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The Lessons of Murrow and 'Good Night'

Critic John Powers comments on how the coming age of TV news "infotainment" is foretold in the film Good Night, and Good Luck, set in the 1950s. The film tells the story of newsman Edward Murrow's fight against Communist-hunting Sen. Joe McCarthy.

But we also see how Murrow's hard-hitting news coverage is not as popular as his interviews with celebrities.

Powers makes the point that the film's "real theme is the inherent debasement of mass news in a commercial culture."

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John Powers is the pop culture and critic-at-large on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He previously served for six years as the film critic.