An ambitious and talented small town reporter struggles to balance morality with career ambition while covering the so-called "Scopes Monkey Trial" that took the theory of evolution into the courtroom in 1925. His father the founder of a respected Tennessee newspaper, journalist Charles Anderson (Nathan West) is constantly on the hunt for the story that will make him famous. When high school science teacher John Scopes is accused of violating the state's Butler Act, which strictly prohibited the teaching of Evolution Theory in public classrooms, staunch anti-Darwinist William Jennings Bryan (Fred Dalton Thompson) and famed Defense Attorney Clarence Darrow (Brian Dennehy) each begin preparations for a complicated - and controversial - trial. But as the case gets under way and the media frenzy begins, Baltimore Sun editor H. L. Mencken (Colm Meaney) convinces Charles that it's sensationalism - not facts - that sells newspapers. With his fiancée Rose (Ashley Johnson) increasingly opposed to his reporting of the "facts," Charles reaches a crucial impasse at which he must weigh his beliefs and personal relationships against his growing appetite for fame and recognition.