Patterico's Pontifications

7/17/2009

Open Thread Friday

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 2:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This is an open thread on a hot Friday afternoon, but there are a couple of stories we haven’t mentioned this week that you might like to discuss:

Senator Barbara Boxer got an earful yesterday from Harry C. Alford, the President and CEO of the Black Chamber of Commerce, when she treated his testimony regarding energy policy and green jobs as equivalent to the opinions of other black organizations and individuals. Boxer seems to think the opinions of all black persons are of equal value regardless of their qualifications or supporting evidence:

Meanwhile, today, Larry Summers had his own awkward moment when he argued the economy must be getting better … because “economic depression” isn’t getting as many hits on Google:

“Of all the statistics pouring into the White House every day, top economic adviser Larry Summers highlighted one Friday to make his case that the economic free-fall has ended.

The number of people searching for the term “economic depression” on Google is down to normal levels, Summers said.”

Isn’t it great to know the Obama Administration’s economic team is on top of really important things like Google searches?

– DRJ

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Also, Walter Cronkite died. His death means little to me, but I know he was an important figure to some. Consider this an open thread on that topic as well — and please withhold any cheap shots.

311 Responses to “Open Thread Friday”

  1. It might be interesting to know how “normal levels” were determined. If it actually meant anything, I mean.

    mojo (8096f2)

  2. Barbara Boxer is the “Joe Biden” of California.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  3. Again, I’m struck by the sheer arrogance and condescension of Boxer. OTH, at least she doesn’t demand he address her as Senator

    Hats off to Mr. Alford for pointing out the obvious offense. It is patronizing and speaks to the plantation mentality that the left is fond of.

    However, what is also troubling is that Mr. Alford, who is very offended by Boxer patronizing him with stats from specifically black civic groups, is also the president of one such group himself. This hypocrisy very much weakens Mr. Alford’s argument.

    Dana (57e332)

  4. I disagree that Alford is hypocritical. Alford came to discuss his group’s position on energy. It was Boxer who decided to make it a racial thing by inserting into the record statements by two black groups and making a point of noting they were black groups.

    Alford was right to challenge Boxer. I wonder if he called her Ma’am, too.

    Rick

    Rick Caird (0ceb78)

  5. I agree with Rick in that I suspect Alford thought he was there as a witness for the policy and not just a witness for a minority view.

    However, in the end, Boxer wins this round, because she is in a safe Senate seat, and has no shame. California will never vote her out, so what’s the worst that happens here? She gets a few moments of bad press, and then the MSM continues its love-fest for the Democrat Party.

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  6. As this is an open thread, I’d respectfully like to again urge younger posters to this blog (and maybe a few older ones as well) to take a few minutes over the next few days and reflect upon some of the news coverage and visit some of the websites honoring the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11. Americans did things differently in the 1960′s. If you are under 45 years of age, Project Apollo is the stuff of museums. You may even believe it was faked (as a program aired on Fox a few years ago professed.) More likely, it means little to you other than some event in a history book or the genesis for an MTV trophy, but its legacy is all around you in your daily life.

    Apollo is a study in what smart people in government, universities and private industry can do when they actually work together to solve literally astronomical problems. There are lessons to be learned from the half-million people across America who managed it and made one of mankind’s most ancient dreams a reality. Lessons that can be applied to meeting many of the challenges facing the United States today. Placing Americans on the moon had the overwhelming support of the American people and, for a government project, came in ahead of schedule and under budget. And the American people of that era paid for it. The average age of the young engineers who managed the moon mission from Houston’s control center was about 25, too. And they did it with the technology of slide rules, before the era of the pocket calculator, with room-sized computers using punch cards and tape laughably primitive by today’s standards.

    For a look at some excellent imagery from Apollo, I recommend visiting:

    http://www.apolloarchive.com/apollo_gallery.html

    And for some excellent audio from Apollo 11, you might want to visit the following as well:

    http://www.live365.com/stations/246422?site=apollo_11_oda

    It’s worth a look and a listen.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  7. Weren’t you an incredibly instrumental part of that as well, ASPCA?

    JD (a8f5e7)

  8. Boxer’s attempt to provide corresponding opinions would have been effective if she were providing statements from other chambers of commerce.

    Ira (28a423)

  9. Mrs. Boxer did just fine. She ignored her deponent’s statement and put hers on the record. I don’t know that I have the temperament not to allow myself to be provoked like that by some big fat person. The lady is cool. Even chilly, maybe.

    nk a/k/a Sarah (947b03)

  10. Haven’t you heard about “googlewashing”?

    The owner of google and also youtube is an obama supporter.

    Many unflattering search results of obama were removed.

    Haven’t you ever noticed when youtube videos that were proof of obama lies were hacked to either replace the whole video with an unrelated video (usually an inferior band playing), or the audio portion of the video replaced with music?

    It doesn’t surprise me at all to learn that this administration’s staff is quoting google results, as they are certainly privy to google statistics.

    Some may think this is a right wing conspiracy claim. However, the obama administration used all aspects of the internet during his campaign, and now during his reign of error.

    Silky Sullivan (d144b1)

  11. Indeed, Dggcrpp has done the following awesome feats at NASA –

    - he actually worked for them at the same time he was working for Enron. Probably just shuttled between the two gigs between his secret identity of “the arachnid crime fighter of Houston.”

    - he also personally met Von Braun in his dorm room hallway while wearing his undies. Naturally, being both experts in the field, they discussed rocket propulsion systems.

    Did I leave anything out, Dggcrpp?

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  12. While I believe Mr.Alford came to discuss his group’s position on energy in good faith, I don’t believe Senator Boxer had any intent to discuss it in good faith but rather use it as an opportunity to showboat how non-racist and diverse she is, and ironically (and foolishly) chose to do this by condescendingly appealing to that specific ethnic group by using only statistics of another group with the same ethnicity. Her patent offense stands on it’s own.

    While Senator Boxer seems to be a lifer in office and continuing to harm Cali, there is a strong hope that Assemblyman Chuck DeVore might be able to take her down in the election. Californians are a very, very unhappy lot these days and just might be willing to break from the hard left brand.

    Dana (57e332)

  13. I’m gonna just iterate again what I said earlier and repeat it here…

    Searches for the term were up four-fold when the recession deepened in the earlier part of the year, and the recent shift goes to show consumer confidence is higher, Summers told the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    The phony “stimulus” treasury rape package was passed in mid-February… after that there was no reason for Barack Obama’s compliant media like the NPR and the CNN to sell the idea of a depression. Mr. Summers is either deeply stupid or he’s as much given to lying as Barack Obama. It might could be also that he has no choice but to lie lie lie cause someone has pictures of him doing shameful dirty things.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  14. My hypothesis is: to those in power with a certain veiwpoint, the concept of “problem” can be defined as “something that focus groups rate us as likely to be able to handle well”. Ergo, polling data drives perception management.

    “The number of people searching for the term “economic depression” on Google is down to normal levels [...]”

    Nothing to see, move along. These are not the droids you are seeking. Send out Joe to work his obfuscatory bedazzlement and cripple the reasoning ability of the hoi polloi with his evil mind numbing flashbang of wrong.

    JSinAZ (8dd117)

  15. I’m sorry,but Barbara Boxer is incapable of discussing anything. Debate is not her forte but talking points is. Alford brough science and facts to be part of his testimony. Boxer had opinions of some black groups who tend to hold the same opinion as their patrons in the Democratic party. She is both stupid and insulting.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (09bd60)

  16. Barbara Boxer is the perfect embodiment of the California electorate since 1994. She has no brains and no sense but she certainly represents the state well. The entrepreneurs of California have been leaving for years and soon there will be nothing left but a third world society punctuated by gated enclaves of leftists. I wonder if they will build high walls topped with broken bottles, like those in similar areas of Mexico ?

    Mike K (90939b)

  17. Walter Cronkite has died. And that’s the way it is.

    Steverino (69d941)

  18. Wasn’t Obie said to be assembling a team of “smart” people?

    Sure doesn’t look that way.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (1641e7)

  19. Mr. Alford called Barbara Boxer a racist on John Ziegler’s radio show today and said she made him feel like some stupid jigaboo up there.

    Well done Senator.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  20. I’m so sad about Walter Cronkite.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  21. How he shoved all those Vietnamese people under the oppressive and squalid communist bus so readily and so earnestly. He bravely spoke his Truth no matter how many died. We’ll never see his like again.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  22. Except maybe on NPR.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  23. Notice that Bobby Byrd and Barbara Boxer have the same initials and the same condescending racist attitude.

    DavidL (02e14f)

  24. That’s the perfect epitaph for Walter Cronkite, happyfeet.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  25. #6- A postscript. Walter Cronkite has died this evening. And it seems appropriate, if any of you get the chance, to view some of his coverage of the Apollo 11 mission. He was the best. And that, truly is the way it is. Condolences to the Cronkite family and all the men and women past and present, who worked with him in journalism and at CBS News.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  26. #18 – Blacque Jacques Shellacque “Wasn’t Obie said to be assembling a team of “smart” people?”

    I suspect that President Obama believes he is working with the smartest (like himself) people he can assemble, like Senator Boxer, Congresswoman Pelosi, Senator Reid, and Vice President Biden …

    There would have been a certain appropriateness had Mr Alford addressed Senator Boxer as “Missus” rather than as “Ma’am” … (grin) …

    Alasdair (9763eb)

  27. ASPCA – Were you there at CBS at the same time as Cronkite?

    The best? Complete hooey. Happyfeet nailed it.

    JD (6dacf4)

  28. Huntley and Brinkley made Cronkite look and sound like a child trying to emulate his parents. Not.even.close.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  29. A good and rather devastating observation on Walter Cronkite, Vietnam, and the Decline of Media Credibility over at American Thinker.

    Dana (57e332)

  30. Cronkite did not think the American people should vote. I think DCSCA feels the same way. A lot of faux elitists on that side of the aisle.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  31. #27- Yes, the best. Yes, I met him when at CBS. A first rate guy. A superb print and broadcast journalist who was the gold standard of television journalism and the best in his field. Something you need not worry about.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  32. #20, #21, #22 and #24. Rubbish. And expected.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  33. What year was that, IMP?

    JD (355e34)

  34. Dmac, JD…maybe it is time for a timeline for Zelig II.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  35. What specific statement of Cronkite’s are you saying forced the Vietnamese under the proverbial bus of Communism, happyfeet?

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  36. These comments [from Dana’s American Thinker link], Leviticus. And this:

    “As the TET offensive continued into February, the anchorman for the CBS evening news, Walter Cronkite, traveled to Vietnam and filed several reports. Upon his return, Cronkite took an unprecedented step of presenting his “editorial opinion” at the end of the news broadcast on February 27th. “For it seems now more certain than ever,” Cronkite said, “that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate.” After watching Cronkite’s broadcast, LBJ was quoted as saying. “That’s it. If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America.”

    It’s not hard for young people today to understand how a journalist might use his influence to publicly impact American foreign policy, but it wasn’t done in those days. It’s very hard for young people today to realize how influential Cronkite was and what a big impact his opinions and actions had on Americans.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  37. Leviticus and DCSCA, please read the American Thinker linked story I linked at #29. It offers a good perspective that might otherwise be lost in the modern media remembrances of him.

    Dana (57e332)

  38. thanks DRJ. I found this what is sort of interesting…

    Urged by his boss to briefly set aside his objectivity to give his view of the situation, Cronkite said the war was unwinnable and that the U.S. should exit.*

    I’d be curious to know more… what a tool.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  39. Dana, you have a 50% chance there. But then, that is clear from the kinds of posts made by both!

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  40. #36- It’s important to note that in that period, when NBC News and CBS News were power houses (ABC News was still up and coming) television anchors seldom served up commentary as part of regular broadcast news and on the rare occasion when it was, it was clearly labeled so, or delivered by a semi-retired reporter (Severeid comes to mind.) Cronkite’s 1958 piece was aptly labeled. Cronkite was trained in the lost art of newspaper journalism, AP old school and his broadcast news reports reflect that discipline. I recently replayed the realtime audio reporting of his coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing for some children. It is gripping, cryptic, factual, accurate, and recaptures with descriptive reporting the events as they happened. It’s a tribute to Cronkite’s skill that it quite literally reported ‘the way it is’ — or was, for history.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  41. #36- 1968 piece. Not ’58.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  42. DCSCA,

    You view Cronkite as a credible authority on Vietnam. Apparently his unerring instincts, intellect and vision failed him on Iraq.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  43. #29- Rubbish.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  44. DRJ, it’s laudable that you try. But you are just buying into a a proven game-plan that has little to do with fair debate and respectful differences of opinion here. Be prepared for some very unusual interactions, without much consistency. I just hope it remains civil.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  45. These reports that Congress uses to support their POW really reminds me of the GIGO principle.

    What the heck? Who gives a hoot what the NAACP has to say about the cost/benefit of force feeding the green movement into CA?

    Really, it is like asking an English Major her thoughts on Structural Engineering. WTF?

    What is even better is when these clowns pick up “papers” and quote what is written as if it “being written” makes it true. My grandfather said the strong thing in the world was paper because you could put anything on it.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  46. DRJ – Tilting at windmills again? ;-)

    JD (355e34)

  47. In addition, not everyone agrees with your view that Cronkite’s opinions were clearly labeled. And like neo-neocon, I remember Eric Sevareid as the CBS News editorialist but not Cronkite.

    (Note to JD: Yes, it’s what Fridays are for.)

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  48. You aren’t fitting Teh Narrative™, DRJ.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  49. “Rubbish” isn’t an argument, DCSCA. Please provide substantive replies, preferably with links.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  50. Cronkite was an ass who sold his country down the toilet to curry Upper West Side rep. He did the same nonsense during Iranian Hostage.

    Same old “woaaaaa is us we are bad and deserve what we are getting.”

    I guess the only good conflicts are the ones we win in three days b/f the correspondents actually get to see the sausage making factory is kind of gross.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  51. #42- No. I view CBS News correspondent Walter Cronkite as a credible and objective reporter from that era who clearly labeled his commentary on the Vietnam conflict as commentary based on his experience, reporting and observations. That’s far different than labelling him a ‘credible authority’ like, say General William Westmorland or Robert MacNamara, Richard Nixon or Henry Kissinger. The Cronkite/Krieger piece on Iraq is accurate, whether you accept it or not. Apparently it ‘failed’ only in the eyes of conservatives. But then that’s the way it is, isn’t it.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  52. oh. Thanks DRJ – that neo piece answers my questions about Walter’s dirty socialist boss at CBS.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  53. DRJ, #49: you didn’t expect him to follow your advice, did you? Because he is only interested in tearing down other people and scoring childish points, never defending his own comments using the same standards he tries to require of others.

    Trollish game playing and hypocrisy. But what’s new about that, sadly?

    Perhaps “rubbish” is a good descriptor, after all. But not in the way he uses it.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  54. DCSCA, do you see how Cronkite opened the door to modern reporting wherein objectivity and just the facts m’am, has devolved to commentary, first, with facts a secondary concern?

    Dana (57e332)

  55. #50

    You are too charitable towards Cronkite. He had a long history of distorting the news prior to Vietnam. Cronkite was never an authority on anything as his educational resume demonstrates. He stabbed the nation in the back in Vietnam as has been amply demonstrated.

    I hope he likes the heat where he is going. I’m going to drink a McEwan’s in his honor so I can piss on his grave.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  56. Cronkite’s “credible and objective” reporting was in fact false. He reported the Tet Offensive as a great Viet Cong victory when in fact it represented the end of the Viet Cong. The Viet Cong virtually disappeared from the battlefield post Tet and was replaced by NVA regular units thereafter because of their failure and decimation.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  57. It’s striking how quick our geriatric dirty socialist albeit avuncular newsman is to throw lying liar John F. Kennedy under the history bus just so he can tear down Mr. Bush in that link at #42.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  58. #49- See #50 for ‘substantitive replies.’ Rubbish is a succinct retort when conservatives try to argue something out of nothing. Conservative talkers sniping at Cronkite’s skills as a journalist, especially today, is just that- rubbish. The links are a plenty but the best link I suggest to you is to switch on your television set. Even Fox News agrees Cronkite set the standard.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  59. Oh, he clearly set his objectivity aside, IMP. Of that there is no doubt.

    Funny how the Leftists never want to talk about Iraq anymore, except to lie and misrepresent what has happened.

    JD (355e34)

  60. John F. Kennedy Jr. I should say I guess. I never knew him cause of he got shot after he started a disastrous war of choice. The dirty socialists made a movie about how cool it would have been if that happened to Bush. It won awards and stuff.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  61. Cronkite became a celebrity and he used that to push his agenda. He was/is/always will be an ASS.

    His nonsense ushered in this era of Advocacy Journalism. I still remember him on TV, everyone treated him like God. He also hated Reagan and engaged in lots of pot shots there too.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  62. #47– Those who count, do.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  63. “…Rubbish is a succinct retort when serial fabulist trolls try to argue something out of nothing….

    Fixed that for you.

    The conflicting stories really have become tiresome.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  64. Cronkite never did any journalism about the NVA. He just accepted their nonsense press releases about how wonderful everything was and how horrible the US was. And yeah, TET failed but you would never know from Press Coverage.

    North Vietnam knew with guys like Walter pushing their nonsense and presenting a winnable war as a loser …. they could just wait us out, and they did.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  65. DRJ, see #62: I told you so. But the irony is pretty rich, I suppose.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  66. oh. no. I was right the first time. John F. Kennedy, Jr. apparently died in a plane crash years after his daddy launched a disastrous war of choice. He drove really nice cars and boffed both Daryl Hannah and equine Sex in the City starlet Sarah Jessica Parker. He was survived by a sister who did an admirable job of crashing and burning some few years later.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  67. and that’s the way it is I think

    happyfeet (c75712)

  68. International Man of Parody – Were you in your undies when you met Cronkite? What year was that? Was that before NSA? After NASA? Before Enron? After meeting von Braun? After your stint in England? Before your stint in Russia?

    JD (355e34)

  69. Oh shit he died. Just caught that. Figured it was soem OT nonsense.

    Shouldn’t speak ill of the dead but can’t say I am much worked up about it either. Good night funny man.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  70. #54- Dana, the devolution to opinion as ‘news’ is a facet of the changing face of the 24/7 news business into a 24/7 cycle when it was forced to become a profit center. Most of these cable ‘news’ stations are opinion news today, not fit for the AP-styled rip-n-read method of reporting. I strongly recomment you view the film, ‘Network’ as it was quite prescient. Cronkite was highly critical of poor quality of local news, which he believed to be as important as any national news. He’d often say, “News is more than facts. News is information you can use in your townm your city, your home.” Through much of Cronkite’s tenure at CBS News, it was quite literally a loss leader, never a profit center. Paley was quoted as saying just one entertainment program paid for his entire news division. Cronkite’s reporting style was straight out of print journalism, the Associated Press, of the old school akin to Edward R. Murrow, where the words use had equal if not more weight than the accompanying pictures. I suggest you listen to, or read, some transcripts of some of Cronkite’s broadcasts from radio, newsreel and television. You’ll find no opinion in the news reports, and only descriptive language in the hundreds of hours of narrations of documentaries on World War 2, Vietnam, the space program and even the Kennedy assassinations– and Watergate.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  71. When people often say the same things over and over like “news is more than facts” sometimes it’s just a sign of dementia is all. “Forced to become a profit center” is another empty phrase what can be a lot indicative.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  72. Back to Boxer. She exemplifies what so often I’ve seen in the left.

    Essentially, she’s saying that that he, as a black man, has to understand that she — as white, liberal woman — knows what is best. And to prove it, she trots out what the opinions of other black liberals.

    What an insult. I completely understand why Alford was so offended. The debate about global warming is not a race issue.

    It doesn’t matter what the NAACP or any other organization says. He had his information. I don’t know if it is right or wrong, but the condescension of Boxer is almost astounding.

    Unless you happen to be member of the military.

    Why in the world would California elect this hateful racist as a Senator?

    Ag80 (a71b80)

  73. “Oh shit he died” is another one to keep an eye on.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  74. DCSCA,

    Is this the same Cronkite who constantly spoke of Ronald Reagan being “possibly the oldest POTUS” or alluding to his Goldwater relationship and that “Mushroom Cloud” commercial. Or his constant despair over the Hostage Crisis and how our support for the Shah is the reason it happened?

    Please, give me a break. He crossed over some time in the 60s. I was pretty young but even I could see he was picking sides and facts.

    The guy on NBC or ABC were not nearly as unhinged or egotistical from what I remember…. but Walter “the way it is” Cronkite was a big phony.

    Alas, good night funny man.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  75. It’s not hard for young people today to understand how a journalist might use his influence to publicly impact American foreign policy, but it wasn’t done in those days. It’s very hard for young people today to realize how influential Cronkite was and what a big impact his opinions and actions had on Americans. What a simplistic comment. Young people arent that ignorant. You assume Cronkite was giving commentary then because he intended to try to sway public policy. His ‘opinion’ clearly labeled as his commentary. It only carried weight in the face of the ‘credibility gap’ presented by government officials of the era. A position acknowledged by the late Robert MacNamara, who spent the rest of his days apologizing for prolonging the Vietnam conflict. CBS was especially sensitive to criticisms of biases. The corporate bruises suffered during the Murrow/McCarthy matter were always there. Cronkite made a special point to label his commentary. Watch the entire piece from 1968 and see how accurate he was. A superb reporter.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  76. Young people arent that ignorant.

    Ask a young person who Susan Dey is. Sheer befuddlement is what you’ll see in their eyes. You can sing a few bars of c’mon get happy and see what good that does ya. It’s hopeless.

    Get off my lawn.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  77. #63- Rest easy. Condescension could be covered when the public option becomes a reality.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  78. I simply love it when IMP calls anyone at all, including me, condescending. It’s either great performance art, or a “pitch perfect” inability to self-evaluate.

    This is the guy who referred to making “quite a few quid” selling newspapers of the Beatles breakup, in between so many other conflicting incidents of derring-do. But no, this troll isn’t condescending! Not at all!

    It’s actually pretty amusing.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  79. the Beatles?

    young person (c75712)

  80. DCSCA #70:

    Cronkite’s reporting style was straight out of print journalism, the Associated Press, of the old school akin to Edward R. Murrow, where the words use had equal if not more weight than the accompanying pictures.

    I agree. Cronkite was a remarkable journalist known for his ability to focus on the facts and fairly present both sides of the story. That’s why his February 1968 editorial on Tet and Vietnam was so devastating.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  81. You assume Cronkite was giving commentary then because he intended to try to sway public policy. His ‘opinion’ clearly labeled as his commentary.

    And yet you assume Cronkite was not trying to sway the public.

    The problem with trying to prove his neutrality and that he was not attempting to influence public’s opinion – whether or not he labeled anything as just “commentary” – is, he was already a very public figure and one trusted by millions. It was not like he was someone we didn’t know or trust or were unfamiliar with.

    Rather he was like a father or grandfather, kindly, wise and knowing. The public’s respect and admiration for him was really incomparable.

    So even if he did qualify the report with a commentary tag, it didn’t really matter. His place of influence in the American scene was already secured. As was his stature.

    Dana (57e332)

  82. Devastating, and wrong. But being accurate is secondary to promoting Teh Narrative.

    JD (355e34)

  83. DCSCA #75:

    What a simplistic comment.

    I’ve found that most things are simple when you really understand them.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  84. As to Cronkite: My condolences. I will give him props for his work during World War II and his coverage of the Kennedy assassination.

    However, I have to say, I wasn’t born until after the war and I never saw his coverage of the assassination until I was much older.

    It may be difficult for some folks to understand, but the only TV I saw as a young person was limited to one television station and it was affiliated with NBC. So, I grew up watching the Huntley-Brinkley Report.

    Was he a great reporter? I don’t know. History will tell. But I do know that history hasn’t always been kind to great reporters of their time.

    Nonetheless, I hope he does rest in peace. He was an important person of the 20th Century.

    Ag80 (a71b80)

  85. Dana:

    I read the American Thinker piece, and I understand the argument it’s trying to make, but I can’t say I buy that argument. Based on everything I’ve read about Vietnam, the primary impact of the Tet Offensive was exposing the ARVN and the government of South Vietnam as little more than choke points for all the vice of Southeast Asia, with no will and no ability to defend themselves against the North Vietnamese (who had definite ideological fervor – be it Communist or Nationalist – driving their soldiers and their citizens).

    The American Thinker piece tries to portray the South Vietnamese as willing partners with America in a mutual defense against Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap and their Communist gang, but everything I’ve ever read about the war portrays the South Vietnamese government and the South Vietnamese army as hopelessly, irreparably, unapologetically immersed in graft, and the South Vietnamese peasantry as anywhere from apathetic(at best) to actively supportive (at worst) of Communism and the Viet Cong. It was (by 1968) the point of view of a number of senior military personnel that the war could not be won for these exact reasons.

    happyfeet:

    Do you really think it was the intention of Walter Cronkite to throw the South Vietnamese to the dogs? Do you think he applauded the atrocities that took place after the war was over?

    Keeping in mind the arguments made in my exchange with Dana, and keeping in mind that the man disclaimed his statements as his own personal opinion (made not in his official capacity as a Fount of Knowledge but as a private citizen)… I think your assessment seems harsh. Particularly today – not that my generation has any particular repoire with or fondness for Walter Cronkite, but the man just died today.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  86. There aren’t supposed to be great reporters really. Not if they’re doing it right. “Great reporters” are really just a function of all the other reporters mostly sucking.

    young person (c75712)

  87. Hah. Trickery. I’m not playing your “the man just died today” game. Like I don’t know how that one ends.

    young person (c75712)

  88. crap. I could have sworn I’d changed that already.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  89. Too bad Cronkite didn’t die a couple weeks ago. He would have been one of the few people who could have vied with Jackson for media attention. And that only because modern media is a slef-important echo chamber.

    [Note to whoever: I unapproved this comment. -- DRJ]

    Soronel Haetir (2a5236)

  90. Leviticus #85,

    I suspect there are times when you could have described much of the Iraqi military, leaders and populace the way you describe the South Vietnamese. It’s rarely a choice between absolute honor and total frauds. Humans and wars are more complicated than that.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  91. But I will say that I do think it’s fair to look at how salivatingly eager this monstrously amoral and self-regarding twit was to throw the Iraqi people under the bus and reason backwards from there.

    [NOTE: I unapproved this comment, too. -- DRJ]

    happyfeet (c75712)

  92. #60, Rubbish.

    steve miller (11b06b)

  93. Sorry, meant #70, Rubbish.

    My eyes aren’t what they were back when I was helping Werner von Braun develop the Apollo space project.

    steve miller (11b06b)

  94. #80- It was only ‘devastating’ because it was an accurate assessment arrived at from his reporting and appropriately labeled as commentary. If LBJ and MacNamara had had any credibility, Cronkite’s 1968 commentary would have been dismissed. But the ‘credibility gap’ was real. LBJ knew that and said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” On this day, though, I like to remember his reporting of the manned space program, and the tone of optimism that tied together the facts he reported on those magnificent events during a very dour decade. Cronkite often said that in those times reporting on those space shots, when the world was downcast, everyone there was upcast. He would probably be a little put off by the attention on his passing, and like to be remembered as first and foremost, a journalist. We will never see the likes of his kind of news reporting again.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  95. I think it’s fair to discuss Walter Cronkite’s actions but it’s not fair to mock or attack him as a person, especially on the day he died. Hopefully we can all (myself included) keep that in mind from now on.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  96. #88- Humans and wars are more complicated than that. Really???

    I’ve found that most things are simple when you really understand them.

    Hmmm.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  97. #92, Rubbish. More nutrootery.

    steve miller (11b06b)

  98. Most things, DCSCA, but good point.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  99. Here was a kooky Walter Cronkite action. At the very nadir of Bill Clinton’s moral flounderings, Walter stepped up and said hey I’ll lend Bill a little of my “most trusted man in America” cachet.

    Is it fair to call that self-regarding? I think it’s fair to call that self-regarding.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  100. I think Walter Cronkite proved beyond any doubt how the media can influence and cause certain perceptions to be perceived as what most people want, even when they are not.

    Barak Obama and the media’s BDS is also further proof.

    ML (f060a0)

  101. #93- DRJ, agreed. I was lucky enough to have met him during my time at CBS so I admit to being biased. I wanted to talk about space shots, he wanted to discuss sailing. We talked boats. He was a great guy. Tall, well taylored and no different than the man you saw on television.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  102. Best Bicentennial moment- Cronkite covering the parade of tall ships in New York Harbor on July 4, 1976.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  103. “It’s not the journalist’s job to be patriotic,” Cronkite once told a secretary of defense. “How can patriotism be determined anyway? Is patriotism simply agreeing unquestioningly with every action of one’s government? Or might we define patriotism as having the courage to speak and act on those principles one thinks are best for the country, whether they are in accordance with the wishes of the government or not?”*

    Walter Cronkite was very very good at his job.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  104. Walter Cronkite has passed on and we won’t see his like again. He comes from a different time.

    steve miller (11b06b)

  105. “I suspect there [were] times when you could have described much of the Iraqi military, leaders and populace the way you describe the South Vietnamese.”

    - DRJ

    I you still could. Which seems to beg the question…

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  106. I suspect you still could.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  107. I didn’t see this blogged anywhere today.

    As one A.F.L.-C.I.O. official told the Times: “This bill will bring about dramatic changes, even if card check has fallen away.”

    There’s a comment there that sort of sums up where things stand at present…

    Even if the removal of card check actually happens, employers need to realize that what is left presents a very generous, pro-union set of reforms. Labor organizing success will tip heavily in favor of unions. Labor reform compromise without card check could still include: a short campaign window; the elimination of any so-called captive audience meetings about union representation with employees; union access to the employer’s premises; significant financial penalties for unfair labor practices; and, compulsory binding arbitration. That is not a very pleasant reality for employers or employees who want to maintain a positive, direct relationship with each another.

    This is bad. This is a bad thing what has happened today.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  108. #81- No assupmtion on my part. He was not. He was reporting the news, not trying to shape opinion in the broadcasts. He was managing editor, the first of its kind, and brought to bear the standards and practices honed by years as as print reporter. CBS News was held to some pretty high standards in those years. You assume he was, probably because you are tainted by the slop that passes for ‘news’ today by the talking heads on cable. In Cronkite’s day there would be no ‘reporters roundtable’ when they opined. MTP, FTN Issues And Answers were straight Q&A. No opinions. Cronkite’s newscasts were packed full of news, because they only had 22 minutes to report it. You’d not see the kind of soft news and feature package pieces you see today on the CBS Evening News in the heyday of Cronkite’s era.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  109. “Walter Cronkite has passed on and we won’t see his like again. He comes from a different time.”

    So does DCSCA, but DCSCA still lives in the past on every thread.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  110. When you can’t say anything good about the present, even though your party is in control, I guess you have to live in the past.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  111. UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Also, Walter Cronkite died. His death means little to me, but I know he was an important figure to some. Many, actually, of a certain age and knowledge base. Certainly a benchmark worth noting as compared to, say, the passing of Ann Coulter’s mother. Interesting.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  112. #107- Conservatives are lost in the wilderness because they’ve forgotten where they came from so thry don’t know where they’re going.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  113. “87.Hah. Trickery. I’m not playing your “the man just died today” game. Like I don’t know how that one ends.”

    - [happyfeet]

    Do what you want, but let me direct your attention to something Patterico wrote in the thread commemorating Tony Snow after his death:

    “Anyone who says anything bad about [Tony Snow] in this thread is banned and the comment will be deleted. Anyone who says anything bad about him today anywhere on this blog will be banned and the comment will be deleted. It’s not the time or place.

    Comments are still open on other threads on this blog — put “Tony Snow” into the search engine — and if you want to wait until tomorrow and then articulate respectful disagreement with his views, etc., you’re welcome to. Today is not the day, and this comment thread will never be the place.”

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  114. #110, Rubbish.

    An opinion stated as fact does not make it fact.

    Try again.

    steve miller (11b06b)

  115. DCSCA #106,

    Your factual allegations would be more convincing if you provided links.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  116. Walter Cronkite, may he rest in peace, and Sex and the City, and Dan Rather, are only three of many reasons, why we don’t watch TV in our house.

    nk a/k/a Sarah (d9523c)

  117. How does it beg the question, Leviticus? Can you or anyone know what would have happened in Vietnam if we had stayed vs what would happen in Iraq if the U.S. had pulled out in 2007 as Cronkite urged?

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  118. I’m going to see if I can find a Johnny Carson skit making fun of Walter Cronkite’s replacement by Dan Rather. Wahtever we may think of Dan Rather, he was a reporter and not a news reader. He crawled on his belly, in the mud, in Viet Nam, to bring us the story. And much later, when he did not need to, in Kosovo too.

    But I really enjoyed the way Reagan stuck it to the media in Grenada. (I had a personal interest — my little brother was a student down there.) I was still watching TV then, and I got a tingle up my leg every time some soldier would tell some reporterette, “Go peddle your papers”.

    nk a/k/a Sarah (d9523c)

  119. There’s this stupid saying, “Whoever controls your information, controls your destiny”. I think it’s more true to say, “If you’re stupid and lazy and ignorant, whoever controls your information controls your destiny, but you never had a chance in the first place, anyway”.

    nk a/k/a Sarah (d9523c)

  120. #106,

    You assume he was, probably because you are tainted by the slop that passes for ‘news’ today by the talking heads on cable.

    LOL! You do realize you are assuming reasons why about me and yet you reject my assumptions about Cronkite possibly attempting to persuade an audience? Your assumptions are to be taken as correct, is that it, and other’s not? Because I don’t see facts, I see opinions and assumptions, which leaves the door of possibilities open.

    Dana (57e332)

  121. re tony snow
    this blog is basically one big double standard. one set of rules for rightists, another for everyone else.

    ad hominem? fine if your a conservative, not if you your not.

    personal attacks? a core value, but, sorry guys, no personal attacks against conservatives. we dish out, we do not take.

    thread jacking? it is all good as long as it`s from a right-wing perspective.

    the dude (f2122b)

  122. Hey, da dude, choo onlee needs brains and a cents of jumor. Muerda mi chorizo, maricon!

    nk a/k/a Sarah (d9523c)

  123. Tony Snow. I loved Tony Snow very much. It was here where we talked about that. After that it looks like I spent a lot of the rest of the thread defending Mr. SEK cause of everybody got all mad at him for not making the approved sorrowful noises what consensus dictated. They were really hard on him I thought. People weren’t really trying to hear what his point was it didn’t seem like.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  124. Happyfeet! So I’m not just talking here alone. (Click on my signature, BTW.)

    nk a/k/a Sarah (d9523c)

  125. That looks formidable. Dangerous. Most encounters would begin and end I think with the cognitive dissonance generated by seeing someone wield that steel whilst sporting trendy yet personally expressive giorgio armani rectangle glasses.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  126. #113- Read his book. A Reporter’s Life.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  127. Just give me a little more time and a hilt will surely grow. I do not like either symmetrical handles (the haft must tell you where the blade is) or handguards on knives. So D.E. Henry might call it just partly a California bowie.

    nk a/k/a Sarah (d9523c)

  128. #115- Uh, we do know what happened in Vietnam– because we stayed. More Americans died. Cronkite’s supposedly influential commentary was in ’68. Americans stayed til ’74. But then, peace was at hand, wasn’t it.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  129. #85 — Comment by Leviticus — 7/17/2009 @ 9:35 pm

    Based on everything I’ve read about Vietnam…

    A different perspective that you may or may not be interested-in:

    Militarily, the Tet Offensive was a military blunder by the NVA; indeed all 80 attacks were either successfully repelled or effectively countered within weeks. The NVA lost troops on a scale not seen in the entire war up to that point – some 45,000 in a matter of several weeks. The US/South Vietnamese losses were 4,324. Indeed, there was not any single major battle in Vietnam lost by US forces.

    However in the US, the propaganda-impact was devastating. The media coverage of the numerous attacks — that included suicide bombers — and the shock of respected journalists were conveyed to the American people. Already tired of the war, this event would lead to victory for the NVA via the elimination of American resolve and eroding political will to continue the war.

    (from The Swamp): The late Colonel Harry Sommers summed up the US defeat in Vietnam in a brief exchange he had with a North Vietnamese officer after the war. Sommers pointed out that the US had won virtually every tactical encounter with both the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces. The Vietnamese officer replied, “Yes, but this was irrelevant.”

    (note: if curious to understand that, study this)

    “Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America–not on the battlefields of Vietnam.”
    –Marshall McLuhan, 1975 (from here)

    (Total: Vietnam lost 1.1million soldiers; the US, over 58,202 and ARVN 250,000 if memory serves).

    Pons Asinorum (17be9f)

  130. I think 1968 was pivotal, DCSCA. It’s my understanding that the Americans and Vietnamese began secret meetings to discuss how to end the war in 1968, and that Nixon won the Presidency in part because he promised to end the war. As for the prosecution of the war, in the years after 1968, the focus gradually changed from a ground war to an air war.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  131. #118- If you want to take the time to look up the standards and practices of CBS between 1962 and 1981 feel free to do so. Paley’s CBS prevented reporters from expressing opinion as news. Suggest you take some time and revisit the corporate scars from the Murrow/McCarthy matter which weighed heavy in all CBS decisions that might affect the bottom line. In this same period when Cronkite delivered his commentary, CBS corporate was dealing with censoring the anti-war commentary by the Smothers Brothers, too. Its clear to me that your mindset assumes a journalist with a platform wil try to sway public opinion. Cronkite was an old school journalist who, as the first managing editor of the CBS Evening News, strived to hone his newscasts to deliver only the facts of a story in the 22 minutes they had. There’s just nothing today to compare it to.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  132. Here and here you go Mr. nk. This might could help too.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  133. I think we lost Viet Nam because the Vietnamese did not mind having three-fourths of their thirteen to fifty male population killed, but we did mind killing them. Kindness is no way to win a war.

    nk a/k/a Sarah (d9523c)

  134. there’s other how to videos too for you to check out just go to youtube and search on “sheath”

    happyfeet (c75712)

  135. #128- Yes. 1968 was pivitol– and hell. That was a good series on PBS. Have it here on DVD. MacNamara was gone. Yes, ‘peace with honor’ was Tricky Dick’s mantre ( I still have my Impeach With Honor T-shirt) with a ‘secret plan to win the war, and there essentially was none and ‘peace is at hand’ was Doctor K’s meal ticket. But Walter Cronkite’s commentary didn’t spin the course of the war. Nixon could have declared victory in 1969 and left by January 21, 1970. Instead, the inevitable outcome was prolonged until 1974. And Americans died. But that wasn’t because of Walter Cronkite.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  136. I’m still working out the hilt. Maple, cherry, cedar, oak, or ash. Copper, brass, or steel.

    nk a/k/a Sarah (d9523c)

  137. DCSCA #129,

    For much of his career, Cronkite may well have been “an old school journalist who, as the first managing editor of the CBS Evening News, strived to hone his newscasts to deliver only the facts.” But his 1968 statement is not consistent with that description:

    “Mr Cronkite was recording a documentary for CBS in 1968 about the Tet offensive in Vietnam when he took on board advice from his bosses in New York that he should conclude it with an unusual personal note. That was when he suggested that the US was in a stalemate in Vietnam and should get out. It was a moment that many older Americans still remember and has been shown to have been a turning point in ending the struggle. President Johnson reportedly turned to an aide at the time and said: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America”.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  138. DCSCA #133:

    But Walter Cronkite’s commentary didn’t spin the course of the war. Nixon could have declared victory in 1969 and left by January 21, 1970. Instead, the inevitable outcome was prolonged until 1974. And Americans died. But that wasn’t because of Walter Cronkite.

    LBJ certainly thought Cronkite’s 1968 statement was pivotal but, despite that, the Vietnam War might still have been won. By the end of 1968, the military had changed commanders and tactics, and there was reason for hope. Unfortunately, the American people and their political leaders had given up.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  139. Here and here you go Mr. nk. This might could help too.

    Comment by happyfeet — 7/18/2009 @ 12:42 am

    I don’t think so. What I have in mind right now is a piece of leather, cut right and folded over, held together with rivets, which just may be nails heat-softened hammered in. And what else could we talk about at 3:22 a.m.?

    nk a/k/a Sarah (d9523c)

  140. #136- =yawn= Cronkite made no secret of the point he was delivering a commentary based on his observations as a reporter and the skepticism created by what he heard and saw. It’s pretty straightforward and any good reporter would have reached the same conclusion given what Cronkite was told and shown. See pgs. 256- 258 from his memoir, “A Reporter’s Life.” He explains how the decision to deliver an editorial was made based on the administrations credibility gap; his discussions with Dick Salant over the risks to CBS corporate, reputations and so on. Cronkite has the final word on delivering the editorial once corporate agreed. Read it for yourself. Get the book.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  141. #137- LBJ may have concluded Cronkite’s editorial was ‘pivotal’ simply because Cronkite pulled back the curtain, stated the obvious that challenged the credibility of the Johnson Administration. If there was no bite to it, the commentary would have evaporated. Look up the five o’clock follies. The management of the war by MacNamara, Westmorland et al., made that a lost cause, not Cronkite. Now, 35 years later, we trade with Vietnam as if nothing happened. Cronkite didn’t lose the conflict. South Vietnam did.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  142. I was in a campground in Linz Austria when the first moon landing was taking place. The grounds owner was kind enough to set up a television set in one of the picnic shelters for folks to watch the coverage.

    I was probably the only one in the place that chose instead to go for a walk in the woods. To me, the whole thing brought to mind the phrase “bread and circuses”, and to a great extent still does.

    Milestones like TelStar and SynCom meant far more to me because I could recognize their eventually bringing something usable and available to the common man. In my opinion, hitting a golf ball and planting a flag on the moon pale in comparison.

    the friendly grizzly (b10310)

  143. Is there any history that IMP doesn’t just make up? Cronkite lied about Tet. He used his position as a trusted newsman in an attempt to alter public perception to conform with his views. He lied. He stated untruths.

    International Man of Parody is obviously out of its meds again.

    JD (4249e2)

  144. Cronkite practiced the worst most vile form of advocacy journalism, wrapped in the aura of objectivity. He was one of the first of this type of creature, and led to the unbiased neutral objective press we enjoy today. That is his legacy. And it is not pretty. The millions in VietNam, Laos, and Cambodia that were slaughtered when Cronkite’s PR campaign was finally successful cannot accurately express their feelings, being dead and all.

    JD (4249e2)

  145. #128, fact is if US has stomach there is not war we can’t win b/c we can kill them faster than they can produce them. Romans figured this out years ago much to the chagrin of the Carthaginians and Gauls.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  146. I recall Cronkite remarking on the fact that audiences cheered at the end of “Absence of Malice”. He was distressed that the film (Paul Newman and Sally Field–you’ll enjoy it) “savaged” the media. Also distressed that movie audiences cheered.
    Nope. For all his midwestern-like gravitas, he was inside the bubble. Question is, starting when?

    Richard Aubrey (d89efa)

  147. I know it’s in bad taste to speak ill of the dead. But, sorry, Walter Cronkite was a foolish, nonsensical limousine liberal.

    worldnetdaily.com, September 2007

    [I]n 1999…former CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite accepted the Norman Cousins Global Governance Award from the World Federalist Association.

    In his acceptance speech, Cronkite embraced the idea that the U.S. would be subsumed into a regional or world government. His views were seconded by [Hillary] Clinton in a closed-circuit television link-up.

    Cronkite said, “Today we must develop federal structures on a global level. To deal with world problems, we need a system of enforceable world law, a democratic federal world government.”

    “First, we Americans are going to have to yield up some of our sovereignty,” Cronkite said. “That’s going to be to many a bitter pill. It would take a lot of courage, a lot of faith in the new world order.”

    He continued, “What Alexander Hamilton wrote about the need for law among the 13 states applies today to the approximate 200 sovereignties in our global village, all of which are going to have to be convinced to give up some of that sovereignty to the better, greater union; and it’s not going to be easy.”

    Writing about Cronkite’s speech, WND founder and Editor Joseph Farah wrote in a 1999 editorial, “The man once described as the ‘most trusted in America’ has come out firmly, boldly, explicitly – and stupidly – for the formation of a global government at the expense of U.S. national sovereignty.”

    Mark (411533)

  148. Mark – That is a feature, not a bug, to the sophists like the International Man of Parody.

    JD (f52b33)

  149. “What kind of a day was it?
    It was a day like all days that alter and illuminate our times,
    and You Are There!”

    AD - RtR/OS! (ff0870)

  150. Cronkite made no secret of the point he was delivering a commentary based on his observations as a reporter and the skepticism created by what he heard and saw. It’s pretty straightforward and any good reporter would have reached the same conclusion given what Cronkite was told and shown.

    DCSCA, I’m going to try once more as you are looking at this from a one-sided Cronkite perspective only (which is convenient for you but not complete), while stubbornly ignoring the other major party involved in the transaction: the audience (and it’s mindset).

    If one is going honestly evaluate this, it is necessary to consider both participants. If there were no audience, Cronkite wouldn’t have bothered, eh?

    As such, Cronkite wasn’t just an average joe making a comment to the public. His place in the public life was already secured as a wise sage and trusted recorder and reporter of history in the making, thus very influential. There was a loyalty toward reporters then and a sort of blind trust because people were unable to know any differently. The ability to fact check, to gather data, to make comparisons, etc., simply wasn’t available as it is today. No wonder today we listen with a cynical ear and read with a jaundiced eye. We can know better than to simply believe it. And we can know for sure.

    Therefore, if he interrupted his usual broadcasting and announced he was delivering a commentary, do you not see how his influence – because of his place in the American life as far more than just a reporter – could have even easily swayed and persuaded loyal viewers to his point of view?

    As pointed out above, the war was lost in the American living room.

    It’s pretty straightforward and any good reporter would have reached the same conclusion given what Cronkite was told and shown.

    You are speculating and assuming this. There is really no way to be sure.

    Dana (57e332)

  151. “…Cronkite didn’t lose the conflict. South Vietnam did.”
    Comment by DCSCA — 7/18/2009 @ 2:00 am

    Wrong!
    The United States Congress lost the conflict when they looked into themselves and found nothing.
    The Cut and Run Congress!
    Another high-point in the history of the Democrat Party, and why they have not been trusted on National Security matters since.

    AD - RtR/OS! (ff0870)

  152. Amen, AD. And their cowardice led directly to the slaughter of millions. But Cronkite and his ilk on the Left got to claim some bizarre kind of “victory” for Kennedy and Johnson’s illegal war of choice. ;-)

    JD (f52b33)

  153. People seem to be missing the point about Walter Cronkite. It may be, as he showed after retiring as the CBS anchor, that he later revealed himself to have conventional liberal views about many things. However, when he was reporting the news, his commentary about Tet standing as an exception, he didn’t interject his personal opinions. In that respect, Cronkite was far more like Fox News (fair and balanced) than he was like Dan Rather or any of his successors at the older networks.

    There is a reason why Cronkite was the most trusted man in America, according to that poll from the 1970s. Americans are generally pretty good at seeing through frauds (at least in time, and the 2008 election notwithstanding) and I think people sensed, rightly, that Cronkite was trying to give them the straight story as he saw it. The abysmal ratings that barking dogs like Olbermann get, compared to Fox, shows that even today people would usually rather get the news in a relatively objectively reported way.

    This is not to say Cronkite was perfect. Let’s say he was wrong about the Tet offensive, or that a lot of his post-1990 commentary would, or should, make a reasonable person blush. That shouldn’t detract from a body of work that consisted of, to the extent that he could present it, straight news in the old UPI (not AP, DCSCA) wire service style.

    Cronkite was not a product of the modern J-school and didn’t get into news (I don’t think) out of some fuzzy idealistic desire to save the world. He was more of an old-style hard news reporter, which we could stand to have more of today, instead of the likes of Couric, Brian Williams, the entire gang at MSNBC, etc.

    RL in Glendale

    RL in Glendale (dae6fa)

  154. Dana, that was a fair minded and thoughtful comment. I hope your time and effort will be appreciated.

    Eric Blair (ff4baa)

  155. Considering Dana’s intended audience, I think not, Eric. But I’ll give Dana and DRJ our penultimate “Don Quixote” award for perseverence in the face of an unconscious, obnoxious and immobile facade.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  156. There is a reason why Cronkite was the most trusted man in America

    That reason actually is more a case of too many people being ignorant (willfully or otherwise) or allowing a “cute face,” or smooth personality, or friendly-avuncular demeanor to beguile them, to soothe them — to hoodwink them — the reality below the surface be damned.

    However, Cronkite at least didn’t make any bones about his or the media’s leftism. As such, I’m sure he believed his ideology instilled in him a quality of niceness, caring, humaneness. Talk about deluded, if not outright phony.

    What makes someone like Cronkite anything but those wonderful things is the general ineptitude such people have in identifying and understanding the good and bad in people and situations—for being ass-backwards, if you will.

    So in Cronkite’s fuzzy, foolish thinking, Karl Rove became worse than Osama bin Laden, First-World America became worse than Hussein’s Third-World Iraq, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick became worse than Bill Clinton, etc.

    Again, ass-backwards and flat-out idiotic:

    http://www.mrc.org:

    Walter Cronkite charged that Karl Rove “probably” arranged for a videotaped message from Osama bin Laden to show up just before the 2004 election:

    “I have a feeling that it [bin Laden’s new videotape] could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I’m a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, that he probably set up bin Laden to this thing. The advantage to the Republican side is to get rid of, as a principal subject of the campaign right now, get rid of the whole problem of the al Qaqaa dump, explosive dump. Right now that, the last couple of days, has, I think, upset the Republican campaign.” — Cronkite on CNN’s Larry King Live, October 29, 2004.

    “I think very definitely that foreign policy could have caused what has happened [last September 11]….It certainly should be apparent now — it should be, for goodness sakes understood now, but it is not — that the problem is this great division between the rich and the poor in the world. We represent the rich….Most of these other nations of Africa, Asia and South America and Central America are very, very poor….This is a revolution in effect around the world. A revolution is in place today. We are suffering from a revolution of the poor and have-nots against the rich and haves and that’s us.” — Walter Cronkite on CNN’s Larry King Live, September 9, 2002

    “When the National Journal said your Senate record makes you one of the most liberal members of the Senate, you called that ‘a laughable characterization’ and ‘the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in my life.’ Wow!…What are you ashamed of? — Cronkite in his 1997 book, A Reporter’s Life

    “It seems to me that instead of cutting taxes, we ought to be increasing the taxes to pay off the deficit.” — Cronkite on CNN NewsNight with Aaron Brown, June 18, 2003.

    “Clinton is doing very much what he intended to do when he came into office, he’s trying to rebuild the government to serve the people in a fashion that he feels that is has not served in the last 12 years. And he’s being very courageous in putting forward programs to do that. Naturally, his programs are considered by some almost revolutionary because they are real change and in that he’s doing his very best.” — Cronkite on the Late Show with David Letterman, February 7, 1994.

    (President Clinton, Hillary and Chelsea went out for a sail, off Martha’s Vineyard, in August of 1998 with Walter Cronkite, his wife and grandson. The outing took place just a week after President Bill Clinton’s address to the nation acknowledging a relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

    “I know liberalism isn’t dead in this country. It simply has, temporarily we hope, lost its voice….We know that unilateral action in Grenada and Tripoli was wrong. We know that ‘Star Wars’ means uncontrollable escalation of the arms race. We know that the real threat to democracy is the half of the nation in poverty. We know that no one should tell a woman she has to bear an unwanted child….Gawd Almighty, we’ve got to shout these truths in which we believe from the housetops…..” — former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, at a November People for the American Way banquet. Quoted in the December 5, 1988 Newsweek.

    “If we are to avoid that catastrophe [a nuclear World War III], a system of world order — preferably a system of world government — is mandatory. The proud nations someday will see the light and, for the common good and their own survival, yield up their precious sovereignty, just as America’s thirteen colonies did two centuries ago….” — Cronkite in his 1997 book, A Reporter’s Life.

    “I think they [most reporters] are on the humane side, and that would appear to many to be on the liberal side. A lot of newspaper people — and to a lesser degree today, the TV people — come up through the ranks, through the police-reporting side, and they see the problems of their fellow man, beginning with their low salaries — which newspaper people used to have anyway — and right on through their domestic quarrels, their living conditions. The meaner side of life is made visible to most young reporters. I think it affects their sentimental feeling toward their fellow man and that is interpreted by some less-sensitive people as being liberal.” — Cronkite to Time magazine’s Richard Zoglin in an interview published in the magazine’s November 3, 2003 edition.

    “I define liberal as a person who is not doctrinaire. That is a dictionary definition of liberal. That’s opposed to ‘liberal’ as part of the political spectrum….open to change, constantly, not committed to any particular creed or doctrine, or whatnot, and in that respect I think that news people should be liberal.” — Exchange on CNN’s Larry King Live, September 11, 1995.

    Mark (411533)

  157. This stupid bitch just cant help herself, it doesnt say much for Ca voters does it?

    james conrad (6bb6e6)

  158. #152- Yes, UPI, not AP. My error.

    In that respect, Cronkite was far more like Fox News (fair and balanced) Absolute hogwash. Zero comparison. Fox News is the voice box of the RNC.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  159. #85- Read the Pentagon Papers.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  160. ASPcA (various numberz) – Learn actual history, not the fantasies that play out in your dreams.

    JD (5ea885)

  161. #155- However, Cronkite at least didn’t make any bones about his or the media’s leftism. Utter nonsense. While an active reporter, managing editor and an anchor at CBS News, Cronkite’s objectivity was reknown and he made it known as a professional he set his personal prejudices, which everyone has, aside as part of doing his job. In retirement, he voiced opinion. The fact that most mainstream Americans tempered fond agreement with many of the then elderly Cronkite’s opinions in his later years and that it irks conservatives to know it a source of delight. But then, your candidate for president in the last cycle yelled at clouds. A hobby we can all look forward to in old age.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  162. Read the Pentagon Papers

    Would that be the report prepared by the Johnson Administration,
    criticizing the conduct of a war begun by the Kennedy Administration,
    before it was completely bungled by the Johnson Administration?
    And the common thread: Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara!

    You mean those Pentagon Papers?

    AD - RtR/OS! (ff0870)

  163. Objectivety depends on where you’re sitting.

    Before the Great Purges, Trotsky thought his comrades on the Comintern were objective; at the time of his assassination, not so much.

    AD - RtR/OS! (ff0870)

  164. It’s important to note that in that period, when NBC News and CBS News were power houses (ABC News was still up and coming) television anchors seldom served up commentary as part of regular broadcast news and on the rare occasion when it was, it was clearly labeled so, or delivered by a semi-retired reporter (Severeid comes to mind.)

    In fact, I was in college from 1956 to 1960 and we, and everyone else I knew, watched Huntley-Brinkley. I suspect the old folks may have watched Cronkite but he was by no means the most watched by the younger generation. David Brinkley had a sort wry skepticism of the sort that made Time magazine popular until they subsided into drooling leftism. Brinkley never gave his up and made his show on ABC the equal of Meet the Press which had a much longer pedigree.

    CBS was still riding the coat tails of WWII and Murrow and Shirer.

    There is a lot to be said about the Viet Nam War and I suspect the history will not get objective for another 50 years, if then. Cronkite affected the middle aged TV watchers but not the college generation that I was part of. The guys I knew who went to Viet Nam were mostly upset at the fuckups by the top brass and the administration. I never heard any of them question the basic purpose of the war, just the execution.

    Mike K (90939b)

  165. Cronkite’s objectivity was reknown and he made it known as a professional he set his personal prejudices

    That deserves a big guffaw, a big LOL. A variation of, in the infamous words of Nazi Germany’s chief propagandist, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

    PBS.org:

    Hailed as “the most trusted man in America” during his 18 years as anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” Walter Cronkite first gained national recognition for his reporting from the battlefields of World War II…. In 1968, while anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” Cronkite journeyed to Vietnam to report on the aftermath of the Tet offensive. In a dramatic departure from the traditions of “objective” journalism, Cronkite concluded his reports with a personal commentary in which he voiced his strong belief that the war would end in stalemate. Cronkite’s editorial would later be regarded as a critical indice of public opinion of the Vietnam War.

    Mark (411533)

  166. Cronkite’s editorial would later be regarded as a critical indice of public opinion of the Vietnam War.”

    - Mike

    I know there’s probably a more constructive way to say this, but way to miss the fucking point. The point is not that public opinion is just opinion – the point is that public opinion (in a democracy) ought to carry some sway, and public opinion (in 1968) was decidedly opposed to the Vietnam War.

    Sorry – it’s just frustrating that after all the talk about showing respect for the dead on past memorial threads, people are taking an opportunity to piss all over Cronkite’s grave when all he did was express an opinion on national news after declaiming it as such. I didn’t hear you guys bitching when ABC, NBC, and CBS lined up like a bunch of fucking dominoes to voice editorial support for the invasion of Iraq.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  167. I think that the “hero worship” of a certain poster in this thread toward Cronkite (RIP) is just a shared set of viewpoints. It’s interesting to hear how outraged or snarky that person can be when someone does not agree with him, yet he insists that many other posters on this website are hidebound and unable to see viewpoints other than their own. Projection or hypocrisy, I guess.

    But it is all about shared viewpoints, again. If Cronkite had given all kinds of interviews after he retired espousing “right wing” points of view, I very much doubt the poster in question would be quite as defensive and expansive in his praise of Mr. Cronkite.

    And right or left, Cronkite should never have put his personal convictions into a newscast…particularly because his personal convictions have been shown to be very colored by his own knee-jerk partisanship (which is why the snark at Fox News was so ironic—as if Cronkite’s points of view were significantly different from the DNC). I would feel exactly the same way had Cronkite given his famous newscast in defense of the Johnson Administration’s actions in Vietnam.

    I won’t even touch the rich irony of a poster insisting that people who disagree with him read a couple of books. After all, he knew Cronkite. He knows.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  168. “…and public opinion (in 1968) was decidedly opposed to the Vietnam War…”

    Do you have polling data supporting that conclusion.
    My recollection is that the public supported the goals of the war, but were leary of the means, and that changes in that position of support were driven by prominant individuals, such as the late Walter Cronkite, taking such a negative view of the struggle.
    Part of that was the media depiction of Tet as a great catastrophe for the U.S. and the South Vietnamese Government, when in fact, the Viet Cong and their North Vietnamese allies (directors) lost terribly in every engagement they undertook during Tet, suffering horrendous casualties that took them years to replace.
    The only places in America where the war was decidedly unpopular was on the campuses of America’s colleges, where draft-age men were forced to actually study and get good grades so as to maintain their deferments (or, horrors of all horrors, get married and have children).

    AD - RtR/OS! (ff0870)

  169. Leviticus, way to elevate the conversation! Let me put it in Spiderman lingo: “great power demands great responsibility.”

    Cronkite historically was not above using his influence. At the end of his career, he certainly was trying to use his persona to push his politics.

    What Cronkite did—and since you were born after the Vietnam War, I suggest that you read about the incredible complexity to it, here and abroad—is allow his own opinion to color public opinion. People trusted him. And his opinion was just that, an opinion.

    My point is very simple: I would have felt exactly the same way had “America’s Most Trusted Newsman” been pushing Republican talking points. Can you say the same thing, especially given how the MSM is acting at present with regard to the President’s policies (like the NYT removing negative data from the front page)?

    As for the “dominoes” comment, you might look at the series of UN resolutions, and the comments made all over the world beforehand about Iraq. The MSM pushes it as a “rush to war,” but I think you are too smart to buy that “Narrative” business.

    I don’t mean to argue, and I don’t care to exchange profanities on the subject. But passion needs perspective. I’m certain, from watching your posts in the past, you have intelligence to spare. Don’t “rush to judgement” on geopolitics—especially when people ON BOTH SIDES constantly massage (or ignore) history to defend their talking points.

    Sorry for the sermon. I always appreciate seeing your comments, profanity or not.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  170. taking an opportunity to piss all over Cronkite’s grave when all he did was express an opinion on national news after declaiming it as such.

    Then stop with all the BS about Cronkite being so damn objective. Even more so since his willingness to be just the opposite — to be blatantly subjective — is not limited to, and did not begin only after his retirement, but to the day he explicitly editorialized about the Vietnam War. A day in 1968, only 5 years after his national fame of being like the “uncle in the family” kicked into high gear due to his covering the Kennedy assasination, and, only one year later, in 1969, his emotional response to Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.

    I didn’t hear you guys bitching when ABC, NBC, and CBS lined up like a bunch of fucking dominoes to voice editorial support for the invasion of Iraq.

    Oh, and so there was a well-known newsman or newswoman, otherwise insistent on the importance of objectivity from the anchor desk, ending a broadcast with a very explicit statement along the lines of “America will win this war and save the people of Iraq! I believe it’s very a realistic and do-able goal!”

    Mark (411533)

  171. And, another thing…

    “…the point is that public opinion (in a democracy) ought to carry some sway…

    which is why, when convened in Philadelphia in 1787, the Articles of Confederation were replaced by a Constitution establishing a Republic just so the fate of the Nation was not held hostage to a mob.

    AD - RtR/OS! (ff0870)

  172. Mr Alford being a black, African-American man, is completely justified in his claim of racism by Ms. Boxer. Ms Boxer doesn’t deserve the respect of “Senator” or “ma’am”, with her subtle, condescending racism. It’s the strain of racism that has entrenched itself in affirmative action and other government policies. Why Californian voters can’t find better candidates for Senators is mind-boggling. Maybe it’s time to replace all Senators and politicians from the Baby Boomer era. The sooner, the better for our country.

    Alford Supporter (888748)

  173. No, it is time to repeal the 17th-Amendment, and put the selection of Senators back in the hands of Governors and State Legislators, where it originally resided.
    And, while we’re at it, we should repeal the 16th-Amendment also, to cut off the funding that allows the expansion of Leviathan, and to force its’ long overdue diet of size and scope.

    AD - RtR/OS! (ff0870)

  174. As DRJ mentions, there was a large change in strategy and tactics when Westmoreland was removed from MACV and replaced with Creighton Abrams. Beginning in approximately 1970, the ARVN became better trained and equipped and culminating in 1973 was able to conduct significant successful operations with a minimum of US support. What lost the Vietnam war was the failure of the Nixon administration ( because of its collapse due to Watergate ) and Congress ( because of sheer cravenness ) to support South Vietnam in 1975. The South Vietnamese morale collapsed with North Vietnam broke the peace agreement and invaded and South Vietnam realized that the US had abandoned them.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  175. Eric Blair (and Mark, more importantly) – sorry about the language. I know it doesn’t help anything to curse, but you can’t help it once in a while.

    With that out of the way, how did you feel in 2003 when Dan Rather said “George Bush is the President, he makes the decisions and you know, as just one American wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where…”

    How did you feel about that particular piece of editorializing? I’m sure there were a lot of conservatives out there going “Hell Yeah! That’s the kind of patriotism the media needs!”

    And I, as a liberal opposed to the war (at least for the reasons offered by the administration), didn’t like it. But if Dan Rather died tomorrow I would’t be standing here saying “I’m going to drink a McEwans in his honor so I can piss on his grave.” (The Ever Classy, Ever Intelligent, Ever-Oh-So-Fucking Delightful Thomas Jackson, #55)

    And there I go again with the cursing, but really: that’s the kind of shit that we’ve seen on this thread. We’ve had DRJ – probably one of the nicest people in the world – piling onto the man, for Pete’s sake (for which she immediately apologized, because she’s DRJ).

    And all this in the shadow of Patterico threatening to ban anyone who spoke ill of Tony Snow on the day of his passing. I don’t usually pull the Double-Standard card, but now seems as appropriate a time as any: this is some double standard bullshit, and it’s pissing me off. If I’d popped into the Tony Snow commemoration thread and said that the man made his living by lying to cover up the sins of his superiors, I would’ve been banned. And I would’ve deserved it.

    And Mark: read my comments – I’ve said absolutely nothing about Cronkite’s objectivity. I’m just asking you guys to show the same modicum of respect at the passing of your ideological enemies as you demand at the passing of your ideological allies.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  176. Ah – ideology! It never grows old!

    Check out the Dr. Suess political cartoon
    http://www.lindasog.com/pics07/03/foreign.jpg

    Remember – When it is foreign children, it really doesn’t matter!

    Californio (f32f25)

  177. Barbara Boxer…..what an odious individual. That she purports to represent California – this is further evidence of the abject debasement of paradise by the invasion of Orwellian pigs.(aka 85% of the population here) (think Animal Farm….in stucco)

    Californio (f32f25)

  178. Leviticus,

    I appreciate your last comment. I thought a long time about a discussion of Walter Cronkite’s life on the day of his death. I acknowledged Cronkite’s influence and importance as a journalist, and I think he was a good man. I decided it was fair to discuss his 1968 Tet editorial because he called it his proudest achievement, although it should be a respectful discussion. I tried to do that but I’m sorry if some of my comments crossed the line.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  179. I’m sorry, DRJ…

    I don’t think your comment crossed the line, not like some of the others. I think I’m probably blowing this out of proportion – what does my generation know or care about Walter Cronkite, anyway? – but I guess I kinda took some of the callousness shown towards the man personally. I expected the same restraint and respect that had been shown on this site at the death of public figures in the past, and I was disappointed.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  180. ok this didn’t get tedious at all

    happyfeet (c75712)

  181. oh. Well I guess whatever it is that blogs are said to be there seems to be a consensus that coheres around an idea of them not being same as mainstream media, which is all about hagiography with respect to a certain deceased anchorman person, and at some point in that hagiographic process it stands to follow that somewhere we’ll see an equal and opposite reaction manifest I think.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  182. oh. my #183 makes a lot less sense now that it follows my #182… but that’s ok. I’m going to enjoy a tasty beverage and not fret about it.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  183. I can’t but notice there’s still an open thread right here what is a very nice thing to have be right here in these waning days of capitalism and freedom.

    Earlier I was watching the Daybreakers trailer which looks uncommon cool I think. Here I think is that song they use in there. Very nicely done all around.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  184. bobby who?

    happyfeet (c75712)

  185. #172- Then stop with all the BS about Cronkite being so damn objective. He was during his tenure as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News for 19 years. The one time in that period he presented a commentary on Vietnam in February of 1968, it was clearly labeled so at the end of the broadcast special on Vietnam and appropriately sourced and presented as a conclusion he reached, arrived at based on his observations on site as a reporter and it was cleared in conjunction with CBS management, which maintained stringent standards and practices on interjecting opinion as new, before broadcast. In his retirement years, Cronkite selectively penned editorials or columns, often in conjunction with other journalists and they were also appropriately labeled.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  186. And it was an odious lie, International Man of Parody.

    JD (0d131e)

  187. And right or left, Cronkite should never have put his personal convictions into a newscast…

    He didn’t. But then, there’s that condescension again.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  188. He absolutely did, so that was a lie and you are a liar. His commentary led Johnson down the pat of “if we have lost middle America”, which ultimately ended with the US walking away, leaving millions of South Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians to be slaughtered in the wake of the leftist narrative.

    JD (0d131e)

  189. hagiography. I knew happyfeet would know a word a like that, even given his penchant for eviscerating NPR listeners with a 12-inch bowie. But when you have iconolaters, you are going to have iconoclasts too, which I think he also said. And that’s the way it is, Leviticus.

    nk (c20555)

  190. What Cronkite did—and since you were born after the Vietnam War, I suggest that you read about the incredible complexity to it, here and abroad—is allow his own opinion to color public opinion. People trusted him. And his opinion was just that, an opinion. What Cronkite did was present a conclusion at the end of a broadcast he properly labeled and sourced as commentary based on a conclusion he reached as a reporter who sourced content on site. His reporter notebooks back this up as they’re all in repository at the University of Texas. If Cronkite’s conclusion had been wrong, it never would have had any bite to it. But it wasn’t.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  191. That is a f*cking lie and you are a f*cking liar.

    JD (0d131e)

  192. nk – since when does taking utterly predictable potshots at the newly dead make you an iconoclast?

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  193. It’s immortality of a sort, too, my friend. A man is just as well known by his enemies as he is by his friends. It all only means that he left his footprint on the world.

    nk (c20555)

  194. nk:

    Here’s Levi leaving his mark on the “Tim Russert Dead of a Heart Attack” thread.

    “How am I allowed to react then, if I wanted you to see me as a ‘decent human being?’ I have to say nice things about them? People die all the time and I don’t say nice things about them. I’m supposed to say something nice about this one because he was a celebrity?”

    Here’s you responding to him:

    “Then say nothing, asshole.”

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  195. Walter Cronkite: He was a pretty good sailor!

    AD - RtR/OS! (e2278d)

  196. Do you think that I was disrespectful for posting that Johnny Carson skit in my Comment #121?

    nk (c20555)

  197. Levi and DCSCA saw reasonable and respectful discussion of a controversial person… a person who helped end freedom for millions of people, I might add, though he is a famous celeb that journalists are praising (which is all of DCSCA’s argument).

    When these two saw an example of how to respectfully discuss and criticize the ‘recently dead’, they decided to troll and troll and troll until they provoked something ugly. They appear to have failed. Theirs is the poor decorum.

    DCSCA’s got nothing but nonsense. ‘ I’m right because I think I’m right! ‘.

    Cronkite was a great entertainer, and that’s it. He also presented the news well many times, but failed many times to do so when it really mattered. When we needed real objectivity, he slipped in his opinion. DCSCA admits it, but thinks that’s ok because he agrees with Cronkite’s opinions. That’s his defense, and it’s ridiculous.

    Cronkite was wrong about Iran and Vietnam and Iraq. It’s already been proven to anyone who cared to look at the matter, but those worshiping celebrity don’t care.

    What’s really interesting is that DCSCA has nothing on his side except that Cronkite was respected by peers. So what? All the people criticizing him in here have already acknowledged that… that’s not the dispute!

    I wish the left were this respectful when they discussed the dead that they don’t worship… sadly, they won’t follow the example here.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  198. No, I don’t think you said anything disrespectful – I think a bunch of other people did, including happyfeet. And when Levi was disrespectful, you called him an asshole; when happyfeet was disrespectful, you called him an iconoclast.

    And I understand what you mean about the man leaving his footprint on the world, but there’s a time and a place for everything.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  199. Leviticus does not troll. DCSCA does.

    nk (c20555)

  200. “…And when Levi was disrespectful, you called him an asshole; when happyfeet was disrespectful, you called him an iconoclast…”

    Context is everything.

    AD - RtR/OS! (e2278d)

  201. “When these two saw an example of how to respectfully discuss and criticize the ‘recently dead’, they decided to troll and troll and troll until they provoked something ugly.”

    - Juan

    Here’s your “example of how to respectfully discuss and criticize the ‘recently dead’”:

    “Cronkite was an ass.”

    “Too bad Cronkite didn’t die a couple weeks ago.”

    “I hope he likes the heat where he’s going. I’m going to drink a McEwan’s in his honor so I can piss on his grave.”

    In light of the respectful comport of your buddies, I apologize for my “poor decorum.”

    This is fucking surreal.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  202. I admit, Levi’s tone is 100X better than DCSCA’s in this thread, but it’s still kinda silly. It’s OK to talk about what awful mistakes Walter C made in his career. He’s made a really awful impact on the world and that’s part of his story.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  203. happyfeet has a good heart. I saw it. He keeps it in a jar of formaldehyde and carries it with him always.

    And, like AD said, there’s one benefit of the doubt for somebody calling himself Levi and another for somebody calling himself Leviticus.

    Kumbayah?

    nk (c20555)

  204. Yeah, fuck it. Kumbayah.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  205. “His reporter notebooks back this up as they’re all in repository at the University of Texas. If Cronkite’s conclusion had been wrong, it never would have had any bite to it.”

    Absolute Rubbish!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  206. Yeah, fuck it.

    Well … you know … us old guys …. And Viagra is kind of expensive. ;)

    [note: fished from spam filter... "V-word"]

    nk (c20555)

  207. Leviticus,

    I agree that there should be more decorum and respect when discussing someone who just passed away, no matter their politics. Whether it’s Michael Jackson, Walter Cronkite, Farrah Fawcett, or anyone else… if they can’t be respectful because their feelings are just too strong, fine. Keep the mouth shut.

    That said, please note that Thomas “piss on his grave” Jackson is a low-class blowhard who has contempt for everyone not himself. He no more represents the usual commenter here than DCSCA does. Some people just can’t wait to demonstrate their lack of intelligence and have to prove it by kicking others while they’re down. Prayers to Walter’s family and friends. May he R.I.P.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  208. And Mark: read my comments – I’ve said absolutely nothing about Cronkite’s objectivity. I’m just asking you guys to show the same modicum of respect

    His passing — the passing of anyone like him — can be placed in the context of his having reached the ripe old age of 92. So he already lucked out in longevity than what most other people will experience. IOW, there’s less of a “how tragic, how unexpected!” quality to the demise of a person like Cronkite. He also wasn’t out in the glare of the public eye right up until the end.

    His death, therefore, is symbolically and emotionally the opposite of that of a person who dies at, say, 45 or 65 due to natural causes or, worse, who is only 25 or 35 years old, or far, far worse, due to a fatal accident, or, worse than all of those factors combined, due to a murder.

    Mark (411533)

  209. #151- If there were no audience, Cronkite wouldn’t have bothered, eh? That sounds like Fox News mindset. In Cronkite’s time, CBS and NBC delivered hard news, good and bad, not opinion news or feature pieces slanted to a ready audience or to keep an audience watching. Journalists in Cronkite’s era gained trust by their credibility, which is all any honest reporter really has. Sell it and you’re a dead duck. Ask Armstrong Williams. Today cable news draws their meager audiences through verbal food fights and hot opinion. The only hard news anymore is the first 8 minutes of network newscasts. The feature pieces that follow are empty fluff and Cronkite’s newscasts rarely had them with only 22 minutes to deliver news.

    As such, Cronkite wasn’t just an average joe making a comment to the public. His place in the public life was already secured as a wise sage and trusted recorder and reporter of history in the making, thus very influential. That’s just the point. Cronkite was an average joe, from the start, and had to earn and keep the credibility his readers, listeners and viewers gave him.

    There was a loyalty toward reporters then and a sort of blind trust because people were unable to know any differently. The ability to fact check, to gather data, to make comparisons, etc., simply wasn’t available as it is today. This is just nonsense. You might want to review the fate of Edward R. Murrow at CBS in the years after his McCarthy broadcast. And check the number newspapers, most with several daily editions, in that period with differing editorial boards. Many more so than today. Today the media is more fractured and the audience more diffuse. That’s just the way the business evolved when news divisions were restructed to be profit centers. Again, I suggest you view the film, “Network” as it was most prescient on how the news production, infected by the glitz of the entertainment virus, devolved into how it is today. Something Cronkite was bitterly disappointed to see happen.

    Therefore, if he interrupted his usual broadcasting and announced he was delivering a commentary, do you not see how his influence – because of his place in the American life as far more than just a reporter – could have even easily swayed and persuaded loyal viewers to his point of view? Actually, he did not interrupt his broadcast to deliver a commentary. What he did was go to Vietnam, film reports on site, prepare a special CBS Reports broadcast and present his stories as gathered then at the end of the telecast, deliver a clearly labeled commentary presented as a conclusion he had reached.

    “It’s pretty straightforward and any good reporter would have reached the same conclusion given what Cronkite was told and shown.” You are speculating and assuming this. There is really no way to be sure. It’s not speculation or assumption at all. It’s written in his own memoir, “A Reporter’s Life”, and sourced in his notebooks on file at the University of Texas. In addition, other field reporters of the era, Halbestam et. al, who started out believing the government line reached the same conclusion, because what officials were saying did not tag up with what reporters were seeing in the field.

    As pointed out above, the war was lost in the American living room. In the end, the civil war in Vietnam was lost by the South Vietnamese. And today, they are one of America’s top trading partners. American support evaporated chiefly because of the increasing ‘credibility gap’ of the U.S. government. Revisit the Pentagon Papers. It certainly wasn’t the fault of the media, Cronkite, Halberstam, etc., reporting what they saw, risking life and limb to do so, and showing what the government was saying didn’t match what was seen and reported first hand on the ground.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  210. Thank you, DRJ.

    nk (2ab789)

  211. Stashiu3,

    OK. I kinda figured as much in re: Action Jackson.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  212. #204- He’s [Cronkite] made a really awful impact on the world and that’s part of his story. The vast majority of Americans disagree. But then, you’ve coined the conservative mind set, haven’t you. Why not just call Cronkite a ‘lily-livered pinko,’ labeled such by a conservative character at CBS of that era who shares your ‘Bunker mentality,’ Archie.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  213. What Cronkite did was present a conclusion at the end of a broadcast he properly labeled and sourced as commentary

    So? He was willing to insert his POV into the spotlight, regarding a matter that had enough ambiguity to not fall under the category of a comment like “murder is a bad thing and I recommend it be discouraged by the US government!”

    Even though I thought Bill Clinton was a scrounge and his brazen dalliance with a White House intern was pathetic, and the particulars of the lawsuit against him by Paula Jones and all the controversy swirling around him previously due to people like Kathleen Wiley and Juanita Broaddrick were sickening, I wouldn’t have wanted a rightwing newscaster to end his broadcast with “in this reporter’s opinion, I think our president is not fit to be in the White House and should be dealt with appropriately, if not outright impeached and removed!!”

    If such a newscaster had that moment as a part of his reputation and public image, from that point onward I’d have been uncomfortable with or skittish about him. I’d certainly say he could never be distinguished for his impartiality and objectivity from that day forward.

    Mark (411533)

  214. International Man of Parody – Those are lies and you are a liar.

    JD (0d131e)

  215. The man’s entire purported life has been a lie that only he believes.

    AD - RtR/OS! (e2278d)

  216. “…and public opinion (in 1968) was decidedly opposed to the Vietnam War…”

    Do you have polling data supporting that conclusion. February, 1968. Gallup poll showed 35% approved of Johnson’s handling of the war; 50% disapproved; the rest, no opinion. [NYT, 2/14/68] August, 1968-Gallup poll shows 53% said it was a mistake to send troops to Vietnam. Soon it became Nixon’s war to prolong.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  217. AD – It has developed a life completely divorced from reality. International Man of Parody lurvs to make up its fanciful stories, which have established it as a serial fabulist.

    JD (0d131e)

  218. Yes. His legacy of willfully twisted and activist journalism in the service of creating shame-America pornography for his dirty socialist puppet masters set the benchmark until Katrina surpassed it. Journalist? Fail.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  219. It appears that that opinion was decidedly against LBJ’s handling of the war, not the war itself.
    But then, what do I know, I was just an ex-GI going to college at the time.
    You know, they said in the Fall of ’64, that if you voted for Goldwater we would be involved in a war in Asia.
    I voted for Barry, and by Jove, we were involved in a war in Asia.
    Unfortunately, that war was being conducted by someone whose #1 goal was to not lose a war, when he should have been focused on winning.

    AD - RtR/OS! (e2278d)

  220. He maybe made fantastic queso or guac or something. People find redemption in ways what aren’t always immediately apparent to the observer.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  221. AD, I know you what you mean. Everyone said if I voted for McCain in 2008, we would get a blithering idiot for Vice President.

    And they were right.

    Also: the fact that DCSCA calls anyone at all condescending is a form of performance art that is truly Nobel Prize worthy. But then, he is just a troll, and with each story of his increasingly fanciful past, becomes more of a joke than a troll.

    Which is a shame. I would much rather he posted without the embellishments.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  222. Happyfeet – Glad you had a safe trip. It was great seeing you.

    IMP – We are going to have to create a new word for you. Parody is a grossly inadequate for you.

    JD (0d131e)

  223. Miniver Cheevy. although even that may be giving DCSCA too much credit. Link safe for everything.

    nk (733dce)

  224. Good to see you too and meeting everybody. I’d always had a hunch in my head that these people, even trolls probably, were uncommon admirable and good cause you could look at how very not apathetic they were and surmise that very good qualities of character were likewise in attendance. This theory holds.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  225. the point is that public opinion (in a democracy) ought to carry some sway, and public opinion (in 1968) was decidedly opposed to the Vietnam War.

    This has been addressed but I may remember that era better than some of the younger commenters (except the trolls, of course). The general public supported the war and they were the “silent majority” Nixon referred to. My daughter’s English composition class disagreed, teaching college freshmen that the silent majority was opposed to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and therefore racist but that is why we have President Obama.

    Brainwashing.

    Cronkite was a good news reader, as someone else said. The first major figure who was a national news reader was Douglas Edwards who was far more modest about his role. In that era, the radio commentators like HV Kaltenborn, who opened each broadcast by saying “There’s good news tonight!”, and Paul Harvey were more important.

    Once again, the college age people in 1960 were listening to Huntley-Brinkley, not Cronkite.

    Mike K (90939b)

  226. You know, nk, that is a sad poem. Thanks for sharing it. “Walter Mitty” is too silly; not even pathos. Many people can relate a bit to Miniver Cheevy in some ways.

    You are into knives, is that so? My wife recently bought me a very pretty Damascus blade. It’s too beautiful to cut anything with!

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  227. Don’t go messing with Kydex until you’ve seen what I’ve made.

    nk (733dce)

  228. Check it out on your website, right? I used to love knives, and when I had to start traveling a lot after 9/11, it was easier to leave them at home. I used to carry a little Spyderco knife everywhere.

    It took me a while to see the artistry involved in knife and pistol smithing.

    I’ll check out your website.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  229. You are into knives, is that so? My wife recently bought me a very pretty Damascus blade. It’s too beautiful to cut anything with!

    Comment by Eric Blair — 7/19/2009 @ 12:30 pm

    Totally queer for them. I make them, too.

    I don’t like them to be too fancy, though. My wife bought me something made of ceramic and titanium, a long time ago, and I traded it in for something made of steel and graphite. A Walker design Klotzli. I use it for slicing liver and kirigami. Have not had to resharpen it in 13 years.

    nk (733dce)

  230. I just bought a folding Kershaw knife the other day with some of my birthday money. It’s sharp as all get out – my brother accidentally cut his thumb on it just messing around.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  231. Leviticus, don’t be like me and forget your carrying a blade—to have the TSA people at the airport confiscate it!

    I couldn’t even get angry: I knew the rules.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  232. Thing’s all steel, non-serrated. I like it.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  233. Kershaw still makes good quality affordable knives.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  234. Sigh…”…don’t forget you are carrying a blade…” of course.

    Trying to get out the door to check on some stuff in lab, and not proofreading.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  235. Eric Blair – I did do that, actually, on my way to DC. I had forgotten that I had my little Schrade knife in my backpack, and that was that. I wasn’t angry, either – just glad that I didn’t get arrested or something. This Kershaw one’s the replacement for that Schrade.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  236. I gave my wife the beautifulest little Swiss Army type knife; she managed to pass it through O’Hare and Heathrow; then she let some ____ take it from her at a U2 concert. Grrr.

    nk (733dce)

  237. I inherited pocket-knife collections from both of my great-grandfathers. There are some sensational Case knives, some handmade originals, and a whole lot of family history.

    JD (0d131e)

  238. I watched someone throw a fit at the airport a couple of months ago about his knife. I mean, he knew the rules. He was going to make a statement. The TSA people hustled him off to another location.

    I didn’t know whether to shake my head or get angry.

    “Freedom times security equals a constant” as Larry Niven wrote a while back (I think the quotation is older than that, but I don’t know any other attribution).

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  239. Several years ago I bough a wonderful knife. One-handed, camber-type assist that you didn’t so much as flick open as you pressed a bit of the blade (non-sharpened, of course) that stuck out the back end when closed. Thing flew open like it had a will of its own.

    I loved that knife. a “friend” kept it as his when I moved back from Wyoming. I kinda wanna pound on the guy’s face.

    At one point, right after I got it, I had it on my belt and we all went to Wal Mart. We’d been in the store about 10 minutes when it dawned on me that I was wearing a knife in a store – having lived in Illinois most of my life, this was a thing of worry for me.

    The very next thing I saw was some ranch hand roughneck walking down the aisle, with what looked like a six-shot cannon on his hip. I then remembered I was in Wyoming, a place where you don’t even need to register your gun with the state.

    I relaxed slightly, to say the least. :)

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  240. If you can part with a three-blade stockman, with yellow bone scales, for about $40.00, I’m your reliabler customer.

    nk (733dce)

  241. In Illinois, gravity knives are legal. As opposed to automatic, spring-opening knives. After I finish the bowie, Ihshallah, that will be my next project.

    nk (733dce)

  242. DCSCA @ 11:20 a.m., I was going to respond to each of your points but realize the futility in it as you are utterly convinced you alone have the truth.

    With that, it’s fascinating to watch one who believes so intently in their own self-appointed authority, and has such an unquestioning belief in that authority. Personally, I think it would be exhausting to believe I had to be right all of the time but perhaps when that is all one has to define themselves with, maybe it’s worth the effort. I dunno.

    Motive is always telling, so it makes me curious: is it pride that refuses to allow a person to concede points to others?

    Or, is it insecurity that demands there be no deviation from the underlying cornerstone, *I know everything*, no matter what other salient thoughts, facts, or information may challenge said perceived truth?

    Either way, we come back full circle to the futility of attempting debate or having good faith discussion. It’s a shame because you are obviously intelligent and articulate. It’s just that insatiable ego that makes it futile.

    Human nature: so predictable, and…well, just… so… predictable.

    p.s. I am guessing there is really no need for you to continually tell us to watch Network. Your lofty inference that we haven’t (otherwise we would be as enlightened as you…) is probably a waste time as I’m guessing most of us have viewed it. Some maybe even more than once (gasp!)!

    Dana (57e332)

  243. Scott, I don’t know if you read paleolithic science fiction, but A.E. van Vogt’s “The Weapons Shops of Isher” might be worth your time. Here is the wonderful quotation from that story:

    The right to buy fine weapons is the right to be free

    Read about this ancient story here, if you wish:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Weapon_Shops_of_Isher

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  244. The right to own weapons is the right to be free.

    nk (733dce)

  245. Dana, since your rather is a scientist, I think you grew up with what has taken me a long, long time to accept: I don’t know as much as I think I do.

    About almost everything.

    I teach the students in my classes that the three most important words in science are “I don’t know” (attention, Al Gore!). We can fix a lack of knowledge. We cannot easily fix things that “everyone knows.”

    And that absolutely goes for politics. Part of the nastiness of modern politics, I think, is the deification of those we agree with, and the demonization of the opposite.

    I continue to applaud your approach to political discussion, along with DRJ.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  246. Oh well. Dana, I mean to write “father,” not “rather.” I’m not a fan of Gunga Dan.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  247. Absolutely, nk. Here in Washington, folks can get a CC permit very easily (which surprised me, coming from Southern California).

    I’m not a person who feels comfortable “carrying,” but I feel like getting the permit anyway. But then I would be on DC list, wouldn’t I?

    Next stop for me: watching for the black helicopters. But I do worry about the Nanny State.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  248. Interesting story from Bradley’s stamping grounds on openly carrying guns.

    Mike K (90939b)

  249. Interesting article, Dr. K. My worry is that carrying an unloaded weapon might turn out badly.

    Besides, my father always taught me to treat all firearms as if they are loaded.

    But it is interesting how folks “just know” that open carry is illegal. That’s because it seems that way to them.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  250. Levi,

    I didn’t catch the quotes you mentioned. Yeah, that was in bad taste to wish he was dead weeks before. [Rest of comment deleted by DRJ.]

    Juan (bd4b30)

  251. I know this will re-open a sore subject but I want to know your opinions on appropriate discussion of the recently deceased, whether they are conservative or liberal. When I heard the news of Walter Cronkite’s death, I decided it was acceptable to respectfully discuss his 1968 Tet editorial because he said it was the proudest achievement of his life. Thus, I view that editorial and what resulted from it as a significant part of his legacy and something for which he could fairly be evaluated and remembered.

    At the time, I specifically thought about how George W. Bush will be remembered at his death. I think Bush might say the invasion and liberation of Iraq was one of his proudest achievements and, if so and he publicly said it, I think it would be fair to respectfully discuss his actions in Iraq when he dies. (In contrast, I don’t think it would be fair to discuss conspiracy theories that say Bush planned 9/11.) There will undoubtedly be people who would argue Iraq was a mistake and others who would argue Bush’s actions protected Americans and liberated Iraqis. But if that is Bush’s chosen legacy, I think it would be appropriate to respectfully discuss at his death.

    In other words, I assumed that it’s fair to respectfully talk about the accomplishments a recently deceased person would include in their autobiography or extended obituary. I thought that was a fair position then but today I’m not so sure. Any thoughts?

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  252. Juan,

    Please never call Leviticus “Levi” again. They are two totally different people.

    nk (733dce)

  253. DRJ,

    This is just my opinion. I think in an open thread like this, discussion is appropriate as long as respect is maintained. In a strictly memorial thread, there shouldn’t be any negative discussion. Let it sit for a while and if enough people want to talk about how bad someone was, do another post.

    My rationale is thus… if he hadn’t died, would anyone have been talking about Walter Cronkite except as a random comment? Probably not. The only reason he became a topic is because he passed away. If the only reason you’re talking about someone is because they just died, say something nice or supportive to the family… or don’t say anything. And anyone talking about pissing on someone’s grave at any point, ever, would not be allowed in my house. You don’t get much lower in class than that.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  254. You’re right. A person’s death is a good time to say something nice or don’t say anything at all. Thanks.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  255. Hi DRJ I already started my thoughts on this so I will c & v and then elaborate.

    oh. Well I guess whatever it is that blogs are said to be there seems to be a consensus that coheres around an idea of them not being same as mainstream media, which is all about hagiography with respect to a certain deceased anchorman person, and at some point in that hagiographic process it stands to follow that somewhere we’ll see an equal and opposite reaction manifest I think.

    It’s devastating to the cause of what is true when we let the dirty socialists celebrate their dead propagandists. To whom is it left to assert that um no there is not a consensus on this? To say um no actually what this man did was wrong and that to celebrate his life is to validate his corruption?

    I volunteer.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  256. A person’s death is a good time to say something nice or don’t say anything at all.

    But I think applying the etiquette described by Stashiu3 based on the particular circumstances of Cronkite (eg, his very advanced age, his absence for quite awhile from the public arena), the fact we’re not family members, friends or colleagues of his (immediate or otherwise), the fact we’re posting messages anonymously to a blog, the fact that our comments aren’t being transmitted in a way that everyone can see and certainly hear them (IOW, we’re not discussing this at a restaurant or tavern, or at the workplace), is a bit precious or unncessarily discreet.

    Mark (411533)

  257. hf,

    Do it later… not before he’s even buried. It’s tacky and reflects more on the commenter than the deceased. Or do it on your own blog with your own post if you really can’t help yourself, which honestly wouldn’t come as a surprise. Your id is the size of DCSCA’s ego. It’s usually amusing, occasionally annoying, and sometimes nauseating.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  258. I woke up to being bullied by my neighbors, for the past four years, about as long as I have been here, just yesterday, so … I dunno ….

    nk (733dce)

  259. That ignores context I think. The context of the msm chiseling this Walter Cronkite person’s face on some journalistic Mt. Rushmore somewheres. Find me where I said anything what was really all so terrible a thing to say about any extremely well-compensated tv personality who is famous simply and only because his job was a job what you had to sit in front of a camera to perform. No way imaginable could you equate anything I said to the vile stuff what was said the day Mr. Snow died, which it seemed to me <r. Leviticus person was trying to imply.

    I could have just as easily been speaking to the general class of emptyheaded tv news bimbos as speaking to any particular case. It’s really a thin and arbitrary line between keeping a discrete silence when a news bimbo dies and keeping a discrete silence when a child molester dies. Neither bring much what is value-added to the table I think, and Walter Cronkite and his tragic tragic legacy, even less so, and there are very many respected voices what are saying so. Instapundit links several.

    Before you start diagnosing ids and such Mr. stashiu I would suggest you take a look at who it is what is trying to prescribe what other people can or cannot say.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  260. oh … <r. Leviticus = Mr. Leviticus … that little < thingie is right next to my letter m on this keyboard. I never noticed that before.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  261. Mark,

    Either you have standards or you don’t. If they’re standards, they apply to everyone by definition. Yours are different than mine, no problem. I care less about his age, politics, gender, sexual preference, or anything else other than his recent passing, than I do about keeping to my own standards. Attacking someone’s life when the only reason you’re even thinking about them is because it has just ended is (IMO) low-class. You disagree. Again, no problem. DRJ asked for an opinion and I gave mine. If it’s too precious for you, ignore it.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  262. Mr. Instapundit’s observation that The nostalgia isn’t for lost integrity. It’s for lost power. is very very apt I think.

    Even the people what are making noises of abject decorousness aren’t even talking about Walter. Not really. They’re just talking about the most usefulest to them idea of Walter.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  263. I will say that Cronkite’s death and this message board made me do some legwork to look up a few of the major aspects of what made Cronkite tick, and what his background in general was all about, and he ended up looking worse in my eyes.

    The last time I recall being put off by him was when TV newscasts showed his sailing on his boat with Bill and Hillary, right after Bill gave a speech to the nation admitting to his wrongdoing and the subsequent vacation he and his family took, in which everyone said he’d be exiled to the doghouse by Hillary.

    Until then, I had a more vague sense of Cronkite’s politics and reputation, and admittedly had been influenced through the years by his Midwestern avuncular quality. However, I didn’t realize he was as dogmatic — as leftwing — as he apparently was. I also believed that with greater age would have come at least a bit more wisdom. Apparently not, in the case of Walter Cronkite.

    Mark (411533)

  264. Before you start diagnosing ids and such Mr. stashiu I would suggest you take a look at who it is what is trying to prescribe what other people can or cannot say.
    Comment by happyfeet — 7/19/2009 @ 3:48 pm

    No diagnosis happyfeet, just an observation. You’ve taken on this stream-of-consciousness persona here who babbles and bubbles whatever comes to mind. It’s part of your charm, when you’re charming. Sometimes you cross the line in my opinion, but that’s only my opinion… others can speak for themselves. I contend it’s a low-class thing to do and said so when DRJ asked.

    Now, if you were prone to doing the same thing when someone who shared your views died, I might be less critical. But you don’t. As Leviticus said, it’s a double-standard and recognized as such. You don’t like being called on it, don’t do it. You’re far from the worst, but I’m responding to you so I’m talking about you. If anyone else objects to my opinion, I’ll respond to them.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  265. It’s not a double standard because the MSM is the context, not some baseline sense of propriety. The assertion that this man and his faux-journalism are a high water mark in the history of journalism is really really not a good thing to let pass unchallenged. Why does our noxious media think that extolling ad nasuseum the passing of one of their pre-eminent propagandists is a good use of resources? It’s not. It’s not good for journalism, not good for our little country I don’t think. It’s silence what would be a double standard I think.

    If you go back to #124 and follow that link you’ll find that I was one of but a few there that were willing to let a non-admirer of Tony Snow speak his piece on that very sad day. Me I think Tony would have heard him out too. Tony enjoyed that sort of engagement.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  266. *nauseum* is what that should say …

    Imagine writing an analysis of blogospheric reaction to the MSM’s Walter Cronkite sanctifications if your r.o.e. were widely held to…

    We suspect that there were some who disagreed with the assignation of the highest journalistic accolades to Mr. Cronkite, but it would appear that to a man they kept a judicious silence. Either that or they totally agreed with the MSM. Difficult to say, really.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  267. and besides – this goes back to DRJ’s question at #253…

    There’s a certain integrity in typing here same or nearly so as what you would say to your friends what stop by or call.

    Are even the most high-minded and gently spoken people actually in real life as reverent and temperate as some would have them be online? I don’t think so. I’m sure there’s some people what are, but I suspect those ones are practiced in avoiding the acquaintance of such as myself.

    The point is, I think there’s another way to ask the question that you ask…

    To what degree should blogospheric comment reflect what people in our little country are actually saying?

    happyfeet (c75712)

  268. I will check back later cause I want to watch this movie about what happens when hot teens what just want to party encounter genetically modified killer puppy dogs what are not at all in the party mood. But…

    Even if this conversation doesn’t continue I don’t think it’s too early though to pronounce this “Open Thread Friday” an unqualified success.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  269. Are even the most high-minded and gently spoken people actually in real life as reverent and temperate as some would have them be online? I don’t think so. I’m sure there’s some people what are, but I suspect those ones are practiced in avoiding the acquaintance of such as myself.
    Comment by happyfeet — 7/19/2009 @ 5:02 pm

    I try, although I don’t always succeed. And yes, that applies to both parts. In your case, I’ll try harder on the second part.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  270. That’s not very wwjd I don’t think.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  271. That’s not very wwjd I don’t think.
    Comment by happyfeet — 7/19/2009 @ 5:23 pm

    Enjoy your movie happyfeet.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  272. Thank you. And also please know that you are not without your edifying influence cause – and I know better than to expect praise or anything – but I didn’t attack none of Walter’s children in the whole thread not even once.

    I can be taught!

    happyfeet (c75712)

  273. Enough. July is a jinx month.

    nk (ae93de)

  274. ok, nk here I will try and hit the reset button for other peoples cause of there’s been some meanderings

    #

    I know this will re-open a sore subject but I want to know your opinions on appropriate discussion of the recently deceased, whether they are conservative or liberal. When I heard the news of Walter Cronkite’s death, I decided it was acceptable to respectfully discuss his 1968 Tet editorial because he said it was the proudest achievement of his life. Thus, I view that editorial and what resulted from it as a significant part of his legacy and something for which he could fairly be evaluated and remembered.

    At the time, I specifically thought about how George W. Bush will be remembered at his death. I think Bush might say the invasion and liberation of Iraq was one of his proudest achievements and, if so and he publicly said it, I think it would be fair to respectfully discuss his actions in Iraq when he dies. (In contrast, I don’t think it would be fair to discuss conspiracy theories that say Bush planned 9/11.) There will undoubtedly be people who would argue Iraq was a mistake and others who would argue Bush’s actions protected Americans and liberated Iraqis. But if that is Bush’s chosen legacy, I think it would be appropriate to respectfully discuss at his death.

    In other words, I assumed that it’s fair to respectfully talk about the accomplishments a recently deceased person would include in their autobiography or extended obituary. I thought that was a fair position then but today I’m not so sure. Any thoughts?

    Comment by DRJ — 7/19/2009 @ 2:40 pm

    happyfeet (c75712)

  275. I do not like it when my friends argue. But as I once told someone, I have no need for my friends to get along.

    JD (d71a7a)

  276. There’s a mockingbird driving a dog crazy outside my window.

    nk (947b03)

  277. I do not like it when my friends argue. But as I once told someone, I have no need for my friends to get along.
    Comment by JD — 7/19/2009 @ 5:44 pm

    I do like when people I despise argue… any chance we could draw DCSCA and lovey into a discussion here? I was cracking up when DCSCA said something about religion that lovey took exception to. I had to delete about a dozen comments before I posted them that would have tried to encourage it along. Overcoming that temptation was not easy.

    I’m just not a fan of kicking someone when they’re down or “pissing on their grave”. Correcting inaccuracies or unearned accolades can be done in a respectful manner right after someone dies. The hateful type of commenting is what keeps me away from liberal blogs now because it’s so prevalent. Similar with a couple of the conservative blogs that I no longer read. It’s easy to be vicious and low-class. I’d rather not see it here. Others feel differently I guess.

    happyfeet and I don’t see eye-to-eye on this, no big deal. I just won’t plan any drinks or dinner with him. It doesn’t mean I think he’s evil or not a good person. He’s honest and intelligent with a good sense of humor, just not someone I would pal around with. No real loss for me or him. On my part, I think we get along, we just disagree.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  278. hrmm. I think you are a right good person. I’m sure of it. I don’t think you’re on the mark though about what is easy. At Mr. Patterico’s believe me it’s much much easier to take the proverbial high road what is proverbial. You stray from this road at great peril of censure.

    I have links.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  279. ikes.

    genetically modified puppy dogs: 1

    hot multiethnic teens: 0

    happyfeet (c75712)

  280. One would never go broke betting against the hot teens in a movie.

    JD (d71a7a)

  281. Mockingbirds can drive anyone crazy but woodpeckers are worse.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  282. Especially when woodpeckers try to peck a hole in aluminum siding.

    Mike LaRoche (d83224)

  283. The thought of that makes me cringe.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  284. A pump-action Daisy BB-gun can cure a woodpecker problem. So can Rosie O’Donnell.

    JD (d71a7a)

  285. Ha! I’m stealing that…

    Mike LaRoche (d83224)

  286. Oh, and hi Professor LaRoche!

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  287. Hi Eric! Haven’t seen you around my blog lately. How are you doing?

    Mike LaRoche (d83224)

  288. Just back from a family trip (see my FB page) and working hard with students in the lab. Gearing up for fifty freshmen in the Fall. Trying to get some work published. Even trying to write some fiction. What I need is more hours in the day.

    I have been checking on you more via FB than your blog. I’ll try to remember to spend more time at the latter—you have some interesting posters.

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  289. Well, I have been slacking off with blogging since May, mainly because the upcoming move has been keeping me preoccupied.

    Yes, there certainly are some interesting people who show up on my FB page. Yesterday, Gary Graham was commenting on one of my posts.

    Are you writing the same type of fiction as before?

    Mike LaRoche (d83224)

  290. I thought Gary Graham was great in “Enterprise” as a cranky human-hating Vulcan. You do get the most interesting people posting on your site!

    Writing is one thing. Getting it published is another. But yes, the usual escapist material! But then, I also have to write about science…

    I’ll send you an e-mail. I want to hear about the upcoming move!

    Eric Blair (acade1)

  291. Hope you do get it published! Looking forward to your e-mail…

    Mike LaRoche (d83224)

  292. #253 — Comment by DRJ — 7/19/2009 @ 2:40 pm

    IMHO, there are different types of respect — one for the living and one for the dead.

    For the former; it must be earned.

    For the latter; freely granted by a moral person.

    What a man or woman does in life is completely fair to discuss, especially in a blog. When a person dies, there is no need to wish ill (it’s out of our hands any way), or name-call (somewhat cowardly to do so when the target cannot defend himself or herself). There are exceptions of course, for the really horrible, but that is not the case here.

    Well stated by Stashiu3 (@ #279):

    Correcting inaccuracies or unearned accolades can be done in a respectful manner right after someone dies.

    Pons Asinorum (829f65)

  293. bosh

    happyfeet (c75712)

  294. Dearest departed Walter I freely granteth unto thee my most respectful respectfulnesses which I would like to express in the form of an interpretive dance. Ye who was once a loathed and wretched personage is reborn to a Strange New Respect in mine eyes. Cause of you’re dead and all. Behold you the dance of Walter, imbued as it is with my hope that your passage to the next world might be eased and gentled and such.

    Walter! I know you’re asking me to stay say please please please don’t go away you say I’m giving you teh blues and 1, 2, 3, 4, Madonna Madonna Martha Graham Martha Graham

    happyfeet (c75712)

  295. and su su sudio oh oh I think

    happyfeet (c75712)

  296. Ding ding ding ! We have a winner. Interpretive dance? Classic.

    JD (93cafe)

  297. thanks! and you haven’t even seen the ella ella ay ay ay part yet except I think I need different shoes for that

    happyfeet (c75712)

  298. nk, I didn’t know that levi and leviticus were different people. My mistake. I just don’t have much time to keep track of that kind of thing. You knew who I was talking about, so I don’t understand the degree of anger you appear to be showing. Why not just look at my polite tone towards leviticus and again attempt to ascend a bit in your discourse.

    drj, I stand by what I said, which you deleted. I understand where you’re coming from in doing so, but I think this particular person deserved that criticism.

    For a lot of people, respecting them when they’ve recently deceased makes sense… they aren’t there to defend themselves. But for someone who has had every opportunity to explain themselves, and has taken that chance to cement what they did, I think there’s no reason to hold back. Everything I’m claimed about Cronkite he has already issued his defense for (which is to say that he’s proud of it and that he enjoys it being discussed).

    If I were talking about a smaller wrong, I guess I could understand the idea that decorum demands I be nice. But decorum isn’t an absolute. That’s not morality, that’s laziness. I only mention this because it seems like you wanted me to discuss this. I don’t really mind that you deleted what I said… people who want to know already know about this man.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  299. #295, 296, 297 — Comment by happyfeet — 7/20/2009 @ 7:49 am

    I’m guessing you disagree, Happyfeet ;-)

    Nevertheless, love the dance-steps!

    Pons Asinorum (829f65)

  300. Thank you Pons! I disagree but also I’m a little reflexively oppositional defiant on the issue I suspect.

    What I really don’t get is how everyone’s acting like Open Thread Friday’s over. Open Thread Friday is NOT over. Is not is not is not is not. That would just be nonsensically arbitrary I think.

    Hey. Frank McCourt died. When I grow up I want an impoverished childhood what I can write about and win a Pulitzer prize and bank, not necessarily in that order, and live in Manhattan and summer in some place summery and doing all of it without ever having to deal with Oprah would be my dream.

    It’s a good dream.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  301. Juan,

    It was difficult for me to draw lines in the Cronkite discussion but the bottom line is I think we should be careful about comments when someone dies. There was more latitude given because it wasn’t a thread about his death, but yours wasn’t the only comment I moderated that day and I freely admit it was a judgment call that not everyone would agree on.

    PS — I should have moderated my own comments, too.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  302. A little reflexively oppositional defiance is good for the soul (I think).

    BTW: it IS a good dream!

    Pons Asinorum (829f65)

  303. DRJ, please don’t worry about it.

    If you’re more comfortable this way, that’s enough for me. You’re an awesome blogger and it really was lame when you got tired of dealing with threads and decided you had enough, and it does bother me to think that I contributed to that kind of problem just because I overzealously (and knowingly) trashed this guy.

    I’m not even slightly upset about it.

    I only commented on it because it seemed like you were asking for views on the decorum ideal.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  304. Juan,

    I did ask for responses and I’d like to discuss this. My last comment was offered in that spirit.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  305. by lame, I meant it was a lame situation, of course.

    I think these absolute rules for decorum are ridiculous. In fact, I find them incredibly lazy and the opposite of a system of morality. Norms should be extremely subjective. I mentioned that Ted Kennedy will die soon… I don’t want people respecting or honoring that man just because his heart stopped beating, but they will… and they will look down on me for simply noting truth.

    Perhaps a better example is Michael Jackson. We’re not even talking about muted respect there. Respect the dead, in cases where the counter argument cannot be mustered makes plenty of sense. But some people have obviously had plenty of chances to give that argument. Ted Kennedy/MJ doesn’t deserve the ‘he can’t defend himself now’.

    So my idea is that if a person has done something particularly onerous, that he’s already had a lot of opportunity to discuss at great length (perhaps book length), and that person is not receiving great acclaim because they have just died, then it is important to fight against that acclaim. The freedom to discuss the truth about these people, despite it being socially incorrect, is valuable. When people who know little about the recent dead celebrity look at what’s said, they shouldn’t think everyone condoned everything they did… if I didn’t.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  306. I meant ‘that person is now receiving great acclaim’

    I’m too tired and my medication is kicking in, so my typing is disjointed. Time for me to turn it in, but I’ll be back tomorrow.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  307. I say we all have an interpretive dance about it, and see how we feel once we are done.

    JD (bdcd86)

  308. #276- When I heard the news of Walter Cronkite’s death, I decided it was acceptable to respectfully discuss his 1968 Tet editorial because he said it was the proudest achievement of his life. I noted where you sourced this but actually, Cronkite repeatedly has stated over his career that by far the best story he ever covered was the moon landing, which gives a better perspective of his skill as a journalist. And for those who care to see fragments of him at work on that story, the History Channel is airing a 30 minute program titled ‘Moon Landing’ that captures a bit of Cronkite covering Apollo at his middle-aged and boyish best. Rest in peace, Walter.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  309. So, you note where that was sourced, then proceed to pull shite out of your arse anyway, and argued a point not made in the process?

    To any of you lawyers out there … Do we have a medical malpractice case against International Man of Parody’s mental healthcare provider for their complete failure in dealing with this clown?

    JD (bdcd86)


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