Advisors and employees yell over each other, trying to force their choice onto the publisher. President Nixon has already ordered The New York Times to stop printing the confidential documents, now it is up to Katharine Graham, publisher of The Washington Post, to decide whether to publish the documents anyway.
Steven Spielberg’s most recent film “The Post” follows the story of Graham and her employees in 1971 as the Pentagon Papers, secret government documents detailing how previous presidents had lied to American citizens about the Vietnam War, were leaked.
It all begins when The New York Times receives thousands of documents in a leak from a former government analyst and they start publishing their findings one piece at a time. President Richard Nixon, upset by the publication of government secrets, orders The Times to immediately cease publishing sensitive information lest they be prosecuted.
While The Times fights its legal battle against the government, employees at The Washington Post immediately put all their effort towards getting their hands on the documents and publishing them.
As legal battles and discussions unfold, and the main characters get their hands on the Pentagon Papers, it comes time for Graham to make a decision. She decides to print the information, and is joined by many local newspapers nationwide.
After a Supreme Court victory for the newspapers, Graham knows she has the strength to not just survive, but thrive, in the paper business.
Meryl Streep plays Graham spectacularly, utterly convincing the audience that she was a woman in a field dominated by men, with all the intimidation and struggle that goes along. Tom Hanks does an excellent job as Ben Bradlee, executive editor of The Washington Post during a crisis of morals and law.
Streep was nominated for an Academy Award for her role and the film was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
“The Post” reminds Americans that it was not long ago that the government was willing to abuse their power to curb freedom of speech. It prompts the audience to think about the lies politicians brazenly tell the public and tells everyone to question the motives of those in power.