Dad Crush (II): Walter Cronkite

(Note: I wrote the second, conclusive part to the Benjamin Franklin post, but left it stored on a flashdrive at someone’s apartment.  It’s long and I am not going to try to reproduce it.  Will post when I retrieve it.)

I love this photo!  From Heifer International  

     I know very little about Walter Cronkite–I know less about him than any of my other dad crushes.  So this will be a brief post.  My dad crush on Cronkite is predicated exclusively upon the emotions I felt towards him when I saw him on television.  There couldn’t have been more than ten instances; Cronkite retired as an anchorman before I was born.  I only saw him on TV when he was doing special guest reporting and interviews.

     Even as a small child, I was drawn to him immediately, as if I was some kind of homing pigeon seeking out benevolent, caring male authority. Well, FML–I was likely looking for it then and I’m still craving it on some level now.

     Anyway, whenever I saw Cronkite on TV, he always looked formal (though not stuffy!) and very sincere.  Professional!  When you read a really good book, you feel as if you’re having a personal dialogue with the writer.  My identification with Cronkite was not dissimilar, even though the media was television.  He was an excellent communicator (not that I had any idea about the topics he was discussing).  He made everything sound important, and he always looked like he was talking at you, just for you.  Like he was sitting on a chair in your living room.  

      In my child’s mind, I would fantasize that he would listen to my problems, and then tell me what to do.  His advice would always be perfect, and nobody could argue with it.  Nobody is going to fight with Walter Cronkite. When I was frightened or upset and all alone, I would go visit him in my mind.  He would take my side and advocate for me.  He always wore the mystical, masculine attire I found so exotic and fascinating: a necktie, cufflinks, the rich, shiny satin that lined the inside of his suit coat.  And he had a mustache!  Hair grew on his face!  You know the way you see things when you were little?  Really see things, pore over the smallest details, the texture and composition of things.  Adults seemed so powerful, and their grownup stuff had talismanic qualities.  

      These days I listen to Brian Williams when I watch the evening news.  I pick him because I think he’s hawt.  Brian Williams is total eye candy, but he looks like a moron when he reads the news most of the time–his eyebrows scrunch up in the middle and he appears perpetually confused, like he can’t believe what he’s reciting.   

“I have no idea what’s going on!”

 Williams hates President George W. Bush, and I think it’s funny because Bush would have the exact same facial expression as Williams whenever he was giving a speech.  They both look like chimpanzees under pressure.  

“I don’t understand what I’m reading.”
President Bush doing his Brian Williams impression

One thought on “Dad Crush (II): Walter Cronkite”

  1. Aww!

    I’m sorry you had a crappy dad. I don’t know how some people, like you, managed to get through their childhoods and then into adulthood ok to some degree. I got all fucked up in the head over nothing at all. Very normal, very structured childhood. At least he taught you how to be a hardass when you need it, though!

    Hehehehe that’s so funny! You’d think that someone on TV for a living would be chided for that shit and get trained not to do it!

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