It’s been on my NY library hold list for a few months. Finally received it, and got some time to watch it last night, between kitchen work, World Cup, and Wimbeldon. What a great movie! George Clooney is not just a pretty face after all.

I wonder if it can be publicly shown in China, and even if it does, if anyone wants to see it. It should be the first thing a journalist student must see. Also reminded me of a Mind Meters blog on NY Times’ editor Rosenthal. Look at today’s TV and internet portals and newspaper and journalism in China, or US for that matter.

Wikipea has lots of Ed Murrow quotes. One from the McCarthy program, which was shown in its entirety in the movie is such an eloquent call against the rule of fear:

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men— not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

Here’s the full text of his speech at the beginning and end of the movie. Some striking words about TV:

We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable and complacent. We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.

All totalitarian regimes in the history know extremely well about the power of media and propaganda. They use it to their advantage to the fullest, while killing any dissident voice because it is more dangerous than silent disloyalty since it exposes truth and the regime’s weakness. In today’s world of commercialism and consumerism, it’s much easier to “distract, delude, amuse and insulate” the mass by mass media, most notably TV.

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