Truth (2015) Script

♪♪♪ MAN 1: What are they saying about Bush?

MAN 2: Does he deserve reelection?

And here are the numbers. Forty-five percent say yes...

0,49 percent say no.

Democrats, 84 percent say no.

Eighty-four percent of Republicans say yes.

Independents, 51 percent now say he does not deserve reelection.

- That's a red flag. MAN 1: And what about for John Kerry?

- Is that good news? MAN 2: It should be.

Look at John Kerry's numbers, Tom. Positive-negative.

Positive 38 percent, negative 38 percent.

This thing is still a toss-up.

Mr. Hibey will see you now.

MAPES: Thank ya...

Ms. Mapes.

I'm Dick Hibey. What can I do for you?

Oh, I think you know.

You knit? You don't expect a woman like me... to knit? No. But it's good. It's helpful.

Yeah. You mean it blunts my radical feminist agenda.

Do you have a radical feminist agenda? You meet a lot of radical leaders?

Do you have a substance abuse problem?

I'm working on developing one.

I'm serious. Oh, so am I.

You came to me. If you're not up for this...

I've been in news for 20 years. Won two Emmys, broke Abu Ghraib... done jail time for not revealing sources. I have neither a feminist agenda... nor a substance abuse problem. Though I'm gonna take a Xanax... because this is really freaking me out.

Get any water?

Thanks. You have to be ready... for questions like that. I'm up for this.

[MAPES CLEARS THROAT]

There's an interesting recurring theme... to the stories you cover. Mm-hm.

People abusing their power. I don't like bullies.

Tell me about your work.

You wanna know if I'm responsible for what happened.

Aren't you? Look, I did my job. Believe me.

I don't have to believe you.

What matters is that they believe you. Now, tell me about your work.

I'm the producer. I find the story.

I put the team together. I write and cut the piece.

I work at 60 Minutes.

And what's that like?

♪♪♪ MAPES: Which one of you ordered the duck?

DANA: That would be Tom. Napkin.

Thank you. Thank you. Fatso.

They're gonna run it this time? They're gonna run it.

Because you said that last week. They're gonna run it, Roger.

Hey, uh, you want me to paint it out like this?

Oh, Jesus, no, it makes his genitals look like they were attacked by mad cubists.

Um...

Maybe you could just kind of darken the area.

Okay. Ahem.

Like that?

Okay, now it just looks like there's a black hole there.

DANA: From which no light can escape.

They're really gonna run it?

Because Sy Hersh has this... and he's gonna write a story about how we've sat on it.

Dana, can you tell Roger they're gonna run it, then hit him for me, will you'!

I gotta go grab him.

Can you finish it? DANA: Mm-hm.

He was the first journalist to report John F. Kennedy had been shot.

He described the Zapruder film in detail to a nation... that was not allowed to see it.

Became White House correspondent at the age of 33... chief London correspondent a year later... and brought the Vietnam War into American living rooms for the first time.

He covered the Russians in Afghanistan, the hostages in Iran... and in 1981, became anchor of the CBS Evening News.

He's now anchored more nightly news broadcasts... than anyone else in U.S. history.

That's no! Bad for the son of a ditch-digger from Wharton, Texas.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my friend... and the reason I have this job, Dan Rather.

[AUDIENCE APPLAUDING]

Long enough to give us a great market share, I'll tell you.

It's been a real pleasure. Real pleasure. Hey, Andrew, I need him.

Well, you're not taking him. You say that, but here I am.

You got him? Mm-hm. In a hotel two blocks up.

Let's go. Dan, you can't leave your own party.

I got 50 affiliates and their wives... I know.

Waiting to talk with you. Goddamn it. I know.

You wanna finish this off'? I've had three.

Mary.

WAITRESS: I'll take that for you, Mr. Hayward.

You know?

General. This is Dan Rather.

♪♪♪ General. Sir.

RATHER: Thank you for doing this.

Let's start from the beginning.

♪♪♪

[CLOCK TICKING ON MONITOR]

RATHER [ON TV]: Americans did this to an Iraqi prisoner.

According to the Army, the man was told to stand on a box... his head covered with wires attached to his hands.

He was told that if he fell off the box, he would be electrocuted.

It was this picture and dozens of others... that prompted an investigation by the U.S. Army.

Yesterday, we asked General Mark Kimmitt... deputy director of coalition operations in Iraq... what went wrong.

Every day we love our soldiers, but frankly... some days we're not always proud of our soldiers.

MAN [ON TV]: The military says six American soldiers... have been charged so far... and could be court-martialed. Others higher... min the chain of command will likely be disciplined.

I remember when you used to say "courage" at the end of every broadcast.

You remember that? DANA: I remember. Do you remember'?

You must be very old.

Why'd you stop? They made fun of him, that's why.

No. No, they did.

Seriously. Imagine? Oh, yeah.

Go on, give us a "courage," Dan.

No, come on. Mary. MAPES: Come on, just one.

For me. RATHER: I don't think so.

MAPES: For me, for me. DANA: Come on.

Just a little one.

Cum-Ha, ha.

Come on, please. CHARLES: Come on.

You really want it? DANA: I want it too, yeah.

Courage.

[MAPES & CHARLES LAUGHING]

Well, it worked at one time. MAPES: It did. It did.

Hey. Here's to a great story.

Yeah, once they finally ran it.

RATHER: Yeah. F.E.A.

ALL: F.E.A.

BOY: We're sitting here with Mommy. Thank you for being here.

No. Thank you for having me.

Mommy, you were away for a long time again.

Mm-hm. What were you doing?

I was in New York working on the news.

And what does that entail?

I was asking questions. Questions help reporters get to the truth.

Were you with the men with the cameras? Mm-hm.

Interesting.

Can I have a new camera, please?

We'll have to talk to your dad about that.

I'm trying to get to the truth here, Mommy.

Mm-hm.

Answer the question.

I think this interview is over.

Okay. Nice try.

MAN [ON TV]: President Bush said today... he was disgusted by pictures of Iraqi prisoners... being abused by American soldiers.

Caused a bit of a ruckus, didn't you?

Who, me? You didn't let Robbie watch it, did you?

Yes, because I'm the worst parent of all time.

And the damage to U. S. interests... in the rest of the world is hard to calculate, but...

- You wanna take a walk? Here's Martha Raddatz.

No, I think I have to work.

Mary, thanks for coming in. Look, no big preamble.

We love you. We love what you've done. It's...

Let's talk about the new season. What are you thinking?

I might have something for the election.

There's this Houston businessman named Bill White... who claims that he has documents that show the bin Laden family... were investors in Arbusto.

Arbusto? Bush's oil company?

You know, could just be lots of sound and fury, but Vanity Fair is into it too.

You know, that whole time period for Bush is funky.

Funky how?

Well, I did some work on it back in 2000.

You know Ben Barnes? No.

Oh, he's an old Texas pol.

Barnes says when he was the speaker of the Texas House... in '68 during Vietnam...

Sid Adger, this big oilman, comes into his office... and asks for help getting George Bush... into the National Guard as a pilot.

And Poppy Bush at this point is a congressman... and Barnes figures he can use the connections.

So he says that he called General Rose, who runs the Texas Air National Guard... and gets Bush his slot.

Barnes told you this?

Off the record. He's been dining out on the story for years.

I call Buck Staudt, Bush's squadron commander... and he starts screaming at me, saying how Barnes is full of shit... because everybody knows he's the one who got Bush into the Guard, not Barnes.

Anyway, while Bush is in the Guard, he meets this guy named James Bath.

And they become running buddies.

And after they get out, Bath, with no résumé to speak of... becomes chief financial representative... for the bin Laden family's interests in Texas.

Bush starts up Arbusto, Bath writes him a $50,000 check.

Which your guy, White, claims is bin Laden money?

Okay. Okay, run it down.

But if we go with this, we gotta go early. We can't October surprise them.

All right. If you're into this, I'd like to bring in some other people to help.

Who?

Colonel Roger Charles.

♪♪♪ Worked Abu Ghraib for us. Naval Academy grad.

Two tours at Vietnam, then the Pentagon.

When he's not working for us, he's trying to get better armor for troops in Iraq.

Who else?

MAPES: Well, since Dana's on maternity leave...

I'd like Lucy Scott to run point.

She's a CBS veteran, journalism professor in Dallas.

What about this man, Mike Smith?

Mikey cut his teeth working for Molly Ivins.

He was a researcher for us back in 2000.

Last I heard, he was a stringer for People.com. ..

“Sneaking into parties to find out who's sleeping with who.

Now, when you say "sport-fucking," he was just putting it to her for fun... or he's like actively attempting to compete at it?

It is a crack team.

Trust me.

You really gonna do it this time?

Your evil corporate overlords will let you?

Good to see you too, Mikey.

CBS is talking about closing foreign bureaus... moving into more of a bullshit infotainment direction.

They won't touch the news division, as long as Dan's there.

Dan's not gonna be there forever. They'll find a way to get the old man out.

Why did he even get into journalism if he's not gonna do the tough stories?

How you doing, Mikey?

Heh, heh...

Um...

I'm eating ramen three meals a day... stealing cable.

I could use a job.

Come in, meet everybody.

Well, hell's bells, you brought me a hippy?

This is Mike Smith, we worked on this together in 2000.

He has no social graces whatsoever. That's true.

Your Arbusto tip, it's for shit.

Bin Laden money never got near Bush.

Okay. un...

What am I doing here?

What you're looking at is George W. Bush's... entire Texas Air National Guard file.

You mean what's left of it, right? That's affirmative.

MIKE: Wait, wait, wait.

You guys are doing a paper trail.

Let me show you what we've got.

It starts right here.

May 1968.

Bloodiest month of the Vietnam War.

Bush is accepted into the Texas Air National Guard for pilot training.

And if you believe Ben Barnes, he got Bush onto the waiting list.

If there ever was a waiting list. Some say yes, some say no.

Bush says he got in quickly because they were looking for pilots... which is bullshit with the pilots rotating back in from Vietnam.

And that's another thing.

Training a National Guard pilot from start to finish, that's a huge rarity.

Why? It's not cost-effective.

Air National Guard jocks... they're former Air Force pilots who wanna maintain their ratings.

Why spend a million bucks training some new pilot... when you can get some guy the Air Force taught how to fly.

Only thing that makes Bush an attractive candidate is who he's connected to.

Well, either way, he's in.

He signs on for a six-year commitment.

He does his pilot training at Moody... then he's assigned to the 111th Fighter Intercept Squadron in Houston.

Now, the record shows that he does really well here.

High marks at every rating period, until the spring of 1972... when he is suspended in writing for missing a routine physical.

How does someone go from being a top-notch pilot... to not even taking a physical?

Well, not only that, but he requests and he is granted... a reassignment to Alabama where he helps a friend on his senate campaign.

Wait, so he disobeys an order and then they let him transfer?

Oh, hey, it gets better.

From May 1972 to May 1973... the record shows there are no points registered on Bush's record.

Points. They're like hours on a time card in the Guard.

What it basically means is that Bush never even showed up.

The Alabama commander, he has no recollection of him.

No eyewitness can place him on that base.

Find there is no paperwork to prove that he was ever there.

So you're telling me that the president of the United Slates... may have gone AWOL from the military for over a year?

We have no proof of that.

[SCOFFS]

What does the White House say? That Bush served honorably... and military records go missing all the time.

Military records do not go missing all the time.

They're the military. They are good at shit.

Now, the next time Bush appears on the official record is in July of 1973... when he shows up for drills.

And then in September of 1973... he requests and he is granted an early discharge. Why?

So that he can attend Harvard Business School.

So he asks to quit nine months early and they just let him.

So, what are the questions we're looking to answer?

One, did Bush go into the Guard to avoid going to Vietnam?

Not to be cynical, but who didn't try to get into the Guard to avoid 'Nam back then?

Me.

Bush's trainer in the 147th said he wanted to go to Vietnam.

There's only one document that deals with that in the official record.

On the question of desiring overseas transfer...

Bush checked no.

Bush's trainer said that must have been a mistake.

Because that's a question you get wrong. Two, why did he skip his physical?

Well, ifs not like he had a drug problem. He just liked the way it smelled.

MAPES: Okay, three.

If someone did get him into the Guard, then who?

How the hell do we get them to go on the record?

WOMAN [ON TV]: Forty-one percent say... they want Mr. Bush reelected, while 51 percent don't.

Is it that time of year again already... when I have to fend off the advances of a beautiful woman such as yourself?

Governor, you got the president of the United States into the National Guard.

I mean, my God, I find that very impressive.

Ha. It is impressive, isn't it?

Come on TV, tell us all about it.

Oh, we both knew if I ever said that...

"about Texas' favorite son on camera, I'd be run out of Austin on a rail."

No, sorry, Mary.

Johnny's gonna win this thing, anyway.

MAPES: Barnes is still a no. Who's next?

Colonel Jerry Killian. Bush's CO in the 111th.

If anyone will know what really went on, he will.

Small problem there.

Which is? Killian's dead.

Huh.

That's a pickle. MAPES: Who's next?

LUCY: General Buck Staudt.

Former CO of Bush's 147th Interceptor Squadron.

STAUDT: George was one of the best pilots I ever had.

So Tm gonna respectfully invite you to go fuck yourself.

[LINE DISCONNECTS]

General Bobby Hodges... succeeded Staudt as commander of the 147th, Killian's direct supervisor.

MRS. HODGES: My husband says... no strings were pulled for him.

Now, please stop calling our house.

[LINE DISCONNECTS]

LUCY: Maurice Udell, Bush's flight instructor.

UDELL [OVER PHONE]: No strings were pulled for him.

I thought he'd be a great American and a great fighter pilot.

[LINE DISCONNECTS]

Tom Honeycutt.

HONEYCUTT: No strings were putted.

[LINE DISCONNECTS]

Albert Lloyd.

LLOYD: No strings were putted.

[LINE DISCONNECTS]

Motherf...

[SIGHS]

Bill Hollowell.

HOLLOWELL: No strings were putted.

And even if they were, it's a non issue,.

Hey! Hey! Move, you son of a bitch!

[CAR HORN HONKING OVER PHONE]

[SIGHS]

MAPES: It was like they were given talking points.

[OVER SPEAKERPHONE] He was a great guy, no strings were pulled.

Well, devil's advocate, Mary. What if no strings were pulled?

You know who else was in the 147th?

Lloyd Bentsen's son...

John Connally's son, both of Sid Adger's sons...

H.L. Hunt's grandson, the heirs to the Sakowitz fortune... and half the starting line of the Dallas Cowboys.

Yeah, I'm sure ifs just a coincidence.

So, what's our next move?

I have no idea.

- MAN 1: I served with John Kerry. I served with John Kerry.

Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam.

He is lying about his record.

MAN 2: I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart...

"because I treated him."

MAN 3: John Kerry lied to get his Bronze Star.

I know, I was there, I saw what happened.

[CELL PHONE BUZZING]

MAN 4: His account of what happened and what actually happened... are the difference between night and day.

Yeah? MARK: Who is that?

My secret lover, go back to sleep.

MIKE: Have you ever heard of Linda Starr?

Mm-hm.

She runs this website, it's like a Gearing house for anti-Bush stuff.

She's hinting documents are gonna be leaked soon.

What kind of documents?

ASSISTANT: Mary Mapes is on line two.

Thank you.

- Mary. MAPES: I think we've got something.

Anti-Bush, Internet rabble-rouser.

Oh, God, I talked to her for three hours, but she put me in touch with her source.

A colonel who says he may have access... to missing documents in Bush's purged Guard file.

Sounds promising.

I got Mike Smith talking to him right now.

- Milk? Get a look at those documents.

And do some background on the colonel, make sure he isn't nuts.

[KIDS SCREAMING AND PEOPLE CHATTERING]

Thank you.

WAITRESS: Enjoy. Thank you.

Ahem. No. I saw it.

I saw it with my own two eyes. Those parts of Bush's file they didn't like... they tossed in the wastebasket. Do you have these?

Bill tried to talk about this in 2000, someone ran us off the road one night.

I ain't scared of them. Well, I am. I am scared.

All right, uh, let's say I have the documents.

Why should I show them to you? Why not one of the newspapers?

Because nobody reads newspapers. One of the other networks, then.

Don't know if you've noticed, there's not too many people... who actually do what we do anymore.

We're 60 Minutes. We're the gold standard.

We can help you.

Look, you come on camera...

No. No. No cameras.

Our name stays out of this.

They will destroy us for this, don't you understand?

Nicki, listen. I know what ifs like to be bullied.

To feel like they're too strong, and you're small and powerless.

But you're not.

And doing this will show them that.

Now, I promise... we will protect you.

♪♪♪

These are signed by Jerry Killian. Yes, they are.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

BURKETT: The first one says that Bush made no attempt... to meet his training certification.

That is a big difference than just missing his physical.

And the second one refers to his pilot position as critical.

Well, Bush said he stopped flying because they no longer needed pilots.

Mm-hm. But this document would prove that statement untrue.

Can you think of anybody who'd wanna fool you with these... like a political dirty trick?

I can't think of anyone who would hate me that much.

And do you have the originals of these?

No. No, I was only given copies.

And don't ask me where I got them, I'm not gonna tell you anything else.

You get your own experts if you want to, you have them look at them.

BOTH: We will.

September 15th, we don't have a show.

CBS is running The Billy Graham Crusade.

MAPES [OVER SPEAKERPHONE]: What about the 22nd?

Preempted again. Dr. Phil special.

So our air date is decided by an unholy confluence... between Billy Graham and Dr. Phil McGraw?

Jesus. News doesn't pay the bills.

There is one more option.

The 8th. As in five days from now?

- If you don't think... I need interviews.

I need to get the whole team to New York and I need... First, I need Dan.

Where is he?

Hurricane Frances is pounding the Florida coast... harder than a strongman trying to win a Kewpie doll at a carnival!

I'm gonna kill him.

You may not have to.

Maybe I can get him on a puddle jumper to Austin for the Strong interview.

I got an e-mail from the colonel about the documents saying, "I feel better."

[PHONE RINGS]

Yeah? A memorandum for record... is a memo to nobody, right'?

So why does Killian file them?

Well, Killian knows suspending a guy this protected is a big deal.

He's trying to do the right thing here, but he needs a paper trail to insulate himself.

Which means Bush's protection must've come from higher up than Killian.

You're thinking Hodges?

He was Killian's direct supervisor. I'll call you back.

[RINGING]

MAN [ON RECORDING]: You have reached the Hodges' residence.

Please leave a message.

MAPES: General Hodges, Mary Mapes from 60 Minutes.

I was wondering if you could give me a call back.

Holy shit!

Oh, ho, ho, you gotta see this. It's a video from a cell phone... at a Democratic fundraiser.

[LAUGHING]

Now... Thank you. Thank you.

Now, let's talk about John Kerry and George Bush...

- Is that Ben Barnes? BARNES: And I'm not name-dropping.

[BARNES LAUGHS]

You see, I got a young man named George Bush... into the Air National Guard when I was...

- . "lieutenant governor of Texas'" Oh...

Now, I'm not necessarily proud of that, but...

Holy shit!

I didn't know they were taping me. Did you see it? I looked like shit!

I thought you looked wonderful, Ben. Oh, don't you start.

The cat's already out of the bag and your man Kerry's 10 points down.

We're airing this piece in five days. Are you in or not?

We got him! We got Barnes! Burkett just called.

He's got more memos to hand off. We need to find his source.

Okay. Be at the airport in the morning.

- I'll fax you when I get there. Yes!

RATHER: "Bush wasn't here during rating and I don't have any feedback..." from 187th in Alabama. I will not rate. Austin is not happy either."

"Bush was not here during rating period."

They're trying to get Killian to file a rating for Bush while he wasn't even on base.

This is proof he was AWOL.

Who do I talk to first?

Is there any doubt in your mind that these memos are genuine?

Well, they are compatible with the way business was done at that time.

They are compatible with the man that I remember Jerry Killian being.

And what do you think Colonel Killian was trying to do?

I think he was trying to get a duty performed... and he was trying to protect himself because of the political environment.

So political considerations were a major force in the Guard?

It verged on outright corruption, the favors that were done... the power that was traded.

From a moral and ethical standpoint... it was unconscionable.

Let's go to New York.

I didn't get a chance to introduce myself.

Dan Rather. No shit.

I mean, I'm Mike Smith. I'm familiar...

I mean... I... I... I'm... Hello.

You know, Mary tells me you're the one that calls me "the old man."

Well, I... I really wish she hadn't shared that with you.

Look, I appreciate the hard work you're doing on this.

Asking questions, that's important.

Some people are gonna say it doesn't matter.

One side or the other's always gonna say you're being partisan.

But you stop asking questions, that's when the American people lose.

Now, that may sound hokey, but I believe it.

So keep it up.

Y- Yeah-Or no. Thank you.

You're welcome. Heh.

You know what's crazy?

Many things are crazy.

Tell me specifically what you feel is crazy.

The fact that they kept this secret for so long.

You do know why Mary didn't get this story done in 2000, don't you?

Uh-uh.

Mary's mother died... right in the middle of it.

And then the story never got finished and the election happened.

An election that was decided by 537 votes.

I think... that if Mary's mother hadn't died that summer... there's a real good chance that Al Gore would be president right now.

♪♪♪ DANA: And what about her father?

Mary's father is a drunken piece of shit... who hated himself so much, he beat his own daughters.

The more outspoken they were, she says, the harder he hit them.

So how do you think she fared? She would get beat up... for asking questions? That's right.

And this is what she does for a living?

People are funny sometimes.

It's part of what's between her and Dan, I think.

Why they work so well together.

It's why they need each other.

Fathers and daughters.

♪♪♪

MAN [ON TV]: Whatever it takes.

Tell me about the document examiners.

There are four. Marcel Matley is coming from San Francisco to do on-camera.

Linda James in Texas wants to see the originals.

Yeah, we don't have them. I told her.

Jim Pierce in Los Angeles just started today... and Emily Will in North Carolina wants you to call her.

Right. Got it.

WOMAN: I mink you have a problem.

I've been doing Internet research.

President was in Alabama when these were written, they can't be true.

Okay. Have you found anything wrong with the documents themselves?

Well, no, but... Do they appear forged in any way?

- Without the originals... That's okay.

You just let me worry about the investigational side.

I always work the whole thing.

Look, do you know where these originated?

Establishing chain of custody would go a long way...

"inward determining authenticity."

Yeah, believe me, we're working on it.

I give you the memos, you verify them, that was the deal.

You call the Kerry campaign for me yet?

They cannot lie down on this Swift Boat shit.

If you could just confirm where you got the memos from, we would be home free.

- I told you I cannot go on the record. I know.

I know. You wouldn't have to.

You just give me the name. All right? That's all I need.

George Conn.

- Buddy of mine in the Guard. Right.

He was there for the scrubbing. But you call him, he will deny it.

Thank you. Goodbye.

[RINGS]

MAN [ON RECORDING]: You have reached the Conn residence.

Please leave a message.

[ANSWERING MACHINE BEEPS]

Colonel, this is Mary Mapes with 60 Minutes.

Was wondering if you could give me a call at your convenience.

It's regarding a story we're airing on Wednesday night. Thank you.

Matley's here. Yeah.

I would say, based on our available handwriting evidence... yes, this is the same person.

This signature on the June 24th document shows some conspicuous differences.

But it also shows some inconspicuous... similarities to Colonel Killian's handwriting.

Right, and why might differences like this exist?

The content of the memo is highly stressful...

Killian telling a higher-up that he cannot rate Bush during his absence.

This is enough to explain differences in the pen strokes.

Would you excuse me a moment?

[WHISPERING] It's like watching paint dry. What am I gonna do?

[WHISPERING] That was in there somewhere. Think you can get the bite?

Did I have lint on my jacket? Two bottles of whiskey.

Okay.

[CLEARS THROAT]

[IN NORMAL VOICE] So, sir, are you saying... that if I present this to the American public... and say that to the best of our knowledge... these documents are all signed by the same man, am I on solid ground?

Yes.

Matley's a yes. Jim Pierce is a yes. Emily Will's still working.

Linda James wants more documents, but she'll defer to Matley.

Dates, contents of the Burkett memos mesh with the official record.

And I'm having Graphics mock something up to show it visually.

We don't have it yet.

Somebody has got to confirm the content of those memos.

Somebody who knew the players.

No one in the Guard is gonna step up.

Look what happened to Burkett. You talk, you get your head handed to you.

Who were Killian's commanders?

There's Buck Staudt, who figuratively and literally told me to go fuck myself... and Bobby Hodges, who I've left 18 messages for.

Fine, I'll do 19.

You guys feel like pizza?

I really feel like we should start thinking about pizza.

[RINGING]

Man: Hello?

General Hodges? Yeah.

Uh...

This is Mary Mapes with 60 Minutes.

I'd like to speak with you about some old memos...

I've come across from the 187th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

They, uh, appear to... from the personal files of Jerry Killian.

Well, I'd like to read them to you, if that's okay'!

All right.

Okay. Uh, the first one is dated June 24, 1973.

And the subject is Bush, George W., first lieutenant.

"Sir. I got a call from your staff concerning the evaluation..." of First Lieutenant Bush due this month.

His rater is Lieutenant Colonel Harris.

Neither Lieutenant Colonel Harris or I feel we can rate First Lieutenant Bush... since he was not training with the 111th FIS since April 1972.

His recent activity is outside the rating period.

"Advise me how we are supposed to handle this."

[HODGES SIGHS]

Okay, um, the...

This one is August 18, 1973 and the subject titled CYA... which I believe means "cover your ass"?

Okay. "Staudt has obviously pressured Hodges more about Bush."

I'm having trouble running interference and doing my job.

Harris gave me a message today from Group regarding Bush's OETR... and Staudt is pushing to sugarcoat it.

Bush wasn't here during rating period... and I don't have any feedback from 187th in Alabama.

I will not rate.

Austin is not happy today either.

Harris took the call from Group today.

I'll backdate but won't rate.

"Harris agrees."

Sir, are these memos familiar to you?

They are.

♪♪♪ But using someone's personal notes, that's going overboard.

You're trying 10 make news, create a story here where there ism one.

MAPES: No, sir, we're not trying to create anything.

Hold on a minute. Hold.

We have it.

RATHER: Tell me the truth... and the whole truth about what happened... with George W. Bush and the draft and the National Guard.

Sid Adger, a friend of the Bush family, came to see me... and he asked me if I would recommend...

George W. Bush for the Air National Guard.

And I did.

MAPES: I'm concerned about the sheer amount of story we have.

You know, what if we split it? You know, run Barnes tomorrow... and the documents on the Sunday broadcast.

Sunday's show won't give us the real estate. Where are we with the rest of it?

Well, I just got an e-mail from Emily Will.

She has some concerns about the superscript thing.

Superscript? It's the raised "th" after the 111.

She was worried that function wasn't available on military typewriters in the '70s.

But I spoke to Matley, he said they were available then... so Emily said she'd defer to him.

Good, all right.

Uh, White House will have someone for on-camera in the morning.

I can't send Dan because of the storm.

That fucking hurricane hates me.

Well, I don't think that I had the right... to have the power that I had.

To choose who was gonna go to Vietnam and who was not gonna go to Vietnam.

That's a power in some instances when I look at those names... of maybe determining life or death, and that's not a power I wanna have.

Too strong or not, to say you're ashamed of it now?

Oh, I think that that would be an appropriate thing.

♪♪♪ I'm very, very sorry.

[CLOCK TICKING ON TV]

What's it running?

It's 60 minutes, at least three over.

Some of the document stuffs a little slow, you can trim there.

How about flipping it, open with Barnes, then do the documents?

Keep it chronological.

MAPES: Mm-hm. You've got three hours.

Okay. MAPES: Right.

MATLEY [ON SCREEN]: Now, this signature, on the June 24th document... shows some conspicuous differences.

But it also shows some inconspicuous...

No. Go back. It's still too long.

Go back to the bit where he's... You've gotta lose Matley.

We're 40 seconds over, and he's a shit interview.

The meshing graphic doesn't work.

It shows where the new documents fall in with the originals. If we lose that...

Poorly. Look, we're out of time.

It's your call. What do you wanna do?

♪♪♪ Cut it.

We need to output in two minutes. I know.

If we don't start outputting, we're not gonna have a show.

Lock it and start outputting. If there's a computer hiccup...

Tom, I worship you, but shut the fuck up. Heh. Okay. All right.

MAN [ON TV]: Eighteen new castaways... will face their toughest challenge yet.

Survivor: Vanuatu premieres Thursday at 8, 7 Central. Only on CBS.

Somebody's gonna get burned.

[CLOCK TICKING ON TV]

The military records of the two men running for president... have become pan' of the political arsenal in this campaign.

A tool for building up or blowing up... each candidate's credibility as America's next commander-in-chief.

While Senator Kerry has been targeted for what he did in combat in Vietnam...

President Bush has been criticized for avoiding Vietnam... by landing a much sought-after spot in the Texas Air National Guard... and then, apparently, failing to meet some of his obligations in the Guard.

Did then Lieutenant Bush fulfill all his military commitments?

And just how did he land that coveted slot in the Guard in the first place?

Tonight, we have new documents... and new information on the presidents military service.

And the first interview with the man who says... he pulled the strings to get young George W. Bush... into the Texas Air National Guard.

♪♪♪


[INAUDIBLE DIALOGUE]

♪♪♪


[INAUDIBLE DIALOGUE]

The president's time in the National Guard reemerged today.

He enlisted in Texas, transferred is Alabama...

- and got out early to attend... This is what our business has become.

Reporting on reporting. I mean, why go to the trouble of breaking news... when all you have to do is just talk about other people breaking news, huh?

Thirty minutes from now, someone somewhere is gonna be doing... a story about this guy doing a story about us.

You know what? They're all gonna get Peabodys.

[CELL PHONE RINGS]

This one mattered.

It was great. Even the kid liked it.

Oh, really?

Yeah. Yeah, you're a hell of a reporter, babe.

[CHUCKLES]

All right, well, I'll be home tomorrow.

Okay, fly safe.

All right, I love you. Bye.

♪♪♪

[INAUDIBLE DIALOGUE]


BETSY: Hey, Mary? Mm-hm?

Um, what's going on? Because these...

These blogs are saying the memos can be re-created exactly in Microsoft Word.

Who's saying this? Well, it's a conservative website, but...

"Every one of these memos is in proportionally spaced font."

It's probably Palatino or Times New Roman.

In 1972, typewriters used monospaced fonts.

Proportionally spaced fonts did not come into use... until the introduction of personal computers.

They were not widespread until the '90s. Before then... you needed typesetting equipment. That wasn't used for personal memos.

I'm saying these documents are forgeries... run through a copier for 15 generations...

"to make them look old."

Okay.

♪♪♪ Mary?

What the hell is going on?

HOWARD: "Spacing is not just similar, it is identical in every respect."

Notice that the date lines up perfectly, the line breaks are in the same places... all letters line up with the same letters above and below.

And the kerning is exactly the same.

And I did not change a single thing from Word's defaults.

"Margins, type size, tab stops, etcetera, are all using the default settings."

What the hell are we gonna do?

Due respect, did you fuck up?

We had four document examiners and not one said the memos weren't real.

Did any of them try typing them into Microsoft Word?

I don't know, I'm not a document examiner.

But I'm assuming their job is to make sure these things weren't whipped up.

Just because guys on the Internet... It's not just the guys on the Internet.

ABC News is going after this.

Nightline. You mean they're going after Dan?

Yes.

SCHWARTZ: Tell them about the superscript.

It's the "th" that pops up after you type a number.

Like 111th. Yeah. I know what it is. What about it?

Bloggers are saying it's a big red flag this was done on a computer.

They say it didn't exist on typewriters in the 1970s.

Well... LUCY: One of the examiners... did raise that concern as well.

Emily Will.

Yeah, but Matley said they did have them, and she deferred to him.

They will kill us on that alone.

I don't understand, what do they want? They want us to say we're wrong.

Because if we're wrong... all the questions we've asked about the president's service go away.

Look. Okay.

We have the document examiners, okay?

Bob Strong, who worked at Guard headquarters... says the memos are written in the vernacular of the Guard at the time.

And we have Bobby Hodges, Killian's commanding officer... who confirmed both the content... and that they reflected Killian's state of mind at the time.

We have this story.

Well, make sure.

Reconfirm with everybody.

And find us another goddamn "th" in the official record.

♪♪♪

We need to find that "th."

[KNOCK ON DOOR]

MAPES: Hi. Yo.

MAPES: You heard? Yeah, yeah. It's bullshit.

Pardon my French.

People have attacked me for 30 years, it's not about to start bothering me now.

Now, are you okay?

We're gonna be in a fight here, Dan.

I still got a few good ones left in me. Did you get your contract sewn up yet?

I got the head of the news division his job, I'm gonna be fine.

You gonna give me something to hit back with?

Yes, sir.

The blast went off at 10:30 local time at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta... killing nine people and wounding 180.

Jemaah Islamiah, the Southeast Asian terrorist group... claimed responsibility for the attack.

MAN [ON TV]: "but several document experts contacted by ABC News... have raised serious questions about the authenticity of these new documents.

They point to the typeface, spacing and perfectly even imprint of the letters... that look more like the creation of a computer than a typewriter.

And there's this, the little superscript “th. “.

That's something very few typewriters could do in 1972.

[LINE RINGING]

MAN [ON RECORDING]: You have reached the Hodges' residence.

Please leave a message.

[ANSWERING MACHINE BEEPS]

General Hodges... this is Mary Mapes. We need to get in touch again. Can you call me?

Thank you.

MAN[ON TV]: Avoid Vietnam has followed him... since he ran for governor of Texas... wand Mr. Bush has always denied it.

BUSH: I enjoyed it and I enjoyed my service...

Nothing.

You done with these?

Never were mine. Okay.

WOMAN: That he was a person who did n...

Staudt was already out of the Guard.

What are you talking about?

The CYA memo, dated August 18, 1973.

"Staudt has obviously pressured Hodges more about Bush."

Staudt left the Guard in 1972.

So how the fuck can he still be pressuring?

Listen, when a commanding officer...

No, the bloggers are having a field day. When a general leaves his posting... and goes to work for Quantico on the same base... he still wields an enormous amount of influence. It doesn't matter when he left.

Back me up, Roger. She's right.

Yeah. Right, well, uh...

Forgive me if I don't think everyone is gonna see it the same way you do.

[MAN SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY ON TV]

This is bad.

No, when they start asking to talk to our source... then it'll be bad.

They're coming for us, Roger.


Mm...

[SIGHS THEN CHUCKLES]

I've got one.

MAPES: What?

I have a superscript "th" here. MIKE: Ha-ha-ha.

Josh!

♪♪♪ Call Dan, tell him we just got in the fight.

MAN 1 [ON TV]: So can the experts say...

George, positively that these weren't typed... and couldn't have been made in the early '70s?

MAN 2: They say all the clues indicate that. They're not making... an absolute 100 percent guarantee, and CBS is still standing by its story.

And in fact, they're also pointing to another source... a Colonel Robert Hodges...

“who was an immediate superior of Mr. Killian,.

They say they read these documents to Colonel Hodges.

He said, "Sounds like what Killian was telling me at the time."

Hodges is not speaking to anyone yet.

Because we can't get him on the fucking phone!

RATHER: Those raising questions about the documents... have focused on something called superscript.

A key that automatically types a raised "th."

Critics claim typewriters didn't have that ability in the 1970s, but some did.

In fact, other Bush military records released by the White House itself... show the same superscript.

Here's one from 1968.

Some analysts outside CBS... say they believe the typeface on these memos is New Times Roman... which they claim was not available in the 1970s.

But the owner of the company that distributes this typing style... says it has been available since 1931.

Document and handwriting examiner Marcel Matley... analyzed the documents for CBS News.

He says he believes they are real... but is concerned about exactly what is being examined... by some of the people now questioning the documents.

Because deterioration occurs each time a document is reproduced.

And the documents being analyzed outside of CBS had been photocopied... faxed, scanned and downloaded... and are far removed from the documents CBS started with.

Matley did this interview with us prior to Wednesday's broadcast.

We look basically at what's called significant or insignificant features... to determine whether it's the same person or not.

So I have no problem identifying them.

I would say based on our available handwriting evidence... yes, this is the same person.

Matley finds the signatures to be some of the most compelling evidence.

We talked to him again today by satellite.

Are you surprised questions come about these? We're not, but are you surprised?

I knew going in this was dynamite, one way or the other,.

And I knew that potentially this could do far more damage to me professionally... than benefit me.

And... And I knew that.

But... But we seek the truth. That's what we do.

You're supposed to put yourself out, seek the truth... and take what comes from it.

RATHER: Fax he CBS Evening News...

Dan Rather reporting.

Good night.

STAGE MANAGER: And we're clear.

[SIGHS]

I told you I had it in me. BETSY: I'm calling Andrew right now.

F.E.A. No kidding.

What'd you think? I think you parked it.

Bobby Hodges is on the phone.

General Hodges? This is Mary Mapes. I've got Dan Rather on the line with me.

HODGES: Why is The Washington Post... describing me as your trump card in this?

Did you tell them that, Dan?

I did not, sir.

It says a highly placed CBS source referred to me as your trump card.

Well, sir, that was not me and it was not Dan.

Well, good, because I'm not. I've seen all the coverage.

And I have to say I think these memos are fake.

You...? Excuse me?

I do not believe Jerry Killian wrote those memos.

Sir, when we spoke on...

September 6th... I'm sorry, I'm just going through my notes.

When we spoke, you said the content of the memos was familiar to you.

Is that correct? Yes.

And that they reflected Colonel Killian's mind-set at the time.

And they do.

Bu! I hadn't physically seen them.

So, what physically about the memos makes you now doubt their authenticity?

Jerry's family says he didn't write them.

Uh...

General, the thrust of our story was about what happened... with the president's Guard service. Now, if as you say...

Colonel Killian really did feel this way... and the things described in the memos are true... we'd like to talk to you about that.

I'm just telling you I now believe the memos are forgeries.

Forget the memos, sir.

Is what we presented about President Bush accurate?

- I don't wanna get in the middle of this. Get him to go on camera.

Would you be willing if I came to see you to talk to me on camera?

No, Dan, I'm sorry.

Maybe after the election.

- General, if you... Look, the family says they're fake.

And I'm supporting the family, okay? I'm sorry.

[LINE DISCONNECTS]

Shit!

All right, what are we doing about Hodges recanting?

We say we respect General Hodges... and believed him the first time we spoke with him.

Uh, ABC is reaching out to two of our examiners.

Emily Will and Linda James. They say they never authenticated the memos.

Of course they didn't.

HEYWARD: Why? They...

They... They couldn't.

Well, because they're copies.

There's no original ink or paper to, you know, test.

No one can say with 100 percent certainty they're real or forgeries.

That's why they can attack us.

Except on the Internet, they are certain...

Those are lousy wannabe analysts. We get lousy analysts of our own.

Our story was about whether Bush's connections got him into the Guard... and covered for him when he missed commitments.

Research we found backs that up.

The documents, they were a small part. They were not the point of the story.

It doesn't matter what the point of the story was. We have to...

They do not get to do this. HEYWARD: Do what?

They do not get to smack us just for asking a fucking question.

♪♪♪

HEYWARD: Monday morning...

I want analysts backing us up.

Let's go.

[COMPUTER CHIMES]


♪♪♪


[SNIFFLES]

MARK: Hey. Hey.

When did you get in?

I was worried there might be cameras at the airport.

Didn't want Robbie to see that.

God, what are you doing in here?

Working. Why don't you take a break?

I'll go get dressed, we can take a walk.

No, I don't need to take a fucking walk. I wanna sit here and do this, okay?

[SCOFFS]

This... Okay.

♪♪♪

[SIGHS]

I'm sorry.

It's okay. No, it's not.

It's just-No matter what I say, no matter what I do, I'm gonna get hit.

This...

This is not that.

When my dad would start in on me, I would think:

"I am not gonna cry."

I am not gonna ask him to stop.

"I'm not gonna give him the satisfaction of seeing how much it hurts."

And he would just go in harder.

And I would think, "Someday, I am gonna fight you."

And I never did.

MARK: Now.

You have to fight now.

Everything that's in those documents that people are saying can't be done... as you said, 32 years ago, is just totally false.

Not true. Like I said, proportional spacing was available.

Superscripts was available as a custom feature.

Go back to the beginning of the list. I think that's useful, don't you, Roger?

Word's come down from Andrew.

They wanna talk to your source.

Well, what if my source doesn't wanna talk to them?

Then you'll convince him.

You're good at convincing people to do things, aren't you, Mary'?

I just want you to know how important your support has been... throughout this entire process.

Call your fucking source, Mary.

Now... it's bad.

NICKI: You said he wouldn't have to. I know, just...

You'd verify the documents and he wouldn't have to do anything else.

Well, it didn't work out that way, did it?

Oh, I'm sorry, Nicki. I'm just... I'm ti... I'm just tired.

Bill did nothing wrong.

No one's saying he did.

I just need to get him on the phone with my boss... and tell him what he told me.

[SIGHS]

It would mean a lotto Dan.

Would you, please?

Bill, this is Andrew Heyward, I'm the president of CBS News.

BURKETT [OVER SPEAKERPHONE]: Is Dan there?

I'm here, colonel.

Well, I heard Hodges turned tail on you. Heh.

All these guys run from it.

You know I got health problems.

I had heard that, which is why I don't wanna take up too much of your time.

I was wondering if you could fill me in on a few things.

Shoot.

Well, how you came to be in possession of the documents.

You told Mary it was from a man named George Conn?

Well, she was bugging me so much about it, I had to tell her something.

So that's not accurate?

- No, sir, it is not. Fucking...

Would you mind telling us what really happened?

"I got a sail in March from a guy."... who said a woman named Lucy Ramirez... wanted to get in contact with me.

He told me to call the Houston Holiday Inn between 7 and 10... wand ask for a specific... so I did.

This woman told me she was supposed to be a go-between... a person to deliver a package of documents to me.

And I was supposed to copy the documents... and then burn the originals, which were also copies, and the envelope.

- [MOUTHING] Bullshit. BURKETT: Destroy the DNA evidence... of where they come from, you see?

Yeah, of course.

"So she says," When are you gonna be in Houston next?

I tell her, "We're coming to the livestock show in a few weeks."

We sell Simmental cattle.

The show is en excellent way to advertise our bull semen.

So the first day at the show, a dark-skinned fella comes up... mend hands me an envelope and walks away.

Inside are those memos.

I burned the rest like he said,.

Done and done.

And was this the same man who talked to you on the phone?

No idea, Maybe.

And you didn't tell Mary all this before because...

Well, I-I said I'd keep it quiet.

Mary did a good job on this. Don't judge her too harshly.

Thanks, Bill.

[BURKETT SPEAKS IN SPANISH]

Well, Bill, this is, uh...

This is pretty amazing stuff.

I wonder if you'd be willing to come down and sit and talk about it for us.

Help clear the air for everyone.

I don't know. What do you mink, Dan?

I think they can't hit us any harder than they already are, colonel.

I'd go on the record and tell the truth.

Be done with it.

Okay.

My office will make the necessary arrangements.

Thank you for your time. Goodbye.

[SPEAKERPHONE BEEPS]

[CLEARS THROAT]

HEYWARD: We need him on the air soon.

Betsy. BETSY: Yep.

Mary, will you hang back a sec?

With Burkett, there needs to be a line of questioning about his motives.

His political leanings, his views on the president, why he lied.

People will cover how we cover this. We need to inoculate ourselves.

Thou shalt always protect the company.

I want Dan to survive this.

Why wouldn't he survive this?

If Dan feels like this is corporate positioning, he won't do it.

He won't for me.

He will for you.

♪♪♪

MAPES: He's on oxygen, so...

RATHER: Uh-oh. The vultures are here. Oh, Jesus.

[ALL CLAMORING]

Dan! Dan!

Mary, comment? Excuse us, folks.

Over here. Right here.

RATHER: Excuse us. Pardon me, ma'am. MAN 1: Dan, a comment, please.

Excuse me. MAN 2: Dan!

RATHER: Excuse us. MAN 2: Dan!

You broadcasted those fake memos. You feel duped?

Can you confirm the memos were typed on a word processor?

How would you feel about betraying the people?

Just drive. MAN 2: Mary!

Who the fuck are you people?

MAPES: You know anybody?

Yeah, if you could just see if you can stop it, okay? Just get them to pull it.

RATHER: Colonel. MAPES: Yeah. All right. Bye.

Where are the Burketts? Upstairs, getting ready.

Dan?

We need to ask why he lied to us, okay?

We need to make sure we get that.

I just wanted to come say hello before we get things going.

Oh, thank you, Dan. I appreciate that.

RATHER: How do you do, ma'am? Hello there.

Now, look, these things are fairly easy. We're just gonna sit and talk.

.Okay-.Okay-

Now, I will ask you about why you misled us. I don't want you to be surprised.

No, I was expecting that.

I'm happy to set the record straight. Great.

Now, if you need to stop, need a glass of water or anything, that's just fine. Okay?

Okay, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna get my war paint on.

That's the worst part of this job, makeup. BURKETT: Ha, ha.

The sound's ready when you are.

It's gonna be fine, Nicki. Okay?

Unh. Yep. Unh.

RATHER: But you told us a different story.

To protect the people who gave me the documents.

Did they ask you to do this?

They wanted me to burn everything.

They didn't want people to know that they were the source on this.

This man and this mystery woman.

That's right. Can I please have some water?

Oh, of course.

♪♪♪ We need a better bite on this.

So maybe instead of, "Did they ask you to do this?" say, "Did they ask you to lie?"

Yeah.

Yeah. Okay.

Ahem. Now, we're gonna go back for a moment.

Okay.

This man and this mystery woman, did they ask you to lie to us?

They didn't want me to say how I got the documents.

RATHER: I see.

I see. So that's why you misled us? BURKETT: Yes.

Your producer was pushing me to find out where I got the memos from.

I see.

So then, that's why you lied to us?

Yes.

And I know it caused some...

[COUGHING]

Some problems. Excuse me.

♪♪♪


[WHISPERS INDISTINCTLY]

[CLEARS THROAT]

RATHER: Whenever you're ready. Yeah.

Okay.

You said you knew that these memos would cause a problem?

I knew it did, but I didn't know it at the time.

I see. Now, again... why didn't you tell us the truth when you gave us those memos?

To protect people, Dan.

People who were trying to tell the truth about what really happened back then.

And do you believe those documents are telling the truth?

Yes. Yes, I do.

RATHER: I see. I see, So...

We already have that. I need to make sure we...

No, we've got it. I'm moving on.

He's a good guy, you know.

You think I enjoyed that?

We should cut something for the news... get it out immediately. Andrew agrees.

F.E.A.

You know, you guys and Dan always say that. What the hell does it mean?

[KNOCK ON DOOR]

It's open.

Excuse me.

How's Bill?

Oh, don't you dare ask how Bill is.

Bill is sick. He's a sick man. You don't give a damn about him.

You just spent two hours trying to destroy him.

You made him crawl on camera.

You made him say again and again that he lied.

And that still wasn't enough for you. You wanted more.

You wanted to blame him for all the things you did wrong... putting this story together.

You wanna wrap it in a neat package, say "it's Bill Burkett's fault."

Well, it's not, and you know it.

You promised when we came here to do this... that we would get a fair shake, and we got nothing from you but lies.

Nicki... You may think I am some stupid hick... who doesn't know a damn thing... and you're so smart and such a big shot.

But I keep my promises... and I don't destroy people to protect myself.

I don't destroy people and humiliate them... and then pretend I give a goddamn about how they are.

To answer your question, Bill is not good.

But then, you knew that already.

[SIGHS]

[DOOR OPENS THEN CLOSES]

We need to talk.

♪♪♪

[KNOCK ON DOOR]

What are the chances you have something alcoholic in there?

Better than average.

How long have we known each other?

Oh, Jesus, is it that bad?

[BOTH SIGH]

They're gonna start an investigation.

And CBS wants to appoint an independent panel... to take a look at how the story was put together.

And I'm gonna announce it.

Tomorrow.

I'm gonna apologize for the story, on air.

Andrew asked you to apologize?

He didn't ask.

Dan, that's... It's surrender. Ever since Burkett changed his story...

Andrew feels that CBS cant afford the risk to its reputation...

Oh, God. He knew.

Even before we went down there. Just wanted to get Burkett on tape.

Mary, you gotta promise me something.

Stop worrying about me.

Yeah, well, that's not gonna happen.

You gotta protect yourself now.

We all do.

Thank you for the drink.

[DOOR OPENS THEN CLOSES]

New, news about CBS News... wand the questions surrounding documents we aired on this broadcast... and on the Wednesday edition of 60 Minutes on September the 8th.

The documents purported to show George W. Bush received...

"preferential treatment during his years in the Texas Air National Guard."

At the time, CBS News and this reporter... fully believed the documents were genuine.

Tonight, after further investigation... we can no longer vouch for their authenticity.

I'm sorry this was your first story here.

[SCOFFS]

Well, I was thinking next week... we just have Dan shoot the president.

Cause a lot less drama.

[BOTH CHUCKLE]

Hey, uh... Hey, Mary, USA Today wants to know if you put Burkett in touch... with the Kerry campaign in exchange for documents.

I know what this is about. Josh, do you remember when I told you...

Burkett wanted to give the Kerry campaign advice on the Swift Boat stuff?

Remember, I wanted to do a bullshit check... after he said he spoke with Howard Dean.

And you said that I could contact the Kerry people to check.

Then Burkett wanted me to give him his phone number... and you said I could, so...

So... So I did. Do you...

Do you not remember any of this?

I must not have been clear.

You must have misunderstood what it was you could do.

Oh, Jesus Christ, this is, uh...

This is unbelievable. I mean, what the fuck else is gonna happen?

Be... Betsy... No.

You know what, Mary? Maybe it's best if you just went home.

♪♪♪

RATHER [ON TV]: The failure of CBS News... to properly, fully scrutinize the documents and their source... led to our airing the documents when we should have not done so.

Xi was a mistake. CBS News deeply regrets it.

Also, I want to say, personally and directly, I am sorry.

CBS has hired the firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham... to conduct a review panel.

You paper-trailed them.

Of course.

They're a big firm, got about a thousand lawyers headquartered in Seattle.

They specialize in internal investigations.

They're the same ones that Bush brought in last year to rip apart WorldCom.

We're as bad as them?

Oh, it gets worse. The panel... will be co-chaired by K & L partner Richard Thornburgh.

He's the former governor of Pennsylvania, first appointed... as a U.S. attorney under Richard Nixon.

Ran for Congress twice. Defeated both times by Democrats.

His second campaign was run by Karl Rove.

Yup.

CHARLES: But the crown jewel in his résumé... is the time served as U.S. attorney general from '88 to '91 under former president George H.W. Bush.

Jesus.

Who goes in first?

First Dan, then me... then Lucy, the colonel, then you.

You're the grand finale.

And why? Why is that?

Because they wanna have as much as they can on you... when they sit you down in that chair.

Holy shit.

[PHONE RINGS]

MARK: Yeah, I'm sorry. She's not speaking to reporters.

It's Heyward. If they put someone else on, hang up.

They can't fire you if they don't have a witness on the line.

Thanks for the pep talk. Andrew. HEYWARD: Mary.

We've hired a private detective to go back over everything.

I need you to hand over your notes, your e-mails, everything.

Listen, I was thinking, if we could find the typewriter...

Stop working on the story.

Well, all work on the Bush-Guard story has officially ceased.

I can't imagine why.

[MAPES SIGHS]

Hey, what are you looking at, buddy?

The men with the cameras.

Are they friends of yours?

♪♪♪

No.

MARK: Take him upstairs.

MAN: In other news, CBS' internal investigation... into their story on George W. Bush's National Guard service begins today... with the review panel convening at Black Rock.

I left my wallet in a cab. I'm supposed to be in front of the panel.

You can't be here.

Excuse me? You're not allowed in the building.

I'm not allowed in the building according to who?

Management. You have to go, now.

Uh...

Okay, do you understand what's happening here?

I understand you're leaving.

Our... Your parent company is currently lobbying... a Republican-controlled Congress for deregulation and tax breaks... that could potentially save them hundreds of millions of dollars.

And we just aired a report that could cost those same Republicans... the presidency. Security to the 10th floor now.

You think Viacom might need the administration on their side?

You think they might be desperate to make it up to him right now?

Make up for CBS running stories on Abu Ghraib, the president, and Vietnam... and all the other shit that isn't part of your scheduled programming?

Of course everyone wants it to disappear. There's a fucking election at stake!

You're supposed to question everything. That's your job.

We are supposed to question everything, and, what, you won't even question this?

Are you done? Am I done?

Know when the FCC repealed cross-ownership laws... a single company could own 45 percent of the national market share?

Forty-five percent of the national market share.

People fucking flipped. They lost their shit.

They actually sat down and wrote their local congressmen.

So in the 2003 appropriations bill, guess what...

Congress overturned it. Woo-hoo!

Hooray for democracy, right?

Nope. The president wouldn't sign it.

Bush threatened to veto the bill unless a compromise was found at 39 percent.

And why 39 percent?

That's the exact percent Viacom wouldn't have to sell off any of their stations.

The president of the United States was ready to take down... the entire federal budget so that Viacom wouldn't lose any money!

You're right.

Yeah, we're... We're all evil.

And you're the... You're the... plucky, misunderstood hero.

It's not that you guys fucked up a story. No, no, it's... It's...

It's a conspiracy, right?

They're gonna screw you too, you know.

Hey, I never got to ask you.

Why did you get into journalism?

Curiosity.

[CHUCKLES]

That's it?

That's everything.

Why'd you get into it?

You.

♪♪♪ MAN: Mr. Rather, the panel is ready for you.

It's even worse than we thought. They asked if you bullied staff or sources.

If you physically intimidated people to get what you want.

I hope you told them I beat the shit out of you.

Mary, they... It's... This isn't a joke, okay?

They asked about your politics.

The deck is stacked, okay? The game's rigged. Between this... talk radio and your father, ifs a fucking lynching.

What about my father?

Nothing. I... Don't... it's... Forget it.

What about my father, Mike?

Look, I'm sorry, I thought you knew.

DON [ON TV]: I'm ashamed of what my daughter has become.

MAN: You are?

DON: She's a typical liberal.

She went into journalism with an ax to grind... mend that was to promote radical feminism.

MAN: So would you say this is a pattern of hers?

DON: Oh, sure.

You know, when I heard this was a 60 Minutes story...

I figured she would be the producer of the show.

She and that Dan Rather have been working on this... ever since Bush was elected. She should really be looking at George...

[LINE RINGING]

DON: Hello?

You can't talk to the press anymore, Don.

- Who is this? You know who this is.

Just for once in your life, be decent.

I'm expressing my opinion.

I thought you reporters were a“ about that.

Okay, well, if you don't stop talking to the press...

I'll fly up there myself and break your fucking arms.

How about that? Is that him?

Here, let me talk to him. Mar.

Mark, just give me the phone. Mar.

Just give me the phone, Mark.

Daddy? Yes.

Daddy, please stop.

[DON SIGHS]

Well, since you asked, I will.

Oh...


I can't anymore.

MARK: Yes, you can. No. I don't want to.

They can have my career. I don't care.

God, I never should have asked the question.

So, what, they're right, you're wrong?

Guess so.

And, um, what about Dan?

That's not fair.

"It's a shame what that woman did to Dan Rather."

That's what they're saying. Don't.

"How he's going to go down? Well, it's just a disgrace."

And Robert'll get to see you quit, that'll be good for him.

Oh, fuck you.

Listen to me. Listen.

You gotta make your case to the panel, honey.

You have to fight.

Even if the system's rigged? The system is rigged.

It always has been. You know that.

You still have to tell them what happened.

Why?

Because that's what we do.

♪♪♪

MAPES: So do you believe me?

Do you believe I did my job?

I told you it doesn't matter what I believe.

It does to me.

If you'd like someone else to represent you...

Why don't you just tell me why I shouldn't?

What do you want out of this? Excuse me?

Do you wanna get into a debate about journalism with them... or do you wanna keep your job? I can't do both?

Not at this point, no.

You're the primary breadwinner, is that correct?

Yes.

And your son is 7.

This isn't a trial, this is a hunt.

This is about assignation of blame, who is at fault.

Because somebody has to be.

Debate that with them, and you're done.

You have one chance here.

Among all the conservative lawyers on that panel... there is one former journalist co-chairing it.

Lou Boccardi, the former head of the Associated Press.

He's the one man who can maybe understand what happened.

You convince him, maybe he can turn the others.

But if you antagonize them... if you bait them, if you fight them... you will lose.

You're fucking hired.

[SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY]

♪♪♪ HIBEY: You're going to cooperate in every way.

Follow every request and instruction.

There is no standard here.

No books full of journalistic laws, no written codes.

There is just opinion,.

And we have to sway it.

♪♪♪

HIBEY: That's Thornburgh.

Which one's the journalist? He's just there.

Ms. Mapes, thanks for coming in. MAPES: Mm-hm.

I'm Larry Lanpher. I'm lead council along with Mike Missal here.

Pleasure.

I notice there's no stenographer.

Well, this is an internal investigation.

We're just gonna take some notes as we go along.

So there'll be no official record?

It's fine.

Would you like to take a bathroom break before we begin?

I'm fine. LANPHER: You sure?

I'm not that delicate.

I'd like one. Okay.

Start again in two minutes, everyone.

[SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY]

I want you to stay calm in there.

Don't I look calm? Not even a little.

Now, they're gonna try to catch you off balance.

When they ask you a question, answer it.

Tell them what time it is, not how to build a clock.

But... Don't fight.

Okay?

Okay.

Don't fight.

I'd like to talk a little bit about language.

Absolutely.

MISSAL: This is a printout of e-mails sent back and forth by your group... during the investigation. MAPES: Mm-hm.

In this one to Mike Smith, what did the two of you mean... when you referred to a piece of "tasty brisket"?

That referred to a piece of information Mike uncovered... working on a documentary for the Germans.

A piece of information against the president?

I think specifically, it referred to Bush losing his nerve while flying.

Which you did not mention in the report you aired on 60 Minutes.

I didn't think we had it nailed down.

Would it be accurate to say... you were looking for anything negative about the president?

I'd say it's accurate we were looking for any information... on his time in the Guard that hadn't come to light.

And that's what made it tasty?

Not because it reflected poorly on the president?

It was tasty because it had the potential to be newsworthy.

Look, Mike and I are friends, so we use shorthand.

Sarcasm, jokes. You know.

Is that common in your industry?

I suppose.

When dealing with matters as serious as this, ifs common to make jokes?

I can assure you, we take our work very, very seriously.

LANPHER: Hm.

I also wanted to ask you about this e-mail... from Roger Charles where he says he feels better about the documents...

MAPES: Mm-hm. Because of their formatting.

Colonel Charles originally thought the documents were fake?

I don't believe so.

Then... Then... Then why would he say he feels better?

Because it seemed that what our source was telling us was true.

I have to disagree. Even the subject line in the e-mail is "I feel better"... with three exclamation points.

It seems Colonel Charles initially had doubts.

I think you'd have to ask Colonel Charles.

LANPHER: Hm. MAPES: Mm-hm.

But also, um, I would say that he was coming from the place of not being sure... if the memos were real or not, and then becoming confident that they were.

Really?

Forgive me for saying, but your testimony so far doesn't bear that out.

How so? Excuse me.

This isn't testimony, remember?

If it was impossible to authenticate the memos... doesn't it stand to reason that you initially assumed the memos were real... rather than the other way around? MAPES: I wouldn't say that.

Well, what would you say?

It seems you assumed the memos were real from the outset... and you looked to make sure that nothing disproved that.

Essentially, you took the position that the president was guilty until proven innocent.

We took several steps to vet these memos.

Mm-hm. Such as?

Well... LANPHER: There were only... two signatures, only two sets of initials.

Hardly enough comparison for a handwriting match.

And you said yourself that no carbon or ink tests could be performed.

In fact, two of the four analysts you hired said they had strong reservations... about the memos' authenticity.

Much of the formatting and terminology used is consistent with the period... as is... That's debatable.

Consistent with the period, as is the content of the memos... which was verified by several sources, including those close to Killian.

Um, then, uh, what about this?

Um...

"OETR"?

Is this one of the terminologies that's consistent with the period?

Mm-hm. I believe so.

LANPHER: What does that stand for? Officer Effectiveness Training Report.

Actually, the correct acronym is OER.

Officer Effectiveness Report. No T.

Isn't it true that "Officer Effectiveness Training Report" doesn't appear... anywhere on any official document, and this is a phrase that you created... to explain this incorrect abbreviation in your memos?

That is not true. It isn't?

I would not do something like that. Then prove it.

♪♪♪

Official document, top of the page.

Um...

Tab 21.

Mike? Of course.

Oh.

I see that.

I'm sorry, my mistake.

Clearly, you did well.

They're gonna regroup, call you back in next month.

Next month?

They've decided to delay announcing the panel's findings till after the election.

Don't look so glum. Just keep your head down.

You'll make it out of this.

BUSH [ON TV]: I'm looking forward to sen/ing this country for four more years.

I wanna thank you for your hard work in the campaign.

I told you that the other day and you probably thought I was seeking votes.

[PEOPLE LAUGHING ON TV]

But now that you voted, I really meant it.

I appreciate the hard work of the press corps.

We all put in long hours. You're away from your families for a long period.

But the country's better off when we have... a vigorous and free press covering our elections.

And thanks for your work.

Without over-pandering, I'll answer a few questions.

Hunt?

HUNT: Mr. President. Thank you.

As you look at your second term, how much is the war in Iraq going to cost?

Do you intend is send more troops or bring troops home'?

And in the Middle East more broadly... do you agree with Tony Blair that revitalizing the Middle East... peace process is the single most pressing political issue facing me world?

BUSH: Now that I've got the will of the people...

I'm going to start enforcing the one-question rule.

Thai was three questions.

[PEOPLE CHUCKLING ON TV]

[PHONE RINGING]

I'll star? With Tony Blair's comments.

I agree with him that the Middle East peace is a very...

Hello.

Mary, it's Dan plus three.

Well, I'm working on a Chardonnay Xanax cocktail... if it makes you feel any better. Heh.

Did you know that 60 Minutes was the first news program... to ever make money?

Before that, all news divisions operated at a financial loss.

You know, when the government gave the networks the airwaves... it was with the stipulation that... they'd be used in some capacity for the public good.

And that... That was the news.

They... They made their money elsewhere on the schedule.

But reporting the news was a duty. It was...

It was a trust.

You know when Don Hewitt started 60 Minutes, it was in 1968... it built to enormous ratings. God, it was...

God, I! Was wonderful.

I mean, people were really watching the news. I mean, they cared.

And, God, we figured out a way to give it to them.

I was there, Mary.

I was there the day they figured out that news could make money.

Hm,.

After a while it dawned on them, "How come the evening news..." isn't a profit center too?

"Why aren't the morning shows earning more?"

If you interview Survivor contestants instead of survivors of the genocide... your ad rates go up.

Pretty soon we won't even run down our own stories because it's too expensive.

We'll just...

[SIGHS]

We'll just pay someone else to do it, then we'll read them on the air for show.

It was a public trust once.

I swear to you it was.

How you doing, Dan?

I'm stepping down as anchor.

♪♪♪ When'?

After inauguration.

Oh, Dan.

You didn't cause this, Mary.

Well, you're a shitty liar, you know that?

Why didn't you ask me?

Because God knows everybody else did when the shit hit the fan.

Why didn't you?

Ask you what?

Why didn't you ask me if the documents were real?

Because I knew I didn't need to.

Hey.

When you go back in there, you hold your head up, you understand?

Yes, Dan.

Okay. F.E.A.

[SNIFFLING]

F.E.A.

♪♪♪


[THUNDER RUMBLING]

You're doing great.

Another half hour, and you're done.

What does that mean?

Fuck 'em all.

[CHUCKLES]

Well, I'm glad we have clarification on that.

Good. Well, if there's nothing else...

Thank you, gentlemen, for the day.

Aren't you gonna ask me about my politics'?

Excuse me?

You asked other people what I believe, so aren't you gonna ask me'?

What are you doing?

Well, wouldn't you say most of the people you work with consider you a liberal?

Do you mean, "Am I now or have I ever been a liberal?"

it's a legitimate question.

Is it?

Well, you brought it up.

No, you did, when you asked all of my co-workers.

So I'll tell you.

I don't believe in labels. I think most people have a mixture of views...

LANPHER: That's not what we're talking about.

Then what are you talking about, Larry?

We are talking about you bringing your politics into your reporting.

I did nothing of the kind. LANPHER: Nothing? Really?

Is that why when Barnes told you he got Bush into the Guard... you believed him without question?

That when Bill Burkett, an outspoken Bush critic and admitted liar... brought you memos, you assumed their authenticity and didn't source them?

That when not one but two of the four document examiners... expressed doubts the memos were real... you pushed that aside and rushed this on air?

Or why you personally contacted the John Kerry campaign... on behalf of Bill Burkett, a man who has dedicated himself... to smearing the president?

Tell me, Mary.

Where exactly does politics not enter into this?

Or are you just that bad at your job?

Do you know what it would take to fake these memos?

.Mary.. No, this is important.

It would require the forger to have an in-depth knowledge... of the 1971 Air Force manual, including rules... and regulations and abbreviations.

He'd have to know Bush's official record front to back... to make sure none of the memos conflicted with it.

He'd have to know all the players in the Texas Air National Guard... at the time... Not just their names, but their attitudes, their opinions...

“including how they related to one another.

He'd have to know Colonel Killian kept personal memos like this... for himself in the first place.

He'd have to know how Killian felt at the time... particularly about his superiors and then First Lieutenant Bush.

He would have to know or learn all of this... in order to fool us as you assume he did.

Now... do you really think that a man... who takes this kind of time and precision... then goes and types these up on Microsoft Word?

Our story was about whether Bush fulfilled his service.

Nobody wants to talk about that. They wanna talk about fonts... and forgeries and conspiracy theories.

Because that's what people do these days if they don'! Like a story.

They point and scream.

They question your politics, your objectivity. Hell... your basic humanity.

And they hope to God the truth gets lost in the scrum.

And when it is finally over... and they have kicked and shouted so loud... we can't even remember what the point was.

THORNBURGH: But you didn't prove it.

You didn't prove Ben Barnes got the president into the Guard.

You didn't prove the memos are real.

The burden of proof is on you.

By that standard, The Times would never have run the Pentagon Papers.

The Post wouldn't have listened to Deep Throat...

Ben Barnes is hardly Deep Throat. He's confessed to abusing his power... to keep some of the richest, privileged sons of Texas... from getting their asses blown off in Vietnam.

Ms. Mapes.

Don't you think it's possible, just possible... that some of those fine, young... privileged men, as you call them... got into the National Guard on their own merit?

No, sir. No, I do not.

♪♪♪

You had to do it, didn't you?

In the immortal words of Popeye, "I am what I am."

Well. I would have gone with "To thine own self be true"... but Popeye works.

They'll have their findings in a few weeks. I'll call you when I hear.

All right. Thanks.

HIBEY: Hey, Mary.

I believe you.

But I think he needs a helmet. Have you got a helmet?

Uh... A helmet? He needs a helmet.

Oh, he hasn't got a head. Dang it.

Can you find a head? Um...

No.

[PHONE RINGING]

Unless you want to chop his head... Chop his head off? Maybe.

Hello'?

HEYWARD: Mary, the report is out and it's very bad. Uh...

I'm putting Jonathan Anschultz on the fine.

Jonathan, can you hear me? ANSCHULTZ: Yeah.

Mary, as I said, the report's bad. You're being terminated.

It's not something I would've chosen to do under the circumstances, but...

[INAUDIBLE DIALOGUE]

♪♪♪


Hippie scum.

Jarhead fuck.

If you ever need a reference...

What, you can... tell them how we destroyed modern journalism together?

I'll see you around.

RATHER [ON TV]: We've shared a lot in the 24 years...

, we've been meeting here each evening.

And before I say good night, this night, I need to say thank you.

Thank you to the thousands of wonderful professionals at CBS News... past and present... with whom it's been my honor to work over these years.

And a deeply felt thanks to all of you... who have let us into your homes night after night.

It has been a privilege, and one never taken lightly.

To a nation still nursing a broken heart for what happened here in 2001... and especially those who found themselves closest...

"in the events of September the 11th."

To our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen and Marines in dangerous places.

And to those who have endured the tsunami.

And to all who have suffered natural disasters... and who must find the will to rebuild.

To the oppressed and to those whose let it is to struggle... in financial hardship or in failing health.

To my fellow journalists... in places where reporting the truth means risking all.

And to each of you... courage.

For the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather reporting.

Good night.

♪♪♪

[INAUDIBLE]


♪♪♪


[SOBBING]

My God. Heh. Heh.

You wanna go for a walk?

Yeah.

♪♪♪


♪♪♪

(ENGLISH - US - SDH - BOZXPHD)