Accuracy in Media

Hollywood Attempt to Rehab Rather

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Spencer Irvine
(202) 364-4401 ext. 103
spencer.irvine@aim.org

Washington, D.C. — Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, who has spent much of the past 10 years trying to restore his reputation after leaving the network in disgrace, is getting a big boost from Hollywood with the release of “Truth,” a film based on Rather’s former producer Mary Mapes’ book, Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power.

Mapes, who was fired for her role in the disastrous September 2004 report about then-President George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service, has a large axe to grind—as does Rather—and as a result a lot of the truth is left out of the movie.

The report accused Bush of using political favoritism to obtain his spot as a pilot in the National Guard and then going AWOL, which could have been very damaging to Bush, who was running for reelection. But it was quickly debunked by conservative bloggers after they examined the documents used as the basis for the report and found that they were riddled with inconsistencies, and probably forged in an attempt to smear Bush.

Despite the evidence that the documents were flawed, Mapes and Rather stood firmly behind the story, leaving CBS no choice but to fire Mapes and three other employees who were involved with the report and force Rather out of the anchor chair, which he had held for 24 years.

In a Times Talk discussion hosted by The New York Times, Rather admitted mistakes were made but stood behind the accuracy of the report, saying that “The fact that we made mistakes, and didn’t do it perfectly, shouldn’t obscure the fact that we reported the truth.”

By the time CBS ultimately lowered the boom on Rather in 2004, Accuracy in Media’s founder Reed Irvine had waged a 16 year campaign to “Can Dan” based on his accumulated record of shoddy and biased reporting. AIM even presented a petition with more than 15,000 signatures at one of the CBS annual meetings, along with a resolution asking that Dan Rather be fired.

As for the movie, it portrays Rather and Mapes as victims of a large corporation, while leaving out many of the facts that led to his resignation and her dismissal, in an effort to rehabilitate them. But that shouldn’t be too surprising in left-leaning Hollywood, where liberals can do no wrong.

Commenting on the Dan Rather situation, AIM Editor Roger Aronoff said, “This was one of the most brazen examples ever of a powerful network news organization determined to affect the outcome of an upcoming presidential election, with a story they knew to be false. How do we know? Because besides using fake documents, they selectively edited an interview to obscure the truth, and failed to report on facts they had that would have refuted one of their other main attack arguments against President Bush.”

 

To arrange an interview with Roger Aronoff, contact Spencer Irvine at 202-364-4401, ext.103 or preferably by email atspencer.irvine@aim.org.





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