I’d RATHER be watching FoxNews

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’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.


  1. I had missed ‘the same superscript’ bit, thanks. I think we should be careful on the ‘fake’ charge, because sometimes people assume you COULDN’T do certain things without computers – when you could. But it shouldn’t be all that difficult to find a typewriter available at that time and DUPLICATE THE RESULTS, if it is possible at all. At this point, there is certainly enough doubt that they need to have a demonstration, or should retract the memos. I’ll note that the document the other ‘superscript’ comes from shows many obvious ‘typical typewriter’ artifacts – non proportional font, ‘wavy’ up and down line, etc. My take on the CBS story is that if they had anything solid, they would have said it.

  2. Sure you want to be watching Fox? Snow on the O’Reilly Factor had Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard and some former CBS News exec. News exec referred to all the bloggers chasing this story as a bunch of guys sittin at home in their pajamas in front of a computer. Hayes defended us, though.

  3. Hey who gives a sh*t whether or not they are forgeries? What is the possible outcome? It seems unlikely that the Lt. Gov of Texas (who states that assigning Bushie to the ANG was a ‘preferential’ move) or the campaign workers (who all stated that Bushie spent his time partying it up and coming in whenever he pleased) telling their stories would have any impact on the dyed (died) in the wool (over their eyes) supporters of Dubya and Dick (Cheney) who are pretty embarassed about the Proven Fake Nigerian Uranium documents that propelled the US into a fake war in the first place. Let’s see, fake ANG – didn’t show up to fly, or fake Nigerian Uranium – killed over a thousand brethren. Who you gonna trust? The worst crime is thinking that Kerry is going to change anything. Safer? Gimme a break! Why don’t we, Citizens of the USofA decide to work together to figure out a coupla things before we go killing thousands upon thousands of people in an unwinnable war. (OK, so we bomb the crap out of Fallujah, will that stop angry Muslims? HA!) 1. Who ordered the killing of Mohammed Mossadegh, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran in 1953 ? 2. How did Hussein’s party get into power via another assasination of Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Kassem in 1963? CIA backed Coups have and continue to take place. Too lofty for this site? Conspiracy theory? Unfortunately the proof is all documented clearly and the people just keep showing up. The entire Bush league and then some. Safer? Nope. They just keep getting richer while we die. It’s called racketeering and it is time for it to end. The US is going to find out that they are not the top of the food chain any more. The rest of the world is way ahead of us in education, energy conservation, nutrition, infant mortality, quality of life and a host of other issues that we desperately need to address before our arrogance becomes a death sentence. No more fake wars or the idiots who forge them. I believed as did everyone Iserved with that we were defending freedom for the American people NOT for the few, the bloody rich, and their bedfellow skull and boners. Semper GD Fi

  4. VR: ‘My take on the CBS story is that if they had anything solid, they would have said it.’ My feelings exactly. Instead of trying to debunk the forgery charges with facts and examples, Rather spent more than half the segment asking people who are up front about their dislike of Bush for their ‘take’ on the documents. CBS *must* have dug up other documents from that Air Force base office and compared them. If not before 60 Minutes, at least since the forgery charges began. If there were thousands of other documents that match these documents, they’d be shoving them down our throat. They’re not.

  5. Buckethead: [grin] I don’t watch FoxNews, either. But I wanted to ‘RATHER be’ something, and I was in a rush. Besides, a ton of Free Republic types are coming in to check out the screenshot and it probably scores points with them…

  6. Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy…. If the rest of the world is so far ahead of us, why is it that every major advancement in the past 50 years has come from this nation? Why is it, that if push came to shove, this is the only nation that could feed itself and maintain its own ifrastructure (including oil drilling and energy production) without outside assistance? The nicest thing about this country is that the door’s always open. You’re free to go elsewhere, then return when you find you’re wrong.

  7. By decrying how the blogosphere is using copied scanned and faxed -over versions, they seem to be implying that the PDF they are peddling is of significantly lower quality than the copy they have (although they don’t claim to have an original). So if that’s true then why don’t they do a high-resolution scan of the best copy they have, say at 1200 dpi or more, and then release it on the internet as a PDF? If not then what the hell is the problem is it a trade secret or something? I thought journalists were supposed to welcome scrutiny of their work.

  8. Surely the Lt Col would be careful about putting the names of higher-ups asking him to do something wrong on paper. Any one of them at any time could look in those files. Few people right down the criticism of their boss and put it in the bosses file cabinet. Something in this fridge smells bad.