Friday, February 27, 2009
Good Night, Good Luck, Good Movie
Director George Clooney's 2005 Academy Award-nominated chronicle of Edward Murrow's courageous media take-down of Joseph McCarthy is one of my all-time favorite films. I think this is probably true of a lot of journalism majors because of the way this film showcases that romantic, idealistic view of journalism as the noble government watchdog, serving the interests of American citizens everywhere. And the best part about that, and about Murrow's integrity, is the fact the movie is based on a true story. That this actually happened. That the idea of journalistic accomplishments contributing to the moral and ethical growth of society is a lot more than just a delusion of grandeur and that it not only can happen, but it did happen, and has happened at countless points in time throughout our nation's history and the history of the profession. Clooney was also wise to use Murrow's speech to the Radio and Television News Directors Association from 1958 as the movie's framing device because Murrow's concluding words about "living or falling by television" certainly resonates with what has happened to contemporary journalism and the medium of television in recent years.