Patterico's Pontifications

9/14/2004

The Other Other Other Other Shoe Drops

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 6:17 pm

You’ve heard the phrase “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” Well, usually once the second shoe drops, it’s over. But there are so many shoes dropping in the CBS forged documents scandal, Dan Rather has to be wondering whether the guy dropping the shoes is a millipede.

The latest scandal is here:

ABC’s Brian Ross interviewed the two experts who CBS hired to validate the National Guard documents and reports they [CBS] 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.

Last night, alert reader Hank K. was trying to convince me of the following theory: Dan Rather didn’t get tricked — he tried to trick us. He knew he was trying to pass a questionable story on us, but did it anyway. He’s 72 years old, he’s a Democrat partisan, and this is his last chance to influence a presidential election.

I am starting to think that alert reader Hank K. has a point.

At first, I just thought Rather was incredibly sloppy. He missed some obvious points about the documents. He wanted the documents to be authentic, so he didn’t employ the same journalistic standards he otherwise would have.

But now we have heard from Gary Killian, and Maj. Gen. Bobby W. Hodges, and Marcel Matley, and Marjorie Connell, and Emily Will, and Linda James — to name a few.

And this is starting to look a hell of a lot like reckless disregard for the truth. At a minimum.

It’s becoming clear that CBS News went into this story knowing that there were significant doubts about the authenticity of the documents and the assertions contained therein. But they went with it anyway — and took the attitude that anyone who questioned them was a partisan hack.

Today, when Killian’s secretary denied typing the memos for him, Power Line called her revelations the “Last Nail in the Coffin.” If that is so, then these two experts just kicked the coffin into the hole and started shoveling dirt like nothing you’ve ever seen.

UPDATE: A more detailed version is now available here. More stunning quotes:

Will says she sent the CBS producer an e-mail message about her concerns and strongly urged the network the night before the broadcast not to use the documents.

“I told them that all the questions I was asking them on Tuesday night, they were going to be asked by hundreds of other document examiners on Thursday if they ran that story,” Will said.

And the Washington Post has a story titled Document Experts Say CBS Ignored Memo ‘Red Flags’:

In a separate telephone interview, Linda James said that she told CBS the documents “had problems” and that she had questioned “whether they were produced on a computer.”

Asked whether CBS took her concerns seriously, James said: “Evidently not.”

. . . .

The network says it relied on two additional document experts, whose names have not been made public.

I wonder why not. They’ve done so well with the folks whose names they have released so far . . .

UPDATE x2: This is rich. The L.A. Times is concluding: “CBS News was had” — at the precise moment that it has become obvious that CBS wasn’t “had” — its viewers were had.

UPDATE x3: Thanks to all who have linked this post. I hope any new readers will bookmark the site and come back!

Glenn Reynolds on Paula Zahn’s Show

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 5:52 pm

Just saw Glenn Reynolds on Paula Zahn regarding the CBS forged documents scandal. Glenn’s final soundbite was good: “I think CBS News has been blogged to death, and they should admit their error.” But the best part of Glenn’s appearance wasn’t what he said — it was his wry smile and slight shake of the head at the end of the segment, when Paula Zahn mentioned that CBS News was still standing by its story.

Don’t Judge My Statement Until You Click on the Link

Filed under: Scum — Patterico @ 5:32 pm

For once, the right person died.

Washington Post Puts Another Nail in the Coffin of Dan Rather’s Credibility

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 6:01 am

The Washington Post runs a story today that further erodes what is left of Dan Rather’s credibility. It further demolishes a major part of his defense from Friday night. It calls into question virtually everything Rather offered in his defense last night. Finally, it notes that the controversy now overshadows the initial topic of Rather’s story: Bush’s National Guard service.
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