Fake but Accurate? Film Offers Sympathetic Take on Rather’s ‘Memogate’

How does liberal Hollywood spin a scandal which disgraced a veteran journalist and an award-winning producer?  Use a discredited liberal journalist’s take on it, of course. 

The Wrap reported this morning that Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the U.S. right to the film Truth, an adaption of the memoir of ex-Dan Rather producer Mary Mapes defending “Rathergate.” Mapes and Rather’s 60 Minutes report based on forged memos about President Bush’s military record got both her and Rather dismissed from CBS. Robert Redford will play Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett will play Mary Mapes, with Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and Elisabeth Moss rounding out the cast. 

A 2004 60 Minutes expose by Rather and Mapes claimed that then-President Bush had used his political family to duck out of serving in Vietnam. There was only one problem – it turned out to be based on fake memos by a disgruntled source. Mapes and Rather’s hit job on Bush came just a few weeks before his re-election. Mapes and Rather unsurprisingly, held to their innocence over the years, and blamed conservative backlash for the investigation that got them fired.  Of course the film will draw from that defensive position in Mapes' 2005 memoir, Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and The Privilege of Power.

Redford is no newcomer to left wing political films either. His 2012 film The Company You Keep glamorized the left-wing terrorist group the Weather Underground. His 2007 anti-war movie Lions for Lambs was heavily hyped by the networks, though it bombed at the box office. Redford has also repeatedly made his politics known to the media by bashing conservatives and defending Obama

Of course it was no surprise then when Rather found out the casting choices he admitted to being “impressed” by Redford’s commitment to  “truth-telling investigative journalism.” Rather and Mapes still hold that they reported the truth to this day and have vented to various media outlets, even writing their own respective memoirs to attempt to clear their record. Unfortunately for them, the Killian Memos were called out as potential forgeries pretty quickly after the 60 Minutes report aired so Rather and Mapes have no legs to stand on-- unless it’s through a fictional story told by Hollywood.

CBS 60 Minutes CBS Evening News Dan Rather Robert Redford
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