September 10, 2004
JUST CAUGHT Jonathan Klein debating Stephen Hayes about the CBS forgery scandal. Klein says that "Bloggers have no checks and balances . . . [it's] a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas."
But ABC has this report:
HODGES SAID HE WAS MISLED BY CBS: Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian's supervisor at the Grd, tells ABC News that he feels CBS misled him about the documents they uncovered. According to Hodges, CBS told him the documents were "handwritten" and after CBS read him excerpts he said, "well if he wrote them that's what he felt."
Hodges also said he did not see the documents in the 70's and he cannot authenticate the documents or the contents. His personal belief is that the documents have been "computer generated" and are a "fraud".
I guess this is the independent verification that Rather was talking about.
But it gets worse. Much worse:
The man named in a disputed memo as exerting pressure to "sugar coat" President Bush's military record left the Texas Air National Guard a year and a half before the memo was supposedly written, his own service record shows.
An order obtained by The Dallas Morning News shows that Col. Walter "Buck" Staudt was honorably discharged on March 1, 1972. CBS News reported this week that a memo in which Staudt was described as interfering with officers' negative evaluations of Bush's service, was dated Aug. 18, 1973.
That added to mounting questions about the authenticity of documents that seem to suggest Bush sought special favors and did not fulfill his service.
You don't say. To paraphrase Lincoln's remarks on Ulysses S. Grant, maybe CBS should get its journalists some of those pajamas. . . . Or maybe, in light of what we've learned, some of these Pajamas.
UPDATE: Reader Allen Roberts emails:
Bloggers ARE the checks and balances.
Driving along today and listening to talk radio mention LGF and Powerline, with others was just a terrific experience today. Finally, a real use for the Internet.
Not everyone is as pleased.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Meanwhile, Patterico notes that NPR and Media Matters can't tell time. Funny that they should both make the same obvious error. (Well, it was really ABC's The Note that made the original time-stamp error, but it was so obvious that picking it up was an obvious error.)
MORE: Mickey Kaus:
NPR hasn't corrected the error, according to Patterico, and David Brock's Media Matters still posts it. ... P.S.: Media Matters might want to decide if a) the documents are authentic, as argued at the top of their Web page or b) the documents are forgeries planted by Republicans, as argued at the bottom of their Web page. Lawyers are allowed to plead in the alternative, but a) and b) can't both be true, and the evidence for each of those propositions is also evidence against the other one.
Neither NPR, nor Media Matters, is covering itself with glory here.
Send them some pajamas, too.
STILL MORE: Charles Johnson: "Iíd like you all to know that despite the intensely humid SoCal heat I have been blogging all day in a three piece Giorgio Armani suit. I havenít owned pajamas for at least 20 years."
Brings a whole new meaning to the term "fact-check your ass."