Ed Driscoll

Reality Versus Mapes: Reality 175, Mapes 0

In Tech Central Station, James Pinkerton writes:

Welcome to the next installment of the continuing saga: Mary Mapes vs. the Blogs, in which, for good measure, she takes on reality, too. And at the same time, we can consider the rise, fall — and possible comeback — of Mapes as part of the ongoing power-struggle between the MSM (Main Stream Media) and the New Media (NM).

Pinkerton writes, correctly, that the discovery that Mary cooked the books was “a hinge moment in the history of the media:

The smackdown of CBS in 2004 compares to such earlier media-hinges as the Drudge Report’s revelation about Monica Lewinsky in 1998 and the televised Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960.

He notes that CBS seems to have gotten the message (sorta, kinda), even if Mapes herself hasn’t.

Meanwhile, Power Line turns to page 175 of the Thornburgh Report on Mapes and Rather’s escapades:

As the segment with Salon’s Eric Boehlert and me was closing, Boehlert said that Thornburgh “couldn’t” and “wouldn’t” conclude that the documents were forgeries. I responded, “It’s on page 175.”

It’s true that the Report avoids stating a definitive conclusion that the documents are fakes; it merely endorses Peter Tytell’s analysis that the documents are “not authentic.” It does so on page 175. This is a little-known fact that simply hasn’t penetrated the mainstream media reporting on the Mapes fraud. If the documents are not authentic — if they are not what they purport to be — they are fakes.

At pages 174-175 the Report notes that typeface expert Tytell told CBS on September 10, 2004, two days after the broadcast, that the documents had been prepared in Times New Roman typeface — “a typeface available on modern computers but one that didn’t exist on typewriters in the 1970s.” On page 175, the Report states: “The [Thornburgh] panel met with Tytell and found his analysis sound in terms of why he believed the documents were not authentic.” The Report cites its detailed summary of Tytell’s analysis included in Appendix 4 to the Report, adding that no conclusion was reached “as to whether Tytell was correct in all respects.”

If the Thornburgh Report finds Tytell’s analysis regarding the inauthenticity of the documents to be “sound,” as it does on page 175, the only rational conclusion one can draw is that the documents are fakes. But ratiocination is a commodity in short supply among members of the alternate-reality based community.

JOHN adds: While some issues of typography relating to the documents are disputed, others are not. To my knowledge, no one has questioned Tytell’s statement that no typewriter of the early 1970s (or, I believe, any other time) was licensed to use Times New Roman font. That being the case, the documents are blindingly obvious fakes.

Indeed.