See, BS

The Washington Post has a devastating piece on Rathergate this morning noting that CBS’ “expert” never vouched for the authenticity of the documents:

“There’s no way that I, as a document expert, can authenticate them,” Marcel Matley said in a telephone interview from San Francisco. The main reason, he said, is that they are “copies” that are “far removed” from the originals.

Matley’s comments came amid growing evidence challenging the authenticity of the documents aired Wednesday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” The program was part of an investigation asserting that Bush benefited from political favoritism in getting out of commitments to the Texas Air National Guard. On last night’s “CBS Evening News,” anchor Dan Rather said again that the network “believes the documents are authentic.”

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.

It’s quite clear that the documents were a hoax, and a bad one at that. The forensic evidence is conclusive, and the story stinks to high heaven. As hoaxes go this one is right there with the infamous “alien autopsy” video in terms of blatant foolery. Yet so far CBS has not done the right thing and come off it’s patently ridiculous assertion that the documents are genuine. The rest of the news media has been hammering away at this story, yet Dan Rather is absolutely adament that he ride this sinking ship all the way to the bottom.

This is journalism’s watergate. Since 1972 every reporter has wanted to be Woodward and Bernstein, and in CBS’ quest to unseat yet another President, they’ve put their credibility on the line for something that is quite evidently a hoax. At this point, CBS’ news division is about as credible as the National Inquirer or Pravda – and far less entertaining than either.

Stephen Green puts it like this:

News has always been a dog-eat-dog business. The blogosphere just makes it more so, and with a nonstop feeding schedule. CBS’s problem is, they seem to be determined to act like a Milk-Boneâ„¢ instead of a dog.

Couldn’t have said it better myself…

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