Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Monday, January 10, 2005

still faking it

Today, the investigative report regarding the forged documents used by Dan Rather to attempt to bring down the president was released. The report is chock full of interesting details but is a bit short on what would seem to be obvious conclusions.

Let's take the validity of the documents themselves which the panel was unwilling to conclude were false. The fact is that the documents were proven false by at least two independent methods. The first was by their style and usage which were inconsistent with genuine military documents of the era (and military documents tend to be highly structured and organized). The second proof was the ability to easily reproduce the documents using a modern version of Microsoft Word with default settings. Each of these methods is very powerful and they are completely independent.

The panel also indicated that it did not find any evidence of bias at CBS. Perhaps they were expecting to find a memo from Mapes or Rather to the Kerry campaign recommending ways they could help defeat the president. As the old saying goes, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" and, in this case, the proof of the bias is in the watching.

I don't really think there is going to be any real change at CBS. It would be interesting to know what kind of severance packages are being offered to Mapes and the other folks who are being asked to resign. The message seems to be that getting caught is the problem not preparing and presenting a story based on bogus materials The report even reveals that Rather's apology was, in fact, as insincere as it appeared. He is still a true believer and may spend more time and effort looking for the real typewriter that did it.


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