Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Fun With Forgery

Now wait a minute, am I expected to believe that a major news organization did a more objective analysis than a bunch of conservative websites?


CBS News last night aired a second defense of Thursday's "60 Minutes II" report that relied on documentation of President George W. Bush's record in the National Guard, which numerous critics later charged had been forged.

Those documents were purported to have been written by Bush's Air National Guard commander, Jerry Killian, now deceased, claiming among other things that he felt under pressure to "sugarcoat" the record of Bush, who had also failed to take a required physical exam.

The report set off an immediate firestorm, with a wide range of critics insisting the typeface of the documents didn't conform to existing technology in 1972, when they were presumed to have been written.


Bill Glennon, a consultant, told CBS the critics' charges were "totally false" and that some of the disputed typefaces in the documents, such as superscripts - the smaller "th" that appears slightly above a number - or proportional spacing were indeed available. It was unclear whether Glennon - who was quoted in other news stories last week - had consulted CBS on the original piece.

The network also quoted Richard Katz, identified as a software designer, who claimed that the letter "L" was used in the documents in lieu of the numeral "1." The network claimed Katz told them "that would be difficult to reproduce on a computer today."

Unfortunately for CBS, the RNC produced this footage of John Kerry -- caught off-guard by a reporter's question yesterday as he lunched on a light spread of babies and fresh fruit.

John Kerry

"No, you're right, forcing Father Of The Pride upon NBC's Tuesday night lineup is part of my diabolical plan to plunge the country into a new era of immorality and sin. What? The Bush military documents? Oh yeah, of course I forged them. It was like sometime last week. I was in the middle of eating some really delicious babies and all of the sudden I was like -- 'You know what would be a gas? If I went into Microsoft Word and typed up some fake military documents using the letter L in lieu of the numeral 1.' -- you know, because it's supposedly so hard to do and everything. So anyway, I whip them up in about five minutes and ship them out to CBS and before you know it, they're all over 60 Minutes. The craziest thing, though, is that I probably would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for those clever conservative teens and their blasted little website. I know, right? -- wait a minute. You're taping this?"

UPDATE: The Washington Post says the Bush papers are likely forged. This whole episode is absurd; to quote Atrios quoting Rob Cordry of the Daily Show, "What difference does it make how well he avoided combat? Isn't it enough just to know he avoided it?" The whole thing could be settled if someone would just pick up on my above scoop.

UPDATE II: In typical liberal fashion, Matt Yglesias is ignoring the Kerry comments and focusing only on the purposefully vague Post story.

UPDATE III: It's like watching lemmings walk off a cliff, as Jesse Taylor of Pandagon -- following the same liberal methodology as Matthew Yglesias -- chooses to completely ignore the now-obvious link between Kerry and the forged documents.