I’ve been watching television shows about the moon landing in 1969. It’s hard to believe that 50 years has passed since then. Who could think of all the changes that have come and gone? What happened to all the smart guys that did all this with just some slide rules and good engineering skills? Now with all the computing power we should be able to do anything. Sadly, anything is a lot tougher than we imagine.
Looking at these 50 years old newsreels and other things about the space program, you are sure to see some news programs with Walter Cronkite. It’s a pleasure to see those. What are so nice about those reports are the facts. He just reported on the facts. He didn’t have anything bad to say. He simply stated what happened.
“President Kennedy announced today or President Johnson visited with or General XXXXX sent troops to” That was it. He never reported that something was a waste of taxpayers money, was a concession to a special interest group, he only reported what happened. I certainly miss those kinds of reports.
When he reported on the space program, he still had the enthusiasm of a schoolboy enamored with the thought of being an astronaut. It was refreshing to hear and it wasn’t clouded by opinion. Now news shows seem to have an evil bent and you really don’t hear facts. You only get opinions. “Well, that’s just your opinion Man!” Too bad we don’t hear something that just has the real facts in it.
Late night television has fallen on the same rotten road. I used to love Jay Leno. He could joke about the president and you couldn’t tell if he was a friend or not. One night he would tell a joke and you would think he hated some political figure. The next night he could tell another joke about them and think he had contributed $100,000 to his campaign. It was a lot like listening to Cronkite. Leno could take the facts and make them funny. Now late night comedy is a little too personal and mean spirited. It’s a shame that we can’t get good talent like that back on the air.
Politicians, agency heads, military people all have to make decisions. Something is done and something happens. The hard part is knowing what information these people had concerning these decisions. In politics, it is hard to tell if your representative voted the way you thought he should, or he voted a certain way because he had some information that you didn’t. Was that right or wrong? Did he vote because a special interest group that had given him millions of dollars told him to vote that way?
President Johnson sat by the banks of the Perdenales River drinking Chivas Regal worrying about poor people. Cronkite would have said he was working on legislation and Leno might have said he was drinking beer in honor of lower income people. Who knows?
Too bad television can’t be like that again. I just want to hear the news and not get any opinion. I want to be entertained by a comedian not be scolded about my political views.
I’m just having fun watching these old newsreels and wishing for the excitement of a moon landing and having a funny joke.