Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Steve Schlesinger, Robert Redford and Rather's "Crude Art"

One Week To the Dan Rather and Mary Mapes Film TRUTH.

COMMENTARY by Norman Simple McFursen, CPW News Service

     The Huff Post's Steve Schlesinger spoke with Robert Redford in New York about the role of Dan Rather and Mary Mapes in the 2004 CBS News' 60-Minute report that became known as "Memo-gate" and about the October 16 release of the film TRUTH.  Redford explained that the story of George W. Bush's work history at the Texas Air National Guard was true even if the Rather/Mapes memos were falsely manufactured copies of the originals. What Redford doesn't say is that the whole CBS debacle gave a new focus to a potentially fatal personal political history, but with the new twist, became a manageable blunder for the young Bush in the hands of the media-maestros.

     "Journalism is 'crude art'," said Rather according to Schlesinger.  Journalism is "crude art"? Oh contraire! Given its overhaul in the halls of "applied psychology" and "applied sociology" it is a very refined tool for myth spinning. Former CIA agent, John Stockwell, has said that when the Watergate story broke those at CIA were watching with great concern asking themselves "a break-in? We'd do three of those before breakfast."  Then came Deep Throat and the crashing career of an elected President. Could it be that Nixon was being sacrificed for some totally different reason? Like his hatred of the "Bohemian Grove Gang" and his ending the Vietnam War? 
     We see something of this overhaul of the media in the 1992 handling of Peter Brewton's book The Mafia, CIA and George Bush by Simon & Schuster that had promised Brewton that his contracted book, a tightly documented account of the S&L scandal players that showed that most were the Iran-Contra players.   Simon & Schuster had promised Brewton that Woodward & Bernstein's editor , Alice Mayhew, on All The President's Men by the Washington Post's, the two reporters that went after Watergate and Nixon with a vengeance, but not after the U.S. business partners of Anastosio Samosa after the killing of CBS reporter Bill Stewart in 1980.   They were Neal and Linden Blue, the producers of the Israeli/American-made Predator and Reaper drones.  Brewton's book was shelved by Simon & Schuster and Mayhew's editorship never materialized though the book was published in 1992 by Shapolsky Press with much less fanfare.
     The same Washington Post that was so concerned about Watergate spun the "consent for war" embellishments of the Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch stories and the same editor, Vernon Loeb, now at the Houston Chronicle, the city where Peter Brewton unpacked his story and Dan Rather's old stomping ground, co-wrote with Paula Broadwell ALL IN: The education of General David Petraeus.  Could the media, then, have been any clearer about its willingness to myth-spin?
     I'm encouraging all I know to see TRUTH, but to ask some powerful questions of it. Like, how does it handle the fact that Mapes and Rather knew the story in 1999 and didn't share it in 2000? And just how does the movie handle the totally believable testimony of Mrs. Marian Carr Knox whose account was butchered by Dick Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi and whose son, Pat Carr, defended her against these "princesses of darkness"....and what happened to The Washington Post's Steve Coll after his henchman, Jeff Leen, accompanied by IRE's Steve Weinberg, Leen's professor and friend, who together threw Gary Webb, author of Dark Alliance, under the runaway train of journalism's "crude art" as it rolled fast and far away from the community of the Fourth Estate?

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