Good Night, and Good Luck is the stunning new film by George Clooney and tells the story of CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow and the struggle against Senator Joseph McCarthy’s paranoid anti-Communism campaign. Murrow and his team brilliantly dissected the lies and distortions told by McCarthy and his media-cheerleaders and found a generally willing CBS management to back them. How things have changed. “Terrorism” is the new Communism and hysteria is always a fresh headline away.
Today, corporate news values dictate that “consensus” is reached with government and controversy avoided. Clooney may have made a film about a different age but it’s quite clear he’s aiming his anti-censorship message at today’s self-appointed moral guardians and continual attempts at banning “seditious” speech or content.
Clooney focuses solely on the team’s journalistic struggles and barely acknowledges personal lives. It’s a successful ploy, and allows the striking cast room to develop their own personal reasons for challenging McCarthyism.
Now is the time to dissent, challenge and agitate, in an age where lies seem to carry more weight than truth. “Good Night, and Good Luck” shows us the way.