Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
Edward R. Murrow: No one familiar with the history of this country, can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating. But the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the Junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always, that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to associate, to speak, and to defend the causes that were for the moment unpopular. This is no time for men who oppose Sen. McCarthy's methods to keep silent or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. We proclaim ourselves as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom wherever it continues to exist in the world. But we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the Junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his, he didn't create this situation of fear, he merely exploited it, and rather successfully. Cassius was right, the fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Good night, and good luck.
Edward R. Murrow: We'll split the advertising, Fred and I. He just won't have any presents for his kids at Christmas.
Sig Mickelson: He's a Jew.
Edward R. Murrow: Well don't tell him that. He loves Christmas.
William Paley: There's a Knickerbocker game tonight, I've got front row seats. Are you interested?
Edward R. Murrow: I'm a little busy bringing down the network tonight, Bill.
Edward R. Murrow: 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.
Edward R. Murrow: To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. Good night, and good luck.
Edward R. Murrow: Funny thing, Freddie, every time you light a cigarette for me, I know you're lying.
Edward R. Murrow: What'd the general have to say?
Fred Friendly: It was a colonel. Two of them.
Edward R. Murrow: That makes a general.
Edward R. Murrow: Did you know that Shirley and Joe are married?
Fred Friendly: Yeah.
Edward R. Murrow: Did everybody know?
Shirley Wershba: Name me another wife who reminds her husband to take off his wedding ring *before* he goes to the office.
Joe Wershba: Ava Gardner.
Fred Friendly: There's no news, boys, so go out there and make some news. Rob a bank, mug an old lady, whatever - just do something.
Edward R. Murrow: We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
Don Hollenbeck: [to Murrow, after his interview with Liberace] You're getting really good at this; people might think you actually like it.
CBS Page: [after they're all waiting anxiously for a phone call after a show] Should I turn the phones back on?
Jimmy: Yes, that would be helpful, thank you.
Fred Friendly: Turn the phones back on!
Edward R. Murrow: Did you know the most trusted man in America is Milton Berle?
Fred Friendly: See? You should have worn a dress.
Edward R. Murrow: Good night, and good luck.
Edward R. Murrow: We will not walk in fear, one of another.
Colonel Anderson: Wouldn't you guess that the people who have seen the contents of that envelope might have a better idea of what makes someone a danger to his country, or do you think it should just be you, sir, who decides?
Fred Friendly: Who? Who? Who are these people, sir? Who are the people? Are they elected? Are they appointed? Is it you?
Fred Friendly: Did you write your closing piece?
Edward R. Murrow: It's Shakespeare.
Fred Friendly: Uh-huh. Write your closing piece.
William Paley: I'm with you today Ed, and I'm with you tomorrow.
Edward R. Murrow: He's gonna hope a senator trumps a newsman.
Fred Friendly: He'll lose.
Edward R. Murrow: Not if we're playing bridge.
Edward R. Murrow: [about O'Brian accusing Hollenbeck of being a leftist] Oh, forget it, no one worth their salt reads O'Brian.
Don Hollenbeck: You read him.
Edward R. Murrow: See? I rest my case.
Fred Friendly: Shirley, honey, would you go across the street and get the early editions?
Shirley Wershba: All of them?
Edward R. Murrow: Just get O'Brian.
Edward R. Murrow: [Referring to a Julius Caesar quote said by Senator McCarthy] Had Senator McCarthy looked just three lines earlier he would have found this: "The fault dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves... "
Sig Mickelson: [to Murrow] Go after Joe Kennedy, I'll pay you for that.
Sig Mickelson: 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 is the host of our enormously popular show, "Person to Person," and tonight he is here with is son, Casey, wife, Janet, and all of you who he's worked with, inspired, lectured, and taught. Ladies and gentlemen, the Radio-Television News Directors Association and Foundation welcomes Mr. Edward R. Murrow.
Edward R. Murrow: Let us dream to the extent of saying that on a given Sunday night the time normally occupied by Ed Sullivan is given over to a clinical survey of the state of American education, and a week or two later the time normally used by Steve Allen is devoted to a thoroughgoing study of American policy in the Middle East.
Edward R. Murrow: It is my desire if not my duty to try to talk to you journeymen with some candor about what is happening in radio and television, and if what I say is responsible, I alone am responsible for the saying of it. Our history will be what we make of it. And if there are any historians about fifty or a hundred year from now, and there should be preserved the kinescopes of one week of all three networks, they will there find, recorded in black and white and in color, evidence of decadence, escapism, and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live. We are are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable, and complacent. We have 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 use 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.
[to Joe Wershba]
Don Surine: Did you know the word "gullible" isn't in the dictionary, Joe?
[the team have just been asked to admit to any Communist connections, no matter how vague or distant, before they do the main broadcast against McCarthy - because he will us it as ammunition against them]
Edward R. Murrow: Oh, if none of us had ever read a dangerous book or had a friend who was different, never joined an organization that advocated change, we'd all be just the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants. We're gonna go with the story, cos the terror is right here in this room.
Edward R. Murrow: He was one of those civilized individuals who did not insist upon agreement with his political principals as a precondition for conversation or friendship.
Edward R. Murrow: That's why I never plan ahead.
William Paley: Really? Because you never know...
[Drops an envelope full of evidence suggesting Murrow was on the Soviet Union's payroll]
Edward R. Murrow: Been reading fiction?
William Paley: I really hope so. You tell me.
Edward R. Murrow: Well, now we know how they will come after us.
William Paley: This is just their first shot. Somebody's going to go down.
Title Card: Throughout the 1940s and 1950s America was overwhelmed with concerns about the threat of communism. Senator Joseph McCarthy made a public accusation that more than two hundred "card-carrying" communists had infiltrated the United States Government. Few in the press were willing to stand up against McCarthy for fear thaqt they too would be targeted.