Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.
However, in the course of ignorning the story, I hadn't even bothered to take a look at the documents produced by CBS as part of their story on Bush's military service. Just a quick glance and my initial reaction was "people are actually debating that this is a forgery?" The first thing that struck me was the presence of the superscripted "th"s as well as the fairly tight type. Typewriters are normally monospaced, that is the, 10th character (or space) in one line will usually line up with the 10th character or space in the line above or below it. To me, anyway, the documents hardly look as if they came from a typewriter. See the documents from CBS as PDFs:    .
If you're curious, I would suggest going to check out AWOLBush.com's service records for both candidates. Check out the typewritten work in all of the documents there. They look like they were produced on a typewriter. They are monospaced fonts, more like a Courier than a Times Roman, the font of choice on CBS's documents.
Some links of interest:
- INDC has an interview with Dr Brouffard, the expert the Boston Globe retained to assess the authenticity of the documents. The Globe reported that he gave them the thumbs-up, and CBS is using the Globe's imprimateur as their backing (although they spell Brouffard's name as Broussard). Nice.
- Here's a nice Flash animation comparing one of the CBS memos to a MS Word document.
- Here's another breakdown of the typography from Peter Duncan.
- Finally, you can go to Power Line, for the Twin Citians who really got the story ramped up.
My favorite part is that CBS doesn't even seem willing to acknowledge that the memos may be fabricated.
When I was listening to the news around the Republican convention, it felt like the media had more "fact checkers" working on the various speeches than they did during the Democratic convention, but I largely attributed this to the relative lack of actual content of many speakers at the Dem's convention. This sort of thing though really does call into question the issue of balanced reporting.
As an aside: there is no question in my mind that John Kerry is more of a war hero than most people reading this are, or will ever have the chance to be, even if, as some claim, he may have been "overdecorated." However, that really isn't a fundamental qualification for the Presidency. Kerry's mistake was making his war record the cornerstone of his campaign. I personally feel the whole Swift Boat Veterans for Truth thing was probably a little unnecessary, as I don't see any need to smear the guy's military record. But, again, if that's the only thing you're running on, you do leave yourself open to that.
e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink] | | Saturday, September 11, 2004