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Would 'Rathergate' Make a Good Movie? Hollywood Insiders Working on Screen Adaptation
The New York Observer ^ | July 21st, 2008 | Felix Gillette

Posted on 07/22/2008 8:23:12 PM PDT by MeanMachine

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 Power—the 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 Zodiac—based on the nonfiction book by Robert Graysmith—and 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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: danrather; hollywood; moviedeal; rathergate

1 posted on 07/22/2008 8:23:17 PM PDT by MeanMachine
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To: MeanMachine

And in their version of reality, the fake-but-accurate documents led to impeachment and the presidency of Josiah Bartlett.


2 posted on 07/22/2008 8:27:05 PM PDT by Old Sarge (CTHULHU '08 - I won't settle for a lesser evil any longer!)
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To: MeanMachine

(snicker)...It’ll be a money pit.


3 posted on 07/22/2008 8:28:19 PM PDT by DGHoodini (Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand)
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To: MeanMachine; Buckhead

And who plays “Buckhead?”


4 posted on 07/22/2008 8:28:34 PM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: MeanMachine

Buckhead: Brad Pitt


5 posted on 07/22/2008 8:28:44 PM PDT by hole_n_one
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To: MeanMachine
Working title: Uncle Buckhead.
6 posted on 07/22/2008 8:29:25 PM PDT by TheWasteLand
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To: MeanMachine

How would it be classified: science fiction? horror? comedy?


7 posted on 07/22/2008 8:29:33 PM PDT by hsalaw
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To: MeanMachine
"It was well researched and well documented."

Sure ... I guess when you manufacture your own evidence anything can be "well documented".

8 posted on 07/22/2008 8:30:57 PM PDT by BenLurkin ("It's always a bad practice to say 'always' or 'never,'")
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To: MeanMachine
Would 'Rathergate' Make a Good Movie?

Are you kidding? How can it miss? A totally distorted premise that fits the template. Its a sure hit.

"It remains to be seen how much of the screenplay will be dedicated to the alleged bungling of the story and its aftermath . . . ."

Uh, none is my guess.

9 posted on 07/22/2008 8:31:26 PM PDT by synbad600
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To: MeanMachine

Sounds like it could be Oscar material and maybe even lead to the Nobel Peace Prize for Mapes. I’ve seen worse pick up these two liberal awards.


10 posted on 07/22/2008 8:35:25 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer ("The End Is Near!" - Algore)
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To: synbad600
Would 'Rathergate' Make a Good Movie?

Look how well Air America is doing.

11 posted on 07/22/2008 8:39:17 PM PDT by The Brush
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To: MeanMachine

Related.....http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2049361/posts


12 posted on 07/22/2008 8:39:51 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (Tracking The "Flyin' Imams Since 11/20/06)
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To: ConservativeMind
And who plays “Buckhead?”

I should be an extra since I was on that thread.

Of course, in this version that would mean I'll play a bad guy.

Maybe I'll get to wear an eye patch.

13 posted on 07/22/2008 8:41:48 PM PDT by eddie willers
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To: MeanMachine
Who would want to turn "Rathergate" into a feature-length film?...a bunch of Hollywood a$$holes who want to rehabilitate Rather and the MSM, take another swipe at President Bush, and reveal the evil doings of the vast right wing conspiracy that threatens the whole country........
14 posted on 07/22/2008 8:48:16 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: MeanMachine

oh I hope they make it!
What fun that would be!

They could be proven wrong all over again!
It was so much fun the first time wasn’t it?


15 posted on 07/22/2008 8:50:59 PM PDT by Scotswife
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To: eddie willers

“I should be an extra since I was on that thread.”

Do you have to have posted to count?

I didn’t post - but I was reading the threads that day.

Can I be an extra if all I did was lurk?


16 posted on 07/22/2008 8:52:21 PM PDT by Scotswife
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To: MeanMachine

I just hope this doesn’t make me want to boycott Spider-Man 4. Though, I understand that Raimi is a 9/11 Republican.


17 posted on 07/22/2008 8:53:17 PM PDT by Rastus
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To: Scotswife
Can I be an extra if all I did was lurk?

You can stand behind me and nod your head when I say, "Want I should kill him, boss?"

(I've elevated myself to a speaking part)

18 posted on 07/22/2008 8:55:42 PM PDT by eddie willers
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To: eddie willers

LOL!

Well..you did post, so I guess it’s only fair you get a line.
I can nod...how much do extras get paid these days for nodding?


19 posted on 07/22/2008 8:58:27 PM PDT by Scotswife
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo
Also related...

20 posted on 07/22/2008 9:08:08 PM PDT by Interesting Times (Swiftboating, you say? Check out ToSetTheRecordStraight.com)
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To: Interesting Times

Aye.....


21 posted on 07/22/2008 9:13:00 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (Tracking The "Flyin' Imams Since 11/20/06)
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To: MeanMachine

It would be as successful as the movie “Primary Colors”.


22 posted on 07/22/2008 9:20:19 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: eddie willers
Maybe I'll get to wear an eye patch.

No, for the FReepers they'll be recycling the Orc prosthetics from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
23 posted on 07/22/2008 10:58:53 PM PDT by Cheburashka (Democratic Underground: Ever wonder where all those who took the brown acid at Woodstock wound up?)
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To: MeanMachine

Haha thought you guys would enjoy this. I just like how after Hollywood made so much coin with its anti-military screeds that it’s now just making liberal mythology. It’s a shame so much talent has to be so misguided. ZODIAC is a damn fine movie, this writer should stick to that. I believe he’s also adapting Richard Clarke’s book WE DROPPED THE BALL BUT IT WASN”T MY FAULT, or whatever it’s called.


24 posted on 07/22/2008 11:39:15 PM PDT by MeanMachine
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To: MeanMachine; windcliff
Good movie - NO.

Insomnia cure - YES.

25 posted on 07/23/2008 3:10:34 AM PDT by I Drive Too Fast
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To: MeanMachine

I hope they do it. I can see the feature role of the Freeper pajamahedeen breaking the story...wouldn’t that be the bomb?


26 posted on 07/23/2008 3:40:49 AM PDT by SueRae
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To: MeanMachine

“No word yet on who might play Mr. Rather if the script ever makes it to production.’

Before Rather gets fired - Mae West

After Rather gets fired - Boris Karloff

Mary Mapes - Mr. Ed

FReepers - Mormon Tabernacle Choir and 1st Marine Division


27 posted on 07/23/2008 5:34:26 AM PDT by sergeantdave (We are entering the Age of the Idiot)
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To: I Drive Too Fast

I agree.


28 posted on 07/23/2008 7:33:06 AM PDT by windcliff
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