Cate Blanchett poses more questions in journalism drama 'Truth'
By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When actress Cate Blanchett researched an infamous CBS News expose of U.S. President George W. Bush's military service that led to the firing of journalist Mary Mapes, she came away with more questions than answers.
"It's emblematic of the problem that readers face in trying to get to anything resembling the truth," the Oscar-winning actress, who plays Mapes in the movie "Truth," told Reuters.
"The film asks, did the punishment meted out by CBS merit the so-called crime?" Blanchett said.
"Truth," out in U.S. theaters on Friday, is based on former CBS producer Mapes' 2005 memoir "Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power" about CBS's 2004 "60 Minutes" report on the Killian documents.
The documents, supposedly written by late Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian, purported to show then President Bush had not completed the required amount of training and hours in the military in the 1970s and was given preferential treatment.
Airing two months before elections in which Bush was seeking a second term, CBS's report was challenged by critics and other media who said the papers were fake.
Mapes, Dan Rather and their team came under investigation for their reporting process; Mapes was subsequently fired and Rather, one of the most respected figures in television news, stepped down shortly after acknowledging that he should not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired.
In striving for the "Truth," be it in the reporters' actions, veracity of the sources and the onslaught that decimated Mapes' career, the relationship between Blanchett's Mapes and Robert Redford's Rather anchors the film. Continued...