PHOENIX -- American Indians were in movie theaters viewing "Good Night, and
Good Luck," the story of journalism, fear, control and censorship in the
era of McCarthyism, when The New York Times broke the story that the
National Security Agency, with the approval of President Bush, has been
spying on Americans without warrants.
Peace activists, environmentalists and Quakers were among those targeted in
the NSA's spying, according to the Times, which held release of its series
for one year, under pressure from the White House, and reconfirmed facts.
C. Maurus Chino, Acoma Pueblo, responded to the return to McCarthyistic
tactics with the modern-day addition of electronic and satellite
"It really is a sad time we live in these days, when so many people in the
U.S. feel that 'patriotism' is blindingly following a leader and a
government that continues to spread terror and intimidation throughout the
rest of the world in guise of 'democracy' and in the name of Christianity.
"Who will stand up to Bush? It will be the people. When the people begin to
see through the lies and see that it is not about 'democracy,' but about
empire, then we may begin to experience democracy in our own country.
"How can we propose to shove democracy down the throats of others when we
don't even know what it is?" Chino told Indian Country Today.
McCarthyism was already on the lips of Americans in December when the fact
that the NSA spied on Americans without warrants was made public and George
Clooney's "Good Night, and Good Luck" was appearing in theaters.
The movie takes place during the early days of broadcast journalism in
1950s America. It chronicles the real-life conflict between television
newsman Edward R. Murrow and Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American
Activities Committee. McCarthy accused Murrow of being a communist. In this
climate of fear and reprisal, the CBS crew carried on with tenacity that
"We have become a nation of frightened people; we didn't start out that
way," said a woman, noticeably disgusted as she left an Arizona theater,
pointing out the fear and control that resulted from the many false
accusations made during the McCarthy era.