Naked

John Podhoretz cuts to the chase in “CBS forges ahead.” But Podhoretz is a conservative opinion columnist. What say the gentlemen of the MSM? This morning they have their say, and it is devastating.
Folks, when the Washington Post has withdrawn all protective cover from CBS, the story is within shouting distance of its denoument: “Expert cited by CBS says he didn’t authenticate papers.” Previous Post stories have obscured the powerful circumstantial evidence that CBS was defrauded and is now engaged in a coverup, but today Michael Dobbs and Howard Kurtz more or less remove the fig leaves:

A detailed comparison by The Washington Post of memos obtained by CBS News with authenticated documents on Bush’s National Guard service reveals dozens of inconsistencies, ranging from conflicting military terminology to different word-processing techniques.
The analysis shows that half a dozen Killian memos released earlier by the military were written with a standard typewriter using different formatting techniques from those characteristic of computer-generated documents. CBS’s Killian memos bear numerous signs that are more consistent with modern-day word-processing programs, particularly Microsoft Word.
“I am personally 100 percent sure that they are fake,” said Joseph M. Newcomer, author of several books on Windows programming, who worked on electronic typesetting techniques in the early 1970s. Newcomer said he had produced virtually exact replicas of the CBS documents using Microsoft Word formatting and the Times New Roman font.
Newcomer drew an analogy with an art expert trying to determine whether a painting of unknown provenance was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. “If I was looking for a Da Vinci, I would look for characteristic brush strokes,” he said. “If I found something that was painted with a modern synthetic brush, I would know that I have a forgery.”

Just a few days behind the blogosphere, the Post notes several more of the earmarks of fraud:

A detailed comparison by The Washington Post of memos obtained by CBS News with authenticated documents on Bush’s National Guard service reveals dozens of inconsistencies, ranging from conflicting military terminology to different word-processing techniques.
The analysis shows that half a dozen Killian memos released earlier by the military were written with a standard typewriter using different formatting techniques from those characteristic of computer-generated documents. CBS’s Killian memos bear numerous signs that are more consistent with modern-day word-processing programs, particularly Microsoft Word.
“I am personally 100 percent sure that they are fake,” said Joseph M. Newcomer, author of several books on Windows programming, who worked on electronic typesetting techniques in the early 1970s. Newcomer said he had produced virtually exact replicas of the CBS documents using Microsoft Word formatting and the Times New Roman font.
Newcomer drew an analogy with an art expert trying to determine whether a painting of unknown provenance was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. “If I was looking for a Da Vinci, I would look for characteristic brush strokes,” he said. “If I found something that was painted with a modern synthetic brush, I would know that I have a forgery.”

The Post renders Emperor Dan utterly naked:

In its broadcast last night, CBS News produced a new expert, Bill Glennon, an information technology consultant. He said that IBM electric typewriters in use in 1972 could produce superscripts and proportional spacing similar to those used in the disputed documents.
Any argument to the contrary is “an out-and-out lie,” Glennon said in a telephone interview. But Glennon said he is not a document expert, could not vouch for the memos’ authenticity and only examined them online because CBS did not give him copies when asked to visit the network’s offices.
Thomas Phinney, program manager for fonts for the Adobe company in Seattle, which helped to develop the modern Times New Roman font, disputed Glennon’s statement to CBS. He said “fairly extensive testing” had convinced him that the fonts and formatting used in the CBS documents could not have been produced by the most sophisticated IBM typewriters in use in 1972, including the Selectric and the Executive. He said the two systems used fonts of different widths.
On last night’s “CBS Evening News,” Rather said “60 Minutes” had done a “content analysis” of the memos and found, for example, that the date that Bush was suspended from flying — Aug. 1, 1972 — matched information in the documents. He also noted that USA Today had separately obtained another memo from 1972 in which Killian asked to be updated on Bush’s flight certification status.
CBS executives have pointed to Matley as their lead expert on whether the memos are genuine, and included him in a “CBS Evening News” defense of the story Friday. Matley said he spent five to eight hours examining the memos. “I knew I could not prove them authentic just from my expertise,” he said. “I can’t say either way from my expertise, the narrow, narrow little field of my expertise.”
In looking at the photocopies, he said, “I really felt we could not definitively say which font this is.” But, he said, “I didn’t see anything that would definitively tell me these are not authentic.”
Asked about Matley’s comments, CBS spokeswoman Sandy Genelius said: “In the end, the gist is that it’s inconclusive. People are coming down on both sides, which is to be expected when you’re dealing with copies of documents.”

The Post wraps it with the conclusions reached by Rush Limbaugh, William Safire and Brent Bozell:

Prominent conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh are insisting the documents are forged. New York Times columnist William Safire said yesterday that CBS should agree to an independent investigation. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, called on the network to apologize, saying: “The CBS story is a hoax and a fraud, and a cheap and sloppy one at that. It boggles the mind that Dan Rather and CBS continue to defend it.”

It would be interesting to hear from disputants who might be dismissed by neutral third parties less easily than Rush Limbaugh and Brent Bozell, but perhaps the Post couldn’t find any. In any event, when the Post feels no need to deride or counterbalce their judgment, leaving them with the last word as arbiters of the controversy, one can only conclude that it’s over.
ROCKET MAN adds: CBS’s main “expert,” Marcel Matley, says:

I knew I could not prove them authentic just from my expertise. I can’t say either way from my expertise, the narrow, narrow little field of my expertise.

That narrow, narrow little field of Matley’s expertise is getting narrower all the time. There’s no way he’s going down with Rather.
The Post says that CBS is now putting its principal reliance on one Bill Glennon, an “information technology consultant.” This is the same Bill Glennon, as Little Green Footballs points out, whom Time magazine described yesterday as a former typewriter repairman.
But what’s really funny, as Tim Blair points out, is that Glennon first entered the fray as a commenter on the far-left Daily Kos web site! So, after sneering at bloggers non-stop for four days, CBS was finally reduced to tracking down a former typewriter repairman who posted a comment on Kos and putting him forward as their chief defender. Wonderful.
Most significant, perhaps, is the fact that the White House appears to be moving in for the kill. Laura Bush commented on the controversy yesterday:

Meanwhile, Laura Bush became the first person from the White House to say the documents are likely forgeries. “You know they are probably altered,” she told Radio Iowa in Des Moines yesterday. “And they probably are forgeries, and I think that’s terrible, really.”

The White House has the power to drive this story to a new level and keep it in the public eye for the next week or two, if not longer, if they denounce the documents and CBS. Let’s hope they do.
UPDATE: The Standard Online has posted Jonathan Last’s excellent column on the Washington Post article: “Watching the media watchdogs.” See also Jonathan’s terrific new blog Galley Slaves.

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