Contrary mary

The content on this webpage contains paid/affiliate links. When you click on any of our affiliate link, we/I may get a small compensation at no cost to you. See our affiliate disclosure for more info

Last updated on July 27th, 2017 at 12:29 pm

An excerpt from ex-CBS producer Mary Mapes’ searing new book, I Used To Work In TV:

Within minutes of Buckhead’s original posting, Freepers began to repeat and embellish Buckhead’s thoughts. Not surprisingly, they all agreed with him, they all agreed with one another, and they all agreed this should be pursued aggressively.

Sounds like a 60 Minutes II story meeting. Except Buckhead and the Freepers (note to self: register as band name) got it right.

Freethinkers they are not.

But if they aren’t freethinkers, why did they question your report?

The Freepers and their lockstep like-minded fellow travelers moved as a group, like a school of sharks sweeping toward an unaware and unarmed victim.

Great new slogan for CBS news: “Unaware and unarmed!”

CBS was like some sunburned, overweight Florida tourist with a cut foot, floundering and flapping in the water alone in the surf.

Fair call.

The Freepers swarmed CBS not because it was right or fair but because they could.

And they could because CBS was wrong and unfair. The woman’s delusions are extraordinary; CBS is able to “swarm” practically every household in the US, but websites find obvious fault with a story and suddenly CBS is some kind of Dickensian orphan boy brutalised by Big Media tyrants posting one-liners from their PCs. Get a grip, Mapes!

On Web sites such as Powerline, INDC Journal, Allahpundit, and Spacetownusa, the bravehearts of the blogging world worked anonymously …

Wrong, as INDC Journal points out: “Neither Powerline, nor Spacetown, nor INDC Journal worked anonymously during the scandal.”

… in what appeared to be huge numbers, in unison, to destroy the Bush-Guard story, to uphold one another’s wild and hateful claims, to outshout, outargue, and outblog anyone who dared to disagree.

On behalf of those sites, Mary, I apologise, and pledge to not challenge your next brace of lies. If you ever work again, that is.

And on their Web sites there is no disagreement. They hate in unison, they speak with one angry voice, they each make themselves bigger by staying as close together as possible.

We also have labrador memorials. Enjoy retirement, Mapes.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/10/2005 at 11:42 AM
    1. It all just goes to show, character spacing counts.

      Posted by ForNow on 2005 11 10 at 12:58 PM • permalink


    1. CBS is a multinational corporation worth billions, and it was a “victim” of the bloggers? They spoke truth to power. She doesn’t want to admit, even to herself, that CBS is power, i.e. the Establishment.

      Posted by Spectre765 on 2005 11 10 at 12:59 PM • permalink


    1. Surrender Mary (and your little dog too)

      Posted by chinesearithmetic on 2005 11 10 at 01:04 PM • permalink


    1. I’m so tired of being described as “hateful” by these FUCKING LOSERS.

      Posted by bovious on 2005 11 10 at 01:05 PM • permalink


    1. “Journalist” Mary Mapes continues to “make a difference” by demonstrating just how out to lunch some news people are. And no expensive wine for her either, though obviously lots of cheap whine.

      Seriously, what’s really troubling about the whole deal isn’t that she’s so obviously insane, but that she managed to rise to one of the top positions in CBS’ news division.

      Posted by PW on 2005 11 10 at 01:06 PM • permalink


    1. I feel sorry for the reminder tables at all the bookstores, groaning under the weight of Mapes’ dopey opus.

      Posted by paco on 2005 11 10 at 01:17 PM • permalink


    1. Make that “remainder” tables.

      Posted by paco on 2005 11 10 at 01:18 PM • permalink


    1. Unable to persuade anyone other than herself, Mapes is enlisting a hometown journalist and neighbor of mine, who should know better, to shore up her flagging case:

      One of many intriguing points in Mapes’ book—a thing I shouldn’t have had to be reminded of—is that the documents she and Dan Rather based their story on were never exposed as fakes.

      So Schutze missed the whole show, including the reviews, and now he’s reading the failed playwright’s autobiography uncritically.  This is journalism?

      The people who made the most adamant accusations at the time were anonymous amateurs on the Internet, not known experts.

      Maybe that’s because the fakery was obvious even to amateurs.  Or is only a metallurgist qualified to distinguish Reynolds Wrap from gold?

      In the book Mapes presents expert opinion and evidence that the accusation—all the stuff about typewriters, superscripts, proportional spacing and typefaces—was just wrong.

      Schutze cites none of this opinion/evidence, moving right along to….

      the documents make an uncannily smooth factual mesh with other documents of known provenance. Not the sort of thing one would expect from fakes.

      Including the date of Bush’s physical, set on a day the base was closed?

      Actually, “smooth factual mesh” is exactly what one might expect from a document ginned up by an obsessed enemy.  One reason the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” continues to make the rounds among Islamists.

      …not even the high tribunal and commission set up by CBS to explore the issue was able to corroborate the accusations of fakery.

      “Able”?  He must mean willing.  The commission, hand-picked by CBS, intentionally did not examine whether the documents were faked.

      Certainly on the technical side of this I am not a good arbiter.

      Not for lack of intelligence, which Schutze has demonstrated in many well-written columns.

      And there’s plenty of room in this one for a cursory—all that would be required—examination of the forgery, which Schutze forgoes in order to play into Mapes’ claims of persecution.

      “People on the Internet put up my home address,” she said. “They put up property tax information. They started calling people I had worked with at previous jobs in Seattle. People would write, ‘I just drove past her house. She has dogs. It looks like no one’s home.’

      “We were sitting right in this room. I was probably in this chair. I looked out, and I saw this big red pickup pull up. You know, one of those Texas big-boy pickups. The window came down, and a big guy leaned out with a camera. Ching, ching, ching, taking pictures. Mark ran out. ‘Hey, can I help you?’ The guy sped away.

      (FYI, this is exactly how property-tax appraisers work in Dallas County.)

      “There also were on the Internet—I found this out eventually, I wasn’t even looking at it, because it was so upsetting—there were [mentions] of me having a red dot on my head, having a laser scope on my head. Which is what? Like a gun sight on my head? And if someone can lean out to shoot a picture, can they lean out and shoot me? Can they shoot into my window?….

      And on and on.

      I’m starting to feel for Mapes the way I do for Sheehan: sad.  Just sad.

      Posted by Rittenhouse on 2005 11 10 at 01:18 PM • permalink


    1. Schutze is usually very sharp – he is the best journalist working the local Dallas scene.  Dunno what go into him – a case of BIB (Bush Induced Blindness), I guess.

      Posted by R C Dean on 2005 11 10 at 01:26 PM • permalink


    1. ”…like a school of sharks…”

      Well, Mary ought to know, since she jumped the shark long long ago.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 11 10 at 01:52 PM • permalink


    1. Just who does Mary, Mary Quite Contrary think is going to believe her nonsense? Far fewer people than were initially taken in by the ‘fake but accurate’ memos. I don’t think even Dan the Deluded has gone quite so far.

      Posted by Retread on 2005 11 10 at 02:15 PM • permalink


    1. And on their Web sites there is no disagreement. They hate in unison, they speak with one angry voice, they each make themselves bigger by staying as close together as possible.

      Our glassy stares are not mentioned.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 11 10 at 02:57 PM • permalink


    1. This is really sad.

      Like Done Rather, she doesn’t seem to understand that she threw her career away trying to pin on Bush the very actions that she or any of her sympathizers would have taken in his place.  He avoided combat in Vietnam by joining the Air National Guard?  Hey, the whole NG and Reserve system was full of guys like that in those days.

      Like many of her ilk, she apparently knows nothing about (and avoided researching) military service in the Vietnam era, especially at the end when there were so many pilots around looking for a slot that nobody really cared if you came in to drill or not.

      One of the reasons the Bush Avoided Vietnam story doesn’t have more “legs” is all those guys (you know, those damn ‘boomers) who did much the same and would like to forget and put the whole experience behind them (“What did you do in the war, Daddy.”  “Uh-h-h-h, college and the Guard, honey.”).

      This whole reversal thing is so odd.  Bush (let’s be honest about this) dodged combat service in an unpopular war and is now being pilloried for it by the people who would have been standing next to him in line, had they been old enough.  Yet, they lionize a man who cut and ran out on his crew at first opportunity.

      Ms. Mapes appears to be as arrogant and superior-minded as Rather.  Perhaps this is why, like my kids when they were pre-teens, she absolutely cannot see or admit the truth, even when it is handed to her on a blog.

      As for her book, well – “they’re picking on me” just isn’t that interesting.

      She shot herself in the foot for something 30 years old that no one cared about.  That’s stupid.

      Posted by Winger on 2005 11 10 at 02:58 PM • permalink


    1. “And these right-wing sheep look up at the blue sky, and in lock-step unison they agree the sky is blue. Brooking no dissent in their closed ranks, they keep repeating and embellishing the blueness of the blue sky. Freethinkers like me they are not, who can look at a blue sky, and fearlessly speak truth to power to say, ‘That sky is fuscia with plaid streaks.’”

      Posted by Dave S. on 2005 11 10 at 03:36 PM • permalink


    1. I’d say that Mary Mapes’ paranoid delusions spring from a guilty conscience, except that you actually have to have a conscience to have a guilty one.  She seems like the kind of woman who, a few years from now, will be routinely picked up by the police for wandering down the street with panties on her head, and taken home to her 27 cats.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 11 10 at 04:02 PM • permalink


    1. Tim B., still the worlds premier Fisker.

      Posted by Latino on 2005 11 10 at 05:20 PM • permalink


    1. And on their Web sites there is no disagreement. They hate in unison, they speak with one angry voice, they each make themselves bigger by staying as close together as possible.

      Obviously Mary hasn’t been reading too many blogs.  Likeminded readers might very well gravitate to certain blogs but they often debate the issues, sometimes fiercely.  (Go Swans!)

      At its essence, the power of blogs come from the millions of ordinary persons who read them daily.  Very often at least several persons know information that is germane to a specific issue.

      The reason that the fake TANG memo created such a hallabaloo within minutes after it aired is that the fakery was obvious even to a common person.  Initially one person, Buckhead, simply mentioned on one blog in an offhand manner that the memo looked like it was created on a modern word processor.  Others said yes that’s true and added their observations.  Finally Charles Johnson (at LGF) typed his own version on Microsoft Word and overlayed it on the TANG memo.  They matched perfectly.  Not closely.  Perfectly.  Millions of blog readers could see it for themselves.  Even better, they could type up their own version and see the results.  If we could see it, why couldn’t CBS see it?

      At that point, the readers waited for one of two actions by CBS.  Either the latter explain persuasively how a memo typed on Microsoft Word is not comparable to the TANG memo and provide proof that the latter was typed on a typewriter, or they withdraw their accusation and issue an abject apology.

      They did neither.  Instead they simply stated that they stood by the story and implied that the American public is too stupid to understand the issue as they do.  This was an insult to the intelligence of the American public resulting from a ingrained element of insufferable arrogance.  Mapes has no one but herself to blame.

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 11 10 at 06:01 PM • permalink


    1. I do think the points that Mary make are basically nonsense.  But one question she could raise is, did someone set her up for a big fall?

      I mean to say, if I was Karl Rove and I wanted to rid the election campaign of two very big thorns in the side, and at the same time punish a producer for publicizing the Abu Ghraib photos, I couldn’t think of a more cunning way that to have Mary do it to herself.

      The question I would ask is, who is Lucy Ramirez?

      (please note that in no way am I implying that RebeccaH flew out to that cattle auction, donned a brunette wig, sashayed over to that crazy Bush-hater, and passed him the fake memo)

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 11 10 at 06:19 PM • permalink


    1. #17. “…the power of blogs …”.

      Thoughtful article currently on TechCentralStation about the role of blogs in defusing the Alien Abduction stuff that was popular in the 90s, leading into a more general point about the market of ideas and the way the truth tends to win these contests, given a fair fight.  Clearly, there is a new paradigm in town.

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2005 11 10 at 06:36 PM • permalink


    1. #18. The old rule: Don’t suspect conspiracy when mere stupidity will explain it.

      Posted by Brett_McS on 2005 11 10 at 07:02 PM • permalink


    1. Winger, I don’t want to re-open old wounds, but “He avoided combat in Vietnam by joining the Air National Guard?  Hey, the whole NG and Reserve system was full of guys like that in those days.” is not obviously true.

      IF one wanted to fly combat in Vietnam, you had several routes: 1) Air Academy followed by 2 + years of training (Bush was too old for the Academy); 2) get billet in regular Air Force as an officer out of college followed by at least 2 + years of training (it’s not obvious that Bush could have gotten in ahead of a rather large number of AF ROTC guys.  Flight School is at a premium, and these guys had a different set of chits); 3) join an Air National Guard Unit that flies planes currently being used in VN and train for 2+ years (Bush used this one.  It might well have been his BEST chance to fly combat.)

      In 1966 I was in the Air Force Academy and guys getting ready to graduate were fighting for slot in fighter pilot training and worrying that the war would be over before they could fight no earlier than 1969.  In hindsight that looks silly, but at the time it looked real.

      A guy I went to high school with graduated USAFA in 1966, spent 2+ years training in F4’s spent 18 months flying second seat in 4’ came back stateside for more training, returned about 1.5 years later to fly first seat in 4’s for 18 months.  Time it out.  It was 1972 before he had a chance for combat in ‘Nam.  The war was, indeed, almost over before he flew combat.

      If Bush had the hours and his unit was called up (it was fighting when he joined) and they were still using those death boxes he flew, he would have had a chance to see combat about the same time.

      I don’t know.  Maybe he wanted to avoid combat, but with his degree, it would have been easier to join the AF and become a supply officer, wouldn’t it?  ;=>=

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2005 11 10 at 07:32 PM • permalink


    1. #18, wronwright, SHHH!!  I was merely visiting family in Texas.  That’s all.

      But, uh, when you speak to our Dark Lord, do tell him that I got the envelope and tell him thanks.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 11 10 at 07:47 PM • permalink


    1. Shark victims usually start out with arms.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2005 11 10 at 08:33 PM • permalink


    1. “Never underestimate the power of denial.”

      -American Beauty

      Posted by Tommy Shanks on 2005 11 10 at 08:41 PM • permalink


    1. #13 (Winger) and #21 (JorgXMcKie): between the two of you you have most of it. Winger only has to accept Jorg’s correction about possible motives; then it needs only a comment about “political influence”. (Note: like Jorg, I was awake and involved at the time, though I joined the Regular Navy rather than the Guard.)

      Guys who were joining the Guard were, by and large, looking for ways to minimize the impact on their civilian lives. Yeah, there were a bunch of fellows who wanted to fly, but mostly they didn’t join the Guard. Bush waltzed in to his position because the waiting list was short. He didn’t use political influence because he didn’t need to.

      If there was a time when political influence was needed it would have been ‘72 and ‘73, when returning pilots were overloading the Guard and there were many butts for every seat. Political influence could have gotten him more hours—but by then there was no point, and he’d lost interest. You could make a case for selfless generosity, too. After all, many of the pilots coming home wanted (or needed) to continue their careers. A non-career pilot using influence to get stick time would have bumped more deserving officers. Bush stepped aside.


      Posted by Ric Locke on 2005 11 10 at 09:03 PM • permalink


    1. #8: “One of many intriguing points in Mapes’ book—a thing I shouldn’t have had to be reminded of—is that the documents she and Dan Rather based their story on were never exposed as fakes.”

      Only in the sense that an alien spaceship landing at Roswell, NM in 1947 was “never exposed as fake.”  Or that Bigfoot was “never exposed as fake.”  Or that the image of the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast was “never exposed as fake.”  There are some people who will never accept any evidence, no matter how irrefutable, that will demolish their pet obsessions, and by continuing to ignore that evidence, can go on saying, “See, it was never exposed as fake.”

      Posted by Bruce Lagasse on 2005 11 10 at 09:36 PM • permalink


    1. The old rule: Don’t suspect conspiracy when mere stupidity will explain it.

      Oh sure sure.  But see, wouldn’t that be part of the plot?

      (excuse me while I get my Webdiary limited edition tin foil conspiracy hat on)

      I mean think about it.  Mary Mapes produces the 60 Minutes episode which completely exposures a scandal that absolutely no one knew anything about (except for the US military that investigated it, issued reports on it, etc., meaning it wasn’t a secret).  Because it ran on 60 Minutes, it created some hardship for George Bush.  George Bush doesn’t like hardship.

      (tin foil makes wronwright to begin asking and answering his own questions)

      Who does he call when he’s getting hardship he doesn’t like?


      Someone mean.

      My wife? 

      No.  Someone meaner.

      My wife, she’s one mean bitch.

      No, someone that’s politically mean.

      Oh.  Cheney?

      No, someone mean and evil.

      (thinks about wife)

      Well, Cheney is mean and evil.  But besides Cheney, um, Rumsfeld?

      No.  I mean yeah, Cheney and Rumsfeld are mean and evil.  But I’m talking mean and evil and cunning.


      No.  Someone mean and evil and cunning and clever and wicked and machivellian.  Yes, machivellian.  And who isn’t Cheney, or Rumsfeld, or Scooter, Hadley, Rice, or Bush.

      Why Karl Rove.  And by setting up Mapes and Dan Rather, he knew he had too biased journalists who would put anything on the air if they had anything paperlike in their hands.  Like a fake fax.

      But he would need someone to send them the fax, right?  Someone they would know was not one of us neocon types.  (They probably know everyone that comes and goes to the Neocon Club).  But they needed someone so fucking nutso that he would believe any document, no matter how ineptly prepared, was a genuine TANG memo.

      But see, here’s the thing.  The person setting up the con would need the document to be so blatantly fraudulent that it would be spotted quickly by the rightwing blogs.  I mean, come on, if he truly wanted the document to look genuine, wouldn’t he have located a circa 1972 typewriter?  Hell, I know I have one at my mother’s house that I’m keeping in case I get famous and the Smithsonian begs for it.  Probably half of America has old electric typewriters that were used to type up high school term papers.

      But they didn’t use a 1972 typewriter.  They used a word processor.  Using the most common word processor software.  And they didn’t even so much as change the default font or margins!  The preparer of this memo WANTED IT to be exposed as a fake.  Thereby bringing into dispute—no, not just dispute, to shame and self destruction the people who produced and aired the show about it.

      There is only one man who has the brain power to put something like that together.  Karl Rove.  The Evil Lord himself.

      All hail Lord Rove.

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 11 10 at 10:52 PM • permalink


    1. Yeah those fakes.  Like the elephants painting their toenails to hide in the package of M & M’s.  Never saw one?  See how well it works?

      There is some serious paranoia in Ms. Mapes assessment of bloggers.  But if some clowns thought it was funny to imply violence on some of “our” sites, then maybe any of us would get freaked.  Whenever you see this stuff on the Right, shut ‘em down.  Not only do we lose credibility, it’s just not right.

      Posted by Assistant Village Idiot on 2005 11 10 at 11:07 PM • permalink


    1. Who in the world is the intended audience for this book? I’m sure the Kos Kidz will be snapping it up like Scientologists and Dianetics, but other than them?

      Posted by Jim Treacher on 2005 11 10 at 11:18 PM • permalink


    1. A smidgen off-topic, but I thought that a variant “Times Roman” of the default font Times New Roman was used, and later I found that some Australian computer magazine Desktop (now apparently defunct) thought so too. I happened to have a TrueType Times Roman font (screen name “Times”) on my PC. Some day surely a magazine will vindicate me without going soon out of business. And no, I did not type the counterfeit memos.

      Posted by ForNow on 2005 11 11 at 12:14 AM • permalink


    1. And not only that, but those damned rightwing Christers even suppressed that beautiful Ronald Reagan movie that would have exposed that Other Evil Mastermind/Brainless Puppet (use to taste) as the homophobic religious fanatic he was!

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 11 11 at 12:44 AM • permalink


    1. This is pretty trivial, but it horrifies me that a book that has been published and presumably edited contains a phrase about “sharks” moving in “lockstep”. I don’t want to sound overly respectful to nature here, but it seems that this affair hasn’t taught Mapes the value of accuracy.

      Posted by dsmith_michigan on 2005 11 11 at 08:09 AM • permalink


    1. dsmith, if they have no respect for the truth, asking them to respect the language is trivial, isn’t it?…

      Posted by Challeron on 2005 11 11 at 11:07 AM • permalink


    1. #25, Ric—well put!  And pretty accurate, from what the old Guardsmen told me when I joined the ARNG in 1985.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 11 11 at 11:47 AM • permalink


    1. This is pretty trivial, but it horrifies me that a book that has been published and presumably edited contains a phrase about “sharks” moving in “lockstep”.

      Can you prove that no shark has ever moved in lockstep? The burden of proof is on you, my friend!

      Posted by Jim Treacher on 2005 11 11 at 06:05 PM • permalink


    1. Jim sir, not to question you or anything.  I mean Karl Rove loved the Dan Rather is Queen of the Space Unicorns joke.  So you’re in good with him and all.

      I’m just wondering, in order to lockstep, would they not have to step, you know, in a lock like fashion?  Which means, would they not need feet to step?

      Not that I’m in any way arguing with you.  I still laugh when remembering that post in which you said that with a liberal’s plans the people would hold hands and sing songs in happiness forever, amen.  Something like that.  That was treasure.

      Of course, that was like years ago.  Wasn’t Burt Bacharach performing then too?

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 11 11 at 08:04 PM • permalink


    1. Jim Treacher

      Who in the world is the intended audience for this book? I’m sure the Kos Kidz will be snapping it up like Scientologists and Dianetics, but other than them?

      There’s probably enough Kos Kidz and Democrat fringe loonies for the publisher to make back Mapes’ advance and their printing costs. I just want to know the over/under of the number of copies that end up getting pulped.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2005 11 11 at 08:19 PM • permalink


    1. I’m just wondering, in order to lockstep, would they not have to step, you know, in a lock like fashion?  Which means, would they not need feet to step?

      Okay, so you’ve seen every single shark that’s ever lived. You can PROVE that NONE of them has ever had feet. Okay.

      Posted by Jim Treacher on 2005 11 12 at 03:04 AM • permalink


    1. A-ha! 0WNZ0RED

      Posted by Jim Treacher on 2005 11 12 at 03:09 AM • permalink


    1. (wronwright feels very uncomfortable getting into a pissing contest with the esteemed Jim Treacher, wonders what Karl will think, hopes he’s busy with the neocon blood cleansing ritual at Stonehenge, wonders whether Tim Blair is there, notes that for the 33rd time, he did NOT GET INVITED, notes that Treach didn’t either, feels better)

      Actually, when I tried clicking on your link, all I got was:

      While trying to retrieve the URL: http://localhost:10141/blogger/2967/339/320/landshark.jpg

      The following error was encountered:

      Access Denied.

      I don’t the link exists.  And you know why?  Because sharks don’t have feet Treach.  They don’t.  You lying leftwing piece of …

      (wait!  Jim is not Tim Dunlop or Lambert.  And he’s certainly not Margo.  Well, at least I don’t think he’s Margo.  Although, it would make sense.  Margo has to be parody.  Must remember, remember, remember, he’s in the Inner Circle of the Death Cult Known as Neoconservatism)

      Um, just pass me the link when convenient sir.  And by the way, your black op helicopter will be fueled, washed and waxed by noon.  Have a nice day.

      (hope he doesn’t say anything to Karl)

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 11 12 at 12:11 PM • permalink


    1. Yeah, the paid political partisan BLOGGERS took it down because they don’t want you to see the TRUTH!

      Posted by Jim Treacher on 2005 11 12 at 04:23 PM • permalink


  1. what does “outblog” mean?

    Posted by Yehudit on 2005 11 13 at 12:48 AM • permalink