Quotations by Murrow, Edward R.


If we were to do the Second Coming of Christ in color for a full hour, there would be a considerable number of stations that would decline to carry it on the grounds that a Western or a quiz show would be more profitable.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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To be persuasive, we must be believable. To be believable, we must be credible. To be credible, we must be truthful.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
(Attributed)

Sourced in different places to either (a) comments made on John Kennedy's inaugural address, or (b) his address at the London Guildhall, Oct 1959.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Jun-09
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When politicians complain that TV turns the proceedings into a circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there, and that TV has merely demonstrated that not all the performers are well trained.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
See It Now (7 Mar 1954)

On Senator Joseph R McCarthy’s Communist witch hunt.
Added on 2-Apr-08 | Last updated 14-Sep-16
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If none of us ever read a book that was “dangerous,” had a friend who was “different” or joined an organization that advocated “change,” we would all be just the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants. Whose fault is that? Not really [McCarthy’s]. He didn’t create this situation of fear. He merely exploited it, and rather successfully.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
See It Now (7 Mar 1954)

On McCarthy’s accusations about Communists in the government.
Added on 4-Apr-08 | Last updated 4-Apr-08
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We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
See It Now, televised report on Sen. Joseph McCarthy (7 Mar 1954)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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The politician in my country seeks votes, affection and respect, in that order…. With few notable exceptions, they are simply men who want to be loved.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
Address at London Guildhall (19 Oct 1959)
Added on 15-Dec-08 | Last updated 15-Dec-08
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The politician in my country seeks votes, affection and respect, in that order …. With few notable exceptions, they are simply men who want to be loved.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
Address, London Guildhall (19 Oct 1959)
Added on 30-Nov-07 | Last updated 15-Apr-17
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If television and radio are to be used to entertain all of the people all of the time, then we have come perilously close to discovering the real opiate of the people.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
Interview, Television Magazine (Jul 1957)
    (Source)

Also cited in various places as being a speech given at Brandeis University (1958), and (incorrectly) upon receiving the Einstein Award (5 May 1957). Sometimes quoted as "used for the entertainment of the people" and "used for the entertainment of all of the people."
Added on 11-Aug-17 | Last updated 13-Aug-17
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I have an old-fashioned belief that Americans like to make up their own minds on the basis of all available information. The conclusions you draw are your own affair. I have no desire to influence them, and shall leave such efforts to those who have more confidence in their own judgment than I have in mine.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
Radio broadcast to United States, London (1 Sep 1939)
Added on 12-Apr-11 | Last updated 12-Apr-11
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It is not necessary to remind you that the fact that your voice is amplified to the degree where it reaches from one end of the country to the other does not confer upon you greater wisdom or understanding than you possessed when your voice reached only from one end of the bar to the other.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
Speech, Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), Chicago (15 Oct 1958)

Full speech. Often quoted: "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar."
Added on 18-Sep-07 | Last updated 18-Sep-07
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If radio news is to be regarded as a commodity, only acceptable when saleable, then I don’t care what you call it — I say it isn’t news.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
Speech, Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), Chicago (15 Oct 1958)

Full speech.
Added on 20-Sep-07 | Last updated 20-Sep-07
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This instrument can teach. It can illuminate. Yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it is merely wires and lights in a box.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
Speech, Radio and Television News Directors Association, Chicago (15 Oct 1958)
Added on 15-Apr-17 | Last updated 15-Apr-17
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The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
Speech, The Family of Man Award, The Protestant Council of New York (Oct 1969)

His last public speech.
Added on 3-Mar-09 | Last updated 15-Apr-17
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