Robert Redford to Play Dan Rather in Bush Story Film

Image: Robert Redford to Play Dan Rather in Bush Story Film Veteran newsman Dan Rather, left, and Actor Robert Redford.

Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 02:57 PM

By John Blosser

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Hollywood star Robert Redford plans to play veteran newsman Dan Rather in a film about the controversy that got the television newsman kicked off the "CBS Evening News" after 24 years as anchor.

The film is based on the book "Truth And Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power," by Mary Mapes, Rather’s producer at CBS the time, until "Rathergate" also brought her down.

On his website, Rather wrote, "I do know that Mary Mapes wrote a great book and that Redford and Cate Blanchett, who is to play Mapes, are incredible talents. I've always been impressed by what Esquire magazine described as Redford's "faith in film as truth telling.

"And partly because of that I am pleased that he's agreed to take on the challenge of trying to make a film about political and corporate interference with truth-telling investigative journalism." 

Rather, 82, ran afoul of CBS over a 2004 "60 Minutes" report he anchored about President George W. Bush receiving special treatment that allowed him to serve in the Air National Guard rather than being drafted into service in the Vietnam war. When the documents on which the story was based came under suspicion of being forgeries, Rather retired from CBS.

However, as Mediaite reports, he still stands by the story, telling Piers Morgan, "With our story, the one that led to our difficulty, no question the story was true."

Rather, who went so far in 2007 as to file a $70 million lawsuit against CBS which was later dismissed, has since appeared on "Dan Rather Reports" on AXS TV.

The film project has yet to attract funding and Rather commented on his website, "A long life has taught me that he who lives by the crystal ball learns to eat a lot of broken glass; so who knows if the movie will actually get made."

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