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Clooney film not high on facts
WorldNetDaily ^ | 10/8/05 | Tom Snyder

Posted on 10/08/2005 4:09:11 PM PDT by wagglebee

There are few facts on display in "Good Night, and Good Luck," actor George Clooney's liberal version of CBS-TV news commentator Edward R. Murrow's 1953 feud with Joe McCarthy, the fiercely anti-Communist senator from Wisconsin.

The movie, which opened yesterday, 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 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 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 the senator and offering to give him 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 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 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. 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 Industrial Workers of the World.

Thus, "Good Night, and Good Luck" sticks mainly to the radical liberal, pro-Communist, revisionist version about the controversy surrounding Murrow's programs and 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 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 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 or not 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 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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anncoulter; clooney; communism; edwardrmurrow; georgeclooney; goodnight; hollywood; hollywoodleft; josephmccarthy; mccarthyism; movieguide; murrow; treason
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.

We also know that George Clooney and his ilk are communists who hate America and think nothing of making a movie which distorts history.

1 posted on 10/08/2005 4:09:12 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: wagglebee

facts what the heck are those


2 posted on 10/08/2005 4:11:47 PM PDT by al baby (Father of the beeber)
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To: wagglebee

But Clooney is high on something (coke or communism; it's hard to tell, both make people extremely irrational).


3 posted on 10/08/2005 4:11:55 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity ("Sharpei diem - Seize the wrinkled dog.")
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To: wagglebee
This movie will be fun. I hope it's discussed a lot. Would be great to get a good McCarthy debate out there in the public domain.

I haven't read much Ann Coulter, and I probably won't in the future unless she gets off her "Impeach Bush" kick, but I did learn a lot about McCarthy from her book "Treason".

I do have questions, though about McCarthy's taking on the military and Eisenhower shutting him down.

4 posted on 10/08/2005 4:12:52 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

5 posted on 10/08/2005 4:13:16 PM PDT by al baby (Father of the beeber)
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To: wagglebee

Apparently some leftist loons have complained that the
McCarthy scenes are too sympathetic to the Senator ...

... not realizing that the movie used actual footage
of the real hearings for those scenes.


6 posted on 10/08/2005 4:15:28 PM PDT by Boundless
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To: wagglebee

I think Clooney is just dumb. I don't think he can even define a communist. He is just a flake like Streisand or Martin Sheen, albeit dumber than even them : )


7 posted on 10/08/2005 4:16:09 PM PDT by calrighty ( Terrorists are like cockroaches . Kill em all soon, so they will find out there ain't no virgins)
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To: wagglebee

All anyone has to do to learn about McCarthy is read the Venona Intercepts and the FOIA FBI file on Owen Lattimore.

As to the charge that Clooney's film is revisionist history, who is surprised by that?

Perhaps it can start another dialogue about McCarthy, and we can once again bitchslap Hollywood.


8 posted on 10/08/2005 4:16:17 PM PDT by Stellar Dendrite ( Mike Pence for President!!! http://acuf.org/issues/issue34/050415pol.asp)
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To: wagglebee

It's a MOVIE...selling whatever brings in the bucks....


9 posted on 10/08/2005 4:17:14 PM PDT by dakine
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To: wagglebee

I heard a review of the movie on TV this morning that began, "What's black-and-white and boring all over?" Hopefully, audiences will stay away in droves.


10 posted on 10/08/2005 4:17:35 PM PDT by RedRover
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To: al baby

ROTFLMAO George Clooney stuned by the beeber!


11 posted on 10/08/2005 4:17:38 PM PDT by calrighty ( Terrorists are like cockroaches . Kill em all soon, so they will find out there ain't no virgins)
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To: wagglebee

George: STFU.


12 posted on 10/08/2005 4:17:45 PM PDT by brivette
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To: RedRover
I heard a review of the movie on TV this morning that began, "What's black-and-white and boring all over?"

LOL. The reviewer on NPR thought the movie was FAAABULOUS.

13 posted on 10/08/2005 4:18:54 PM PDT by Bahbah (Member of the Water Bucket Brigade)
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To: Boundless

"... not realizing that the movie used actual footage
of the real hearings for those scenes."

ROTF.....I luv this thread.



14 posted on 10/08/2005 4:19:17 PM PDT by calrighty ( Terrorists are like cockroaches . Kill em all soon, so they will find out there ain't no virgins)
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To: Stellar Dendrite

The release of the Venona documents has proven that McCarthy was absolutely correct. And it has proven beyond any doubt that Alger Hiss was a Soviet agent.
http://www.nsa.gov/venona/index.cfm


15 posted on 10/08/2005 4:19:22 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: calrighty

your pretty smart for a rookie welcome to free republic


16 posted on 10/08/2005 4:20:09 PM PDT by al baby (Father of the beeber)
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To: wagglebee; xzins

WorldNetDaily wouldn't know a fact if it bit them in the ... hey, hey!


17 posted on 10/08/2005 4:20:45 PM PDT by jude24 ("Stupid" isn't illegal - but it should be.)
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To: wagglebee

The last page of the latest Weekly Standard has a photo from the film where there's a freakin' water bottle on the guy's desk!


18 posted on 10/08/2005 4:21:19 PM PDT by Scarchin (www.classdismissedblog.com.)
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To: Siena Dreaming

Yep. I learned more about the politics of the second half of the twentieth century from "Treason" than any other book. Not that I didn't already know Democrats are a bunch of Commies, it was just startling to see that belief validated by cold hard fact after cold hard fact.

If ANYONE is unclear on their opinion of Tailgunner Joe, they must read it.


19 posted on 10/08/2005 4:21:23 PM PDT by Burr5
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To: Siena Dreaming

I read her book. It was factual. And it made more sense than Looney Clooney.


20 posted on 10/08/2005 4:21:36 PM PDT by brivette
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To: al baby

Thanks Al. Smart people, and great wit too!


21 posted on 10/08/2005 4:22:10 PM PDT by calrighty ( Terrorists are like cockroaches . Kill em all soon, so they will find out there ain't no virgins)
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To: wagglebee

Didnt FDR laugh and say that he didnt care that soviet agents were in his administration?


It just shows you-- if the lied about McCarthy going that far back, what ELSE did they lie about? Don't answer that...you could fill a library with all the lies have been told by the Enemy Within.


22 posted on 10/08/2005 4:22:59 PM PDT by Stellar Dendrite ( Mike Pence for President!!! http://acuf.org/issues/issue34/050415pol.asp)
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To: Scarchin

It wouldn't surprise me if Murrow has a "No Smoking" sign on his desk!


23 posted on 10/08/2005 4:23:37 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee
Clooney film not high on facts

Now THATS a revelation!

nyuk, nyuk!

24 posted on 10/08/2005 4:24:13 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: RedRover
Hopefully, audiences will stay away in droves.

I think you can bank on it...the bulk of the movie-going demographics just ain't that interested in "ancient political history", let alone a B/W 'art film'...

Clooney's this decade's version of that actor (See - I can't even remember his name*) that decided he was smart enough to 'produce' and came up with things like "Waterworks".

*(Costner...finally popped in)

25 posted on 10/08/2005 4:24:42 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Like a midget at a urinal - stay on your toes...)
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To: wagglebee

I've got the picture, but I don't know how to post it. I'll gladly e-mail it to someone who can - galamaga@verizon.net


26 posted on 10/08/2005 4:34:48 PM PDT by Scarchin (www.classdismissedblog.com.)
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To: wagglebee


"Clooney film not high on facts"

Since when did liberals ever believe in facts?


27 posted on 10/08/2005 4:38:22 PM PDT by dmw
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To: wagglebee

The world according to Hollywood. There are never any facts involved.


28 posted on 10/08/2005 5:11:35 PM PDT by abigailsmybaby ("This is the sort of English up with which I will not put." Winston Churchill)
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To: Scarchin; wagglebee


Who wrote the joke postit note? (They should have left it off so we'd see more of the picture)
29 posted on 10/08/2005 5:12:33 PM PDT by visualops (www.visualops.com)
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To: wagglebee
As such, it offers mainly emotional, bombastic arguments and lots of style, but not much substance.

In other words, it's more of the same quintessential drivel from the Left. Why bother with facts when one can present flashy fiction and pass it off as facts?

30 posted on 10/08/2005 5:20:17 PM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
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To: Siena Dreaming
This movie will be fun. I hope it's discussed a lot. Would be great to get a good McCarthy debate out there in the public domain

It really does seem counterproductive, from the lefts perspective to stimulate discussion about McCarthy. They couldn't possibly demonize him any further than they have already succeeded at doing.

Do they feel the need to impose the myth upon the younger generations that may not have yet assimilated the McCarthyism myth? I don't see them sitting still to watch this movie and those youths who would be curious enough to watch this movie probably will have a more jaundiced eye than their parents in that they have likely had some exposure to the truth, being internet aware, and be more aware of the Ratheresque tendencies of the media, especially the network that employed Morrow.

31 posted on 10/08/2005 5:24:11 PM PDT by Jim_Curtis
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To: visualops

Thanks!

The water bottle slays me!


32 posted on 10/08/2005 5:27:52 PM PDT by Scarchin (www.classdismissedblog.com.)
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To: wagglebee

That's H'weird--someone's fantasy. Anyway, don't plan on seeing Clooney the Tooney in anything anymore.


33 posted on 10/08/2005 5:31:01 PM PDT by lilylangtree
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To: Scarchin

Lots of movies have errors like that, some are very funny. One famous one is the electric bulb in the Atlanta street-lamp in Gone With the Wind.
One would think though, that nowadays set people wouldn't make such a mistake in a period piece.


34 posted on 10/08/2005 5:51:21 PM PDT by visualops (www.visualops.com)
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To: wagglebee
"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."
35 posted on 10/08/2005 8:28:01 PM PDT by Texas_Jarhead
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To: RedRover

i'd say that its worth seeing, even if innacurate. its fiction remember.. I don't buy any of the crap, but it doesn't mean I ddin't enjoy JFK.. then again, I liked Scarface too...


36 posted on 10/09/2005 12:55:20 AM PDT by Schwaeky (The Republic, will be reorganized into the first American EMPIRE, for a safe and secure society!)
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To: wagglebee

George Clooney's career...uh, what career?


37 posted on 10/09/2005 4:20:03 AM PDT by hershey
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To: Scarchin
This is the picture that's up on Fox news online right now. Looks like they edited out the water bottle- but you can see traces of it.


38 posted on 10/09/2005 5:33:19 AM PDT by visualops (www.visualops.com)
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To: wagglebee
Just finished re-reading the newest book on McCarthy. He was a great American and none of the previous books on him had been written after the declassification of Venona.

The central question of the McCarthy investigation was never answered: Who promoted Irving Peress?

39 posted on 10/09/2005 7:03:48 AM PDT by nonliberal (Graduate: Curtis E. LeMay School of International Relations)
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To: visualops

Shakespeare had those sort of mistakes. There are clocks in Julius Carsar.


40 posted on 10/11/2005 2:52:30 PM PDT by Borges
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To: visualops

It's a clever picture, but not actually an error. The photograph was taken, as all promo photos are, during a rehearsal.

The water bottle's not in the film.


41 posted on 10/31/2005 11:35:30 AM PST by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Borges

"Shakespeare had those sort of mistakes. There are clocks in Julius Carsar."

And doublets - my personal favorite.


42 posted on 10/31/2005 11:36:29 AM PST by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: wagglebee
The release of the Venona documents has proven that McCarthy was absolutely correct.

Oh yes? McCarthy accused President Eisenhower of being a Communist dupe. Do you agree with him? You can agree that the Communists were a threat to the United States without believing that McCarthy was anything more than a dishonest snivelling alcholic.

43 posted on 10/31/2005 11:44:13 AM PST by Alter Kaker (Whatever tears one may shed, in the end one always blows one’s nose.-Heine)
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To: highball

In 'Troilus and Cressida', Hector (the one from the Illiad) makes a reference to Aristotle.


44 posted on 10/31/2005 11:45:04 AM PST by Borges
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To: Alter Kaker

"You can agree that the Communists were a threat to the United States without believing that McCarthy was anything more than a dishonest snivelling alcholic."

I certainly agree with that.

McCarthy only loved power. The fact that he chose to gain and exercise that power in the name of a legitimate cause doesn't make him any less a scumbag.


45 posted on 10/31/2005 11:51:04 AM PST by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Alter Kaker

I believe that after WW II Eisenhower's foreign policies left a whole lot to be desired. Why did we not finish the North Koreans? Why did we allow Castro to take control of Cuba? Why did we allow the Soviets to strengthen their stranglehold over Eastern Europe?


46 posted on 10/31/2005 1:37:50 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: Alter Kaker

What exactly do the release of the Venona papers have to do with McCarthy's character?


47 posted on 10/31/2005 1:39:31 PM PST by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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