Hurricane Dan: Get serious

Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten meticulously reconstructs the events of this past Thursday following the CBS 60 Minutes broadcast Wednesday evening that have led to the exposure of the “new” documents featured in the Air National Guard story as forgeries: “No disputing it: Blogs are major players.” Wallsten prominently credits our role in the development of the story:

Early Thursday morning, Minneapolis lawyer Scott Johnson was in his basement home office, preparing to link some morning news reports to the site he co-authors, when a reader sent an e-mail about Buckhead.
Intrigued, Johnson, whose online ID is “The Big Trunk,” put a link on his site, PowerLine Blog.com, to Buckhead’s post.
Then the floodgates opened.
“Thanks to all the readers who have written regarding this post,” Johnson wrote in an early update. “Several have pointed out that the Executive line of IBM typewriters did have proportionally spaced fonts, although no reader has found the font used in the memos to be a familiar one or thought that the IBM Executive was likely to have been used by the National Guard in the early 1970s.
“Reader Monty Walls has also cited the IBM Selectric Composer,” he continued. “However, reader Eric Courtney adds this wrinkle: The ‘Memo To File’ of August 18, 1973, also used specialized typesetting characters not used on typewriters. These include the superscript ‘th’ in 187th, and consistent ‘ (right single quote) all parentheses in original used instead of a typewriter’s generic {minute} (apostrophe). These are the sorts of things that typesetters did manually until the advent of smart correction in things like Microsoft Word.”
Soon Charles Johnson, a Los Angeles musician-turned-conservative-blogger who hosts the site LittleGreenFootballs.com, posted the results of his own investigation. He wrote that he had opened Microsoft Word, set the font to Times New Roman and used the program’s default settings to retype a purported Killian memo from August 1973.
“My Microsoft Word version, typed in 2004, is an exact match for the documents trumpeted by CBS News as ‘authentic,’ ” Johnson wrote, posting images of his creation and the CBS document. (The Times New Roman font itself predates computers; it was designed in 1932.)
Within 90 minutes of that post, the Power Line site was linked to perhaps the best-known conservative site of all

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