FBI Files: CBS's Walter Cronkite Aided Vietnam Protestors in 1960s
Published: 5/14/2010 3:17 PM ET
In a Friday article for Yahoo! News, reporter John Cook revealed FBI documents that detail allegations that former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite offered CBS News resources to transport fierce Vietnam critic and Democratic Maine Senator Edmund Muskie to a Florida anti-war rally in November of 1969. (h/t TVNewser)
According to Cook, the FBI files describe how "Cronkite encouraged students at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., to invite Maine Sen. Edmund Muskie to address a protest they were planning....Cronkite told the group's leader that Muskie would be nearby for a fundraiser on the day of the protest, and said that 'CBS would rent [a] helicopter to take Muskie to and from site of rally.'"
While noting Cronkite's public condemnation of the war on air just nine months earlier, Cook rightfully observed: "such tight collaboration between a news organization and the anti-war movement - particularly the offer of CBS News resources to help ferry a sitting senator and future presidential candidate around in opposition to the war - was highly unusual and would presumably have been explosive if known widely at the time." Cook also noted: "It's unclear whether Muskie ever actually attended the event."