Edward R. Murrow

From Conservapedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Edward R. Murrow on CBS News.

Edward R. "Ed" Murrow (April 25 1908 - April 27 1965) was a Left-wing American journalist and television figure. He first came to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during World War II, which were followed by millions of listeners in the United States and Canada. Secular and liberal media historians consider him among journalism's greatest figures being considered one of the first journalists who would editorialize the news instead of just reporting the news. Murrow produced a series of TV news reports that lead up to the censure of a pro-America Senator named Joseph McCarthy.

Contents

Murrow's See It Now attack on Senator McCarthy

One of the most prominent attacks on Senator McCarthy was an episode of the TV documentary series See It Now, hosted by Edward R. Murrow, which was broadcast on March 9, 1954.[1] By the time Murrow produced his See It Now assault on Senator McCarthy in 1954, the senator had been under almost constant vicious attack for four years. According to McCarthy biographer Arthur Herman, Murrow and his staff had spent two months carefully editing film clips to portray McCarthy in the worst possible light. There were no clips showing McCarthy in a professional manner. Despite Murrow's claims, this "was not a report at all but instead a full-scale assault, employing exactly the same techniques of 'partial truth and innuendo' that critics accused McCarthy of using."[2]

The episode consisted largely of clips of McCarthy in the most unflattering context, including "belching and picking his nose".[3] In these clips, McCarthy accuses the Democratic Party of "twenty years of treason" because of the Democratic Party's concessions to the Soviet Union at the Yalta conference and Potsdam conference, describes the American Civil Liberties Union as "listed as 'a front for, and doing the work of,' the Communist Party," and berates General Zwicker for Zwicker's claim that he would protect any other general who promotes Communist's within the military. Murrow also portrays a Pentagon coding room employee, Annie Lee Moss as an innocent victim of McCarthy even though it was later established that the F.B.I. had warned the Army and the Civil Service Commission about her Communist Party connection.[4]

Murrow, left, receiving an Emmy Award for wining the 1956 Best News Commentary category.

However, even some McCarthy critics were outraged by this one-sided presentation. Consistent McCarthy critic, John Cogley of Commonweal, "sharply attacked Murrow and his producers for their distorted summary and selected use of video clips."[5] Cogley commented that a different selection of footage could have easily portrayed McCarthy in an extremely positive light and, then further warned against the misuse of television in this fashion. He and another McCarthy critic from the Saturday Review agreed that it "was not a proud moment for television journalism".[6]

To counter the negative publicity, McCarthy appeared on See It Now on April 6, 1954, and presented his case in order to clarify the misconceptions that Murrow had televised. McCarthy countered that his committee, "has forced out of government, and out of important defense plants, Communists engaged in the Soviet conspiracy." McCarthy went on to say, "For example, 238 witnesses were examined [in] public session; 367 witnesses examined [in] executive session; 84 witnesses refused to testify as to Communist activities on the ground that, if they told the truth, they might go to jail; twenty-four witnesses with Communist backgrounds have been discharged from jobs [in] which they were handling secret, top-secret, confidential material, individuals who were exposed before our committee." McCarthy also exposed Murrow's left-wing background and previous associations with Communist organizations.[7]

The Murrow report, together with the televised Army-McCarthy hearings of the same year, and four years of consistent anti-McCarthy media reporting were the major causes of a nationwide popular opinion backlash against McCarthy. However, well-known broadcaster Eric Sevareid said the Murrow assault "came very late in the day. The youngsters read back and they think only one person in broadcasting and the press stood up to McCarthy and this has made a lot of people feel very upset, including me, because that program came awfully late."[8]

Even Murrow discounted his role in the decline of Senator McCarthy's popularity. Murrow stated, "My God, I didn't do anything. (Times columnist) Scotty Reston and lot of guys have been writing like this, saying the same things, for months, for years. We're bringing up the rear."[9]

Nevertheless, despite the deceptive nature of the See It Now program and the late date in which it appears, anti-McCarthy, anti-America historians have credited and celebrated Murrow as playing a major role in damaging Senator McCarthy's campaign to remove security risks from the U.S. government.

Murrow's This I believe

The the physicist William G. Pollard—famed in the post World War II era for working on the Manhattan project and subsequently being ordained an Episcopal priest—said of Edward R. Murrow's This I Believe that its professions of private belief by prominent figures are inadequate and "disturbing evidence of the religious bankruptcy of our time." He said this out of apparent frustration after similar media requests to discuss his own faith. Something of which he in fact denies to be his own. He asserts that his faith is the common one held by any and all Christians. [10]

Notes

  1. Murrow, Edward R. (May 31, 2005). The Edward R. Murrow: The McCarthy Years. New Video Group.
  2. Herman, Arthur (1999). Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator. Free Press, page 253. ISBN 0-684-83625-4. 
  3. Herman, Arthur (1999). Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator. Free Press, page 253. ISBN 0-684-83625-4. 
  4. Herman, Arthur (1999). Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator. Free Press, pgs. 333-337. ISBN 0-684-83625-4. 
  5. Herman, Arthur (1999). Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator. Free Press, page 253. ISBN 0-684-83625-4. 
  6. Lately, Thomas (1973). When Even Angels Wept. Morrow, page 466. ISBN 0-688-00148-3. 
  7. Murrow, Edward R. (May 31, 2005). The Edward R. Murrow: The McCarthy Years. New Video Group.
  8. Bates, Michael M. (November 15, 2005). Murrow, McCarthy, and the Media. Renew America.
  9. Bayley, Edwin R. (1981). Joe McCarthy and the Press. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-688-00148-3. 
  10. Physicist and Christian: a Dialogue Between the Communities, Pollard, William G. (1st published 1961; 2nd pub. 1964), Seabury Press (full text) , page 61

References

  1. Bates, Michael M. (November 15, 2005). Murrow, McCarthy, and the Media. Renew America.
  2. Bayley, Edwin R. (1981). Joe McCarthy and the Press. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-688-00148-3.
  3. Herman, Arthur (1999). Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator. Free Press. ISBN 0-684-83625-4.
  4. Lately, Thomas (1973). When Even Angels Wept. Morrow. page 466. ISBN 0-688-00148-3.

External Links

See Also

Personal tools