Saturday, July 18, 2009

Comments on Concrete

Yesterday it was announced that Walter Cronkite had died. Growing up, and not thinking too much of him even then, we kids called him Walter Concrete. Now being older and wiser, I realize our youthful barb was actually quite accurate. Cronkite was called the most trusted man in America. Never was trust more misplaced than in this man.

Cronkite had his own private agenda which he covertly promoted while claiming it was the news. Nor was he a good reporter. During the Tet Offensive in Vietnam he reported that this proved we couldn't win the war. In fact Tet was a huge tactical and strategic victory for the U.S. Ultimately, we won the Vietnam war and forced North Vietnam to sign the Paris Accords. (The take over of South Vietnam was a really a second Vietnam war, in which we did participate. There was about year between the wars.) Had Cronkite simply spoken with U.S. commanders at the time of Tet, he would have learned that the offensive by the NVA and Vietcong played right into our hands. Yes, it led to intense fighting, but we ultimately prevailed in every engagement. Cronkite never reported this fact. So those who got their news about Vietnam from the most trusted man in America got a lie - a lie I would contend was deliberate on Cronkite's part.

After retirement, Cronkite spent much of his twilight years campaigning for environmental causes. Most of these were likewise lies, as are most environmental causes in general. Again, he lent his credibility to a lie.

Pardon me if I don't mourn this passing. I don't think we lost much.

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