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Is Scott Pelley The 21st Century Walter Cronkite?

By Ken Foote, CBSDFW.COM
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Ken Foote

The answer to that question is: yes, I believe so.

As a guy who has worked in the TV business since 1978, I was never more proud of CBS News’ coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings than I was yesterday.

Monday was a very difficult day at CBS 11 News. We had already had some local breaking news about a man who shot his pregnant girlfriend and there was a threat of severe weather. But the big news broke a little after 2pm when word came that there had been an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley was on the air continuously from that time until 7pm without so much as taking a break, nearly 5 hours. In watching how this story unfolded and how it was handled, it then dawned on me that

America has its 21st century version of Walter Cronkite in Scott Pelley.

His demeanor under a difficult and fluid situation where information was slow in coming in seemed to be reminiscent of Cronkite’s style of speaking in a deliberate but professional manner, never off course at any time, and not letting the emotion of the story overtake what he was supposed to do. His interaction with experts and reporters in the field was second to none. Watching the coverage, you knew he was moved by the story but also knew his job was to tell us what was going on. Never rushing with information that had not been verified; in that case, it was qualified as such. Pelley made me as a viewer feel like while the people of Boston had suffered a terrible tragedy, we as a people and a nation would persevere and get it through it. Classic Cronkite, And to use a quote from Bob Schieffer, “and that is that.”

Thank you Scott. See you next time.

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