In memory, the Cronkite of the evening news and the Cronkite of "You Are There
" are indistinguishable. The actor and the newsman served the same Muse, the goddess of spectacle, of history acted by men in costumes, monumentalized leaders and dramatic events fraught with consequences. But all this did was turn the drama into History: events appealed as spectacle, but like large historical paintings, they were museum pieces of no living relevance to us.
Daniel Schorr began in the now, which would trigger the memory of some lived moment that refracted the current instance. He'd strive to render both moments, past and present, more intelligible and present. His recollection, rooted in his direct observations and meditated awareness of contexts, transformed Historical Personages into persons for an audience that included Schorr musing to himself.
Schorr was musical, reflective; Cronkite, theatrical, sensational. Cronkite introduced the Beatles
in 1963; Schorr delivered a eulogy on Frank Zappa
Cronkite dispensed bulletins of News - the Official Version sanctioned by the ("that's the way it is") State. Schorr evoked events steeped in experiences - the burden of the storyteller
Cronkite retired from CBS
with dignified ceremonial auto-monumentality. Cronkite begat ingrate
Rather, weepy witness of news as Melodrama. Schorr, fired by CBS for putting journalistic integrity above corporate interest, may have no worthy professional heirs.
Refusing to name source of leak in 1976
/more maybe on this later -/
Labels: daniel schorr, journalism