Good Night, and Good Luck

According to Darwin, a human developed from a monkey due to the evolution of some species. The discoveries of the old settlements have proved that first people and their future generations were developing in their communication: beginning with graphics, speaking, folk art, and writing. All culture was basing on these common principles and led to the creature of the music, songs, and books. However, the invention of newspapers, radio, TV-industry, personal computers, and the internet has led to the creature of the principles of mass communication. Today, mass culture and all available sources of the information influence people a lot: they not only provide the information concerning any issues but also dictate behavior and attitude. This essay is aimed at observing historical drama Good Night, and Good Luck by George Clooney and analyzing it according to Mass Society Theory.


Good Night, and Good Luck by George Clooney

Good Night, and Good Luck by George Clooney is a historical dram released in 2005. It takes the audience to the hot times of the contradiction of the political powers and media workers. The political games are connected to the Cold War and the threat of the communism establishment in all around the world. The Murrow tries to protect the people and to appeal to the society for completing protection from the bureaucratic order. The politician, McCarthy, uses all possible ways of contradiction: physical attacks, the accusation of belonging to some world parties, and others. The idea of the communist expansion of the media and some political institutions grows. FBI provides the data concerning the surnames that are included into their lists of the American Communist Party members. However, none of these actions would have any effect without mass media that delivered the accusations to audience and voters of that time. Both parties understand the power and influence of the media: Murrow uses it for the protection, but McCarthy supposes it as the irrelevant way of the information reflection. The constant accusations reflected the existing hidden contradictions, fears in the government, and strength of bureaucratic order. Therefore, McCarthy appealed to Mass Culture Theory rather strong. At the same time, Murrow wanted to condemn the existing order and question the relevance of the existing mass culture. McCarthy was aimed at imposing the single idea concerning the order: communism was bad; everything that did not refer to the existing U.S. order had originated from communism. Therefore, the defined appeals to the mass culture and used messages helped to determine that the age of the media had changed the politics and included mass media as one of the strong tools for influencing the community.

Murrow vs. McCarthy

Murrow vs. McCarthy from The Era of Mass Society and Mass Culture pointed out the main ways of the usage of mass society theories by both contradicting sides. On the one side, there was a politician who tried to appeal to the fears without any relevant investigations on the intervention of the communists. On the other side, there was a media personality that wished to highlight the loss of freedom that people were going through during the Cold War in the U.S. At the same time, the mass media took the responsibility not only to reflect the existing situation but also opposite to the actions with the help of the formation of the social resonance At the same time, the absence of the political opposition to the existing mistreatment and absence of the freedom proved the general establishment of bureaucracy and some kind of dictatorship. Therefore, the media has become the opposition and litmus paper of the irrelevant policies in the country. However, this strong media opposition does not exist anymore. The authoritarian theory has been widely implemented over all official media sources. As the result, the media has become the speaker of the political orders and politicians. In these terms, there is the less criticism against the national and international policies because people can see only represented by the government side. As the result, the media was calm in the case of J. Bush prescription to attack Iraq without any investigation. At the same time, the media reflected the acts in the best way for getting more support from the people (Murrow vs. McCarthy). The one-side outlook of the media that it takes at the situation reflects the fearful journalism that may react in the same manner either to the national or international policies. In the movie, the journalism did not play it actual role to reflect and react to the political issue. The journalist became the opposition to the policy in the field of the media when this role should be played by the other political powers. Shifting the media to the business, the influence of the investors has caused the total refusal from the freedom of speech and intelligent attitude to the issues. Nevertheless, the media does not develop outside the society or only according to the prescriptions of the government, but it acts according to the social influence on it, too.

The Mass Media of the Country Is the Reflection of Its Society

The media media as the tool of influence and as a source of getting business revenues has changed from the independent to the totally subordinate. The channels, shows, and news reflect the necessary issues for stabilization or destabilization of the situation as it was when McCarthy accused Murrow of being a communist. McCarthy used one of the strongest fears of the U.S. citizens for causing distrust. Therefore, the mass media is not only subordinated due to the business and political interests, but it is also the reflection of the social order. This idea was also underlined in the scene of Murrow’s speech. He accused the society of its comfortable life and business interests. The attitude to the life and the information perception have formulated the demand for the content of the news. As the result, the wish to live the comfortable life in the bureaucratic society decreased the interest to the news, changed the journalism, and strengthened the dictatorship of the government against the freedom of speech. Therefore, the journalism and media are reflections of the society interests that used by the politicians for implementing their personal and political interests, including extensive control, bureaucracy, and the decrease of freedoms.


Good Night, and Good Luck is the actual introduction to the mass media and communication theory on practice. Being the formulators of the social opinions and being involved into the different spheres, they contradict to each other for formulating the social opinion and control it. They both reflect the relevance of the social communication theory in the life of the U.S. at the end of 1960s. At the same time, the plot of the movie and involvement of the media into the political life underlines the importance of the mass media in the life of the community. However, the social readiness to receive some news also has influenced the media that has transformed to the feared speaker of the government’s success up to the new century. Therefore, the current mass media is the reflection of the social progress from its creature up to now that was completed under the influence of the social transformation due to the improvement of the life quality and increasing the powers of the government.

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Jun 29, 2020 in Film Review Essay Samples