Past Opinion Articles
Article for the week of 7/20/09
Confessions of a Dislocated
An Image that may never be erased
By Ezra Mann (Editor in
While the United States has never been truly innocent, there once was a time when
people still believed in the possibility. Our heroes were not perfect by any means,
but most of the time they accomplished something without asking much more than
a thank you and a hearty handshake.
In this time when innocence seems like a forgotten dream, we look back to those
who really stood out and made a difference long after they took their final bow.
One of those monoliths of legend made the decision to serve as the voice of those
who could not speak and those who just needed a reason to listen. Walter Cronkite
may have done something as unremarkable as deliver the news, but he did it in
a way that forever set a standard, which hopefully is not beyond rekindling.
I am of a generation that did not actually see Cronkite’s greatest moments
in real time, but learned of them in remembrance and lecture. Even though I did
not see him at first outside of historical context, I felt like he was a force
driving me outside the ordinary.
Some might say that he wasn’t all that great of a role model for journalists
because he would let himself get emotionally involved in a story from time to
time. It is important that those delivering the written or spoken word are to
be unattached, but to never let yourself react is to lose some of your humanity.
Cronkite was a part of his stories, but the people were more interested in him
being a part of their lives.
He was referred to as “the most trusted man in America,” a title that
would be laughable for an anchor in a time where a network claims to be “fair
and balanced.” People did not like him because he could out-argue his guests,
but because he acted more human than even those who were supposed to represent
He did not demand fear and total worship, but proved that freedom of the press
deserved to be respected. Those elected have always mocked and attempted to abuse
coverage, but dared not rattle Cronkite’s mettle for the public that stood
behind him. A president that sees the news as something that could remove them
from power is someone we should be choosing above others.
From his early days on the radio where one could hear him report on WWII to the
Moon Landing, he is proof that one need only push forward to experience more than
just the mundane. I suppose that is why I, more than many in my age group will
celebrate his influence even though he has passed from this world.
I will miss hearing his voice, but know that it will always be there in my mind
whether in jest or as a motivational powerhouse. Walter Cronkite has earned more
than just a moment of silence; he has earned his place forever in the annals of
mankind’s greatest moments. Rest in peace, but let us not rest for he is
not for the vain.
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