The Post informs and excites

Ben Walker, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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The Post, hit theaters Friday, January 12, and tells the thought-provoking, entertaining story of the leaking of the Pentagon Papers and how the Washington Post scrambled to cover the leaking.

The film has a star-studded cast with Tom Hanks playing Post Chief-Editor Ben Bradlee, Merryl Streep playing Kay Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, along with several other well-known Hollywood names throughout the film.

For those who may not know, the Pentagon Papers contained secrets about American involvement in Vietnam that had been kept from the American public. These secrets spanned the presidencies of, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson. The papers were leaked during the presidency of Richard M. Nixon.

Although the first half of the film was decently slower than the second half, it kept viewers excited to see what would happen next. The first large obstacle the publication has to get around is beating their rival, the New York Times, to the story.

However, after losing to the Times, it brings up an even bigger problem: Legality. President Nixon intended to bring down legal consequences to the Times, leaving The Washington Post with big decisions as to what they should publish.

The second half of the film dives into both the scramble to cover the Pentagon Papers and the ethics of publishing the story itself. Viewers are sent on a bit of a rollercoaster ride and if you don’t know a lot about the events surrounding the Pentagon Papers, it can be hard to predict what is going to happen.

Nonetheless, the plot is very entertaining and interesting from both a historical and journalistic standpoint.

In my opinion, one of the more interesting angles of the story is the personal biases in politics that some of the workers at the Washington Post have. It adds an interesting twist and also makes viewers think about the issue from a different perspective.

The Post is a great film and I would recommend it to anyone interested in history, journalism, or just watching a great cast play great roles.