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Jay Currie

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9/11/2004

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Jay Redding

Mark Steyn on media double standards

The tragedy for Rather, Oliphant, Krugman and Co. is that even if the memos were authentic nobody would care. Their boy Kerry had a crummy August not because he didn't hammer Bush for being AWOL in the Spanish-American War but because the senator's AWOL in the present war. Big Media are trashing their own reputations in service to a man who can never win.
chicago sun-times
Steyn at his best. go read it.

Who??

From the American Spectator whose site is down due to taffic volume from DrudgeReport - get a bigger pipe and a faster server guys,
More than six weeks ago, an opposition research staffer for the Democratic National Committee received documents purportedly written by President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard squadron commander, the late Col. Jerry Killian.

The oppo researcher claimed the source was "a retired military officer." According to a DNC staffer, the documents were seen by both senior staff members at the DNC, as well as the Kerry campaign.

"More than a couple people heard about the papers," says the DNC staffer. "I've heard that they ended up with the Kerry campaign, for them to decide to how to proceed, and presumably they were handed over to 60 Minutes, which used them the other night. But I know this much. When there was discussion here, there were doubts raised about their authenticity."
the daily recycler
If this is true Kerry and his campaign are up to their eyeballs in slime. There is simply no way of getting in front of a story about passing forged documents along to 60 Minutes. Done, toast, fat lady has had her aria.

9/10/2004

Lileks

In retrospect, TV looks like a big smothering quilt: it killed the afternoon papers, forced the survivors to consolidate; it reshaped the news cycle to fit its needs, shifted the emphasis to the visual. It fed off the Times and the Post and other surviving papers, which had institutionalized the Watergate and Vietnam templates as the means by which we understand events. The old-line media, like its Boomer components, got old, and like the Boomers, it preferred self-congratulation to self-reflection. And so the Internet had it for lunch, because the Internet does not have to schedule 17 meetings to develop a strategy for impactfully maximizing brand leverage in emerging markets; the Internet does not have to worry about how a decision will affect one’s management trajectory; the Internet smells blood and leaps, and that has turned the game around, for better or worse.
the bleat

Bye Dan

In an interview on Friday, Mr. Rather said: "CBS News stands by, and I stand by, the thoroughness and accuracy of this report, period. Our story is true."

On television later, he depicted questions about the veracity of the report as a counterattack coming in part from "partisan political operatives."
nyt
Dan Rather has now nailed his reputation to the "throughness and accuracy" of the forged memos report.

I'm late to the party but Wretchard at Belmont Club has pretty much nailed the CBS strategy,
When caught in an ambush the first two rules are to exit the kill zone and lay down a curtain of return fire so you can make your getaway. Both the Rather interview and the CBS Press Release suggest that the network is trying to move the controversy onto broader grounds.
belmont club
He goes on to point out the key thing about the internet swarm,
The one factor remaining outside CBS's control is the asymmetrical configuration of its opponents. Baldly put, any Internet source can afford to be discredited by CBS but not vice versa. One leaker and 60 Minutes is in the kill zone all over again.
belmont club
The asymmetry is what CBS cannot compete with. A bunch of guys in their pajamas, to quote Jonathan Klein via Instapundit are more than able to network, concentrate fire and disperse. There are no meetings in the blogosphere, no PR guys, no jobs at stake. Stuff gets written, linked, propped or dumped on. The guy in his PJ's doesn't care. He's having fun and, in the case of Powerline and Little Green Footballs, changing the course of an election and making a fool of a 6 million dollar a year anchor.
While Rather is trying to explain why the fact he aired forged documents demonstates "throughness and accuracy" I suspect the next trope up on the PoMo left will be that the forged documents are actually part of a "narrative". That is something which, while not strictly speaking true, reflects the bigger, real, truth. Sort of like F9/11.

Colby on Blogs v. 60 Minutes

This, I guess, explains just why traditional print and electronic journalists sometimes speak of the Internet as a large, frightening, amorphous, destructive force. Considering that the most respected journalistic entity in the world has been revealed at this hour to be sky-high on goofballs, it also explains why anyone who attempts to defend the exclusive privileges of "traditional media" is eligible for physical annihilation on the grounds of incurable virulent idiocy. Sorry: I know you've heard this before--there's even a lame term of art for it ("blogger triumphalism"). But I have, if you'll forgive me for pointing it out, blundered into a forefront-ish position in Internet journalism as practiced in a G7 country. And this 60 Minutes business is still making me go "Holy shit."
colby cosh

CBS, Forgery and John Kerry

I just finished an article on the forgery scandal brewing in the US. A couple of points.

First, it took less than 24 hours for the blogosphere to destroy the credibility of CBS on this issue and to seriously challenge it on all issues going to the American Presidential election. This is a sea change and a huge wakeup call to major media. Get your facts right or you will be swarmed and devoured.

Second, this is only the beginning. If the fact of the forgery is accepted, and there is a diminishingly small chance it won't be given that the Washington Post is featuring the story on its front page today, then the questions really start to pile up.

They go in two directions: first, who created the forgery and why, second, how could CBS have been this gulible?

The answer to the second question is keeping the folks at CBS up according to the Drudge Report,
"The reputation and integrity of the entire news division is at stake, if we are in error, it will be corrected," a top CBS source explained late Thursday.

drudge report
CBS is claiming it had the documents for six weeks during which they were examined by "experts". It took Charles Johnson at LittleGreenFootballs less than twelve hours to figure out that the letters in the purported memos were kerned. The best typewritter on the planet could not kern text in 1972. Which the CBS experts should have known.

Who uttered the forgeries? At the moment we have no idea; but that should be a matter of internal investigation at CBS and full public disclosure. There is no rubish about protecting a source here - where ever CBS got the documents is a matter of keen public interest. (It would be too delightful if it was from a know Democratic operative...but likely it won't be.)

for several news cycles Kerry is going to be screwed. He is also pretty much denied any serious opportunity to question Bush's service as this will simply bring up the question of the forgeries.

Kerry was in losing mode before this happened; now it is just a matter of how badly.

9/09/2004

Sully spins

Born again Bush hater Andrew Sullivan is caught a bit short on the brewing memo scandal,
When I said that the Killian memos were "devastating" to Bush, I should have been clearer. I didn't mean devastating to his re-election prospects. They're a blip on the radar screen of the campaign. Just devastating to the idea that he never got special treatment because of his privileged background during the Vietnam war. Of course he did. And a lot of other people did too. Bush still did a hefty stint of service - certainly heftier than, say, Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney or John Ashcroft. And now the forgery theory seems to be gaining momentum, thanks to Drudge. I have no expertise in these matters, as I've already said. But if they are forgeries and the forgers are in any way connected to the Kerry campaign, then they really could be devastating to Kerry's campaign. But I don't know. My gut tells me they're probably genuine; and if they were forgeries, I don't see why the White House would also send them out. But we'll see, won't we?
andrew sullivan
In fact, the memos were more about encouraging the Kerry supporters than delivering a mortal wound to Bush. But the eagerness with which the Left embraced the memos will leave a filthy taste in their mouths.

While it would be delightful if the forger is connected to the Kerry campaign it is more than a little unlikely. However, every time Kerry or one of his cats paws tries to shoot at the Swift Boat vets this is going to come up and kick'em in the ass.

Kerry's toast.

So is CBS.

Johnny Cambodia Finished

The desperation of the Democrats and their friend in the media is showing. 60 Minutes ran a story on Bushes National Guard service which relied on a series of memos. The New York times and the boston Globe picked the memos up as well.

There is a growing body of evidence and analysis which suggest the memos were forged. The best summary is at PowerLine.

Which raises the question - if these are forgeries who made them? A desperate Kerry campaign? Not likely. The forgeries are too crude and the downside too large. The more likely culprit would be a dedicated Kerry supporter working on his or her own and saving the nation from Bush.

Nothing in this can be good for Kerry. If the documents are forgeries then Kerry has to get on to the task of denouncing them. But the mud will still stick and he will be spending a dozen news cycles on forged documents rather than whatever position he has on Iraq that day or "the Department of Wellness".

Meanwhile, the American Spectator notes a completely unscientific online poll at AOL involving 322,000 respondents with these results: “41% predicted Bush wins easily; 29% said "Bush wins tight race." By contrast, only 26% said "Kerry wins tight race," and a pitiful 4% noted "Kerry wins easily." If Kerry begins to look like a loser there is nothing at all positive to hold the more leftish voters aboard the sinking windsurfer.

Naomi Gets Close

One of the doubtful pleasures in life is reading Naomi Klein and seeing how close she gets to right before veering off to the lefty world of blaming America and Israel. Today in the Globe and Mail she does rather well noting that the Russians are now looking at taking the anti terror war to the terrorists. She realizes that the doctorine of pre-emption is, in fact, an idea which began in Israel. (Which, in Ms. Klein's books makes it automatically suspect.) And she realizes she has very little she can say to critize that idea in the face of the dead school children.

Happily for Naomi, in the last few grafs she is able to rescue her piece from any semblance of sense by appealing to the lefty standby, root causes,
There has, indeed, been a dramatic and dangerous rise in religious fundamentalism in the Muslim world. The problem is that, under the Likud doctrine, there is no space to ask why this is happening. We are not allowed to point out that fundamentalism breeds in failed states, where warfare has systematically targeted civilian infrastructure, allowing the mosques to start taking responsibility for everything from education to garbage collection. It has happened in Gaza, in Grozny, in Sadr City.
globe and mail
Delightfully Ms. Klein in these few sentences manages to entirely ignore the fact that Al Qaeda was invented in Saudi Arabia which, while not a pleasant place, is hardly a failed state. She ignores the fact that many of the Islamic terrorists are from middle to upper class families.

Terrorism is not a last ditch response from people on the edge (that would be the street demonstations and kidnappings in Gaza directed against the Troll of Ramallah tm and his corrupt henchmen by Gazerens utterly fed up with the complete corruption of the Palestinian Authority). Rather it is the creation of middle and upper class intellectuals with the leisure and the resources to plan the slaughter of innocents.

9/08/2004

Pre-emption - not just America

It looks like the Russians are signing on to the Bush doctorine:
"As for launching pre-emptive strikes on terrorist bases, we will carry out all measures to liquidate terrorist bases in any region of the world," said General Yuri Baluevsky, chief of Russia's general staff.
abc news
Now if the Russians are willing to work with the Americans, the British and the Israelis, there is every chance that a coalition of the hardened will up the stakes for terrorists.

9/07/2004

Fat Bastard Watch

Michael Moore is not submitting his film 'Fahrenheit 9/11' for consideration in the best documentary category at next year's Oscars.

The Hollywood Reporter says that in a statement, the Oscar-winning director of 'Bowling for Columbine' explained: "I made the decision not to submit my film for best documentary because, as I told my film crew, let's let someone else have that Oscar. We already have a Best Documentary Oscar."

It is reported that Moore wants 'Fahrenheit 9/11' to compete for the Best Picture Award; if nominated, it would be the first time a non-fiction film had made the shortlist.
rte.ie
Likely because documentaries should be, er, true.

9/06/2004

Canada's Gift to America

Go read Mark Steyn here. He lights the vanity candidate's straw boat on fire and sends it drifting to Cambodia...
At any rate, less than 60 minutes after President Bush gave a sober, graceful, droll and moving address, Kerry decided to hit back. In the midnight hour, he climbed out of his political coffin, and before his thousands of aides could grab the garlic from Teresa's kitchen and start waving it at him, he found himself in front of an audience and started giving a speech. As in Vietnam, he was in no mood to take prisoners: ''I have five words for Americans,'' he thundered. ''This is your wake up call!''