David Halberstam on Walter Cronkite

Jul 18, 2009  •  Post A Comment

In 1976, the late writer David Halberstam wrote a piece in The Atlantic magazine about broadcast news. With Walter Cronkit’es death, The Atlantic has just republished, on its website, the parts of Halberstam’s piece about Cronkite. Here’s an excerpt of that reprint:

"[Cronkite] was not a great interviewer; he was too aware of danger of seeming combative, and his questions were often easy (most memorably at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, when he pitched softballs to Mayor Daley of Chicago). But he was a good synthesizer and clarifier, working hard in the brief time allotted to his program to make the news understandable to millions of people. And his style and character seemed to come through. People set him apart from his office, as they did Eisenhower. When news was bad or upsetting, the audience might be angry with television reporters, but rarely with Walter Cronkite personally. He was exempt."

—Chuck Ross


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