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Walter Cronkite: And that’s the way it was

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Without a doubt, there will be memorials into perpetuity because this brilliant reporter and sage of the airwaves was finally overcome by his illnessesand there should be.

Walter CronkiteHowever, what’s lacking is Walter Cronkite’s legacy upon those talking heads giving the homage to the iconic CBS veteran.

This was “the most trusted man in America” for decades, and today, who in the world would allow a single news anchor to even babysit their kids?!

National news is pathetic regardless of where your TV remote finds you. There is no joint broadcasting, tiered openness or unleavened bias anymore. One network touts our president as “sort of God” and the other may as well accuse him of being Rosemary’s Baby.

Long gone are the days when you can turn on an evening news report and rest assured with all the facts to know that’s the way it is.

You know if the Edward R. Murrow disciples these days want to show any respect to Cronkite, consider this: the greatest tribute they can pay him is actually broadcast like him.

Whether you were old enough to see it live, or had a professor show you in school, most of us flacks have seen the regaled Cronkite announcement of JFK’s death.

You couldn’t tell if he was a gun-totin’ member of the GOP or a tree-hugging member of the Democratic Party. Why? It didn’t matter. He was there to report the news, not opine on political dissuasion.

Cronkite was the progeny of a soon-to-be extinct breed – trusted news anchors who valued integrity on facts rather getting hits on Facebook because of their misguided conjecture.

No, now you have to sift through the empty rhetoric, political bent and flat-out mudslinging to get any “facts” these days.

Godspeed, Walter. The media has become unceasingly sorrier since you left it. And now that you have left us, so will we become.

And that’s just the way it is.

Hey reporters, call me. Please?

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If you consider what flacks like me do for a living, it’s a viable question.

We spend hours noodling on that finely crafted pitch, attempting to personalize it with a back story and customize it with our own sense of dazzling wit. And then, as we hold our breath and squint out of one eye, we hit “send” and off it goes… will it return, who really knows?

I know odds are not good we get that return call, but what’s a flack to do? Quit? Stop trying? Anything?

Plenty, based on this brilliant read from “The Bad Pitch Blog.” It seems I’m not alone with my discombobulated woes.

Probably my former GM. His other car said "Move the Needle".

Probably my former GM. His other car said "SYNERGY".

According to the sage authors here, the reason media types don’t call us back is because most of “us” aren’t answering the effin’ phone. And why?

Too much of a good thing, in this PR practitioner’s opinion?

Think about it. We have a voice mail at work and on the cell. Some have an e-leash… sorry, a Blackberry. And now, there’s our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.

All those meetings. All those clients. And then, some adoring member of the media has the nerve to return your message.

Sure, you screen your calls. Who doesn’t? But if you aren’t holding true to a 24-hour return call policy, you need to consider a new line of work. I don’t know, like Toll Booth Operator.

You see, most spin doctors I know who don’t return calls are the type to pitch at 6:00 p.m. and file the report, “Called but no return message.”

It’s the personal interaction that scares the bejesus out of some in this vocation. To which, I say get over it. It’s in the job description.

Sure after-hour calls, e-mails, tweets and an impersonal LinkedIn message is contact, but all hail the days when all we had were phones and those antiquated answering machines.

These days, hitting “7” ad-nauseum is so much easier to clear your calendar for that new business tee time, isn’t it?

Listen, if you are one of these media habitues who live on Caller ID, consider the economy, answer the phone and who knows… you may enjoy the interaction. Just a thought.