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Posts Tagged ‘Walter Cronkite’

“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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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

What was so brilliant about Ed Murrow and his See it Now broadcast which was CBS News’s nightly newscast before the CBS Evening News was created, what was so brilliant about Ed Murrow and See it Now in how they handled the Joe McCarthy hearings, is they just reported what Senator McCarthy said. And then Ed Murrow would give his commentary on what the Senator said, but they didn’t put words in his own mouth. “This is what the Senator said and what we think about it.” They didn’t put words in Senator McCarthy’s mouth or what his investigative committee in the Senate that he chaired said and what they were up to. They simply listened to what the Senator said and then used his own words against him. Which is very different from listening to what someone said and then trying to make it sound worst than what it really. Which is what partisan news organizations do today and back then as well.
Ed Murrow

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Telling it The Way it Was

Telling it The Way it Was


Still the best news anchor America has ever seen. Walter Cronkite, was the CBS Evening News, as great of a title that would have been if that is what he represented. He wasn’t CBS News, again as great of an honor that would have been. He was network news. He was the gold standard for how good real news anchors are judged by. People who anchor real news shows and real news stories. Stories that have real importance to the country. Perhaps that don’t draw the best ratings, or are the most entertaining. But real-life stories that effect everyone in the country. A true news anchor and not an entertainment news anchor, covers current affairs and national affairs. Issues involving the entire country. Like our foreign policy, national security and economy, to use as examples.

Like the death of the President of the United States. A war where millions of Americans are stationed thousands of miles away in another country fighting someone else’s civil war. Or the death of a great civil rights leader, or political leader. Or a political scandal involving not just the White House, but the President of the United States and his involvement in that scandal. Or a national energy shortage that effect every single American and effects the national economy. Or the Great Deflation of the 1970s. That resulted in two recessions in that decade and led to the economic malaise of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Or peace treaties involving two major Middle Eastern countries. Or a hostage crisis involving several Americans being held hostage in a Middle Eastern country.

Walter Cronkite, anchored the coverage of all of these stories and issues that I mentioned. And I believe it’s very clear which issues and stories that I’m talking about exactly.Were there what would be called fluff stories on the CBS Evening News, like a panda being born at the National Zoo, or a major sports story, sure. All network newscasts have done that. And Cronkite wasn’t above that and perhaps shouldn’t have been. But Americans watched his newscast, because they wanted to know what was going on in the world especially in their own country. Get the latest economic news, news about the latest war we might be involved in. Issues that the President and his administration are pushing. What’s going on in Congress and the latest political news in and outside of Congress. And Cronkite was the best at this.

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Harry Truman
I believe Harry Truman was one of our top 3-5 presidents in American history, but certainly in the top ten. Because of how he managed post-World War II especially in Europe and put America in position to successfully win the Cold War. With the buildup of the national security state to deal with Russia, as well as the NATO. Harry Truman was the man not many people respected until they saw him in action. I don’t know of an American politician, especially a great American politician that was more underestimated than Harry Truman. A fairly unknown U.S. Senator who had only been a Senator for ten-years, where all of his Congressional service was served, becomes Vice President of the United States in 1945. Who didn’t have much of a professional resume at all before he was fifty-years old, not just becomes President of the United States, but achieves that within days of becoming Vice President. And becomes one of the best President’s in American history.

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See it Now
Source: Dabell 43: See it Now- Edward Murrow vs Joseph McCarthy

Ed Murrow- You can’t defend freedom oversees if you won’t defend freedom at home

To quote Edward R. Murrow. “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.” Which pretty much sums up the difference between people who believe in free speech and fascists. “We cannot defend freedom abroad when we are making it weaker at home”. Going to other countries to defend freedom and American values as we are crushing those values at home for the American people. That is what this debate in the early and mid 1950s was about. I don’t want to make the Tea Party look like McCarthyites. But there’s a wing in that movement with Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann who see the world and America one way And if you don’t agree with them, they’ll label you as Un-American. That movement was around on the Right in America in the 1950s as well.

Ed Murrow and his nightly newscast See it Now and their investigation into Senator Joe McCarthy’s committee hearings about supposed Communists inside of the U.S. Government, put CBS News on the map as far as TV in this country. And probably led to the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite that eventually became a half-hour show. Because Murrow and See it Now took down a movement that was trying to destroy free speech and assembly for the rest of the country. Which is what Joe McCarthy and his supporters were about. Either you’re as terrified about Communists taking over America, even though the theocratic Christian-Right, outnumbers Communists and perhaps the Far-Left in America in general by millions, the Far-Right will view as Un-American. And someone who should be in jail.

The 1950s and the start of the Cold War with Russia, was a great time to be a demagogue. Especially if you were on the Right and were in public office. Because Americans were literally scared to death that Communists, probably from Russia, would invade America and throw our liberal democratic government and way of life. Even though we clearly always had the upper hand against Russia if it ever came to some actual physical war. Simply because of our overwhelming economic strength and economy. The Russians even knew that which is why they went through several stages of economic reform. Including even some privatization of their Marxist system. To try to compete with America and Europe economically. And Senator Joe McCarthy exploited this fear very well.

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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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