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« William Gibson, Call Your Office | Main | Ummmm...OK »

Still Crazy After All These Years

Or at least after one year. And maybe it isn't crazy--just, mentally challenged. Mary Mapes still doesn't get it:

Within a few minutes, I was online visiting Web sites I had never heard of before: Free Republic, Little Green Footballs, Power Line.

This is the first hint of her cluelessness. The fact that she'd never heard of these sites before shows how insulated she was. Free Republic has been around for many years now, and was instrumental in bringing out many of the Clinton scandals. It's one thing to say (as I'd expect a hard-core Democrat to) that they have no credibility, but to claim ignorance of their very existence?

They were hard-core, politically angry, hyperconservative sites loaded with vitriol about Dan Rather and CBS.

Contemplate the possibility, Mary, at least for a moment, that said vitriol was justified and prompted by your vicious partisan hit pieces and shoddy journalism.

Our work was being compared to that of Jayson Blair, the discredited New York Times reporter who had fabricated and plagiarized stories.

Hey, this isn't fair. At least Jayson Blair didn't fabricate actual evidence. And of course, given that they're "hard-core, politically angry, hyperconservatives," there's no need to pay any attention to what they say, right, even if they are smart lawyers, and that in the case of Charles Johnson, proprieter of Little Green Footballs and web site designer, he has forgotten more about typography than Mary is ever likely to learn or (on the available evidence) be able to comprehend?

All these Web sites had extensive write-ups on the documents: on typeface, font style, and peripheral spacing,

"Peripheral spacing"? I think that she means proportional spacing. This demonstrates again, just how little she has learned from this experience, when she doesn't even seem to possess the reasoning skills to understand the arguments against her.

...material that seemed to spring up overnight. It was phenomenal. It had taken our analysts hours of careful work to make comparisons. It seemed that these analysts or commentators---or whatever they were---were coming up with long treatises in minutes. They were all linking to one another, creating an echo chamber of outraged agreement.

Maybe because they had facts and logic on their side?

I was told that the first posting claiming the documents were fakes had gone up on Free Republic before our broadcast was even off the air! How had the Web site even gotten copies of the documents? We hadn’t put them online until later. That first entry, posted by a longtime Republican political activist lawyer who used the name “Buckhead,” set the tone for what was to come.

And I was told that Mary Mapes is incapable of comprehending the distinction between Eastern Time, when the show was first broadcast, and Pacific Time, three hours earlier, when the first posting appeared on Free Republic (during the show)!

I think there's a lot more basis for what I "was told," than for what Mary was told. Of course, she could be carefully parsing. It may be that she knows that the Free Republic posting didn't occur until after the show aired, and is just trying to establish a conspiracy theory for those dumber than her, using the circumlocution "I was told," rather than stating it as simple fact. It seems implausible, though, because it's frightening to contemplate someone dumber than her.

There was no analysis of what the documents actually said, no work done to look at the content, no comparison with the official record, no phone calls made to check the facts of the story...

Well, she's finally admitting it.

Oh, wait! She's talking about the bloggers! My irony meter just shattered the glass, and bent its needle into a pretzel.

...nothing beyond a cursory and politically motivated examination of the typeface. That was all they had to attack, but that was enough.

Well, some of them (unlike you, apparently) were smart enough to call the fax number on the memo, and determine that it came from a Kinko's in Texas. And though there was in fact analysis of what the documents actually said, which also helped torpedo them, it was in fact enough, Mary. It's hard (perhaps impossible) to prove that a document is authentic, but it only takes one solid strike against its validity to show it to be inauthentic. And the fact that you still don't understand that, or understand basic logic at all, is why you are now out of a job, and should never have had that job to begin with.

This isn't merely "stuck on stupid." This is turned all the way up to eleven on stupid.

Gee, I feel another satire coming on, to celebrate the anniversary.

Posted by Rand Simberg at September 27, 2005 07:52 AM
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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference this post from Transterrestrial Musings.
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Its not just a river in Egypt....

Posted by Randall at September 27, 2005 08:10 AM

There can be no truth in forged documents.

Posted by Pete at September 27, 2005 08:11 AM

What is REALLY scary is that she is not alone in her ignorance. Newsrooms all across America are populated with Mary Mapes clones.

Posted by John at September 27, 2005 08:12 AM

I find her comments to be absolutely flabbergasting. My god! It appears that the MSM just can't throw away its credibility fast enough.

What I find particularly galling is the fact that she is NOT a stupid woman. This is nothing more than a series of lies, smears and innuendo. Her "ignorance" is feigned. She uses weasel words like "I was told" to cover allegations that are nothing but lies.

I find it downright scary that people like this exist in positions of power, and have the ability to shape public opinion.

You know what is even worse? She will now spend hours and hours on the talk show circuit peddling these deceptions and never once get challenged. It is disgusting.

Posted by godfodder at September 27, 2005 08:26 AM

Just makes you want to bang your head against the wall, doesn't it? I think I should bang out a few Egyptian Hieroglyphics on Word and submit them to prominent archaeologists, demanding that these experts evaluate them based on "the content", and never mind the Times New Roman typeface. But better yet, I'll do what I can to help get Mapes back on her feet. I'l send her the new Dead Sea scrolls that I've just 'found' that make frequent use of the words "just kidding" (albeit once again in Times New Roman 12-point). But I'll say that they're actually thousands of years old, and that's what matters. Should be quite the story. Stay tuned...

Posted by Peter at September 27, 2005 08:30 AM

Well, it makes me want to bang somebody's head against the wall, and hope you can knock some sense into it.

Posted by Rand Simberg at September 27, 2005 08:40 AM

Mary Mopes because the world has passed her by.

Posted by M. Simon at September 27, 2005 08:42 AM

My father lives next door to Mary Mapes and they are pretty good friends--the occasional dinner together, parties etc.

He's always trying to stick up for her and play it like she was "duped". He does this because his Bush hatred (like hers) has sapped his ability to view political events from any perspective but the most reactionary and partisan. Logic and facts went out the door long ago. I'm sure we all have experienced something unfortunate like this from our loved ones over the course of the last five years.

Whenever her role in peddling the forged CBS documents comes up, I make sure to correct him, and state emphatically that Mary was not duped at all, but probably knows who created the fake documents, if in fact she did not create them herself. I also would love to know what role (and there WAS a definite role) the Democratic party and Joe Lockhart played in the whole thing.

She knew EXACTLY what she was doing, and her actions in the scandal very likely constitute a federal felony, and at the very least MUST be viewed (in light of the facts) as deeply subversive, in that she attempted to change the outcome of a presidential election using lies and forgeries spread via her MSM megaphone. The fact that she now continues the deception, when the documents have been universally discredited, should (in a fair and balanced world) make her an object of derision and scorn in the media. But of course it won't--her inevitable interviews with Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer will frame the issue in the same he-said she-said manner that the MSM congenitally cannot get beyond.

I believe the President could sue Mary for defamation and win, as her actions in continuing to peddle this lie most certainly constitute "actual malice" so as to defeat a public figure defense.

By this point in the discussion, my dad's eyes are usually glazed over. As they say, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

Posted by Kustie the Klown at September 27, 2005 08:44 AM

Isn't what's happening here obvious? She is surrounded by people who agree with her and feed her delusions.

Face it, the Mainstream Media is really the Mary Mapes Media, and they have a sharp and bloody ax to grind.

Posted by TallDave at September 27, 2005 08:45 AM

Absolutely incredible, that reasoning! Who cares if anyone analyzed the contents of the memo, since it was proven to be a fraud? How could any sensible person accept the "facts" of a fraudulent memo? Oh, wait...

Posted by RebeccaH at September 27, 2005 08:55 AM

If you look up the "Big Lie" on wikipedia, you'd see that Mary is following its dictates perfectly. When you tell a lie, you must tell a big lie, a garndmaster of lies, rather than a little lie. Based upon the assumption that while people may doubt you on a little lie, they will not doubt you on a big die since they assume nobody would be that audacious to lie that big and to distort truth that much, let alone continue doing so after it has been challenged.

Which brings up the other point, not only do you have to lie BIG, but you have to keep on doing it, to the point where it might make you look ridiculous, on the basis that if people see you keep doing it, they will believe that you believe it to be correct.

The Left's propaganda techniques are so out of date, it is plain ridiculous.

Posted by Ymarsakar at September 27, 2005 09:02 AM

Charles Johnson might be amused to hear that LGF is a "hyperconservative site".

Posted by pst314 at September 27, 2005 09:07 AM

The MSM just doesn't get it. They are not in control of the information and the spin any more. We are, the consumers of all the info that is on the WEB.

Posted by A Smith at September 27, 2005 09:13 AM

So now we know: it was sheer stupidity, not arrogance, that allowed Mapes to be so easily fooled.
She's been fired, Dan's been ditched, but there is still one open sore that won't heal. How could that "commisssion" that C-BS hired to look into the matter not be able to conclude that they were forgeries? You can re-create perfect duplicates on your own computer simply by putting Micrsoft Word to its default settings and beginning to type as someone reads the documents to you. You do not even have to be able to SEE the originals to forge them PERFECTLY! You do not even have to be told where to put the line breaks; Word will do that for you. And yet, the commision couldn't be sure they were forged. One must wonder whether they are sure that the sun rose in the east this morning.

Posted by Jim O'Sullivan at September 27, 2005 09:15 AM

The most telling sentence in the extract is the third:

"We had worked under tremendous pressure because of the short time frame and the explosive content, but we’d made our deadline and, most important, we’d made news."

"...we'd made news." Subjects make the news, Mary. News organizations report the news. Or at least they used to.

This illustrates Rather's and Mapes' desire not to find and tell facts and truths, but to become a news story unto themselves. Well, they have indeed become a story, an old, shattered story.

Another telling detail is that she states that she was under pressure "because of the short time frame" when in the seventh paragraph she writes that "Getting Barnes to say yes had taken five years and I thought his interview was a home run." Some short time frame that is. Even now, a year after her meltdown, she's unable to get her story straight. No wonder she's out of a job.

Posted by Daniel Berczik at September 27, 2005 09:24 AM

But look at the content! It's so damning, so in keeping with what everyone knows to be true, that it must be true! Trust your hearts, people! Nazi-geeks be damned!


Posted by Mark Poling at September 27, 2005 09:31 AM

As Mapes too well illustrates, those that live on lies can never know the truth.

Posted by czekmark at September 27, 2005 09:38 AM

Mapes appears to be incredulous at the thought that conservatives may possess more brainpower than the entire research staff at CBS. How else to explain the insinuation Free Republic and others were busy deconstructing the CBS memo before it was aired? How else to explain the fact that such people are (as she says) "hyperconservative and angry?"

However that may be, those "irrational" conservatives got it right. Mapes and CBS got it wrong. Until liberals learn that reason counts for something, and that not everything is merely a matter of political "perspective," they will continue to discredit themselves and the news organisations they work for.

Posted by Nine at September 27, 2005 09:40 AM

"I was told that the first posting claiming the documents were fakes had gone up on Free Republic before our broadcast was even off the air! "

I could quasi-understand someone saying this in the immediate aftermath of the events.

But to write it a year later in a book without researching whether or not it is actually TRUE is an embarrasment for a person with the credibility of...never mind.

Posted by DennisBoz at September 27, 2005 09:45 AM

Gee, still no mention of her tools of the trade.

Posted by Korla Pundit at September 27, 2005 10:01 AM

"...we'd made news."

Whoops! That publisher needs to hire better proofreaders. It should be:

"...we'd made up news."

Posted by Jim Treacher at September 27, 2005 10:02 AM

I spent 15-years as a TV news producer. The kind of blindness Mapes is showing is all too typical. Many, many times I saw reporters or producers assume the facts of a story before gathering any information, then be completely blind to any facts turned up that were counter to their assumptions.

It's not liberalism - I saw the same thing from news people who were Reagan supporters. It's a blindness that I have never seen outside a newsroom, and when I encountered it, I was always astounded.

Posted by Juan at September 27, 2005 10:02 AM

It seems that Mary is as stuck on stupid as a limpet on a smooth stone.

Posted by BlogDog at September 27, 2005 10:11 AM

Well said, Juan. I'm a working journo at a major newspaper, and I see it all the time. A lot of what people consider media bias isn't that at all. It's what happens when some reporter or editor gets a bee in his bonnet, decides in advance what the story is, and insists on squeezing it into the mold, facts be damned. It's as much about tunnel vision as bias--maybe more.

Posted by jes ' me at September 27, 2005 10:21 AM

Juan's post reminds me of something radio talker Dennis Prager has said many times on his show: Everybody has an agenda, unfortunately the truth is not part of that agenda for most people.

Seems to fit well for a lot of political types, left or right.

Posted by RandMan at September 27, 2005 10:23 AM

" There was no analysis of what the documents actually said, no work done to look at the content, no comparison with the official record, no phone calls made to check the facts of the story...

Well, she's finally admitting it.

Oh, wait! She's talking about the bloggers! My irony meter just shattered the glass, and bent its needle into a pretzel."

Ooooof. That's gonna leave a mark.

Posted by N. O'Brain at September 27, 2005 10:23 AM

The tremendous pressure, short time frame, and explosive content, all were only relevent because of the looming election and Mapes desire to influence it.

Posted by nobody important at September 27, 2005 10:31 AM

Mapes is dogged in her attempt to defend her creation. She clearly followed her own agenda driven by myriad reasons. Foremost, her hatred of President Bush and her desire for personal glory. Her own words are telling indeed: "We made news."

Mapes desire for "Deep-Throat" notoriety, a dubious goal by any light, has been quashed. The 'serpent/story' she lustily serviced fell flacid after premature-ejaculation. Un-vetted, Mapes swallowed when she should have spit.

Posted by Jack Baer at September 27, 2005 10:36 AM

Mapes problem is the same as Rather's - she simply doesn't understand her job. And like most liberals, she apparently thinks that 'effort' means more than 'results'.

Therefore, she feels that that all the 'important journalistic things' like making phone calls and comparing things to the 'official record' is more important than doing the one thing she should have - verify the documents accuracy.

It reminds me of the early idiots on the show Survivor, who thought their job was to catch fish and work hard in camp, rather than figure out how not to get voted off.

Posted by Evan at September 27, 2005 10:42 AM

Publisher? St. Martin's Press? There goes their credibility. Perhaps they are looking for the blogosphere to edit it for Mary.

So far she's 385,556 in Books. Looks like this free publicity is not helping sales

Posted by Mrs. Davis at September 27, 2005 10:57 AM

"nothing beyond a cursory and politically motivated examination of the typeface. That was all they had to attack, but that was enough."

If I wrote a letter on copier paper in ballpoint pen and claimed it was from Leonardo da Vinci, would you spend a lot of time parsing through my Italian grammar before you figured it was a hoax?

"But he's writing about the Mona Lisa! You gotta see this! It's NEWS!" Oh, brother.

Posted by Baba Tutu at September 27, 2005 11:13 AM

It took me all of 90 seconds to find the Free Republic thread with Buckhead's post:

She and her brethren are so pathetically anachronistic that I'd feel embarassed for them if they weren't so dangerous. They're oblivious to the new world of information and incapable of using the tools to access it.

Posted by Itaintwhy at September 27, 2005 11:14 AM

The amazing thing about all of this to me is that someone actually *paid* her to write this in a book, and now is spending money to publicize the book. I mean, this is down right embrassing...

Posted by Wales at September 27, 2005 11:20 AM

I think Daniel Berczik pulls out the money quote. Any reporter that claims they "made news" is not a reporter. They are a fabricator.

Here's a question for the Columbia School of Journalism: What skill is necessary to make news?

Posted by Leland at September 27, 2005 11:33 AM

There was no analysis of what the documents actually said, no work done to look at the content, no comparison with the official record, no phone calls made to check the facts of the story...

I can't believe she's still stuck on "Fake but accurate".

Posted by Veeshir at September 27, 2005 11:33 AM

There were plenty of errors in the content too. They were uncovered by bloggers and their contributors.

The Colonel supposedly applying the pressure had retired 14 months earlier.

The due date for the physical was on a Sunday and not on the correct date for TANG procedures (I think it was supposed to be by his birthday or service anniversary - can't remember which).

The terminology was wrong - former TANG members caught that. Also the format didn't match a memo to file. The CYA title looked pretty bogus too.

There was more than the typeface about the letter's presentation. It had perfectly centered headings - nearly impossible with a proportional font on a manual typewriter.

The characters showed kerning, that a lowercase "y" could overlap the preceding character - also not a manual typewriter function.

Also the margins and word-breaks just happened to match the MS Word defaults.

Posted by Paul at September 27, 2005 11:45 AM

Juan and Jes'me:

Not being sarcastic, I really want to know from people who were/are "inside":

If it's not bias, why does it virtually always go in the same political direction? I think it has to be more than "tunnel vision," though I'm sure it's not simple "left-right."

Posted by Merovign at September 27, 2005 12:02 PM

"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Posted by Rick at September 27, 2005 12:02 PM

Still not comprehending that if there actually were substance to the underlying story, then it wouldn't have ever been necessary to cook up fake documents to prove that substance.

These people (Mapes and Rather) should be crawling away out of the harshness of the public light --or at the very least be doing their best to avoid discussing this story-- and the fact that they aren't speaks volumes about their obliviousness to how badly they botched it.

Posted by jaybird at September 27, 2005 12:18 PM

This is why main stream media will never acknowledge the power of the bloggers. Bloggers brought down a media icon, Dan Rathers. Never before had someone outside the ivory towers of the “fifth estate” not only questioned the source, but those who were to verify the source. Dan Rathers took the fall but the whole media world was shaken to the core. The media felt this was a one-time lucky shot, but it was quickly followed by the resignation of CNN’s Eason Jordan. Jordan was challenged by bloggers to prove his statement that the US Military in Iraq was deliberately targeting journalists. This can’t be!! A media icon and a network news chief forced to resign by [hmff] bloggers.

Which is why I prefer to read blogs over the regular media to see what is _really_ going on in the world.

Posted by Mike at September 27, 2005 12:19 PM

Sixty minutes was always attack journalism. It prided itself in being tough but its specialty was embarassing the object of its attacks without ever placing their stories in an honest context.

They got caught this time attacking the president but their were plenty of victims along the way. If attack journalism gets sacked I say good riddance.

Posted by Jonathan Cohen at September 27, 2005 12:58 PM

I love the comment about "there was no analysis of what the documents actually said." That's right. And there was no attempt to determine how the new information in the Hitler Diaries impacted our views of the second world war, once we saw that they were written with still-wet Sharpie. If I painted a Cubist painting and signed it "Leonard O. Davinci," there'd be no need to rewrite all of art history to reflect the invention of modern art in the 1500s, either. If I Photoshopped a 60-foot slug into NASA pictures of Neil Armstrong, there'd be no need to mobilize the Air Force to repel the giant slug invasion. There is no need to consider on any level the content of FAKES, except insofar as it gives some insight into the fakers' motives. Which every word you say does, Mary.

Posted by Mike G at September 27, 2005 01:04 PM

The most damning evidence in my opinion was the acronym OETR, BECAUSE THERE'S NO SUCH THING. Had Mapes looked at Bush's official records she should have known that it's an OER.

Posted by JFH at September 27, 2005 01:11 PM

Looks like someone is still "stuck on stupid"

Posted by Gabriel Chapman at September 27, 2005 01:48 PM

Apparently, Mary Mapes rode the short bus to J-School.

Posted by TNugent at September 27, 2005 02:20 PM

It really is time for the public to start looking at the media as a leftwing political movement. It is simply beyond comprehension that they can get away with their lies and hypocrisy, even as they prostitute themselves as barers of the truth.

Posted by MisterPundit at September 27, 2005 02:34 PM

Another telling detail is that she states that she was under pressure "because of the short time frame" when in the seventh paragraph she writes that "Getting Barnes to say yes had taken five years and I thought his interview was a home run." Some short time frame that is. Even now, a year after her meltdown, she's unable to get her story straight. No wonder she's out of a job.

By "short time frame", she means before the election. Tells you all you need to know about her motivation.

Posted by Tongueboy at September 27, 2005 02:50 PM

"Fake but accurate" has become the mantra the Fourth Estate hides behind to justify its shoddy journalism. Clearly Dan Rather can't reconcile himself to the fact that he was hoodwinked and the reason he was hoodwinked was because the fraudulent TANG memos feed right into his own hate-Bush bias.

It has long been my contention that the Fourth Estate is attempting to become the Fourth Branch of government by becoming a Fifth Column of left-wing ideologues. Even their reprehensible and biased coverage of the Katrina natural disaster is just one more example of their self-righteous hubris in trying to promote their left-wing agenda.

I'm almost tempted to believe what Rush Limbaugh maintains: The lamestream media has become the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party.

Posted by Hankmeister © at September 27, 2005 03:10 PM

It's over Rather you idiot. Nothing good from your evil little mind. Burn in hell with Cronkite who lied about the Tet Offesive in Nam and 100's of good people who died.

One cannot defend Nixon, but I wonder what would of happened to him if these was no monopoly by these morons in the 70's.

Posted by rick nocket at September 27, 2005 03:11 PM

And the worst part of it all is the country is still without a definitive account of the President's lack of service in the Texas ANG. No one but him is claiming that he actually showed up for duty in the latter part of 1973, or that he fulfilled his obligations otherwise. The document forgery that CBS fell for has discredited the line of questioning.

Posted by at September 27, 2005 03:55 PM

How could that "commisssion" that C-BS hired to look into the matter not be able to conclude that they were forgeries?

To be fair to the typography expert, he did conclude that the document was most likely created on a modern word processor and could not have been created on any equipment reasonably available to a TANG fighter squadron of that era. He was prevented from declaring the documents a forgery because of the fact that CBS could not produce the documents. He was restricted to analyzing a facsimile of a multiple generation copy of an alleged document. From an expert's perspective, CBS never had any document to make the assertion from in the first place, which is very damning in itself.

The Old Media can never admit to the fact that partisan whispering and editorial opinion is presented as cannon every time they go to air.

Posted by Cylinder at September 27, 2005 04:08 PM

Hankmeister - you think Blather was "hoodwinked" rather than being in the middle of the forgery?

Awwwww, that's sweet. Naive, but sweet. ;-p

Anonymous coward who wrote about "President's lack of service in the Texas ANG": Still whining one about the left's "fake but accurate" claims?

Tell you what - when Kerry authorizes the Navy to release a copy of his ORIGINAL discharge papers (not the coverup Jimmuh Cahter gave with his "amnesty" get-out-of-jail-free card, but the ORIGINAL papers), then I'll start getting exercised about Bush's service. Kerry will never do it though - he doesn't want it publicly proven he was given a dishonorable discharge for his traitorous anti-war activities in the early 1970's. Traitorous activities which I remember.

Posted by Barbara Skolaut at September 27, 2005 04:10 PM

Someone already mentioned this at LGF, but I'll repeat it because it is a brilliant observation. How does someone do a "politically motivated examination of the typeface."??

For a lib like Mapes everything is political. Should all of Mapes'"work" be exempt from examination? Wasn't Mapes'pursuit of this non-story politically motivated? Oh, I forgot Mapes stated that she has no political bias even though she derisively labels others as "hyperconservative."

Posted by azul93gt at September 27, 2005 05:05 PM

I am patiently awaiting for someone to make a movie about bloggers in pjs who discover the "emporer had no clothes". This would make a great investigative movie, in the spirit of 'All The President's Men'. No wait, we can't have people who are doing wrong (debucking the story) as heroes.

Posted by NeoCon at September 27, 2005 07:36 PM

Mapes also seems to forget that tow other experts consulted by CBS told them that there were problems with the documents and that the document expert (Marcells?) would only state that the seem authentic but even at that he still could not certify the authenticity. (all this prior to the broadcast)

Posted by joe kosanda at September 27, 2005 07:44 PM

And the worst part of it all is the country is still without a definitive account of the President's lack of service in the Texas ANG. --sez somebody who doesn't give a name.

No, the worst (and at the same time funniest) part is that that poster and many others still do not have a clue, or even hint of a clue, about the subject.

The function of the "Bush AWOL" story has always been clear. The military likes Bush; the Left badly, badly needs a way to counteract that -- there are a lot of military and ex-military around, and Democrats can't always depend on being able to disqualify their ballots. The idea here, and a major reason for nominating John "Lucky Hat" Kerry, was to show that Bush was a bad military guy and the Democrats were putting up a war hero. This was supposed to cause the military to look at Bush and the story, go "Oh, Yecch!" and vote for John-boy.

Here's the fact, folks: If you were to absolutely prove that Bush didn't properly finish his ANG service, it would not make a damn bit of difference in my assessment of his character. In the first place, I was there at the time (not in Bush's unit, but around, awake, and interested) so I know the context; in the second place, one of the main points in Bush's life narrative is that he figured out that he hadn't been a responsible adult as a young man, and he worked to change that. Nor would it make a significant change in the military's assessment of Bush's appreciation of and ability to use the military. And the Junior Senator from Assachusetts would still be a self-serving, egotistical asshat whose shorthanded first CO approved the first application for transfer he got as quickly as he could.

You've been knocking yourselves out, to the point of compromising yourself perhaps beyond redemption, to establish something that won't make a fart in New Orleans to anybody who actually knows anything about the subject. The name for that is "obsession". It can be treated. You should look into that.

And something occurred to me not long ago: Suppose Carl Rove was really the evil genius he's painted as. The usual "punishment" for failure to complete a National Guard obligation is pulling the violator's Honorable Discharge and issuing a General, but the violator can petition for a chance to complete the obligation -- and in cases where the violator is young enough, and the violation appears to be due to oversight or some innocuous motive, that petition may be granted.

So -- when this first came up, Bush was still young enough to finish before he was 60 (I think that's the criterion; it may have changed.) Suppose he'd made a few phone calls and found a sympathetic Air National Guard commander (you don't think such exist? Ha.) Then he announces, mea culpa, I screwed up, and I'm gonna have to make up for that -- and Lt. Bush reports for duty during his August vacation.

If he could pass the physical (well, weren't the Left just moonbatting about that?) the ANG could logically assign him for refresher training -- and there's an outside chance that that could lead to photos of a grinning George Bush taxiing in, canopy up, having become the first sitting President to pilot a supersonic fighter plane. Wouldn't that have been a fine D.C. al coda to the whole story?


Posted by Ric Locke at September 27, 2005 08:05 PM

Rush played excerpts from Marvin Kalb's interview with Dan Rather. Kalb said the first posting was on the Free Republic website, then the story went from there to the Buckhead website, then the typeface became the issue and everyone ignored the substance of the story.

I've told my wife, that if I ever become this detached from reality, she has my permission to shoot me or send my resume to CBS News or George Washingtion University, where I could live the rest of my life in a cushy fantasy world.

Note to self: Hide the Glock.

Posted by Jabba the Tutt at September 27, 2005 08:19 PM

Regarding the President's last year in the TANG: His contract said he needed to accumulate 50 points a year. In the first half of that year he had 53. He did not have to even show up the rest of the year so his early departure saved him no service. This has been investigated to death and there's nothing there.

Some people have pieced together the end of one year and beginning of the next to say he missed his obligation. It's simply not true. He earned more than 50 points every year. Period. BTW, his service anniversary was July, not January.

I can't believe we still have to listen to this crap from people who told us to "move on" when President Clinton was found to have committed perjury and obstruction of justice. These moonbats can't let go of something the didn't happen 30+ years ago. This producer was obsessed - spending five years on a story hundreds of others had picked over and found empty. She needs psychiatric help. So does "Denial Dan". His new standard is: "It's true even if the only evidence we have is forged. We just know it's true."

Posted by Paul at September 27, 2005 09:05 PM

'There was no analysis of what the documents actually said, no work done to look at the content'

Because they were f%$&ing forgeries, dumbass!

Posted by ICallMasICM at September 28, 2005 05:42 AM

I'm struck by how Mapes completely fails to understand how many really smart, well-educated, hardworking, and highly motivated people we have out here on the internet. Hence her surprise (disbelief) at how quickly her forgeries were proven to be dismantled.

It's actually easier for her to believe in a conspiracy than it is for her to give up her apparent belief that people are just stupid sheep.

Posted by Bostonian at September 28, 2005 05:47 AM

Mary's problem is that the storyline was already written. The outline and conclusion for the 60 Minute segement was already in place. Her job was to find filler for the outline, not prove or disprove the conclusion. So by attacking the structure of the fake memos, bloogers missed the point of her efforts: the need to fill airtime minutes with "stuff". The conclusion of the story was never in doubt.

This is how entertaining TV is created. Ending creates Story, drives Filler. Enjoy.

Posted by john2 at September 28, 2005 06:49 AM


Yeah, I didn't get that from the context (re: short time frame) and it still isn't very clear, but I can see that you're probably right about that.

I'll add this (as no one has had the courage to mention it): What did Kitty Carlisle know, and when did she know it?

Posted by Daniel Berczik at September 28, 2005 07:14 AM

The thing people still don't get about Bush's war service or lack (I happened to think he served honorably in one of the branches where lots of people found ways to serve honorably without getting shot at, which no more makes him a coward than my father-in-law was for being a B-17 mechanic rather than a B-17 pilot in WWII) is...


Whatever you think of its relevance in 2000, by 2004 no one cares about anything except the things he has done in office. It's really that simple. Presidents are judged by voters on their records in office, not on their youth. Chasing after issues that have already been aired, concerning the long-ago past, is always a loser under such circumstances.

Posted by Mike G at September 28, 2005 07:49 AM

"How could that "commisssion" that C-BS hired to look into the matter not be able to conclude that they were forgeries?"

Because stating it directly would have increased CBS' legal liability. So they said it without saying it.

Posted by Mike G at September 28, 2005 07:52 AM

You can let people wonder if you're still Stuck On Stupid ... or you can open your mouth and prove you are.

Posted by Bill Faith at September 28, 2005 06:56 PM

OF COURSE the typeface was the issue, because it proved that the letter was a forgery!

I can't understand why this stupid cow thinks that she can still pull off a misdirection.

Now, I'm not certain whether Rather knowingly participated in a hoax, or just decided not to do his homework. If the former, it's not clear to me whether his motive was that he hates George Bush, or that he wanted to be Woodward and Bernstein so bad he could taste it.

Whatever his motives, he pissed away decades of carefully cultivated credibility. I don't feel sorry for him in any way.


Posted by John C. Randolph at September 28, 2005 10:22 PM

For a year now, we've been wondering if journalists are corrupt or stupid. I'd like to thank Mary Mapes for putting that question to rest.

Posted by Fen at September 29, 2005 01:27 AM

I guess my only quibble with this thread is: What "carefully cultivated credibility" for Dan Rather? His performance since that whole "frequency" thing, is that of a loon, a complete deranged, sleazy loon. Otherwise, spot on all!

Posted by at September 29, 2005 08:17 AM

Both her and Dan (and Moron Marv Kalb) focus so much on how quickly the critiques were up. I'd love to ask them what they are implying by that. The only thing I can figure is they are hinting that the critiques were prepared before the show aired. But wouldn't that mean that they had been set up by a buncha rightwingers, and that the documents were fake? I don't think they really want to go down that road.

Posted by Brainster at September 29, 2005 06:54 PM

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