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Hal

Doral, FL, United States | Member Since 2005

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  • Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and the Privilege of Power

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Mary Mapes
    • Narrated By Mary Mapes
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    It was a great story. A true story. The kind of story any news producer would love to report, nail down, and get on the air. And that's just what Mary Mapes and her producing and reporting team did in September 2004 when Dan Rather anchored their report on President George W. Bush's dereliction of his National Guard duty for CBS News.

    Theodore says: "Neither true nor dutiful"
    "Bush's Guard time"
    Overall

    The basic story is well-known: Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard to keep from going to Vietnam. Lots of people did; I was a draft-dodger myself, and many other people who are now in Washington, were too. I don't consider that disgraceful behavior, just sensible self-preservation. But it is is disgraceful to not admit that--to pretend you were a hero, when you were just a chicken, like me. The rich have always had their privileges--and still do. Some things never change.

    I just listened to Truth and Duty by Mary Mapes, the gal at CBS News who got shot down over her coverage of this story. I discovered this book by accident on audible.com. It should be better-known, but it will probably end up being just be another voice in the wilderness.

    This story shows once again the power of the Right over the Media. The news team used four documents that were, and still are, a mystery. They were supposedly written by Bush's commanding officer, who is now dead. They cannot be disproved or proved either way, because the documents were copies of documents--sometimes several times over. But the news team, and their experts, convinced themselves that the documents were real--and used them that way. This was an incredibly stupid mistake. But nobody, including the White House, ever disputed their contents, they just questioned where they came from--and no one really knew.

    CBS made a mistake by going into this mess--a big mistake, and once they realized that, they backed water furiously; they had done the unforgivable, and they ran for cover. Mapes was blamed for everything, and driven into the wilderness. The high-level, high-paid executives who were actually responsible became invisible. They never understood the story to begin with and never wanted to--after all, they were only executives.

    It's the Titanic story all over again; only in this case, the captain didn't go down with the ship--but Mary Mapes and Dan Rather did.

    13 of 27 people found this review helpful

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