Director Steven Spielberg brings to question the nature and integrity of Journalism of the 1970’s in his movie “The Post” starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. This Golden Globe Nominated Drama explores the fine line between espionage and freedom of the Press when dealing with a massive government cover up spanning several presidents, in pre- Watergate America.
Ben Bradlee, played by Tom Hanks, describes the very real struggle in one line “If we live in a world where the United States government tells you what we can and cannot print, the Washington Post has already ceased to exist.”
Having found Pentagon papers revealing a government cover up of vital information about the War in Vietnam, Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep) and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) must decide whether to serve the people they write for and disclose important information risking the company and even jail time.
Dealing with the White house which is described as “Nothing if not vindictive” female publisher and Owner, Katherine Graham must decide to whether to continue the New York Times mission to disclose the information despite the Government’s injunction of the New York Times. The decision would not only boost the struggling news paper up to the big leagues with journals such as it’s counterpart the Times but set president for the presses first amendment right.
With a Massive coverup which costed hundreds of lives spanned over four presidents and twenty-three years the owner Katherine Graham must decide whether to further expose the corruption in the government. The New York Times and Washington would then go to court to battle for their parts in the release of highly secret information and hopes of revealing their mutual source of the Pentagon papers.
Although often trading historical accuracy dramatics and Speilberg, Hannah and Singer capture the fight for journalistic integrity, democracy, and the rights of the free press.
Through Solidarity of the not only the New York Times and Washington Post as well as countless other publications asks the question “who does the Press serve?” with an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and six Golden Globe nominations including best screenplay, best drama, and best direction the movie has been critically acclaimed by audiences.
In addition, both Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are Nominated for their pivotal performances in the film. The movie concludes with a quote which sums up the movie “the founding fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfil its essential role… to serve the governed, not the governors”.
The Post shows audiences that in the showdown between the government and the first amendment the press is on the side of the people for which it writes for.