Bruce Greenwood: Right Wing Swamped ‘Truth’ in RatherGate

Veteran character actor defends his role in Robert Redford's journo feature

Bruce Greenwood is getting a crash course in journalism for his latest role.

The character actor recently wrapped his scenes in “Truth,” which revisits how Dan Rather’s career capsized after his report on President George W. Bush’s military record got exposed by conservative blogs like Power Line.

The film, starring Robert Redford as Rather and based on CBS producer Mary Mapes’ 2006 memoir, is set to hit theaters later this year.

Truth Official Trailer #1 (2015) - Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford Drama HD

Greenwood, who plays Mapes’ boss in the film, contends what we know about Rathergate is mostly fiction, and he knows why.

The incident “reflected poorly, ultimately, on CBS and Viacom who were unwilling to pursue the truth because there was legislation forthcoming that if they didn’t play ball with the [Bush] administration the legislation would have cost them millions and millions and millions of dollars,” Greenwood says. “Rather than allow Mary Mapes and Dan Rather to support their story, they allowed this avalanche of right-wing resistance to swamp the real story.”

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Greenwood’s take on Rathergate’s fallout? Modern journalists are “under the thumb” of the powers that be, not the news cycle.

“[‘Truth’] reminds you the stories that are told on CBS, NBC and the major networks, to some degree, are a function of what their brass is willing to address, and what their brass is willing to address has everything to do with their bottom line,” he says.

He complains that even Wikipedia has it wrong when it comes to Rathergate, according to his viewpoint.

“It’s a reminder that if bull-expletive is repeated often enough it becomes perceived truth, conventional wisdom,” he says.

CBS News’ 2004 report relied on documents from an ex-Texas National Guard officer casting a harsh light on Bush’s military record. Those documents were quickly attacked as forgeries by new media journalists, a charge neither Rather nor Mapes could realistically refute.

An independent investigation led by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and former Associated Press President Louis Boccardi found CBS’s report didn’t “follow basic journalistic principles.” Four CBS employees lost their jobs in the Rathergate fallout, including Mapes.

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Rather announced he would be retiring from his anchor chair prior to the investigation’s release. He later sued CBS for $70 million, claiming the network unfairly pinned the blame for the maligned story on him. The suit was dismissed in 2009.

Rather continues to defend the report, but despite hiring private investigators to find the truth has yet to produce evidence to back up his claim beyond the debunked documents.

Greenwood admits Rather and Mapes didn’t perform their duties flawlessly in the case.

“Could they have been smarter about how they pursued it and how they presented it? Oh sure,” he says.


  1. “Avalanche of right wing resistance?” So now we know Greenwood isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. And Robert Redford should leave Dan Rather alone as this embarrassment can’t be sugarcoated. That Hollywood would actually greenlight something like this is amazing.

  2. Greenwood is an @ss (I confess I like him as an actor). He should stick to a script someone else writes. Mapes and Rather’s “position” was insupportable and anybody with a damn lick of sense realizes it. If Greenwood wants to join the ranks of True Believers that’s his choice.

  3. Has Robert Redford made a successful movie since “The Sting?” The new Rathergate movie will doubtlessly join a long line of recent left wing flops.

  4. Maybe Joe Biden can help Mr. Greenwood straighten this whole mess out by sharing some of his vintage Television Footage of FDR from 1929.

  5. “Could they have been smarter about how they pursued it and how they presented it? Oh sure,” he says.

    I’ll translate for us common folk: “Could Mary Mapes have penned a memoir that wasn’t a vindictive, narcissistic, self-serving fantasy? Could Dan Rather have chosen not to enable Mapes’ psychosis? Oh sure.”

  6. Could they have done their jobs better? Sure, they could have actually done their jobs and not pushed partisan positions. “Fake but accurate” about says it all.

  7. No one will go see this movie aside from those in Hollywood who already jerk themselves in the face of a circular mirror.

  8. You have to remember that truth is not a leftist value. “Fake but accurate (in their own mind)” pretty much sums it up.

    1. Yes. We know the narrative was true because Rather would never tell a lie, excepting his claim that the documents supporting the narrative were true. But he can be forgiven that because CBS backed up his claim until the internal investigation found malfeasance, and then he and Mapes had to resign because the narrative and the documents were a lie. But as PeteRR says, “the narrative was true.” But as Pilate said, “What is truth.”

      1. Don’t be obtuse. What I said is what Rather and Mapes have been saying since they got caught. The narrative is false also.

  9. “It’s a reminder that if bull-expletive is repeated often enough it becomes perceived truth, conventional wisdom,” he said

    Boy do We all know that…..

    Peak Stupid™

  10. Mapes was fired over the journalistic malpractice. The “punishment”? A book contract and a movie deal – rewarded for the fabrication. Greenoord bypasses common sense by not considering his film is based on a liar’s memoir of the event.

  11. Also, I’m curious as to how Greenwood justifies the fact that one of the memos was reportedly written by someone who had been discharged from the Texas ANG a year and a half before it was supposedly written…
    Actors: People who think other people’s thoughts for a living.

  12. The right wing invented Microsoft Word, Windows, and TrueType fonts in order to swamp the truth. They’re effing BRILLIANTLY DIABOLICAL.

  13. The documents weren’t “attacked as forgeries.” They were proven to be forgeries. Proven undeniably to be forgeries.

  14. Not only were the documents fake, but CBS coordinated the report with Democratic Party operatives. “Could have been smarter”? That’s like saying Michael Moore “could have been slimmer”…

  15. Have Rather and Mapes ever found “Lucy Ramirez” who produced those comically fraudulent “1960s era typewriter-written memos” on twenty-first century Microsoft Word software?

  16. I haven’t enjoyed Robert Redford since “The Natural”. it’s that left wing arrogance that did him in for me. He’s very successful but age has not been good to him at all.

  17. So now we see that Robert Redford, et al. plan to make “Truth” the Rathergate version of “Loose Change.” I’m seeing practically “straight to video” on this, but no doubt next year it’ll receive more Academy Award nominations than “Ben Hur.”

  18. The rathergate document was proven beyond any doubt to be a modern forgery and a very very poor one produced in Microsoft word. The document simply could not have been created by the technology available at the time. This is more evidence that democrats are either liars or they are incredibly stupid low information voters who don’t know how stupid they are when they accept the lies of their fellow totalitarian oligarch democrats

  19. Marion Carr Knox’s totally believable interview with Rather was stripped from the Vanderbilt script of Truth? Gen. Belasarius Flores who Mapes included in the book, Truth and Duty, was relegated to the last name on a chalkboard list of unreachable witnesses when he was a solid backer of Knox’s story in the book?

    This film was a Bush family propaganda piece in 2015/16 to support JEB’s Presidential aspirations, as much as Patricia Goldstone’s 2015 book, Interlock, by the publisher of Hatfield’s book, Fortunate Son, from 1999/2000 was a GWB hit job.

    Mapes had this story in 2000 but didn’t report it then because as Vanderbilt show “her mother died”. And CBS didn’t have a contingency plan for this “the dog ate my homework” excuse for covering a monumental issue for a Presdential candidate?

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