Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Good Night, and Good Luck

George Clooney's new movie, Good Night, and Good Luck, made it to South Bend theaters this week. It's about the 50's news anchor of CBS' See It Now Edward R. Murrow and his televised melee with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare, and it's very good. I would strongly recommend it, as do most critics.

Clooney, who directed, produced, and co-starred, focuses closely on the CBS newsroom during the final throes of McCarthyism, pretty much to the exclusion of everything else going on at the time. This is a good thing, as there is plenty of drama and story taking place within the narrow confines of the movie, and any outside stuff would, in my opinion, have detracted from the message. Murrow makes the tough choice to take on a senator chipping away at the Bill of Rights, and the lesson he learns about journalism is that objectivity does not necessarily mean "two sides to every story."

The movie's message is that the event in question displays what American news media could be like, and what it once was, even if only for the briefest of moments and in the smallest of circles. Its relevance to today cannot be understated, and it's painfully obvious that Clooney intended it as such.

PS-- There's a great editorial that David Straithairn makes about McCarthy in the movie. The audio of the original Murrow version is here.

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