Thursday, December 15, 2011

We need a free press

Last night my son and I watched The Insider, a 1999 film based on the true story of a cigarette company whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand being courted by the producer of the TV news program 60 Minutes. I thought the acting by Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, and Christopher Plummer was excellent. The movie highlights the corruption of "Big Tobacco", the tortuous relationship between corporate America and the "free" press, and the high personal cost of being a whistle-blower.

It is interesting that a few weeks ago we also watched Good Night and Good Luck, an excellent 2005 movie. It is filmed in black and white to great effect as it depicts the 1950's battle of Edwin R. Murrow (also from CBS news) with the anti-communist crusader (and slanderer) Joseph McCarthy.

Money and politics always represent a serious threat to a free press and thus to justice. In light of this it is interesting and refreshing to read about the history and ownership of The Guardian newspaper.

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