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For twenty-five years, Mary Mapes has been an award-winning television producer and reporterthe last fifteen of them for CBS News, principally for The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and 60 Minutes. She had the bedrock respect of her peersin the last year alone, she broke the story of the Abu Ghraib prison tortures (which won CBS The Peabody Award) and the existence of Strom Thurmonds illegitimate bi-racial daughter Essie Mae Washington. But it was Dan Rathers lightning rod of a story on George W. Bushs National Guard Service that brought Mapes into an unwanted limelight. The firestorm that followed the broadcast led not only to Mapes being fired and Rathers stepping down from his anchor chair a year early, but to an unprecedented internal inquiry into the storychaired by former Reagan Attorney General Richard Thornburgh. But this, it turns out, is only part of the story. In this book, Mapes talks for the first time about the riveting behind-the-scenes action at CBS, as well as exposing: Groundbreaking new details on Bushs Guard career Information from the independent internal review The connection between a controversial news story and a corporation under fire from the federal government An emergence of digital McCarthysim as conservative bloggers manipulate the Internet How news organizations are collapsing under politicaland commercialpressures. Peopled with a historic and colorful cast of charactersfrom Karl Rove to Sumner Redstone to John Kerry to Col. Bobby Hodgesthis groundbreaking book about how the news is made (and unmade) will be making news this fall. My story of George W. Bushs Guard service had run on 60 Minutes the night before, and I felt it had been a solid piece. We had worked under tremendous pressure because of the short timeframe and the explosive content, but wed made our deadline and more importantly, wed made newsI got congratulatory emails, phone calls, and pats on the back. Other reporters called repeatedly as they worked to catch up to my story. I was thrilled. All that changed about 11 AM, when I first got word that a handful of conservative web sites were saying that the documents had been forged. I was incredulous. That couldnt be possible. Even the White House hadnt attempted to deny the truth of the documents. In fact, the Presidents spokesman Dan Bartlett had claimed that the documents supported their version of events: then-Lieutenant Bush had asked for permission to leave the unit. Within a few minutes, I was online visiting web sites I had never heard of before: Free Republic, Little Green Footballs, Powerline., It was a great story. A true story. The kind of story any news producer would love to report, nail down and get on the air. And that's just what Mary Mapes and her producing and reporting team did in September, 2004, when Dan Rather anchored their report on President George W. Bush's dereliction of his National Guard duty for CBS News. The firestorm that followed their broadcast trashed Mapes' well-respected career, caused Rather to resign from his anchor chair a year early, and led to an unprecedented �"internal inquiry�" into the story�--chaired by former Reagan Attorney General Richard Thornburgh. TRUTH AND DUTY is Mapes' account of the often-surreal, always-harrowing fallout she experienced for raising questions about a powerful sitting president. It goes back to examine Bush's political roots as governor of Texas and answers questions about the solidity of the documents at the heart of the National Guard story as well as where they came from. Her book takes readers not just into the newsroom where coverage decisions are made, but out into the field where the real reporting is done. TRUTH AND DUTY is peopled with a colorful and vigorous cast of characters�--from Karl Rove to Sumner Redstone, Bill Burkett to Dan Rather�--and moves from small-town rural Texas to the deserts of Afghanistan, from hurricane season in Florida to CBS corporate headquarters Black Rock in New York City. TRUTH AND DUTY is a riveting account of how the public's right to know�--or even to ask questions�--is being attacked by an alliance of politicians, news organizations, bloggers and corporate America. It connects the dots between the emergence of a kind of digital McCarthyism, a corporation under fire from the federal government, and the decision about what kinds of stories a news network can cover (human interest: yes; political intrigue: no). An answer to Bernard Goldberg and the thunder from the right, TRUTH AND DUTY is always fast, sometimes furious, and often unexpectedly funny about the collapse of one of America's great institutions.
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