Check Out Our New Look

‘Rathergate’ Drives ‘Truth’ Film; Robert Redford To Play Dan Rather, Cate Blanchett To Play Producer Mary Mapes

By | Wednesday July 9, 2014 @ 11:51am PDT
Mike Fleming

‘Rathergate’ Drives ‘Truth’ Film; Robert Redford To Play Dan Rather, Cate Blanchett To Play Producer Mary MapesEXCLUSIVE: Robert Redford is attached to play CBS News icon Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett is attached to play his producer Mary Mapes in Truth, a film that will mark the directorial debut of James Vanderbilt, the A-list screenwriter behind the first two installments of The Amazing Spider-Man. The film will explore the scandal that erupted after Rather reported on 60 Minutes II that George W. Bush had gotten preferential treatment that put him in the National Guard to avoid the Vietnam War draft. The ensuing scandal during Bush’s reelection campaign left Mapes fired and Rather’s storied reputation in tatters.

Truth And DutyVanderbilt is adapting Mapes’ 2005 memoir Truth And Duty: The Press, The President, And The Privilege Of Power. Pic will be produced by Mythology Entertainment, the production partnership between Vanderbilt, Brad Fischer and Laeta Kalogridis. Fischer, William Sherak, Vanderbilt and Mikkel Bondesen are producing. They are eyeing a fall start, so this is all moving on a fast track. The project has not yet been set at a studio, but I expect it will not take long. Read More »

Comments (17)

Dan Rather: CBS News Should Not Dismiss Lara Logan Over Botched ‘60 Minutes’ Report; Division Still Has “A Lot To Answer For”: Video

By | Tuesday December 10, 2013 @ 7:51am PST

Dan Rather mug 2013Lara Logan should not be let go by CBS News over her botched Benghazi report on 60 Minutes, former CBS newsman Dan Rather said in response to a question by CNN’s Piers Morgan. She should be judged by her body of work, said the former network news anchor who got pushed out of the network over a mangled CBS News report with which he was involved, back in 2004. Logan and producer Max McClellan are on a leave of absence over their report, based on now-discredited claims made by security contractor Dylan Davies that he witnessed  the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

Related: ‘60 Minutes’ Benghazi Fallout: Lara Logan, Producer Take Leave Of Absence

“In my opinion, clearly labeled: No,” Rather said Monday night on Morgan’s primetime show.  “Whatever one thinks of what Lara Logan did, or didn’t do, with the story, in fairness it should be put against her whole record. She’s still a very young correspondent, but for a young correspondent she has a distinguished record — it should be seen in that context and that perspective,” said Rather. CBS News, he added, “has a lot to answer for this. There’s a lot of questions, and they’ve answered some of them.”

Logan’s bungling was worse than the mangled 2004 report on President George W. Bush’s National Guard service that famously got him pushed out of the same news organization years ago, Rather suggested.  In that report, documents were cited alleging Bush got preferential treatment during his Texas Air National Guard service in the Vietnam era – documents the news division later said, after investigation, it could not authenticate. Three execs were let go and Rather retired as anchor of the CBS evening newscast, leaving the network entirely in ’06. Read More »

Comments (14)

Dan Rather To Narrate ESPN Special Commemorating 50th Anniversary Of JFK Assassination

By | Friday November 15, 2013 @ 1:03pm PST

CBS may not be interested in having its former correspondent Dan Rather participate in its JFK assassination 50th anniversary plans, but ESPN is delighted to have him. The network said today that Rather will narrate Rozelle’s Decision-to-Play, one of its pieces planned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, set to air this Sunday at 8 AM on ESPN2 and 9 AM on ESPNEWS. The special will be re-aired throughout the week on SportsCenter and the network’s various NFL programming leading up to November 22nd.

Related: Dan Rather Hoped CBS News Would Include Him In Coverage Plans

President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed 50 years ago next Friday just a few miles from where the Dallas Cowboys were practicing. The decision to play games just two days after the assassination was left to 37-year-old Pete Rozelle, in just his fourth season as NFL Commissioner. Rather, who helped coordinate CBS’ coverage of Kennedy’s trip to Dallas and was the first reporter to confirm Kennedy’s death, narrates the story of Rozelle’s decision — one the late commissioner called the biggest regret of his career, ESPN says.

Among the recollections: Read More »

Comments (5)

UPDATE: Dan Rather Hoped CBS News Would Relent And Include Him In JFK Assassination Coverage Plans

By | Wednesday November 6, 2013 @ 8:28am PST

Dan Rather says he’d hoped CBS News would ask him to be part of its coverage of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy‘s assassination. As Deadline reported two weeks ago, CBS News announced plans for coverages of the historic event without mentioning Rather, who was the CBS News guy assigned to the region, and who reported on the assassination in Dallas. Rather who is one of few journalists who covered the event who’s still around and working in the biz, will be included in CBS News coverage, but only in archival material in the news division’s 48 Hours special, As it Happened: John F. Kennedy 50 Years, on November 16, at 9 PM. While real-time Rather will not be there for CBS, he will participate in NBC News’ plans — he’s appearing with Tom Brokaw on Today, on the actual anniversary of JFK’s death, November 22, that network announced last month. CBS News meanwhile, touted its next best thing in its coverage news: Bob Schieffer, who was a reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the day of the assassination and conducted the first interview with Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother as he rode with her from Fort Worth to Dallas to see her son in custody. CBS News called Schieffer “the only current network news anchor who was in Dallas on the day of the shooting.”

“I held off doing anything for anybody else for a while, thinking I may be asked to do something (for CBS),” Rather told the Associated Press this week. “I can’t say I had any reason for that hope.”  Susan Zirinsky, senior producer of CBS News’s planned 48 Hours special, told the AP that film of Rather on that day will be part of the Schieffer-anchored special, as will recollections from Rather that had been recorded for CBS when he worked there.

Read More »

Comments (14)

CBS News Unveils Coverage of JFK Assassination Anniversary, Dan Rather-Free

By | Monday October 21, 2013 @ 10:19am PDT

CBS, the network most closely associated with President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, being the network on which Walter Cronkite gave the first television network news report officially announcing Kennedy’s death, today unveiled plans for coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination in Dallas. Cronkite died in 2009, but the CBS News guy assigned to the region who reported on the assassination in Dallas, Dan Rather is still around. But Rather, who unwillingly stepped down from CBS News years ago, won’t be part of the news division’s coverage next month — in fact, Rather’s name is not even mentioned in CBS News’ announcement. Dan Rather will be seen on NBC News, in an appearance with Tom Brokaw on Today, on the actual anniversary of JFK’s death, November 22.

CBS News touted its next best thing: Bob Schieffer, who was a reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the day of the assassination and conducted the first interview with Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother as he rode with her from Fort Worth to Dallas to see her son in custody and who, CBS News noted, is “the only current network news anchor who was in Dallas on the day of the shooting.”  That’s the closest CBS News got to mentioning Rather in today’s announcement.

Related: R.I.P. CBS Newsman Lew Wood

Detailing plans for its primetime special, As It Happened: John F. Kennedy 50 Years, to include video from the CBS News archives from the day of the assassination, CBS News mentioned Cronkite’s moving report, and described the other footage thusly: “Viewers are in the moment with legendary anchor Walter Cronkite and journalism’s iconic reporters: Charles Collingwood, Harry Reasoner, Charles Kuralt and Mike Wallace.” CBS News also noted that throughout the week, its web site will stream the original CBS News broadcast coverage of the assassination in real time, and the four-day period following the shooting, adding, “Viewers will relive the extraordinary 1963 CBS News reports from New York, Dallas, Washington and around the world as Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, Harry Reasoner, Charles Kuralt, Roger Mudd and others reported the tragedy.” Read More »

Comments 28

R.I.P. Newsman Lew Wood

By | Friday August 23, 2013 @ 1:44am PDT

The newsman who covered President Kennedy’s assassination and the civil rights movement for CBS and was an anchor on NBC’s Today in the mid-’70s has died of kidney failure In a Riverside hospice. Lew Wood was 84. He began his career in the early 1950s on the radio in Indiana. On Nov. 22, 1963, he was in Texas covering JFK’s visit. After reporting on the president’s breakfast speech in Fort Worth, he spoke by phone with his CBS colleague Dan Rather, who was covering Kennedy’s motorcade in Dallas. In Wood’s entry on, he recalled Rather telling him, “Hold on, Lew — don’t go away,” then quickly coming back on the line to say the president had been shot and that he should go to the hospital. Wood went on to anchor the news at WNBC New York before replacing Frank Blair on Today in 1975. He left the show a year later. Wood then went into PR, retiring in 2006.

Comments (0)