Thursday, September 09, 2004

 

18 August 2004

Today's top online story seems to be the possible forgery of the "CYA" memo purportedly created on August 18, 1973 by Lt. Colonel Jerry Killian (now deceased). A Free Republic thread apparently broke the story, recognizing that proportional spacing, while common nowadays in fonts like Times New Roman on word processing software, was very rare 30 years ago. Power Line brought it to a wider audience and broke the 187th angle (in short, that the conversion of the "th" in 187th to a superscript could not have been done by even a proportional font-enabled typewriter back then - there seems to be some doubt as to the accuracy of this for the most specialized high-end models back then, but it was certainly true for standard electric typewriters), and since then it has been picked up in a thorough fashion by Drudge Report, who made it his top story, by Hugh Hewitt, by InDC Journal, who retained a questioned documents expert who opined that it is likely a forgery, by CNS News, who retained their own experts with similar conclusions, by National Review Online's Kerry Spot, which is explaining the story in detail and summarizing (with links) many of the major blogs' coverage of the story, by Little Green Footballs, by many other conservative blogs I haven't looked at, and even by some blogs on the left (granted, mainly in their comments sections). Washington Monthly's thread is particularly funny, as over the course of the hundreds of posts you can see some of the frequent posters changing from being gung-ho about using these documents to bring Bush down to effectively saying "OH SH**" [Internet nanny filters for inappropriate language don't mind asterisks.] Of course, it being a lefty site, much of the speculation seems to be that Karl Rove ordered it to discredit the major media and the Kerry campaign.

At this point, we'll see how long the forgery backlash takes before becoming a bigger story than the original story. The Boston Herald may be able to take the most advantage of this - between the fake Abu Ghraib porn tapes and this, the Boston Globe's credibility has to be at an all-time low.
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