“Good Night and Good Luck”
The Edward R. Murrow Television
CBS/Fox Video, four-video boxed set, $69.98 . CODE: BAT-8
On the November 1951 premiere broadcast of “See it Now,” the show’s “editor,” Edward R. Murrow, sat smoking before two newsroom monitors showing the Brooklyn and Golden Gate bridges; viewers could see both coasts at once for the first time on television. In coming years Murrow took the half-hour program to the Korean front, two Southern towns following the Brown decision, anywhere a small story might illuminate a larger one. This four-part set highlights Murrow’s career as a peerless television journalist. In addition to the well-known “See it Now” broadcasts that weakened Joe McCarthy, the set offers “Person to Person” interviews with Americans’ favorite celebrities at home and a still shocking 1960 “CBS Reports” documentary on the life of migrant workers. The “Person to Person” shows reveal Murrow surprisingly at ease with personalities like Sophia Loren and Louis Armstrong. He was Mike Wallace, Ted Koppel, and Larry King all in one.
The tapes, introduced by Connie Chung, Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, and Mike Wallace, include much of “See It Now.” In the crucial McCarthy episodes it’s still impressive to see the frenzied reply McCarthy offers, calling Murrow a Communist and “the cleverest of the jackal pack.”