65 Walter Cronkite Quotes On Success In Life

Walter Leland Cronkite Jr. was an American broadcast journalist who served as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962–1981). During the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as “the most trusted man in America” after being so named in an opinion poll. These Walter Cronkite quotes will motivate you.

Best Walter Cronkite Quotes

  1. “The ethic of the journalist is to recognize one’s prejudices, biases, and avoid getting them into print.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  2. “We’re an ignorant nation right now. We’re not really capable, I do not think, the majority of our people, of making the decisions that have to be made at election time and particularly in the selection of their legislatures and their Congress and the presidency, of course. I don’t think we’re bright enough to do the job that would preserve our democracy, our republic. I think we’re in serious danger.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  3. “The profession of journalism ought to be about telling people what they need to know – not what they want to know.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  4. “Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.” ~ Walter Cronkite

  5. “If that is what makes us liberals, so be it, just as long as in reporting the news we adhere to the first ideals of good journalism – that news reports must be fair, accurate and unbiased.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  6. “We are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  7. “We’ve got a great percentage of our population that, to our great shame, either cannot or, equally unfortunate, will not read. And that portion of our public is growing. Those people are suckers for the demagogue.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  8. “We are on the precipice of being so ignorant that our democracy is threatened.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  9. “As anchorman of the CBS Evening News, I signed off my nightly broadcasts for nearly two decades with a simple statement: “And that’s the way it is.” To me, that encapsulates the newsman’s highest ideal: to report the facts as he sees them, without regard for the consequences or controversy that may ensue.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  10. “In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.” ~ Walter Cronkite

  11. “America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  12. “I am dumbfounded that there hasn’t been a crackdown with the libel and slander laws on some of these would-be writers and reporters on the Internet.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  13. “Not only do we have a right to know, we have a duty to know what our Government is doing in our name. If there’s a criticism to be made today, it’s that the press isn’t doing enough to put the pressure on the government to provide information.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  14. “Our job is only to hold up the mirror – to tell and show the public what has happened.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  15. “Success is more permanent when you achieve it without destroying your principles.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  16. “It is not the reporter’s job to be a patriot or to presume to determine where patriotism lies. His job is to relate the facts.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  17. “And that’s the way it is.” ~ Walter Cronkite

  18. “There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  19. “I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I am a registered independent because I find that I cast my votes not on the basis of party loyalty but on the issues of the moment and my assessment of the candidates.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  20. “In all my years as a news commentator I was never once, able to tell the truth, about anything.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  21. “Not only do we have a right to know, we have a duty to know what our Government is doing in our name.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  22. “I am a news presenter, a news broadcaster, an anchorman, a managing editor – not a commentator or analyst. I feel no compulsion to be a pundit.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  23. “For many years, I did my best to report on the issues of the day in as objective a manner as possible. When I had my own strong opinions, as I often did, I tried not to communicate them to my audience.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  24. “Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” ~ Walter Cronkite

  25. “The debates are part of the unconscionable fraud that our political campaigns have become a format that defies meaningful discourse. They should be charged with sabotaging the electoral process.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  26. “Ethics must be reintroduced to public service to restore people’s faith in government. Without such faith, democracy cannot flourish. Your ambitious agenda is filling a desperate need.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  27. “The ruling class is the rich. . . . And those people are so able to manipulate our democracy that they really control the democracy.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  28. “Pat Robertson has written in a book a few years ago that we should have a world government, but only when the Messiah arrives. He wrote, literally, any attempt to achieve world order before that time must be the work of the Devil. Well join me – I’m glad to sit here at the right hand of Satan.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  29. “We’ve always known you can gain circulation or viewers by cheapening the product, and now you’re finding the bad driving out the good.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  30. “I never had the ambition to be something. I had the ambition to do something.” ~ Walter Cronkite

  31. “The fact that you are here tonight gathered together with us testifies to the fact you understand the need for this organization and the need for redoubling our efforts in this organization to try to assure that democracy as represented by the United States must depend upon a total freedom of religion, which is written into our Constitution, of course, and the mere suggestion that anyone could maintain that one’s patriotism, one’s devotion to one’s country can be judged by one’s religion is so vile, so vile that we have to take to the streets indeed and to put it aside.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  32. “A handful of us determine what will be on the evening news broadcasts, or, for that matter, in the New York Times or Washington Post or Wall Street Journal. Indeed it is a handful of us with this awesome power.And those [news stories] available to us already have been culled and re-culled by persons far outside our control.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  33. “It seems to me that instead of cutting taxes, we ought to be increasing the taxes to pay off the deficit, rather than let that thing build up to the point where our grandchildren’s grandchildren are going to be paying for our period of time and our years at the helm.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  34. “Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine.” ~ Walter Cronkite

  35. “Those advocates who work for world peace by urging a system of world government are called impractical dreamers. Those impractical dreamers are entitled to ask their critics what is so practical about war.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  36. “I don’t think people ought to believe only one news medium. They ought to read and they ought to go to opinion journals and all the rest of it. I think it’s terribly important that this be taught in the public schools, because otherwise, we’re gonna get to a situation because of economic pressures and other things where television’s all you’ve got left. And that would be disastrous. We can’t cover the news in a half-hour event evening. That’s ridiculous.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  37. “For how many thousands of years now have we humans been what we insist on calling “civilized?” And yet, in total contradiction, we also persist in the savage belief that we must occasionally, at least, settle our arguments by killing one another.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  38. “This opens the door on another chapter of history.” ~ Walter Cronkite

  39. “It is a seldom proffered argument as to the advantages of a free press that it has a major function in keeping the government itself informed as to what the government is doing.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  40. “We know that no one should tell a woman she has to bear an unwanted child. We know that religious beliefs cannot define patriotism.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  41. “I think it is absolutely essential in a democracy to have competition in the media, a lot of competition, and we seem to be moving away from that.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  42. “Would it be better to have a president who cries easily? Well, that depends on what he cried about. I would not like the thought of a president who could not cry. That would be worse than one who cried over the right things. Which, in this case, would be the things I would cry over.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  43. “I grew my mustache when I was nineteen in order to look older. I never shaved it off even though it overran its usefulness many, many years ago. Once you get started in television, people associate you with your physical appearance – and that includes the mustache. So I can’t shave it off now. If I did, I’d have to answer too much mail.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  44. “Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  45. “The invasion of Iraq was illegal from the start.” ~ Walter Cronkite

  46. “Interviewing friends is a tough one. Your duty to the interview must transcend your friendship. Occasionally you’ll lose a friend.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  47. “The first priority of humankind in this era is to establish an effective system of world law that will assure peace with justice among the peoples of the world.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  48. “Everybody knows that there’s a liberal, that there’s a heavy liberal persuasion among correspondents.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  49. “Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets. You take a little pill of news every day-23 minutes-and that’s supposed to be enough.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  50. “We’re living in a state where no one can trust his telephone conversations, nor even his personal conversations in a room, in a bar or anywhere else.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  51. “I think that being liberal, in the true sense, is being nondoctrinaire, nondogmatic, noncomitted to a cause but examining each case on its merits. Being left of center is another thing; it’s a political position. I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they’re not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  52. “The perils of duck hunting are great- especially for the duck.” ~ Walter Cronkite

  53. “The battle for the airwaves cannot be limited to only those who have the bank accounts to pay for the battle and win it.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  54. “When you’re bringing in a fairly unknown candidate challenging a sitting president, the population needs a lot more information than reduced coverage provides.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  55. “To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. It is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  56. “Reagan was an exceedingly likeable guy, just a heck of a nice fellow, despite his politics. He was funny and loved a good joke, the dirtier, I’m afraid the more ethnic, the better. I don’t think he brought very much to the presidency, except charisma and success.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  57. “Our task is not to tell the truth; we are opinion molders.” ~ Walter Cronkite

  58. “Television… is not a substitute for print.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  59. “I guess I showed certain signs of being a workaholic in early years; I had a magazine route very early on – I must have been about seven or eight years old or something like that – when I was carrying Liberty magazine, trying to win green and brown coupons; I eventually [won] a pony.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  60. “It seems to rise again when the crisis times come, and this is a time of most severe crisis, as we all know, not just for the history of the United States and the survival indeed of our democracy, but for the future peace of the world. And never before probably has the need for interfaith commitment been nearly as great as it is at this very moment.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  61. “People who understand music hear sounds that no one else makes when Frank Sinatra sings.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  62. “Old anchormen, you see, don’t fade away. They just keep coming back for more. And that’s the way it is, Friday, March 6, 1981.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  63. “I’m very proud of what Harry Truman turned out to be in office and the record he made. Certainly, I think he’ll go down in history as one of the greats, because of his conscience, his determination to stick with what he knew was right.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  64. “For many years, I did my best to report on the issues of the day in as objective a manner as possible. When I had my own strong opinions, as I often did, I tried not to communicate them to my audience. Now, however, my circumstances are different. I am in a position to speak my mind. And that is what I propose to do.” ~ Walter Cronkite
  65. “Putting it as strongly as I can, the failure to give free airtime for our political campaigns endangers our democracy.” ~ Walter Cronkite

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