Losing Walter Cronkite | Street Jazz

Losing Walter Cronkite

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Watching Countdown on MSNBC  Friday night when the news came that Walter Cronkite had died. I think his passing has struck me in a way that the death of Michael Jackson has struck so many others, in that he was a large part of my formative years - even when he wasn’t.

It always seemed to be CBS and Walter Cronkite that I recall as a child, whether it be assassinations coverage, news from Vietnam, the Apollo flights, or political coverage.  And Walter Cronkite was there, with his deep voice, his calm manner, linking us to the rest of the world.

For me, he was the anchor to the rest of the world.

I knew that there were other news anchors, and other news programs, but they just always seemed like also-rans compared to Walter Cronkite.

In May of 1969 my family went to Germany, and remained there until July, 1972. We had Armed Forces radio and television news, but no network news. The only references we ever got to Walter Cronkite (or any other news anchors, I suppose) were in the pages of newspapers and magazines.

When we reururned stateside in 1972, it wasn’t like we were getting “real” news again, but something else; news from someone I had grown to trust to bring me the truth once again.

A Friday night interview with firmer CBS newsman Daniel Schorr revealed that Cronkite’s “retirement” in 1981, making way for Dan Rather, wasn’t his idea. He was, in essence, forced out by the network to make way for someone younger.

I wasn’t even 30 yet, and I was upset at his leaving.

It’s Sunday morning, and CNN is still relentlessly pushing their Michael Jackson specials. I hope they give a fraction as much time to Cronkite, and do a decent retrospective on his career.

Will CBS, outside of a mention on the news?

******

Quote of the Day

Hoary idea, in any case, expecting a woman to surrender her name to her husband's in exchange for his. Why? Would any man submerge his identity and heritage to the woman he wed? - Marya Mannes, "Out of My Time"

*****

So, why is the Fayetteville Public Library spending money on Blu-Ray discs?

Recently a Fayetteville resident had a written exchange with Fayetteville public library, wondering why they were spending money on Blu-Ray discs, especially since the discs are only playable on the more expensive players. Regular DVDs, on the other hand, are playable on all players, including Blu-Ray.

This doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, especially at a time when everyone - libraries included - have to watch their pennies.

He made some very good points, ending his letter with:

This is not about information access, this is about elitism and driving the consumer to think that they must purchase new technology - where in fact the old technology is perfectly satisfactory - except for a few elitists that have the hundreds of dollars to purchase the new technology.

The library’s response came thus:

Thank you for your recent comment card. We value your thoughts and comments because they help us improve library services for our community.

One is left to wonder  if they actually read what he had to say.


rsdrake@nwark.com

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