Letter from Walter Cronkite
New York City
I had thought I was too busy to answer your Feb. 27 editorial regarding my Johns Hopkins speech. The AFTRA strike, however, has provided me a little more leisure than I had counted on.
I believe there must be a clear, strong, unbreachable line between news and commentary on television and radio. To cross that line ever so narrowly or infrequently is to endanger seriously one's role as an impartial. unprejudiced news editor and broadcaster.
I am not opposed to commentary on the air when it is properly labeled as such, and I think my own program deserves credit for breaking new ground with our use of Eric Sevareid's brilliant essays But I do not think that is my role on that program. I gather that your writer has missed a daily five-minute analysis that I render on CBS Radio. There...the approach is considerably different
Your writer's second point seems to have missed my point entirely. He seems to think that, because I outlined the problem of cold-war security in what he believes to be the same terms in which the Pentagon outlines that problem, that perforce I accept the Pentagon's solution of the problem. I find nothing in my speech to indicate that I think that. And I think Cronkite, and every citizen, has quite a cause for complaint.