Whatever happened to the breathless coverage of important news stories like the tons of missing ammo in Iraq? George Bush’s AWOL escapades and the documents that proved it? Karl Rove’s leaking of an undercover CIA operative’s name for political advantage? The Bush Administration’s reckless indifference to Richard Clarke’s prescient warnings about the imminent danger of a 9/11 attack? Bush’s nefarious backroom conspiracies in cahoots with the Saudi royal family and the bin Ladens?
Golly, I thought these were all Critically Important Stories™ that the public needed to know about in every detail. Suddenly, after November 2nd, things have gone quiet. I wonder why.
Backcountry Conservative does his usual bang-up job of rounding up scattered links to breaking news, this time on the origin of the forged Killian memos faxed to CBS and Dan Rather.
UPDATE (11:42 PM): Kevin McCullogh is digging into the Kinko’s angle.
Here’s Drudge’s copy of the longer CBS News statement released this evening concerning the obviously forged Killian memos. Watch how quickly the blogosphere dissects and debunks this one. If you thought the first assault on the forgeries was fast, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
UPDATE (8:41 PM): It begins.
UPDATE (8:54 PM): How’s this for fast?
Rathergate.com is your one-stop shop for news about self-immolating network anchors.
"It’s just a flesh wound!
CBS stands by its story."
Hat tip: Wizbang
This is the definitive forgery funnies roundup.
Right Wing News has “The Memo George Bush Doesn’t Want You To See”
The Commissar has proof that Kerry was in Cambodia.
ScrappleFace unearths more evidence of Bush perfidy.
Wizbang cribs a photoshopped Dan Rather from Minion of the Great Satan (for the original Baghdad Bob … a.k.a. “Comical Ali” … see here). Also see their spoof of Mr. Clipit.
IMAO unearths another memo.
Day By Day slings a beer pun.
Allah issues a comedy fatwa against Dan Rather’s paltry band of brothers.
Expect more very soon from Cox & Forkum.
UPDATE: 9/12 bump to the top.
CBS and Dan Rather stand by their crumbling story, while Captain’s Quarters recaps the latest developments in the CBS forged memos scandal, and includes a handy 9-point list of discrepancies in the documents. It ain’t all in the superscript, folks.
Meanwhile Power Line gathers several mainstream media stories to paint a picture of Gunga Dan under seige. The three lawyers running Power Line have given Rather a length of rope and they seem content today to watch him tie his own noose. When they pull the lever on the trap door this coming week, it’ll be a quick end for CBS. Power Line has new questions about the paper used for CBS‘ “original” copies, and about incorrect zip codes on the purported memos.
INDC Journal exposes how the Boston Globe misquoted a document analysis expert, and relays the expert’s outrage.
In the “put up or shut up department”, Defeat JohnJohn is offering at least $17,600 to the first person to $17,600 in cash to the first person who can find a typewriter available in 1972 that reasonably could have produced the documents in question.
For the big picture, rely on The Belmont Club … as always.
UPDATE: Dan Rather would have you believe that the whole forgery story is overblown because a few old typewriters could manage superscript text. Well, look at this flash animation. If that’s not proof of forgery, nothing is. No doubt Dan Rather’s next statement will be: “Who’re ya gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”
Hat tip: Power Line
… stop digging. I’ve just gotta laugh.
Captain Ed, the skipper at Captain’s Quarters, comments on a story from The Washington Prowler which supposedly alleges that 60 Minutes got the faked Killian memos from the Kerry campaign. I say “supposedly” because at the moment the Prowler page is inaccessible.
From Captain Ed:
But the Kerry campaign has it even worse. Thanks to a barrage of ads from the Swiftvets, Kerry already has suffered damage to his image in voter evaluation of his honesty and integrity. If his campaign passed off forged documents to news organizations to smear George Bush, it will destroy the shreds of his credibility in such a way that he may not even be able to win re-election in his next Senate campaign.
Not only does it paint the entire Democratic party machine from Kerry and Terry McAuliffe down as completely dishonest, but also incredibly incompetent. How long would it have taken to have a document specialist verify the memos, especially given that even the campaign had its doubts? Voters who manage not to be completely put off by the dishonest have to ask themselves whether they want the country run by people this flat-out stupid. And fair or not, the whole mess winds up in John Kerry’s lap. It’s yet another case of misfiring a grenade, only this time the wounds won’t be superficial.
The moonbats have already begun laying the blame at the feet of Svengali … er, Karl Rove. I’d bet on the simpler, more plausible explanation: Team Kerry’s incompetence.
… if the CBS memos have been forged, and I’m going to hold him to it.
Wizbang asks “whodunnit“? The Commisar has a candidate.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin thinks journalists’ obligation to protect anonymous sources ought to evaporate if the sources lie.
Atrios never met a strawman he didn’t like, Josh Marshall goes on a superscript “th” hunt, Kevin Drum takes CBS at its word (then hedges), and Kos thinks that the “memos” must be real because the White House simply gave reporters copies of what it received from 60 Minutes. Even more hilariously, the commenters on these sites blame Karl Rove for planting the forgeries just to make the left look silly. What a surprise.
The theme of the moment among the lefty bloggers seems to be “never mind the other problems with the forged memos, just find anything to hang your hat on and then either look smug or whine about right-wing conspiracies.” According to the spin from the left today, the “memos” that 60 Minutes faxed to the White House magically became authentic just because the White House gave copies to reporters without comment.
Good luck, fellas.
Captain’s Quarters shuts off another avenue of escape for CBS and its “secret memos” by Lt Col Killian:
The [Washington] Post even forced CBS to reveal that the documents were “authenticated” via a phone conversation with retired Major General Bobby W. Hodges, Killian’s superior:
A senior CBS official, who asked not to be named because CBS managers did not want to go beyond their official statement, named one of the network’s sources as retired Maj. Gen. Bobby W. Hodges, the immediate superior of the documents’ alleged author, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. He said that a CBS reporter read the documents to Hodges over the phone, and that Hodges replied that “these are the things that Killian had expressed to me at the time.”
“These documents represent what Killian not only was putting in memoranda, but was telling other people,” the CBS News official said. “Journalistically, we’ve gone several extra miles.”
The official said the network regarded Hodges’s comments as “the trump card” on the question of authenticity, as he is a Republican who acknowledged that he did not want to hurt Bush. Hodges, who declined to grant an on-camera interview to CBS, did not respond to messages left on his home answering machine in Texas.
I don’t think that anyone doubts that CBS went several extra miles, but in what direction? How does the Tiffany Network account for the fact that the 1973 memos reference purported pressure from an Col. Buck Staudt, who had retired in 1972? Did Hodges and Killian invent a word-processing system to write these memos that escaped the notice of document experts, with an ability to produce type-set documents?
So now we have documents typed in a way that was impossible for the time they were made, sourced from personal files of a dead ex-officer whose family angrily deny he ever had, and authenticated by another ex-officer who never actually saw them. Is this journalism?
UPDATE: Could this be the Robert Hodges from Texas that claims to be a Republican — the one who donated $250 to Howard Dean?
I tip my hat to Buckhead, a poster at FreeRepublic.com who appears to be the first person to notice that the 60 Minutes II “memos” incriminating Texas ANG Lieutenant George W. Bush … are fakes. Buckhead lit the fuse and the detonation began at Power Line. It continues to ripple outward.
Nice work! He may have unseated Dan Rather himself (CBS is in full retreat).