Thursday, November 21, 2013

Good Night, and Good Ethics

Cody Linn

Good Night, and Good Luck is a movie about choices made by Edward Murrow late in his career with CBS. Edward Murrow was essentially in a sparring match with Senator Joseph McCarthy in which Murrow and his CBS team deliver a  blow to McCarthy’s momentum in his ‘fight’ on Communism. After this deliver by Murrow, McCarthy demanded to have a rebuttal on the show.

Three weeks later Senator McCarthy delivered his rebuttal. During McCarthy’s rebuttal, he repeatedly downed Murrow’s character. McCarthy claimed that Murrow was a part of several Communist organizations. Senator McCarthy never disputed any of the facts that Murrow presented in the newscast he delivered three weeks prior to McCarthy’s address.

Ultimately this this left Murrow in a sticky situation.

What should he do?

Should he defend himself against the false claims and risk his job for calling out a senator’s false claims and point out is falsehoods against Communism or just let it go? Ultimately, he chose the first option and I feel this was the right option.

Calling out injustices

No matter how powerful a person is, if they make false claims against you in the national spotlight, you must stand up for yourself. You must let the truth be known that the claims made are in no way, shape or form true. If you do not, you may seem like a walking mat and people will just walk all over you.

To back up your claims you should follow Murrow's example and give a theory as to why the person is making the claims. He said that anyone that did not agree with McCarthy’s ideals would result in McCarthy claiming that they were Communists. You must help give reasons as to why you are essentially being called out.

I have first-hand experience with this as I have been bullied by many people in my life. I have just realized in the last few years that no one left me alone until I started to stand up for myself and it has worked.

This article is about standing up for yourself and why to do it.

Courtesy of AmericanThings

Where Murrow went wrong

The part where I feel Murrow went wrong with his ethics was when he knew he was on thin ice, and he decided to try to get even with CBS and take out his revenge instead of sticking with his contract. He talked with his producer about getting back at CBS and I feel this is ethically wrong.

If another employer sees this, they will not be pleased. If you do this to someone they work for and they make you angry, who would want to hire you? If you could be a possible detriment to their company; why would they take the risk on you doing the same thing all over again? They will probably not hire you and you will have severe difficulty finding another job.

This article is about what not to say to your boss and it could get you fired.


There is a time and place to defend yourself, but there is a point of going too far. You must know when to pick your shots and take advantage of that. But on the flipside, if you know you are on thin ice do not embarrass the company by taking out your revenge on them. That is just being plain, old unethical.

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