August 12, 2014 11:19 AM EDT

On the one hand, the title captured the potential of the then-new medium for journalism: we will record it, and you will see it, now. (The first shot was a then mind-blowing split-screen live image of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: two coasts, in your living room, at once!) On the other hand, See It Now did not just use television as a transmission tool; it took full advantage of TV’s editing and production capabilities to assemble a new kind of news narrative. Its most famous confrontation was between Edward R. Murrow and Red-baiting Sen. Joseph McCarthy, whose old-fashioned demagoguery proved no match for TV’s power to rebut his claims and, worse, allow him to make a fool of himself on camera, letting America see him, and clearly.

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