RUSH: Howard in Springfield, Illinois, hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: I heard you mention Walter Cronkite earlier and it really fired me up. I feel that he did more single-handedly than any other American to cost us lives in Vietnam when he got on the news and said we cannot win, we need to get out of Vietnam, the will to win in Vietnam went south, even more than Hanoi Jane, people trusted him and he used his own personal opinion and he literally cost us combat troops in waiting for the —
RUSH: Yeah, that was about the Tet offensive. The Tet offensive was a surprise invasion of the south by the North Vietnamese, and we repelled it, and they took significant casualties, the north did. The Tet offensive was actually very successful, but that’s, I think, when Cronkite said, (impersonating Cronkite) ‘To this reporter, it’s clear that this war is lost.’ (muttering.)
CALLER: He lost us lives.
RUSH: I was talking to my buddy, F. Lee Levin last night, and F. Lee has an interesting theory on why Cronkite was loved and adored. And see what you think of this, because he looks like Walt Disney or looked like Walt Disney. The mustache, the hairstyle, the engaging avuncular grandfatherly look. Everybody loved Disney and they associated him with all the wonderful things that Disney was back then. I think there’s some merit to that, but aside from Huntley, Brinkley and the then just bursting on the scene ABC, Cronkite was it. And I remember Lyndon Johnson said, ‘If I’ve lost Cronkite I’ve lost the American people.’ And, see, the Drive-Bys today hanker and just hope to have that kind of power once again. They never will because the market’s now too varied. But a lot of people share your view about Cronkite. I grew up, my dad just thought they were all a bunch of liberal biased phonies. Dad was right. The only time my dad was wrong that I could ever remember was when he told me I would not amount to anything if I didn’t go to college. He later in life learned, tough to admit, but he admitted he was wrong. Yeah, you’re talking about the Tet offensive, and Cronkite, after he retired and started speaking out, the real Cronkite then surfaced. It was there for one and all to see and hear about, you know, what he really was. He was just a classic liberal that in many ways defined what journalism is today.
CALLER: It just burns me up that he gets so many accolades when he actually cost us I believe probably 10,000 American lives when they were withdrawn to the populated areas to let the Vietnamese Vietnamize the war and we lost troops for another two-and-half years that were totally demoralized because the people back home —
RUSH: Yeah, but you can’t just give Cronkite alone the credit. You gotta spread it around, guys like Bob McNamara who recently passed away at age 92, I mean these guys are — David Halberstam wrote about it, The Best and the Brightest. They hadn’t the slightest idea what they were doing, running a war from the White House. Anyway, Howard, I appreciate the call.