There is some controversy brewing for television network CBS. They won't air the trailer for the new movie from James Vanderbilt Truth. This movie centers around the Dan Rather delivered (and discredited) 2004 news story about George W. Bush and his time in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. The station, which was the home of the iconic Dan Rather, is refusing to do any promotion of the movie - perhaps promoting it even more than they ever could have hoped.
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According to the Associated Press, CBS will do absolutely nothing to promote the movie because they don't feel like they are accurately portraying what really happened in the 00's and the amount of pressure the news industry was under. Gil Schwartz, the chief spokesman for CBS who is portrayed by Steve Bastoni in the movie, made the following statement:
"It's astounding how little truth there is in Truth. There are, in fact, too many distortions, evasions and baseless conspiracy theories to enumerate them all. The film tries to turn gross errors of journalism and judgment into acts of heroism and martyrdom. That's a disservice not just to the public but to journalists across the world who go out every day and do everything within their power, sometimes at great risk to themselves, to get the story right."
You would think that it would be a no brainer that CBS wouldn't air ads, but the company behind the movie, Sony Pictures Classic, actually tried to make a multi-million dollar deal happen so that key viewers who would enjoy the movie, those who watch shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and 60 Minutes, would see the previews. It didn't work out and Sony had to turn to ABC, NBC, Fox, and other cable networks.
The movie stars Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett as Dan Rather and Mary Mapes. The pair of reporters they portray reported that then President George W. Bush dodged the Vietnam draft because his father was powerful. However, that assertion was called into questions and Mapes, along with three other producers, were fired. Rather was almost forced into retirement and tried to sue the network.
The reason CBS won't air promotion? It paints both Rather and Mapes in a positive light.
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So far Truth has been released into 6 theaters and has made $76,000 and is hoping to expand in coming weeks.