Submitted by Evil Ed
Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn), using his groundbreaking weekly documentary series See It Now as his public forum, takes on Joseph McCarthy after Murrow learns that Lieutenant Milo Radulovich was discharged from the Air Force after Radulovich’s father was accused of being a communist.
The resulting tumult from the March 9, 1954 broadcast, combined with the Army-McCarthy hearings that same year, lead to McCarthy’s censure from the Senate. However, the corporate pressures brought down by CBS management, represented in the film by William Paley (Frank Langella) and Sig Mickleson (Jeff Daniels) on Murrow, his producer Fred Friendly (George Clooney) and Friendly’s staff result in the suicide of one of Murrow’s colleagues Don Hollenbeck (Ray Wise), the forced resignation of Joe Wershba (Robert Downey Jr.) and the reduction in prominence of Murrow’s program from a weekly night-time program to a five-episode run on Sunday afternoons.
Murrow’s speech to the Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) in 1958 book-ends the film, where he blasts the state of television at that time and is, one could argue, eerily prescient as to the state of television news in the 21st Century.