Opinion

I miss Walter Cronkite - news shows have been taken over by pundits

Walter Cronkite delivers the news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.
Walter Cronkite delivers the news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. CBS

Is it just me or are we being pummeled by pundits and pilloried by panelists who have more opinions than we have problems?

Now, granted, I voluntarily subject myself to all of the weekend network and cable news shows and weeknight blab-a-thons of experts and political consultants and partisan spokespersons on the payroll. I don’t have to sit there and take it when these hordes of know-it-alls argue incessantly over the degree to which Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are driving us to distraction.

Part of the attraction now is just marveling at how all this happened. Where did CNN’s S.E. Cupp and her glasses come from? It doesn’t seem fair to Trump that CNN has re-employed Corey Lewandowski –– who was dumped by the Donald months ago –– to speak on his behalf. This thin-skinned lightweight seems tethered to reality by dental floss and yet he is dispensing a point of view?

Every network and cable show now has a couch or round-table table full of jack-in-the-box guests purportedly representing the political spectrum. Their job is to pop off and whine about the words and syllables uttered by the presidential candidates and their handlers.

I am missing the era of Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley when “newscasts” actually focused mostly on the news of the day. Sure, Cronkite and Brinkley would kind of swivel to the side and offer a bit of commentary on the day’s events –– but the ratio was 90 percent news, 10 percent analysis. Today the people delivering the news can’t wait to toss “the show” over to the panel as if the news was irrelevant, just a chew toy to fill the hour.

What if all the resources expended on pundits was actually directed at news gathering –– finding out more about the Clinton Foundation? Since Trump won’t release his tax returns, why not redeploy all that panelist payroll to probe Trump’s finances?

Isn’t the main focus of news to find things out to share with the public so citizens can be better informed?

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