Friday, September 10, 2004

Rather Not

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?


mulp said...

Responding to the postscript in your weekly standard mailing on the quality of the information on the internet:

I'm surprised that you, a presumed free marketeer, would be concerned that "consumers" would not find the "best quality products" of the internet, even when it came to news and commentary. Are you a closet east coast liberal rino, or would that be east coast liberal cino?

John Kalitka said...

Neither did Rather address the most glaring substantive error in fact regarding the memos, i.e., the supposed August 18, 1973 statement: "Staudt has obviously pressured Hodges more about Bush." It turns out that Brigadier General "Buck" Staudt retired in 1972. How long can CBS keep this up?

Anonymous said...

I used one of those typewriters back then (ok, I'm old) and in fact you could get the typeface because I had one. That's not the point. The point is, if Karl Rove and his swiftvet minions are going to lie and smear and sling garbage, why shouldn't CBS, the Dems, or THEIR minions???

Anonymous said...

You are playing right into Karl Roves hands.

Shift blame. If the memos are so obviously a fraud then why doesn't the White House come out and say so? I will tell you why, they know that Bush received preferential treatment and he probably did disobey a direct order.

Now, whether or not this matters in this particular election is a whole other question which Karl does not want us to address. He would rather you squabble over whether his typist used the Selectric typewriter than to have a real debate. Honestly, I think it matters little. Consider the fact that 29 years ago Bush was also arrested for drunk driving, did that matter? Well I mean Bush did lose the election by more than 1/2 a million votes. By the way, since this is 9/11, where is Osama? Why have we not caught the guy responsible for this horrific day in our history? This whole election and Bush the President are complete farces. Good Day sir.