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The Post

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A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.

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Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson
  • A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.
  • When American military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg, realizes to his disgust the depths of the US government’s deceptions about the futility of the Vietnam War, he takes action by copying top-secret documents that would become the Pentagon Papers. Later, Washington Post owner, Kay Graham, is still adjusting to taking over her late husband’s business when editor Ben Bradlee discovers the New York Times has scooped them with an explosive expose on those papers. Determined to compete, Post reporters find Ellsberg himself and a complete copy of those papers. However, the Post’s plans to publish their findings are put in jeopardy with a Federal restraining order that could get them all indicted for Contempt. Now, Kay Graham must decide whether to back down for the safety of her paper or publish and fight for the Freedom of the Press. In doing so, Graham and her staff join a fight that would have America’s democratic ideals in the balance.
  • Leaked to the New York Times by the American military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers–the top-secret study about the United States involvement in the Vietnam War and the decades of cover-ups–stir up a nationwide controversy in 1971. As the Nixon administration and the former Secretary of Defence, Robert McNamara, try to silence the shocking revelations, the Times’ rival, the Washington Post, and its owner, Kay Graham, wrestle with the amplitude of a devastating decision. Should Graham publish and let the truth shine on the nearly 60,000 lost-in-action Americans? Should she put in jeopardy not only her status but also her paper?
  • In 1971, The New York Times has access to classified documents about the Vietnam War. However, the government uses the justice department to stop the distribution of newspapers claiming violation of the national security laws. Immediately after, the Washington Post has access to similar documents but they decide to face the government and publish the newspapers against the will of their lawyers and investors.
  • In 1966, during the Vietnam War, State Department military analyst Daniel Ellsberg accompanies American troops in combat, documenting the U.S. military progress in the region for Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. On the flight home, McNamara privately tells Ellsberg and William Macomber that the Vietnam war is hopeless. Upon landing, he tells the press he has every confidence in the war effort. Ellsberg, overhearing this, becomes disillusioned. Years later, as a civilian military contractor working for the RAND Corporation, Ellsberg surreptitiously photocopies hundreds of classified reports documenting the country’s decades-long involvement in the conflict in Vietnam, dating back to the Truman administration. Ellsberg then leaks these documents to The New York Times..

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