Eight people, including Mapes, Rather and three CBS execs, lost their jobs over the scandal. As Kevin Drum wrote in Washington Monthly after the committee report was released, “It’s a train wreck. A complete disaster. You have to read the whole report to get the full flavor, but the nickel version is simple: It’s unbelievable that this ‘60 Minutes’ segment ever got on the air.”
Another climactic moment near the end comes when Topher Grace’s researcher character, having been fired by CBS, gives a similarly long and angry speech about how CBS and its then-corporate owner Viacom are simply doing the handiwork of its allies in the Bush administration because of Viacom’s interests involving FCC rules.
That speech is equally nutty: It raises the question of why CBS would have allowed the story — or any other anti-Bush stories — to run in the first place. Mapes won a Peabody for her reporting that same year on the Abu Ghraib scandal.
“Truth” is based on Mapes’ memoir, “Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power.” Mapes, who hasn’t worked in TV news since the scandal, and Rather insist to this day they were right, and Rather even sued CBS for breach of contract. The lawsuit was laughed out of court — in much the same way that “Truth” will be laughed out of theaters.