Remembering Walter Cronkite

The late CBS news anchor, Walter Cronkite, played a key role in the unravelling of Watergate.

Cronkite, who has died aged 92, broadcast two extensive stories on Watergate in 1972.

Ben Bradlee, the former Washington Post editor, said today that a lot of “Washington people, people who followed national stories – a lot of them who had not decided that we were right changed their minds because of Walter”.

This is part of Bradlee’s comments in Newsweek:

“In October 1972, Cronkite devoted two segments, back to back, to the Watergate story. The first was 14 minutes, the second eight.

I think that second night was curtailed by CBS chairman William S. Paley because Paley was scared of it.

The fact that Cronkite did Watergate at all (let alone at that length) gave the story a kind of blessing, which is exactly what we needed—and exactly what The Washington Post lacked.

It was a political year, and everyone was saying, “Well, it’s just politics, and here’s the Post trying to screw Nixon.”

We were the second-biggest newspaper in the country trying to scramble for a good story—whereas Cronkite was the reigning dean of television journalists. When he did the Watergate story, everyone said, “My God, Cronkite’s with them.”

Deep Throat Close To Death, Claims Dean

Deep Throat, the anonymous source who provided Watergate information to the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, is reportedly close to death.

John DeanThe claim is made in an article by John Dean, the former White House counsel to Richard Nixon, in an article in the Los Angeles Times. Dean was jailed for his part in Watergate. More recently, he is the author of Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush. [Read more…]

Jason Robards, Star Of ‘All The President’s Men’, Dies, 78

Jason Robards with the ClintonsJason Robards, the actor who played Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee, in the 1976 film about the Watergate scandal, All The President’s Men, has died, aged 78.

Robards won an Oscar for his performance in the film.

The actor died in Connecticut after a long battle with bowel cancer.

He was particularly noted for his performances in the plays of Eugene O’Neill.

He won consecutive Oscars as Best Supporting Actor in 1977 and 1978. His portrayal of Benjamin C. Bradlee is widely seen as an impressive performance of the “feisty” editor of the Post during the Watergate period.