Just how bad is the movie 'Truth' that will be released tomorrow? So bad that even the notoriously liberal Vox is mocking it. Vox writer Todd VanDerWerff goes so far as to describe it as an example of why "so many people hate Hollywood liberals." As we shall see even Dan Rather in 2004 disagreed with the premise of "Truth."
Movies like Truth are why so many people hate "Hollywood liberals."
The central problem with Truth is how thoroughly it stacks its deck. It's not really comfortable with the idea that its central characters got something wrong, so it continues to insist — long past the point of reasonableness — that they got everything right, that even the famously suspicious memos that led to so many of their firings were never definitively proved fake (that's because they also can't be definitively proved genuine). It really wants you to think they got the right story and were buried for it.
Which is bullshit. The characters at the film's center — led by veteran producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) — got rolled by a flimsy source whose background they didn't spend nearly enough time checking, a man who obtained mysterious documents under mysterious circumstances, then completely undercut his own story as soon as the temperature started to rise. (Perhaps tellingly, the film is based on Mapes's book.)
...first-time director James Vanderbilt shoots his heroes in soft focus, like they're real-life versions of Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, the only people willing to stand up for what's good and right in a world gone mad. "The rest of the story was airtight!" the movie argues, "So who cares about those memos? (Also, the memos were totally real and nobody wanted you to know that.)"
That's all well and good for an argument in an online comments section, but in a movie that purports to be about finding the truth, it ignores how a mistake that fundamental is slightly different from, say, spelling someone's name incorrectly. The movie refuses to acknowledge its characters as anything other than glistening heroes, and that's its undoing.
...the origin of those memos doesn't hold up to any real scrutiny. Getting the story is important, yes, but sourcing is even more important, and that's where the two fell down on the job. (This is to say nothing of Mapes's contact with the John Kerry campaign, which literally comes out of nowhere in the film and is handled poorly.)
... this sort of liberal agitprop rarely serves to do anything other than puff up egos and make people feel good for believing what they do.
Finally, even the Dan Rather of 2004, in the wake of the scandal, disagreed with "Truth" and Dan Rather 2015 as he states in this apology video:
The failure of CBS News to do just that, to properly, fully scrutinize the documents and their source led to our airing the documents when we should not have done so. It was a mistake. CBS News deeply regrets it. Also I want to say personally and directly, I'm sorry.