Sunday, September 12, 2004

W and the Guard or Bloggers v. 60 Minutes

An angry commenter on this site recently demanded that the press pay more attention to questions about President Bush's service in the National Guard. 60 Minutes II answered this request. On September 8, the CBS program revealed new, damning documents that supposedly came from the private files of the deceased Col. Killian. Dan Rather and the boys could hardly contain their excitement.

And then the blogosphere erupted. Thanks in large part to nerdy bloggers around the country, there is now mounting evidence that these documents are forgeries. That's right -- forgeries. Here's the basic gist. The documents that condemned Bush were supposedly written in the 1970's. They were supposedly typed on a typewriter. After all, there was no such thing as a PC or a word processor at that time. However, those who are more technically savvy than I have discovered that these documents were likely created on Microsoft Word -- a program that did not exist even at the time of Col. Killian's death in 1984.

There is an excellent article about this at Tech Central Station. The article is entitled "Bloggers v. 60 Minutes." I urge you all to read this article. It includes excerpts from Hugh Hewitt's blog, so it is well worth the quick read. I would have summarized this article, but I wouldn't do justice to the technical aspects.

The article ends by musing, "How could a rabble of bloggers, in one day, provide hard core proof of forgery when major news organizations took those documents at face value? Most fundamental of all, why did the New York Times, the Boston Globe and CBS allow themselves to be used for such a transparent attempt to slander President Bush? Out in the blogosphere there are a swarm of people rooting for the answers."