In the early 1950's, the threat of Communism created an air of paranoia in the United States and exploiting those fears was Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. However, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow and his producer Fred W. Friendly decided to take a stand and challenge McCarthy and expose him for the fear monger he was. However, their actions took a great personal toll on both men, but they stood by their convictions and helped to bring down one of the most controversial senators in American history. Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
The man introducing Edward R. Murrow's keynote address to the 1958 convention of the Radio-Television News Directors Association cites Murrow's reporting on, among other topics, the plight of migrant workers. In fact, Murrow did not report on the conditions of migrant workers until 1960. His documentary on the subject, CBS Reports: Harvest of Shame (1960), was the last project he worked on as a CBS broadcaster. See more »
The piano shown behind jazz singer Dianne Reeves displays the "Steinway" logo on the side - it would not have been displayed on the side of models at that time. See more »
In 1935, Ed Murrow began his career with CBS. When World War II broke out, it was his voice that brought the Battle of Britain home to us, through his "This Is London" radio series. He started with us all, many of us here tonight, when television was in its infancy, with the news documentary show, "See It Now." He threw stones at giants. Segregation, exploitation of migrant workers, apartheid, J. Edgar Hoover, not the least of which, his historical fight with Senator McCarthy. He ...
See more »
Even the rating band at the tail of the film is in black and white. See more »
This film portrays an episode in television history. That period was covered in a class on documentary film that I took many years ago as an undergraduate. So, I've seen the full episodes of Murrow's challenge, McCarthy's attack on Murrow, and Murrow's response.
McCarthy overreached when he went after the Army. And Murrow, I have learned from other sources, waited until McCarthy was politically wounded before challenging him. These elements are missing from the film. My guess is they were omitted to avoid boring the audience.
For those with no experience with McCarthyism, the film may be boring anyway as some have already commented.
However, like Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, which set McCarthyism in the time frame of the Salem witch trial hysteria, this film does a decent job of portraying the atmosphere of fear engendered by continual hysterical threats to the personal safety of the American people from within or from without. It does not show the chilling effect the atmosphere of fear imposes on the journalist.
It does show a relationship between the corporation and the journalist. This is an important point. It is well made. I find this the most relevant part of the film.
70 of 98 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?