That’s the way it is
Walter Cronkite was a broadcasting legend. For decades, millions of Americans tuned in to see “the most trusted man in America” deliver the news in a deliberately slow, authoritative, baritone manner. He ended every broadcast with his famous line “That’s the way it is.”
Cronkite read the news through eventful times. He came close to bursting into tears on air when he announced the death of President Kennedy in 1963 (he had interviewed him a couple of months before) and explained the Watergate scandal, the Apollo 11 moon landings and the Vietnam war to the public.
When he expressed his view that the Americans couldn’t win in Vietnam, the president, Lyndon Johnson, was horrified reportedly declaring: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost America.” He chose not to run for re-election soon after.
Born into a family of dentists, Cronkite himself never completed high school, having taken a newspaper job at a young age. Covering the Second World War he joined a bombing raid over Germany, before rising up to be a TV anchorman.
He said he’d regretted retiring, later saying: “I want to say that probably 24 hours after I told CBS that I was stepping down at my 65th birthday, I was already regretting it. And I regretted it every day since.”
But that’s the way it was.