Patterico's Pontifications

3/31/2008

Chuck Philips Hits Rock Bottom

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 11:18 pm

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.

Ouch.

Ouch indeed.

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.

Double ouch.

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]

46 Responses to “Chuck Philips Hits Rock Bottom”

  1. Did I just wake up in an alternate reality somewhere?

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  2. Remember the date.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  3. There is no teacher better than experience. Now if she could just get over her denial problem….

    Pigilito (5d4652)

  4. I believe that the Earth is spinning in the opposite direction today.

    The irony of this is soooooooooooooo rich, and apparently completely lost on Ms. Mapes.

    JD (75f5c3)

  5. It’s no April Fool’s Day joke,jim2. She writes to distinguish this scandal from hers. They had more than just phony documents, you see, and the people who refused to confirm that they had told her stuff were just cowered into silence by the Bush Administration and the nasty right-wing blogosphere that was doing BushCo’s bidding. Plus, well, her documents weren’t necessarily actually fake, you understand.

    ::: shudder :::: that was painful just to type. But seriously, that’s the point of the article she wrote. If you’ve not recently eaten, go check out her on-going and laughable defense of her big story that caused all those conservative sympathizers at CBS to fire her under pressure from their lords and masters in the Bush Administration…

    PatHMV (0e077d)

  6. No matter how many times I blink, the link still says The Nation and not The Onion.

    Coffee, I must need coffee.

    MamaAJ (788539)

  7. The link did not work for me. I had to go in through The Nation’s front door.

    Oh. My. God.

    Surely this is an April Fool’s Joke. Tell me Mapes didn’t really write that. If she did, she not only violated the First Rule of Holes, but even shifted to a larger shovel.

    Patterico, have you sent this over to LGF?

    jim2 (6482d8)

  8. I had the same reaction as MamaAJ.

    To still back the Bush memo story at this point, you’ve got to be delusional. The primary difference in the Mapes v. Phillips scandals is that Mapes/Rather were debunked by smart bloggers, while Phillips was taken down by The Smoking Gun, which is (now, anyway) part of big media.

    Wow.

    –JRM

    JRM (355c21)

  9. JRM -

    The parallels are nearly exact.

    MSM (LAT/CBS) throwing resources at a story they want to be true for their own reasons.

    An operative (Burkett/Sabatino)with an agenda playing the MSM sillies like a Strad.

    Documents cited by the MSM cite folk deceased (Killian/B.I.G + Shakur), are trivially revealed fakes by technical means (typewriter both times!), have silly errors (superscript+terms/spelling errors+terms), and invoke mysterious others (Lucy Ramirez/FBI agents).

    So, Mapes writing it but denying all the while it resembles what she did … it is just so fitting that she published it on April 1!

    jim2 (6482d8)

  10. Mary Mapes? The mind boggles.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  11. How did her head not split open while typing that? The cognitive dissonance should have been deafening. Sadly, no.

    JD (75f5c3)

  12. Linky is hinky. Go in the front door of The Nation-it’s for real.

    Mapes says, “The documents were demonstrably false” when referring to the her National Guard story. Thank you. You may go now. That will be all.

    But no, she goes on and on. I’ve been on her side. I’ve admired her work tremendously. Why is it ever a good thing to wallow in your own public display of bitterness? (red with embarrassment)

    I know a thing or two about bitterness.

    Miss Havisham (970c40)

  13. Miss Havisham -

    She does indeed go on and on but, as she does that, she simply renews her denial:

    ++++++++++++++++
    Despite a months-long, multi-million-dollar corporate investigation, the documents were never proved false and never have been proved false. I am perfectly willing to believe they are, but I need some kind of real proof, something that holds no tinge of politics, something tangible, something we all can agree on.

    I am not convinced (and neither are all professional document examiners) by the inconclusive and incomprehensible questions about typeface raised by armchair analysts who’ve never had the chance to scrutinize the documents on paper the way a real analyst would. I’m not persuaded by the bullying rantings of the radical right or the pompous disapproval of the lapdog Beltway media set.

    Sorry, guys. We just disagree.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    jim2 (6482d8)

  14. Remember the date.

    Sorry, you lost me there. What is the significance of March 31? About the same as Mapes’s self-serving whinepost about she’s not political, only those meanies on the right are.

    Xrlq (b71926)

  15. Get a load of this howler:

    The would-be media watchdogs of the right haven’t really given a damn about the LA Times story,

    Well, I suppose she’s got a point there. Patterico, for one, has said absolutely nothing about it.

    but then there is no political ax to grind here, no President to defend, no troops to rally against the bogeyman of the supposed liberal media.

    It was simply a mistake.

    Translation: aside from the fact that this particular scandal didn’t involve Mapes personally, the main difference between Philips’s screw up and Mapes’s is that in Philips’s case, there is no “greater good” to be served by wallowing in denial and insisting that the obviously forged documents are real, so this time around, we might as well own up to the fact that the forgeries in question are … um … forgeries.

    I respectfully disagree with our host’s view that a mild bashing by the Forgery Queen is bad news for Philips. With enemies like her, who needs friends?

    Xrlq (b71926)

  16. Philips was trying to influence the President of Dead Rappers election!

    rhodeymark (1aaf2a)

  17. Mapes is as disgusting a figure as exists in media today. That she should land, finally, at The Nation, that most putrid swamp of insanity, treason, bile, evil and mendacity is appropriate for both parties. No doubt she will elevate the level of professionalism there in that depraved wallow best turned to an impact crater.

    megapotamus (17c12e)

  18. #17…
    In describing the Nation, I thought I recognized a frequent, recent commenter here (putrid swamp of insanity, treason, bile, evil and mendacity) who never lets facts get in the way of his derangement.
    Perhaps that’s where Levi came from?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  19. Mary Mapes…

    she’s clearly not over it. I think back to the Rathergate scandal and laugh. She thinks back and is infuriated with “the right” and their “paranoia”… she couldn’t be more paranoid herself.

    Too look at the MS Word comparison to the documents and not realize they are absolutely fake is to be as delusional as possible. It’s like denying gravity. Mary Mapes has left her career behind. Instead of being known as a great figure in media, a person to be respected, she’s known as a joke who tried to throw an election. She has no problem vilifying an entire half of a political spectrum, and thinks she’s some sort of victim.

    The world is full of small people like her, but rarely do they get exposed so fully. Mary Mapes is a source of great satisfaction to the right.

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  20. Patterico:

    First, I think this link should work.

    Second, considering the title of your post, “Chuck Philips Hits Rock Bottom”… I wouldn’t bet on it: Even in the subbasement, one can always pull out a shovel — or jackhammer — and continue digging.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd ab Hugh (db2ea4)

  21. When Mary Mapes is making fun of you for relying on forged documents, it’s time to hang it up.

    Dave (1dbcfe)

  22. Amazing in all those words written she couldn’t address even one of the “inconclusive and incomprehensible questions about typeface” which brought down her sorry tuchas.

    If they are in fact “incomprehensible” to her, then that’s the sorriest admission possible for her, more so certainly than if she just said, “yeah, we were big liars; but we almost brought down the worst President ever.”

    DWPittelli (2e1b8e)

  23. First of all, Mapes seems to be sympathetic to Phillips – the point seems to be that these things can happen to any reporter, even Seymour Hersh. She just doesn’t want to be dragged into it again. Second of all, Phillips is an extraordinary investigative reporter who has been doggedly covering this case since before the bodies were cold. He knows full well about the trouble with quoting felons. That’s why, I assume, he was so eager to go public with this – the document corroborated what he had been hearing about the case for years from the unquotables. (He knows more about the Tupac-Biggie murders than anyone who didn’t pull a trigger.) The dude who forged the document not only had nothing obvious to gain from it, he implicated himself in it.

    Phillips obviously made a huge mistake in publishing without getting a document expert involved, and it is still a scandal, but the L.A. Times has been in massive turmoil since the barbarian Zell LBOed it last year, and the editors who might have vetted the story before it ran were understandably distracted. Phillip’s is neither a chump nor a dupe.

    condiment (ebe0aa)

  24. There’s the LA Times koolaid for you.

    Freshly stirred.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  25. Oooh! Purple, my favorite!

    jim2 (9a5bb4)

  26. Mapes certainly gets this right:

    The greatest fraud perpetrated in modern journalistic history was the Bush Administration’s linking of Iraq to September 11. The biggest forgery foisted on the media was the Niger documents claiming that Saddam Hussein was seeking yellowcake to be used in nuclear weapons. One of the biggest media mistakes of my generation was for reporters to blindly trust President George W. Bush, a man who had never been to war, never fulfilled his own military duty and never met a predicament his parents couldn’t get him out of.

    Psyberian (d18acc)

  27. I can’t balk too much about this since Phillips is apparently indefensible here.

    But what of goofs like Glenn Beck on CNN who talked to a preacher (McCain’s supporter Hagee) on his program and gets reassured that Obama is NOT the Anti-Chrsit? What’s going to happen to Mr. Beck? Not a damn thing, but his simple-minded shtick is deplorable.

    Psyberian (d18acc)

  28. psyberian,

    I realize you’re trolling. I just wanted to know fi you actually have any evidence of anything you are claiming is true?

    No?

    That’s because all that stuff isn’t true. There is no evidence for it. Much of it is verifiably untrue, in fact.

    We know Saddam was seeking yellowcake, there really isn’t any doubt that he was seeking some… hell, he built a nuclear reactor once for the express purpose of making weapons… the one the Israelis blew up.

    The White House specifically explained that Saddam was not responsible directly for 9/11 repeatedly. Saddam indeed supported terrorism, and in fact had supported Al Qaida in some limited fashion, and that made him a legit target int he war on terror, but the Taliban was the government most closely related to 9/11, and the white house was clear on this point.

    Bush obviously served his nation… those who served with him are all the proof you need. That the only evidence against Bush is obvious forgery proves there’s nothing to that smear. Veterans overwhelmingly supported Bush over Kerry and Gore, even after CBS pretended they had good evidence that Bush’s service was tainted. That dog won’t hunt.

    As for his parents giving Bush privilege… well that’s obviously true, but that’s true of the entire ruling class from Obama to Kennedy.

    What’s so great is that the democrats are certain Obama can beat Bush in the 2008 election. Good luck!

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  29. Ahh yes, Mary Mapes — truly the modern day expert in forgeries. I agree. When even Mapes can recognize the problem, you surely have hit bottom. It’s just a shame she can’t (or won’t) recognize it in her own “reporting”. The parallels in this “Tale of Two Forgeries” are absolutely striking.

    Bill M (fd7b06)

  30. I’m not going to do you’re research for you guys, but the signature on the forged yellowcake document was signed by someone who wasn’t even in power at the time! Look it up. It was laughable and other nations were laughing at us! I guess the liberal media didn’t do its job (yet again) and you’re uninformed (again).

    Psyberian (d18acc)

  31. The greatest fraud perpetrated in modern journalistic history was the Bush Administration’s linking of Iraq to September 11.

    Never happened. That was a product of the Left’s fevered imagination.

    The biggest forgery foisted on the media was the Niger documents claiming that Saddam Hussein was seeking yellowcake to be used in nuclear weapons.

    They cannot let go of that whole Joe Wilson thing, can they? As SPQR has pointed out, if you have to lie to make the point that your political opponent is a liar, you do not have a really good point.

    One of the biggest media mistakes of my generation was for reporters to blindly trust President George W. Bush, a man who had never been to war, never fulfilled his own military duty and never met a predicament his parents couldn’t get him out of.

    Full on BDS from the “objective” media.

    JD (75f5c3)

  32. He should be fired but then if the NEW YORK or L.A. SLIMES fired all its reporters who lied the news papers would go out of buisness becuase there would be no one left not even their chief editors

    krazy kagu (6a69d6)

  33. Psyberian:

    I’m not going to do you’re [sic] research for you guys,

    What else is new? Liberals almost never research their positions before spouting off, and this comment was no exception.

    but the signature on the forged yellowcake document was signed by someone who wasn’t even in power at the time! Look it up. It was laughable and other nations were laughing at us! I guess the liberal media didn’t do its job (yet again) and you’re uninformed (again).

    Quite the contrary, the liberal media did its job quite admirably, by conning you into believing that the obviously forged documents have anything to do with the fact that Saddam was seeking yellowcake in Niger. Surely you don’t think you can commit a crime, and then get away with it by forging documents purporting to show you committed that crime, and then proving that your own documents were forgeries? That’s the oldest spy trick in the book.

    Xrlq (b71926)

  34. Yellowcake…
    No responsible commenter even thinks about the forged documents, they’re not needed. Joe Wilson’s own words in his report to the CIA confirm the reach-out by the Iraqi’s to officials in West Africa for trade in what Amb. Wilson said could only be yellowcake.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  35. Xlrq…
    You know, it is hard to take seriously comments from allegedly informed people who confuse “your” and “you’re”.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  36. Psyberian and Mary Mapes, a match made in heaven.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  37. Reading Mary Mapes article in The Nation reveals what a true ideologue she is-all the livid adjectives applied to Bush, the White House and conservatives in general. Her language gives her away as someone who could never be a professional, objective journalist. Mapes, Phillips and the LA Times are all part of the same cabal-people who in Mapes’ own words are those willing to “take a chance” with a story.

    Take a chance on the truth? And these people have the effrontery to lament that the public no longer trusts what they write.

    fouse, gary c (7b7c7c)

  38. Quite the contrary, the liberal media did its job quite admirably, by conning you into believing that the obviously forged documents have anything to do with the fact that Saddam was seeking yellowcake in Niger.

    Xrlq, you numbskull, if the documents were so insignificant, why did our Commander-in-Chief choose to use them as evidence to get us into this war (and then have to retract them later)? Maybe you should have been writing his speeches…

    Psyberian (d18acc)

  39. Psyberian, the evidence of Iraq’s interest in yellowcake from Africa existed distinct from the forged documents. You are the numbskull.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  40. Xrlq, you numbskull, if the documents were so insignificant, why did our Commander-in-Chief choose to use them as evidence to get us into this war (and then have to retract them later)? Maybe you should have been writing his speeches…

    Psyberian, you numbskull, if anyone in the Administration relied on those obviously forged documents, as you claim, why isn’t there a shred of evidence out there to prove it? Lemme guess, you’re probably one of those leftards who think that President Bush’s (in-)famous “16 words” from the State of the Union speech were:

    Some totally not forged documents show Saddam purchasing a shitload of yellowcake in Niger, and stuff.

    Not exactly.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  41. Xrlq – Those are the same people that believed that President Bush was linking Saddam to 9/11 by saying Saddam was not linked to 9/11.

    JD (75f5c3)

  42. I know, but I’d still like to hear one of these moonbats explain why they think anyone trying to sell a war based on documents purporting to show Saddam had purchased significant quantities of uranium would intentionally understate his case by merely stating that foreign intel had determined he “sought” them.

    Xrlq (b71926)

  43. The critics of Bush, while claiming that we are dishonest or dumb, almost universally do two things: (1) lie about the statements the Bush administration made and (2) demonstrate that they have a poor understanding of events themselves.

    It would be comical were it not going on 5 years of the same moronic act now.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  44. Oh, yeah. Mary Mapes “uncovers” stories nobody else in MSM is interested in… same as she “uncovered” the story of John Doe #2 in the Oklahoma City bombing.

    What a doofus!

    dubya (52d20a)

  45. The simple fact that Mary wound up at The Nation says it all: paranoid, hyperpartisan, unprofessional. Great way to end a career.

    trentk269 (3d3bfe)

  46. Dubya,

    Are you being sarcastic? I thought Mary Mapes was one of the journalists who did not follow up on the John Doe #2 angle.

    DRJ (a431ca)


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