Friday, September 10, 2004

Dan Would Rather Not...

... be vetted by a bunch of bloggers, I'm sure.

Can anyone help me with the details of the problem here? I'm not sure I understand. And no, that's not sarcasm.

As you may have heard, Dan Rather did a piece on George Bush's National Guard service on the most recent edition (Wednesday, Sept. 8)of 60 Minutes II. Apparently, part of the segment (I saw a few moments of it, but didn't pay so much attention)dealt with documents from Bush's advisers in the Guard, and were none too flattering.

Today, The New York Post published an article about the army of authenticators examining the documents.

- They're in Times New Roman 11. That's not right for a 70's era typewriter.
- They have all the marks of a Windows word processing program - i.e., the type is spaced so as to read fluidly (unlike a typewriter), the superscript in "187th", and so on. Again, 70's typewriters weren't commonly equipped with such features.
- One of the guys quoted in the Post said it looked to be the most obvious forgery he'd ever seen.
- BUT, 60 Minutes also had the documents authenticated - and they were given a pass.

So, none of the above presents any real challenge to my comprehension skills, although I've admittedly done next to no homework on the issue (walking other people's dogs keeps ya busy, don'tcha know!)

The thing I don't get is this: are the images shown onscreen during the segment - the ones that were suspiciously Windows era - claimed by CBS to be the original documents? Couldn't have 60 Minutes had some intern type them up in Word so that they'd look prettier on screen? Again, I'm not trying to be flip. I really don't know.

Part II of my discombobulation has something to do with the sordid journalistic nature of the New York Post. It's not, if you hadn't heard, the world's most reputable news source. It wouldn't surprise me at all if some Post reporter parroted the claims of an anonymous right-wing blogger and called "scandal!". Is the story bigger than that? Other news outlets, anyone? I'm trying to get a snapshot of whether this is just another NYC tabloid field day, or a real, live scoop (a la Abu Ghraib).

(And yeah, I know I'm lazy. You don't have to tell me.)


At 12:26 AM, Blogger Audacity said...

I'm lazy too, so here's a comprehensive post on why they're not fakes. Complete with font comparisons!

At 3:06 AM, Blogger Ontario Emperor said...

I'm reserving my official decision until I actually see a copy of the letter. I didn't watch 60 Minutes, and I haven't seen an online image of the letter yet. (It's my danged Reed College education - go to the original sources.)

At 2:01 PM, Blogger homercat said...

They're fakes.


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