edward r. murrow
The actor referenced Edward R. Murrow’s famous words during a speech on Friday night.
Comparisons between the seismic events that shook Germany during the 1930s and this country's political climate in 2016 must be made with care, but they're hardly tenuous. To ignore the similarities would be at best careless; in the nuclear age, it could be catastrophic.
A test of ‘disinterestedness’ is the reaction of those who consume the news.
Donald Trump is fond of claiming that everyone loves him. Hispanics love him. African Americans love him. Women love him. The LGBT community loves him. And Texas won't secede because Texans love him, too. But there's one group he doesn't make this claim about. "I think the political press is among the most dishonest people that I have ever met," he said last month. "The press should be ashamed of itself. You make me look bad." But Trump is as wrong about the press hating him as he is about Hispanics, African Americans, women and the LGBT community loving him. The press has had a very strange relationship with Trump since the beginning of his campaign. From the moment he descended the Trump Tower escalator in June 2015, his ascent has been aided and abetted by a very willing press.
The ghost of Joseph McCarthy lives on in Donald Trump as he accuses President Obama of treason, slanders women, mocks people with disabilities, and impugns every politician or journalist who dares call him out for the liar and bamboozler he is.
This week the media edged closer to their Murrow moment. In the 50s, CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow took on Sen. Joe McCarthy and his unscrupulous red-baiting, helping bring about McCarthy's downfall. And this week, the media finally began to call out Donald Trump's racism and point out the cowardice of those like Paul Ryan, who admitted Trump's comments about Judge Gonazalo Curiel were the "textbook definition of racism" -- and yet continued to endorse him. So the media edged closer to their Murrow moment, but they still have a long way to go, judging by their reaction to Trump's speech after winning the California primary. Only Donald Trump could be praised for a speech just because it did not include any overt racism. But whether he "pivots" to being "presidential" or not, we know what he thinks, and we know what "textbook" beliefs his policies are based on. "This is no time," said Murrow of McCarthy, "to remain silent." Nor to ignore or euphemize the grave danger we're facing.
One could say that we have allowed our fears -- fear for our safety, fear of each other, fear of being labeled racist or hateful or prejudiced, etc. -- to trump our freedom of speech and muzzle us far more effectively than any government edict could.