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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Rather’

“CBS News Correspondent Roger Mudd- CBS News covering President Richard Nixon’s resignation speech in August, 1974. (I wasn’t born yet!) …”

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

CBS News covering President Richard Nixon’s resignation speech in August, 1974. (I wasn’t born yet!) Of course because of President Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate break in in 1972 where employees of the Richard Nixon Reelection Campaign, broke into Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in the summer of 1972. After it became clear because of President Nixon’s presidential tapes that the President ordered the coverup. he lost most of whatever support he had left in Congress. At least enough in the House and even in his own party to prevent him from being impeached by the House with a bipartisan majority and win a conviction trial in the Senate. The President would have been impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate. That is how Congress can remove the President and Vice President from office. Congressional Republicans led by Senator Barry Goldwater, but Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott and House Minority Leader John Rhodes, told President Nixon that the gig was up, so to speak. Went to the White House and told the President he can’t survive Watergate and if he tries to he’ll be removed from off by Congress.

That is why President Richard Nixon resigned from office. Because had he not he would have faced a worst embarressment of being removed from office by Congress and perhaps losing half of his own party in the House and Senate on those votes. Senate Republicans told President Nixon that he might have twenty votes for acquittal in the Senate if it went that far. You need 34 to defeat impeachment in the Senate and Republicans had 45 seats in the Senate in that Congress. More than enough to defeat an impeachment trial if they’re united on it. President Nixon had calculated that he would probably get impeached by the Democratic House that had roughly 260 seats, but the win the conviction trial in the Senate. But Senator Goldwater told the President that he didn’t have enough votes in the Senate for that and that he Barry Goldwater would vote for conviction. Perhaps Richard Nixon did want to end this and save the country from seeng their President impeached and convicted. But it’s clear that a big part of him resigning was to save himself from further embarrassment.

This Democratic Congress of 1973-74, was ready to get past impeachment and deal with other issues. Like making sure the Vietnam War ended swiftly and properly, the country was going through a recession and lacked affordable energy, inflation was becoming a big problem, rising unemployment, etc. But just as long as President Nixon was removed one way or another from office. Whether they had to do that themselves or the President voluntarily stepped down. So as Roger Mudd and Dan Rather were talking about as far as whether the House would go through on impeachment anyway even with the President resigning, there was no appetite for that in either the Democratic Caucus or Republican Caucus. And the Democratic Senate wanted nothing to do with an impeachment trial and neither did Senate Republicans, especially if the President already decided to voluntarily resign. Richard Nixon being the master politician he was, knew when to fold and when he lost all support which is why he resigned from office.

World Opinion Forum-CBS News: Coverage of President Richard Nixon’s Resignation- Roger Mudd vs Dan Rather: ‘Go Soft on Nixon’

 

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Walter Cronkite
Source: CBS News: Walter Cronkite Informs a Shocked Nation

Newscasters and journalists in general are trained to never show their feelings and give commentary. That old Joe Friday saying of just the facts man. (For all of you Dragnet fans) But these people are exactly that, people and they have feelings too. And when you’re reporting on the death and not just death, but the assassination of someone you personally know, like, respect and even admirer, all things that Walter Cronkite felt about John Kennedy and then throw in the fact they were the same age and from the same generation, how you not show your human side in this situation. This was the first presidential assassination during the network news era. Where most if not all Americans, were getting at least part of their news from the networks.

And you’re reporting on the assassination of someone who is just 46 and you’re same age, to go along with all the other factors. I would’ve been disappointed had Cronkite not given people at least a little into what he was feeling about this horrible tragedy. Cronkite was at the top of his game during CBS News’s coverage of the JFK assassination that he anchored. And part of Cronkite’s greatness was that he was a human being the whole time and not afraid to let others know that.There was no precedent for network news to cover presidential assassinations. There hadn’t been a presidential assassination since William McKinley at the turn of the 20th Century. When radio hadn’t even been invented yet. CBS News, NBC News and ABC News, was literally learning how to cover this on the fly.

Walter Cronkite, wasn’t announcing the death of a cab driver who was mugged the night before in his cab in New York City. Not that murder is not important, because of course it would be. He was announcing the death of not just a public servant and public official, or politician, or even a Chief of State, or even a President. He was announcing the death of a President of the United States. He was announcing the death of his own President and President of his own country. A President he personally knew and perhaps even considered a friend. The first time this was ever done on network news and hopefully the last, because this assassination was way too expensive and should have never had happen. And Cronkite deserves a lot of credit for how he handled himself.

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