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Kathy Shaidle

FBI: Cronkite Advised Anti-Vietnam War Protesters

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Posted on May 15 2010 7:00 pm
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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Archie Bunker called him “Commie Crontkite.” Now it turns out, Norman Lear’s writers on All in the Family—which aired on “Uncle Walter’s” own network, no less—didn’t know the half of it:

Legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite allegedly collaborated with anti-Vietnam War activists in the 1960s, going so far as to offer advice on how to raise the public profile of protests and even pledging CBS News resources to help pull off events, according to FBI documents obtained by Yahoo! News.

The documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, say that in November 1969, Cronkite encouraged students at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., to invite Maine Sen. Edmund Muskie to address a protest they were planning near Cape Kennedy (now known as Cape Canaveral). Cronkite told the group’s leader that Muskie would be nearby for a fundraiser on the day of the protest, and said that “CBS would rent [a] helicopter to take Muskie to and from site of rally,” according to the documents. (…)

Just nine months before, Cronkite had delivered his famous on-air judgment that the “bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate.” Even so, such tight collaboration between a news organization and the anti-war movement — particularly the offer of CBS News resources to help ferry a sitting senator and future presidential candidate around in opposition to the war — was highly unusual and would presumably have been explosive if known widely at the time.

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