James Vanderbilt (2015)

Last Featured: July 3, 2017

Image Credits: Sony Pictures Classics

Truth is the story of Mary Mapes, Dan Rather’s producer, whose journalistic integrity fell under fire when 60 Minutes aired a segment accusing George W. Bush of receiving special treatment in the National Guard.

Truth is unnervingly reminiscent of Kill the Messenger, the 2014 thriller that relays the astonishing story of the time the CIA trafficked cocaine into multiple American cities. Following the breaking news, powerful forces gathered to destroy the career—and life—of journalist Gary Webb.

Truth follows much the same path. In it, we see CBS news anchor Dan Rather’s producer, Mary Mapes, write and air a story accusing George W. Bush of receiving special treatment during his military service. Many of us are aware that her story and its consequences destroyed the noteworthy careers of both Mapes and Rather. But seeing how it all turned out does little to negate the power and importance of the gory details.

This is a harrowing, true story of the dangers that await someone who swats the beehive of power. We root for good to win while knowing that it will not, and the devastating fallout is what makes Truth a cautionary tale. It shows that no agency in a free society should wield unchecked power, and as in the case of Kill the Messenger’s Gary Webb, the consequences can be dire.