Saturday, September 11, 2004

Rathergate Update

(From cadethappy)

The NY Post wins the headline competition with RATHER FORGES AHEAD for their report on Captain Dan's lame defense and Mark Steyn drops the Humor Bomb in CBS falls for Kerry campaign's fake memo:
A few weeks ago, Thomas Oliphant of the Boston Globe was on PBS' ''Newshour'' explaining why the hundreds of swift boat veterans' allegations against John Kerry's conduct in Vietnam was unworthy of his attention. "The standard of clear and convincing evidence," he said, talking to Swiftvet John O'Neill as if he were a backward fourth-grader, ''is what keeps this story in the tabloids -- because it does not meet basic standards.''

Last week, we got a good idea of what Thomas Oliphant's ''basic standards'' are. Dan Rather and the elderly gentlemen at ''60 Minutes'' were all atwitter because they'd come into possession of some hitherto undiscovered memos relating to whether George W. Bush failed to show up for his physical in the War of 1812. The media had been flogging this dead horse all spring, but these newly ''discovered'' memos had jump-started the old nag just enough to get him on his knees long enough for the media to flog him all over again.

Unfortunately for CBS, Dan Rather's hairdresser sucks up so much of the budget that there was nothing left for any fact-checking, so the ''60 Minutes'' crew rushed on air with a damning National Guard memo conveniently called ''CYA'' that Bush's commanding officer had written to himself 32 years ago. ''This was too hot not to push,'' one producer told the American Spectator. Hundreds of living Swiftvets who've signed affidavits and are prepared to testify on camera -- that's way too cold to push; we'd want to fact-check that one thoroughly, till, say, midway through John Kerry's second term. But a handful of memos by one dead guy slipped to us by a Kerry campaign operative -- that meets ''basic standards'' and we gotta get it out there right away.
As usual, the Instapundit has a valuable roundup of links, as the signatures and typography as well as the internal consistency of the forgeries continue to unravel.

But for humor potential, I mostly like the alternative defense: "Karl Rove and the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy tricked poor Captain Dan!" Terry McAuliffe is trying it out and Patterico has some fun debunking "conspiracy evidence" from ABC, NPR and George Soros' Flying Monkeys at Media Matters. As Mickey Kaus observes:
P.S.: Media Matters might want to decide if a) the documents are authentic, as argued at the top of their Web page or b) the documents are forgeries planted by Republicans, as argued at the bottom of their Web page. Lawyers are allowed to plead in the alternative, but a) and b) can't both be true, and the evidence for each of those propositions is also evidence against the other one.
Bwahaha! It requires terminal suspension of disbelief to figure that Karl Rove and the VRWC are so incredibly clever that they knew Kerry, Terry, and Captain Dan would make fools of themselves over obvious forgeries, but isn't that what leftism is all about?