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Well at least Mary Mapes has convinced herself (update)
Posted by: McQ on Friday, September 21, 2007

I guess constantly repeating something for 3 years, even if it is wrong, might have that effect. Mary Mapes, the producer of Dan Rather's piece on CBS which included the fraudulent National Guard memos is sure that the reason it all happened as it did was because they were first to experience the wrath of something new and terrifying. Fact checking. Uh, ok, that's not what she believes, but I couldn't resist:
What was different in our case was the brand new and bruising power of the conservative blogosphere, particularly the extremists among them. They formed a tightly knit community of keyboard assault artists who saw themselves as avenging angels of the right, determined to root out and decimate anything they believed to be disruptive to their worldview.
Or it could be you used fake memos, Mar. Self-delusion is a powerful thing, eh? Then we get this snow job to boot:
And we showed for the first time a cache of documents allegedly written by Bush's former commander. The documents supported a mountain of other evidence that young Bush had dodged his duty and not been punished. They did not in any way diverge from the information in the sketchy pieces of the president's official record made available by the White House or the National Guard. In fact, to the few people who had gone to the trouble of examining the Bush record, these papers filled in some of the blanks.

We reported that since these documents were copies, not originals, they could not be fully authenticated, at least not in the legal sense. They could not be subjected to tests to determine the age of the paper or the ink. We did get corroboration on the content and support from a couple of longtime document analysts saying they saw nothing indicating that the memos were not real.
Even in the midst of her rant, Mapes hasn't the courage to drop the 'allegedly' from her characterization of the documents they used.

Of course her one-sided account mentions nothing of the obvious problems with the documents she used or the warnings from some experts that they were fraudulent (which she ignored at the time). Nope, as she says, they conveniently filled some holes, or "blanks" in the Bush record which she and Rather were just dying to fill. And obviously someone knew that and exploited their gullibility.

It is all about the right-wing noise machine and its "take no prisoners" attack on she and dear Dan.
Instantly, the far right blogosphere bully boys pronounced themselves experts on document analysis, and began attacking the form and font in the memos. They screamed objections that ultimately proved to have no basis in fact. But they captured the argument. They dominated the discussion by churning out gigabytes of mind-numbing internet dissertations about the typeface in the memos, focusing on the curl at the end of the "a," the dip on the top of the "t," the spacing, the superscript, which typewriters were used in the military in 1972.
"They" captured the argument because "they" had facts on their side. And it didn't help that the memos were an exact match to a computer word processing program's output - a program that didn't even exist when the "memos" were purportedly written.
But the truly chilling part of this entire saga is what happened next. Though our story had raised entirely appropriate questions about the president's military record, though there had been substantiation for everything we reported, though this was an issue certainly worth discussing in wartime, all that was lost in the melee that followed.
The truly chilling part is to think about how this story might have gotten out unchallenged and have had the effect Mapes and Rather hoped it would. For all her dissembling nonsense, what she and Rather are really lamenting is their loss of power to influence at will and by whatever means necessary, the politics of this country.
But I'm afraid this entire episode just encapsulates what has happened to journalism in general in this country. It has become corporatized, trivialized and castrated.
What is truly frightening is she thinks "fake but accurate" is worthy journalism and has convinced herself that what's left of journalism is "corporatized, trivialized and castrated." Phenomenal.

Courage, Mary.

UPDATE: A quote from a QandO post at the time Rathergate was brewing:

Quoting Dr. Joseph M. Newcomer, a PhD from Carnegie Mellon Univ. with 40 years in Computer Science to include vast experience in fonts, typefaces, etc:
... I am not a fan of George Bush. But I am even less a fan of attempts to commit fraud, and particularly by a complete and utter failure of those we entrust to ensure that if the news is at least accurate. I know it is asking far too much to expect the news to be unbiased. But the people involved should not actually lie to us, or promulgate lies created by hoaxers, through their own incompetence.

There has been a lot of activity on the Internet recently concerning the forged CBS documents. I do not even dignify this statement with the traditional weasel-word "alleged," because it takes approximately 30 seconds for anyone who is knowledgeable in the history of electronic document production to recognize this whole collection is certainly a forgery, and approximately five minutes to prove to anyone technically competent that the documents are a forgery.
The last sentence is classic. No weasel-wording for Dr. Newcomer, huh?
 
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First off, before I start getting a lot of the wrong kind of mail: I am not a fan of George Bush. But I am even less a fan of attempts to commit fraud, and particularly by a complete and utter failure of those we entrust to ensure that if the news is at least accurate.
I suggest Mary go take a look at this before uttering another word.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
.. and Dan .. Imus had a much better case.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
What’s scary is that there are people who believe her.

"These allegations are supported by these documents."
"The documents are fake."
"The documents are re-typing of originals, but the content is accurate."
"How do you know that?"
"The allegations match closely."
"Stop. You cannot use the documents to support the allegations and then use the allegations to support the veracity of the documents. Do you have anything else, anything that is verifiably authentic to support the contents of these documents?"
"We have rumor and innuendo and they’re coin of the realm on the internet!"
"Stop. You have nothing to support your allegations or you would have mentioned that in the 60 Minutes II segment."
"I’ve got something."
"What?"
"I’ve got my hate, my bitter, gnawing hate of all things Bush, or Republican, or conservative. But mostly I hate Bush."
"Maybe that’ll help keep you warm at night. Farewell, Ms. Mapes."
 
Written By: Mikey NTH
URL: http://
How interesting that these ’self appointed experts’ presented a valid enough case about the false nature of the documents that rational people listened to them.

Line up you sheeple! Stop listening to reason!

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." - Tolstoy
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
Just can’t read her without picturing Linda Hunt as the Shadout Mapes in Dune.

Diminuitive stature, unlovely voice, belief in some gnostic truth that the populace can’t or won’t comprehend.

It just has to be scripted.
 
Written By: Uncle Pinky
URL: http://
In this case we call her "The Fadeout Mapes".

Thanks for reminding me why "Mapes" kept sticking in my mind as a reference to something ’out there’ (aside from being a BS artist).
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
they could not be fully authenticated, at least not in the legal sense.
....but since they seemed truthy, they were happily used anyway.

Sometimes I pity these people, sometimes I hate them. Dan Rather I sorta pity because hs’s just a used up disgraced hack who is trying to salvage something for his ego with this lawsuit. Mapes I just hate, perpetual (and wong about it) victim
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
We reported that since these documents were copies, not originals, they could not be fully authenticated, at least not in the legal sense. They could not be subjected to tests to determine the age of the paper or the ink. We did get corroboration on the content and support from a couple of longtime document analysts saying they saw nothing indicating that the memos were not real.
In other words, you reported on documents that nobody knew what they really were, nobody could determine what they really were, and there was no way to determine what they really were.

That is not real credible basis to run with in a televised story, and for that reason alone, your dismissal and disgrace is justified.

I took J-school fpr my major and if I tried to pass that off on my Prof. I’d have gotten an F faster than you can say boo.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
My favorite part has got to be:
But I’m afraid this entire episode just encapsulates what has happened to journalism in general in this country. It has become corporatized, trivialized and castrated.
Let me get this straight - independent blogs doing fact checking have made journalism "corporatized"? (That left me scratching my head... Did she momentarily forget what she was ranting against?!)

And maybe "this entire episode" left Mapes and Rather "trivialized" and "castrated" but it clearly left journalism strengthened. Journalists can no longer be sloppy or lie lest they be exposed. That’s a good thing for journalism.
 
Written By: kazoolist
URL: http://kazoolist.blogspot.com
"The documents supported a mountain of other evidence"

So why use documents that she admitted could not be authenticated when there is a mountain of other evidence? Perhaps Dan will produce some of this mountain for his lawsuit.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
So why use documents that she admitted could not be authenticated when there is a mountain of other evidence?
I think her claim is that the other evidence has been produced, and it is being ignored and dismissed because people focus on the bad bits of evidence. Sort of like if nine people say they saw one person commit a crime, and it turns out one of them wasn’t there. Does that mean you assume the other eight are lying?

I am pretty much convinced the story is accurate from what I’ve read, even if there were a few fraudulant pieces of evidence that they should have realized were wrong and not used. My complaint is that the story is irrelevant. What a young George W. Bush did back in the sixties (when, to be sure, I think most smart young people would have tried to find a way to avoid the draft) is irrelevant to whether George W. Bush in 2000 or 2004 deserves to be elected. To me this is another one of those stories of personally bashing someone and trying to go after the person in an irrelevant manner. Instead of focusing on his policies and credentials, they tried to dig out a scandal. So yeah, the story was probably true, I do recall a lot of other evidence out there besides those memos, so even absent the memos its believable. It’s just irrelevant.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Spoken like the true-believer, Scott. Testify, brother!

If there was other evidence why wasn’t it produced? Why was the worst evidence produced? Answer: There wasn’t any other evidence, just rumor and innuendo. A bit too little to run a news story on, as the actions of CBS later proved.
 
Written By: Mikey NTH
URL: http://
I think her claim is that the other evidence has been produced, and it is being ignored and dismissed because people focus on the bad bits of evidence.
Evidence, apparently, produced by somebody other than the person responsible for the documents in question, I presume?

I am pretty much convinced the story is accurate from what I’ve read, even if there were a few fraudulant pieces of evidence that they should have realized were wrong and not used.
That the documents were, in fact, falsified, and none of these other supposedly accurate documents showed up, should have been include anyone with at least half a brain that the whole story was cooked up.

Much about your comment is thus explained.

The fact of the matter was at the time and remains now that Mary Mapes was part of a supposedly "news" organization that tried to steal the election for the democrats, by use of flasehoods. She and her cohorts, such as Rather, LIED.

CBS is an organization should have been folded for their crimes, and Mapes belongs behind bars, and Rather with her.. not writing "if I did it" columns for HuffPo.

After all, if we’re to take all of the screaming that they did back in 2000, stealing elections is a crime.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Hmmm. Let’s compare some of Scott’s stated positions:
I am pretty much convinced the story [Bush’s TANG offenses] is accurate from what I’ve read, even if there were a few fraudulant pieces of evidence that they should have realized were wrong and not used.
And from this thread:
Oh, the swift boat folk have been shown to almost certainly be politically motivated liars.
I’m detecting a pattern here, Scott. Even though there are fraudulent pieces against Bush, you’re still convinced he did something wrong. Even though there’s no solid evidence (because if there were, CBS would have used it), and even though there are people who were around Bush at the time who deny the claims.

But when it comes to Kerry, even though you can’t name any fraudulent pieces of the Swift Boat accusations and can only point to a Wikipedia summary that could well be politically biased, and even though there is real (i.e. not forged) documentation backing up some of the Swift Boat accusations, you casually dismiss them all as liars. All sixty of them. Well, except one guy that just happens to agree with you.

Does that suggest a pattern to you? Could there, maybe, be just a touch of political bias there? (Now, Scott, I await your usual moral-equivalence "everybody does it" comeback, which conveniently lets you get away with the most egregious lapses in judgement and bias, without facing evidence.)

Look, I make a direct challenge to you. Get some video of John O’Neill discussing Kerry and some video of Mapes and Rather discussing Bush/TANG. Then ask yourself which of them look like stable, reliable analysts of the situation.

I’ll give you a clue. If you look at Rather on Larry King and conclude that this man isn’t on the borderline of complete delusion, then I think we can safely dismiss any further judgement you have on character.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
There is no comparison between the swift boat liars and CBS here. The swift boaters have been thoroughly debunked and shown to be dishonest. The memos shown on CBS were forgeries, but it appears the journalists were duped, and they had a lot of other evidence. In any event, my point — that this should not be held against Bush as a Presidential candidate — seems to have eluded you. In that sense both the swift boat liars and CBS were wrong to try to suggest that something from deep in the past should be used against a Presidential candidate in the present. But any attempt to paint the swift boat liars as anything other than dishonest political hacks has to be answered. And luckily I’m in a position in the ’real world’ to do it with some authority. I’ll never convince the blog paritsans though.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Yes, phrases like "swift boat liars" are a sign of complete impartiality...
 
Written By: Jim Treacher
URL: http://dailygut.com
Scott Erb wrote:
"The swift boaters have been thoroughly debunked and shown to be dishonest."

So was John Kerry in Cambodia Christmas of 1968 (as was seared into his memory)?

As per the ’No Man Left Behind’ narrative, was it the other boats that fled the scene while John Kerry and his boat remained?
 
Written By: anonymous
URL: http://
The memos shown on CBS were forgeries, but it appears the journalists were duped,
No, the journalists were either completely retarded or willing participants in the whole scam. As Dr Newcomer pointed out, it is amazing easy to show the errors in those docs.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
"My complaint is that the story is irrelevant."

Darn it. I was just going to agree with you, Scott. Then you call the swiftboat vets liars. I missed that one, perhaps you could elaborate? All I ever heard were assertions that they were liars and one guy gave testimony that contradicted his medal citation. (Have I mentioned that I have a medal? And have I mentioned that the citation is utter fiction? Somehow I’m not impressed with the scripture-like infallibility of military medal citations.)

I’m also not impressed by the charge that someone in the National Guard didn’t show up to work, that they were AWOL. A person is only AWOL if they are told to show up to work and they don’t and when they don’t, someone bothers to care. There is a reason that, by and large, people with military experience and particularly people with Guard experience didn’t find the alleged absence of a fighter jock an issue with which to concern themselves. If he wasn’t flying, (having completed all his required hours), what enlisted person in their right mind would *want* him hanging out getting in the way, or worse, finding something to do?

But Mapes thought it was a story. A BIG story. A BIG story with a MOUNTAIN of damning evidence.

*snort* It actually seems like a fairly good recommendation for a President. Maybe he wouldn’t be constantly roaming about the country disrupting everyone else’s work in order to appear busy! (Events intervening I suppose we don’t know what he’d have done to appear busy.)

 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
So was John Kerry in Cambodia Christmas of 1968 (as was seared into his memory)?
The answer is simple. Kerry thought he was telling the truth, so he gets off scot-free. After all, it was seared into his memory! And he certainly wasn’t politically motivated in those claims, no sir.

And those Swift Boat guys are nothing but politically motivated liars, and the fact that they forced Kerry to back down on that "seared, seared into my memory" claim just shows what clever liars they are. Heck, they’re so clever, their lies even convinced Kerry!

And the Winter Soldier, Genghis Khan stuff? Well, to quote someone I’ve read somewhere, "I am pretty much convinced the story is accurate from what I’ve read, even if there were a few fraudulant pieces of evidence...."

 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Then you call the swiftboat vets liars. I missed that one, perhaps you could elaborate?
All he’s going to do is link to wiki.

He’s done this twice before. When people bring up the actual swift boat claims he just leaves.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
CBS were wrong to try to suggest that something from deep in the past should be used against a Presidential candidate in the present.
Even if the presidential candidate is using that specific past as part of his platform?

Again, you prove yourself unable to think with any sense of logic.
And luckily I’m in a position in the ’real world’ to do it with some authority.
I hope you didn’t mean this in the way in which you worded it.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Speaking of Erb and his ability to understand credible sources:
A small non-monetary wager JWG. It’s now May 22nd and we had this exchange on Q&O blog comment 6053. On October 1 we’ll look at the situation in Iraq...If the surge is continuing and there is little no move to internationalize in the manner described, I’ll admit you are right and I read the article with bias. In a little over four months we should know how credible the source is.
Now that we’re one week away from Erb’s deadline, I wonder where he stands on his wager?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"If there was other evidence why wasn’t it produced? Why was the worst evidence produced?"

Well? CBS News is the big time, it isn’t high school Journalism I. This was a big story at the end of a presidential election campaign. If there was better evidence than the oh-so-obviously-fake memos, why wasn’t it produced for the broadcast?

Or better yet, why wasn’t it produced in order for Ms. Mapes and Mr. Rather to save their jobs and for CBS News to salvage something of its reputation from the debacle?

If CBS News was in the back-pocket of the administration, why would they even run with that story in the first place?
 
Written By: Mikey NTH
URL: http://
"I think her claim is..."

The point of the comment, as usual, is ignored.



"Oh, the swift boat folk have been shown to almost certainly be politically motivated liars."

No more so than Kerry himself, and if it comes to a choice between a couple of hundred expert witnesses accused of lying and one documented liar, the choice is obvious.


"...and they had a lot of other evidence."

Evidence such as....?
(This is a rhetorical question, as I know it will never be answered)

"But any attempt to paint the swift boat liars as anything other than dishonest political hacks has to be answered."

A pity these answers will contain nothing other than repeated unsupported accusations.

" And luckily I’m in a position in the ’real world’ to do it with some authority"

LMFAO! Pray, tell us what authority that may be? "in the ’real world’??"
Oh, my. Thank for the laugh. The mind reels as imagination stretches to its limits. Scott Erb an authority!! In the real world!! Dude, you should try out for "Last Comic Standing".
I know its not nice to laugh at the mentally ill, but I never claimed to be nice. Megalomania personified.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
In other words, Erb has just confessed to lying to his students.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
SDN: "In other words, Erb has just confessed to lying to his students. "

That such a demented character such as Erb is teaching our Yuths should be the bbbzzztttt of a bullet past our ear.
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://

 
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