Size matters

DefeatJohnJohn.com is offering $10,500 (or more if its readers kick more in) to anyone who “can reasonably recreate the CBS memos on equipment available in early 1972.” The memos have already been reasonably recreated on modern word processing systems by Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs. So until they are recreated by a system available in early 1972, the strong presumption must be that the CBS memos were forged.
DefeatJohnJohn is supremely confident that the memos won’t be recreated on the IBM Selectric Composer, since the manual makes it clear that the super- and sub-scripting available to these typewriters only involved the raising or lowering of letters; it couldn’t make them any smaller, since the wheel was fixed-point. Thus, CBS’ claim that “typewriters in the day could do superscripts” ignores the key fact that the superscripting that appears in the forged documents apparently couldn’t be done, at least not by the IBM Selectric Composer.

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