Retro Newscastersby Tyler Woods on Jan. 18, 2010, under Life
I admit it. I have been watching TV and the horrible scenes that play out in front of me from Haiti. It has touched me to see such daring rescues and at the same time it has had a profound effects one me to see so much death. I feel powerless. I donate, I light candles and I send light. I flip through the stations here and there to catch some of the news. Last night while flipping through the news, some of the newscaster caught my eye. I realized that we depend on these newscasters to give us the details of such tragic events. These newscasters are what connects us to the events. As I watched these newscasters give the details it got me thinking…
Newscasters have come a long way. Sure the old newscasters used to be raw and personal and they were the kind of newscasters you would invite into your living room to give you the latest details. They had integrity and a journalistic ethic that was true and sincere. They were not so much about ratings but rather getting the story to you and doing it direct and correct. Anymore, many of these newscasters look like they are just waiting for someone to discover them so they can become the next Harrison Ford or Brad Pitt.
I miss Charles Gibson who retired. I’ve watched him sinceI can remember which seems like forever. In fact, I miss quite a few of our old newscasters. Yes, TV has become modern and colorful with technology and changes. After all what is more important than the news is how my newscaster looks gosh darn it. They must have white teeth, perfect complexion and wear the latest fashions. They have to be able to smile as they say tens of thousands of people have perished. They need to look plastic and pretend they simply do not care what is happening to the world around them. After all, they must be perfect so I will watch them.
I mean come on folks, who cares about Walter Cronkite. Do we want someone who really cares deeply about the tragic events such as Haiti? I mean look what he did when Kennedy died. He had feelings. He cared, he cried on TV and he didn’t care what he looked like or what anyone else said. He was deeply moved by the assassination and shared those feelings of sadness and disbelief with the nation. Cronkite was authoritative, this-is-what-happened-today kind of newscaster, yet he had compassion and was for the people. He had high journalistic standards, and always ended with “And that’s the way it is.” And quite frankly that was the truth. You don’t hear people say “that’s the way it is” anymore.
I would wonder how Chet Huntley and David Brinkley would have covered this tragic story. I am unsure, but I know they would have ended the story with “Goodnight, David — Goodnight, Chet.” Whatever happened to some of our old newscasters of the past? Well of course they are either long gone or just simply enjoying life, but how can we forget the likes of John Chancellor, Charles Kuralt, Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd, Frank Reynolds, Bob Schieffer, Eric Sevareid, Charles Osgood, Ed Bradley and Harry Reasoner?
These were the newscasters that shaped our news. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to see more women newscasters and more news worthy stations. I suppose I am sad that it is about ratings and not the story. When events like Haiti happens, I can care less what a person looks like, I just want the news. I also prefer to have my news honest. Not candy coated with a smile. By the way, who was/is your favorite newscaster?
My thoughts go out to the people in Haiti and all the folks that are helping them.