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Good Night and Good Luck - Film Review

Essay by   •  June 21, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  640 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,492 Views

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The film Good Night and Good Luck is a true story of the provocative battle between CBS news anchor Ed Murrow and Junior Senator Joseph McCarthy. Joseph McCarthy's accusations against hundreds of people for being communist or communist supporters sparked a revolutionary jolt of journalistic responsibility in Ed Murrow to unveil the un-American way McCarthy went about with his accusations. Despite CBs executives breathing down his back and a gentle threat by the U.S Military, Ed Murrow and his coworkers put everything on the line to make sure they report the facts that are beneficial to the viewer's interests.

Throughout the film there are clips that regard to the financial support from CBS's sponsors. The purpose of these clips was to expose the conflict between Ed Murrow's controversial news broadcast and the corporations that sponsor the airing. The problem begins when Murrow gets into a little beef with the U.S Military over the release of news pertaining to the Air Force lieutenant wrongfully discharged for being accused of affiliation with communist. Alcoa, one of the big sponsors for Murrow's broadcast, has contracts with the Military. If the Military decides they do not like Alcoa sponsoring Murrow's show then Alcoa is at risk for losing their contracts and ultimately their corporation could suffer a decrease in net earnings or "bottom line". Essentially what this film says about the corporate "bottom line" when it comes to television news coverage is that corporations during those times were uneasy about sponsoring provocative new coverage because if that provocative news report were to upset any business partners then their "bottom line" could be at risk. This is why throughout the film so much pressure is put on Murrow by his executives.

In this film the media is portrayed as being a tight knit group of coworkers who display honesty, bravery, persistence and a strong sense of American loyalty. Brave because despite pressure that can burst pipes they laid everything on the line, their jobs, reputations, and in the case of Don Hollenbeck his life. Honest because they stick to the facts about Senator McCarthy throughout the film. Strong American loyalty because they want to expose the fear created by McCarthy as nonsense and a weakness to America. Also they raise the morale of the American People with provocative facts, and influence a change in attitude towards the communist accusation scare. Ed Murrow in particular is a perfect example of those traits portrayed by the media in the film and a quick excerpt from the film can provide good evidence to support this. After airing his report on the injustice of the Air Force lieutenant one critic wrote in the New York Times a description that sums up his character as an anchorman. The critic mentions Murrow for providing exciting crusading journalism with high responsibility and courage, in a time where TV is often



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