Mary Mapes, the CBS News producer fired over “Memogate,” has reached a deal to tell her side of the controversial story that effectively ended the career of Dan Rather and sent morale into a tailspin at the venerable news organization.
St. Martin’s Press has agreed to pay in the high six figures to publish a book by Ms. Mapes tentatively titled The Other Side of the Story. According to publishing executives who met with the news producer last week, the book is still in the early stages, but will focus on the 60 Minutes Wednesday report that filled in the missing details–and painted a highly unflattering picture–of President George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service. The story was discredited when memos at the heart of the reporting could not be authenticated.
Ms. Mapes continues to insist that the story was accurate, and that the documents were not forged. The book will present a detailed counterattack against an independent panel’s findings that the segment should not have aired, and will include documentation and analysis that she says backs up her reporting and which the panel did not release.The only ones claiming the memos “could not be authenticated” are CBS’s legal team, ignoring the findings of their own document expert who examined the memos during the investigation and declared them forgeries.
Given what we now know about the circles Mapes traveled in during her research on story, I’m positively giddy with excitement at the prospect of the release of her book. Tearing it apart should be as easy as knocking candy out a pinata, without wearing a blindfold…