Skip to comments.Good Night, And Good Luck
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 McCarthys 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 McCarthys as the prologue for the movie discredits the movie because it leads the audience to believe that the basis for McCarthys anti-communism was false, when it was clearly not false. It wasnt McCarthys 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 McCarthys 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 Murrows show, See It Now (1951-57). Frank Langella gives a brilliant performance as William Paley, the autocratic head of CBS, who backed Murrows 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 Murrows attack. Buckley graduated from Yale in 1950. He didnt found National Review until 1955, one year after the McCarthy-Murrow dispute. I remember attending some of Buckleys 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 dêtre. 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 Murrows desired end. Clooney obviously didnt want to reveal Murrows 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 didnt live through these times, this movie does a good job of recreating them.
nothing - the entirety of the troll's pustulent eruption is contained in my reply.
Your font was not cast upon the forum without recognition.
(I did the same thing on another thread, called him a troll, but he was already dead; then wasted an hour arguing with some fool who said I wasn't a very good debater and sounded like a liberal because I called him a "troll." )
So I know how you feel....LOL.
I've seen you when you get in gear... dayyumm.
How could I forget you?
their obsession is beyond your comprehension because you do not think as they do.
endeavor to think like them.
Pretend you are a Leftist... breathe deep... let your intellect go numb...
endeavor to think that facts are less important than words, that thoughts MUST be consonant with Marxist historical progressivism to be considered valid, that theoretical ends justify any and all means AND excuse all real ends, that you and your leftist fellow-travellers really are the high-priests and prophets of the One True God of human destiny...
basically, take some crazy pills, dress up all in black, slap a pink triangle on your forehead, staple a triptych of Marx, Mao, and Stalin to your groin, wrap a rainbow ribbon tightly around your throat, and then goose-step around a campus quad shouting obscenities until you pass out from asphyxiation: The hallucinations you will then endure are the stuff of Leftist "reality"
Not only was he a Senator and the committee was in the House..it was really the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities..One can see the change in meaning HUAC implies.
longtime no see.
ok... what the [beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!] is WITH these mo-tards?
Sunkenciv's reviews are much better, I've been told.
I would hope so
I have a lot of saved testimony from the Senate committee but no links...I lived through this period..McCarthy was a flawed individual,true. but there were communists in the government.
The House investigated Hollywood..Hollywood blacklisted..not the government.
Communism including Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot is a true killing machine..and communists are still influencing the antiwar and other protest groups in the US..Code Pink for one..ANSWER another.
click on "about us"
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition formed on September 14, 2001. It is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and prominent individuals and scores of organizing centers in cities and towns across the country. Its national steering committee represents major national organizations that have campaigned against U.S. intervention in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia, and organizations that have campaigned for civil rights and for social and economic justice for working and poor people inside the United States.
IFCO/Pastors for Peace
Free Palestine Alliance - U.S.
Haiti Support Network
Partnership for Civil Justice - LDEF
Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Phillippines
Korea Truth Commission
Muslim Student Association - National
Kensington Welfare Rights Union
Mexico Solidarity Network
Party for Socialism and Liberation
Middle East Children's Alliance
Great rebuttal! I'm a fan!
Do you know whether this George cLooney make-work project makes any reference to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg? Or is that another thread? ;o)
(Pssst -- I think they were guilty, too.)
Everyone's got one, don't they.
You needn't act like one.
"DING DING DING! What do we have for her, Johnny?"
You hit the nail right on the head, mostly. His term began in 1948 or something like that, but his activities did not begin until later. There was no overlap in his activities and HUAAC's activities...
It was a doozy. I am tempted to clip it and force feed it to the next stupid troll that thinks this is a left-right debating society...
How did it look to have a United States Senator attempt to send an erudite 29-year-old to fight his battles for him?
Another interesting fictional treatment I recall is a short story called (IIRC) "Qui Bono?" (Latin for "Who Benefits?"). A character raises the title question ("who benefits when a buffoon discredits anti-communist efforts in the US?"), comes up with the obvious answer, and reconstructs the record of McCarthy's life in an interesting way.
Excellent, King. May I borrow your paragraph 5 for future dealings with my liberal, wine snob brother-in-law?
Yet while the cover-up by that obscene body of cat-house Clinton's crappola, the President and his father continue to play a role in rehabing one of our worst impeached Presidents in our nation's history!
THAT is what upsets me even more than what you are objecting to because the father and son absolutely know better!!!
Oh, brilliant! I am convulsed wtih mirth! Reminds me of our long-ago family dinner conversations....I miss the good old days.
yeah, suppertime chat was fun, so long as Doc didn't bring up work... potatos... *shudder*
though attribution is always most appreciated ;)
IIRC, Venona documents and declassified KGB files make it quite clear that the Rosenbergs were Communist tools.
so I have learned... took all of, oh... 15 minutes at a web-capable computer. gee... I wonder why Hollywierdos can't manage the same trick, considering the money they get paid
oh, I'm aware that A.N.S.W.E.R. is really "C.A.A.N.C.E.R."
An apologia for Dan Rather.
Just one example of putting 'venona' in search ..keyword
Virtually all of the spies had been members of or were closely associated with the Communist Party. Many, including Rosenberg, were able to continue spying for years after they first came to the FBIs attention as security threats. Spies who were fired from government jobs as security threats easily found work in the private sector that afforded access to even more valuable information. No one connected the dots. Russias spies thrived in the U.S. during World War II largely because the FBI and Army failed to grasp the nature of the threat. Hoover and his subordinates thought of domestic communists primarily as sources of subversion, not as espionage agents.
Perhaps the longest-lasting impact of the release of the Venona documents has been to transform the debate over Communist espionage in the 1940s into one that is all too relevant today. The pertinent question is no longer whether Americans spied, but rather how highly educated, intelligent men and women failed to comprehend the true nature of Stalinist communism, and why they were willing to risk their lives and imperil the security of their families, neighbors and friends to commit crimes on behalf of a foreign power opposed to the basic tenets of modern society. Answers to similar questions, regarding educated Muslims with experience of life in Europe and the U.S. like those who led the 9-11 and Madrid attacks, are essential to constructing a defense against 21st century terrorism.
Fools for Communism Still apologists after all these years (long, some vulgarity)
Reason ^ | May 5, 2004 | Glenn Garvin
Posted on 05/05/2004 1:37:34 PM CDT by neverdem
In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage, by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, San Francisco: Encounter Books, 300 pages, $25.95
The pertinent question is no longer whether Americans spied, but rather how highly educated, intelligent men and women failed to comprehend the true nature of Stalinist communism, and why they were willing to risk their lives and imperil the security of their families, neighbors and friends to commit crimes on behalf of a foreign power opposed to the basic tenets of modern society.
Let me know when this changes....
My letter to Geo. Clooney:
Having specialized in Russian history as an undergraduate, I am always left with a vague unease at the general ignorance of the period in question, particularly the Soviet role; it's like the recent breakthrough in our knowledge of the Soviet Era over the past decade never took place.
Even with a large (and growing) body of evidence of the absolute horrors of Soviet terror and mass murder, the regime always seems to get a pass with the Hollywood cognoscenti, who seem either poorly informed, willfully ignorant, or both. But mostly I think it is just the effect of years of mythmaking and devotion to the tribal idols, which this film upholds with perfect fidelity. Hell, look around at the reviews, the Hollywood left loved it largely because of their untenable and ahistorical politics, such as they are.
If you want a clearer picture of what the Soviets were, how they operated, and the extent to which they did penetrate the United States at so many levels, Id recommend any number of important works over the past decade, starting with the Yale series on communism by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr. Both men have made monumental strides in pulling back the veil on Soviet espionage and why it created a man like Joseph McCarthy. It will also help to understand the most inscrutable aspect of the Cold war: how so many otherwise thoughtful Americans could be so credulous as to the reality of the Soviet Union.
At no time in Good Night, And Good Luck is the back story to the McCarthy era presented." The whole "back story" that the film drops is the Soviet Union itself. My problem with this film is that it never seems inclined to address the fact that the fictitious witches of the film were actual Soviet spies, saboteurs, propagandists, party-members, and fellow travelers of all sorts (Hiss, by the way, was a Soviet spy, as were the Rosenbergs, and so was Laurence Duggan, Mr. Murrows mentor and one of the main reasons Murrow loathed McCarthy. I feel no sympathy for any of them. You may, of course, continue to be one of a slender few people who continue to uphold their innocence, but you may as well believe OJ was framed if you are so inclined).
As far as "blacklisting," the generations of Russian intellectuals (Mandelstam, Babel, Anna Ahkmatova, Pasternak, Alexei Tolstoi, Gorky, Bulgakov, and Prokofiev just to name a small handful) who were tortured, murdered or relentlessly hounded by the very entity that people like John Henry Lawson were defending, would have viewed the HUAC trials a little differently. Also, the suffering of Hellman, Hammett, Trumbo, Lawson, et al. was so slight as to almost risible, especially in contrast to the very real persecution of the Soviet intelligentsia. If anything, the blacklist gave their case cause celebre status among the leftist industry types who were to rise during the next generationwhere it remains decked out in Hollywood tinsel. What a farce! While assholes and liars like Ring Lardner and Lillian Hellman feigned injury, the whole of Eastern Europe was being force to swallow a boot heel, and while the champions of freedom among the American left were rallying to their new icons, the icons were completing a lifelong whitewash of the gulag archipelago. Of course, the real horror of the Soviet Union was known very early on, but with so many western leftists working so hard for the Comintern, it took decades longer than it should have for us to realize the danger.
If Czeslaw Milosz is right to be concerned about "the vulnerability of the twentieth-century mind to seduction by sociopolitical doctrines and its readiness to accept totalitarian terror for the sake of a hypothetical future, then why shouldnt we remain perplexed at the unwillingness of Hollywood to at least come to recognize that the people saying that it was OK to be a Communist or say laudable things about the Soviet Union were either nuts or vile or both. No one would be defending the fellow travelers anymore if they were Nazi apologists, so why should people whose guiding ideology (and I mean that in an ironic and pointedly Marxist sense) was so hostile to liberal democracy be treated as mere dissenters? If it is indeed true that McCarthy was reckless and irresponsible, and both Klehr and Haynes argue he was, then when will the movie be made showing that Whittaker Chambers and Elia Kazan were actually right, that the apologists for the Soviet gulag state were abetting mass murder as a political program.
One more thing, HUAC and McCarthy were not the same thing. McCarthy did not emerge until 1950, and in the Senate, but by that time Truman had largely taken care of the problem; McCarthy was grandstanding for partisan purposes, mainly, but as for the substance of his grandstanding, that there really were Reds, he was quite correct.
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