Mapes mania; Note Correction!

As John notes below, he’ll be appearing on “Hot Talk” with host Scott Hennen and guest Mary Mapes shortly after 9:00 [UPDATE: That’s shortly after 10 a.m. Central, not 9] a.m. (Central) this morning. The linked page includes access to a live audio stream of the show.

Yesterday’s New York Times Book Review ran three letters responding to Jonathan Alter’s mixed review of Mapes’s pathetic Truth and Duty. The third letter, from former Attorney General Thornburgh, responded to a personal point Alter had echoed from Mapes. Here are the other two letters:

To the Editor:
Jonathan Alter’s scathing review of Mary Mapes’s “Truth and Duty” (Nov. 20) dismisses the points the author tries to make in her book, but cannot so easily dismiss the still unanswered question of whether the documents in question are real or fake. Mapes insists they are real, which Alter attempts to wave away as “almost beside the point.” It is not at all beside the point, it is the point, and Alter refuses to address the author’s arguments, reiterating instead the shopworn objections of the Republican spin doctors. This serves no one, and only further obscures the truth.
WILLIAM YOUMANS
New York

•

To the Editor:
Jonathan Alter finds it “almost beside the point” that the documents that got Mary Mapes fired by CBS for being phony were probably genuine after all. Alter doesn’t dispute the fact that a lynch mob led by right-wing bloggers and pundits went after Mapes armed with bogus evidence about the documents, but he figures, oh, well, even if she’s innocent, let’s string her up anyway.
ALAN AUSTIN
Rogers, Ark.

My take on Mapes’s book is here. Mapes mania strikes deep. Suffice it to say that the Mapes fraud lingers long in the mind of many who read the Times.

UPDATE: Scott Hennen writes that to find the “Hot Talk” live link, you go to “WDAY home page…middle of the page is a Hot Talk logo…click listen now…”

UPDATE by JOHN: Wow, that was quite an experience. Ms. Mapes is a real piece of work. If you wanted to sue on behalf of all the people she slandered in the course of a half-hour, you’d have to start a class action. She sticks doggedly to her belief that it is “quite possible that Bill Burkett is finally telling the truth.” Setting new standards in journalism: let’s run with it, it’s quite possibly true!

In this case, of course, the story didn’t even meet that standard.

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