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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: November ::
JC and Good Night, and Good Luck
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1922  Tuesday, 22 November 2005

From: 		Richard Burt <
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 >
Date: 		Monday, 21 Nov 2005 12:00:07 -0500
Subject: 	JC and Good Night, and Good Luck

In the liberal-minded Good Night, and Good Luck (dir. George Clooney, 
2005), reporter Edward R. Murrow (Davd Strathairn) tells Fred Friendly 
(George Clooney) that Murrow's closing on his show attacking McCarthy 
"is Shakespeare." On the show Murrow cites McCarthy's own citation of 
Cassius's line from Julius Caesar, "Upon what meat doth this our Caesar 
feed, / That he is grown so great?" And then he recontextualizes the 
line, saying that McCarthy should have read a few lines back in 
Shakespeare's Julius Caesar to Cassius's line, "The fault dear Brutus 
lies not in our stars, but in ourselves." Murrow repeats the line at the 
end of his broadcast. As in Quiz Show (dir. Robert Redford, 1994), 
Shakespeare is the token of high-minded civic debate conducted by whites 
and opposed to the degrading, merely entertaining and profitable 
television shows, also implicitly addressed to white viewers. And as in 
Quiz Show, the high-minded quoter of Shakespeare turns out to be a 
loser. After taking down McCarthy, Murrow is told his show will be 
cancelled.

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