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  See It Now

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Picture Credit: WIkipedia


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> Description 
See It Now focused on a number of controversial issues in the 1950s, but it is best remembered as the show that criticized the Red Scare and contributed to the political downfall of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Murrow produced a number of episodes of the show that dealt with the Communist witch hunt hysteria (one of the more notable episodes resulted in a U.S. military officer being acquitted, after being charged with supporting Communism), before embarking on a broadcast on March 9, 1954 that has often been referred to as television's finest hour.

Murrow, Friendly, and their news team produced a 30-minute special entitled "A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy." Murrow used excerpts from McCarthy's own speeches and proclamations to criticize the senator and point out episodes where he had contradicted himself. Murrow knew full well that he was using the medium of television to attack a single man and expose him to nationwide scrutiny, and he was often quoted as having doubts about the method he used for this news report. Nonetheless, this 30-minute TV episode sparked off a nationwide backlash against McCarthy and against the Red Scare in general, and it is seen as a turning point in the history of television. McCarthy provided his own televised response to Murrow two weeks later on See It Now (Murrow had publicly offered the senator a chance to defend himself against his charges), and his own televised appearances contributed nearly as much to his own downfall as Murrow. Murrow had learned how to use the medium of television, but McCarthy had not. However, Murrow's hard-hitting approach to the news cost him influence in the world of television. See It Now occasionally scored high ratings (usually when it was approaching a particularly controversial subject), but in general it did not score well on prime-time television. When the quiz show phenomenon began and took the world of TV by storm in the late 1950s, Murrow realized the days of See It Now were numbered. In response to repeated calls to provide more "entertaining" news (and thus score better ratings), Murrow launched a series of celebrity interviews entitled Person to Person with Edward R. Murrow. Just as Murrow had nearly single-handedly pioneered TV news journalism, with Person to Person he also set the standard for celebrity interviews, producing a format that is still followed by such adherents as Barbara Walters. See It Now was indeed cancelled with CBS founder Paley complaining the program "gave me a stomachache" but Murrow felt that the show had run its course. Now freed from the rigors of having to produce a 30-minute TV show every week, he produced a series of occasional TV special news reports that defined documentary news coverage. Beginning in 1958, he also hosted a talk show entitled Small World that brought together political figures for one-on-one debates. As a further example of Murrow's effect on TV journalism, this form of TV debate continues today with Sunday morning political talk shows such as This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
> Airing History & Information 
Last Airing Jul 07, 1958
Premiere November 18, 1951
Episodes Unknown
Network CBS
Format/Time Black & White / 30 Minutes
Country United States
Upcoming Airs Not currently airing
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