Archive for July 18th, 2009

    On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong allegedly became the first man to walk on the moon. I say allegedly because 6% of the U.S. population believes it was a government hoax; that it was actually two chimps in the spacesuit and it was shot on Mars, dressed to look like the surface of the moon. You truly cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

    Be that as it may, I’ve come across some of the other options the alleged Neil Armstrong had as his first words to accompany his first steps on the alleged moon. I share because I care.

"Look at me, everyone-- look at me!"   

"Look at me, everyone-- look at me! Lookit!!!"

    “That’s one small step for man and a really big leap forward for the human race of which the man is a part of, you know, the man who made the small step in the first place. That guy… me.”

     “Hey, is everyone buying me being on the moon? I mean, really, this looks pretty authentic, right, because this is not a government hoax, I swear. I am on the moon! For real.”

    “Now then, what was I going to say?”

     “You just can’t beat a good BLT sandwich, no siree bob!”

    “I’m on top of the world being on top of the moon. Did I just blow your mind, or what?”

    “Looks like a full earth tonight. I love a full earth.”

    “Hey, this ain’t no green cheese! It was all a lie! An awful, horrible lie!!!”

    “They put a man on the moon, you’d think they’d be able to make a denture adhesive that didn’t slip. Well, now they have. Try new and improved PoliGrip…”

    “All earthlings beware, bow to your new leader– Neil Armstrong!”

    “I sure hope this moon dust comes out of carpets because I didn’t pack a second pair of shoes.”

"The Most Trusted Man in America"

"The Most Trusted Man in America"

The king is dead. Walter Cronkite gave earth 92 years and now has left it.

Back in the days before a 24-hour news cycle, before Ken and Barbie dolls learned to read Teleprompters, people like Cronkite applied the rules of journalism to their craft. They did the legwork, the homework and the back-breaking work of getting the story right, then presented it in as unbiased a manner as possible.

Back in the day, Cronkite was the heart, soul and face of television news. He was “The most trusted man in America” because he gave us the straight dope. He told us JFK had been shot and killed in Dallas and he paused for a moment, took off his eyeglasses, brushed aside tears, collected himself, returned his glasses to his nose and soldiered on. The only other time I saw him get teary eyed was the tears of joy he had reporting Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk 40 years ago.

He was the man who gave us weekly casualty counts from Vietnam. When Uncle Walter concluded that after so long and so catastrophic a casualty toll we should pull out, LBJ knew he had lost middle America’s support. He would not seek office again.

Whatever Cronkite told us we took as gospel. We thought and felt he would only tell us the truth. When he signed off each broadcast with “and that’s the way it is” we believed truly believed that’s the way it was.

Today we have pretty boys and girls relaying sound bites and pundits spewing talking points. We sensationalize everything and glamorize anything. But once upon a time, journalists roamed the earth, gathered the news and fed the masses truth. Cronkite was such a dinosaur and I am thankful he appeared in the magic box and talked to me.