The death last week of Walter Cronkite only served to remind us of an age that has long since passed, a pre-Internet-cable-blog-Facebook-Twitter era when reporters were reporters, and not celebrities – at least not in their own eyes.
In his heyday, Cronkite would have winced at his being considered a media or broadcast superstar, even though he was one.
Mr. Cronkite earned the title of the most trusted man in America and indeed he was an icon. These days the term icon is so widely applied to so many different people, places and things that I often get icon fatigue.
I suspect we’ve gone way overboard with this representation (and surely the media is central to this phenomena), including its use with wine, or winemakers, or wineries. (Indeed, we’re in an era of cult wine fatigue, where people are exhausted by the proliferation of precious, high-priced wines). There are many days when I wish we could rein it back in, but alas, our culture – the world culture -- is so connected and awash in information and faux celebrities that it seems as if we’re only doomed to get more "icons." At some point the word loses its impact and meaning.
I was happy to see Mr. Cronkite remembered for who he was and what he stood for. When people referred to him as an icon, it fit perfectly, unlike many for whom the term is far too readily applied.
Jason Thompson — Foster City, CA — July 20, 2009 3:49pm ET
Tom Glover — The Woodlands, TX — July 20, 2009 6:12pm ET
Randolph M Loos — USA — July 20, 2009 7:04pm ET
David Kison — Campbell, CA — July 20, 2009 9:14pm ET
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