Friday, September 17, 2004

Memogate Keeps Rolling

Last week, CBS produced what they claimed were newly discovered documents from Col. Killian's personal files. These documents criticize President Bush's National Guard service during Vietnam. CBS aired these documents on 60 Minutes II. It was only a matter of hours before bloggers and typographical experts demonstrated that these documents were newly created forgeries. This left many people asking whether Dan Rather purposely put forth these forgeries in an attempt to damage the President. Even those who assumed it was a good faith mistake on Rather's part were left wondering how such an error could go undiscovered by the powerful CBS news apparatus when it was so easily uncovered by amateur Internet writers.

This week, CBS News used 60 Minutes II to go even further into what has been termed Memogate. However, Dan Rather did not take the opportunity to retract his previous story or admit any errors. Rather also did not reveal the source which supplied CBS with the forgeries. Instead, Rather dragged out an 80 year-old woman whom he claimed was Col. Killian's secretary at the time the memos were supposedly written. This elderly woman, who would be better characterized as a member of the typing pool than as any sort of personal confidant of the Colonel, admitted that these particular documents are probably not authentic. But, she added, there probably were documents similar to this. She also added that some of the other guard members "snickered" at our future president.

And with that, Dan Rather and CBS decided to stand behind their story.