In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson watched CBS anchor Walter Cronkite depict Vietnam as a quagmire, prompting LBJ to say: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.”
Stephen Colbert may be turning into a Cronkite for this generation.
Whether it’s serious monologues on gun control or the Istanbul terror bombing, the CBS “Late Show” host appears to be claiming the conscience mantle.
Colbert on Wednesday addressed the press: “And just an aside, I would like to say something to all the news organizations out there. Is it really necessary to show us photographs or rolling video of a terrorist exploding? That really seems like advertising for someone’s cause in a way that they may like. I don’t think we need to see that.”
His point was well-taken by some and outright rejected by others.
But even Cronkite had his critics. The Vietnam War raged another seven years.
As Uproxx.com said: “Many agree with Colbert in that it’s completely unnecessary to air such footage, but for various reasons, some people will still watch on a repeated basis.
“Colbert feels that the very act of replaying this video glorifies the terrorists and could be an inadvertent recruitment tool. CNN updated the situation Thursday morning with Turkish authorities’ belief that ISIS leaders were instrumental in planning this act of terrorism, so Colbert’s concern is certainly a valid one.”
How others viewed Colbert’s view:
I’m glad someone is talking about this — I get a pit in my stomach every time I watch the tape: https://t.co/Q4pVSOjt4F
— Alex Yoon-Hendricks (@ayoonhendricks) June 30, 2016