I'd like to break that story
September 16, 2004 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Dan Rather: : "If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I'd like to break that story. Any time I'm wrong, I want to be right out front and say, 'Folks, this is what went wrong and how it went wrong.'" (reg. req.)

Andrew Sullivan: "Memo to Rather: you can't break that story, because someone else in pajamas already did. Check the frequency, Kenneth. You are so far from being out front on this, you are leagues behind in the dust. Have you heard of the Internet? You can find it on that weird machine in your office they call a computer."

Me: Is anyone else astonished as I am at how far CBS seems to have its head up its ass WRT news media in the 21st century?
posted by ericost (128 comments total)
 
Aren't there still active threads on this? How many frigging posts does this story need?
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:11 AM on September 16, 2004


Linking to Sully? Ewww!!!

OK, there's another take on the whole matter, just in case this thread survives.

Here's the text:

CBS and Dan Rather have their problems which they're going to have to sort out, but as anonymous reminds us in comments, this is the key point:


Q Scott, on the National Guard documents on "60 Minutes," the First Lady says she believes these are forgeries. The RNC has accused the Democratic Party of being the source of these documents. Knowing then what you know now, would you still have released those documents when you did?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, that's a hypothetical question, John. We received those documents from a major news organization. We had every reason to believe that they were authentic at that time.



If the basic thrust of the memos was false - if, say, Bush came forward and said "Hey, wait a minute! Those can't be real! I never disobeyed a direct order..." then why would our dear Scotty say such a thing?

And, yes, trolls, if the documents are proven to be forgeries than Rather and CBS will have major egg on face, and they'll get their punishment like the Bush administration did when they fell for forged documents recently. And, yes, if they're proven to be forgeries, then whoever passed them to CBS, at least if they *knew* they were forged, should be outed.

But, none of that changes the fact that as Scotty said, they "had every reason to believe that they were authentic at that time."

posted by nofundy at 8:23 AM on September 16, 2004


Is anyone else as astonished as I am that the vaunted "new media," which includes the Blogosphere and Andrew "Self-Important Drama Queen Nincompoop" Sullivan, is more concerned with humiliating Dan Rather at this point in history than taking a hard look at the candidates?
posted by digaman at 8:23 AM on September 16, 2004


Give me a break, Mayor McCurley. I think there's been one post. So relax, or I'll go back and point out the 800 or so Swift Boat posts.

And ericost's clearly highlighting a different issue: a post-mortem on the role of the internet as fact-checker, not the substance of the argument itself (which is all but resolved now).

on preview: nofundy, I thought a week ago atrios was telling us all about how easy this could be done on IBM typewriters at the time. Anyway, talk about setting up strawmen. Is it not possible to both believe that Bush did pull strings for his National Guard duty, and still come down with both feet on CBS for its role in propogating a fraud designed to influence a national election?
posted by pardonyou? at 8:27 AM on September 16, 2004


While everyone is handing out awards for humiliating CBS over Bush's stupid guard service, the Green Zone in Iraq is falling apart. Surreal.

I wish someone would just unearth Bush's coke dealer and move the debate past all this "did he take a physical" stuff.
posted by inksyndicate at 8:27 AM on September 16, 2004


And as such, I'll say what I said on all the other threads: regardless of whether the documents are fake or not, the idea that a couple of webloggers can legitimately say they're on the whole more objective, less partisan, and of greater accuracy than mainstream news media is laughable.

That's not to say there aren't major flaws with the mainstream media, but Jesus Christ, kids- paying $19.95 a month for bandwidth doesn't make you Dan Rather's arch-rival. And pretending that Sullivan, LGF, FreeRepublic, and cerrtainly Matt Drudge haven't devoted ten times their webspace to pushing fradulent stories is the height of ignorance.

It amazes me that people think this documents issue proved how traditional media has "met its match" in the form of weblogs. All it's proven is that a majority of popular weblogs are run by immature hyperpartisans who have a lot of growing up to do.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:27 AM on September 16, 2004


I'm pretty astonished that people are going on about typesetting while we have (a) confirmation that the content of the memos is true (from staff members involved with the original writing of the words), (b) US News and World report support that, by the numbers Bush didn't fulfill his service, (c) words from GW's old professor about him admitting to having strings pulled (despite saying in public in recent years that he was at the right place at the right time) and (d) even a memo now that says GW signed up for an additional five years.

Can't anyone see the words from the type?
posted by VulcanMike at 8:31 AM on September 16, 2004


Dubya's missing Guard time finally revealed! :-) (and its's Dan Rather's fault!)

Anyone you know died in Iraq lately? Anyone come home? Anyone been recently deployed? It's Dan Rather's fault!
posted by nofundy at 8:32 AM on September 16, 2004


There is a thread from 6 days ago on the question of whether or not they are forgeries. But yesterday Dan Rather said he'd "like to break that story". HE SAID HE'D LIKE TO BREAK THAT STORY.

And good gravy, I am chided for linking to Andrew Sullivan? This post is about CBS not having a clue about the changes the internet has wrought on journalism? Can I only link to approved sources on that subject?

And give me a break with the "we should not be talking about this while there are bad things goin on in the world." CBS news, one of the most respected US news sources, ran a story with extremeley poorly authenticated documents as at its heart. Their anchor, a news icon, continues to stand by the documents after legions have questioned ther authenticity, and says HE'D LIKE TO BREAK THE STORY if they are fake.

This post is not about Bush's military record, or the war in Iraq, or your hatred for the right, its about CBS news having its head up its ass. Care to comment on that?
posted by ericost at 8:33 AM on September 16, 2004


I bet Dan Rather really gives a shit about some hack blogger.
posted by angry modem at 8:37 AM on September 16, 2004


While everyone is handing out awards for humiliating CBS over Bush's stupid guard service, the Green Zone in Iraq is falling apart. Surreal.

You're point being that there should only be one major issue anyone should discuss at any one time?

It amazes me that people think this documents issue proved how traditional media has "met its match" in the form of weblogs.

I don't think that's the point at all. I think the point is that bloggers are able to fact-check the "traditional media" almost instantaneously, and quickly disseminate information about errors. I haven't seen anyone claiming that this situation shows bloggers are "more independent" or are a good single-source provider of news.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:37 AM on September 16, 2004


If we're in a war and our national command authority's tenure might be threatened by a coke dealer with a big mouth, then ensuring said coke dealer's silence would be a straightforward exercise in national security, wouldn't it? Heh, heh...
posted by alumshubby at 8:40 AM on September 16, 2004


This post is not about Bush's military record, or the war in Iraq, or your hatred for the right, its about CBS news having its head up its ass. Care to comment on that?

Sure, my comment is that CBS News has its head up its ass. Now can we move on to the fact that the White House doesn't dispute the content?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:40 AM on September 16, 2004


Can't anyone see the words from the type?

Yes, and the words are: What responsibility does a major network news organization have when it presents fraudulent documents as fact on an issue that is at the forefront of a heated presidential campaign?

Anyone you know died in Iraq lately? Anyone come home? Anyone been recently deployed? It's Dan Rather's fault!

Stated differently: Ignore the man behind that curtain! Look over here!

I bet Dan Rather really gives a shit about some hack blogger.

Oh, I'll bet he does right about now.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:44 AM on September 16, 2004


There hasn't been any definitive proof of forgery. I refuse to say or believe anything, either way, until the day comes when someone has seen the original documents, or a forger is outed, or what have you.

In the meantime, the quickly worsening situation in Iraq is receiving precious little attention from TV media, and TV is what matters most in American political life. I spent most of Monday is a day surgery pre-op waiting room. There was nothing to read, but MSNBC was on. I saw absolutely nothing on, but gosh knows they talked about those documents, and the Guard, and swift boats, etc. We're living in some alternate universe here.
posted by raysmj at 8:50 AM on September 16, 2004


Genuine question here: If one could manage to get one of the skeptics to accept—just for kicks— 1.) That Times New Roman in one document should look exactly like Times New Roman in another document and 2.) That it's entirely plausible for a 1970s-vintage IBM typewriter to produce a document like that, what exactly about this recently unearthed memo confirms that it must have been produced recently? I mean, they were able to tell that it was faxed to CBS from some Kinko's store in Texas, but I just don't see what stands out as evidence that the memo was created on modern equipment.

Dan may be behind the times if he thinks it's possible for him to "break" that story, but I have a feeling that by his comment he meant to show that he wants to go in front of the camera and take responsibility for reporting erroneous information if that's what it turns out to be. And if the White House hasn't discounted the memo...
posted by emelenjr at 8:51 AM on September 16, 2004


Sure ericost, I’ll comment on that. Your premise is false.
The documents have not been shown to be forgeries. If they are ever shown to be such, Dan would like to break that story. Read your own damn quote.
This is all a foolish distraction. Move on.
posted by Zetetics at 8:56 AM on September 16, 2004


This is deliberate fraud in an attempt to use the public airwaves to influence a presidential election in a time of war
posted by Mick at 8:58 AM on September 16, 2004


This post is not about Bush's military record, or the war in Iraq, or your hatred for the right, its about CBS news having its head up its ass. Care to comment on that?

Sure. To start, you're not being accurate, and you're being kinda snotty about it. But I digress.

CBS News doesn't "have its head up its ass" any more than it would be silly for Rather to say he'd like to "break a story" you claim was already broken. Except, as CBS has been pointing out all along, it hasn't.

Despite what the webloggers have been producing in what I could only describe as a text-based circle jerk for the last few days, there is in fact no proof of forgery. There's evidence of possible forgery, and speculation led on by right-wingers. Top that with the new story of Congressional Republicans demanding an investigation, as possible faked memos are clearly more important than the treasonous outing of a CIA operative and the security lapses leading to the largest terrorist attack in American history. Cough.

Matt Drudge "scooped" Newsweek years ago by going forward with the Lewinsky story. Ignoring that he was spoon-fed the story my numerous sources, Drudge was credited for "breaking" a story that others were ready to go with. The "changes the internet has wrought on journalism" you noted, ericost, are mostly in the form of Drudge's decision to be a "journalist" by means of throwing shit at the wall and see what doesn't slide off.

A few other bloggers were noting that LGF and FreeRepublic were accusing the documents of being forgeries within MINUTES of the original 60 Minutes piece. This wasn't an investigation into a news story, it was searching for what they wanted to see. Pardonyou?, for example, alluded to the "Fact-checking" of CBS's story done by the internetistas... exactly what "facts" were "checked?" I understand that many believe the documents are fake, but that's just an example of what weblogs actually are and what they're actually good at- carefully targeted opinion.

The story that many believe the documents to be fake has clearly been broken. Memo to Andrew Sullivan: no one's broken a story about the documents to definitely be fake, because no one's got that story yet.

There is a good chance these documents, or at least one of them, is a forgery. As of this moment, there is absolutely no legal, tangible proof they are. The only way that will occur is through an outright admission of guilt from CBS, or a physical examination of the physical originals. It seems that not only would CBS be the most likely to break with such a story, but in fact, contrary to your accusation, they might very well be the only ones who could do that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:59 AM on September 16, 2004


On preview: or you can read Zenetic's comment for the Cliff's Notes version of all that. ;)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:00 AM on September 16, 2004


I'm with ericost.

As disgusted as I am with the deflection of popular concern away from substantive issues and the medias (and campaigns, both campaigns) insistence on endlessly revisiting the Vietnam era, that isn't the point of the post.

Rather than attack the 'hack' bloggers why not take a look at CBS? A network so entrenched and filled with hubris that they refuse to acknowledge, even the possibility, that what common sense tells anyone with a pair of eyes are likely forged documents. I'm baffled by this. It seems obvious that a simple admission that they could have been misled and this whole thing would have blown over -- but no. Rather than admit to anything less than omnipotence, they prevaricate and obscure only keeping a ridiculous and embarassing lapse in the public eye.
posted by cedar at 9:01 AM on September 16, 2004


Egad, more memogate. Here's Dowd on the subject. Novak realizes the irony (just in time!) of insisting that Rather reveal his sources. But wait, hold the phone! Looks like Berke Breathed actually got the scoop 20 years ago.

Tune in tomorrow for more of "operation: ignore that pesky death toll."
posted by whatnot at 9:03 AM on September 16, 2004


This whole debate has seemed almost surreal to me and has been very disapointing. Hell, I know (in my gut) that the content of the memos are essentially truthful and that there's something rotten in Bush's NG service. But the docs are fake, it's been obvious they're fakes, and it is really, really weird that so many people are arguing either a) that they're not fakes; or b) it doesn't matter if they're fakes. Of course it matters...they're fakes, people! That matters. If the politics were reversed, I cannot for one second believe that any of the people now defending the docs or dismissing the important that they're forgeries would be failing to say, "Duh! Someone forged these documents! That's a big deal!"

I don't know why they were forged. I don't know if they were just "recreated" in good faith, or they were ineptly forged in bad-faith by an anti-Bush partisan, or they were badly forged with the hope they'd be discovered by a pro-Bush partisan. All sorts of possibilities are possible and are likely very interesting and important in themselves.

But to just wave away the obviousness that they're fake, to say that it doesn't really matter that they're fake, to bend over backwards strikes me, at least, as being far, far too much like BushCo's modus operandi (a disdain for the truth) than I'm comfortable seeing amongst people on my side of the war.

These days you often hear that the problems Dems and leftists have had is that we don't play dirty and for keeps the way that our opponents do. But, you know, that's the price you pay for being the good guy. The good guy plays by the rules because, you know, he believes in the rules. It sucks that the guys in the black hats can do whatever the hell they want, but that power justifies any action and the end justifies the means is the very ethos of the Bad Guy.

The ultimate insult to any sense of rightness and decency by this administration has been their claim to moral absolutism and their declaration of the battle against relativism...while simulataneously taking a relativistic approach to the truth whenever it's convenient for them. Let's not emulate our enemies lest we become our enemies.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:04 AM on September 16, 2004


cedar, please, by all means, give me a specific example of CBS displaying "omnipotence." The original 60 Minutes story displayed the memos, released Barnes' testimony, and noted that they had a solid source and an independent confirmation of accuracy. You can disagree, but stop acting as though CBS is simply took these out of a fax machine or something and put them on the nightly news.

I'm not sure where this aura of "hubris" was attached to CBS. Frankly, the webloggers acting as though they're the new epoch of media because they... umm... are newer? or something like that is the utmost example of hubris. CBS ran a story, got accused of fudging it, and it now standing by it. How is that hubris? Because they DARE defy the word of the Guys With Websites?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:08 AM on September 16, 2004


pardonyou?: Yes, and the words are: What responsibility does a major network news organization have when it presents fraudulent documents as fact on an issue that is at the forefront of a heated presidential campaign?

Your question assumes that CBS knew the documents were forgeries. It also ignores a hefty blind spot in journalism in general which is that journalists are primarily concerned with factual accuracy rather than details of how the tip was presented to them. So the person researching and producing this segment is not going to ask, "is this typography consistent with 70s typewriters." The person producing this segment is going to ask, "is the text contained in this memo consistent with other known facts about Bush's service." If the producer's sources (not all of whom might me interviewed or mentioned in the story) agree that it is highly likely that such a memo was written about Bush, then journalists in general do tend to give quite a bit more credit to the issue.

The bad thing is that journalists get played by tainted sources all the time. The entire issue of the Drudge vs. Blumenthal case centered on how responsible Drudge might have been for publishing a rumor from what probably was a tainted source. Novak has been used at least twice by tainted sources (one that he admits to.)

Also, is anybody struck by how much weight is being put on Rather in this? Chances are quite likely that Rather did not do most of the virtual legwork for this story.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:13 AM on September 16, 2004




Hey XQUZYPHYR, I know a guy with a website! ;-)
posted by whatnot at 9:16 AM on September 16, 2004


What EB said. What surprises me the most in this whole debate is why those on the left aren't leading the charge against CBS. This whole thing has clearly worked to Bush's political advantage -- all for a few stupid forged memos (and XQWHATEVER, once again your stubborness and blind partisanship is getting in the way of your reasoning ability).

Your question assumes that CBS knew the documents were forgeries.

No, my question asks what responsibility CBS has to properly authenticate "smoking gun" documents before they air them, and what responsibility CBS has to properly and promptly acknowledge legitimate problems, rather than lamely backtracking, bit-by-bit, day-by-day.

And I completely disagree that a major media organization should only be concerned with the "substance" of a document, rather than authenticating the document itself. Indeed, CBS obviously didn't believe that either, since it initially defended itself by pointing out how many "experts" it had retained to authenticate the documents (although, in hindsight, we now realize that several of those did not, in fact, authenticate the documents, and even raised concerns about their authenticity).
posted by pardonyou? at 9:22 AM on September 16, 2004


Armitage, digiman, everybody who claims that discussing CBS's handling of this story is somehow derailing the conversation we all should be having, everywhere, all the time, about Bush's poor service in the military, or the election, or iraq: why are you derailing this thread? Or did I just answer my own question?

digiman's comment (where he humiliates Andrew Sullivan with the nickname "Self-Important Drama Queen Nincompoop" while claiming people just want to humiliate Dan Rather and not talk about the presidential candidates, in a thread where the topic is most clearly not presidential candidates) strikes me as head-up-the-assy as CBS itself. Sorry digiman, I like your contributions to mefi, and I think I would like you if I met you, but I don't really like your comment, nor any of the other comments that have nothing to do with the topic I posted about.

And as for "there is no proof of forgery" -- I don't deny it. But there is far less proof of authenticity, and do you really believe CBS did a good job of authenticating the docs? And shouldn't hey have? There seem to be many more experts (I am not talking about bloggers) saying they are likely forgeries than saying they are authentic; some of (the very few) expert sources CBS cites to back the documents say they are questionable.

For just a minute, forget the question of whether Bush served honorably in the NG (he seems not to have); CBS ran a story founded on poorly authenticated documents, then made fun of weblogs, then said they'd like to break the story if the docs are fake. Is CBS's apparent ignorance of the growing influence of new media on journalism in general an illegitimate topic for metafilter?
posted by ericost at 9:22 AM on September 16, 2004


"You can disagree, but stop acting as though CBS is simply took these out of a fax machine or something and put them on the nightly news."

Seems to me that this is exactly what they did. Their 'experts' have either recanted or turned out to be not so expert at all. The woman who would have typed the memos denies it (I know this is true, I saw it on CBS).

What the CBS defenders are missing is that the burden of proof is on them and I haven't seen any, I can only believe that it is because they don't have any.
posted by cedar at 9:27 AM on September 16, 2004


Isn't it time for some anti-trusting? Here is a useful list of those corporations that control most everything broadcast or published in the United States, and much of the rest of the western world. (Please let me know if I missed anything.)

THE BIG EIGHT NEWS MEDIA CONGLOMERATES

(1) Newscorp (FOX)
Fox Family Channel (50%)
Fox Kids
Fox News Channel
fx (50% with TCI's Liberty Media)
fxM (50% with TCI's Liberty Media)
Fox Sports Net (25% with TCI, GE and Cablevision)
Foxtel
Fox Searchlight
20th Century Fox
The National Geographic Channel (50%)
FIT TV Partnership
Regional networks, including TV Guide Channel
and Fox Sports New York
TV Guide
News of the World
New York Post
The London Times
NRL
News One Corp.
Harper Collins Publishing
News America Marketing
Star
Sky
Smart Source
The Australian

(2) Viacom (CBS/UPN)
Nickelodeon
MTV
CMT
TNN
King World
Viacom Outdoors
M2: Music Television
VH1
Showtime
Nick at Nite's TVLand
Paramount Networks Comedy Central (50% with
Time Warner)
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
TNN: The Nashville Network
The Movie Channel
FLIX
All News Channel (50%)
Sundance Channel (45%)
Midwest Sports Channel
CBS Telenoticias (30%)
Home Team Sports (66% with News Corporation)
Blockbuster, Inc.
BET Holdings, Inc.
CBS Television Network
CBS Sports
UPN Television Network

(3) The Walt Disney Co. (ABC)
Disney Channel
Walt Disney Internet Group
Disney Television (58 hours/week syndicated
programming)
Toon Disney
Touchstone Television
A&E (37.5% with Hearst and GE)
Lifetime Network (50%)
ESPN (80% with Hearst)
ESPN2 (80% with Hearst)
ESPN Classic (80% with Hearst)
ESPN West (80% with Hearst)
ESPNews (80% with Hearst)
Buena Vista Television
Biography Channel (with GE and Hearst)
History Channel (37.5% with Hearst and GE)
Classic Sports Network
E! (35%)

(4) AOL/Time Warner (Turner Broadcasting/WV)
AOL/Time Warner Book Group
Time Warner Audiobooks
America Online
Time Inc.
HBO (75%)
Cinemax
HBO Direct Broadcast
Court TV (33% with GE)
TBS Superstation
Turner Classic Movies
TNT
Cartoon Network
Comedy Central (37.5% with Viacom)
Sega Channel
OVATION (50%)
Women's Information Television (WIN) (partial)
TVKO (75%)
4 regional all-news channels
CNN
CNN/SI (with Sports Illustrated)
CNNfn (financial network)
CNNRadio
Headline News
Sportsouth
CNN International
CNN Airport Network

(5) General Electric (NBC)
A & E (with Disney and Hearst)
American Movie Classics (25%)
Biography Channel (with Disney and Hearst)
Bravo (50%)
Bravo International
CNBC
Court TV (with Time Warner)
Fox Sports Net
History Channel (with Disney and Hearst)
Independent Film Channel
MSG Network
MSNBC (50%)
National Geographic Worldwide
News Sport
Prime
Prism (with Rainbow, a subsidiary of Cablevision,
and Liberty Media, a subsidiary of TCI)
Romance Classics
Sports Channel Cincinnati, Chicago, Florida,
New England, Pacific, Ohio, Philadelphia

(6) Sony
Sony Entertainment Co.
Sony Communications Network
Sony Computer Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Broadcast Media Co.
Sony Music Entertainment

(7) Vivendi Universal
USA Networks
MCA Nashville
A&M Records
Motown Records
Universal Classics
Studio Canal
Spencer Gifts

8) Clear Channel Communications
A&R Network
The Broadway Collection
Broadcast Architecture
CCC News Networks
Twelve Creative
CC Satellite
CC Traffic
CC Wireless
LIVE Channel
Critical Mass Media
Inside Radio
Katz Media
posted by kablam at 9:28 AM on September 16, 2004


All it's proven is that a majority of popular weblogs are run by immature hyperpartisans who have a lot of growing up to do.

s/run/populated/, and you have MeFi to a T!

The amount of hypocrisy here is amazing.

This place is usually completely full of criticism of the US mass media. "Why won't they run with this story! They're in Bush's pocket! The American people are being kept ignorant!". And now here's a case where there is very good reason to believe one of the largest news organizations in the country may well have been a party to a fraud intended to effect the outcome of the election... and they're getting a free pass!!

Do you people hear that? There is more evidence here that a US media conglomerate is being politically biased and conspiring to mislead and misdirect the American people.... and you don't care, because the error is on your favor. Jumping baby Jesus on a red rubber crutch!

I've always had some degree of faith that my disagreements with the bulk of the population here on political matters were due to honest differences of opinion. But this story is making it rapidly apparent that the gooey chocolately core of MetaFilter is about as rabidly hyperpartisan as it's crunchy candy coating.

Sigh.
posted by jammer at 9:31 AM on September 16, 2004


As others have pointed out, the memos don't tell us much that's new, and the White House has not challenged their contents. US News and others have correctly reported that the President fell short of his obligations at the very least.

However, it's incumbent on CBS to clarify the issue. I'm not saying that they should burn a source, but at the very least, they should say why they thought the documents were authentic, what authentication processes they submitted them to, and as much description of the source as possible. It's what Murrow would have done.

Interesting that the concerns described in the memos seem legitimate (per Killian's secretary, Knox, et al.), even if the documents are not.
posted by Vidiot at 9:33 AM on September 16, 2004


Ethereal Bligh , I don't think many people have been unreasonably insistent that the memos were legit -- I mean, once someone proved that there was a typewriter popular at the time that could go toe-to-toe with MS Word in producing that letter, there was an argument to be made for their authenticity. There still is, though it seems to have dimmed now that the actual secretary has weighed in.

As for why it "doesn't matter," well, it does. To CBS, and to the profession of journalism. But various sources have vouched for the accuracy of the information -- and the White House declined to instantly challenge it, which it would have had the administration not already known the truth about Bush's service. We need not explore the issue in the context of the election (unless it can be traced to one of the campaigns), because it now has been proven that the man did not fulfill his obligation, and this flap doesn't change that.
posted by Epenthesis at 9:35 AM on September 16, 2004


No, my question asks what responsibility CBS has to properly authenticate "smoking gun" documents before they air them, and what responsibility CBS has to properly and promptly acknowledge legitimate problems, rather than lamely backtracking, bit-by-bit, day-by-day.

Well, I would answer that they have less responsibility than the White House does when making a case for war, but Matt Yglesias already made the case for me.

As to the mighty power of the new media blogger gods, I think TBogg offers some perspective.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:35 AM on September 16, 2004


I'm with ericost and pardonyou? here. Most all evidence shown makes these look like forgeries, and I think it's a safe bet to say they are. That CBS refuses to acknowledge it is laughable and if Dan Rather keeps this up, he's going to be out of a job soon with a tarnished career all over some stupid story he wouldn't eat a little crow over.

And I'm dismayed as always by folks that want to play partisan politics no matter how much evidence you give them to the contrary. The old saying that a broken clock still tells the correct time twice a day applies here: no matter how much you don't like Andrew Sullivan, he's got a point -- hundreds of sites are digging stuff up on this story that Rather is ignoring. This is becoming a bigger and bigger story because CBS refuses to do anything but discount criticism.

You want this story to fall out of the media and move on to real issues? Tell Dan Rather to take his head out of his ass, get some egg on his face, and move on. The longer they stall, the more this distracts from the real issues.
posted by mathowie at 9:39 AM on September 16, 2004


What EB said. What surprises me the most in this whole debate is why those on the left aren't leading the charge against CBS. This whole thing has clearly worked to Bush's political advantage -- all for a few stupid forged memos (and XQWHATEVER, once again your stubborness and blind partisanship is getting in the way of your reasoning ability).

1. Accusing me of stubborness and blind partisanship for pointing out that the most right-wing websites on the internet stubbornly insisted the memos were fake pratically before the 60 minutes story even aired? Physician, heal thyself.

2. I fail to see how this has led to Bush's advantage. We haven't heard a thing about the Swift Boat Liars since this story started, and a general perception is that this has been a back-breaking straw that has caused most Americans to be sick of the whole "what I did/didn't do in 'Nam" argument outright. Outside of the most lunatic fringe of the right, few have accused Kerry of forging anything, or even coaxing CBS in their story, as opposed to the multitude of connections between Bush and various anti-Kerry groups.

Furthermore, I'm amazed at the backstepping Bush supporters have taken on this- a week ago I never would have imagined hearing this admission- "look, we all KNOW Bush was a child of luxury who had strings pulled for him... but this is about CBS's bias now!" Conceding to everything suggested about Bush's failures as a soldier is an "advantage for Bush?"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:43 AM on September 16, 2004


Armitage, digiman, everybody who claims that discussing CBS's handling of this story is somehow derailing the conversation we all should be having, everywhere, all the time, about Bush's poor service in the military, or the election, or iraq: why are you derailing this thread? Or did I just answer my own question?

I agree with you: CBS has its head up its ass. But personally, I think that's less interesting and surprising than the possibility that it might have taken a forgery for the White House to implicitly acknowledge the President has been lying about his service record.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:45 AM on September 16, 2004


1. Accusing me of stubborness and blind partisanship for pointing out that the most right-wing websites on the internet stubbornly insisted the memos were fake pratically before the 60 minutes story even aired? Physician, heal thyself.

That little bit of nonsense has been solidly disproven already. The only reason it had legs for even the briefest period of time is that ABC failed to notice that the weblogs they were checking didn't list times in EDT. In actuality, the first comment to that effect at LGF came, IIRC, more than two hours after the original story.
posted by jammer at 9:48 AM on September 16, 2004


Good comments XQUZYPHYR. But which Bush supporters are saying "look, we all KNOW Bush was a child of luxury who had strings pulled for him"?

And Armitage, I agree with you that that is interesting, but I must confess I do not know what you mean by "the White House ... implicitly acknowledg[ing] the President has been lying". Do you mean by not disputing the content they admitted Bush was lying? I'm not sure that is a fair inductive leap.
posted by ericost at 9:56 AM on September 16, 2004


Hell, I know (in my gut) that the content of the memos are essentially truthful and that there's something rotten in Bush's NG service. But the docs are fake, it's been obvious they're fakes, and it is really, really weird that so many people are arguing either a) that they're not fakes; or b) it doesn't matter if they're fakes. Of course it matters...they're fakes, people!

This has been my position as well. I admit I have enjoyed the mystery of this as much as I did the Kaycee Nicole story, and have been doing my share of arguing with my friends. The defense of these memos has been truly horrible. The debunking on KOS was just piss poor, and it really drove home the point that you cannot argue with someone who does not know what they are talking about. I really loved the bit about the type matching because LGF guy made the margins on the PDF scale to the word document, like it were a reverse OJ glove situation. If these were real, some one would have been able to retype it and show that it would overlay with the word document by now, and it just is not going to happen.

I do think Bush was fucking around, getting high and working for his dad around that time. I think this is a fact. I also am thinking that these documents came from the right, and that the firestorm has been like a wet dream for them. Defending those documents was an early Halloween gift to the President
posted by thirteen at 10:11 AM on September 16, 2004


Well, I think the fact that Killian's Secretary herself dosn't belive that the memos are real, and that CBS trusts her, makes me think that the documents are fake.
posted by delmoi at 10:11 AM on September 16, 2004


This whole thing has clearly worked to Bush's political advantage

The Wall Street Journal seems to indicate otherwise.
posted by the fire you left me at 10:28 AM on September 16, 2004


I mean, once someone proved that there was a typewriter popular at the time that could go toe-to-toe with MS Word in producing that letter, there was an argument to be made for their authenticity.

No one proved it - on the contrary, while the memos have been replicated all but perfectly in Word, no one has to date managed to produce a better match on a typewriter. On the contrary, in his extensive technical analysis, typesetting expert Joseph Newcomer says that the possibility that a typewriter could reproduce the memos is exceedingly unlikely.

Look, to deny that Bush was a rich brat who got help from his connections while in the National Guard is silly, because it's more than likely. But to absolve CBS from peddling forgeries because they are "accurate" undermines journalism everywhere. If you let this sort of thing slip through, it *will* be turned on you in the future. CBS screwed up and is in desperate denial, but now that its competitors smell blood, I don't think they'll get away with it - jobs will be lost, reputations tarnished, and rightfully so.


I also am thinking that these documents came from the right, and that the firestorm has been like a wet dream for them.

Begin Phase II: Conspiracy Theories! Anyway, out of sheer curiosity, I do hope the source is exposed.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:32 AM on September 16, 2004


mathowie: You really think it would all just end, and then we'd move on to "real issues?" And if this isn't a real issue, why are we talking about it? Why can't we talk about other real issues besides this one, if there are other real issues? Or is this one a fake issue?
posted by raysmj at 10:40 AM on September 16, 2004


XQUZYPHYR: ...no one's broken a story about the documents to definitely be fake, because no one's got that story yet.

You should probably call everyone "fucking morons" for believing the obvious, just like you did the previous time just before you had to eat your own rash, poorly thought out words.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:43 AM on September 16, 2004


I love conspiracy theories and there are a wonderful number of them if the documents are forged regarding their source.

I'm not convinced they're forged, not convinced they're not. I believe CBS was convinced of their authenticity and that they are now being put in a position of needing to prove their authenticity or explain how they were duped into that belief if they are found to be forgeries.

If forged, who really benefits? On which side does Occam's razor fall?

Was Deep Throat outed during Watergate?
posted by DBAPaul at 10:46 AM on September 16, 2004


What blogger broke this story? The bloggers' claims that the documents were forged have been debunked. Those early claims were based around proportionate fonts, kerning, and superscripts. Except, proportionate fonts and superscripts were available at the time, and kerning wasn't activated in LGF's MSWord sample. The font was supposed to be the same one that's default in MS Word...except the numerals are shaped differently. They said Killian would never have kept a private file, and couldn't type. Now his secretary says Killian DID keep a private file about Bush since he was both nervous and angry, and that she did all his typing.

The only credible evidence (and it is very credible) that the documents are forgeries comes from Killian's secretary. Her story didn't appear on a blog. No one even contacted her--she had to call up the Houston Chronicle. CBS News made her interview the centerpiece of 60Min2 last night, so they certainly aren't hiding from the truth....though I notice those on the other side of this story, like cedar in a comment above, are hiding from just what that secretary said on CBS last night, since she says Killian did keep memos that said the same things as the CBS forgeries. In fact, until she saw them, she thought the documents were real since they so closely match what she remembers typing 30 years ago. I also doubt they'll quote her when she says that she didn't and won't vote for Bush since he's unqualified for the job.

So, uh, what did rightwing bloggers do, exactly? They decided the documents must be forgeries within moments of their release, since they don't agree with the conservative narrative of Bush's time in the Guard. They came up with lots of BS reasons why this was so. They were already declaring victory--based on nothing--before Killian's secretary even came forward.

I'm not denying these documents are fakes. I just can't help but laugh at these bloggers who are patting themselves on the back for some kind of victory over the mainstream media when all they did was spread FUD. The warbloggers didn't have jack shit to do with actually confirming the provenance of the memos, but that doesn't stop them from stealing all the credit from the little old lady who deserves it.
posted by jbrjake at 10:47 AM on September 16, 2004


Is it just me, or does CBS's new rallying cry of 'fake but accurate' sound exactly like the kind of doublespeak people here accuse the RNC of peddling on a daily basis?
posted by darukaru at 10:49 AM on September 16, 2004


and jbrjake, your ignorance of the story does you no credit. Have you seen the output from the typewriters of the day (yes, people still have them) and their utter failure to correspond with the CBS memos?
posted by darukaru at 10:51 AM on September 16, 2004




CBS : authenticity of Killian memos :: White House : existence of WMDs

In other words, they both got tricked by faulty memos/intelligence, both were eager to run with it because it fit their agenda*, and while it falls apart they refuse to admit their mistakes.

* Before some moron jumps in and says "so you admit CBS/Dan Rather has an anti-Bush bias!" I'd like to clarify that their agenda is more along the lines of getting a big news story. That they refuse to admit they may have been duped (along with some people here whose opinions I normally highly respect) is a shame.
posted by turaho at 11:07 AM on September 16, 2004


Krrlson: and I believe people are morons if they think the documents are "proven" to be false just because they can be replicated in Microsoft Word. Again, actual evidence necessary. I suppose you were trying to insult me or something, but thank you for linking to my final comment in that thread. Had you not I would have; I stand by it completely.

I've never said I know the documents are real, only that I think they are and noone has proven otherwise. If they turn out to be fake, I'll be just as harsh on any of the Monday-morning quarterbacks who claim they "knew all along" when they most certainly didn't. So... what's your point, aside from a petty, personal grudge?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:08 AM on September 16, 2004


Everyone denying that these docs are fake (or at least that most evidence points to them being fake) are making this story drag out far longer than it should. These aren't the most important documents in the world. If CBS had admitted their mistake and retracted the story, this would all be over by now. But as it is, keeping this thing alive is only hurting Kerry.

I also am thinking that these documents came from the right...

When I first saw LGF's little MS Word experiment, my first thought was that the docs had been planted by forces supportive of Bush. Much like the Niger documents that made their way into the State of the Union speech two years ago, which were so obviously fake and which were--it has been suggested--leaked into the intelligence community in an effort to make Bush look bad.
posted by jpoulos at 11:08 AM on September 16, 2004


thom, that Barnes "liar" charge was debunked the last time you brought it up. What gives? Also, Barnes isn't the only person who has claimed this knowledge. You have been keeping up on blogs other than powerline over the past week, right?
posted by soyjoy at 11:12 AM on September 16, 2004


I'm most amused by the secretary's vouching for the CONTENT of the memos. So it's true, but the evidence is faked. So Bush is gonna pull an O.J. over this.
posted by Busithoth at 11:12 AM on September 16, 2004


what's boggling to me is the Washington Post headline and first sentence from the FPP link.

i admittedly haven't been following the story much, but i heard an interview with Dan Rather on the radio, and i read that WP article, and it doesn't seem like he's conceding anything.

i'm not saying Rather's right or wrong, but the WP's headline looks extremely slanted (as usual) in favor of the Bush administration, when the facts don't bear it out.

the whole issue is fascinating in a bullshit politics kind of way. i could see right-wing ops faking the memos so that they were easily debunked, but on the other hand all i can remember right now is Knox's comments about how all the officers would "snicker about what [Bush] was getting away with" so i dunno. either way the risk of backfiring is too much, thus i must conclude that the memos are real. ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:12 AM on September 16, 2004


What's so satisying about the reality that these documents are fake is the way they baited so many of Bush's opponents. That's because such people are, primarily, Bush opponents not because of his policies, because the Left can't handle someone who prays, who opposes abortion, and is generally conservative (apart from any specific policies). Of course someone who wants to "deny women control over their bodies" would cheat on military service....
posted by ParisParamus at 11:16 AM on September 16, 2004


darukaru, the only example I've seen of Composer output models Word exactly (from, I think, PC Magazine or PC World). I haven't seen any Executive series output. Links, please? And what's with the attitude? You guys are winning this one despite yourselves. I agree, they're forgeries. Don't see why you need to attack me as ignorant...especially when you can't take the time to back it up with links.

thomcatspike, that's disingenous. You must know Barnes was speaking extemporaneously and did not realize his comment was going to be used as a soundbite, if you're not getting all your info from PowerLine. He misspoke. The influence occured when Barnes was in Texas' legislature. I think you're going a bit far calling him a liar since he didn't remember which position he had 36 years ago as opposed to 35 years ago. And it's not like he's said Bush is the only person he pulled strings for. It was SOP at the time.
posted by jbrjake at 11:18 AM on September 16, 2004


Furthermore, I'm amazed at the backstepping Bush supporters have taken on this- a week ago I never would have imagined hearing this admission

If you're referring to me, I'm not a Bush supporter. Just someone who thinks it's significant when a network news anchor peddles forged documents on an issue in a presidential election that takes place in seven weeks.

And jbrjake, you are about five days behind the story.

i'm not saying Rather's right or wrong, but the WP's headline looks extremely slanted (as usual) in favor of the Bush administration, when the facts don't bear it out.

? Is the Washington Post generally considered to be "slanted in favor of the Bush administration"? I'm truly curious -- I don't think I've heard that accusation made against that paper.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:18 AM on September 16, 2004


If you're referring to me, I'm not a Bush supporter.

I wasn't. But actually, I guess I should rephrase it to "not just Bush supporters." Point is, six months ago someone suggested Bush shirked his duty and they were lambasted before they could finish a sentense. Now someone reels it off as the setup for their argument as if they're saying "well, we all know the sun rises in the morning..."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:25 AM on September 16, 2004


sentence. My spelling is poo.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:26 AM on September 16, 2004


I'm not convinced they're forged, not convinced they're not. I believe CBS was convinced of their authenticity and that they are now being put in a position of needing to prove their authenticity or explain how they were duped into that belief if they are found to be forgeries.

If forged, who really benefits? On which side does Occam's razor fall?


I agree with all of this 100%. It now seems much likelier that the documents were forged than not, but the early blogger arguments were not convincing - as I pointed out back on the first of these many threads where these memos have been discussed - since the bloggers were so clearly unfamiliar with the state of typewriter technology in the early '70s. Disavowals from the family and the secretary carry much more weight than this armchair forensics - unfortunately, the story, in both the old and new media, will continue to be that bloggers trumped the old media with their "fact-checking."

The second part, the Occam's razor part, is especially interesting, as I also went into on that thread. For one thing, if these are fake, CBS outright lied to us in that broadcast and afterward when they said that multiple handwriting and typewriter experts had confirmed their authenticity. Why would they do something so insanely sloppy? A lot of us based our incredulity in the forgery argument on CBS News' long history of dealing with stories like this and the unlikelihood that they would behave like complete rank amateurs in authenticating bombshell documents. Yet forgery or no, it appears that they did just that.

On the other hand, I still can't get my head around who would have done this, when, for what purpose. First of all -

Much like the Niger documents that made their way into the State of the Union speech two years ago

This is an uncanny coincidence, especially with the addition of one of the suspicious elements being that one of the sources had actually retired previous to the time he was cited as an authority in the documents (remember that from the Niger documents?). Karl Rove would not - I firmly believe - conjure up something like this in such a way as to remind people of that Bush administration fiasco. He also would have to know that investigating these would bring more attention and testimony from people like the secretary who confirm the actual history behind these, which it would be extremely risky to foment not knowing if the media would do more aggressive digging there. And also, he couldn't guarantee - unless his folks personally tipped the bloggers off - that the "forgeries" would be outed, which would have made it a very bad strategy.

I gotta admit, it's fascinating, but as with many other people, I gotta remind us all that the content of the documents has not been reliably disputed by anyone in a position to do so.
posted by soyjoy at 11:27 AM on September 16, 2004


Is the Washington Post generally considered to be "slanted in favor of the Bush administration"?

Certainly, in the lead-up to the war it was, even by its own admission.

If you're referring to me, I'm not a Bush supporter.

With all due respect, pardonyou?, that's almost comical. Despite your protestations, you are a classic 9-11 republican. Virtually every political discussion you've engaged in on this site over the past year has been supportive of Bush, his administration and his positions, or has been critical of those who oppose him. You may not be planning to vote for him, but you can't deny that you have been a Bush supporter.
posted by jpoulos at 11:29 AM on September 16, 2004


XQUZYPHYR: This is not Schrodinger's cat here. Matching the document in Word letter for letter, break for break. It is actual evidence. You can prove it yourself if you take any of the typewriters proposed to be THE ONE that can do this. Nothing typed on them is going to match a Word document.

Here is a sample of what you will get if you try it, and I got the images to make the .gif from someone who was trying to use the pictures to support the memos as real.

Lacking the actual memos, which could prove themselves real with just a visual inspection of the paper and the impact of the type upon it, this is reverse engineering the problem to a legitimate conclusion. I have known all along, and your dismissal of the obvious is hardly going to reflect on me. Even if you do not believe in gravity, it believes in you.
posted by thirteen at 11:30 AM on September 16, 2004


pardonyou, um, huh? how am I five days behind the story? Didn't Killian's secretary just get unveiled like two days ago, and got national coverage only yesterday? Did you read my comment, or only the first few lines? I only brought up kerning and proportionate fonts because my argument is that the people who were pushing the forgeries story from the beginning were doing so for partisan purposes, their early 'debunkings' were quite weak, and that there's something strange about them claiming credit for this when the real proof comes from Killian's secretary, who's a Democrat and is voting for Kerry and most certainly is not a blogger. (on preview: what soyjoy says)

Also, to answer your question about someone else's comment....I believe that the WaPo is sometimes considered to slant towards the Bush admin because of how it buried doubts about Iraq's WMD program as far inside the paper as possible and ignored its own reporting when the editorial board endorsed the war.
posted by jbrjake at 11:30 AM on September 16, 2004


Just for the purpose of planting a seed of doubtthought in some of the people who have made solid conclusions, doesn't Word put a permanent timestamp on when a document is created? And wouldn't it be funny if the timestamp on that Word document that "proved" the memos were forgeries were created before CBS got them? Has anybody who's gotten an exact copy of the Word doc checked? Are certain characters in the blogosphere capable of something so dishonest, self-serving, and stupid?

Pure speculation, of course, but this enquiring mind wants to know.
posted by wendell at 11:33 AM on September 16, 2004


"Matching the document in Word letter for letter, break for break is as close to impossible as anything else you would describe as impossble would be."


Is what I meant to say.
posted by thirteen at 11:40 AM on September 16, 2004


jbrjake, you might review this page, which is a good analysis of the technical details, and the high implausibility that a 1970s typewriter -- even one that might cost $20K in today's dollars -- could have produced a memo like these.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:42 AM on September 16, 2004


thom, that Barnes "liar" charge was debunked the last time you brought it up.
Thought I checked back in that thread and saw nothing debunked.
...the whys I even post in these political threads, debunking the Internet.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:55 AM on September 16, 2004


With all due respect, pardonyou?, that's almost comical. Despite your protestations, you are a classic 9-11 republican. Virtually every political discussion you've engaged in on this site over the past year has been supportive of Bush, his administration and his positions, or has been critical of those who oppose him. You may not be planning to vote for him, but you can't deny that you have been a Bush supporter.

That statement simply betrays your narrow, isolated view of what a "Democrat" should be, and explains quite a bit about why the party base is failing to connect with people in the center.

I supported the administration in its decision to go to war. (Note how this is not necessarily the same as an endorsement of Bush). Frankly, I've never viewed removal of a dictator as a rock-solid Republican strategy (see, e.g., Bosnia). But let's set that aside, and put that in the "Bush" column. On the "Democrat" side reside issues I consider more important than Iraq: I'm in favor of most gun control; I support strong civil rights based on race, religion, sex, disability, national origin, and sexual orientation; I'm in favor of the rights of gays to marry; I'm rabidly in favor of stem cell research and therapeutic cloning (I have a profoundly disabled daughter with a genetic condition where the best hope for a cure is by those methods); I oppose the death penalty; I believe Bush has done extensive damage to the economy, and I don't think his tax cuts were justified; I believe that Bush's efforts to politicize scientific studies are offensive; I believe that environmental protections should be strengthened; I am a free speech absolutist; I support a woman's right to choose; I support laws legalizing assisted suicide; I support legalizing marijuana, and believe that studies should be done to determine whether society would be better off legalizing all drugs ... should I go on, or is that enough?

So, I would really, really appreciate it if you wouldn't presume to tell me what my "real" political affiliation is. It's condescending, rude, ignorant, and offensive. So, "with all due respect," kindly back the fuck off.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:58 AM on September 16, 2004


pardonyou, thanks for the link
posted by jbrjake at 12:02 PM on September 16, 2004


Thought I checked back in that thread and saw nothing debunked.

Well, here's where you previously posted the exact verbatim quote as a comment, and here's where Vidiot pointed out its flaws. I guess we could argue about what constitutes "debunking," but if every slip of the tongue that doesn't affect the material point of an assertion is now a "lie," the current WH resident's "lies" are more numerous than all the other presidents' put together.

Also please note that Barnes was completely clear about his history when he was interviewed by 60 minutes, and that the authenticity of these memos has zero bearing on Barnes' own credibility, not least because they deal with a completely different part of the controversy.
posted by soyjoy at 12:07 PM on September 16, 2004


You have been keeping up on blogs other than powerline over the past week, right?
soy, Saw vidiot's comment, thanks. Actually keeping up on other blogs is how I found powerline being so heavily linked in them this week. Unfortunately forgot how biased the writings can be(notice I only linked a portion of the full comment).
posted by thomcatspike at 12:08 PM on September 16, 2004


how biased the writings can be =
how misleading the writings can be
posted by thomcatspike at 12:10 PM on September 16, 2004


Wendell, I don't believe anyone has a copy of the alleged Word document other than the person who possibly created it, printed it and then faxed it to CBS. Assuming that was all done by the same person.

I find it amusing how people quickly made the jump from word processor to Microsoft Word. Assuming the memo was created recently, is there any evidence to suggest that it absolutely could not have been created using any other word processor?
posted by emelenjr at 12:11 PM on September 16, 2004


So, I would really, really appreciate it if you wouldn't presume to tell me what my "real" political affiliation is.

You're the one who has spouted your "real" political affiliation every chance you get for over a year now. I've listened to you whine about how we've got your political affiliation all wrong. I'm sick of the laundry list of how you're so fucking moderate. You're an apologist for a liar and a murderer, who sent kids off to be set afire in the streets and hung from bridges. You are, indeed, a 9-11 republican, which is the worst kind: you're motivated by fear instead of reason.

You are, above all, however, completely full of shit. With one breath you offer support for this administration. With the next you deny you're doing it. Repeat ad infinitum. Once again, I don't care where you stand on fucking gun control or stem cell research. At least on this website, you've been his biggest cheerleader on the issue that defines his presidency. To fail to see that makes you either insane or a fucking liar.
posted by jpoulos at 12:23 PM on September 16, 2004


is there any evidence to suggest that it absolutely could not have been created using any other word processor?

Only Word has Clippy.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:24 PM on September 16, 2004


Only Word has Clippy

I like this one.
posted by Vidiot at 12:36 PM on September 16, 2004


I've never said I know the documents are real, only that I think they are and noone has proven otherwise. If they turn out to be fake, I'll be just as harsh on any of the Monday-morning quarterbacks who claim they "knew all along" when they most certainly didn't. So... what's your point, aside from a petty, personal grudge?

My point is that not only are you in denial of very likely facts, as you were with those stupid toys and are now with the memos, but you are usually exceedingly rude when communicating it. And, let me get this straight, you still think the memos are real? Forget the alleged "accuracy" of the content (and how much of a joke it is to talk about the accuracy of fake evidence) - the memos as presented. Look, I myself first dismissed the story as unlikely, but the evidence that has mounted since has been enough to convince me.


the only example I've seen of Composer output models Word exactly (from, I think, PC Magazine or PC World). I haven't seen any Executive series output.

Actually, it doesn't -- the two samples provided in the article from PC World (I think it was PC World, definitely PC something) don't actually match when superimposed. Unless you can't bear thinking visiting LGF, check out their recent archives for the combined images from that very article (sorry, can't get the link myself, they seem to be down right now).


You are, above all, however, completely full of shit. With one breath you offer support for this administration. With the next you deny you're doing it. Repeat ad infinitum. Once again, I don't care where you stand on fucking gun control or stem cell research. At least on this website, you've been his biggest cheerleader on the issue that defines his presidency. To fail to see that makes you either insane or a fucking liar.

Why the FUCK don't Metafilter's RABID rightwingers EVER participate in CIVIL discussion? Why do they insist on TROLLING and FLAMING?

Gee, could it be because this is so often the response they get?
posted by Krrrlson at 1:02 PM on September 16, 2004


Of course someone who wants to "deny women control over their bodies" would cheat on military service....

Nice try PP - it's more like "Of course a C-student drunkard and failed businessman continually bailed out by his family who's done his best to unravel 30 years of progress on the environment, given our children a startling large deficit and insists on wasting lives in Iraq while the terrorists retool as guests of our "allies" in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia would cheat on military service."

Is that policy-oriented enough for you?
posted by jalexei at 1:09 PM on September 16, 2004


Why the FUCK don't Metafilter's RABID rightwingers EVER participate in CIVIL discussion?... Gee, could it be because this is so often the response they get?


Hmmmm...this is an 80-comment thread and mine is the only one that resorted to name-calling, so if by "so often" you mean "very seldom" I guess you're right.

Having said that, yeah, I probably pulled the discussion down into the gutter. And that's not very constructive. And I probably need to step away from the keyboard...again.
posted by jpoulos at 1:12 PM on September 16, 2004


These days you often hear that the problems Dems and leftists have had is that we don't play dirty and for keeps the way that our opponents do.

Which is a total fucking lie...
posted by Kwantsar at 1:14 PM on September 16, 2004


I'm sick of the laundry list of how you're so fucking moderate.

And I'm sick of people presuming to tell me what my real political affiliation is. I only bring out the "laundry list" when some uninformed idiot makes an unfounded accusation. And again, you apparently have no appreciation for how stupid it is for a Kerry supporter to try to tell another person who claims to be a Kerry supporter (or even "undecided," for that matter), that they really are Republican. I'm not the first to argue that this kind of attitude says a lot about why the Kerry campaign isn't connecting with a lot of people -- the notion that "if you don't hate George Bush with the same white hot passion, you're not with us" isn't exactly an inclusive platform. The fact is, most people don't hate him like you do.

You're an apologist for a liar and a murderer, who sent kids off to be set afire in the streets and hung from bridges...At least on this website, you've been his biggest cheerleader on the issue that defines his presidency. To fail to see that makes you either insane or a fucking liar.

I acknowledge freely I've been lied to. I acknowledge freely that my support of the war was mistaken. Had I known then what I know now, I would not have supported the war.

posted by pardonyou? at 7:19 AM PST on July 20


Some apologist/cheerleader I am!

And as for "the issue that defines his presidency," this is another example of you deeming yourself capable of designating a "litmus test" that doesn't even comport with the reality of many people. If you believe everyone who ever supported the war should be labelled a "Bush supporter," Kerry will lose, and lose badly (hell, Kerry himself would be a "Bush supporter").

I post on these threads because I think the left has gone off the deep end. I'd like to see the party come back to the center so it can stop alienating a huge chunk of the populace. It bothers me to no end that the left trades in conspiracy theories and petty slights. When I see that kind of stuff here, I think it's worth calling out. It was idiotic and ineffective when Clinton was in office (Vince Foster!) and it's just as idiotic and ineffective now.

But john, please don't let me stop you from being a douche.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:18 PM on September 16, 2004


the fact that Killian's Secretary herself dosn't belive that the memos are real

And this was how long ago? I can honestly say that if someone presented me with a memo they claimed I wrote five years ago at a job I am no longer at, I would not be able to say for sure whether I was the actual writer and/or transcriber of the memo. I can't even remember e-mails I sent last week.

I'm just saying.
posted by archimago at 1:27 PM on September 16, 2004


is there any evidence to suggest that it absolutely could not have been created using any other word processor?

They don't line up in WordPerfect, at least.
posted by darukaru at 1:52 PM on September 16, 2004


Wow. So instead about talking about President Bush's military record, we're talking about the reaction to the reaction to the report about the documentation of his record?

That's putting the meta in MetaFilter, fo' shizzle.
posted by eamondaly at 2:00 PM on September 16, 2004


I'd like to see the party come back to the center so it can stop alienating a huge chunk of the populace.

Do you really think that Kerry's platform is particularly leftist, much more so than Clinton, for instance? In what ways?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:06 PM on September 16, 2004


The issue that "blogs" have supplanted traditional media is ridiculous. What we're seeing is, frankly, a strike by a few right-wing blogs, at the behest of their ideological masters, to take out a highly visible mainstream media news organization and its anchor. This has nothing to do with the validity of the memos and everything to do with the Republican media machine organizing a hit on its opponents.

Are the memos forged? I don't know. But simply in vociferously attacking the authenticity of the memos, they've raised reasonable doubt, because of COURSE they wouldn't raise such a hue and cry over this if it wasn't true. Much like of COURSE they wouldn't lie to the entire world to justify an invasion of Iraq.

It's a hit. If CBS bungled it, all the better. And the message will get out: if you do not play ball with the Republican Party, we will attack you on your credibility. This is the culmination of thirty years of "liberal media bias" bullshit. And everyone who sits and thinks, "well, CBS should own up and apologize or something!" is aiding and abetting this.

Congratulations, bloggers. You're now just another tool in the arsenal. You're part of the mainstream! Hope you enjoy being used.

P.S. Considering that Andrew Sullivan is only drooling over his personal revenge on that awful mainstream media that, er, bounced him out of his job because he was incompetent, I wouldn't put any credence at all in his words. What a maroon.
posted by solistrato at 2:14 PM on September 16, 2004


Got tired of waiting for y2karl..

Ex-Guardsman: Probe Gaps in Bush Service

"I think the public ought to be concerned about his preferential treatment getting in and whether he satisfied his commitment to the Air Guard. Those are the two fundamental questions," said Robert Strong, the administrative officer in charge of air operations at Guard state headquarters from early 1971 until March 1972.

But Strong added that he and Knox worked closely with Killian and are in better position to know about his work habits and feelings about Bush than Killian's five children, who were between the ages of two and 19 in 1972. Strong said Killian's records would have been removed from his Guard office before his family would have been allowed to retrieve his personal items after he died in 1984.


Also:

Judge orders U.S. to find Bush records
posted by soyjoy at 2:39 PM on September 16, 2004


Bloggers: Those memos are forgeries! Here's all the reasons why! Are you people stupid?

Mainstream Media: Actually, turns out there were forgeries, but for completely different reasons than what you stated.

Bloggers: WE'RE TEH WINNARS!!!!!111!

===============

The most important part of this whole story is that the likely creator of that document states that this particular piece of paper is fake, but the message inside the memo is true.

What does that mean? I'm not completely sure, but I know it deserves talking about much more than what we are talking about.

CBS should admit they were duped on the actual piece of paper given to them, but that multiple sources confirm the message. Given that multiple sources confirmed the contents, they did not feel it necessary, at the time, to move heaven and earth to verify the actual piece of paper.

I'm surprised more people don't understand this point.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, they should say the paper is likely a forgery. But they should absolutely not abandon their entire premise, as it was forged on more than just that one memo. And they should ABSOLUTELY explore why the forgery was passed off as being fake.

If dozens of employees came forth and said that Company X was dumping poison in the water, and all the stories matched, and it matched other evidence that you had from yet other sources, and one of them handed you a memo that yet again corroborated this same information, would you automatically scrutinize the document to the nth degree? If the document was typed on someone's personal computer at home, that doesn't CHANGE the fact that Company X was poisoning the water.

The information is what is important. News organizations are saddled with presenting factual INFORMATION. And it appears, from more than one source, AS WELL AS the refusal of the administration to deny it, that it is true.

There is more to this story than just the piece of paper. It is not the sole piece of evidence. It is, in fact, not the most important. I think a mountain has been made out of this molehill.

If I were CBS, I would admit this document was probably forged, but emphasize how it was but one piece of what forged their assertion that Bush shirked his duty. Then take off the kid gloves and do what the press is supposed to do.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:42 PM on September 16, 2004


Do you really think that Kerry's platform is particularly leftist, much more so than Clinton, for instance? In what ways?

No, I don't. The platform's fine, which is why I'm voting for him. But let's not kid ourselves -- you don't have to dig deep (hell, you don't have to dig at all) to find the wellspring of BushHate energizing the left. And that clearly doesn't resonate with moderates/undecideds. It's the same old question: What do Democrats want more? To win, or to make sure everyone knows how much they really, really hate Bush? I would submit that those two things are almost mutually exclusive.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:47 PM on September 16, 2004


undermines journalism everywhere.

*head explodes*
posted by quonsar at 2:53 PM on September 16, 2004


it does matter that the documents were fakes ... it does matter that a major news organization fell for them and is now stonewalling in denial ... it does matter that web-bloggers blew the whistle ... and it does matter that questions remain over what bush did in the 70s

but you know what really matters? ... that a generation of childish vipers, many years later, are still trying to refight the wars of the 60s in a presidential election while the modern world is slowly going to hell and it's not being addressed in a serious, direct and issue orientated manner

when will the kool aid drinking contest end?
posted by pyramid termite at 3:17 PM on September 16, 2004


But let's not kid ourselves -- you don't have to dig deep (hell, you don't have to dig at all) to find the wellspring of BushHate energizing the left.

Agreed. But much of that comes from the fact that he's perceived (or his administration is perceived) as having pursued an extreme agenda in many ways (civil rights, Iraq, the environment, abortion, the marriage amendment, etc. etc.) How do the Democrats express the appropriate level of opposition to that without being accused of going off the deep end?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:29 PM on September 16, 2004


Again, nobody, including inhabitants of the White House itself, disputes the *contents* of these so-called "memos". Nobody with half a brain thinks that Bush didn't fail repeatedly to honor his military commitments, which wouldn't be such a travesty were he not constantly painting himself as Ace Aviator, The Lean Green Military Machine. Nobody with any brain thinks he hasn't lied repeatedly about his "service", which lies continue right up to the present day.

All of which points precisely to disqualifying character flaws -- and pointing it out ain't "Bush Hate", a phrase that is absolutely nothing more than a gutless rhetorical trick for running away from any criticism of Bush whatsoever.

And jpoulos is right. In general, that horrible screeching sound we heard constantly over months was that of self-servingly self-described "moderates" digging their broken fingernails into the pavement, as they had to be dragged inch by painful inch toward what was obvious to anyone with a lick of sense. It's a little fucking late to finally, finally, FINALLY come to the understanding that the war they once so proudly and vociferously and stupidly supported from the safety of their keyboards has been nothing but a crime against humanity. "Mission Accomplished", folks. Yeah. Happy?

If these milquetoast "moderates" across America had the critical thinking skills or personal ethics that god gave a child, maybe Bush wouldn't have thought he had free rein to slaughter thousands of Americans and Iraqis for his fool's errands. No...the "moderates" were eager to jump right on the War is Good bandwagon, mindlessly waving their fading American flags arm-in-arm with the right wing, thousands of miles from the reality of the shitty war they supported.

These self-described "moderates" ought to be completely ashamed of themselves. There is blood on their soft little keyboard warrior hands too, and it sure as hell ain't their own.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 3:42 PM on September 16, 2004


All this fuss about who did what 30 years ago is a waste of time. Bush's youthful indiscretions are the same as Clinton's infidelity: annoying, even enraging, to his opponents, and a character flaw to his supporters. All the people who care whether or not he ducked his responsibilities have already made up their minds.

What should be an issue, though, is that Bush has lied about this this year. On Meet the Press in January(?) he said all the records were released in 2000. "New" records have been discovered twice since then, one time after being "destroyed." Maybe skipping out the Vietnam War shouldn't be an issue, but lying about it now should be.

It's also interesting how service in Vietnam has played out in presidential elections. This is probably the last time it will be an issue, and the three elections it's been an issue in have gone against the conventional wisdom. Draft-dodging Clinton beat World War II-veteran Bob Dole and Texas defender Bush beat (or "beat") Vietnam veteran Al Gore, and Bush is leading a Vietnam veteran with multiple medals.

Also, it's a re-election campaign for Bush, and most people have already made up their minds about his past. The newly-discovered records just confirm the details. Again, this is like Clinton. Everyone knew he tomcatted around when we elected and re-elected him, so a substantial portion of the population wasn't shocked by his misconduct.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:53 PM on September 16, 2004


i question the assertion put forth by several people that the "rabid bush hate" of The Left puts moderates/undecideds off.

most -- though by no means all -- of the moderates/undecideds i've spoken to hate bush, too, and are not bothered by the extreme hatred of bush demonstrated by some on the left...but they're afraid of terrorists, dirty bombs, plane hijackings, etc. and they're not yet convinced that kerry can protect them from that.

most -- though by no means all -- of the people i've met and/or spoken with -- outside of metafilter -- that seem put off by the bush hate of The Left are conservatives who don't like bush, but hate kerry, and are using the fact that people who hate bush are people they don't like (dirty hippies, trustafarians, blacks or what have you) to galvanize themselves to pull the lever for bush with something other than disgust and self-loathing.

i'm just sayin'....
posted by lord_wolf at 3:55 PM on September 16, 2004


Fold!
{{{HUG}}}

I've so missed your sputtering rage of incompetence.
posted by Mick at 3:55 PM on September 16, 2004


I'm a milquetoast moderate, and I think invading Iraq should have been done five or six years ago--about when pre-election John Kerry wanted it to be done.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:59 PM on September 16, 2004


I'm a milquetoast moderate

You are so not! I am not even trying to bust your chops, but you really are not. You are more a preo-neo-con.
posted by thirteen at 4:12 PM on September 16, 2004


preo-neo-con

Hmmm, I have choicer words for what PP is, but perhaps they belong in the "heckling" thread.

What should be an issue, though, is that Bush has lied about this this year. On Meet the Press in January(?) he said all the records were released in 2000. "New" records have been discovered twice since then, one time after being "destroyed."

And it looks like more might be on the way soon! Stuffed at the bottom of a WaPo article was this little nugget:
In a related development, White House press secretary Scott McClellan hinted that more documents regarding Bush's National Guard service may soon be released. Asked whether officials in the White House have seen unreleased documents, McClellan called that "a very real possibility." Other officials with knowledge of the situation said more documents had indeed been uncovered and would be released in the coming days.
Maybe they'll go buy a Selectric on eBay this time around...
posted by Vidiot at 4:19 PM on September 16, 2004


But let's not kid ourselves -- you don't have to dig deep (hell, you don't have to dig at all) to find the wellspring of BushHate energizing the left.

Regurgitated talking points, this 'BushHate' stuff, really. I'd suggest that it's much more a case of hating the sins and not the sinner, although certainly there are great slabs of contempt, pity and resentment out there. But contempt, pity and resentment do not hatred make.

If you're going to use the language, at least use it with some care.

Also, I've got to admit that I'm as surprised as anyone to hear pardonyou? describe himself in terms that would put us in broad agreement about most things political. Who'd'a thunk it?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:49 PM on September 16, 2004


On Hardball tonight, they said it might be a setup to make Kerry (and Rather, who the right's been after for years) look bad. Even though they all said what's in the documents is true, and has been corroborated.
posted by amberglow at 6:05 PM on September 16, 2004


undermines journalism everywhere.

*head explodes*


... "undermines the principles of journalism that no one actually follows, everywhere" ... ?
posted by Krrrlson at 6:27 PM on September 16, 2004


I LOVE this stuff. I mean, damn. The genune political operatives within the Kerry camaign are now at the pint where they are counting the numbers of days worth of news cycles left until election time ... and for a good week now the dominant camaign discussion has been ... Dan Rather. And the few little sound bites that make it onto TV from Kerry are all ... filled with Kerry trashing Bush (haven't heard a single thing about what he actually would do as Prez).

It is wildly interesting to see a huge political party shooting itself in the foot with a big-ass bullet ... and even more interesting to realize it doesn't even realize its missing another toe each day that goes by.

[Odd thing, as the week has unfolded ... at first the radical libs, who simply look for excuses to trash Bush, went nuts "look - this proves it!!!!!!!" ... then when it starting appearing possible that the whole damn thing was forged, and it started playing out in public ... funny thing, Bush starting climbing in polls, and Dan Rather (who has hated the Bush family since Bush Sr.) now has ratings that are in the toilet.

Keep at it folks! It is likely that you're getting great emotional fulfillment from trashing GWB - but it turns out that with every new attempt, Bush doesn't get hurt, no one that hasn't already decided to vote for Kerry is given a reason to, and several more precisious news cycles pass with little other than a single sentence (and usually sort of bitter and nasty) sound bite from him.

For awhile there, I was a bit worried, wondering why Rove wasn't really engaging in the warfare he needed to. Turns out he is a smart SOB ... he understood early on that simply stepping out of the way was all that was necessary. GWB just doesn't need to work that hard to win this election ... because his opposition is working overtime to lose it.

Why even waste bullets when the army coming at you seems bound and determined to march straight into bigass swamps full of quicksand?

Tee Hee.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:40 PM on September 16, 2004


Also, I've got to admit that I'm as surprised as anyone to hear pardonyou? describe himself in terms that would put us in broad agreement about most things political.

Aw, hell, stav. He was ten for fifteen on my scorecard.
posted by trharlan at 6:41 PM on September 16, 2004


GWB just doesn't need to work that hard to win this election ... because his opposition is working overtime to lose it.

That's one of the funniest and most unrealistic things i've read since i got back. That, and hearing that "Freedom is on the march" in Iraq. How delusional are you guys?
posted by amberglow at 6:58 PM on September 16, 2004


"This post is about CBS not having a clue about the changes the internet has wrought on journalism?"

As a person who has helped to create weblog software and promote the importance of weblogs, all I can say is "you're off base."

Weblogs haven't conclusively proven one way or another whether this document is a forgery or not. The biggest indicator at this point that it might be a forgery aren't the findings of partisan webloggers on either side of the issue. Their evidence -- pro and con -- is simply not convincing and conclusive. Why? Because even the document experts are saying that you cannot judge this document properly without seeing the original.

The most compelling evidence that should give Dan Rather pause didn't come from webloggers, but from an 86-year-old lady who said that she didn't type the memos, but that "the information in them is correct". Also note that the memos weren't Rather's whole story, but only one piece of corroborating evidence.

So no... weblogs haven't done much, except loudly raise doubts, oftentimes in a ludicrous manner, such as by superimposing fonts at small font sizes. The media, lacking the ability to rely on experts for criticism (real experts will tell you that the documents are inconclusive) have relied on other, less reputable sources who seem a bit more sure of themselves, but who have no qualifications worth mentioning.

If I ever come down with a mysterious illness, I'll be glad to have doctors to give me a diagnosis, rather than relying on webloggers with an agenda to flog.

Rather seems to have no problem at all doing an interview with someone whose testimony directly undermines these documents. I wish we could get that kind of fairness out of our own government, who has made stonewalling and obfuscation into an art form... so why don't we all just chilly down and let the guy do his job?
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:02 PM on September 16, 2004


stav and trharlan: group hug, my brothers.

And in all fairness, I'm probably fiscally more conservative than you all (I consider myself fairly socially liberal). But Bush certainly hasn't demonstrated fiscal conservatism or discipline.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:58 PM on September 16, 2004


GWB just doesn't need to work that hard to win this election ...

So no change there, then.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:07 PM on September 16, 2004


>> GWB just doesn't need to work that hard to win this election ... because his opposition is working overtime to lose it.

> How delusional are you guys?

AP A Gallup poll being released Friday has Bush up 54-40 in a three-way matchup, with Ralph Nader at 3 percent.

> It seems that not only would CBS be the most likely to break with such a story, but in fact, contrary to your accusation, they might very well be the only ones who could do that.

I hear OJ is getting close to finding Nicole's murderer too!
posted by dand at 8:16 PM on September 16, 2004


Rather seems to have no problem [after denying everything for a week in the face of mounting criticism] at all doing an interview with someone whose testimony directly undermines these documents [and who conveniently happen to think Bush stole the election and is "unfit for office," so that the question of Rather's competence can be obscured by the "fake but accurate" joke of a defense]. I wish we could get that kind of fairness out of our own government, who has made stonewalling and obfuscation into an art form... so why don't we all just chilly down and let the guy do his job?

So that settles it - the Bush government is free to stonewall and obfuscate as it pleases. You really ought to chilly down and let Bush do his job without questioning him. Waiiiit... what's wrong with that logic?

If the American left consists of people as out of touch with reality as some here (notable example above), then Bush has already won. But what's really scary is that these people (as well as their counterparts on the right) refuse to question anything as long as they think it's on their side. Just the kind of mentality ripe for a dictator.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:59 PM on September 16, 2004


AP A Gallup poll being released Friday has Bush up 54-40 in a three-way matchup, with Ralph Nader at 3 percent.

Nice cropping there, dand. What was the sentence just before it?

The Pew poll found the race at 46-46 among registered voters, and 47-46 Bush among likely voters.

and...

A new Monitor/TIPP poll finds Mr. Bush and Sen. John Kerry currently tied among likely voters nationwide, with each receiving 47 percent of the vote in a two-man race, and each receiving 46 percent when independent candidate Ralph Nader is added to the ballot.

oh, and...

Kerry, Bush running neck and neck in latest poll

The only poll that counts is the Nov. 2nd poll.

I hear OJ is getting close to finding Nicole's murderer too!

So you're alleging that CBS forged the documents themselves? Or that OJ really is about to find the real killer? Which one?
posted by soyjoy at 9:07 PM on September 16, 2004


Your ranting and baiting is showing, Krrrison.

You're a damned partisan fool to say that Dan Rather has "denied everything for a week in the face of mounting criticism". Mounting criticism that doesn't provide definitive evidence proving one way or another whether these documents are counterfeit means nothing. Or at least it should mean nothing. Or perhaps you'd rather have your news based on public opinion polls?

You're also a damned partisan fool to think that interviewing the typist for the author of the memos in question is somehow irrelevant if she has a point of view that is inconsistant with yours.

You're also a damned partisan fool to think that a team of journalists vetting all the numerous pieces of evidence and interviews that go into a story are always going to get it right on each individual piece of evidence. Do you somehow believe that they said "this is bullshit" before deciding to use it anyway, or, if it was a forgery, were they fooled because the source seemed reliable and the documents themselves were very convincing and obviously very well made?

You're also a damned partisan fool if you believe that just because one piece of evidence is "thrown out", that this clearly indicates lack of guilt.

Lastly, you're a damned partisan fool to think that the media always gets everything 100% right or 100% wrong, and that they are somehow personally responsible to you, other than to print a retraction when they get it wrong. Rather is investigating this whole issue very publically, as is appropriate. He's doing what he should do, which is to withhold judgement until the evidence is in. It's not as if he did the primary research or all the vetting on this story, but he's willing to take a lot of the heat if it turns out that this document is forged.

That's integrity, fool. Get some.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:29 PM on September 16, 2004


And you, apparently, are illiterate. I swear I'd respond to that if it even marginally sounded like you read what I said earlier in this thread, but sadly that does not seem to be the case. Eh - it's your delusion, we just live in it. Have fun.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:43 PM on September 16, 2004


More than most threads I can remember, this thread reminds me of the end of the Star Trek episode wherein two foes wind up in some space-time portal, in eternal hand-to-hand combat.

Time to change the channel...
posted by ParisParamus at 9:45 PM on September 16, 2004


KHAAAAAAAAAAN!!!
posted by Krrrlson at 10:13 PM on September 16, 2004


GWB just doesn't need to work that hard to win this election ... because his opposition is working overtime to lose it.

That's one of the funniest and most unrealistic things i've read since i got back. That, and hearing that "Freedom is on the march" in Iraq. How delusional are you guys?


No more delusional than Kerry's folks ... who would likely agree with me (why is it again that they're shaking up their whole inner circle, and have decided they need to bring in Carville & Co. at the last minute?)

Call me delusional if you want. We'll see who was really deluded in early November.

In the meantime, please, please keep attacking Bush, and saying nothing about Kerry. Please encourage MoveOn to compare Bush to Hitler, and publish photos of defeated soldiers. Continue to produce old documents that "prove" Bush was never in the National Guard. Encourage Kerry to continue to change positions to suit the audience of the day. Damn ... this is a GREAT campaign season.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:10 AM on September 17, 2004


In the meantime, please, please keep attacking Bush, and saying nothing about Kerry.
How about you try to remember that when an incumbent is running, it's always more about them, and their record and history, much more than the challenger? You might be better off remembering what happened to his father, lest you be doomed to repeat it.

And we have been talking about Kerry's record and achievements--try my BCCI post, for just one small, yet telling example, which you conveniently ignored. (here's a choice comment from that one:
John Kerry: busts terrorists' financiers
George Bush: does business with terrorists' financiers
)
posted by amberglow at 5:28 AM on September 17, 2004


Foldy and insomnia have the best posts in this thread. I love 'em both. And Midas, get your head outta your ass, if you can tell which is which.
posted by nofundy at 5:38 AM on September 17, 2004


What does WRT stand for?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:53 AM on September 17, 2004


wrt = "with respect to"
posted by jpoulos at 6:30 AM on September 17, 2004


In regards to the "loony left wing Bush haters" statements, please allow me to refer you to a bit of reality.

Let's be honest now, we know where all the hate really lives, don't we? (hint: under a racist, sexist, classist, homophobic "big tent")
posted by nofundy at 6:54 AM on September 17, 2004


Please encourage MoveOn to compare Bush to Hitler

Geez Midas, I used to think you were one of the more rational posters on this site. But you drag out this old canard all the time when you know they never did that. Never. You know this. Are you that afraid of Kerry that you have to keep repeating the same lie over and over?
posted by turaho at 12:03 PM on September 17, 2004


he is, turaho--this recent behavior by him shows how afraid he (and others) really are. They can't talk about any achievements of Bush at all these past 4 years. Even Nixon accomplished things instead of just failing at everything like Bush has.
posted by amberglow at 1:30 PM on September 17, 2004


Maybe they're a little nervous because they've been tipped to the fact that today's "outlying" Gallup poll - you know, the one that's fantastically out of step with all the other national polls taken recently - is based on oversampling of Republicans.
posted by soyjoy at 2:00 PM on September 17, 2004


In the meantime, please, please keep attacking Bush, and saying nothing about Kerry. Please encourage MoveOn to compare Bush to Hitler, and publish photos of defeated soldiers. Continue to produce old documents that "prove" Bush was never in the National Guard. Encourage Kerry to continue to change positions to suit the audience of the day.

Keep spewing lies, Midas.

Just like your President.
posted by Vidiot at 7:24 PM on September 17, 2004


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