The movie “Truth” was released on Oct. 30, 2015. The CBS News program, “60 Minutes II” aired the documentary about The Killian documents that are also known as Rathergate. The film surrounded the 2004 accusations that former President George W. Bush received special treatment from the Texas Air National Guard. Mary Mapes and Dan Rather were called into question regarding the authenticity of the documents.
Mapes, a CBS News producer, colleague and friend of Rather, came under attack along with the newsmagazine and the network soon after they aired the documents exposing Bush’s history in the National Guard. CBS without a second thought caved in and Rather was forced to apologize on air admitting the documents had not been properly authenticated. Immediately after Bush’s re-election, Rather announced his retirement, which came into effect several months later. Mapes was fired and several other producers were forced to resign as well.
The movie “Truth” is based on Mapes memoirs called “Truth and Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power.” In an article on “Variety,” Mapes states that the film is an uncanny depiction of what happened to both her, Dan Rather, and their team of reporters when they had reported on what she claims, is an absolutely true story about former President George W. Bush, and his Vietnam military service.
Mapes also says she and the team knew that the documents they used by Bush’s former commander would not be authenticated because they were copies and not originals. But that they were able to confirm the authenticity of the signature on the documents. She puts emphasis on the fact that the word authenticate is a legal term and not a journalistic term.
She went on to write that they had already made the Bush administration angry with the breaking story of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse months earlier. Therefore, the story of Bush’s alleged induction into the National Guard only tipped the angry hand of the Bush White House upon the team at CBS. Mapes also wrote that Leslie Mooves, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS, stated after the film was released that there was “very little truth in the “Truth.'”
The producer stands by her conviction that the movie “Truth” is an exact depiction of what happened to her and her team of reporters. She also states that she would love to sit with Mooves and tell him why he is wrong because the movie shows exactly what happened to her at the “60 Minutes II” offices. She was grilled by a panel of attorneys; or when the team went through intense interviews; or when she tried to keep her life together at her Dallas, Texas home.
Although, the article by Fred Mazelis stated that the movie, written and directed by James Vanderbilt, showed a fictional story of the events that occurred in 2004, which happened the day before the presidential elections, won by Republican George W. Bush. He also called the American media “filthy” when he talked about the roles they play in vetting things like documents on Bush.
Opinion News by Tracy Blake
Edited by Jeanette Smith and Cathy Milne
Variety: The Truth About ‘Truth’: Mary Mapes Says CBS News Didn’t Get It Wrong
World Socialist Web Site: Truth: The victimization of CBS’s Dan Rather and Mary Mapes
Kera News: Mary Mapes On The Story That Ended Her Career: ‘None Of Us Escaped Unscathed’
The Los Angeles Times: Q&A Mary Mapes describes seeing her ‘Truth’ on the big screen
Image Courtesy of Jared’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License