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The Westfield Voice

“Good Night and Good Luck”: A Review

David Strathairn plays Edward R. Murrow in ‘Good Night and Good Luck’. Image source- CBS 6 Albany News/Warner Brothers.

“We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.”

-David Strathairn – Edward R. Murrow

The film “Good Night and Good Luck” follows the devout team behind the CBS news program ‘See it Now’, and their work to expose the reckless nature of McCarthyism amidst a period we now call ‘The Red Scare’.

The story begins on October 25, 1958 at a tribute dinner held for renowned war correspondent and reporter, Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn). In his speech, Murrow expresses his disdain in the direction American broadcast journalism is headed; reporting on the good rather than what’s necessary.

A passionate patriot, Murrow believed in the journalistic duty to uphold the truth, which he saw blatantly disrespected by Senator Joe McCarthy’s careless accusations of communism. Backed by his colleagues and through support of his viewers, ‘See it Now’s’ coverage resulted in a Senate investigation of McCarthy; and unfortunately the demise of his program.

The film does an excellent job of capturing Murrow’s passion for democracy and truth, while simultaneously portraying his disappointments of the industry in their reliance on sponsorships and viewer-base during the final chapter of his broadcast career.

The logo for the CBS show, ‘See It Now’. Image credit- History of

Filmed in black and white, ‘Good Night and Good Luck’ is nostalgic bliss, encapsulating the environment of broadcast journalism in the 1950’s. The passion amplified throughout the story is a source of inspiration for any young journalist, and the message behind it never to be forgotten; the truth is above all else.

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