EMMA HALPERN, REVIEW — The Post, produced by Steven Spielberg, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, focuses on the popular newspaper the Washington Post’s scandalous decision to publish the Pentagon Papers in the early 1970’s. The Pentagon Papers were a study produced by the Department of Defense disclosing top secret information surrounding the United State’s military and political relations with Vietnam. Katharine Graham, the publisher at The Post, made the difficult decision to publish the papers. This act of publishing not only revealed the hard truth to the public but also created a domino effect, empowering other newspapers to stand up and publish the truth.
“If we don’t hold them accountable, who will?”
This quote from the movie was not only the line that encapsulates the essence of the film but also highlights the duty of the press. Some may see newspapers as the source of their morning comics, but little do they realize the genuine duty of these newspapers is to deliver the truth on your doorstep. Newspapers are nothing more than another set of checks and balances; they are our freedom of speech that keeps people in power in check.
Not only did this movie touch on the importance of keeping power in check but also on the courage it takes to do so. Katharine Graham took over her father’s company from her late husband. As the film progresses, we see her battling against not only herself and the decision she must make but also against the men who belittle her. The men in the company did not believe that Graham could run a paper because she was one, a woman and two had no formal training in publication.
But oh boy, were they wrong! Graham’s evolution throughout the movie is immense. In the end, she stands powerful and confident in her decision to keep the public informed. The decision was made from a place within her far more courageous and strong than from the start. Graham’s growth shown through her actions serves as an influential role which empowers other publishers to stick to their values and remain allies to the public.
While watching The Post, despite the obvious 70’s wardrobe, your mind will linger and wonder if the film actually takes place today. Is it time for newspapers to take another stand? If not the post, who will deliver us the truth and shed a light over the dark cloud that hangs above the White House?