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Monday, June 3, 2019

June

I've been looking forward to this month.  It's the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon.

As I've noted here earlier, one of my guilty pleasures is watching old newscasts and election nights on YouTube.  Many of the newscasts and special reports I watch deal with the space program.  Outside of Vietnam, assassinations, political unrest and Watergate, the late 60's and early 70's was a great time to be a kid because those rocket launches and moon missions were simply fascinating.

I hope the networks open the archives this month to show us the way things were actually covered way back then.

Walter Cronkite was the gold standard on CBS, although he was criticized for his cheerleading.  It was understandable.

Frank McGee did most of the space stuff on NBC.  There were assists from Huntley and Brinkley, but McGee carried the ball most of the time.  In fact, Cronkite owning the space story is given partial credit for CBS breaking apart the Huntley/Brinkley ratings machine.  I have to admit, the NBC stuff was solid, but a bit on the dry side.

Frank Reynolds was ABC anchor for most of the space shots.  He took the middle ground.  Obvious pride, but none of that Cronkite glee.

Three networks.  Three approaches.  One amazing story, even 50 years later.