Journalism Icon Walter Cronkite Passes

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in R.I.P.

He was the face of CBS Evening News for the better part of two decades and known as the most trusted man in America. Even his famous sign off, “And that’s the way it is,” speaks to the type of objectivity Cronkite seemed to value above all else.

This brings up a broader question about the journalism of today…who can be compared to Cronkite? Tom Brokaw comes to mind and Brian Williams certainly seems to be carrying the journalistic integrity mantle. But with the advent of the 24 hour news channels where they have to fill the void with constant opinion/pundit shows, when it comes to trusting a journalist to give you the facts straight and clear, will we ever have another Cronkite?

Discuss.


This entry was posted on Friday, July 17th, 2009 and is filed under R.I.P.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

38 Responses to “Journalism Icon Walter Cronkite Passes”

  1. the Word Says:

    You mean other than Glen Beck right?

    I like Fareed Zakaria but he’s a different kind of journalist.

  2. Justin Gardner Says:

    You mean other than Mike Malloy, Randi Rhodes and all the other left wing personalities? True, Beck has a much larger following given the right wing’s domination of talk radio, but still…come on…play fair.

    And agreed, I like Fareed as well. I also REALLY like Chuck Todd, as many readers of this blog know. He seems to me to be the type of straight shooter who would be a lot more objective if he wasn’t forced to constantly give his opinion on these morning talks shows.

  3. Steve Says:

    With news channels becoming so close-minded and focused on winning over certain ideologies instead of actually reporting, this is really sad. I’m 25 and love reading blogs and online newspapers for my news, but I’m envious of a time when you could trust an anchorman or news source wholeheartedly. Donklephant notwithstanding.

  4. the Word Says:

    But Justin
    I didn’t hold up Malloy or Rhodes as replacements for Cronkite.

  5. Justin Gardner Says:

    But the Word…

    Come now…u got in a cheap shot. And I was addressing the fact that you said Beck but didn’t talk about the other side, ala Rhodes. Let’s play fair.

  6. Robert Says:

    The truth is there aren’t maybe but a handful of “journalists” left. A majority of our reporters are closer to Hollywood actors than true journalist. Mugging for the camera and saying whatever outrageous thing it is that they think will boost the ratings. I truly miss the days of unbiased reporting, I honestly believe that it no longer exists. Most everyone now is driven by an agenda both left and right. I do like Beck though, he sometimes drifts off onto conspiratorial rants but I get the impression that what he says he at least believes to be the truth.

  7. Sri Says:

    Wow, another famous person to leave. Walter (referred to as “Uncle Walt”) was a great man that knew how to deliver news. I wish these noobs nowadays had such skills. Prayers to Walter’s family and friends. In his memory, for his fans I have collected some great sites and articles (more than 200) to know all about Walter Cronkite. If you are interested take a look at the below link
    http://markthispage.blogspot.com/2009/07/walter-cronkite-another-famous-person.html

  8. the Word Says:

    I currently don’t seen anyone on any side that is as big a whack job as Beck. I was aiming for the top :-)

  9. Mac Williams Says:

    My vote would be Anderson Cooper. He’s unfortunately saddled with The Michael Jackson Channel (formerly CNN), which gave up reporting hard news a long time ago.

  10. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Walter Cronkite inspired a whole generation of Americans who became journalists because they wanted to change the world, rather than simply report the facts about it. He was the first political pundit posing as an anchorman, and brought about the age of advocacy Journalism, culminating in today’s Fox News and MSNBC. He also indirectly inspired America’s enemies in their tactics to defeat us in warfare. From Vietnam Veteran and Blackfive contributor Dr. Zero:

    the age of modern terrorism – tactics designed to sap civilian will and destroy political support for a powerful military – began when Walter Cronkite took to the air on February 27, 1968, and informed the American public it should not “have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds.”

    He will be missed.

  11. michael reynolds Says:

    Even dumber than usual, Jimmy. Which is an accomplishment.

    Cronkite gave birth to terrorism? Without even needing to look it up I can think of the Algerian independence war and the Mau Mau in Kenya as two examples of terrorism preceding 1968. Of course there were also numerous terrorist acts in Israel.

    The notion of destroying civilian will to resist as separate from obliterating an opposing army goes back at least to general Sherman in our country, but in actuality even further to siege warfare and the lovely habit of launching decapitated heads over castle walls. Genghis was quite the student of terrorism. No doubt many other less celebrated advocates of using terror to unman the population.

    In other words: baloney.

    And that’s before we even get into the lie that it was civilian weakness that led to defeat in Vietnam.

  12. Tully Says:

    who can be compared to Cronkite…when it comes to trusting a journalist to give you the facts straight and clear, will we ever have another Cronkite?

    Murrow, who hired Cronkite into the job. That’s about it in the gap between the Pulitzer/Hearst yellow-journalism competitions and the faux impartiality of Dan Rather. The closest nowadays IMHO is Jake Tapper, who seems somewhat dedicated to asking pointed questions and digging out the nekkid facts wherever the chips fall, despite his very liberal background and personal philosophy. Of course, Tapper’s not an anchor, but he’s one of the extremely few prominent working journalists that doesn’t seem to play perpetual favorites.

    The myth that journalism was ever truly neutral was an artifact of the broadcast techonology monopolies of the 20th century. Hearst and Pulitzer would have laughed at it, and a 19th century journalist would have stared blankly at you if you had suggested it. Ted Turner exploded the myth completely by leading the charge into the breakdown of the monopolies when the technology itself changed, even if it’s taken a quarter of a century for it to become apparent just how much technology affects reporting.

  13. michael reynolds Says:

    Objectivity itself is a myth. Humans are subjective by definition. They can no more be “objective” than they can sprout antlers.

    The best anyone can do is to carefully examine their presuppositions. To disconnect from that matrix of assumptions as well as possible, attempt to separate the reality-based assumptions from the fanciful ones, and then to base future conclusions as much as possible on observed phenomena free of presupposition.

    Naturally this is impossible to do perfectly. It’s good to try but 99% of people won’t even start. In a world where the vast majority of folks believe in a magic invisible sky father who obsesses over the masturbatory practices of his “children” it’s almost ridiculous to pretend that any significant percentage of the population is even interested in objectivity or would know objectivity if it hit them over the head.

    In the vast majority of cases what people mean by “objectivity” is “validates my prejudices.”

  14. Tully Says:

    The best anyone can do is to carefully examine their presuppositions.

    Most people never reach even that stage. And thank for your perennial demonization and misrepresentation of the views of anyone who is not a dogmatic atheist, like yourself.

    In the vast majority of cases what people mean by “objectivity” is “validates my prejudices.”

    Hold onto that while validating your own prejudices, Michael. Now, are you ready to talk settlement yet? ;-)

  15. michael reynolds Says:

    I clearly stated that I was making an “assumption” when I reported “speculation” that you may “allegedly” have used taxpayer money to stuff g-strings.

    It all comes under freedom of the press, Tully. It’s what our forefathers died for. My right to fabricate.

    And let me point out, apropos of nothing, that the captcha is “cucumber them.”

  16. Tully Says:

    Better go re-read what you wrote, Michael. You flat-out said I confessed to misappropriating public funds (false) and now you’re trying to backpeddle against the record by misrepresenting your own words. Tsk tsk. That’s libel, not protected by the First Amendment. Your only stated assumption was that you assumed I chased strippers across a stage with my pants around my ankles. Bad assumption. I never try to chase anything with my pants around my ankles, and never chase strippers at all. Too skanky for me.

    I can perhaps be bought off with Davidoff or Illusione. Maybe a nice 1959 Havana Blend. :-)

    (I got “mike tipples”. I swear there’s an AI with a sensayuma in the captcha here.)

  17. TerenceC Says:

    Cronkite’s type of news/journalism is done. People no longer get their news from a few sources, but from literally hundreds of them in this day and age. There are a lot of good journalists all over the internet who want nothing more than to report the news without supposition. Television news is completely ratings based ever since the Fairness Doctrine went away – so it’s no longer a question of what talking head is most like Cronkite – none of them are. I watch Fox news from time to time and I can say with absolute conviction that they are full of crap most of the time, do not report the facts, and I can’t remember a time they issued a retraction. Shepard Smith is probably the only one there with a brain, and does try (he’s also the only major talking head to get away with saying Bl#w J#b on national TV). Any other “news” organization is pretty much head and shoulders above them – but they are all ratings based as opposed to contect accuracy so it doesn’t really matter.

    Captcha: 12 kneading

  18. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Ya Mike. Sherman’s strategy was to get all those images of burning landscapes on television, so that news broadcasters would would report that the civil war was unwinnable.

    For the first time, insurgencies new that the way to win an assymetrical war was not to wear down your military opponent’s will to fight, but their nations’ public will to let them, who incidentally were on the other side of the world, completely out of harm’s way.

    You could completely get your ass kicked on the battlefield, but as long as you targeted that TV audience across the world, you could get a biased network to underreport miltary victories and over-report the tragedy of it all. This never happened before Cronkite. General Giap knew this and all but thanked Cronkite himself for granting him a victory in Vietnam. Bin Laden has always cited Vietnam as inspiration, but never the Savannah Campaign.

    Even dumber than usual Jimmy…Cronkite gave birth to terrorism?

    You are going to get personal and call me dumb? Only f#%king imbiciles like you could slay a strawman so deliberately flimsy. Get a clue.

  19. the Word Says:

    Tully-
    If you could clarify, By dogmatic atheist do you mean someone who always needs factual information and reason and never just a belief that they inherited through no intellectual effort of their own?

    As for your libel complaint, that might have worked before you took on your new role as a media pundit :-) You’re a public figure now.

  20. the Word Says:

    Jimmy-
    So your idea is that the people in a democracy should be kept in the dark and not have a say in their country’s behavior. Of course, I am sure that is only when the people you like are in charge right?

  21. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully:
    Okay, that’s a deal. I’m supposed to be book touring at some point — or as I like to think of, frightening the children — so whenever I’m near your neck of the woods, I buy.

  22. michael reynolds Says:

    Jimmy:

    Yes, Sherman was trying to get frightening images out — through the communications media of his day. What do you think the march through Georgia (actually SC took more of a hit) was all about? It was a deliberate strategy to make clear to civilians that they had skin in the game, like it or not, and to crush their hopes of eventual victory.

    The N. Vietnamese did not discover propaganda.

    And of course you carefully avoided the two other examples I gave: the Algerians and the Mau Mau. The Algerians in particular used fairly horrific acts of terror in order to destroy support for the war in France proper.

    But again, that’s almost beside the point since your parroting of the “home front lost the war” bullshit — identical in many ways to the German “stab in the back” propaganda after WW1 — is nonsense. Rather than quote Giap why not look at Army histories of the war: they’re much more honest than rightwing hacks are.

    Cronkite spoke in 1968. In 1969, while the war was still going very strong, while we still had half a million men there, my father, a career army officer told me flat out we were not going to win. Not because of some mythical stab in the back but because, at the end of the day, the Vietnamese had home field advantage and our strategy was stupid. Pretty much what the Army histories say.

    You might take note of the fact that after Cronkite, Nixon was elected. He increased pressure on the north with heavier bombing and attacked NVA sanctuaries over the border in Laos and Cambodia.

    Nevertheless we lost. Not because of Cronkite. But because we were forced to fight a half-assed war because of Soviet and Chinese issues, on the home turf of a highly experienced and determined enemy.

    The period of time that passed between Cronkite and the start of the Paris talk is about equal to the entire length of US involvement in WW2. During that time we won all sorts of victories. We successfully executed the startegy of the Nixon administration: Vietnamization.

    We poured hundreds of billions of dollars, 10 years and 60,000 American lives into that stupid, pointless war. We didn’t lose because of asymmetrical warfare or propaganda or the home front or any of your other stupid rightwing crank theories. We lost because there was an open border between Vietnam and China through which endless arms flowed freely, we couldn’t invade, our bombing technology was ineffective, we had numerous other military obligations, we went through several moronic strategies, our allies were corrupt, and the North Vietnamese make damned good soldiers.

  23. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Word:
    Wow, that was an even worse strawman than Mike’s.

    America completely obliterated the Viet Cong during the Tet offensive. We suffered heavy casualties to do so, but we inflicted much more, and by any objective military or strategic standpoint, the Tet offensive was a miserable failure for the communists.

    Cronkite kept America in the dark about that. Instead, he only reported the horrible sacrifices made by American soldiers, and inserted his personal, politically motivated opinion that the war was “unwinnable” as a news item during a network news program.

  24. michael reynolds Says:

    One other thing, Jimmy, the conclusions reached by Cronkite and the American people were not wrong: it was a stupid, pointless, irrelevant war. It was damaging to American power. Win or lose it didn’t matter. The people were right. The demonstrators were right. Lyndon Johnson himself admits on tape long before Cronkite that the war was unwinnable.

    Saigon fell in 1975 and loudmouthed rightwing jagoffs ran around screaming that the Communists were on a roll, the end was nigh, blah blah blah.

    Then, surprise! Four years later China and Vietnam have a war. Gee, not in the wingnut playbook, that.

    And 14 years after we left Vietnam, supposedly running in shame before our soon-to-be communist overlords, the USSR fell down and went boom.

    Conservatives were wrong about Vietnam. Liberals were right.

  25. Tully Says:

    tWord: By “dogmatic atheist” I mean someone who asserts their belief of a lack of diety/supernatural as being knowledge certain of the categorically unprovable. By contrast, a non-dogmatic atheist admits that their belief in a lack of deity/supernatural is just that, a belief. (It seems to offend many atheists that beliefs regarding things not subject to scientific examination are faith-based. Your own mileage.)

    I’m an agnostic myself, a position that requires no beliefs at all other than the knowledge certain of the bounds of my own knowledge and ignorance. I know I don’t know, and I know that the categorically unprovable can’t disproven either.

    Michael’s libel meets the five-part public-figure test for libel, BTW. But I suspect he’s already figuring out what kind of conditional settlement he can make, and on what terms. ;-)

  26. Tully Says:

    I think he figured it out…sold, Michael. I’ll call off Lionel Hutz.

  27. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Again, from Dr. Zero:

    [Cronkite's] most unhealthy achievement was finding the limits of American will, ending an era of confidence that began with victory over the Axis in World War II. Some would say that confidence needed to be shattered. If you have a Ouija board, I can put you in touch with a couple of million dead Cambodians who might beg to differ.

  28. the Word Says:

    Tully-

    I think that is one of those age old distinctions. Agnostic or atheist. I think agnostic is a squishy term since if you take it because you think you can’t know for certain then you must, to be logically consistent, be an agnostic towards Leprechauns, Fairies, Zeus and all other Gods that have ever been worshiped. You also have to be an agnostic towards the Flying Teapot. All theists are most likely really agnostics if they are honest about their own God belief and not what they profess which is (often) Certainty of their own God and atheism towards every God but the one they are generally born into a belief of.

    I think there are certain areas where a leap of faith – based on evidence – lead you not to believe in things because there is no logical rationale for belief in them.

    Curious what you think of this distinction http://www.rationalresponders.com/am_i_agnostic_or_atheist

    You can’t, for instance, logically know there is a creator in my opinion. That is gnosticism. Agnosticism means you believe you can’t know. You can believe there is a God. That is theism. If you don’t believe, you are an atheist.

    I think they make the a case. that you are, in fact, most likely an atheist.

    I get that it feels more polite to say you don’t know and it seems consistent but it would be so for everything wouldn’t it? How do I for instance “know” you can’t turn lead into gold? Perhaps you feel no need to show me that you can (but you do it all the time;-)). Could you ever claim that anything did not exist? I find it curious to say I don’t believe is considered offensive while I am certain of my God and an atheist toward every other God—and by the way, you will be damned for all eternity for not believing my way is considered a position with no inconsistency issues and not at all offensive by believers.

    The problem with quibbling over definitions is that we both could think the same thing unless you still are open to yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster and faeries and the like. At some point that consistency starts to sound silly though IMO. You might even believe in witchcraft for instance. :-)

  29. wj Says:

    It is worth distinguishing between “will there ever be another like him?” and “will we ever see his like again?” Because I think there are still a fair number of journalists out there who have Cronkite’s dedication to reporting events as objectively as possible. What is lacking are news organizations where management will promote (or maybe even hire) those people. The incentives for reporters are strongly skewed towards entertainment, rather than facts — and like all people, reporters can be influenced by incentives.

  30. michael reynolds Says:

    Jimmy:

    Well, gee, if “Dr. Zero” said it it must be true whatever official Army histories and decades of civilian scholarship have to say.

    It is not helpful for those who favor a strong defense — and I am one of those — to tell ourselves fairy tales. We lost in Vietnam. We lost for military and geopolitical reasons. We lost for the same reason any war is won or lost: we had insufficient power applied to the problem. In this case the insufficiency of power is a function of the overall geopolitical situation — Soviet and Chinese nukes for one — and of geography — Vietnam shares a border with China and happens to be mostly jungle — and of distance — it was their home and a 10,000 mile flight for us, and various other elements.

    We are a superpower, we are not God Almighty. There are things even we can’t do. One of those things is defeat a motivated, experienced, easily re-armed enemy in jungle terrain when we are forced to fight an essentially defensive war for which there isn’t even a rational explanation.

    Cronkite had dick to do with losing Vietnam. He had a lot to do with some people facing reality.

    (Captcha: “nighter broadcasts.” Hmmm.)

  31. Tully Says:

    Curious what you think of this distinction

    I think it’s a completely pathetic attempt on the part of some atheists utilizing a poorly constructed and illogical rhetorical polemic in order to claim doctrinal agnosticism as actually being atheism in order to expand the claimed scope of atheism for their own purposes.

    I think they make the a case. that you are, in fact, most likely an atheist.

    They only case they make is that they’d like to claim me as one. In that regard, they may go **** themselves with large pointy-barbed objects previously dipped in lemon juice and popcorn salt. Their polemic is about as convincing as a Baptist fundie lay preacher trying to convince Roman Catholics that they’re really Baptists after all. I am not an atheist. I am an agnostic.

  32. the Word Says:

    Ok-

    If you have taken your meds after that last outburst.

    What do you mean by agnostic? Is it only logically consistent for that one subject? How friggin convenient!

    And since their meaning, whether you accept it or not is possibly your belief under a different title that you want to choose, what about the word has got your knickers so atwitter. Most people likely choose the definition of things they most feel comfortable with but words do have meanings. I think of the Oxford English Dictionary as the standard. It says atheism-Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of a god. This seems completely in line with what they said. Here’s what the OED says about agnostic A. sb. One who holds that the existence of anything beyond and behind material phenomena is unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable, and especially that a First Cause and an unseen world are subjects of which we know nothing. Again I think in line with what they said.

    As for me, I wouldn’t want you if there was a membership committee and could care less if you were one. I was merely trying to find out what you believe. Perhaps another wasted effort. (I had even let go of your prattling on the other topic because I thought there was some hope you’d give more than a single dimension to yourself.) Sorry I wasted my time I guess you weren’t worth the effort. Not everything is an attempt to tick people off and you never answered about the faeires :-0

  33. Tully Says:

    Why the personal attacks, tWord? Did I poke some treasured religious or irreligious beliefs with that pointy barbed thing dipped in lemon juice and popcorn salt by rendering an honest opinion in response to your direct request, or are you simply incapable of discourse without exercising sub-adolescent dudgeon? If the former, I guess it musta really stung. If the latter, pretty sad.

    I was merely trying to find out what you believe.

    Categorical error, and I sincerely doubt the veracity of the statement in light of your reactions to the answers supplied to your inquiries. Unless you truly are incapable of understanding the difference between beliefs and knowledge.

  34. michael reynolds Says:

    My own notion of atheism has nothing to do with any positive belief except for an epistemological one: I can’t go around believing things for which no evidence exists. Particularly when the phenomenon in question seems inconsistent with other observed facts.

    I am an atheist as regards all undemonstrated phenomena, of which the judeo-Christian god is just one.

    I don’t “believe” there’s no god, I just don’t see any evidence that there is one.

    I call myself an atheist rather than agnostic because I think that if the phenomenon labeled “God” did in fact exist it would throw off a huge amount of observable evidence.

    It becomes a question of degree: I’m agnostic as to whatever quark is currently being searched out because I doubt I’d notice any quark evidence if it hit me in the head, and descriptions of said particle suggest that I shouldn’t be able to see said particle.

    I’m atheist when it comes to the ocean that occupies the center of Texas. Because I think it’s something I’d have noticed. The lack of evidence of its existence is sufficient to allow me to push it into the “doesn’t exist” category.

    I am open to being proved wrong. But for ease of reference, no, there is no God. I think I’d have noticed.

  35. the Word Says:

    Tully –
    I actually did care what you thought and was hoping you’d flesh it out rather than lash out repeatedly. From where I sit the attacks seemed to be in the pompous disdain from ever considering that there was a sincere view or question. You coined a term for what you are doing but I doubt you could see it.

  36. Tully Says:

    What, tWord, my vehement disagreement with random dogmatic atheists of your choice trying to pigeonhole me into being one of them upsets you, and you take it personally? Well, you did choose them — was it as your surrogates to make a claim that you did not want to advance yourself, in your own words? You asked my take on their claims, I gave it. Anyone trying to hijack my knowledge and beliefs for their own purposes deserves exactly such a reply. The basis for a self-description of agnostic was settled long ago by Huxley (no, the other one) who invented the word.

    When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain “gnosis,”–had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble.

    So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of “agnostic.” It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the “gnostic” of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. To my great satisfaction the term took.

    Or as I put it:

    a position that requires no beliefs at all other than the knowledge certain of the bounds of my own knowledge and ignorance.

    One would think such a succint description leaves little need or call for any extensive elucidation, yet you say you you merely wanted to inquire as to my beliefs. The venom of your replies, aimed personally rather than generally, does not comport with your claims of benign curiousity, nor does the rudeness of sneaking up on trying to assign beliefs to someone who places little or no value on the unevidenced.

    Michael, given your statements, I withdraw the usage of the word “dogmatic.” If you want to call yourself an atheist on the basis of belief or non-belief, fine with me. We can leave it to the neo-sectarian dogmatists to argue over the difference between “weak atheism” and “agnosticism.” Dogmatic atheism is “strong” atheism, which requires a positive assertion of knowledge in what is epistemologically an area of unprovable belief.

  37. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully:

    Yeah, I never really get too excited one way or another by labels. Weak atheist, strong agnostic, exceedingly attenuated Jew, complete a-hole . . . It’s all good.

  38. the Word Says:

    Tully-
    You still miss the point but I really don’t care anymore. I wasn’t trying to call you names. I was attempting to understand what agnostic meant to you. I think the term agnostic means that you can either be a believer and agnostic or a non-believer and agnostic. My venom as you call it was at your constant attempts to dismiss anything I say as partisan or attacking when I did in fact want to know what you thought. I was trying to understand you better,

    As to assigning beliefs, I was trying to point out that we both may have the same beliefs with different labels. That you reject the label (when it certainly appears to me it could encompass agnosticism), to me, makes your argument one with the English language. Huxley seems to say that Freethinker is the one term he does not quibble with. I think there are many who would say that is (for them) damn close to a synonym for atheist. The terms are often used interchangably.

    When I hear the adamant rejection of a term and the to my ears venomous fit it inspired I wonder where the reaction comes from. I do also wonder how far the “open-mindedness” that I think you pride yourself on by the label agnostic goes.

    My choice of the term atheist is that I do not believe in God for the same reason as Michael so eloquently stated. In my case, I would believe if there were proof. So you might consider me an agnostic. I would not have the same reaction that you did if you called me that. I would just point out why I didn’t think that fit me. As I mentioned earlier, there are lots of things you can’t “know” Loch Ness, Yeti, faeries etc. I do agree with the claim of Truzzi by way of Carl Sagan Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Doesn’t mean that proof is impossible.

    My personal rejection of the term agnosticism is that in the end, I think it describes nothing. I still have no idea what you “believe” or what prompted your outbursts. If you are an agnostic believer, your diatribe at Michael that started all this might be understandable. If you are an agnostic “unbeliever” (don’t want to go anywhere near the A word) then your reaction seems outside of any rational proportion and more an emotional outburst that you keep thinking I am guilty of. I really wanted to understand where it came from. At the end of the day, I might not agree with you just as you likely don’t agree with me but I would have a better idea of where you are coming from.

    In the past, I have even found that people who I had previously not been able to even understand how they could possibly believe some of the things they believed, made sense of their core beliefs and we were able to communicate once we understood each other’s frame of reference.

    Perhaps the filters we have put up for each others views have made it impossible to discern the messages.

    For instance, you might look at the fact that the things I attack Republicans on I also attack Democrats on might just mean I believe them instead of your trying to twist them into a partisan attack. Exiled to his credit seems to be consistent in that regard. Apologists for a party are generally IMO not very honest since they grade on a very slippery scale and takes stands that they know to be untrue.

    As to the one would think comment, obviously we are both failing at that criteria so perhaps we are both to blame there.

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