A film about broadcast journalist, Edward R. Murrow, as he looks into bringing down Senator, Joseph McCarthy.
How honest is the news? How often can you believe what is reported on the TV and in the papers? We get most of our news from certain outlets, and most people generally believe what they read. Why censor the news anyway? Why twist it? There are a variety of reasons; fear, trying your best not to offend anyone in case you fear the consequences; gain, maybe you get something out of it, a raise, reputation, power; or maybe you have no say in it, you have to report on what you’re told to otherwise you’re fired. If there is one thing I respect Edward Murrow for, it’s his honesty, and how he kept to his belief that honesty should be told.
The film uses archival footage of Joseph McCarthy, who in turn means he plays himself, since the footage is in black and white, it is also the reason why the film is also filmed in black and white. A choice that gives the film a style which lends itself to the story.
The movie focuses tightly on the news casting world, and politics. Seeing these men in a small room, huddled over a table, talking endlessly about what to do next, how they present it, how do they get their message across? While we also see them talking with their bosses on their beliefs, and how far they can push them in relation to their jobs and lives, knowing that in the end, they might just end up ruining themselves.
McCarthy is talented in how he uses his words, but they almost as quickly come back to haunt him. There are times when he will lie, or abuse power to get the people to see his way, and spins it so anyone who is against him, is a communist, and therefore, is against the USA. It shows how people might have been reluctant to call him out on anything, due to the fear of being branded an enemy. Murrow doesn’t fear McCarthy, he knows he might be defeated, knows he might end up without a job, knows he might be branded an enemy, but he continues. He doesn’t fear what happens because he believes that he is right, he believes that McCarthy needs to be judged, believes that people shouldn’t have to fear those they criticise, but most of all, he believes that people deserve the truth. The truth is what it’s all about.