Surprise: Kathleen Parker nostalgic for Walter Cronkite

Our nostalgia for his passing isn’t only for the death of a familiar and mostly admired individual, but also for a certain kind of man — an iconic reminder of a time when fathers knew best and the media were on the home team.

He had the looks and voice of the sort of man one could trust for good directions. Nonthreatening and, it seemed, untempted by vanity, his prevailing affect was of seriousness and humility.

It is doubtless difficult in these post-metrosexual, celebrity-driven times to grasp the preference that Americans once held for people who weren’t “all that.” Male figures, also known nearly ubiquitously as “fathers,” were especially admired in those days for substance over style.