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September 14, 2004

The Dam Breaks: Washington Post Deems Documents Likely Forgeries

The Washington Post -- yes, the Post, not the Times -- lowers the boom, Big Time, as the man says.

It's not quite as devastating as one could hope, but I'd say it's about 80% there. It leaves precious little doubt that these documents are forgeries:

In its broadcast last night, CBS News produced a new expert, Bill Glennon, an information technology consultant. He said that IBM electric typewriters in use in 1972 could produce superscripts and proportional spacing similar to those used in the disputed documents.

Any argument to the contrary is "an out-and-out lie," Glennon said in a telephone interview. But Glennon said he is not a document expert, could not vouch for the memos' authenticity and only examined them online because CBS did not give him copies when asked to visit the network's offices.

Thomas Phinney, program manager for fonts for the Adobe company in Seattle, which helped to develop the modern Times New Roman font, disputed Glennon's statement to CBS. He said "fairly extensive testing" had convinced him that the fonts and formatting used in the CBS documents could not have been produced by the most sophisticated IBM typewriters in use in 1972, including the Selectric and the Executive. He said the two systems used fonts of different widths.

Very satisfying is the fact that one expert relied upon by the Post is the pajama'd pontificator linked here (as well as by half the blogosphere).

From pajama'd punk to Post poobah in 24 hours. Not too shabby.

I don't want to say that Dan Rather is getting rattled and paranoid, but I heard he just called up Alexander Haig to discuss "the military option" for preventing any further challenge to his reputation.

Start fueling up helicopter CBS One.

Dan Rather Retirement Watch Update:

At the tone, the Dan Rather Retirement Watch displays a time of

(bong)

11:53PM-- two minutes closer to midnight (retirement)

Same as It Ever Was Update: The American Digest looks back in anger at 33 years of highly politicized and deceptive CBS "reportage."

Regarding CBS's smear of General Westmoreland:

TV Guide did research of its own and, with the help of inside-CBS sources who leaked unedited transcripts, titled its report "Anatomy of a Smear: How CBS News Broke the Rules and ‘Got’ General Westmoreland." TV Guide claimed that CBS began the project already convinced a conspiracy had taken place and "turned a deaf ear toward evidence that suggested otherwise."

Gee, that sounds absolutely nothing like what's happened recently. Forget I even mentioned it.

Via Instapundit.

Mr. X and Kausfiles Blow a Prediction on the Night It's Made Update: Mr. X, who I've seen around these parts, tips Kaus that USAToday will be the first tower to fall to the blogbarian hordes, and Kaus agrees.

Sorry, boys. True, USAToday has reported skeptically about the forgeries, but it was the Washington Post that actually took the blue pill and went down the rabbit hole first.

On the other hand, Mr. X may have a chance to redeem himself with this part of his prediction, if we substitute "a major media source calling the documents a sham" for his specific prediction of USAT doing so:

If that happens, then the pressure on rather and cbs intensifies significantly...leading to what? a rather apology ot the president in the last few weeks of a presidential campaign?

Certainly the pressure on Rather and CBS will intensify-- somewhat. But I don't know how much.

The media does not want to report on this story, and they certainly do not want to pursue it back to its source (DNC opposition researchers peddling crude forgeries to an all-to-willing aging leftie) and they certainly don't want to examine the implications of the story (such as the media's, let us say, forward-leaning posture as regards stories that damage Republicans and its protective and well-nigh impenetrable caution as regards stories that damage Democrats).

The Washington Post, for example, may decide that it's done quite enough work on behalf of Republicans at this point, and let the entire matter lie. Their conscience is clear; they said the documents were forgeries, and they have nothing more to report. They may just let Dan Rather continue his arrogant insistence that le news, c'est moi, and leave the issue fundamentally unresolved.

I don't think we're going to see the New York Times pick up the ball and run, now will we?

But there are of course other media players. The Wall Street Journal is the only media organization with both the resources and, when it chooses, the balls to go after a story like this.

Will they? I don't know.


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posted by Ace at 01:07 AM

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