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Sat Dec 31, 2016, 03:42 PM


Our Murrow Moment

The time for hand-wringing and hysteria is over. The Trump presidency promises a civic stress test. In a time of principled fights, citizens and journalists need to respond with fearlessness rooted in fairness.

John Avlon

12.31.16 8:03 AM ET

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty…We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason.” – Edward R. Murrow

If you think 2016 has been a wild and rough ride, just wait ‘til you get a load of 2017.
Given everything we know about Donald Trump from his divisive, demagogic presidential campaign, the next four years will be a stress test for the American system.

The Trump Years promise to be full of Oval Office insults, Twitter attacks and disregard for facts. But rather than viewing the prospect of covering a Trump administration with exhaustion, we should feel invigorated. Because when this time is done, we will look back on it as the best and most important time to be a journalist - not because it was easy, but because it was hard and our sense of mission was clear: to respect the office of the President while holding the person in power accountable against a standard of enduring American values.

For journalists, Edward R. Murrow offers durable inspiration. The man who brought the Battle of Britain home to Americans via radio and pioneered TV News at CBS, is probably best known today from “Good Night and Good Luck,” directed by George Clooney. Murrow famously risked his career to confront a popular and powerful conservative populist demagogue, Senator Joe McCarthy. He secured his legacy through a commitment to independence and integrity.

McCarthy used lies and innuendo to intimidate critics, famously parading a fake list of communists in the State Department, accusing a Democratic administration of participating in a vast conspiracy to subvert our sovereignty and falsely declaring that the ACLU a communist front group. In an ironic bit of symmetry, among his aides was a young true believer named Roy Cohn, who would later become attorney for both mob bosses and Donald Trump. It was from Cohn that Trump learned to never apologize, always attack.


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Reply GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK. Our Murrow Moment (Original post)
DonViejo Dec 2016 OP
longship Dec 2016 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Dec 31, 2016, 04:13 PM

1. Well, McCarthy came to the most power under a GOP admin.

Ike was president. I don't think he liked "Tail gunner" Joe very much.

BTW, RFK was one of Cohn's staffers. (An interesting historic note.)

I highly recommend Clooney's film. David Strathairn channels Murrow and deserved an Oscar. Great film!

Here's the trailer:

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