Skip to comments.Would 'Rathergate' Make a Good Movie? Hollywood Insiders Working on Screen Adaptation
Posted on 07/22/2008 7:33:36 AM PDT by abb
The Media Mob has learned that a team of Hollywood insiders is currently working on a screen adaptation of Truth And Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Powerthe 2005 book by former CBS News producer Mary Mapes, in which she defends the 60 Minutes II story by Dan Rather about President George W. Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, which ran on CBS in September 2004 and eventually led to her ouster from the network.
Who would want to turn "Rathergate" into a feature-length film?
According to sources familiar with the situation, Producer Mikkel Bondesen, (his credits include serving as executive producer on the USA Network series "Burn Notice") is actively working on the adaptation with screenwriter James Vanderbilt.
Mr. Vanderbilt wrote the screenplay for the 2007 serial killer movie Zodiacbased on the nonfiction book by Robert Graysmithand is currently writing the screenplay for Spider-Man 4.
In the book, Ms. Mapes was highly critical of how her bosses at CBS and Viacom handled the aftermath of the wildly controversial story about President Bush's military service. Along the way, she lays much of the groundwork for what could be a juicy White House conspiracy thriller.
"Money is the master," wrote Ms. Mapes. "That is the bottom line to what happened at CBS that fateful fall when we aired a story that, like all stories, was imperfect, but was absolutely grounded in fact. It was well researched and well documented. But when Viacom saw that the story was not well received and that a conservative firestorm was threatening the corporation's financial well-being, their collective wallets started itching. As a result, I believe CBS News, 60 Minutes, Dan Rather, and journalism itself got badly scratched."
(Mr. Rather is currently making similar charges in Manhattan court in a $70 million civil suit against his former employers, in part, for their handling of the aftermath of the story.)
"This was a corporate, political, and public relations operation, designed to take the heat off and allow Viacom to walk away unscathed, unencumbered by lingering anger from the White House or the various Republican-dominated committees that the corporation lobbied constantly," added Ms. Mapes.
It remains to be seen how much of the screenplay will be dedicated to the alleged bungling of the story and its aftermath at CBS versus the broader story of the President's military service.
When reached by phone on Monday afternoon, Ms. Mapes declined to comment. The Media Mob has a phone call in to Mr. Bondesen. We'll update if we hear back.
No word yet on who might play Mr. Rather if the script ever makes it to production. This wouldn't be the first film made about internal drama at CBS News: In 1999, Michael Mann directed The Insider, an account of 60 Minutes and its struggle with tobacco company Brown & Williamson. That movie was nominated for seven Oscars, including for Best Actor and Best Director.
BDS still rages, even with less than six months left...
From the title, i though it might make an interesting documentary on the collusion and criminality of the media. Then I read a few paragraphs, and quickly realized these people are "developmentally disabled."
...wanna bet that Hollywood will make Rather a victim of a shadowy right wing conspiracy....namely us.
"Money is the master," wrote Ms. Mapes." That is the bottom line to what happened at CBS that fateful fall when we aired a story that, like all stories, was imperfect, but was absolutely grounded in fact. It was well researched and well documented. But when Viacom saw that the story was not well received and that a conservative firestorm was threatening the corporation's financial well-being, their collective wallets started itching. As a result, I believe CBS News, 60 Minutes, Dan Rather, and journalism itself got badly scratched."
Wonder who they are going to get to play you? hehehe...
Too bad that Heath Ledger isn’t available.
will the title be “Fake but Accurate” or does someone have the rights to that?
. . . or Lane Smith, a natural to play Rather.
This would be a good film if it was accurate. But it’ll probably portray Rather & Mapes as being victims of a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, if recent Hollywood history is an indicator.
Actually it would be a pretty dull film if accurate. Dan and gang spend months creating a story around a faxed document, only to be destroyed in hours (or less) by amateurs. It would be like a movie about the Secret Service taking down a pack of kindergarten counterfeiters who draw their money with crayons.
,remember Mapes... facts are a stubborn thing
Below is forged CBS document overlayed by Microsoft Word in default mode......courtesy Little Green Footballs..
I would guess Dr. Evil.
Good point! They will find the sleaziest, most believably psychotic actor they can find. I’d have to go with Robin Williams, dressed as a killer clown.
Doesn't that look just like you, Buckhead?
We all know who should play "Hanoi" John.
“...wanna bet that Hollywood will make Rather a victim of a shadowy right wing conspiracy....namely us.”
You are correct.
Who will play Buckhead, Jim, Scott, Blather and Mary Mapes?
I vote for MoDowd to play Mapes. She can be a super woman avenger like the male lead in Burn Notice.
What do you think? Close has the crazy part down pat.
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