Ed Driscoll

The Sixty-First Minute

Did 60 Minutes use forged documents to try and make the umpteenth case about Bush being AWOL in the reserves? A post on Power Line notes this detail:

The “Memo To File” of August 18, 1973 also used specialized typesetting characters not used on typewriters. These include the superscript “th” in 187th, and consistent ’ (right single quote) used instead of a typewriter’s generic ‘ (apostrophe). These are the sorts of things that typesetters did manually until the advent of smart correction in things like Microsoft Word.

Read Power Line’s post and then follow their link to the CBS story, which contains the documents in question.

Really in question.

Update: Jim Geraghty writes:

Now it appears this document includes include the superscript “th” in 187th, add as a Powerline correspondent points out, “There are no keys on any typewriter in common use in 1973 which could produce a tiny “th.” The forger got careless after creating the August 1, 1972 document and slipped up big-time.”CBS News and the Globe ought to check this out big-time, and fast. If they ran with a story based on a forgery (and a forgery that the blogosphere managed to check out in just a few hours) this report will join Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, and Janet Cooke in journalism’s hall of infamy.

Update: In what could end up as the ultimate example of “we have computers, we can fact-check your a**”, Charles Johnson simply fires up Microsoft Word and pastes his version of the document next to a scan of the CBS version.

Johnson is getting traffic from NRO, Fark, and probably every other site on the Internet, so expect some slow page loading if you go there today.

Oh, and Drudge is linking to Power Line–expect similar wait times as well there.

Update: PoliPundit (which is fast becoming a daily stop for me) writes:

If the 60 Minutes documents indeed turn out to be fake, this would be the second time that Dan Rather has unwillingly helped elect a President called Bush.In 1988, Rather’s no-holds-barred “interview” (video here) backfired and helped Bush 41 overcome the “wimp factor.”

Now, if these documents are shown to be fake, that could kill the Kerry campaign, Rather’s career, 60 Minutes, and CBS News, all in one fell swoop.

At the moment, it’s not looking good for Captain Dan The News Man.