The CIA and Hollywood episode 9 Good Night and Good Luck
We welcome Ed Opperman to the series and discuss the 2005 docudrama Good

Night, and Good Luck which retells the story of the 1954 confrontation

between senator Joe McCarthy and television journalist Ed Murrow of CBS.

McCarthy was pursuing Communists within the State Department and other

government agencies and innocent people were getting caught in the

crossfire, creating a climate of suspicion, mistrust and hostility.

Murrow used his prime time series See It Now to attack McCarthy and the

culture and mentality of McCarthyism, showing the senator to be a

hypocrite who persecuted his targets.

This is the story that is

told in Good Night, and Good Luck, a film born out of the creative

relationship between George Clooney and Grant Heslov. In this episode we

take a sideways look at the historical events and ask why Clooney and

Heslov chose to lionise not just Murrow but the whole See it Now/CBS

crew. We try to persuade Ed of an alternative interpretation of events,

with Murrow not quite being the heroic counter-establishment figure he

is in the film and CBS being a rotten media organisation with deep ties

to the CIA. We then explore how almost everyone involved in Good Night,

and Good Luck had either already made a film with CIA assistance, or

went on to do so. We round off talking about Clooney’s bizarre Las Vegas

connection, E Michael Burke, George Steinbrenner and (inevitably)

Donald Trump.

For show notes and MP3 download please visit:

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