...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

September 09, 2004

Outrageous, Stupid, Fraudulent And Despicable

Laura Ingraham had it right when she said that Dan Rathre has basically signed on as a consultant to the Kerry campaign.

Dan Rathre

The CBS forgery scandal, and that's what it is, plain and simple, has me absolutely freakin' boiling livid!

Don't know about it? That's understandable. How many people knew about the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth outside regular blog readers and talk radio listeners. How many people knew that Schwarzenegger's main grope accuser had been exposed as a liar by at least two eyewitnesses? How many people knew Jason Blair was lying at the New York Times. How many people know that the same paper distributed a COMPLETELY MADE UP report about Republicans booing Clinton on the day he was hospitalized. The list goes on and on.

The mainstream media will never advertise its incompetence, its ignorance, its foolishness, its astounding errors of judgment, its complete failure to exercise even the most rudimentary skepticism on stories that favor their side of a political fight, or its blatant and obvious pro-Democratic Party bias.

Read this Powerline post from beginning to end. Then you'll be up to speed.

Anyone who has ever looked at documents from the 1970's (and as a former graduate history student, i've seen plenty) knows how crude typewriter print was in those days. Anyone who's ever worked on a military base (as i have, for two months on an externship), knows that the equipment they get often lags behind current technology by a few years, due to the inherent slowness of the procurement contract process.*

But i didn't need to know all that to recognize an obviously MS Word generated document when i see one. Gimme a break.

Whoever did this spent too much time researching the character, to get the tone of the memo to sound just right, and not enough time researching what a document created with 1973 technology should look like. That doesn't surprise me. Our opposition just ain't that bright, look who they nominated.

Of course the forgery was good enough to fool your average journalism school graduate at CBS, but a memo written in crayon probably could have done that much.

What gets me so livid is this: Imagine that CBS had done this kind of sloppy journalism on a consumer fraud story, or a defective product story. You know, the kind of story that built the reputation of 60 Minutes in the first place. Imagine that CBS had slandered a legitimate business, basing its false allegations on a sloppily forged document, as sloppy as these Texas memos.

Do you know what would happen? CBS would be sued. They would be exposed to a multi million dollar lawsuit, including punitive damages, (which by law can't be covered by insurance) for reckless disregard of the truth. Their lawyers would never have let them air the story. But, because this is all about politics, and because the target of CBS's fraud and slander is only the sitting President of the freakin' United States, and because this is just payback for the Swiftboat Vets, we Republicans are supposed to just shut up and take it and CBS will probably never admit they blew it.

Well CBS and Dan fucking Rathre, all you assholes can just kiss my ass. i haven't watched your propaganda for years and it don't look like i ever will.

well that felt good

P.S. The CBS story itself doesn't bother me in the slightest. Last minute hatchet jobs by a desperate press never work (and this wasn't even last minute). It didn't work during the Schwarzenegger election. What gets me is that the LA Times didn't pay enough of a price for trying to throw that election, and CBS won't either.

More: Kevin at Wizbang is also on top of this story. And Paul is pissed too.

More: It keeps getting more and more beautiful.

Update: This has been a wonderful twenty-four hours for anyone associated with the blogosphere. Even somone on the periphery, as i am. Hearty congratulations should go to Bill at INDC Journal, the Powerline and LGF guys, Professors Hewitt and Reynolds, Captain Ed, FreeRepublic and everyone else who investigated this hoax and pushed its disclosure.

* i externed at the DLA, the Defense Logistics Agency. We were in charge of purchasing stuff like typewriters and computers. And i can tell you, even the stuff we had in our office was far from state of the art. What kind of equipment do you think a National Guard base in Texas got in 1973? i'll gaurantee you, it wasn't typewriters with proportional space capabilities.

Posted by annika, Sep. 9, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry



The military used courier 12 font in the 70's. That is NOT courier 12 font!


Posted by: Chuck on Sep. 9, 2004

Damn near every typewriter used courier 12 in the seventies. Eighties too.

Posted by: annika! on Sep. 9, 2004

Now miss Annika - I'm sure you didn't mean that. Why, just today I heard Randi Rodes on Air America (not Ozzy's deceased guitarist) explain to us how the media was biased towards the right & it was part of the vast right wing conspiracy. I found this almost as shocking as I did her explaining that we shouldn't allow semi-automatic "assault weapons" to flood our streets when our troops in Iraq don't have any.

So surely you didn't really mean that the media would be biased for a socialist &/or against a republican, since it was all expalined how that is just not the case.

Honestly, the media has been trying to form opinions for years using less than accurate information. None of this is a surprise to anyone except the media itself - & that's solely because they're being busted for it.

Posted by: Publicola on Sep. 9, 2004

Jeez Anni, let me kiss your ass. We'll KICK his!

Posted by: Casca on Sep. 9, 2004

Annika, as every Grad student knows, the first lesson you must learn is that one must understand and embrace your biases. That is the only way to avoid writing anything that can be considered bias. The Media has Stopped doing this A LONG TIME A GO. They believe that since everybody they know are for Kerry, then reporting in a pro- Kerry manner is not bias. They refuse to believe that they have a certain point of view that is inconstant with many in this country. If they were consciences that they have this point of view, they can make a concerted effort to avoid bias. OR they are aware of their personal Bias and don't care and want to write advocacy pieces as News. In that case they are just dishonest and deserve to be stoned!

Posted by: Lawguy on Sep. 9, 2004

The good news is that the media wolfpack has noticed CBS's moment of weakness and is turning on one of their own. ABC and the Washington Post are treating this as a major story.

Posted by: Pixy Misa on Sep. 9, 2004

The forged document is a Republican plant!! The scandal is so delicious, the humiliation of Cowboy DRather so great, if the document is not a plant it should be.

Inside Texas politics-- in Bush's run for Governor against Ann Richards, some similar thing happened. Can't remember the details, but the massive allegation was that Rove planted something that made it look like Bush was unfairly attacked, then Rove was able to hold a news conference and be outraged about "Democratic dirty tricks." Wish I could remember the exact scenario, but this reminded me of it.

Probably not a Republican plant, but it would be so delicious if it was. I predict that the Dem Underground, at least, will allege a Republican plant. Paging Mr. James Carville! Paging Mr. James Carville! Carville- "Theyah probly drugged Dan Rathuh! This is cleahly ah Republican plant!"

Posted by: gcotharn on Sep. 9, 2004

I just posted an edit of this at Blackfive:

Some comments / questions:

(1) I remember working as a technical writer while in grad school in 1988. The documents I wrote (spec sheets for electronic components like A/D converters) for the military were on this junky word processer called Multimate. It was light years behind what was commercially available even fifteen years ago.

(2) I also remember being assigned the additional duty of OER [Officer Efficiency Report] officer when I was still in the US Army Reserve (USAR ... in Houston, appropriately enough!). Having nobody assigned to me to type up the forms, I did that myself. On a typewriter. In fact, I bought my own electric typewriter so that I could avoid the government issue clunkers at my unit and also so I could work at home. This situation lasted well into the 90's.

(3) In all of my military experience ('84 to '98 as an ROTC cadet and in the USAR), I have never dealt with any written correspondence that had a P.O. box as the return address in the letterhead like the one supposedly ordering Bush to submit to a flight physical. Doesn't all such correspondence have the street address of the unit headquarters? And while I'm asking, wouldn't said letterhead also have a unit patch and/or a TXAFNG unit patch or some such? If it's important enough for a letterhead ...

(4) Every official letter written by any unit commander I've run into was signed by so-and-so, such-and-such rank, "commanding" or "commanding general". Never "commander". Maybe the TXAFNG was different in the early 1970's, and hopefully Blackfive or one of his readers[Annie?] has better poop on this.

Anyway, those are the obvious questions that popped into my head immediately. Maybe it's a good thing I didn't major in journalism in college!

Posted by: Go 4 TLI (formerly HH in Hollywood) on Sep. 10, 2004

This really is a watershed moment I think. Or there's a very good chance that it is--the moment when blogs finally burst in on the Mainstream Media and gave them no choice but to pay attention.

Posted by: Dean Esmay on Sep. 10, 2004

CBS has admitted to the Washington Post that it didn't even bother asking the dead man's relatives what they thought about the supposed memos.

Posted by: RatherBiased on Sep. 10, 2004

Rather is not just carrying water for the Kerry campaign. He is falling on his sword for the Kerry campaign.

Posted by: Amphipolis on Sep. 10, 2004

What many people are missing about this story is the CRIMINAL aspect: It's a felony to forge US Government documents, it's a felony to "Criminally impersonate someone for the purposes of causing harm to another person" (Forgery in the 2nd Degree). It's a crime to knowingly aid and abet or through willfull negligence allow a crime to occur.

This isn't "Silly Season" political fun-and-games, guys; this is "Don't Drop the Soap!" stuff. Somebody's going DOWN for this and anyone who helped him had better sing like canaries or they'll be in the next cell.

Posted by: Orion on Sep. 10, 2004

Dan Rather should be made to resign, or better yet, be fired immediately in disgrace!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Audrey on Sep. 10, 2004

Orion, since the documents were likely faxed across state lines, that would also be federal wire fraud.

Posted by: Dave J on Sep. 11, 2004

The arrogance of Rather and CBS News Management may momentarily direct some scrutiny from candidate Frenchface, but he will be called to account.

Someone has made the decision to persist in claiming the emperor is fully clothed. The pathetically AMATEURISH nature of the episode will be remembered. Any high school newspaper is expected to follow higher standards of scrutiny for their information than CBS has shown.

The old institutions are crumbling from internal corruption and decay. The force of gravity is inexorable, even if the blogosphere weren't gnawing at the foundations. People are damn tired of being treated with contempt by bastards that consider themselves to be saviors of the culture, and so relieved of any obligation to follow the rules they would impose upon the peasants. We didn't need the sneering of Tom Oliphant as he dismissed the Swiftboat Vets for not having met his alleged journalistic standards. What journalistic standards? He is himself so blind to his own seething hatreds, biases, jealousies, and vendettas, one only needs to scan his writing as a reality check on what NOT to believe.

David March, animator & fiddler

Posted by: David March on Sep. 11, 2004

Check out the following website. Mr. Flounder is an expert and he will be able to answer any question you may have. regarding the Bush Forged Document. CHECK IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: Lena on Sep. 14, 2004

Pass this on. Link here to Boycott CBS.

All you have to do is call up the form. Fill out your name and email address and your state and zip code. Press I agree. Then Submit. P.Britt

Posted by: P. Britt on Sep. 15, 2004

Dan Rather puts the BS in CBS. He needs to be fired immediatly. CBS is terribly biased and should not be considered a news source. If we want lies and propaganda we can listen to Terry McAwful.

Posted by: John Litscher on Sep. 15, 2004