I’d go a bit further: The Cronkite story plays into the romance of supposedly objective journalists having profound effects on the world. It’s a self-flattering myth that pumps up the ego of newshounds everywhere, which can only lead them into more and bigger mistakes. Filled with true tales of massive falsehoods, Campbell’s Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism is essential reading not just for journalists but all consumers of the news.
ReasonTV just interviewed Campbell a couple of weeks back. As he points out, not only is the “Cronkite moment” stuff malarkey, but so is the hoary cliche that Cronkite was the “most trusted” man in America.