Tuesday, September 14, 2004

As I Was Saying....


...three days ago:
...[A] good sign that Rather's story has absolutely no credibility -- except as a rallying point for rabid Bush-haters -- is Howard Kurtz's column in today's WaPo. Two paragraphs of professional courtesy toward Rather precede 20 paragraphs that mostly damn Rather's story with straightforward observations about the flimsiness of it....

Kurtz's objectivity about the matter signals other serious journalists that they can dump on old Dan, at will.
Well, there's been plenty of dumping on Dan by the mainstream media since then, but this article in today's WaPo is a sledge-hammer blow to the gut:
Expert Cited by CBS Says He Didn't Authenticate Papers

By Michael Dobbs and Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, September 14, 2004; Page A08

The lead expert retained by CBS News to examine disputed memos from President Bush's former squadron commander in the National Guard said yesterday that he examined only the late officer's signature and made no attempt to authenticate the documents themselves.

"There's no way that I, as a document expert, can authenticate them," Marcel Matley said in a telephone interview from San Francisco. The main reason, he said, is that they are "copies" that are "far removed" from the originals.

Matley's comments came amid growing evidence challenging the authenticity of the documents aired Wednesday on CBS's "60 Minutes."...
And it goes on from there to detail a lot of what the blogosphere has been saying for days -- without crediting the leaders of the blogospheric charge.

The last paragraph of the story says a lot about the Post:
Prominent conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh are insisting the documents are forged. New York Times columnist William Safire said yesterday that CBS should agree to an independent investigation. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, called on the network to apologize, saying: "The CBS story is a hoax and a fraud, and a cheap and sloppy one at that. It boggles the mind that Dan Rather and CBS continue to defend it."
It's obvious from the rest of the article that the Post endorses Limbaugh, Safire, and Bozell in this matter, so it gives them the last word. It is a "news" story, after all.

From ABC News:

ABC's Brian Ross interviewed the two experts who CBS hired to validate the National Guard documents and reports they ignored concerns they raised prior to the CBS News broadcast. "I did not feel that they wanted to investigate it very deeply," Emily Will told Ross. "I did not authenticate anything and I don't want it to be misunderstood that I did," Linda James told Ross. Ross reports 2 experts told ABC News today that even the most advanced typewriter available in 1972 could not have produced the documents. Ross also reported that Lt. Col. Jerry Killian's secretary says she believes the documents are fake but that they express thoughts Killian believed....
Well, Lt. Col. Killian's secretary believes the documents are fake because she knows she knows she didn't type them. As for Lt. Col. Killian's "thoughts"...well fact and fancy are two different things, except at CBS News.

(Thanks to Captain Ed for the pointer.)