Saturday, September 11, 2004

Media Bias - 3rd Update on the CBS Hoax

It's looking worse and worse for CBS.

From Instapundit

ABC reports that:
Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian's supervisor at the Grd, tells ABC News that he feels CBS misled him about the documents they uncovered. According to Hodges, CBS told him the documents were "handwritten" and after CBS read him excerpts he said, "well if he wrote them that's what he felt."

Hodges also said he did not see the documents in the 70's and he cannot authenticate the documents or the contents. His personal belief is that the documents have been "computer generated" and are a "fraud".
Additionally, an erroneous ABC report has started a meme that right-wing bloggers were behind the forgeries (not that anyone on the Left has admitted they were forgeries). ABC negligently failed to recognize that the original blog post on Free Republic (here - scroll down to post 47) that uncovered the font discrepancies was tagged with a PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) time stamp and therefore erroneously concluded that the post had been made before the report aired on Sixty Minutes II. Patterico has the story on this here including how ABC's correction has been ignored by the MSM.

From The Corner on NRO:

Byron York, who looked at some of the non-font inconsistencies in the documents in an earlier story on NRO (found here) posts here on Rather's defense of the documents tonight, noting that CBS does not have the originals. This obviously calls into question both the degree of certainty with which CBS's forensic experts can opine and the degree of care CBS employed in vetting the story before they ran it.

From The Kerry Spot on NRO:

Jim Geraghty has the Rather transcript and plenty of commentary (scroll down)
This was a weak defense. It clearly picked one or two areas where CBS thought they could muddy the waters, and ignored the other points.

Nothing about kerning. Nothing about the paper size. Nothing about the stationary. Nothing about the widow or the son. Nothing about proportional spacing. Nothing about the difference in tone and writing style from other memos by this author. Nothing about the anachronistic language.

Finally for tonight, from INDC Journal:

An update of an earlier story with more information on fonts, proportional spacing, kerning and other esoteric typesetting lore. The bottom line from INDC Journal: its still very unlikely that the documents were produced on anything available in the early 1970's.
Even if it the documents were producible on some advanced typewriter/typesetting system, would a fighter pilot who's widow says he couldn't type have bothered to use such a device for memos to himself? If he did want to write something along these lines (which both his widow and son deny) wouldn't he have done so long hand or, at best, on a simple typewriter?

While all of the font evidence is important in establishing that these documents are likely forgeries, it's important not to get lost in these details. This isn't just an argument over kerning - there's testimony from family members, anachronistic details, etc. that also point to the likelihood of forgery. Taken in total the evidence is pretty damning.