Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Good Night, And Good Luck
Tony Medley ^ | 10/08/05 | Tony Medley

Posted on 10/13/2005 9:41:15 PM PDT by nunya bidness

From Clooney's website:

About The Movie

"Good Night, And Good Luck." takes place during the early days of broadcast journalism in 1950's America. It chronicles the real-life conflict between television newsman Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee. With a desire to report the facts and enlighten the public, Murrow, and his dedicated staff - headed by his producer Fred Friendly and Joe Wershba in the CBS newsroom - defy corporate and sponsorship pressures to examine the lies and scaremongering tactics perpetrated by McCarthy during his communist 'witch-hunts'. A very public feud develops when the Senator responds by accusing the anchor of being a communist. In this climate of fear and reprisal, the CBS crew carries on and their tenacity will prove historic and monumental.

President Truman said that Senator Joseph McCarthy, the junior Senator from Wisconsin, was “the greatest asset that the Kremlin has.” Agreeing with Truman were many anti-communist Hollywood liberals like Ronald Reagan, Hollywood labor leaders Roy Brewer and Howard Costigan, and Sidney Hook, a Marxist scholar who turned against the Communist Party.

Although there was a lot of fire in McCarthy’s smoke (one of his main claims, which is the prologue for this movie, was that there were “200 card-carrying Communists” in the State Department. Release of FBI files relating to the Verona Project after the fall of the Soviet Union pretty conclusively confirmed that Alger Hiss, a high-ranking State Department official, was a Communist traitor in spite of 40 years of denials by the left, so the State Department was Communist-infiltrated, as McCarthy alleged, although he later reduced the number), his tactics were those of a police state. Even so, using this quote of McCarthy’s as the prologue for the movie discredits the movie because it leads the audience to believe that the basis for McCarthy’s anti-communism was false, when it was clearly not false. It wasn’t McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade that brought him down, it was his tactics.

For the record, there were communists in the United States, in Hollywood, and in the State Department. They were actively supporting Joseph Stalin, who is still the greatest mass-murderer in history. During the ‘30s he killed the Russian kulaks, its entire middle class, 50 million people, by starving them to death. There is nothing admirable or heroic about any of these American Communists. They were despicable people supporting a despicable monster.

As to the notorious Hollywood Ten, sometimes referred to as the Unfriendly Ten (because they refused to name the names of their fellow Communists before the House Un-American Activities Committee, the alter ego for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, of which McCarthy was Chairman), legendary director Billy Wilder said, “Two were talented, the other eight were just unfriendly.” Even so, the Hollywood Ten who took their marching orders from Stalin have been elevated to secular sainthood by the Hollywood left, who are the people making this movie.

In 1954 McCarthy’s reign was attacked by a newsman, Edward R. Murrow, and it was the beginning of the end for Joe. This is a well-crafted, if sometimes draggy, documentary-style film about that attack. It is shot in black and white for a couple of reasons. First is that it adds to the verisimilitude of the story. The second is that the producers, rather than hiring someone to portray McCarthy, wanted to use Tail Gunner Joe uttering his own words, so they used old black and white news footage. Cutting back and forth between color and black and white to show McCarthy speaking would have interfered with the apparent currency of the film.

David Strathairm gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Murrow. If you never saw Murrow, what you see in Strathairm will give you a good feeling for what you missed. Writer-Director George Clooney plays Fred Friendly who was the co-producer, along with Murrow, of Murrow’s show, “See It Now” (1951-57). Frank Langella gives a brilliant performance as William Paley, the autocratic head of CBS, who backed Murrow’s attack, even though it threatened the viability of his network.

At one point in the film it is alleged that Paley said that McCarthy wanted William F. Buckley, Jr. to do his rebuttal to Murrow’s attack. Buckley graduated from Yale in 1950. He didn’t found “National Review” until 1955, one year after the McCarthy-Murrow dispute. I remember attending some of Buckley’s debates when I was at the University of Virginia Law School in the early ’60s. But I questioned whether he had the cachet in 1954, at the age of 29, to be considered as someone who could take on a national monument like Murrow on behalf of the most powerful man in the United States Senate. This is a strange, one line, insertion in the film that seems out of place with no apparent raison d’être. So I checked with Bill Buckley himself and he confirmed it, but he added something the filmmakers conveniently omitted. While McCarthy did ask him to do the rebuttal, and he agreed, when the McCarthy people submitted the request to Murrow, it was flatly rejected. Apparently Murrow wanted McCarthy to hang himself and knew that Buckley would be too formidable an adversary to achieve Murrow’s desired end. Clooney obviously didn’t want to reveal Murrow’s fear of Buckley, since the point of the film is to parade Murrow being steadfastedly brave. How would it look to have Clooney's valiant 50-year-old hero appear as a quivering lump of jelly, cowering in a corner hiding from an erudite 29-year-old?

Even so, this is an entertaining, behind-the-scenes docudrama about how one man propelled television into a powerful presence in its infancy. If you didn’t live through these times, this movie does a good job of recreating them.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: communism; edwardrmurrow; georgeclooney; joemccarthy; mccarthy; moviereview; murrow; venona
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-8081-83 next last
From (Hollywood Ten director and former Communist) Ed Dmytryk's testimony before the HUAC in 1951 renouncing his Communist past in his book Odd Man Out

Writers are traditionally concerned with people. These are the bones of their work. To understand people properly they had to understand the society in which they live and the economic conditions under which they live.So any writer worthy of the name studies the problems. Probably he became a writer because he's a humanitarian. There is at least a streak of altruistic idealism in him. They have become troubled about poverty, especially when there is such a discrepancy; where a man making twenty-five hundred dollars a week is next to a man making twenty-five dollars a week.

You hear in Hollywood more than anywhere else the word "break" used. If you ask a successful person in Hollywood how he got there, he will never say, "I got there by hard work and personality." He will say, "I got the breaks." Of course, hard work and personality count a great deal, but "breaks" count, too.

We think, there but for the grace of God, go I, when we somebody not so successful. As a result, a person in Hollywood is really interested in bringing up the general level of the people around him. He knows he can't do it individually. He knows it wouldn't do any good to give five bucks here or there. He looks around for any organization in which he can work that does these things. He finds Marxism because it is waiting for him.

The Communist Party has laid clever fly-traps for him. Those organizations are all around him. Their overt purpose is certainly good. They not only attract those who become Communists, they attract many who never become Communists, but give Communists their time, their work, and their money.

1 posted on 10/13/2005 9:41:17 PM PDT by nunya bidness
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nunya bidness

Just another celluloid leftist lie-fest..*this* one,
by Buffoony Clooney.

2 posted on 10/13/2005 9:45:56 PM PDT by NickatNite2003
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nunya bidness

Senator Joe McCarthy
the HOUSE Un-American Activities Committee?

I am no student of the early Cold War, but even one so ignorant as I finds it... odd... to see a Senator alleged to be involved in a House committee

3 posted on 10/13/2005 9:48:11 PM PDT by King Prout ("La LAAAA La la la la... oh [bleep!] Gargamel has a FLAMETHROWEEEEEAAAAAAARRRRRGH!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: King Prout
Senator Joe McCarthy
the HOUSE Un-American Activities Committee?

History is written by the victors and in this case revisionist filmakers.

4 posted on 10/13/2005 9:50:17 PM PDT by nunya bidness
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: King Prout

Now, now, now...why should anyone let facts get in the way of a good slander?

5 posted on 10/13/2005 9:51:12 PM PDT by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: All

Note: The following text is an exact quote:

ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 2126, Garden Grove, CA 92842-2126 USA
Visit our web site at: -- E-mail:

Monday, October 10, 2005

George Clooney's Deceptive New Movie 'Good Night, and Good Luck'

By Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor of MOVIEGUIDE®

HOLLYWOOD, CA (ANS) -- There are few facts on display in GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, actor George Clooney's liberal version of CBS-TV news commentator's Edward R. Murrow's 1953 feud Joe McCarthy, the fiercely anti-Communist senator from Wisconsin.

The movie, opening Friday Oct. 7, presents the feud as an emotional battle of political rhetoric, with the loser, of course, being Sen. McCarthy. The real historical facts, however, are not so clear.

GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK opens with Murrow giving a speech in the late 1950s warning about the confusion of TV news with entertainment.

Cut to 1953 at the height of Sen. McCarthy's war against Communist and left-wing security risks in the United States government. The newsmen working with Murrow on his SEE IT NOW news commentary show are itching to confront the Senator.

At the height of Sen. McCarthy's campaign warning about potential security risks in the U.S. Army, Murrow does a show about a young lieutenant mustered out of the Army because of the allegedly left-wing activities of two family members. Murrow does another program on McCarthy's own speeches, ending with a strong editorial commentary against Sen. McCarthy and offering to give the senator a whole half hour to respond. McCarthy's response includes an attack on Murrow's own left-leaning political background. The next week, Murrow responds by castigating Sen. McCarthy further and claiming that McCarthy got one of his facts wrong. In the wake of the controversy, Murrow's show loses its sponsor and CBS cancels it, claiming that the show's ratings are not good enough.

Filmed in black and white, GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK is well-produced and well-acted. Of course, the movie does not tell viewers that McCarthy had nothing to do with kicking the young lieutenant out of the Army. Nor does the movie show that McCarthy's response to Murrow's attacks included a lot more details about protecting America from Communist infiltration than just questioning of Murrow's own leftist political motives.

Furthermore, in researching this controversy, MOVIEGUIDE® could find no support for Murrow's claim in the movie that McCarthy got one of his facts wrong, namely that, contrary to what McCarthy claimed, Murrow was never a member of a radical, pro-Communist, Marxist union group called the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). In fact, Wikipedia on the Internet lists Murrow as a famous member of the group, but Wikipedia apparently is not always reliable. Be that as it may, MOVIEGUIDE® could not find a second source for the movie Murrow's assertion about Murrow and the IWW.

Thus, GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK sticks mainly to the radical liberal, pro-Communist, revisionist version about the controversy surrounding Murrow's programs and Sen. McCarthy. As such, it offers mainly emotional, bombastic arguments and lots of style, but not much substance.

Despite some minor problems with her book, MOVIEGUIDE® recommends people read Ann Coulter's bestseller TREASON instead. It offers a more detailed, better researched and more well-rounded look at Sen. McCarthy's career. Despite Coulter's rhetorical flourishes, her book is a good, informative read. It's easier, however, to have a rational argument supported by many facts in a non-fiction book like TREASON than it is in a 90-minute movie like this.

The new visual medium of TV was not kind to McCarthy's campaign stump style of delivery, but the poor man was repeatedly vilified in the national liberal press, which instigated a Congressional investigation of McCarthy's probe of security risks in the military. Murrow was definitely a better communicator on TV than Sen. McCarthy, but Murrow's tactics, as shown by this movie and tapes of his actual work, are just as emotional and bombastic, if not more so.

I've always been puzzled by the national news media's fascination with these McCarthy programs by Murrow and his team. They show a tendency to editorialize rather than use hard facts and rational arguments, and an inclination to avoid honest debate. Ironically, the same journalists who extol Murrow seem to look down their noses at Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, whose news commentaries and editorials are far more journalistically and factually sound, though perhaps just as bombastic (in their own way), as Murrow's.

We now know, of course, that McCarthy was mostly right – the United States government and many left-leaning organizations in the United States were indeed infiltrated by Communist spies and pro-Communist stooges sponsored and/or supported in one way or another by the Soviet Union. For example, at least one person that Murrow and American liberals defended, Laurence Duggan, was indeed a Communist spy and later worked openly in leftist, Neo-Marxist circles. We also know that a black woman, Annie Lee Moss, working in the Code Room of the Pentagon, whose famous testimony is featured in George Clooney's movie, was indeed a Communist Party member in the mid 1940s. Also, Annie Lee Moss really did receive a DAILY WORKER at her actual address in Washington D.C., despite her demure, intentionally humorous protestations.

It should also be pointed out that McCarthy's usual strategy was not to openly identify someone as a Communist spy or a security risk, because he wanted the government authorities to investigate such matters themselves and decide, one way or another, by legal means, whether a particular person was indeed a Communist spy or a security risk. In fact, in the case of the Army lieutenant mustered out of the Army, the lieutenant's lawyer, working within the law and with the authorities, was able to acquit his client fairly quickly. It is good that the news media brought the man's case to light, but the fact remains, McCarthy had nothing personally to do with the man's case, one way or another! Thus, the liberal, elitist news media tried to use the man's case to conduct its own witch-hunt of Sen. McCarthy and his colleagues and supporters.
Finally, please note that Murrow's reports on McCarthy include little, if any, contrary arguments, facts or interviews from McCarthy or any of McCarthy's strongest supporters. Neither, regrettably, does George Clooney's revisionist movie. That hardly strikes MOVIEGUIDE® as honest filmmaking, much less as objective, fair-minded, fact-finding journalism.

** You may republish this story with proper attribution.

6 posted on 10/13/2005 9:51:14 PM PDT by Cindy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cindy

Thanks for your contribution.

7 posted on 10/13/2005 9:57:07 PM PDT by nunya bidness
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: nunya bidness
It wasn’t McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade that brought him down, it was his tactics.

The world has to be reminded of the nature of shame if only to remember that once it made us human.

Communism was and is unsustainable as a model; a world where shame is but a footnote in history books will prove to be unsustainable as well.

8 posted on 10/13/2005 9:57:23 PM PDT by Old Professer (Fix the problem, not the blame!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rlmorel; nunya bidness

ok, allow this poor ignorant (but suspicious) wretch to take a wild shot at the pot:
If I were to Google up the term(s) of Senator McCarthy and compare them with the dates between which the HUAAC was active, would I discover that they were not concurrent?

9 posted on 10/13/2005 9:57:47 PM PDT by King Prout ("La LAAAA La la la la... oh [bleep!] Gargamel has a FLAMETHROWEEEEEAAAAAAARRRRRGH!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: nunya bidness

This movie is gonna bomb and will hit the $1 K-mart DVD bin.

10 posted on 10/13/2005 10:01:41 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Harmful or Fatal if Swallowed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nunya bidness

You're very welcome.

11 posted on 10/13/2005 10:02:28 PM PDT by Cindy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: All
Verona Project?

It wasn't McCarthy’s anti-Communist crusade that brought him down, it was his tactics.

His "tactics" were not helped in the least by the fact that he definitely was not telegenic. The writer says he used police state tactics. Anyone who watched any of the hearings at the time or who has seen film of the hearings will note that witnesses, et al. reeked of contempt for the man -- that's some "police state!"

"Most powerful man in the Senate?" He was hated by the mainstream having been called a Nazi since as a Congressman he was critical of the way U.S. occupying forces were mistreating German regular army prisoners, none of whom were Nazis.

Yes, many if not most of us little people thought he was correct. He was.

12 posted on 10/13/2005 10:05:17 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (Hillary is the she in shenanigans.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: King Prout
It's my understading that HUAC overlapped the time when McCarthy was active on the Senate side. But the fatal mistake that most on the left (especially in Hollywood and the media) make is that they attribute McCarthy with HUAC. Ann Coulter's book Treason is an excellent source for this era.
13 posted on 10/13/2005 10:06:31 PM PDT by nunya bidness
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: nunya bidness
Although I agree fully with the thrust of your post, you make several very serious errors, which, frankly, damage your credibility.

1) It's the ''Venona'' project and the ''Venona'' papers, not ''Verona'', which codeword term dates to the 1940s. The release of the KGB's Venona documents in 1994-1996 merely confirmed what every non-Soviet sympathiser knew; there were a shjtpotful of Soviet agents in every European and N. American government...practically none of which have been brought to book even yet today. Possibly because of apologists such as yourself, but who knows for certain, eh?

2) Stalin didn't starve the kulaks (small private landowners/farmers)except some of those in the Ukraine (see below). He simply liquidated the Great Russian and White Russian, and Don kulaks if they refused to surrender their land to the kolkhozi, the so-called collective farms. The people Stalin forcibly starved were the Ukranian people, for numerous reasons, not least of which was the enthusiam of the Ukranians for the German invasion of Russia in WW I, plus their firm loyalty to the Orthodox church. Recommend you see the excellent and brutally accurate documentary film ''Winter of Despair'', made decades ago, and which (of course) the LSM wouldn't dream of allowing the American people to view.

3) Stalin ranks in second place as the greatest mass murderer in history. Mao killed at least 3 of his citizens for every one that Stalin killed (or caused to be killed, same thing net-net-net). Pol Pot, btw, holds the all-time record for the highest percentage of citizens deliberately killed by their government.

14 posted on 10/13/2005 10:07:07 PM PDT by SAJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: King Prout

HUAAC: 1945-1969 (to 1975, under a new name)
Tailgunner's terms: 1947-1957

well, they are concurrent.

15 posted on 10/13/2005 10:07:34 PM PDT by King Prout ("La LAAAA La la la la... oh [bleep!] Gargamel has a FLAMETHROWEEEEEAAAAAAARRRRRGH!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: King Prout

They might be, but McCarthy was a Sinator (no typo), and had nothing to do with HUAC.

16 posted on 10/13/2005 10:08:05 PM PDT by SAJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: WilliamofCarmichael
In reading Dmytryk's book Odd Man Out he let slip an attitude of many of the left when he mentions his initial negative reaction to Nixon as he sat on the HUAC.

Obviously, Nixon made many enemies from that initial confrontation and to this day he stands as the American bolsheviks' greatest triumph.

17 posted on 10/13/2005 10:09:45 PM PDT by nunya bidness
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Cindy

Well done, and many thanks, Cindy!

18 posted on 10/13/2005 10:13:08 PM PDT by SAJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]


You're welcome SAJ.

19 posted on 10/13/2005 10:14:42 PM PDT by Cindy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: nunya bidness

well, attributing a HOUSE committee to a Senator is patently ludicrous.

as i just discovered, the HUAAC/HUAC came to being in 1945 and stemmed from an earlier House shindig which began in 1938.

One whopper I know lefties spout is blaming McCarthy for the "Hollywood Blacklist" - an outcome of the HUAC dating to October 1947, whereas McCarthy did nothing worthy of note against communists until 09-FEB-1950, his famous "I have a list" speech concerning Reds and security liabilities in the State Department.

now, If I can find all this out in an easy ten minutes, sitting in my bedroom at my desk in my damned pyjamas...

why cannot well-paid Hollywood hacks do as well?

20 posted on 10/13/2005 10:17:26 PM PDT by King Prout ("La LAAAA La la la la... oh [bleep!] Gargamel has a FLAMETHROWEEEEEAAAAAAARRRRRGH!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-8081-83 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson