Skip to comments.Post 47 and RaTHergate - The story of how CBS was caught perpetrating a hoax on the American People
Posted on 09/17/2004 10:47:05 AM PDT by Jim Robinson
The story of how CBS was caught perpetrating a hoax on the American People.
Poor Lt. Col. Killian died in 1984 but I believe he would be surprised at the stir he created some twenty years after his death. On the evening of September 8th, CBS's 60 Minutes II dropped what they considered to be a (rather convenient) "bombshell" regarding President Bush's service in the National Guard. Directly contradicting Defense Department records showing that in 1973 Lt. Col. Killian praised Mr. Bush's performance and approved his honorable discharge, four memos from Killian impugning the service of Bush during those years were produced with much fanfare. According to CBS, they consulted a handwriting analyst and document expert who believed the material to be authentic.
Few have published the origination of the chain of events that led up to the implosion at CBS and the stripping of all credibility from Dan Rather. The now famous Freeper Post #47 appeared just hours after the CBS expose on the online community www.FreeRepublic.com.
Post # 47 To: Howlin
Howlin, every single one of these memos to file is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman.
In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing, and typewriters used monospaced fonts.
The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's. Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used monospaced fonts.
I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old.
This should be pursued aggressively. 47 posted on 09/08/2004 8:59:43 PM PDT by Buckhead
A few hours earlier another alert Freeper had posted this just minutes after the CBS story aired. Already, the now obvious doubts about the Killian memos were raising a few eyebrows in the blogger community:
WE NEED TO SEE THOSE MEMOS AGAIN!
They are not in the style that we used when I came in to the USAF. They looked like the style and format we started using about 12 years ago (1992). Our signature blocks were left justified, now they are right of center...like the ones they just showed.
Can we get a copy of those memos?
107 posted on 09/08/2004 5:19:00 PM PDT by TankerKC
The Minneapolis lawyers who run Powerlineblog.com were quickly notified. Two of the blog's readers directed their attention to post #47 on a FreeRepublic.com thread. That day's post on powerlineblog can be viewed here.
After that, the rolling snowball quickly became an avalanche. Several other major blogs, including www.Instapundit.com, quickly seized on this historic breaking story. Less than twenty four hours after the initial Freeper posts, Drudge did what Drudge does best with the headline "Bloggers drive hoax probe into Bush memos." Details appeared on The Corner at National Review.com and were followed quickly with The Weekly Standard running a story that revealed that CBS was already deluged with phone calls and that experts were quickly demolishing the "carefully screened" documents so proudly paraded before the public by CBS the night before. The entire article can be found at here. The libertarians at Samizdata were also quick to pick up on the rapid mobilization of the blogosphere in unraveling the CBS story.
It is amazing that CBS in its zeal to find the smoking gun and swing the presidential race back in favor of John Kerry was either fooled by such forgeries at best, or conspired with the DNC at worst, in an attempt to affect the election and deflate the rising balloon of Bush. The fact that the document analysis can be trusted over one of the major networks is surprising to some, laughed at by others, and reinforces the suspicions of millions who are tired and wary of the yellow journalism passed off as objective media coverage.
The power of the "guys who write in their pajamas" (as one CBS executive derisively called those bloggers questioning the mighty network) has rocked the media establishment yet again and has become the focus of stories in the Washington Times, New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, on ABC News and by Sean Hannity, etc. FReeRepublic and many of the online communities, commentary and blogger sites are often several days ahead of the "news curve." Within just hours the "citizen soldiers" of the internet engaged in the wholesale exposure of a devious dirty trick against President Bush. The ever vigilant online communities quickly destroyed CBS News' much-heralded investigative report about the president's National Guard service in the early 1970s. Increasingly, the maligned "amateurs" on the net are the ones creating, driving and exposing the news with the rest of the more traditional press outlets following in their stead. We saw this many times during the Clinton era scandals and most recently with the vast inconsistencies in the many versions and citations regarding John Kerry's medals and his mysterious (non) Christmas in Cambodia fighting the Khmer Rouge.
The story continues to grow by the hour. The documents in question have been traced back to a Kinko's in Texas from which they were originally faxed, and the manager of the store has "secured" the security tapes that would have revealed the identity of the forger or perhaps of one of his accomplices. According to The American Spectator, the documents surfaced within the Kerry campaign 6 weeks ago, delivered by "a retired military officer." Members of Congress are now starting to weigh in, and many are demanding that CBS reveal the source of the documents in question.
This statement remains on the CBS website:
In addition, the documents are backed up not only by independent handwriting and forensic document experts but by sources familiar with their content. Contrary to some rumors, no internal investigation is underway at CBS News nor is one planned. We have complete confidence in our reporting and will continue to pursue the story.
The amateur sleuths and "the pajama people" continue their job as the watchdog of the watchers, and the MSM (Mainstream Media) has taken yet another blow to its already suspect reputation. Did I mention that forging military documents is a felony? It's only a matter of time before the conspirators are revealed. By then few will probably care, but those of us who inhabit cyberspace will smile with satisfaction that it was the vigorous vigilance of a few of their own, and the web of people on The Web, that foiled the smearing of a presidential candidate and the hijacking of an election.
David M. Huntwork is a conservative activist and freelance columnist in Northern Colorado. His columns may be read at http://dkhunt.tripod.com.
Congratulations to Jim and everyone here at FR. It looks like our efforts are reaching critical mass.
Bump for credit where credit is due...
Ya done good BTTT!
Now go and look what you've done! ;-D
Message from Iraq
The proud warriors of Baker Company wanted to do something to pay tribute To our fallen comrades. So since we are part of the only Marine Infantry Battalion left in Iraq the one way that we could think of doing that is By taking a picture of Baker Company saying the way we feel. It would be awesome if you could find a way to share this with our fellow countrymen. I was wondering if there was any way to get this into your papers to let the world know that "WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN" and are proud to serve our country." Semper Fi 1stSgt Dave Jobe
What kind of Pajamas was everyome wearing? ; )
The pajama manufacturers deserve some credit too! (Damn, they're all in China!)
From my observations, the "bubble-time" is about 4 days.
Good Work Kinko's.
This is new news I believe. An excellent approach by Kinko's to preventing the burglary of the tapes and records being planned by the DNC.
I've added this to my "linked" (used to be bookmarked) threads on my HR page.