Rest in peace, Uncle Walter

Walter Cronkite, the last bastion of TV journalists who actually had the respect of print journalists (and you can bet that there were never that many of those to begin with), has died at the age of 92. What can you really say about “Uncle Walter” that hasn’t already been said? The man was a legend in his field, a man who was declared “the most trusted man in America” by more than one opinion poll, and he offered a presence at “The CBS Evening News” that no one has ever been able to match.

Cronkite was an easy target for impressionists, with his straightforward delivery and his standard tag line, “And that’s the way it is,” but he possessed a sense of humor, making an appearance on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” which ranks right up there with the funeral of Chuckles the Clown as one of the most memorable episodes in that show’s history. I actually thought about him very recently, when the animated film “We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story,” was reissued on DVD, as he provided the voice of Captain Neweyes, a scientist from the future. Come to think of it, another of his voiceover roles – that of Benjamin Franklin on “Liberty’s Kids” – turned up on DVD recently as well.

But, of course, it’s none of these things that will prove to be Cronkite’s legacy. It’s his work as a newsman. So let us remember two of his greatest moments as we bid him farewell…


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