Were the Greeks in black and white, too?

28 September 2006

Last night, thanks to the Communications Honor Society at UHH, I finally got to see Good Night and Good Luck and it was creepy how good a job they did in making the dialogue fit two paranoid eras. The Eisenhower clip about habeas corpus was especially timely on this very day.

As a closer, we introduced several friends to Keith Olbermann’s special comment on 9/11. I strongly encourage you to watch these powerful 9 minutes.

The discussion in the car on the way home revolved around whether the movie’s missing elements were complexity of story (me) or just the usual Hollywood melodrama (Elle). Ultimately, I bowed to the superior intellect, though perhaps some more historical context would have been good for those like myself who have a less-than-complete knowledge of McCarthyism.

And just in case the remarks about media “used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us,” are tempting to apply narrowly, see how rhetoric is used to single out the US by Newsweek covers for their different distribution regions on Think Progress.

At any rate, to prove that doublespeak and abuse of language for political purposes are older even than George Orwell, this post about Thucydides via Crooked Timber illustrates the historical foundations of such rhetoric as we see right now from lots of government hacks.


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