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    George Clooney: "I Hate the World Without Walter Cronkite"

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    George Clooney, Hollywood's unofficial spokesman for everything, was among the first to pay tribute to that other great voice of a generation, Walter Cronkite.

    "He was the most important voice in our lives for thirty years," the Oscar winner, who delved into the history of the CBS newsroom when he directed and costarred in Good Night and Good Luck, said in a statement Friday night. 

    "And that voice made people reach for the stars. I hate the world without Walter Cronkite. "

    A strong sentiment, one shared in essence by many.

    Christina Applegate is another celeb who had an enounter with the sonorous anchor, who died Friday at the age of 92 after a long illness.

    "Had the chance to sit next to Mr Cronkite on a plane once," twittered the Samantha Who? star. "We talked the entire time. When he left he hugged me and said 'I love you' sweet."

    And random, but still, very sweet.

    Diane Sawyer could identify, actually.

    "A call, a note, a compliment from Walter was pretty much the Nobel Prize for a young reporter," the Good Morning America host said. "I am so lucky to know what it was to be part of the Cronkite team."

    Calling him the "defining anchor of America's story," Sawyer said he reminded us "of what we can be at our best."

    Dan Rather, Cronkite's immediate successor to the CBS Evening News throne, called his friend and colleague a "giant of the journalistic craft."

    "Walter loved reporting and delivering the news, and he was superb at both. He deserves recognition and remembrance, too, for the way he solidly backed his correspondents and producers, defending them vigorously in coverage of difficult stories such as the Vietnam War and the Watergate crimes."

    Cronkite was, of course, not only the estimable predecessor of the big three, Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings, as well as the trio that followed them, including ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson.

    "Walter Cronkite was and always will be the gold standard," Gibson said. "His objectivity, his evenhandedness, his news judgment are all great examples. He, as much as anyone, is responsible for developing network television news. He set the standard. He told it 'the way it is' and all of us who are privileged to work in this business owe him an enormous debt of gratitude."

    "The man I grew up wanting to be," NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams called Cronkite.

    "Our household, like many, came to a halt when his broadcast came on the air each night, and dinner was served only after he said good night. Knowing Walter was among the great blessings of my life."

    "We were proud to work with him—for him—we loved him," added 60 Minutes warhorse Mike Wallace, 91, who helped establish the golden age of television journalism along with his dearly departed fellow newsman.

    (Originally published July 17 at 7:52 P.D.T.)

    ________

    Journalism has come a long way, hasn't it? These days, it's CNN vs. Ashton Kutcher for Twitter bragging rights.

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