CBS has refused to airs ads for “Truth,” denouncing the drama about the 2004 CBS News scandal now known as “Rathergate.” The controversy came after CBS aired a “60 Minutes II” report about George W. Bush’s military record that it was later forced to retract, ending Dan Rather’s career and tainting the network.
CBS criticized the film and denied Sony Pictures Classics’ attempt to purchase airtime during programs including “60 Minutes.” CBS Corp. spokesman Gil Schwartz, who is portrayed in “Truth,” told the The Hollywood Reporter, “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.”
Brad Fischer, one of the producers of “Truth,” claimed to be surprised by the force of this condemnation. “To get an official statement from them that is negative was not surprising to anyone involved in the film. I think the one thing that surprised everyone was the tone and the emotional nature,” he said.
At the Hampton International Film Festival just last weekend, Rather spoke of the film’s veracity, saying, “If you want to know what it’s really like to be inside the newsroom and out on the streets and on the phone, this is the best that’s ever been on the big screen.”
“Truth” opens in theaters select today, October 16.