mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF ferocity & farce

"Good Night, And Good Luck"

Last night we watched George Clooney's "Good Night, And Good Luck." The movie showed how courage can combine with new technology to grab the world by the lapels and shake some sense into it. Times have changed.

I know this movie was produced to give us a poke about about government run amok and the obligation of the citizenry to do something about it. If this film asks: "Where is the Edward R Murrow of today?" then I answer, "Everywhere!" But what difference does it make?

With the support of their network, Fred Friendly and Edward R Murrow used the wonder of television to expose Senator Joe McCarthy for the dangerous man he was. Twisting or ignoring the facts, McCarthy trampled the rights of a lot of innocent Americans. On film he was a madman. Exposed, he toppled.

But today we're inundated with video of our politicians trampling our rights and acting like dangerous buffoons. No one escapes mockery. Everyone from mainstream media to amateur chuckleheads are getting into the act. We live in an age where "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" do Murrow's job for us.

Only now we mistrust the media too. Video is too easy to edit. It makes whatever point we want it to. Parody, satire, and cynical misrepresentations are thrown at us from every direction. The novelty has worn off. We can't be shocked; we can only be entertained.

3.26.06

 

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