Saturday, July 18, 2009

And That's the Way It Was

When Otis Chandler died, I found out how difficult it is to write about someone that I admired. I'm a life long news and political junkie, and when I moved to L.A. and discovered the Los Angeles Times, and had daily access to a great newspaper... well let's just say I was pretty unhappy when Chandler was ousted from the Times and it became a far more ordinary paper.

I grew up on Walter Cronkite, and I think if he had never been born, I would not have the appreciation for news and politics that I do. It may seem weird, but when I was a kid, fooling around was done before, after, but never during the CBS Nightly News. Cronkite, in a mere 30 minutes, minus commercials, managed to get me excited about the greater world beyond my small, home town. Following the space race, the presidency, the cold war, and even the Vietnam war, didn't just make me a better informed person, it made me a curious person. Cronkite, Eric Severied, Roger Mudd, and all the rest excited my interest in what was going on in the world, and also made my want to know about the history that was the foundation for so much of what was going on. Cronkite made me a newspaper reader, as I sought to get more detail on the stories that he reported. He also made me a student of history, as I sought to understand how the past influences the present. I've got to say, I really feel sorry for all the younger people who have grown up on new media, and completely lack any sense of the historical precedent, and the interconnectedness of the world around them.

No comments: