A Tuesday USA Today preview of the movie Truth, which presumes Dan Rather’s 2004 “Memogate” hit piece against President George W Bash was accurate, conveyed the hostility of actor Robert Redford, who plays Rather, toward Bush. But Redford also undermined the “truth” premise by relaying that “loyalty” was Rather’s main motivation in defending his flawed story.
Redford touted his antipathy to Bush: “I always had trouble with Bush being the president. I thought he was limited and unqualified.”
“Limited and unqualified.” Sounds like a good title for a future film about the Obama presidency.
The movie, set to open on October 16, is based on the memoir by Rather’s producer Mary Mapes, Truth and Duty: The Press, The President and the Privilege of Power.
Empathizing with Rather, Redford told USA Today’s Andrea Mandell: “He did get sabotaged.” Redford argued the faked documents were “a small technicality” of Rather’s story on Bush. The actor echoed Rather’s martyrdom complex about his corporate bosses caving into pressure, contending the bigger picture is “the relationship between the common person and the corporate control of people. And the fact that CBS was the controlling factor. He was at their mercy.”
Reford recalled a conversation with Rather: “He said, ‘It’s all about loyalty. It was a triumvirate of loyalty.’” Rather explained to Redford, Mandell recounted, “that he had ‘unbreakable loyalty’ to Mapes and to CBS, and ‘the shock and despair (was) when they broke that loyalty.’”
So, sticking together to defend a story was Rather’s top priority, not addressing the accuracy of that story.