[Homestead] Now Outspoken, Cronkite Rips Bush's Record
lurine at softcom.net
Sat Nov 20 01:15:48 EST 2004
An article from The Miami Herald. Note this comment from Walter Cronkite:
"You want to get down to the nub of how this democracy is going to
defend itself," Cronkite said. "We've got to have an intelligent electorate
and we're not going to have it because our education system is in a shambles
Now Outspoken, Cronkite Rips Bush's Record
By Glenn Garvin
The Miami Herald
Friday 19 November 2004
No longer the just-the-facts newsman, retired CBS news anchor Walter
Cronkite, 88, blasted the Bush administration during a charity appearance on
What America needs right now, legendary TV anchor Walter Cronkite said
Thursday, is a new election - and, he warned a laughing press conference
full of reporters, he wasn't kidding.
"That's not entirely a joke," Cronkite said solemnly, arguing that the Bush
administration has spent itself into ruin while embroiling the country in a
war that will eventually make public revulsion to the war in Vietnam look
"I think you journalists today have a great four years ahead of you,"
Cronkite observed dryly. "It's going to be a great story to cover."
Cronkite - in South Florida on a promotional visit for the Fisher Island
Philanthropic Fund, a children's charity - spent 30 years at CBS News,
including 18 as anchor of the network's evening newscast, before retiring in
His retirement has mostly been a quiet one. But during the past year,
Cronkite - who turned 88 earlier this month - has made some startling
departures from his old just-the-facts anchorman's demeanor. He proclaimed
that most journalists are liberals and praised them for it, and accused
Republican political operative Karl Rove of orchestrating the release of a
new Osama bin Laden tape last month to help President Bush win reelection.
On Thursday, he whacked away at the Bush administration even harder,
accusing it of destroying the nation's infrastructure and wrecking its
education system to the point that American democracy itself is in danger.
"You want to get down to the nub of how this democracy is going to defend
itself," Cronkite said. "We've got to have an intelligent electorate and
we're not going to have it because our education system is in a shambles
The most immediate problem, Cronkite warned, is Iraq.
"We have a war that is tearing us apart," he said. But, he added, the
administration's deficit spending is a close second, creating "a debt that
will have to be paid by our great-grandchildren, and maybe beyond that.
"In the meantime, we do not have the money to do the things that we ought
to - have to - do here at home," Cronkite said.
Cronkite said the news media have generally done a good job covering the
problems, including during the presidential election. But he backed away
from a question about the troubles at his old network, where an independent
panel is investigating a report by Cronkite's replacement, Dan Rather, that
raised questions about President's Bush's Vietnam-era service in the
"I'm not going to comment on the Dan Rather matter until the investigators
come up with their report," said Cronkite. "I've had great difficulty
keeping my lips buttoned, but so far I've made it."
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