Cronkite cried the day he told us Kennedy died.

For the next quarter of a century, “the most trusted man in America” became the media flag bearer for Warren Commission apologists.

In a 1987 interview with Rolling Stone, the retired Cronkite hedged his bet.

Rolling Stone –  Twenty years ago you did a documentary on the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President Kennedy. You said that the report was flawed, but the most plausible that could be expected, and that CBS News concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin. In the years since, have you had any reason to doubt that?

Cronkite –  Yes. We did not know, at that time, a rather important, salient matter: the CIA plot to assassinate Castro. An additional little fact was that Lyndon Johnson thought there was a conspiracy. I’m assuming that what he knew probably was just what we learned later about the CIA’s involvement in Cuba.

Rolling Stone –  As you look back on the late Sixties, do you think there’s a connection between the trauma of the assassination of President Kennedy, and the doubts about the circumstances of it, and so much of the trauma and disenchantment that took place in this country after that? Did it manifest itself in the streets?

Cronkite –  I wouldn’t say that the Kennedy assassination alone could have triggered that, but I think the series of assassinations – Martin Luther King, then Robert Kennedy – has a cumulative effect, which, I think, broke down our natural resistance to violence and kind of set loose hysteria. It manifested itself in the streets.

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