I have the Washington Post app downloaded on my phone, and I proudly pay 10 dollars for it every month—mostly because I need it to pass a class. Watching the movie, The Post, has completely changed my perspective.
I appreciate the diversity of what is given, but I never really thought about the genre itself. To me, The Post was the same as the New York Times or any other paper, why wouldn’t it be? It’s just news. After watching The Post, I no longer have this opinion.
We’re in an age where people are calling for censorship and threaten to shut down media due to “fake news,” so it’s important to understand where these media outlets come from and what they stand for. The Post takes us back to the days of Nixon through one of the biggest court decisions in American history.
The insight into the distribution of the Pentagon papers given by The Post was a functional inclusion into the depths of journalistic work. Shortly after this information was released to the press, Nixon went to court over the matter and called the papers to not print government secrets, while also questioning their constitutional rights to do so.
It’s the conflict of journalism then and now. Is releasing information regarding the government something that the fourth estate should not take part in? The build up inside of The Post reflects real freedom of speech questions and forces the audience to decide for themselves what is correct.
What’s more is that the Washington Post inheritor, Katherine Grahm (Meryl Streep), alongside the Post’s then-editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), are placed in a revolutionary position in the newspaper world, which at the time was bustling. Streep is shown in meetings full of pompous men who to doubt her ability to make decisions. See the conflict? Bradlee faces a huge decision about disclosing government secrets that the public deserves to know, and Grahm faces coming to grips with calling shots over people who trust her to people who do not.
In this way, The Post also dives into feminism without being overly forward to the viewer. It depicts how a strong woman saved her newspaper despite the continued patronization of men who tried to belittle her out of her own company.
If you don’t have any concrete plans this weekend, go see this movie. It will change your view on first amendment protection vs. security and women empowerment in the best way.