I sat today watching, believing, trusting, and holding on to every word as I had done many times before–from my earliest memories of television to today’s sophisticated blogs, twitters and videos. As each person placed his experiences with Walter Cronkite in a mental book of respect, honor and humor, I began to ask myself what was it that made ME believe this man? Was it his voice, his mannerisms, or the look in his eyes as he spoke? No! It was not what you saw, but what you felt! You heard his story, and deep within, you knew it could be trusted.
There was no sensationalism, misrepresentation of the truth, or using words to foster a political agenda. He reported the truth, not tried to MAKE the truth.
We sat at our dinner tables and waited for a picture of what happened, to come to us. When it did, we accepted it. Journalism of today, can take a lens out of the camera of Walter Cronkite’s picture of life. Truth is not reached by keeping the ultimate meaning of justice in the eyes of the beholder, but by seeking a truth beyond human vision and understanding. When you do this, you arrive at what the ultimate of truth is. The challenge is to view every human situation, condition and experience with sincerity, honesty and integrity, even when these qualities seem illusive.
Cronkite lived from 1916 to 2009. In those ninety-two years, he asked many questions, heard many answers and reported many stories. His story is summed up in the words he used at the end of each broadcast, “and that’s the way it was.” I say of this man, he personified “a truth weighed in wisdom ,” another way of saying the same thing.