CBS has refused to carry ads for “Truth,” the Cate Blanchett-Robert Redford starrer that revisits the 2004 scandal at CBS News over a “60 Minutes II” report on President George W. Bush’s military service record.
The head of the firm handling media buying for the Sony Pictures Classics-distributed movie told the Associated Press that an effort to buy spots in “60 Minutes,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” and other programs was turned down by CBS.
Sherri Callan, president of Callan Advertising, told AP that CBS informed her the buys were rejected because the movie had inaccuracies and distortions in its portrayal of events at CBS News.
CBS has made no secret of its dismay at the movie’s depiction of the events that surrounding the September 2004 report that led to investigations and scrutiny of CBS News practices.
“Truth” is based on the memoir “Truth and Duty” by former CBS News producer Mary Mapes, who was fired as a result of story and its use of questionable documents to bolster assertions that Bush was AWOL for some of his time in the Texas Air National Guard in the early 1970s. Dan Rather, who anchored the story, was eased out as “CBS Evening News” anchor in the wake of the scandal.
CBS’ rejection of ads for “Truth” is hardly a surprise, particularly for spots in “60 Minutes,” given the subject matter. And in reality, CBS’ decision provides a burst of free media for the movie. A source notes that the ads were rejected more than two weeks ago but word of that refusal stayed quiet until today, the same day the film opens in theaters.