88 Doesn't Slow America's Anchor
"Hello, this is Walter Cronkite. " That voice! How is it that at 88, the legendary former anchorman still sounds and acts like the hard-working CBS newsman of old? Cronkite tells us he works at staying fresh. Just ask the educators at Arizona State University where he has been involved in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication since 1979.
Far more than just a big shot who lends out his name, Cronkite over the years has become a fixture at the school, hosting an annual awards luncheon and teaching students. "I always feel that I'm contributing something for goodness' sake to the next generation," he says. "Does it help me feel young? Well, maybe it does." But there's more: Cronkite helped out with a successful effort to make the 1,900-student school independent, eventually with its own campus in Phoenix. He even peeked at the applications for the school's first dean, figuring out who would win before the school's execs chose Christopher Callahan, 45, associate dean of the University of Maryland's J-school. "His involvement is unusual," says ASU Provost Milton Glick, "and speaks to the kind of person you have in Walter Cronkite."
On selection day, Cronkite called Callahan, a former AP reporter and Uncle Walter's first choice. "I know it sounds corny," says Callahan, "but it was thrilling."
Getting Votes on The 'Black Track'
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. gets that Democratic presidential candidates sometimes have to reach out to what Howard Dean bluntly called "guys with Confederate flags on their pickup trucks." But how to woo blacks, too? Have Bill Clinton campaign for candidates in black neighborhoods. "I'd put him on what I call the 'black track,' " Jackson tells us.
Such a Hot Job Nobody Wants It
Insiders tell us that Iraq can't fill its open ambassadorship to Washington. It should be a cushy job, certainly compared with life in Baghdad. But we hear there are no takers because the post might last just six months, or until the next government election. Further complicating things, many top candidates hold dual citizenship with Iraq and either the United States or Britain, and whoever takes the ambassador's job would have to give that status up.
But Who Translates For Translators?
One of the trickiest challenges for the U.S. military in Iraq is finding good translators. Here it gets help from Titan Corp., which hires local residents after making sure they're not security threats. Still, there are issues. Consider: Our man in Iraq met interpreter "Jack," a friend of America who speaks English well and nicely handles his job as the language liaison for U.S. and Iraqi troops. Here's the problem: Jack also teaches Iraqi troops anti-Zionist history. His lesson: Israel is bad and ought not to exist. He says the troops are "ignorant" on world affairs. "They don't think about the future. They have no understanding of Arab history. I try to tell them about history. I tell them about Palestine," he tells our reporter. But since he teaches in Arabic, U.S. troops haven't wised up to him.