Because there were few restrictions on reporters going to the frontlines in Vietnam, the American public saw up close and personal encounters between US forces and the enemy. Many times, the reporting ran counter to the government’s narration of the war and revealed evidence that the war effort was failing.


In 1968, the “most trusted man in America,” as legendary news reporter Walter Cronkite was known, delivered a commentary citing why the US should pull out of the Vietnam War. For a journalist famed for his objective reporting, it was notably out of character for Cronkite to express his personal opinion during a newscast.


Read Walter Cronkite’s commentary on the Vietnam War in 1968, and answer the questions in the boxes below. To hear Cronkite’s speech and his reflections on it years later, listen to this National Public Radio broadcast here.


Parting words from Walter Cronkite: His famous Vietnam commentary, originally aired on a special CBS News broadcast Feb. 27, 1968. NPR