Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Media Matters Comment on the Death of Walter Cronkite

I have to bring up something George F. Will wrote last year. In a column attacking George McGovern, Will said,

"Still, McGovern thinks he could have won with a running mate then called "the most trusted man in America"—Walter Cronkite. Before choosing Eagleton, McGovern considered asking Cronkite, who recently indicated he would have accepted."

This, the column's one fresh piece of information was hailed by the right wing press as proof of Cronkite's liberal bias, but Will never never explained where he got this information (did he speak to Cronkite, or was it a second or third hand account), nor does he provide us with a quote.

All I know is it was at complete odds with everything I heard Cronkite said about the subject. I have been unable to find the quote on the web, but when a grass roots "Cronkite for President" movement began, Cronkite dismissed it in a televised interview, saying, "If nominated I will not run. If elected, I will not serve. If I served, I would be impeached." He was photographed with an "Alfred E. Neuman for President" poster on his desk. He seriously believed news reporters should not be politicians.

Now we know that Cronkite's son said that his father died from complications of dementia.

I'd like Will to tell the truth about where he got his claim about Cronkite.


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