Cronkite: it’s all right to cry

Veteran CBS newsman Walter Cronkite has come to the defense of Dan Rather who twice broke down in sobs on David Letterman’s show last week.

At a news conference in San Jose, Cronkite, who himself was visibly shaken when he reported the death of John F. Kennedy in 1963, remarked: “It was not until I had to say that the president was dead that it hit me the enormity of what I was reporting. … I don’t blame anybody for showing emotion on the air. I don’t think I would trust a reporter, male or female, who didn’t show any emotion.”

As reported by Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle, Cronkite also noted that Rather had had to cope with enormous pressures during the previous week. “Not until it’s all over and you can sit down do you realize the horror of what you have just witnessed. I think this is probably what is happening to Dan,” he said.