good night and good luck

Here’s something for the “It’s a Small Fucking World” file… My friend Dave was listening to George Clooney being interviewed somewhere about his film “Good Night and Good Luck,” and during the course of the interview Clooney mentioned that the project was inspired in part by an article that he’d read in the Detroit News. After a bit of poking around on-line, Dave found the article in question and confirmed what he’d suspected might have been the case — it was written by his sister, Julie, who also happens to be a reader of this site. Pretty cool, right? If I’m not mistaken, she only wrote a handful of stories for the Detroit News too, which makes it even more of a one-in-a-million kind of a thing. (Her job, I believe, had something to do with the administration of the archives, or something like that, but she’d submit stories from time to time… I remember reading a good one that she did about the salt mines beneath Detroit.)

So here my friend Dave’s little sister had this pretty shitty, low-paying job at the Detroit News (this was during the strike, so she had to cross the picket line every day) and she wrote this article, probably never imagining that anything would come of it, and it just happens to cross George Clooney’s desk at a time when he was apparently thinking about McCarthyism, the sad state of the American media right now and the role of the free press in a functioning democracy, and the rest is history. I love the idea that you can write something, and then that piece can take on a life of its own, evolving like a virus as it leaps from person to person… Who would have thought at the time that Julie’s article on one man’s stand against McCarthyism could have, in its way, influenced the national debate like it has? It just took reaching the right people at the right time.

And, here’s another little twist – Clooney in the film plays Edward R. Murrow’s producer, Fred Friendly, a man that I had the pleasure of speaking with once in 1986. (OK, so that wasn’t nearly as impressive, but I thought that it was worth mentioning. What’s probalby also worth mentioning is that Mr. Friendly not only didn’t resemble George Clooney, but didn’t even appear to be of the same species.)

If you haven’t seen the film, you can watch the trailor here.

Maybe we could start some kind of online petition to get George Clooney to call Julie and thank her for getting the ball rolling. (And then she could write about it for Crimewave!) I think that would be pretty cool. (I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it here before, but George Clooney is one of the only popular actors in Hollywood these days that I’d even consider interviewing in Crimewave.)

(Oh, and here’s a little bit of trivia for you – Julie Morris once confided in me that the Detroit News strikers would call her “Yack Girl” every morning as she pushed her way past them. It apparently had something to do with an unfortunate hairdo that she had at the time… And, for those of you who are wondering, the image above is the only known photo (at least on my cell phone) of Julie Morris. And, no, she’s not the adorable little girl with the balloon (that’s her daughter Kate). She’s the headless, half-person entering the frame from the right.)

update: Our Anonymatt 5000 Truth Detector didn’t pick it up, but this post is apparently a lie. For the whole story, see the comments section.

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42 Comments

  1. DM
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    awww shit. My mind works kind of funny. I collect up a bunch of pieces and then fit them together, kind of like 5 boxes of partial jigsaw puzzles, to make a monster. Flick and Ken gave the process the name “Dave Leap of Logic”, or DLL for short. I would make a bad journalist.

    Unfortunately, Clooney was inspired to do the movie by his father who was a reporter. Clooney or his staff did call the Detroit News library where my sister worked and talked to the gals there about research material and they did direct them to Julie’s article ( which she did write. )

    Sorry Mark. Julie will be here soon to bitch slap me.

    All that aside, I think that Clooney is a pretty sharp guy and he should call Julie anyways.

  2. j7uy5
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Whatever the exact sequence of events, I think Julie should be entitled to royalties from the film. A check in the mail would be better than a phone call from Clooney.

  3. Julie Morris-Condit
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Hi, yes, I think the check in the mail would be better than a phone call too. I like to think that Clooney was inspired to do a film about McCarthyism by a scab worker. There’s some irony in there somewhere, but I’m just too tired right now.
    BTW, the News job was totally awesome, and they paid me very well for being straight out of high school at the time. And, I secretly liked being Yak-girl and getting my daily dose of vulgarity and threats yelled at me… it was better than Starbucks!

  4. Anonymous
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    Don’t worry Mark, I have a save for you.

    I was in a programming class a few months ago and the instructor used the name “Fred Friendly” in a sample problem. The woman next to me laughed and I looked over at her. She said, “That’s my dad’s name!”

    Turns out she was one Lisa Friendly, Macromedia Vice President of Instructional Media who is the daughter of the Fred Friendly.

    So, yeah, I can tell Clooney to call Julie if you want.

  5. lori
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    For another .02, Clooney’s dad Nick, still does some reporting newspaper and TV in Cincinnati, but when I was growing up, he anchored the 11 p.m. news there. He was very progressive and liberal and consequently, my parents didn’t like him so much. He also ran for Congress in 04, but was defeated by Republican Geoff Davis. A republican party direct mail piece at the time called him, “a looney liberal…One of the most radical liberals to attempt a run for office.” I love that.

  6. schutzman
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I love the photo of Julie crossing the picket line, though. Those workers look like a pretty dangerous bunch, which must be why she always carried the whiffle ball bat with her.

  7. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    The Pinkertons killed my great-grandfather with whiffle ball bats and paper-mache brass knuckles.

  8. Anonymatt
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Let me get this straight. DM mentioned something about his sister to Mark, and Mark took that and extrapolated an entire post of out it without bothering to check with DM first or do any sort of fact-checking on the story. If anyone is surprised by this, you shouldn’t be.

    Also, I posted yesterday that I had previously said that I wouldn’t point out any of your lies unless they concerned myself. Of course, Mark only hears what he wants to hear.

    Quit referring to me as this site’s Truth Detector. I’m not. If you want this site to be truthful, post the fucking truth, it’s that simple.

    Fuck you and eat shit.

  9. Bob
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    ‘whatever the exact sequence of events, I think Julie should be entitled to royalties from the film. A check in the mail would be better than a phone call from Clooney.’

    Maybe she should forward any royalties to the striking workers fund. Perhaps she wouldn’t have had a “shitty, low-paying job at the Detroit News” but a decent paying gig there if she hadn’t crossed the picket line every day and helped bust the union. I’m a little surprised to see this bit information posted in such a casual, offhanded manner.

    Bob

  10. DM
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Matt-

    I took responsibility for this one in the first comment. I did the extrapolating from a few poorly reconstructed memories that I should have fact checked before sending Mark the email. If Mark screwed up, it was trusting me to have my facts straight.

    My apologies to all your readers, Mark.

  11. DM
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Alright. I usually keep my more controversial opinions to myself, but this involves my sister.

    First off- Julie was working at the News before the strike happened. She was about to join the union right before the strike happened. She did not have the option to strike and she was not going to quit her job to show support. As she said above, it was a good paying job. She was young at the time and on her first day back to work she crossed the line to keep her job. There were people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s that were working and conversing friendly with her just days before that were calling her every name in the book at the top of their lungs and with as much malice as possible.

    Second off- I have very mixed feelings about the unions aside from their poor behavior in picket lines and other questionable stirke practices. When the issues are living wages and a safe workplace, I am all for them. But when the unions become a safe haven for lazy asses I just can’t feel sorry for them. When I worked at WDIV in Detroit – right across from the News – I had to pay $200 for the privilege to work there and spent may hours building sets in the shop while the guys that were supposed to be building the sets sat around and played chess all day. I was working 3 jobs at that time and going to school full time.

    The News at the time of the strike was still typsetting everything by hand. The early 90’s and they were still typesetting by hand. Why? Because the unions made sure that nothing changed. They fought tooth and nail to prevent any updating of skills and technology. I spent a few evenings with a guy they use to call Dad drinking beers at Aubries and listening to him run his mouth off about this topic. He was a typesetter at the News.

    I have little sympathy for unions these days. We are part of a global market now. We buy products from sweatshops and don’t think twice about taking steps to help them unionize and improve their wages and workplace safety. The autoworkers here are still receiving the cake wages and benefits that were negotiated out over the last 50 years and, as a result, those jobs are slowly vanishing along with GM and Ford.

    Unions are useful as a tool for social justice, but some of the unions are not much better than the mafia in my opinion.

    Dave Morris

  12. Anonymatt
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    DM-

    Did you e-mail Mark to get him to do a post on the subject, or did Mark decide to do a post about it on his own? Because I’ve had Mark do the latter with some of my personal e-mails without consulting me, that’s the main reason why I’m so angry about the subject.

    I’ve read both of George Clooney’s Aunt’s autobiographies (“This for Remembrance” and “Girl Singer”), if anyone cares.

  13. chris
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I care. Why did you read TWO autobiographies of Rosemary Clooney? The answer, I am quite sure, will be far more interesting than any of Mark’s lies.

  14. mark
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I was going to say that my mother had made this post without my knowing, but, given the fact that I

  15. Anonymatt
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Rosemary Clooney was one of the most highly enlightened beings to ever walk this planet (not counting the years when she was strung out on drugs).

    This For Remembrance came out in the 70s and I picked up a used copy in the late 90s. Then Girl Singer came out later and I eventually bought and read it.

  16. Sam
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Mark, My son Max who happened to be the youngest zombie at ZombieClaus is in the Oratorical Society at Estabrook and Good Night and Good Luck inspired him to choose Ed Murrow as his orator this year. He is doing a speech that is excerpted from RTNDA speech that Murrow is how delivering at the beginning and end of the movie. He and the other students in the group will be delivering there speeches in a special assembly in February.

  17. mark
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Sam, you’ve got to post video. That would be incredible….

    And Max, from what little I got to talk with him the night of Zoombie Claus, and now this, seems like a really cool kid. You’ve done a good job.

  18. danandkitty
    Posted January 24, 2006 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Ah… don’t sweat it Mark. People really need to put your blog in some perspective. You’re not the fucking New York Times… Oh, yeah, they’re horse shit at fact checking. I forgot.

    I liked the post and found the strange back and forth in the comments somewhat bewildering.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted January 25, 2006 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Can we call this thread finished?

    Thank you.

    Good night Fuck you and good luck. eat shit.

  20. mark
    Posted January 25, 2006 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I love you, Taint.

  21. Sam
    Posted January 25, 2006 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Thanks Mark. He is a great kid. I’ll post the video after the event. I do have video up of the speech he did 2 years ago. He did an excerpt from Bill Clinton’s 2nd inauguration speech. All the kids in the oratorical society do an amazing job. There are about 20 kids from 2-5th grades. They all pick piece to do, learn about the original speaker or writer and learn the speech.

  22. Julie Morris-Condit
    Posted January 25, 2006 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I think it was very sweet of Mark to be so excited about the idea. Mark just really misses me since I’ve moved, and was just so inspired by Dave’s DLL he had to do a post dedicated to me. I miss you too Marky Mark.
    The eternally inspirational yakity yak girl.

  23. Theodore Glass
    Posted January 25, 2006 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Well, if this thread isn’t really dead, I’d like to take the opportunity to tell Mr. Maynard to consume feces and make love to himself.

  24. Stella Magdalen
    Posted January 25, 2006 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I always like it when spelled faeces, It makes me feel really groovy, like it’s in the same family with faeries.

  25. chris
    Posted January 25, 2006 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    I think calling someone an “enlightened being” is some pretty strong language, at least stronger than “fuck you eat shit”. Why was she enlightened, especially if you leave out her drug addle years?

  26. Anonymatt
    Posted January 25, 2006 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    There’s no need to drag this out, it boils down to the fact that I like her singing. My personal idols do not match those of society at large.

    Personally, I find it strong language to constantly tell people that the kid they are raising is smarter than they are. It’s certainly true in some cases, and would be great for humanity if it was always true, but reality says it’s not. It’s one thing to refer to your own kid that way, but to tell someone else that sounds presumptuous to me. I guess it’s a parent thing, I wouldn’t understand.

    But if I told Mark today that he was raising a kid smarter than he is, Mark would recognize it as the insult I intended, not a compliment. That may change as Clementine grows older, but even I think Mark is smarter than an 18 month old.

  27. Ken
    Posted January 25, 2006 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I love it when the comment section is a full blown soap opera and you don’t have to wait for the conclusion. That’s entertainment!

    It has been a while since I have seen (or heard) a good Dave Leap of Logic! Dave copied me on that initial email and I didn’t even recognize it for what it was. My detector must be wearing down with age.

  28. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted January 26, 2006 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Eat shit, Ken.

  29. Theodore Glass
    Posted January 26, 2006 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Shit eating – it’s the new ball shaving!

    Thanks, Anonymatt!

  30. schutzman
    Posted January 26, 2006 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I had always hoped and prayed that “Bea Arthur pissing” would be the “new ball shaving”, but then suddenly this “shit-eating” business comes into the mix and gets all the attention.

    Thanks for nothing, anonymatt.

  31. mark
    Posted January 26, 2006 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    How about a logo for the site that has Bea Arthur, squatting and pissing, while saying “Eat shit, ball shavers”? Would that cover all the bases?

  32. schutzman
    Posted January 26, 2006 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    If she’s in a bathroom stall next to jim jarmusch, then yes.

    Run the idea past Kami Andrews for final approval, and we can send the design to the printers first thing in the morning.

  33. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted January 27, 2006 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I would like to pre-order two dozen large t-shirts and fleece vest.

  34. Ken
    Posted January 27, 2006 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I can see the sign out in front of the shop:

    Mark Maynard
    Fine Clothier – Coprophiliac

  35. It's Skinner Again
    Posted January 27, 2006 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps Mark can offer a new line of panties: “Fuck you” on the front, “Eat Shit” on the back, and “Taint” between them.

  36. chris
    Posted January 27, 2006 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Christ, that’s genius…such an in joke rivalling that of goatse on Boing Boing.

    Sign me up for a pair.

    ))((
    forever

  37. Anonymous
    Posted January 28, 2006 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    The Bea Arther Jim Jarmusch thing has been so done already.

    http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/1778/fues0qs.jpg

  38. mark
    Posted January 28, 2006 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant!

  39. Anonymous
    Posted January 29, 2006 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a family friendly version:

    http://img482.imageshack.us/img482/4123/gngl9qp.gif

  40. mark
    Posted January 29, 2006 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I want to put it up on the front page, but I’m not sure how to go about introducing it. Maybe I’ll announce a contest for a new MM.com logo contest or something.

  41. Meta
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of McCarthyism, it looks like Congressman Allen West is keeping its spirit alive and well.

    In front of a group of people yesterday, he claimed that he know of 80 Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/allen-west-democrats-communist-party_n_1417279.html

  42. Meta
    Posted February 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    McCarthy’s not dead.

    “Ted Cruz Claims He Has A List Of Communists Who Have Infiltrated Harvard Law”

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/02/22/1626661/ted-cruz-claims-he-has-a-list-of-communists-who-have-infiltrated-harvard-law-seriously/

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