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How does the American Constitution protect Citizens' right to a fair trial?



Edward Murrow (1908-1965) was an American broadcast journalist and war correspondent. He produced a series of reports on his television program See It Now.

Sig Mickelson (1913-2000) is considered as a pioneer in TV broadcasting. He was one of the first directors of CBS News.

Fred Friendly (1915-1998) was a president of CBS News and the creator, with Ed Murrow, of the documentary television program See It Now.

Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) was an American politician and attorney who served as a Republican Senator from the state of Wisconsin (1947-1957). He is particularly known for his will to unmask Communist spies among civil servants and members of the US government.

Shirley and Joe Wershba worked as journalists and reporters for CBS News in the 1950s.

William Paley (1901-1990) was an American businessman who built the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and made it one of the most influential TV company in the USA.

a few interesting quotes

No one familiar with the history of this country, can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating. But the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the Junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always, that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to associate, to speak, and to defend the causes that were for the moment unpopular. This is no time for men who oppose Sen. McCarthy’s methods to keep silent or for those who approve.

[the team have just been asked to admit to any Communist connections, no matter how vague or distant, before they do the main broadcast against McCarthy - because he will us it as ammunition against them]

Edward R. Murrow: Oh, if none of us had ever read a dangerous book or had a friend who was different, never joined an organization that advocated change, we'd all be just the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants. We're gonna go with the story, cos the terror is right here in this room.

Fred Friendly: There's no news, boys, so go out there and make some news. Rob a bank, mug an old lady, whatever - just do something.

Colonel Anderson: Wouldn't you guess that the people who have seen the contents of that envelope might have a better idea of what makes someone a danger to his country, or do you think it should just be you, sir, who decides?

Fred Friendly: Who? Who? Who are these people, sir? Who are the people? Are they elected? Are they appointed? Is it you?

Our next show is going to be about Senator McCarthy, and we're gonna go right at him. I don't need to tell you how careful we have to be .If we're gonna do this I need you to be straight with us, we need to know if any of you had any connection at all, if you subscribed to a newsletter of the party or anything, anything that could compromise this, anything at all, because now would be the time to tell us.

And, to finish, a few extracts