The Cleverest of the Jackal Pack

Honestly, I have always loved films based on true stories and take place in the past. While learning about McCarthyism in high school, my teachers never took the time to look at the opposing side and those who were trying to fight it. We always learned of the different court cases and who McCarthy was, but never the real people to tried to expose of the nonsense this country was going through in their modern day witch hunt. Having a movie showcase the opposing side and one that had staff banding together to tell the truth to the American people, regardless of the consequences is brilliant and really shows what journalistic ethics and integrity is about. For Murrow and his staff to go through months worth of interviews to find inconsistencies and words that do not make sense really shows the journalists of the time really took their jobs and their integrity seriously and did not want to go after a government figure without the right facts.

Regarding the movie, I think it was very well done and showcased Murrow, Friendly, and the rest of the CBS crew very well. I am surprised more people do not talk about this movie as they do other George Clooney movies. The camera work was phenomenal as was the attention to detail, such as pictures, gestures, and sayings. One thing that stood out to me was the detail in the words of the singer, Dianne Reeves, in between scenes to really set the mood of what life was like during this time and how even the smallest of things, like a song, had an underlying message to the American people. I think choosing to use the actual footage of the interviews and trials instead of reenacting them was such a smart move by the producers and I appreciated the time it probably took to find and gather the clips needed. What I really liked about the movie, though, was its ability to keep the viewer interested. While almost everyone knows what happened with McCarthyism and the trials, this movie brought a new perspective to something already known. It showcased the journalistic side and how not everybody bought into the idea that certain people were communists, as opposed to history books where only the basics were covered. There was enough backstory and subplots to keep a person not feeling like they were watching a documentary, but instead a movie representing this specific event and time period.

Overall, I think this movie did everything right to represent Murrow and his side of the story of what went on. Showing the courage it had to take to go against McCarthy during this time period and what everybody, from the CEO down, had to risk in order to band together and expose the truth brought new perspective to an already known event. Seeing that Murrow and his crew decided to take chances to get the truth to the American people does a lot for journalistic integrity and is oftentimes something people don’t see anymore, as the news gets more and more sensationalized and about covering a story first, and not always factually. The actions and Murrow, Friendly, and the rest of the crew at CBS during this time period should be remembered for their actions and taught more in schools, even if it means watching this movie and discussing it, as it is important to know who helped bring McCarthy down and what it took to expose the truth.


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