As mentioned in the last post, which I’m mercifully going to stop updating, Dan Rather is going to address the forged documents issue. I”m expecting a list of model numbers and other tidbits that demonstrate the formatting irregularities found in the documents were possible to create in 1973. There’s more to it than that, though.
I want to see documents that match these. There must be thousands if not millions of them. They can’t all be lost. Let’s see them.
I don’t care about model numbers. I don’t care what document experts think. I don’t care what former IBM service technicians or former military typists say. I want to see the documents compared to others from the same time and place.
It’s really that simple.
At this point, it appears to me that the onus is on CBS to prove that the documents are not forgeries. This probably isn’t fair, but that’s what it looks like to me. Charges have been brought, and now the defense needs to rebut them.
For the first time in over a decade, I will watch the CBS Evening News live.
UPDATE: Well, that was even less impressive than I was expecting. After dismissing those who question the authenticity of the documents as political partisans, two of the three people Dan Rather interviewed were admitted political partisans.
Only three elements of the document format were discussed. The superscripted ‘th’, the typeface, and the signature. I’m willing to dismiss what seems to be significant differences in the signatures mostly because that is, in fact, one of the lesser issues being discussed.
Rather correctly points out that the typeface in question existed prior to 1973. He doesn’t go into whether it was in use in any typewriters.
As for the superscripted ‘th’ Rather rather triumphantly revealed that there WERE, in fact, typewriters capable of the trick in 1973. As icing on the cake, he told us that some documents released by the White House include the superscripted ‘th’. Here’s a screenshot:
(Click for a bigger image) I apologize for the poor quality. Don’t try to compare signatures using my screenshots, I guess.
As you will notice, the “superscripted” ‘th’ in the documents released by the White House (marked “Official Record”) do not rise above the top of the regular-sized numerals. Those in the new documents do.
Dan Rather called this “the same superscript”. That’s a quote, folks. Don’t believe your eyes, just listen to what Dan the Man is telling you.
The balance of the program was devoted to gathering opinions from people about whether or not the documents were authentic. Amazingly, everyone Dan talked to thought they were. What are the odds that every single person on the show agreed with him? That clinches it, doesn’t it?
Anyway, as I’ve said, I don’t care what anyone’s opinions are. I don’t care when a particular typeface was invented. I don’t even care when it was first used widely in typewriters like those the Texas Air National Guard use.
I WANT TO SEE MORE DOCUMENTS FROM THAT BASE OFFICE FROM 1973.
I’ve got to think someone from CBS has looked into it. Call me cynical, but the fact that Dan didn’t have piles of them ready for us means to me that we wouldn’t be impressed.
I think they’ve reached the bottom of the hole and started digging.
UPDATE: Wizbang, linked to for only the seven-gazillionth time today, has a more detailed summary of the report. Among the good points:
Basically, CBS is making the case that since the content of the documents is true, the documents are legit. And we know the content is true because we have these documents to prove it. (an odd form of recursion)
The other humorous bit of defense is when Rather made the case that the blogosphere is way off base because the copies we got have been copied, faxed and recopied and some of them have been (gasp) downloaded. Completely ignoring that we all got the doc right from their web site. We are looking at a scan of what they have. 1 scan does not lose that much quality. All in all, that line was just laughable.
Wizbang has been all over this. Go. Now.
UPDATE 2: Upon further reflection, it just dawned upon me that the main reason the “document expert” thinks we’re all off-base about the signatures is that we’re all using copies of faxes of copies of faxes instead of the clearer versions that CBS News has.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t looked at a single fax or photocopy of any of these documents. I’ve looked at digitized versions. From the CBS News site.
Are these guys just totally out of touch with the technology revolution in media, or what?
UPDATE 3: I had to join the fun and superscript my post title. Now I’m walking on the wild side.
This has been a lot of fun. But it’s nearly midnight here in Michigan and that means it’s nearly Saturday. That will be the 11th. Of September.
Unless there is a truly earth-shaking development in the forged documents story, I will not be posting on it again until Sunday. We’re all talking about the Kerry campaign being “dead” or Dan Rather’s carrer being “destroyed”.
Let’s remember those that really are dead and the world that’s really been destroyed.