And in an unbelievable–in fact unfathomable moment of ironic tragedy–he died on the 40th anniversary of the most famous event he ever called live on the air, the amazing landing on the moon of Neil Armstrong some 40 years ago.
“Uncle Walter” was always trusted. He did not have a hidden agenda. He was not about ratings. He was not about the promotion of the newest sponsor. He was not about the lead-in to the night’s comedy line-up. He was about news. He was a journalist. He was neutral. And we trusted him for it.
I’m not sure there has been a man in the pulpit–except for perhaps Billy Graham or perhaps Rick Warren–who’s been trusted by as many Americans as Walter Cronkite has been.
It wasn’t that he was a man of faith. But he was a man of truth. And therefore, we trusted him.
And we will miss him.

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