“Truth” is in theaters now, and reportedly bombing. As soon as I learned about the source of the film (disgraced ex-CBC producer Mary Mapes’ memoir, “Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power”) and its plot, I resolved not to watch it, as I would just end up walking out of it. Nonetheless, the fact that Robert Redford is connected with the project is profoundly disappointing. Redford is the ultimate Hollywood liberal, but his films have often been about ethics, and I regard him, or perhaps past tense is more appropriate, as having principles and integrity. True: actors need not agree with or endorse their roles or the projects of others, but Redford is unusual: he lends credibility to any project he allows to carry his name.
Connecting his name to “Truth” is a betrayal. The film makes martyrs of Mapes and Dan Rather, who attempted to tilt the 2004 election by smearing George Bush, without evidence, on “60 Minutes.” Not only was this a political hit job by biased journalists, it was one tainted by intentionally manufactured evidence. Mapes and Rather presented a forged document alleging that Bush went AWOL during his Texas Air National Guard service in the early 1970s. It was all the pair had that went beyond hearsay to make the allegation, and after the document was decisively shown to be a forgery (its font wasn’t available on the typewriter that had to have been used to make the original document.) Once the forgery was discovered by an enterprising blogger and confirmed by multiple document specialists. Rather and Mapes embarked on a rationalization orgy. Rather, to his undying shame, repeated his defenders’ argument that the forgery as “fake but accurate,” and does to this day, in essence rejecting journalism ethics wholesale. So determined was he to prove what he believed to be true but couldn’t prove fairly or ethically that he cheated, playing dishonest political operative to achieve worthy partisan goals “by any means necessary.”
Bias makes us stupid, and in this case, bias made Dan Rather corrupt.
Mapes’ position, encapsulated in a speech from the film used in the trailer, comes when she appears before a CBS-appointed fact-finding committee headed by Dick Thornburgh, who had served as attorney general under the W’s father. Played by Cate Blanchette, Mapes says in part,
“Our story was about whether the president fulfilled his service. Nobody wants to talk about that. They want to talk about fonts and forgeries, and they hope to God the truth gets lost in the scrum!”
Time was that such a speech would only issue from a character who was a mad scientist, a eugenicist, or in “Dr. Strangelove.” That today it can be can be made by a purported hero in a major film tells us a great deal about Hollywood, Rather, rabid partyists and the current political climate. This is pure, unadulterated ethics corruption, with the film-makers depending on ignorant young viewers not knowing the facts of the actual case and not having sufficiently sound grounding in ethics to be able to recruit them in the mission of sanctifying lies for “the greater good,” at least as they perceive it.
Say what you will about the 1950s, that era’s Hollywood was clear that the ends did not justify the means. In Orson Welles’ “Touch of Evil,” for example, the antagonist, Welles, was a once-brilliant police detective who could figure out with uncanny perception who was guilty of a crime, and had begun fabricating evidence to prove guilt when admissible evidence was lacking. The film portrayed this as corruption, which it was and is. This is the prosecutor who suborns perjury to make sure that a defendant that he is certain is a dangerous killer doesn’t go free. It is the defense attorney who covers up incriminating evidence because she believes her client is innocent. It is the climate change true believer who fudges and manipulates data and models to make a case that it is rife with doubt and contradictions appear as “settled,” and yes, it is the administration that hypes inadequate evidence of “weapons of mass destruction” because it is certain that they exist.
It is also the President who participates in a mass cover-up because a scandal will weaken his power and support, and he believes he is too crucial to the nation to suffer the consequences of his own actions.
That Redford, who was a central presence in “All The President’s Men,” would allow his prestige and image to support and justify exactly the unethical philosophy that produced the Watergate scandal, and the opposite of the kind of journalism that film championed, is shocking. He, Rather, Mapes and the producers of this film are attempting to warp the culture into approving “the ends justified the means,” with the means including lies, cheating, biased journalism, forgery and worse.
If they succeed, President Hillary should feel right at home.
Sources: Texas Monthly, New York Post,
34 thoughts on “As Ethics Corrupters Run Amuck, Ethics Alarms Presents “Ethics Corrupter Weekend”! Part I: “Truth” Is False”
I can’t believe this movie got green lighted. I hope it bombs and the crater swallows a bunch of people whole. Absolutely bizarre.
This is not encouraging (from rotten tomatoes):
Critics Consensus: Truth’s terrific cast and compelling message are often enough to overcome its occasionally didactic and facile dramatization of a nuanced real-life tale.
“Nuanced?” “Compelling message?”
Compelling message: Vote Democrat.
This signature significance for corruption and untrustworthiness.
A good review: http://www.tonymedley.com/2015/Truth.htm
Not everyone is fooled but the useful idiots outnumber them. Depressing.
The Scott Peterson trial was going on during the time the “fake and accurate” defense was used.
A radio pundit asked how that trial would turn out if the prosecutors did what Mapes and Rather did.
Who is alleged to have forged the documents in question? The producers? Or were they just duped into presenting forged documents? I think that does make a difference, ethics-wise.
It does. But duped isn’t quite right. This was confirmation bias at work. The documents were forged by an anti-Bush zealot, and because Mapes and Rather wanted them to be accurate, they didn’t do their due diligence, and didn’t follow protocol, policy and journalist ethics. They also kept trying to claim that the papers were still valid. Mapes absurdly argued at one point that the copy process changed the fonts.
Oddly enough, although it is vastly unlikely that it happened, it is not absurd as such to suggest that a modern, firmware based copier changed the fonts because it is quite possible, technically speaking. What it would take is a compression algorithm in the front end – nearest the scanning – passing a data stream without font information through “middle end” processing (say, to optimise cropping and centring on the final page) and then have possibly different fonts reinstated during the back end driving the actual printing. But if there was that much misguided sophistication involved then there would inherently not have been a sound evidentiary trail anyway, as there would have been scope to edit the middle text characters.
Mr. Burkett, a well known anti-Bush zealot had been trying to hawk a story that Bush didn’t serve his Air National Guard duty for years. CBS has investigated it for years and found nothing. Burkett told Mapes he would hand over documents proving his point if CBS would coordinate with John Kerry’s campaign. They agreed (and did). He gave them photocopies. He claimed he burned the originals after he made copies of them. CBS told their ‘experts’ to assume the documents were authentic and only authenticate…who knows what. The documents were thoroughly debunked wihin hours of being posted on the internet.
Their is also some indication that Mapes had told Burkett that if he could just come up with documents, they could nail Bush.
Burkett claimed he “burned the originals after he made copies of them”.
Why does this sound as truthful as e-mails I receive telling me I won the UK National Lottery?
The left has finally shifted the balance of influence almost completely in its favor. They now own Hollywood, the media, and our educational system, the number of adults who know up from down is rapidly dwindling, and those who remain are being marginalized to insignificance; relics of a bygone era, if being remembered is even in their plan.
And this movie doing well is evidence in support of that.
I feel the same way. I hope we’re wrong.
I’m ever the optimist, but it’s hard not to feel despair on the day Lois Lerner gets let off the hook, just one day after Clinton eels her way out of the net.
I’m waiting for the sequels, Truth 2 and Truth 3, discussing the 2008 and 2012 elections. Just like Rocky, the “hero” who fails in the original wins in the sequels.
Will the media elect a Democrat again in 2016? Is 2004 going to be the last time the media did not pick the winner?
Here is the trailer. Note that it is presented as some sort of action packed thriller.
I can only imagine a movie about Ernst Zundel’s attempts to tell the “truth” about the Holocaust, portraying Zundel in a positive light. Such a movie is the only sort of movie that can be a bigger wall banger than this one.
The money quote:
(Revenge of the Sith was released over a decade ago, so the spoiler value of that statement is nil.)
The headline is good as well: “If You Like Truth, Don’t Watch ‘Truth'”
Maybe Mapes is taking Joseph Goebbel’s quote seriously: “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth”.
The entire Obama administration as well as his re-election have been based on that strategy, and no, I don’t think that is unfair in the least.
This begs the question.
Why wouldn’t Republicans emulate these successful tactics?
That answers why they shouldn’t, not why they wouldn’t.
You would not beliEve the derp in the comments.
Good lord. I saw your comment, ME. This thread is as good a proof as one could ever find about the extent to which many progressive voters don’t bother to think any more, or can’t, thoroughly corrupted by propaganda.
Never heard the one about Cheney being President for five years. How can you even argue with people like that?
Just keep defending the truth. It is a similar tactic used when debating Holocaust deniers.
You can’t. All they will do is either yell or call you an idiot. Just walk away.
Another article with more derp in the comments:
This is just the latest example of Hollywood rewriting history with a vengeance in order to validate their own approved worldview.
Truth was beaten in the box office by Jem and the Holograms (which, not surprisingly, was more faithful to the source material than Truth.)
Jem and the Holograms??
Yes, Jem and the Holograms.
One of the trailer tagline quotes is the accusations of being AWOL.
Naturally an appropriate Left wing propaganda movie to distract from the fact that for 7 years, going on 8 we have literally had an AWOL president in office now.
Falls in line with my rapidly substantiated theory of Left-wing accusations:
When the Left is doing the unethical thing, immediately accuse the Right of doing it.
TV Tropes has its own page on this film.