What a pathetic defense CBS made tonight. Their critics are engaging the evidence at a level of forensic detail CBS just isn’t able to match—a disjunction only made greater by the different capacities of television and the Internet. But the prima facie shortcomings of CBS’s defense were elementary.
One, the only expert they trotted out was a signature expert, though the signature was not the focus of criticism. Worse yet, he spoke as much about his own feelings about working on the story as he did about the undisputed signature. Two, CBS established that Times New Roman font existed before 1973, but that wasn’t the issue. The issue was the likelihood of such a font and such kerning being found on a government typewriter in 1973—font and kerning that appear to match identically that of the default settings of Microsoft Word. Three, the superscript they showed as a contemporaneous example found in documents from Bush’s National Guard records was not raised above the other letters, as in the Killian memo, and it had an antique-y little underline, which the superscript in the Kilian memo did not.
Most troubling about this defense was, however, its general, theoretical character. So long as it was anywhere in a seemingly infinite realm of possibility that this document could have been created as reported, they felt no need to go any further to establish its authenticity. How about more on the source of the document?
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