The idea that there was once an omnipotent, omnipresent and widely respected mainstream media may largely be a myth. But like many myths it has a real-world inspiration, and Uncle Walter’s newscast, in its ’60s and ’70s heyday, is it. Cronkite’s steady demeanor and comfortable manner cornered the market on trust and made him all the more influential the rare times when he ventured into commentary. When Cronkite famously declared Vietnam “unwinnable” in 1968, President Johnson reportedly said that once the anchor was against him, he had lost Middle America. Since he left the anchor chair in 1981, no single newsman (or woman) has ever gotten Middle America back.
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