Thursday, September 09, 2004

CBS Documents A Fraud

By now most people who get their news from the new media have heard that the documents displayed by Dan Rather last night on "60 Minutes II" that supposedly proved that the President failed to complete his National Guard duties are a fraud. Powerline, Hugh Hewitt, the National Review, Captains Quarters and Little Green Footballs have been all over the story. The possibility that the documents could be a fraud is slowly creeping into the mainstream media with ABC News filing a report that the son of the officer who supposedly wrote the memos believes that they are fake.

If the fact that the documents are fake had never come out, the story about the President's National Guard service would have come and gone with very little impact on the campaign. But today's revelations will have a much more lasting impact on the campaign and on media. CBS was willingly duped into presenting as real, forged documents. To this point they have not issued a retraction. The bloggers mentioned above as well as several several reporters in tomorrows papers have come to the conclusion based on expert analysis and the combined analysis of tens of thousands of non-expert eyes that have gone over the documents that the documents are forgeries. many lefty bloggers, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, CNN, CBS, and others have rattled off breathless stories that the President was AWOL. Senator Harkin was sent out by the Democrats to demand President Bush answer questions raised by the memo's. Terry McAuliffe has repeated the assertion that the President was AWOL. Someone is wrong and someone's reputation will be destroyed by the story. Right now the evidence is pretty clear that the documents are fakes. If they are there are a lot of questions that need to be answered.

1. The first and most obvious is who wrote the memo's? If they are fake someone produced the memo's for the express purpose of damaging the President. Who was it? What is there connection to the Kerry Campaign?

2. Who is the expert that supposedly verified the documents for CBS? If the documents are fake and CBS will not reveal the name of their "expert" it must be assumed that CBS did not have anyone verify the the authenticity of the documents. Hugh Hewitt interviewed document expert Farrell Shiver of Shiver and Nelson. Mr. Shiver is a very credentialed expert (Hugh has listed his credentials on his site). He expressed concern that CBS would not reveal the name of the expert. This is a problem for CBS and at this point they will say nothing more than the documents were examined for authenticity. Mr. Shiver stated that there are many people who claim to be document experts who are not, in fact, qualified as such. Mr. Shiver said he v=believes the documents to be a fraud. A second expert, Dr. Philip Bouffard was interviewed by INDC Journal (who has since been interviewed by a mainstream media outlet) concluded that it is more than a 90% chance that the documents are fake. Dr. Bouffard may be the leading expert in the country on old type. Had CBS wanted to verify the authenticity of the documents Dr. Bouffard would have been an obvious choice. He plans on voting for Kerry, he is not a fraud or a partisan. Who "verified" the documents for CBS?

3. If the documents are fake how long will it take for the media outlets and the bloggers who jumped on the memos of proof of another "Bush lie" to acknowledge their mistake and apologize not only to the President but to the public as well? CBS and the rest of the media have attempted to assassinate the character of the President in the hopes of rescuing the John Kerry campaign. So desperate and willing were they to do this that they failed to do even a cursory check of the documents they presented to the public. They abandoned any shred of journalistic integrity in their desperate attempt to damage a president they hate. Will CBS run a nightly news story with an apology and an explanation of how they were duped? Will the New York Times, the Boston Globe the Nation, CNN give as much coverage to the scandal behind the forgeries as they did when they believed the memo's would damage the President. Will CBS fire anyone?

4. Will the Democrats acknowledge that there is nothing to National Guard story once and for all. Will the Democratic hit men in the Kerry Campaign apologize?

5. What will the lasting impact on the scandal be on the reputation of the news networks? With NBC preparing to run a three part interview with a discredited tabloid author, and the utter humiliation of CBS, the old media has hit rock bottom. They have failed to adapt to a rapidly changing media environment and the fact that the blogosphere was able to discredit CBS News in six hours is evidence that the old media has hit the bottom of the credibility barrel.

There are many more questions that will come out in the course of the next few days. This will have political as well as social ramifications. The old media has killed themselves with this story and their alliance with the Democrats has been exposed. The old media is a biased, untrustworthy group. They are biased and their purpose is not to distribute news but to advance a liberal ideology, even at the cost of their own integrity.

UPDATE:

The AP has now chimed in with their own expert who states that the memos are fake. Game. Set. Match. Dan Rather, it is time to go.

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.