CBS news anchor, Walter Cronkite, who died in 2009 at age 92, played a key role in reporting what is known as the Watergate Scandal. His extensive stories were aired in 1972.
As this video indicates, subsequent reports owned as much to Cronkite as well as the Washington Post team of Woodward and Bernstein. Former Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee, credited Cronkite with convincing people that 'Watergate' was a substantial story, a story of national importance.
"In October 1972, Cronkite devoted two segments, back to back, to the Watergate story. The first was 14 minutes, the second eight. I think that second night was curtailed by CBS chairman William S. Paley because Paley was scared of it. The fact that Cronkite did Watergate at all (let alone at that length) gave the story a kind of blessing, which is exactly what we needed—and exactly what The Washington Post lacked. It was a political year, and everyone was saying, "Well, it's just politics, and here's the Post trying to screw Nixon." We were the second-biggest newspaper in the country trying to scramble for a good story—whereas Cronkite was the reigning dean of television journalists. When he did the Watergate story, everyone said, "My God, Cronkite's with them."
--Ben Bradlee, Former Editor Washington Post
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