I love this film. I love it's message. It highlights the democratic ideals in the media and in the world. It's against corporations controlling what the public watches on TV and dumbing down our options. It's about putting the bully in his place and protecting the voice of dissent that should be so dearly protected in a democratic society. Sadly, I think that the state of Television and big Corporate behavior today would be Edward R. Murrow's worst nightmare.
The film's basis is Murrow's ending of silence of any journalistic critical commentary on the Senator Joseph McCarthy's behavior in what seemed like a witch hunt with his hearings in D.C. and the resulting atmosphere, but the film center is surrounded by a bigger message. It begins with Murrow speaking to us as he speaks to the audience at the Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTDNA) Convention in 1958 and ends there too with his Box of Lights and Wires speech.
My question to you, my reader, is how many hours do you spend watching TV. My challenge to you is watch this film, read the speech, and/or for you to question exactly what it is you are on the receiving end of by doing so.
Thank you for reading my post. Peace out.
Edward R. Murrow actual broadcast
David Strathairn portrayal in Good Night and Good Luck
Above are clips from both the original broadcast and the reproduction in the film of Murrow's first commentary on the actions of McCarthy and what they represent. McCarthy's rebuttal is not included, nor is Murrow's reply to McCarthy's punitive comments. You can find those on the Internet if you would like to see them.
For further reading on the subject of Television and the business of broadcasing, I invite you to read two articles: "To Be Both Free and Enterprising" and "Our History Will be What We Make It."