Steyn checks and balances

Mark Steyn applies his own finely tuned system of checks and balances to the 60 Minutes forged documents story: “CBS falls for Kerry campaign’s fake memo.” Key findings:

Amazingly, this guy at the Air National Guard base, Lt. Col. Killian, had the only typewriter in Texas in 1973 using a prototype version of the default letter writing program of Microsoft Word, complete with the tiny little superscript thingy that automatically changes July 4th to July 4th. To do that on most 1973 typewriters, you had to unscrew the keys, grab a hammer and give them a couple of thwacks to make the ”t” and ”h” squish up all tiny, and even think it looked a bit wonky. You’d think having such a unique typewriter Killian would have used a less easily traceable model for his devastating ”CYA” memo. Also, he might have chosen a font other than Times New Roman, designed for the Times of London in the 1930s and not licensed to Microsoft by Rupert Murdoch (the Times’ owner) until the 1980s.
Killian is no longer around to confirm his extraordinary Magic Typewriter, but his son denied the stuff was written by his dad, and his widow said her late husband never typed. So, on the one hand, we have hundreds of living veterans with chapter and verse on Kerry’s fantasy Christmas in Cambodia, and, on the other hand, we have a guy who’s been dead 20 years but is still capable of operating Windows XP. It took the savvy chappies at the Powerline Web site and Charles Johnson of ”Little Green Footballs” about 20 minutes to spot the eerily 2004 look of the 1972 memo, and various Internet wallahs spent the rest of the day tracking down the country’s leading typewriter identification experts.
Bombarded with accusations that CBS had fallen for an obvious hoax, Dan turned to his trusty Smith-Corona and bashed out a few e-mails: ”For the umpteenth time,” he said angrily, ”this is the kind of sleaze I had to put up with when they scoffed at ‘What’s the frequency, Kenneth?'”

All this and laughter too! (Thanks to reader Malcolm Smordin.)

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