Source: Media Research Center
Kipp Jones reports: CBS has banned advertisements for the film Truth, which stars Robert Redford as Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett as disgraced CBS News producer Mary Mapes, during the events of a notorious discredited 2004 news story regarding former President George W. Bush’s military service record.
“I don’t think anyone expected them to send flowers…To get an official statement from them that is negative was not surprising to anyone involved in the film. I think the one thing that surprised everyone was the tone and the emotional nature.”
— Brad Fischer, one of the film’s producers
Both Mapes and Rather were fired by the network over the story, which used questionable documents supposedly written by late Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian to support a claim former President Bush deserted from the Texas Air National Guard in the early 1970s.
“It’s astounding how little truth there is in ‘Truth.’ There are, in fact, too many distortions, evasions and baseless conspiracy theories to enumerate them all.”
— CBS spokesman
Rather has maintained the facts of the story to be correct.
‘It’s Astounding How Little Truth There Is In TRUTH‘
Tim Graham: Variety reports CBS News is hopping mad about the forthcoming Dan Rather-lionizing movie Truth. They hoped it “would come and go quickly in limited release. But [Cate] Blanchett is generating Oscar buzz as a best actress contender for her tour de force performance as [Mary Mapes,] the hard-charging producer swept up in a firestorm of partisan politics and media scrutiny of her work.”
“There are, in fact, too many distortions, evasions and baseless conspiracy theories to enumerate them all. The film tries to turn gross errors of journalism and judgment into acts of heroism and martyrdom.”
“It’s astounding how little truth there is in Truth,” proclaimed CBS in a statement. “There are, in fact, too many distortions, evasions and baseless conspiracy theories to enumerate them all. The film tries to turn gross errors of journalism and judgment into acts of heroism and martyrdom. That’s a disservice not just to the public but to journalists across the world who go out every day and do everything within their power, sometimes at great risk to themselves, to get the story right.”
Kyle Smith writes: The classic definition of chutzpah — the guy who murders his parents and then begs for mercy because he’s an orphan — is getting a rewrite with the Oct. 16 release of “Truth,” a movie that insists forged documents are real.
“She gives an impassioned defense of her work in a speech meant to make the audience stand up and cheer — but instead comes across as obtuse to the point of being self-delusional.”
Robert Redford, who makes no effort whatsoever to look or sound like Dan Rather, plays the CBS newsman undone after he presented to the public obviously forged documents about then-President George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service in the early 1970s.
“Mapes found a squirrely retired National Guard colonel named Bill Burkett, who gave her photocopied memos that purported to show Bush had been AWOL for a significant portion of his National Guard tenure.”
It was September 2004, two months before Bush was to be re-elected in a tight race against Vietnam veteran John Kerry, and Rather’s “60 Minutes II” producer Mary Mapes (played by Cate Blanchett with her usual brittle intensity) is desperate for a scoop.
She and her team of researchers (Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and Elisabeth Moss) set out to find information damaging to the president, methodically contacting everyone they can think of in the chain of command during Bush’s National Guard days to find some dirt on him.
“The font and spacing on the memos perfectly matched the default settings on a 21st-century Microsoft Word program, Burkett kept changing his story about how he got the documents until he sounded completely insane.”
(In one unintentionally revealing moment in the film, co-written and directed by “The Amazing Spider-Man” scribe James Vanderbilt, Mapes is shown watching a TV commercial paid for by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an ad hoc group formed by Kerry’s former colleagues in the Navy.
She shows a complete lack of interest in digging into their stories. In fact, in the summer of 2004, the mainstream media almost completely ignored the Swift Boat veterans, as the ad campaign did serious damage to Kerry’s reputation.)
Mapes found a squirrely retired National Guard colonel named Bill Burkett, who gave her photocopied memos that purported to show Bush had been AWOL for a significant portion of his National Guard tenure. The font and spacing on the memos perfectly matched the default settings on a 21st-century Microsoft Word program, Burkett kept changing his story about how he got the documents until he sounded completely insane (and Blanchett is shown making the “cuckoo” sign as she listens to him), two of CBS’s own document experts raised doubts about them — and Burkett was a Bush hater who agreed to hand over the documents in the first place on the condition that Mapes put him in touch with the John Kerry campaign, which he wanted to assist. Mapes and Rather ran with the story anyway, defending it for days — even after other media organizations began casting doubt on them. Read the rest of this entry »
When The Hollywood Left Becomes a Parody of Itself: Robert Redford to Play Dan Rather in Adaptation of Mary Mapes’ Book ‘Truth’Posted: July 9, 2014
With only a few additions and corrections, in red.
The Hollywood Reporter reports: Robert Redford has signed on to play Dan Rather in Truth, a film based on the 2005 memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power. In spite of the film’s humorous title, “Truth” is not intended to be a comedy.
The book, written by Rather’s producer Mary Mapes, centers on the firestorm that erupted in September of 2004 after Rather reported that George W. Bush had received special treatment while serving in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, a report that was based on documents that turned out to be forgeries.
Mapes’ memoir, Truth and Duty, was published in 2005. The Peabody Award-winning producer had worked for CBS’ 60 Minutes since 1999. After Rather’s
erroneous poorly-vetted, dishonest, career-ending report on Bush aired, it became the subject of harsh criticism legitimate inquiry and an internal investigation was launched. Subsequently, Mapes was accused of lapses in judgment journalistic malpractice and was fired, while Rather’s career and reputation were jeopardized destroyed. (read more)
Sterling Beard writes: CBS has not invited former longtime anchor Dan Rather to participate in its coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy — despite the fact that a much younger Rather covered the event for the network and will even be featured in archival footage for CBS’s broadcast.
“Looking back on it, they were trying to airbrush me out of their history, like the Kremlin,” Rather said, before wondering if CBS would remove him from other monumental stories.
“What’s next – I’m airbrushed out of Watergate coverage? Vietnam? Tiananmen Square? 9/11? Where does this lead?” he asked.
Rather left the network in 2006 following his 2004 60 Minutes report on Texas National Guard memos that indicated President Bush had received special treatment during his service — the documents turned out to be fake. Read the rest of this entry »