Monday, July 20, 2009

On Cronkite

With the passing of Walter Cronkite, it didn't really phase me that even conservative pundits would cover his life and times and do so wistfully speaking of their personal relationships and observations of this man considered America's first anchorman. There's no denying the guy's impact on television news reporting and many claim that they had no idea what his political leanings were until after he retired, though some say his leanings began to show a few years before he was somewhat talked out of his job in favor of the chuckleheaded Dan Rather. He is, in some ways, the end of an era that has really long since passed, that being the era of objective reporting of the news without the injection of the reporter's personal agenda.

But tonight on Bill O'Reilly's show, Billy O said something that pushed me to provide this link when I had not planned on doing so. O'Reilly said that he was telling the truth about Viet Nam, or sentiments to that effect. The link presents what I've heard from a variety of sources for years. Cronkite was a major factor in turning sentiment in America towards the radical anti-war drivel that helped seal our fate in that war.

As the link relates, the Tet Offensive was a resounding victory for American/S.VietNam forces with the commies suffering casualties ten times what we did. That's a victory in anyone's book, but Uncle Walter chose to focus only on OUR losses. You'd think that for a veteran war reporter, he would understand that allied losses occur in every war. That a war is decided by which side suffers more losses. We were winning. We should have and could have won. This turning of American sentiment (and if anyone thinks Uncle Walter didn't have that kind of impact on viewers, they likely weren't born until after he left the airwaves) was noticed with wonder by leaders of North Viet Nam and helped them strengthen their resolve. As our people began to protest after this great victory, they figured our hearts weren't into it and their tactics changed and their spirits rose. They knew they just had to keep on keeping on and the whining from our leftists in the streets was their indicator that they were winning and not us.

Thanks a lot, Walter. May God forgive you.


Anonymous said...

When they announced his death my first thought was that I assumed he was already dead. It would have been more newsworthy to me if they had announced the previous day that he was alive.

I'm not surprised the media glossed over his impact on Vietnam or even ignored it. That's somewhat standard stuff when people die, and far less egregious than the Jackson worship. Ick.

I think the bigger problem is that the MSM probably doesn't think Cronkite did or said anything wrong at all re. Vietnam. They still haven't learned.

Dan Trabue said...

Wow. You all still think the Viet Nam war was a right thing??

It's the 21st Century, fellas. Try to keep up...

Vinny said...

Have you ever heard the term "Pyrrhic victory." It comes from a pair of battles that King Pyrrhus of Epirus fought against Roman forces around 280 B.C. Although he inflicted heavy casualties on the Romans and won both battles, he is reputed to have said “One more victory like that and I’ll be going home alone.” His problem was that the Romans did not accept that they had been defeated. They simply raised new armies and attacked again.

The problem was not simply U.S. losses during the Tet Offensive. The problem was that U.S. commanders had been convinced that the North Vietnamese had been too severely crippled to be incapable of mounting such an offensive. Cronkite simply acknowledged the facts: the administration did not know what was going on.

Vietnamese nationalists had been fighting foreign invaders for centuries. They fought the Chinese, the Japanese and the French before the Americans. They had suffered plenty of defeats and they always kept fighting.

Bubba said...

Cronkite's passing is as a good a point as any to note that there is at least one action by our government for which we truly should apologize: the cutting off of aid to the South Vietnamese.

The leftists in office and those who support them apparently think the United States should apologize for pretty much everything under the sun, but this dishonorable act never seems very high on their list, to say the least.

Now, Dan, you seem to think it's far too late to rehash Vietnam all over again, but that's a wee bit inconsistent -- and I would argue, hypocritical -- in light of your habit of denouncing Iran-Contra and even Hiroshima as war crimes.

I'm going to assume that your reminding us fellas that it's the 21st century means that you will no longer harp about either subject ever, ever again.

Marty said...

I lost my fiance in the Tet Offensive on January 31, 1968. We had planned a wedding for June 6.

You may think it was a great victory, but for me it was a great loss.

Marshall Art said...


Welcome back, first of all.

How did Cronkite know what the administration knew or didn't know? I don't buy that at all. The explanatin I DO buy is the one that says NVN leaders claimed to have been morally broken after Tet and strongly considered throwing in the towel until they learned of the changing sentiment in America.

Even if we assume that Cronkite was correct in his opinion, which would be silly, he is hardly a man to trust if he is the quitter his statements make him out to be, and he had no business as a reporter to speak in such terms. I don't think it was done as an opinion piece, though I could be wrong.

Vinny said...

The administration had been making claims that we had turned a corner in Vietnam and that the North Vietnamese weren't capable of launching a general offensive. Then they did. That's how everyone knew that the administration didn't know what it was talking about.

Randy said...

I had the pleasure of hearing Cronkite speak several years agter his retirement. Unfortunately, everything he said was so liberal, that I turned him off and can't recall a word of it. I remember being in awe when he first took the stage, then saddened at his opinions.

Mark said...

Yep, thanks to people like Uncle Walter (but not just him. he was only one of many) The United States lost a war in which we won every battle.

Marshall Art said...

Welcome Randy. Feel free to comment here anytime.