You Know You’re In Trouble When…
…even Kevin Drum thinks your “fake, but real” memos are fake. Kevin Drum was one of the first guys to get in on the Bush-TANG-AWOL controversy and I can’t believe there is anybody out there who doesn’t want that story to turn out to be true more than he does. That being said, Kevin demonstrated remarkable objectivity in the early days of the CBS/RatherGate fiasco. He was one of the few liberal bloggers that took a cautious approach to the memos.
Now Mary Mapes, the producer of that fiasco has written a new book that supposedly explains why the “fake, but real” memos look like they were actually typed on a computer vs. an typewriter from the 1960’s.
I talked to our document analyst Marcel Matley, now back in San Francisco….And he pointed out something that would be a huge problem for us in the days ahead: that in the process of downloading, scanning, faxing, and photocopying, some computers, copiers, and faxes changed spacing and subtly altered fonts. He thought that this basic misunderstanding of how documents changed through electronic transmittal was behind the unfounded certainty and ferocity of the attack on the documents.
….But I thought MatleyÃ¢€™s belief that a technical misunderstanding was behind the ferocious attack was too good to be true.
I was afraid that this time Matley, who was an experienced document analyst and longtime expert witness, was out of his element. He knew a great deal about documents and signatures. But I knew attack politics.
Let me see here. Between the two hypotheses
- Real, but look fake due to faxing, copying, scanning, etc.
- Simply fake.
I’m to choose the first one because it fits with Mary Mapes preconcieved notions? I think Kevin gets it totally right here when he writes,
For chrissake. Yes, it was attack politics, but there were plenty of good questions about the appearance and provenance of the memos that were legitimate regardless of who was asking them. The memos were typed in a proportional font with a centered header, something virtually impossible for a small office in 1972. Killian’s secretary Ã¢€” who believes George Bush is “unfit for office” Ã¢€” has testified that she typed all his memos and did so on two machines with fixed pitch fonts. She also says she never typed the memos that 60 Minutes aired. Bill Burkett, the source of the memos, is a stone Bush hater, the farthest thing imaginable from CBS’s original description of him as an “unimpeachable source.” What’s more, Burkett’s story didn’t even make sense to anyone who had followed this story for a while Ã¢€” which Mapes had Ã¢€” and he later admitted that he had lied about where he got the memos.
This is ridiculous. Mary Mapes went to air with a story that was full of obvious holes and hadn’t been checked adequately. There is tons of evidence that the memos are forged and not one single piece of evidence suggesting they’re real. If Mapes is still trying to defend them, she’s delusional.
And for any of the rest of you still holding out hope that just maybe the memos are real after all, let me put it this way: the evidence that they’re genuine is about equivalent to the evidence that Intelligent Design is a better theory than evolution. If you’re part of the reality based community, it’s time to face the facts on this.
I can’t think of anything to add.