There He Goes Again

Steve Lovelady of the Columbia Journalism Review writes in the comments,

I ask you to do a little homework before you again accuse Mike Hoyt, the editor of the print CJR,or me by extension, of “defending Dan Rather.”

That’s an outright lie.

Well, no. It’s an observation about the content of Corey Pein’s risible attack on CBS News’ critics, which I linked to directly in my piece. The entire thrust of Pein’s column was to (a) toss out the usual MSM complaints about conservative bloggers being untrustworthy scum and (b) defend Rather and CBS with the tired “fake but accurate” defense–despite lacking actual evidence to support such a claim (other than the left wing groupthink that assumes as a matter of course Bush must be lying about his Guard record–after all, he’s George Bush). As many have previously noted, Pein made things worse by scoffing at the detailed findings of Joseph Newcomer, who voted for John Kerry, and also happens to be the father of computer typesetting. Poor decision there.

In the context of today’s discussion, a more notable flaw committed by both Pein and yourself was blowing off one fundamental reason why Rather, Mary Mapes, and CBS News in general ran with a patently-phony story: they wanted to make a political hit on a politician they couldn’t stand. You had to ignore the public ideological histories of both Rather and Mapes to come to a different conclusion, but as I noted earlier, MSM dishonesty is as much due to omission as commission.

The fact that you and Pein won’t admit your own ideological biases makes my point once again. If you can’t be honest with your audience about where you’re coming from on a story, why should you be trusted when it comes to the content of the story itself?

For the record, I didn’t mention you,* or Mike Hoyt in the post–but since we know you can’t be bothered with minor details like the difference between Andrew Sullivan and Andrew Ferguson, I’m not terribly surprised at the accusation. I have read the unsigned editorial that ran above the letters column after Pein’s piece; I assume from your note it was written by Hoyt.

Not unlike the article it defends, I found its arguments decidedly unpersuasive. But then again, for people who can look at the “Rathergate” documents and say with a straight face that they’re not obvious forgeries, I suppose an extra layer of subjectivity ought to be applied.

* Whoops, yes I did, but not in the context of the Rather articles.

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81 Responses to “There He Goes Again”

  1. Stephen Green Says:

    All I can say is, “Do not taunt the Happy Fun Aerospace Engineer.”

  2. A Recovering Liberal Says:

    Day-yam! As a journalist and a blog addict, I am just eatin’ this up.

  3. OneDrummer Says:

    Mercy… I’d call that a Vodka-pimp slap. These guys will not learn, will they?

  4. professional credentialed journalist Says:

    I went to Journalism college!

  5. M. Scott Eiland Says:

    Between “Bringer Of Shame To The Honorable Name of Corey” Pein and this Lovelady twit, the Columbia Journalism is about one hack away from “not even good enough to use as toilet paper.”

  6. Lord Whorfin Says:

    Will:

    Have you noticed that they always squeal the loudest just before they fall on their swords (or are shown the door)?

    Keep hammering away.

  7. CERDIP Says:

    …and for that you must do penance!

  8. M. Scott Eiland Says:

    Ooops. Left off “Review” after “Columbia Journalism.”

  9. CERDIP Says:

    heh – of course the journo college confession is what calls for penance 🙂

  10. Greg Says:

    Jeez, Will. When you fire back, you don’t mess around do you? Somewhere at the CJR, Steve Lovelady’s ears are ringing and eyes are crossed from the 2×4 you just smacked him over the head with…

  11. Lord Whorfin Says:

    Greg:

    Ah, yes, the “2X4 Clue Bat” ploy.

    (Thanks to Peter Sellers)

  12. Becky in Ohio Says:

    Will,

    Me, personally, think of your magnus opus as an intervention, not a critique. Face it, the MSM needs it. But, those in denial never see it that way, now do they??

  13. Tom Grey - Liberty Dad Says:

    Great job — but prolly not yet enough of a blogstorm around the CJR fish bowl to get Lovelady fired.

    Though he seems to deserve it.
    (Then he can become an unpaid blogger, and see how many folk care about his biased opinions.)

  14. N. O'Brain Says:

    I prefer a Clue-By-Four

  15. visitor Says:

    Pein’s article was risible, but I’m not sure it’s best characterized as a defense of Rather. It’s incoherent on that point. Pein protected himself here and there with little disclaimers and “even if” type statements so that Pein could defend himself from the charge that his argument fails because the documents were forgeries.

    Yet the general thrust was the opposite. Pein strongly suggested that Newcomer’s analysis was hackery and that Hailey had the real goods. The piece, as a whole, is at war with itself. He wants to eat his cake and have it too.

    The most charitable reading of Pein’s article is “while I decline to say whether or not the documents were forgeries (but boy they really look genuine to me but don’t hold me to that, and yes of course they probably are forgeries but that wouldn’t change my views), there are some bloggers who were very rude and inconsiderate.”

  16. Mark Says:

    Ouch.

    If I’m remembering correctly, in a certain movie about Prohibition, someone says that you ought not bring a knife to a gunfight.

    Bang bang.

  17. V the K Says:

    The position of the left remains: Until you can conclusively prove that Scott Bakula didn’t use Ziggy to Quantum Leap back to 1972 and provide a word processor to the TANG, the memos have not been conclusively proven to be fake, and therefore must be treated as authentic.

  18. John Earnest Says:

    Mayhaps I could wax eloquent about your masterful display of keyboard-as-katana. So savagely efficient, yet elegant, were you that Mr. Lovelady is probably unaware his sneering face is no longer a part of his body. But my clumsy congratulations may be reduced to this, the tone, texture and import I know you will grasp: War Damn Eagle! Kick ’em in the butt, Big Blue!

  19. Mike M Says:

    “In short, we contended, the bloggers intent on discrediting CBS were, like “60 Minutes” itself, stepping beyond the facts.”

    That’s the heart of the CJR “editor’s” argument, believe it or not.

    The blogosphere was correct in judging the forged documents…so that somehow makes them as guilty as the forgers at CBS.

    Excuse me, but WTF kind of half baked pretzel argument is that? If you “jump” to a conclusion that is correct based on the information you have, you’re guilty of “stepping beyond the facts” and are as irresponsible as a bunch of amateur forgers?

    Or is this some kind of intelligensia end-around trying to tell us little people to shut up and leave the thinking to the experts in their ivory towers? Apparently, *only* a typesetting expert is worthy of judging the documents even though it’s blatantly obvious to anyone with eyes that they were pecked out on MS Word…

    Someone please take CJR’s shovel away from them before they dig into a gas main. They’re just embarassing themselves now.

  20. Aunt Says:

    Have you no mercy?

  21. Robin Roberts Says:

    Yep, CJR is indeed an embarrassment.

  22. droolingmoron Says:

    Me go jonulishm skool two

  23. BumperStickerist Says:

    the only thing that would make this any better would be for Will to change his name to something more dramatic, something like ‘Max Kingman’ …

  24. droolingmoron Says:

    it were ezr then plumbn sko0l

  25. roger rainey Says:

    The very first line of Lovelady’s piece linked above amazed me. Otto von Bismarck’s famous line related only to sausages and law, not journalism. I don’t know whether to attribute this to sloppiness (ironic in a piece criticizing another reporter’s sloppiness) or subconscious hubris.

  26. Sharp as a Marble Says:

    Right then. Into the blogroll with ya. And a stop into the RSS Reader while yer at it.

  27. Sharp as a Marble Says:

    New Addy to the Roll

  28. La Shawn Barber's Corner Says:

    Rathergate’s Josh Howard Sues CBS (Well, Not Yet)

    Important Update: It seems that Howard hasn’t filed suit against CBS. He’s hired a lawyer to prepare a suit when the time comes. Sources say he will sue if CBS doesn’t clear his name. In that regard, count on this post title being accurate soon enou…

  29. Sharp as a Marble Says:

    New Addy to the Roll

  30. Marko Says:

    And who could possibly confuse taking the exact same position as Rather (yes there was an error made in the meticulous journalistic process but the documents haven’t been proven to be false) as a defense of Rather? It’s more of a parallel thought experiment that provides a colorful backlight for the issue, eh?

    Is this guy really the sharpest spear that CJR can find to defend the ramparts?

    Scary thought: Maybe Corey Pein is the bright one of the group.

  31. Mark A. York Says:

    Does anyone doubt the content of the memos? The information copied in them? Because if you do then reality is a planet you’ve never visited. No copies can be verified. That’s certain.

  32. DS Says:

    In a related matter, I just saw Katrina van den Heuvel on Scarborough. She, of course, made the same tired argument, “it doesn’t matter that the documents were false, the story they were meant to support is true and that’s all that matters.” I continue to be amazed that the far superior-intellect liberals seem to possess a lack of grasping obvious, simple concepts that follow logic.

    Katrina, CJR, et al: a story is not true simply because you believe it is! Find some proof. Show that proof. Then we can forget the CBS forged memo scandal and concentrate on the new “real story.” Till then, There is no story except the forgeries.

  33. Dana H. Says:

    “No copies can be verified. That’s certain.”

    Yes, no copies can conclusively be shown to be authentic. But copies can absolutely be shown to be fake. The defenders of Mapes and Rather are being intellectually dishonest when they use the “no copies can be verified” defense. The TANG memos are fake. Of this there is zero rational doubt.

  34. Jaibones Says:

    Get this tomato can Lovelady out of the ring…

  35. Jeff Harrell Says:

    Um. Yes, Mark. Everybody doubts the content of the memos. Because how many people go out of their way to forge documents in support of something true? The mere fact that the documents were fakes carries with it an entirely reasonable presumption than the story supported by the documents was just a big ol’ honkin’ lie.

  36. JD Says:

    York sez: Does anyone doubt the content of the memos? The information copied in them? Because if you do then reality is a planet you’ve never visited.

    Well, Markie, call me one of the people who live on the planet Earth (otherwise known as Terra), having never visited your little world of “reality”, where evidently the sky is purple and the sun sets in the east.

    The US Military is fanatic about record-keeping. If, as you assert, the content in the memos is beyond doubt, then someone, somewhere in the TxANG or at the USAF would have corroborating documents asserting the same content. Furthermore, said content in the corroborating documents would be written in the normal USAFR Prolix fashion, would have accurate address formats, would have accurate unit name and formation references, etc., etc. To date, none of this has been found. I rather like the assertion by “V the K” that Scott Bakula and Ziggy would have had to get in on the act for this thing to turn out to be true. Anything else is just nuckin’ futs.

    One other thing, Mark – if your logical path to veracity holds water (that even tho the documents may not be genuine, the information on the document must be taken at face value until proven negatively), then next time you go to Trader Joe’s to stock up on tofu and flax seed oil, give the hippie at the checkstand an 8-1/2×11″ piece of paper with your bank account information and balance on it and see what that’ll get ya.

  37. JorgXMcKie Says:

    Perhaps Lovelady, Pein, and CJR would be interested in publishing my scoop on how Washington won the battle of Yorktown thru the use of Gatling guns. I have a picture of Washington and the Gatling gun that I can produce (ooops. show, I mean show, not produce. I wouldn’t “produce” evidence, it already exists. I would just show it.) that proves we won the Revolutionary War with Gatling guns. Don’t believe all those experts who claim Gatling wasn’t even born then. My picture might be called “fake but accurate” but I know the Truth.

  38. JayDen Says:

    I went back and read the Lovelady’s piece from the September 21 CJR and it’s amazing that the motivated only by the desire to get the scoop line that came out in the “independent” report had already been formulated at that early date. “The real story here isn’t political bias on the part of CBS or Rather.” Nothing to see here folks, just some journalistic speed limit breakers, move along. Two seconds after telling CBS its not wise to jump to unsupported conclusions, Lovelady makes his own unsupported conclusion – what makes him so sure that there was no political bias?

    Someone else pointed out that in discrimination law, once you establish a pattern of biased outcomes, the burden then shifts to the accused to prove that he has an innocent explanation for what happened. The reason for this is that you can rarely find the smoking gun – the memo that says “we’re biased”. But in this case, Rather & Co. has been given a benefit of the doubt that would not be afforded to a corporation that had, for example, a 100% white male workforce.

  39. Karl Says:

    The silliness of CJR’s coverage of the memo scandal is even more apparent to a lawyer, so please permit me a moment to explain a few things in the event that Lovelady or someone like him stops by to read.

    The Thornbugh-Boccardi report avoids any conclusion about whether the memos were forged (despite the opinion of the expert they hired). It also avoids any conclusion regarding whether political bias drove the story. These two facts have caused people to wonder what the point of the investigation was, if not to address those two questions.

    Any lawyer could have offered a decent hypothesis as to why the report avoided reaching a conclusion on those issues. Fortunately for us (but not for CBS), the article in the current New York Observer about this situation will offer some insight into the matter that supports the hypothesis I have offered to those that have asked me about it.

    Suppose that the report had concluded that the memos were forged. That would raise the question of who forged them. Accusing someone of forgery (or aiding and abetting it) in this context would be an accusation of potentially criminal acts under both Texas and federal law. A lawyer like Thornburgh would realize that without strong evidence to back up such claims, any suggestion that someone involved in this tale was connected to a forgery would potentially give rise to a defamation suit. Thornburgh, et al., lacked the sort of subpoena power one would need to gather evidence to defend such an accusation, so no accusation would be made and no opinion would be expressed on the forgery issue.

    Similarly, accusing anyone at CBS of having pushed this story onto the air due to political bias would give rise to a potential defamation claim by the employees whose reputations would be damaged, so such accusations would be avoided. Ironically, as the NYO article notes, Josh Howard is citing the report’s avoidance of the issue to claim that comments by Les Moonves defamed him. And it’s why CBS is reluctant to fire the employees they asked to resign; the report would be cited as proof that they were wrongfully terminated.

    Of course, if these matters ever find their way into litigation, CBS would then have access to subpoena power and the underlying issues might be resolved, though I suspect CBS does not want them resolved unless it has to do so.

    But I digress. The reason to point out why the report avoids conclusions on what appear to be the heart of the matter further explains why the CJR’s apologia for CBS News falls so flat. It’s easy for bloggers to say the memos were forged because they are not deep pockets that would be attractive to people who might consider bringing a defamation claim. It’s easy for bloggers to say that the story was motivated by bias for the same reason and also because they can’t be sued by CBS employees for wrongful termination. In contrast, Thornburgh and Boccardi could not state these conclusions because they had to consider the possible consequences to CBS News of stating them.

    Consequently, the CJR’s reliance on those non-conclusions demonstrates a lack of knowledge about how internal investigations work or — if one considers the skepticism with which most corporate internal investigations are (often rightly) viewed by the MSM — a willful ignorance of such matters to prop up a weak defense of CBS News.

    PS: I apologize in advance for any typos, but the hour is late and I must retire without spellchecking.

  40. Pablo Says:

    The grade level for srudents not quite mature enough for kindergarten is pre-K.

    The letter J precedes the letter K alphabetically.

    I therefore conclude that the grade leve of students not quite mature enough for Pre-K is J school.

  41. Pablo Says:

    Spell-checked this time:

    The grade level for students not quite mature enough for kindergarten is pre-K.

    The letter J precedes the letter K alphabetically.

    I therefore conclude that the grade level of students not quite mature enough for Pre-K is J school.

  42. Mike M Says:

    “I wouldn’t “produce” evidence, it already exists. I would just show it.) that proves we won the Revolutionary War with Gatling guns.”

    Yeah, and remember Final Countdown? The documentary that proves we won WII because the USS Nimitz went back in time?

    Well, maybe it didn’t happen but you can’t *disprove* that it happened, right? And doesn’t the fact that the hypothesis is out there make the story newsworthy in itself?

    There ya go: USS NIMITZ TAKES ON THE JAPS

    Print it boys, it’s met the standards of today’s media.

  43. Mark A. York Says:

    Unfortunately the memo copies are a straw man. The content is correct and guess what? The Killian memos that we do have lead right to it, and the facts, should you care to look, i.e. Bush never reported in Massachussetts, flopped out of training and so on back it up. Now how will he get an honorable discharge under such a performance rating. What will we do about this the Col inquired in the real memos? “It’s been locked up internally,” Killian wrote.

    No, what you have here is a witch hunt, and copies. The content is locked up. Why didn’t they release them? OH Georgie boy how you buffalo your faithful shills. Baaaa….baaaaa

  44. Mark A. York Says:

    I’ll overlook the ad hominem attacks on hippies and Trader Joe’s since I shop there and used to be a hippie. Those tactics as you know are the last refuge of one that has lost the argument, so keep up the name calling. It’s the same path of illogic as the campaign.

    Up is down baby!

  45. Sandy P Says:

    Massachusetts???

  46. mikem Says:

    Fake but accurate. That in itself is a acknowledgment of defeat.

  47. Mark A. York Says:

    No defeat here. Truth buddy. It’s called source documentation. I don’t have to have the document inhand to cite it, and the real ones can be found in Denver. Mass is where Bush went to HARVARD while in the guard.

  48. mikem Says:

    OK Mark, I’ll bite. Now that you have established an interest in the candidate’s discharge status’, would you ponder a guess as to what Kerry’s discharge status was before it was changed under Jimmy Carter? I would tell you but Kerry didn’t think that veterans and voters had a right to know.

  49. Stephen M. St. Onge Says:

    Mark A. York wrote:
    “Does anyone doubt the content of the memos? The information copied in them? Because if you do then reality is a planet you’ve never visited. No copies can be verified. That’s certain.”

          Yeah, I doubt them.

          For instance, the supposed day that W. was allegedly ordered to report for a physical, the base was shut down.

          But I don’t expect facts to have any influence on York.  He’s decided on the truth, and anything that comes his way will be filtered “If it diagrees with what I already believe, it’s not true, or irrelevant.”

          Have a happy life on the planet Illusion, Mr. York.

    THE HOUSE OF SAUD MUST BE DESTROYED — AND WILL BE!

  50. Mark LaRochelle Says:

    Mark A. York should read this: http://www.factcheck.org/article140.html

  51. Stephen M. St. Onge Says:

          Mr. Collier, thanks for the great posts.

          And I urge you all, go here, to the Eason Jordan speech Will pointed out in another post, read Jordan’s claim that CNN would never pull its punches in covering Iraq, that Jordan would fire anyone who surpressed stories about Iraq, then go here, and read his admission that they were not reporting fully at the time he made the speech.

          I’ve lost all anger at Jordan.  I think he’s been badly warped by living a lie, pretending to be “Mr. Fearless Journalist” in front of the camera, while being the “Speak No Evil” monkey in reality.

          Still, that’s no excuse for the MSM as a whole.  As Mr. Collier says, try being honest.

    THE HOUSE OF SAUD MUST BE DESTROYED — AND WILL BE!

  52. Mark A. York Says:

    Hey Steve I can see why you call them blatherings. The problem here is both sides have a set of facts they recognize and are mutually exclusive of one another.

    Objectively though one side’s passes and the other’s fails on merit. I’m afraid you have the losing hand here from the records in hand. AWOL

  53. Mark A. York Says:

    The Globe also said

  54. Mark A. York Says:

    All I see on the illustrious owner here is he amateur reviews products on Amazon. That’s not much of a resume for say, warblogging.

  55. Mikey Says:

    Mr. York:

    This story was debunked years ago, before being resurrected months ago before being staked again and sent back to the graveyard of discarded lies.

    Drop it man, there’s nothing there. If there had been there wouldn’t have been the need to forge documents. If there had been, Ms. Mapes wouldn’t have spent five years of vain pursuit with only the forged documents to show for them. Drop it; it’s so dead it don’t even stink anymore.

  56. Mark A. York Says:

    Circular Mikey. Invalid, dropped by you and blinded like kind. Begging the question fallacy. Look it up.

  57. Robin Roberts Says:

    Mark, amusing that above you whine about C.V.’s when down here you demonstrate that you have no credibility at all. There is no evidence for the “content” of the forged memos being correct. Indeed, the fake content of the memos are part of the evidence that they are forgeries – besides the crude attempt at typing them in a word processor that is decades anachronistic.

    That you don’t know this shows that it is yourself that is sans clue on this debate. Because it was shown literally months ago that both the memos and their content are faked.

    Its long past time people with such hydrophobic hatred of the President grew up.

  58. Mark A. York Says:

    Now the fact that W’s loyal hordes don’t care if he got special treatment is fully allowable.

    It comes at the price of objectivity, but I get the idea you don’t care about that one whit anyway so it’s a bargain to you. It just can’t stand much light before the roaches scatter.

  59. Mark A. York Says:

    Well Ms. Roberts Killian’s secretary’s testimony would refute toy content assertion. Blind denial would slather over it. Get another bucket full. It’s laying up thin.

  60. Mark A. York Says:

    Yeah just like that Dark Skies epsisode I was in. I’ve found the hive. Time to report back to Majestic.

  61. Robin Roberts Says:

    Killian’s secretary?

    Oh, that’s hilarious. Typical, Mark, you use a source who had no first hand knowledge of the events in question. Mark, you are so far behind, it is going to take you weeks to catch back up.

    The bottom line Mark is that the foaming-mouth gang willingly used forged documents to bolster what was a vapid issue in the first place. The resulting discredit upon Rather, CBS and upon silly people like you who continue to defend the issue will last for decades.

  62. Jumbo Says:

    Hmmm. Looks like somebody’s trying to win an unwinnable argument by keeping his keyboard hot, the net version of shouting down your opponent. Mark: 1) the quantum of words has nothing to do with truth, morality or persuasion; 2) “Last word” didn’t even win on the grade-school playground, much less in the world of serious blogs; 3)Passion is not a substitute for truth and reason.

  63. Mark A. York Says:

    I have truth, what is it that you have? You don’t believe the sceretary who worked for Killian and was interviewed by Rather? Her testimony doesn’t count? Wasn’t there? Pulllleeeze. Rabbit to Alice: You need to adjust you dosage.

  64. Mark A. York Says:

    On the other thread you allege journalists “forged” the documents. Now you say you can prove willfulness? Is that drool on your blouse Robin?

  65. Jon Says:

    Well, I may get ripped for this one, but here goes:

    What if, in 1998, or even today, I was to produce a videotape showing exactly what went on between Monica and Bill in Oval Office with a never before known “hidden camera”? What news organization (except Adult Video News) would give me the time of day on something that is so patently false, even if it meets the so-called “fake but accurate” threshold? I make this analogy because that is the same level of fakery that occurred with this story.

    Do I think CBS make the copies? No, even worse, I think, they believed the documents were real. Not just “accurate”, but the real deal, without doing basic Journalism 101 fact checking.

    Does anyone actually think that if this story had legs we would have heard lots and lots more, given the level of distaste for the President both in and out of the MSM?

    Yea, yea, flame away.

  66. TallDave Says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing.

    MSM seems to lose every time they debate blogs. There’s a reason for that: we’re used to debate because we do it every day, they’re not because they don’t.

    We need to bring the Socratic method back to journalism. This crap of pretending they’re objective is just not working.

  67. McGehee Says:

    Pull up your pants, Markie.

  68. TallDave Says:

    Mark,

    You don’t believe the sceretary who worked for Killian

    She didn’t even pretend to be objective about Bush or to have actually heard or written anything substantive. Plus, she’s contradicted by pretty much everyone else. Plus, since the memos are factually incorrect, what exactly are you alleging re Bush?

  69. TallDave Says:

    Mark,

    Given a free ride is the conclusion, both to get IN the guard and to get out eight months early without showing up while at Harvard.

    There’s no proof of any of that. Guard pilot duty was not that desirable; there is proof in the form or testimony to that fact by the induction officer, not to mention that several in Bush’s unit were killed in training. There is proof via testimony that Bush also volunteered for Nam duty but was turned down. There is proof he fulfilled far more hours than required. There is testimony from every witness but one that Bush was not treated favorably.

    Your witness is contradicted on her only (vague) assertion,; ours are not contradicted in their specific assertions by anything. So we have proof, you have speculation based on lack of proof that Bush was actually were he was supposed to be and testimony contradicted by the majority of witnesses. Guess what, you lose.

  70. Mark A. York Says:

    As Jed Clampett said when he first gazed at the LA River, “Pityful…”

    The secretary typed all of his documents and didn’t type the so-called memos. She said so. She also said the content was discussed, accurate, and other arrangements were made concerning said documents, hence, the content was real: eyewitness testimony.

    Add her to Barnes and well it’s a sound story with apparently copied evidence. Should have hunted down the creator, but then the source lied so you win some and lose some.

    The argument is sound: Bush did all of the accused offenses and the brass covered it up. You only have a straw man on the copies. To run the story they didn’t even need them. Damn shame they fell into that technicality, but locked up evidence is that way for a reason. Good money bought it.

    Bush money. Now go back to sticking your noses up his ally.

  71. Robin Roberts Says:

    Mark, this is hilarious. You are literally about four months behind. Marian Knox was over before the end of September. She didn’t have anything substantive to say. She could not vouch for the content of any specific memo at all and didn’t. She could only repeat vague comments about Bush. And on top of it, she was rebuted by Killian’s own son who revealed that she wasn’t even Killian’s secretary per se. She was the group’s secretary. Something you don’t even seem to know. No competent journalist would have based a story on Knox at all – she was dragged in only in a pathetic attempt to cover up the fact that CBS had flogged documents forged with the skill of a 10 year writing a note for school.

    Mark, you reveal yourself for the rabid one – you have no actual evidence at all. Mapes spent five years trying to prove this non-story and all she came up with were forged documents from Burkett.

    And you know what you forget in your vapid little belated attack? That Mary Mapes did find some real evidence on Bush’s service – she found someone who personally vouched for the fact that Bush volunteered to go to Vietnam when some of the F106’s were sent there. What did she do with that real news? She hid it. That’s the kind of dishonesty you defend, Mark. Your kind. The kind of people who forge documents to make a lame irrelevant story.

    A story flogged by Burkett, a person with a long history of being a loon.

  72. Robin Roberts Says:

    And the claims that Killian’s fake memo “documented” that he’d been pressured to accept Bush?

    Demonstrated to be a lie four months ago.

    Mark, since you seem to be reading papers from September 15th, 2004, I’ll skip ahead for you. In November, Kerry loses.

  73. liberalstastelikechicken Says:

    “Extraodinary claims require extraordinary proof.” – Carl Sagan

    Although Carl was refering to UFOs, his observation about proof is universal and entirely relevant to the CBS document scandal. Implicit in Sagan’s statement is that the burden of proof rests with those making the claim. While this is standard practice in the engineering and scientific communities (see any peer reviewed journal), it seems an alien concept to the MSM. For Rather to argue that no one has “proven the memos fake” is a dereliction of logic. It speaks volumes of his competence, the competence of the CBS news division who would give him a forum, and those third parties who would defend him.

  74. C. Bennett Says:

    What do you do if you have a blog with few readers? Go where the readers are: the comments section of Vodkapundit. York should start picking up part of the tab for bandwidth here.

  75. Mikey Says:

    No doubt, C., no doubt. The election is over, the Guard story was minutely dissected and declared dead long before that, and here Mark comes bringing this fossil back to camp, claiming that he is a mighty hunter.

    He talks about circular logic? He starts with the conclusion (GWB had help getting into the Guard) and works his way back to his facts. Such as they are.

    Oh, well, at least he’s polite.

  76. groucho Says:

    Cheeky bugger, this Lovelady accusing you of an outright lie when his claim is that you were merely inaccurate. You give strong reason to believe that you weren’t even inaccurate, let alone spreading a lie.

    Someone send Lovelady a dictionary with the definition of lie marked.

  77. aaron Says:

    The secretary didn’t say any of it was true, just that she thought it was because lots of rich kid got preferential treatment back then. After who knows how much interviewing she eventually suggested it was plausible in a round-about way.

  78. Robin Roberts Says:

    Amusingly, Aaron, her own son had been accepted into the same squadron. Her comments had little news value. A real journalist with real training would know that.

  79. Mark A. York Says:

    I prefer Hunter Thompson’s comment on Bush passed out in his bathtub at a super bowl party.

  80. Buster Says:

    Anybody who calls me a salivating moron is looking to get his ass kicked. Get it right: I’m a slobbering idiot.

  81. p.lukasiak Says:

    As someone who was tangentially involved in the whole “Killian memo” fiasco, I think I can speak with a little bit of authority on the question of why CBS used the memos.

    Mapes knew that Bush had shirked his duty/gone AWOL/”failed to satisfactorily participate” as a member of the US Armed Forces and the Texas Air National Guard—and that fact has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. The problem was that the explanation, although a good story, was not “good television”. (A number of print outlets, most notably US News and World Report, did a decent job of explaining the real story of this aspect of Bush’s service in the aftermath of the Memo Fiasco.)

    When the Killian memos showed up, because they were entirely consistent with the LAWS and POLICIES of that era (factors which few people were familiar with) she assumed that the documents were genuine—and that they really only confirmed what was already known about Bush’s service. As a result, she missed a number of “warning signs” that should have raised questions with regard to the authenticity of the memos themselves. And because she also knew that USA Today had the memos as well, she rushed the story in order to get the scoop.

    I have no idea if the memos are genuine or not, but I do know that the source of the memos had a detailed knowledge of the contemporaneous regulations and policies. It should be noted, however, that the only way I think they could be genuine is if they were typed by someone not affiliated directly with the Texas Air National Guard. (they could have been typed by a civilian, or by someone at Texas Guard HQ in Austin—the Texas National Guard consisted of both the Air and Army National Guards, and people who came from both services worked at HQ.)

    Most of the objections to the authenticity of the memos are laughable. It was SOP for members of the Air Guard to maintain their own files, and not rely upon military record keeping. (In other words, the statements of Killian’s son–an extremely strong Bush supporter— should be disregarded.) And there is simply no reason to assume that the memos were created/kept at Ellington AFB, especially given the nature of what was being recorded.

    The word of people like Hodges, Staudt and Martin are not reliable either—all three were directly involved in providing Bush with favorable treatment either getting into the Guard (Staudt) or in covering up Bush’s failure to meet standards (Martin and Hodges.)

    Dr. David Hailey has pretty conclusively shown that the documents were typed — the “typesetting expert” who says they were done on a word processor ignores the evidence that they could not have been generated by a word processor (or, more properly, he claims that all the evidence that supports the conclusion that the memos were typed are the result of the multiple reproductions that the memos went through—ignoring the fact that the result of multiple copying processes of a word processing document do not wind up with the characteristics found in the memos.)

    But the simple fact that the memos were typed is not proof that they are copies of originals created over 30 years ago. All that it proves is that those who continue to insist that the memos were “word processed” are ignoring the contrary evidence.

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