The Terrible Truth About Walter Cronkite
July 27, 2009
By Cliff Kincaid
is wrong to speak ill of the dead. On the other hand, it is an insult to the
intelligence of the American people to pretend that Walter Cronkite was the
"voice of God" and "universally credible," as Mara Liasson put it on Fox News
Sunday. The terrible truth is that Walter Cronkite symbolized liberal media
bias and used that bias with disastrous consequences for our nation and the
world. His latest cause was world government and the destruction of American
found out after his retirement that he was not only a liberal, which was
evident from his broadcasts, but a one-worlder. In appearances before the World
Federalist Association, which favors world government financed by global taxes,
he called for the
to renounce "some of
its sovereignty" and pass a series of United Nations treaties―many of
which are now being pushed in the Senate by President Barack Obama. Cronkite
called for an "international Liberty Bell."
called for Senate ratification of the Treaty to Ban Land Mines, the Law of the
Sea Treaty, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Convention to
Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the
Rights of the Child. Most important, he said, we should sign and ratify the
Treaty for a Permanent International Criminal Court, which would violate
by enabling foreign judges to prosecute American citizens and imprison them in
foreign jails. Cronkite was determined to use the U.N. and its treaties to
inhibit the ability of the
to act in its own
national security interests.
of Cronkite's appearances, where he accepted a "Global Governance" award, is available on video, at an event which
featured the wife of then-U.N. boss Kofi Annan and a video from then-First Lady
Hillary Clinton. The same "Global Governance" award had also been given to
former Time magazine columnist Strobe Talbott, another advocate of world
government, later a top State Department official in the Clinton Administration
and subsequently named as a "special contact" of the Russian
intelligence service by a Russian spy. Talbott now runs the liberal Brookings
1988, seven years after his retirement as anchorman of the CBS Evening News,
Cronkite addressed a left-wing People for the American Way conference and
denounced President Reagan for the "unilateral" military actions in
, when the
military evicted a communist
, when Reagan ordered a
military strike in retaliation for the acts of terrorism against Americans.
Cronkite despised Reagan's peace-through-strength policies and said that the
smartest president he ever met was Jimmy Carter.
Cronkite denounced Operation Iraqi Freedom and attacked the Bush administration
for its "arrogance."
role in the
defeat is being
reported as if it were a highlight of his career. Yet, his misreporting helped
create the conditions for a premature
leading to the loss of the lives of 58,000 Americans in vain, not to mention
the millions of additional deaths caused in
by the Communists.
Cronkite's public verdict that the 1968 Tet offensive was a "defeat" for the
is widely seen as a
turning point in American support for the war. Cronkite falsely claimed that
the Vietcong had held the American embassy for six hours and that the offensive
"went on for two months." The facts show that Tet was actually a major defeat
for the communist enemy.
in Media founder and longtime AIM Report editor Reed Irvine noted that Cronkite
"contributed a great deal to our defeat in
, Cronkite got it wrong
on one of the big issues―freedom versus Soviet communism. In the 1974
book, TV and National Defense, Dr.
Ernest Lefever examined how CBS News programs for two years had covered
national security issues and concluded that the news organization was "an
active advocate of several national defense positions which were frequently
critical of U.S. policy, and usually from a perspective that implied or called
for a lesser military commitment and lower defense expenditures."
1972, for instance, the CBS Evening News aired nearly 1,400 presentations
supporting the dovish view. Contrary or hawkish positions were aired only 79
about the charges, Cronkite displayed the bias that guided his news program,
saying that "There are always groups in Washington expressing views of
alarm over the state of our defenses. We don't carry those stories. The story
is that there are those who want to cut defense spending." The "most trusted
" didn't deserve our
1979, he gave an interview to the Soviet magazine, Literary Gazette, and told
Vitaly Kobysh that the "Soviet threat" was "most likely...a myth." According to
the magazine, Cronkite went on to say that "I will never believe in a 'Soviet
after the interview was published, the Soviets invaded
. He retired as CBS
Evening News anchorman in 1981.
told AIM founder and editor Reed Irvine that he had been misquoted by Kobysh,
and that he had a tape recording of the interview to prove it. The tape never
materialized. Irvine ran into Kobysh at an
international media conference and the Soviet journalist said the interview was
Ronald Reagan took office as President and proceeded to build up
capability, in the wake of the disastrous Jimmy Carter years, CBS News acted to
counter the Reagan effort. They aired a five-part program, "The Defense of the
," in which Cronkite
appeared to tell us that the relationship with the Soviet Union was dominated by "the
same old fears and doubts" because we didn't have a genuine dialogue with the
Irvine noted at the time of
the broadcast that CBS gave us "the Kremlin view that it is the
, not the Soviet Union, that is striving for
an impossible military superiority, while creating fantasies about Soviet
However, Irvine noted that Reagan "was
not deterred" by the CBS News assault, but that the momentum behind his
election mandate to rebuild
's defense was
"weakened" somewhat by the constant repetition by the media that he was
spending too much on national security. Cronkite's accomplices in this crusade
included Dan Rather, his successor, and Bill Moyers, then with CBS and now with
many years Irvine drew attention to the
"persistent anti-defense bias of CBS News" and reported, "One has to wonder why
the anti-defense bias is so strong and persistent at CBS. My own feeling is
that it is a reflection of the views enunciated by Walter Cronkite that show a
benign view of the Soviet Union."
1989, while expressing the hope that the Soviet archives would one day be
opened to demonstrate how the Kremlin manipulated American journalists such as
Walter Duranty of the New York Times, who had lied and helped Stalin cover up
his monstrous crimes that resulted in the deaths of 7-10 million Ukrainians,
Irvine added that "It will be fascinating to see what they say about Walter
Cronkite, who spent two years in Moscow after World War II as a UPI
correspondent and who has been remarkably restrained in his criticism of that
country ever since."
may sound harsh, but the fact is that Cronkite was consistently wrong about
Soviet intentions, and his attitude dominated CBS News coverage of the old Soviet Union.
the Soviet collapse, Irvine wrote a 1990 AIM Report
about those personalities who had taken "a benign or even adulatory view of
communism and the Soviet Union in the years since the 1917 Bolshevik coup
d'etat." Cronkite was on this list of "doves," which also included "Hanoi Jane"
is fine to recognize Cronkite for his long life and many years as anchorman of
the CBS Evening News. He captured important moments and reached millions. But
don't pretend that he was an objective journalist.
journalism cost lives and could have cost many more, had it not been for a President
named Reagan who had the courage to bypass the major media and go directly to
the American people with the truth about our crumbling defenses when America
was increasingly vulnerable.
country was very lucky to have him in that seat" as anchorman, Fox News Sunday
host Chris Wallace said, in paying tribute. No.
was fortunate to have
escaped his pernicious influence. Now we have to try to escape the fate of
world government that Cronkite made his primary cause later in life, which has
been adopted by President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI.