Speaking at a memorial to Walter Cronkite on Wednesday, President Obama observed that while he never got to know Cronkite, he had "benefited as a citizen from his dogged pursuit of the truth, his passionate defense of objective reporting, and his view that journalism is more than just a profession. It is a public good, vital to our democracy." He then wondered aloud how Cronkite might have functioned in today's culture. "Would he have been able to cut through the murky noise of the blogs and the tweets and the sound bites to shine the bright light on substance? Could he still offer the perspective that we value? Would he have been able to remain a singular figure in an age of dwindling attention spans and omnipresent media? And somehow we know that the answer is yes. The simple values Walter Cronkite set out in pursuit of, to seek the truth, to keep us honest, to explore our world the best he could, they are as vital today as they ever were."
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.