Thursday, November 18, 2010

"The most trusted man in America"

Reporting from Austin, Texas — "Hello, I'm Walter Cronkite." The stentorian voice booms from an oversize replica of an early console television. To viewers older than 40, the image on the screen is familiar, though more distant with the passing of years. Younger observers appear curious or bemused, or both.

In quick succession, the TV images highlight some of the biggest events of the 20th century. The coverage of the assassination of President Kennedy appears in black and white. Later images from political conventions and Vietnam are in color, before a return to fuzzy, black-and-white footage of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon.

Through the tragedy, upheaval and excitement, there is one constant: the essential anchorman. Cronkite. Uncle Walter. The most trusted man in America.

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