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7.19.2009

This Reporter

How did we go from this...



...to this?



Cronkite is probably the most familiar face in American television news, but as a journalist I think he takes a distant backseat to Murrow. The top video is a perfect example of how Murrow's dignified and deliberate delivery brought (for a little while) literate, intelligent television to America. He practically invented radio journalism, flew in bombing runs over Germany, was with the troops when they liberated Buchewald, invented television journalism, invented the first person live interview, invented the television documentary, he did it all. Cronkite came after him and came close to matching the gravitas of a Murrow, but will always fall a bit short in my book. I read "Murrow" by A.M. Sperber many years ago, and as far as a career, it's an embarrassment of riches. Nobody else really comes close. True, some of that Person to Person stuff was kind of lame, but he was forced to do it and quite frankly some of it is quite entertaining. After Cronkite was Dan Rather. (And quite frankly I think he was set up over the whole National Air Guard thing.) Respectable enough. Now we have the useless ratings-killer Katie Couric. Oh CBS, at long last, have you no shame?!

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