Truth, the film adaptation of former CBS News producer Mary Mapes‘ memoir, opens in theaters today. But you won’t see any advertising for it on CBS network programs. The AP’s David Bauder reports:
Sony Pictures Classics sought a multi-million dollar ad buy to promote the film on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show,” the “CBS Evening News,” ”CBS This Morning” and “60 Minutes,” but was turned down, said Sherri Callan, president of Callan Advertising, the company that places ads for Sony. Instead, Sony is advertising on ABC, NBC, Fox and several cable networks. CBS, which confirmed the rejection, told Callan it was not comfortable accepting the ads because of inaccuracies and distortions in the movie, and that it would offend longtime CBS News employees.
“It’s astounding how little truth there is in ‘Truth,'” said CBS Corp. spokesman Gil Schwartz, who is also a character in the film. The major motion picture, starring Robert Redford as Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett as Mapes, recounts their retracted 60 Minutes II report calling into question Pres. George W. Bush‘s military service. Mapes produced the CBS News story, which aired on Sept. 8, 2004, and Rather was the correspondent on it. An internal investigation would lead to Mapes’ dismissal and Rather’s retirement from CBS.
“There are, in fact, too many distortions, evasions and baseless conspiracy theories to enumerate them all,” Schwartz said, adding, “The film tries to turn gross errors of journalism and judgment into acts of heroism and martyrdom.”
The film isn’t getting any promotion on CBS News programs either. But CBS’s competitors have booked the stars: Redford was on the Today show on Monday, while Blanchett was on Good Morning America last week.