Dan Rather Plots Comeback, With Assist From Robert Redford

I read this story three times to make sure it wasn’t a practical joke. But no: Robert Redford to Play Dan Rather in ‘Truth’.

Robert Redford, allegedly

Robert Redford, allegedly

Robert Redford has signed on to play Dan Rather in Truth, a film based on the 2005 memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and The Privilege of Power.

The book, written by Rather’s producer Mary Mapes, centers on the firestorm that erupted after Rather reported that George W. Bush had gotten to serve in the National Guard in order to avoid the Vietnam War.

Cate Blanchett is attached to play Mapes, who was fired after the scandal, which was dubbed “Rathergate.”

What actually happened was that Mary Mapes deliberately published a false story in hopes of helping the John Kerry presidential campaign, and was fired for it. It will be interesting to see how Hollywood tries to paper over those facts. This promises to be revisionist history–i.e., outright falsehood–at its best. Scott, amazingly enough, took the trouble to read Mapes’s book when it came out, and wrote about it here.

Still, a Rathergate movie could have some entertainment value. Who do you suppose will play Bill Burkett? And who was the mystery woman who supposedly handed the faked documents to Burkett at the Texas Cow Festival, or whatever it was? Will she have a part? I have forgotten a lot of the details of Rathergate, but may have to brush up on them again.

I am most curious, of course, as to whom they will find to play Scott and me. Actually, we are still around and would be happy to play ourselves. We would even do it for free, which would save a little money for what sounds like a low-budget production. All we would ask for is script approval.

That assumes, of course, that the film actually gets made. Is is possible that any studio would invest in such a turkey? It reminds me of the news story, some years ago now, to the effect that a movie was to be made about the life of Helen Thomas. Supposedly Michelle Pfeiffer had signed on to play the demented Ms. Thomas. Happily, that movie fell through. With luck, this one may too.

SCOTT ADDS: John links to a Power Line post of mine on Mapes’s book that skims the surface, but I also wrote at length about the book in the Weekly Standard column “Second time’s a charm?”