Thursday, September 15, 2005

Unacknowleged bias, but still fascinating to hear

Walter Cronkite Remembers (audio cassette)
(audio CD here).

Despite the ubiquitous clarinet motif that sounded oddly similar to the opening notes of the My Little Pony theme song, I enjoyed this brief trip down Walter Cronkite's memory lane. He's seen a lot in his life and been more places than I'll ever be - plus his voice could make the phone directory sound like poetry.

Filled with snippets of archival material and brief statements by friends and acquaintances, this audio book was a fun listen. It's light and brief, though. Anyone expecting in-depth analysis or startling revelations will wind up disappointed. This exists on the level of casual, dinner conversation - albeit highly entertaining and informative dinner conversation.

The one thing that did bother me was Cronkite's constant refusal to admit his clear liberal bias. Time after time, he trumpets his objectivity, but then mentions that he sorta liked Ronald Reagan "despite his politics" (said in a tone that indicates any reasonable person would find Reagan's politics despicable) and that when Barry Goldwater spoke at Knot's Berry Farm it was more akin to "Barry's Nut Farm." He even ends the tape with a list of too typical liberal complaints about how the poor get poorer, the rich get richer, race relations are getting worse, etc.

But that's a minor nit - This tape serves as a quick and enjoyable guide to most major events of the last 60+ years as seem through the eyes of a man who saw as much of it as possible.

This makes a nice companion to his more in-depth book A Reporter's Life - y'know - if you're into that kinda thing and want to see the way it (sorta) was.

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