Good Night, and Good Luck.

Good Night, and Good Luck. quotes

23 total quotes (ID: 1050)

Edward R. Murrow
Fred Friendly
William Paley


Prolouge: This just might do nobody any good. At the end of this discourse a few people may accuse this reporter of fouling his own comfortable nest, and your organization may be accused of having given hospitality to heretical and even dangerous thoughts. But the elaborate structure of networks, advertising agencies and sponsors will not be shaken or altered. It is my desire, if not my duty, to try to talk to you journeymen with some candor about what is happening to radio and television. If what I have to say is responsible, then I alone am responsible for the saying of it. Our history will be what we make it. And if there are any historians about fifty or a hundred years from now, and there should be preserved the kinescopes for one week of all three networks, they will there find recorded in black and white, or color, evidence of decadence, escapism and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live. We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable and complacent. We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.


Epilogue: I began by saying that our history will be what we make it. If we go on as we are, then history will take its revenge, and retribution will not limp in catching up with us. Let us dream to the extent of saying that on a given Sunday night the time normally occupied by Ed Sullivan is given over to a clinical survey of the state of American education, and a week or two later the time normally used by Steve Allen is devoted to a thoroughgoing study of American policy in the Middle East. Would the corporate image of their respective sponsors be damaged? Would the stockholders rise up in their wrath and complain? Would anything happen other than that a few million people would have received a little illumination on subjects that may well determine the future of this country, and therefore the future of the corporations? To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. Good night, and good luck.

No one familiar with the history of his country, can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating. But the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the Junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been confusing the public mind as between the internal and the external threats of communism. We must not confuse dissent from disloyalty. We must remember always, that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another, we will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason. If we dig deep into our history and our doctrine, we will remember we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular. This is no time for men who oppose Sen. McCarthy's methods to keep silent or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of the republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom where ever it still exists in the world. But we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the Junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And who's fault is that? Not really his, he didn't create this situation of fear he merely exploited it, and rather successfully. Cassius was right, the fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Good night, and good luck.

Colonel Anderson:: Wouldn't you guess that the people who have seen the contents of that envelope might have a better idea of what makes someone a danger to his country, or do you think it should just be you, sir, who decides?
Fred Friendly:: Who? Who? Who are these people, sir? Who are the people? Are they elected? Are they appointed? Is it you?

Don Hollenbeck:: I could use a scotch.
Edward R. Murrow:: I think everyone could use a scotch.

Funny thing, Freddie, every time you light a cigarette for me, I know you're lying.

Referring to a Julius Caesar quote said by Senator McCarthy Had Senator McCarthy looked just three lines earlier he would have found this: "The fault dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves...”

Shirley Wershba:: Name me one woman who asks her husband to take off his wedding ring before he goes to work.
Joe Wershba:: Ava Gardner.

William Paley:: There's a Knickerbocker game tonight, I've got front row seats. Are you interested?
Edward R. Murrow:: I'm a little busy bringing down the network tonight, Bill.

Edward R. Murrow:: He's gonna hope a senator trumps a newsman.
Fred Friendly:: He'll lose.
Edward R. Murrow:: Not if we're playing bridge.

Edward R. Murrow:: We'll split the advertising, Fred and I. He just won't have any presents for his kids at Christmas.
Sig Mickelson:: He's a Jew.
Edward R. Murrow:: Well don't tell him that. He loves Christmas.

Fred Friendly:: Shirley, honey, would you go across the street and get the early editions?
Shirley Wershba:: All of them?
Edward R. Murrow:: Just get O'Brian.

Edward R. Murrow:: You always were yellow.
Fred Friendly:: Better than red.

Fred Friendly:: Did you write your closing piece?
Edward R. Murrow:: It's Shakespeare.
Fred Friendly:: Uh-huh. Write your closing piece.

Edward R. Murrow:: Did you know that Shirley and Joe are married?
Fred Friendly:: Yeah.
Edward R. Murrow:: Did everybody know?