“Truth” and other lies (4)

In his article on the New York Times love-in with the perpetrators of Rathergate and the stars of the Rathergate film Truth, Times reporter John Koblin quotes director/writer James Vanderbilt:

Mr. Vanderbilt said that he did not want to impose a specific point of view in the movie but instead wanted to simply raise questions.

“As a filmmaker I’m not interested in re-prosecuting something, so much as this was a fascinating story and telling it through these characters eyes was the most interesting way in,” he said. At the center of it all, he said, “are these documents, and there is an unknowable mystery about them.

This replays comments made by Mary Mapes in the film and at the Times. In the film Cate Blanchett’s Mary Mapes defiantly shouts: “They do not get to do this! They do not get to smack us just for asking the question!” in one scene, and then morosely mumbles, “I never should have asked the question” in the next. At the Times love-in, Mapes says the film provides us a wonderful opportunity to discuss issues of class and privilege in the Vietnam war. Mapes seeks to exploit the ignorance of readers, viewers, and interlocutors with pathological lies that she relates in interviews such as this one with Variety.

How to put it? What a complete and utter crock. Let it be noted that the 60 Minutes segment — posted online here — purported to answer the two questions that it raised. It answered the first falsely (based on an interview with the vice chairman of John Kerry’s presidential campaign finance committee) and the second fraudulently (based on fabricated documents). Rather definitively reported, for example, based on one of the fabricated documents: “One of the Killian memos is an official order to George W. Bush to report for a physical. The president never carried out the order.”

Both Rather and Mapes stand behind the false and fraudulent “answers” they gave in the 60 Minutes segment. On the substance of these “answers,” see John’s and my Weekly Standard article “Rather shameful.” Koblin quotes Rather sticking with his story at the love-in: “Once again, we’re talking about the process in which it was put together and what happened in the wake of the story. And this is a gentle, a very gentle reminder, that the story was true. The basic facts of the story were true.” The proposition that Mapes and Rather were just “raising questions” is one of the big lies of Truth.


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