Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Welcome back, Mary

Responding to a Page Six item about Morley Safer "dumping" on Dan Rather, Mary Mapes once again makes a fool of herself defending the National Guard document forgeries:

Page Six restates the conservative canard that our report "was found to be based on forged documents." That is just not true, no matter how many times Page Six or the Washington Times or some bitter conservative blogger repeats it. . . .

The Bush National Guard story is a fascinating and terribly under-covered topic, full of Texas-style intrigue, privilege and political skullduggery. . . .

They ["right wing bloggers, hate talk radio yackers, FOX News 'reporters,' conservative columnists, and those hollering people whose heads always appear in little boxes on cable discussion shows"] claimed that CBS used forged documents and they repeated that lie so often that it stuck. The mainstream media picked it up, repeating bloggers' criticisms without making any serious effort to investigate the story. But then that would have required real legwork, something that very few were willing to do on this subject.

As for document analysis, it is a mind-numbing and arcane discipline, an imperfect undertaking reserved for courtroom use, not for headlines or Internet political battles. Document analysis is certainly not meant to be done at 11 o'clock at night by someone with no training or experience sitting in front of a glowing computer nursing a grudge and spoiling for a fight. But that's precisely how the right's attack against Dan Rather and CBS News was launched.

That first anonymous analyst (who turned out to be a Republican activist lawyer) raised questions about the memo using only a single shot of a faxed document digitally transmitted to his computer screen. Those kinds of transmissions radically change the way a document looks. His analysis was worthless. . . .

I don't believe we will know the truth about the memos until after the Bush team is out of office and people with information are no longer afraid to come forward. . . .

We missed you.

Update: Newsbusters is happy too.

Update II: This post should have included a link to Romenesko, where I found the story, but Bogger went down and is just now (5:24 MDT) back up. Here's the damn link.

Update III: LGF takes the opportunity to once again post the Throbbing Memo of Doom. Mmmmm, seizure-inducing.

No comments: