New Movie Recalls “Pentagon Papers” Controversy

The Story:

On January 12, 2018, a new movie (The Post) starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks goes into wide release: It tells of the decision of the Washington Post’s owner and editor to publish excerpts of the “Pentagon Papers,” leaked documents about the Vietnam War.


Critical responses to the movie often draw parallels between the Nixon administration of its story and the Trump administration of today. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune says 2018, like 1971, features “a craven paranoid President” who loathes an “aggressive free press.”

David Ehrlich of IndieWire writes that The Post “captures the ecstasy of trying to break the chain and bend things toward justice.”

The Thing to Know:

The man responsible for leaking the Vietnam era documents to the press, Daniel Ellsberg, has in recent years expressed support for Wikileaks, Snowden, and Manning. The issue of whether and how workings of government will become transparent to the people governed remains much with us.


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