It's been nearly 28 years since Walter Cronkite left the air, which means we are in our second generation of Americans who are not aware of what it was like to have him in the living room nightly.
It is sad, yet appropriate, that Walter Cronkite died when he did: right as America remembers the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11's launching that took man to the moon, and as America witnessed the obvious death of true news reporting and journalism courtesy of the circus over Michael Jackson's death.
When Elvis died in 1977, Cronkite reported it. He did not, as Geraldo Rivera did with Jackson, speculate on whether Elvis had been murdered or committed suicide. He simply reported the news. Three years later, his opening of the December 9, 1980 newscast began with the fact that the Iranian hostage situation, the economy, and other news items were "all overshadowed by a guitar player from Liverpool." Again, he didn't grandstand or spend the entire newscast speculating about John Lennon's death the way so many did over former NFL quarterback Steve McNair's murder earlier this month.
We won't ever see the likes of Walter Cronkite again: a professional whose responsibility was to report the news, not to make a spectacle of it or to make himself a celebrity at the expense of the story. And for that we should ALL shed a tear.
Walter Cronkite was 92.