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  • Reverend James Squire

Celebrity News VS. Walter Cronkite




I watch the nightly news when I am able to get in front of a TV screen. As was true last night, I tend to have an agenda of what I want to see covered. Last night it was what was occurring in Uvalde and any updates on gun control, the situation in Ukraine, a Covid update, and the state of the economy after hearing that Jamie Dimon’s warning about the direction of where things are heading with the financial well-being of our nation. What was not on my list was an extensive discussion of the results of the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp trial about their claims of abuse against one another. It took ten minutes.


I listened to Depp describe how he had the tip of his finger injured when Heard threw something at him in a drunken rage. That did it! Meanwhile in Ukraine people were getting more that the tips of the fingers injured. Try reporting about loss of limb and life as a people fight for freedom. There was a brief moment to update us on what is happening in that war torn nation.


The only redeeming value of the celebrity news was that it brought the “me too movement” back into the news. However, Heard lost the case. Did that hurt the movement? That was the question that no one seemed to be able to answer in any definitive way.


What I have come to realize is that what I want the news to be about is what the man or woman on Main Street needs to know including a global perspective. I want to be informed and not entertained. It bothers me no end when I hear that Former Prince Harry and Megan think this or that about a particular cause. So what? They have little skin in the game of this thing we call real life.


I guess I should start watching the BBC where the commentators look like college professors who do have something to say and not like models who have stepped off a runway, male or female. They reinforce the view that we are no longer watching news as it has become watching some form of entertainment. Fox News, by their own admission, is Fox Opinion. That has kept a lawsuit against them away.


Some of us have lived during the time when news was really news. The “most trusted man in America” was Walter Cronkite. He reported on the news between 1937 and 1981 covering World War II, the Vietnam War, the Iran hostage crisis to mention a few pivotal times. Those of a certain age remember where we were when Walter Cronkite with great emotion told America that President Kennedy had been assassinated at 1:38 CST time (on November 22, 1963) and that Johnson would be sworn in as the next president.


I always say if you have a problem with something as I do with the current nature of the news, come forward with a possible solution. My solution is to listen to some of Walter Cronkite’s’ own words:


“Whatever the cost of libraries the price is cheap compared to an ignorant nation.”


“In seeking truth, we have to get both sides of the story.”


“There’s a little more ego involved in these jobs than people might realize.”


“As anchorman of CBS News, I signed off my nightly broadcasts for nearly two decades with a simple statement: ‘And that’s the way it is.’ To me that encapsulates the newsman’s highest ideal: to report the facts as he (or she) sees them without regard for the consequences or controversy that may ensue.”


To change the name in Simon and Garfunkel’s song, “Mrs. Robinson”, from the movie, The Graduate from DiMaggio to Cronkite, it should be…


“Where have you gone, Walter Cronkite? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson? Walter Cronkite has left and gone away?”


We need to get his view of the anchor and the news back or ignorance will prevail. We need new most trusted men or women as a trusted voice in America.” Otherwise, we will suffer under the myth of news provided by bias on social media as well as the bias of both the left and the right.


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