How embarrassing is the L.A. Times‘s Chuck Philips’s reliance on forged documents? This embarrassing:
Last week, when I saw that documents used by the Times in its story were being challenged, I went to The Smoking Gun website to see the evidence compiled there.
. . . .
This was . . . a classic debunking, a shredding not just of the documents, but of the source, the point of the report, the witnesses, the conclusions drawn and the horse the story rode in on. The documents have been linked to a man serving time–for fraud, for God’s sake–a fellow with a colorful history of criminality, forgery and self-aggrandizement. The documents contain the same kinds of misspellings and grammatical errors made in other papers tracked back to this inmate. A typewriter was used to create the Times’s supposed copies of reports done by agents, documents known as FBI 302s. In reality, FBI 302s have been computer-generated for thirty years. And finally, a simple check with the FBI revealed that these documents had never been part of their files.
That’s a pretty brutal assessment. But it gets worse.
The coup de grace is the identity of the person delivering this blistering criticism: Mary Mapes, in a piece titled It’s a Scandal, All Right.
When Mary Mapes is making fun of you for relying on forged documents, it’s time to hang it up.
[EDIT: Link fixed. Thanks, Dafydd. -- DRJ]