June 20, 2006

So long, stupid!

That feller's career is as dead as a possum on Arbor Day. He's crispier than a minute steak on shore leave. Etc.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 11:52 AM

August 01, 2005

Ba-domp-bomp

In the middle of Dan Rather's folksy nattering in the latest Esquire, there's this priceless gem:

The press is a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.

And more to the point, a watchdog never has to clean up his own shit.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 07:39 PM

January 31, 2005

Talk about having big shoes to fill!

bigshoes.PNG

(Click the image to read the story.)

Posted by Jim Treacher at 07:11 AM | Comments (9)

January 13, 2005

Truth in advertising

You may have heard about a silly story in the Columbia Journalism Review trying to say that, y'know, even though Dan Rather and CBS messed up, so did the bloggers who humiliated them, so there. The article is called, "You Bloggers Think You're So Great, But You're Really Not." Okay, it's not called that, but it might as well be.

Anyway, this part right here really concerns me. By which I mean, it's about me, which is the only reason I care, because I'm a blogger:

The Memogate melee peaked in late September. On cable, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC held forth with hasty overstatements: "I'm supposed to say 'allegedly forged.' I think everybody in America knows these documents were forged." His guests threw in anything that sounded good: "You know, Dan Rather's being called on the Internet, 'Queen of the Space Unicorns,'" said Bob Kohn, author of a book on why The New York Times "can no longer be trusted." (The "Space Unicorn" line had first appeared on Jim Treacher's conservative humor blog, and quickly wound up on The Wall Street Journal's online opinion page.)

Whoa, hold on! What's with the label? Since when is this a "humor" blog? Isn't humor supposed to be funny? At this point, I really think the evidence speaks for itself.

I DEMAND A RETRACTION.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 12:14 PM | Comments (18)

January 10, 2005

Crackdown Be Sweet

"Myopic zeal" is one way to put it...

Wonkette sez: "Awesome. Now can we talk about where Bush actually was in 1972?" Great idea. Maybe somebody could dig up some memos or something.

Here's the actual CBS deal. I'm thinking it must suck to work at the Wednesday edition of 60 Minutes these days. To distance the show even further from the Sunday version, and in the spirit of the comparatively plausible and straightforward 24, they should change the name to 1. It's the loneliest number, you know.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 09:35 AM | Comments (11)

November 23, 2004

Cause/Effect

See, he waited until I publicly announced my little break before he finally did the right thing, which is of course directly attributable to this. Brokaw and Jennings, sleep tight!

Posted by Jim Treacher at 10:22 AM

October 07, 2004

My e-mail to Staci D. Kramer

Ms. Kramer filed a report for Wired News titled Prof Pursued by Mob of Bloggers, about the guy who tried to make it look like there could be any way those memos weren't fake. Here was my reply, in full:

It's too bad some meanies were rude to a college professor. I guess that means Microsoft Word was invented at Woodstock after all.
Posted by Jim Treacher at 01:59 PM

September 30, 2004

CBS = Circulating Bogus Stories

That's all. Sometimes it's just the headline. Thanks for checking in.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 04:43 PM

September 29, 2004

"DEAR MR. RATHER: REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS PROPOSAL"

You won't find any shortage of blog commentary on last night's CBS Evening News piece using a debunked e-mail hoax as evidence of the imminent reinstatement of the draft. Which, to most Earth folk who've been paying attention for the last 3 weeks, is just further evidence that something is very very wrong at Black Rock. So I won't bother adding my voice to the din, except to say this:

Told.
Ya.
So.

Update: The link above to RatherBiased.com is down, no doubt due to the hundreds of thousands of incredulous people who can't believe what they saw on the news last night. (You can donate to help them out here.) But Jeff "Squeaky Wheel" Goldstein has reposted their report.

Actualización Número Dos: Just go to Rathergate.com and scroll down. CBS has learned nothing.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 08:33 AM

September 28, 2004

The Modem of King_George

The call is coming from inside the house!!

(Should I have gone with "The Lameness of King_George"? I never think of these things until like 12 hours later.)

Posted by Jim Treacher at 08:37 AM

September 24, 2004

Water-Wetness Questions Continue to Plague CBS

NEW YORK -- "Water is dry. You can't drink it."

So began the Sept. 15 edition of the CBS Evening News, which was devoted entirely to anchorman Dan Rather's report debunking what he called "modern myths" about the chemical H2O. The report has come under fire in recent days by pro-moisture factions.

At one point in the now-disputed broadcast, Rather held up a tall glass of what appeared to be water: "Straight out of the tap. Common as a tick on a tail. Now watch." Rather then poured the entire contents of the glass against his closed lips. As the substance ran down his chin and began to soak the front of his suit, Rather noted, "Look. Pppfft. See? Nothing. Not a trace. Glb."

no_water.PNGThe report triggered a firestorm of debate on the Internet, which soon swept through cable news and the nation's newspapers, magazines, and suddenly-suspect water coolers. In a Sept. 16 posting to ModernMoms.com, someone identifying herself only as "judy" wrote: "i had the tv on as i was washing dishes. dan rather said water doesn't work when you're trying to clean things. i don't know what to do. should i use bleach instead?" Among the dissenting opinions, from a "Capt. Splash" at the site for advocacy group Dowsers for Accuracy in the Mainstream Press: "I just drank a whole glass of cold water and it went down fine. What's going on here?"

Moisture experts caution the public not to jump to any conclusions. "At this point we're unable to verify or disprove Rather's claims," warned Prof. Darrick White of the Dampness Research Institute (Philadelphia). "In the meantime, we're asking everyone to avoid any contact with dihydrogen monoxide, internally or externally. Who knows what could happen?"

In a Sept. 20 appearance on MSNBC's Hardball, Washington Post television critic Tom Shales defended Rather and CBS. "Dan Rather is a respected newsman with decades of experience. Do you really think he'd go on the air with this unless it'd been fact-checked? I mean, I've known the truth about water for years. If I have to drink anything, I'll have a nice snifter of clarified butter. And you're not going to catch me anywhere near a bath or shower."

CBS News President Andrew Heyward issued this statement: "We stand by Dan Rather's report, but are aware of the many questions that have arisen. We will continue to pursue this story, in much the same way Crime Scene Investigator Gil Grissom and his team relentlessly uncover the truth every week on the smash hit CSI, Thursday nights at 9. CBS: The Best Is Right Here."

PREVIOUSLY: Rather Alters Stance on Space-Unicorn Royalty

Posted by Jim Treacher at 08:56 AM

September 23, 2004

Dear Dan: When you're outclassed by Jayson Freaking Blair...

...maybe it's time to call it a day.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 09:01 AM

Can both things be true?

Ken Layne, 2001: "It's the Internet, and we can fact-check your ass!"

Mickey Kaus, 2004: "This is the blogosphere, where we get to talk about... what we are interested in talking about!"

Posted by Jim Treacher at 08:18 AM

September 21, 2004

Note to Joe Scarborough:

I don't really know what that means either! Just reporting the facts, without fear or favoritism.

(To hear what I'm talking about, click here and here. Special thanks to Raving Atheist for the clips.)

Update: Okay, MSNBC just put up the transcript:

[Video clip of Rather's on-air apology/"apology"]

SCARBOROUGH: Bob Kohn, is that enough, or should Dan Rather be fired?

BOB KOHN, AUTHOR, "JOURNALISTIC FRAUD": Absolutely. You know, he's not sorry. If he's sorry for anything, as I said before, he's sorry he got caught.

You know, Dan Rather's being called on the Internet, Queen of the Space Unicorns. I mean, he has become a complete joke out there. CBS must do something about him.

And then a couple of minutes later:

SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, you and I have been called a lot of things, but we have never been called the Queen of the Space Unicorns. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I'll have to go on the Internet tonight and see what—what Bob Kohn was talking about.

Kind of misses the joke, but hey, that's TV news. So with the Buchanan thing, I almost feel like I have some sort of tenuous connection with Ali G. No? Not even a little?

Posted by Jim Treacher at 07:25 PM

This seemed too good to leave in Matt Welch's comments

Matt pointed out this quote from today's NYT:

CBS News officials said yesterday "a perfect storm," of circumstances -- including intense competition, faith in the reputation and judgment of a producer, and the reliance on a source with questionable integrity -- had led to their journalistic lapse.

And I was like:

It's interesting that they liken it to a George Clooney movie, considering that bloggers worked From Dusk Till Dawn to debunk the story, it fell apart within One Fine Day, and so far the source* of the memos has been Out of Sight.

*[Make that "the actual source," please. -- ed.]

Posted by Jim Treacher at 12:45 PM

September 20, 2004

Blogs 1, Space Unicorns 0

Well, what's this? Who decided to stop by?

cbs.PNG

And now?

CBS News on Monday said it regretted broadcasting a story about President Bush's military service based on documents whose authenticity is in doubt, saying the source of the material had misled the network.

CBS News Anchor Dan Rather, the reporter of the original story, apologized.

In a statement, CBS said former Texas Guard official Bill Burkett "has acknowledged that he provided the now-disputed documents" and "admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents' origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source."

The network did not say the memoranda — purportedly written by one of Mr. Bush's National Guard commanders — were forgeries. But the network did say it could not authenticate the documents and that it should not have reported them.

Glad I could help!

Okay, enough blogger triumphalizationalisticism. (For now!) So, I guess that's the end of it, right? I mean, they said they were sorry we all noticed, what more do you want. What's that? Who's the "actual source"? Oh, I'm sure it's no big deal.

Update: Bleah examines their statement in slightly more detail.
Update 2: I don't want to speak out of turn, but apparently serious questions have been raised here.
Update 3: I'm sure there are MP3s of Keystone Kops music floating around, I just don't feel like Googling them. Go find one, fire it up, and read this.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 09:37 AM

And now, CBS spokeswoman Emily Littella:

"Never miiiiiind."

Posted by Jim Treacher at 06:51 AM

September 19, 2004

(Severance) Checks and (Closely Monitored Bank) Balances

That's all, just the title.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 10:28 AM

I've never written fanfic before*, but I want to fit in with all the other blogs this morning

X-Files 2: Rather Suspicious
By James F. Treacher

Mulder ran into the door of the X-Files one day. Scully was sitting there reading some papers at her desk, being all librarianishly sexy and shit.

"Hey, Scully!"

"What?"

"Look at these documents!" He threw some photocopies down on her and looked at her like, Hah? She glanced through them quietly for a moment without speaking, her breathtaking eyes rolling across the pages.

"These... Mulder, these are obviously falsities. The dates are in the early 1970's, but they don't look anything like typed documents at the time. And you should know, Mulder, we've got file cabinets full of them in this basement office we've shared at the FBI for years as we've investigated paranormal activity for the government." She held them up, chewing her glasses. "Mulder, where did you get these?"

"That's the question, isn't it?" Mulder started pacing around and running his hands across his dense, full head of hair. He was in a state. "Where did I get them indeed? The ancient Egyptians believed that preserving a pharaoh's corpse would ensure him a place in the 'celestial fields' forever. And yet in 1908, the Tunguska meteor was said to have been felt up to 600 miles away. And then Lenny Bruce suddenly develops a 'heroin habit'? Really? These memos are leading us to something, Scully. Something big, I can feel it!"

"Mulder, what the fuck are you talking about?"

"ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO PRETEND YOU DON'T KNOW?!?" He charged up and slammed his fists on her desk like an angry parent. She flew back out of her chair and landed on the cold tile floor, her prim black skirt riding up over her milky white thighs and her gray silk blouse ripping open to reveal deep, lightly freckled cleavage.

"Mulder, calm down."

"Don't tell me to calm down! You think Rove DIDN'T have anything to do with this? Are you BLIND?" He advanced on her, his tousled hair looking great. "Did he get to you? How did he get to you?"

"Alright, Mulder, back off," she growled, unholstering her sidearm. She looked so fucking hot when she did this it's not even funny. "Don't make me shoot, Mulder!" She raised the weapon and was breathing like she was getting nailed real hard.

"I luh... love you, Scully. I love you, but I can't let you get away with this." He jumped.

BLAM!

The... End?

*I've been reminded that this claim is not entirely true. And I'm not sure if this counts or not. Or this (right-click, save).

Posted by Jim Treacher at 09:10 AM

September 18, 2004

can't even think of a headline

Ho.

Lee.

Shit.

Something tells me 60 Minutes might be worth Tivoing. [Update: Guess not!] And I didn't realize how accurate this would end up being! Or... [Pulls up collar of trench coat, looks both ways] ...did I? Well, the next few days should be fun for anybody who likes X-Files fanfic.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 09:58 PM

September 17, 2004

Just because I'm a blogger doesn't mean I'm not a loser

Hi! Isn't it a weird coincidence that CBS fell for documents they thought were written in 1972, which was also the last time they updated their Crisis Management manual?

So. My traffic has been Rather heavy (hardy-har-etc.) because of the "Space Unicorns" thing, and I started wondering if anybody at CBS was checking it out. So I combed my visitor logs, if you'll forgive the phrase, several times today. Okay, 150. Folks from the following web domains (in no particular order) were nice enough to stop by:

Army, Navy, Air Force (no Marines that I saw, probably because I'M A PUSSY), the Pentagon, Ford Motors, the House of Representatives, NIH, Budweiser, Daimler-Chrysler, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Jack in the Box, MIT, Pixar, Disney, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, American University, the Treasury Department, FDIC, FAA, St. Jude's, Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, the Dow Jones, MSNBC, the NY Times, the LA Times, the State Department, the Federal Judiciary...

But no CBS! I was hoping to post a screenshot of a visit from CBSNews.com and caption it "Hi, Dan!" But then I realized you couldn't teach him how to use the Internet if you told him it was made of rock candy. Maybe if I carved a blog on a scrap of birchbark and sent it to him by Pony Express.

Anyway. If any of these folks liked what they saw and are back to read this, welcome! Don't worry, I won't tell anybody you're reading my crap when you're supposed to be protecting the country or making computer-animated vertebrates tell fart jokes. [You just did, idiot. -- ed.]

And now there will be beer. Killian's, natch.

P.S. Oh, no way. Number nine... number nine... number nine... Oh well. Fun while it lasted.

P.P.S. Macro-Drunk Micro-Rant: You know, when Jayson Blair got caught with his pants a) down and b) in the wrong ZIP code, at least he had the sense to hide in his apartment and get high. This purring gargoyle is still staring America in the face every night. Or whatever fraction of America is still watching him. No matter what it says on his teleprompter, every word out of his mouth from now on means "Fuck you." [Cue Cheney joke]

Mike Wallace must be crapping his pants even more freely these days. Who's gonna be scared of 60 Minutes anymore? "Oh, Ed Bradley is investigating my string of sweatshop/snuff film studios? Great, tell him to bring along America's Funniest Home Videos!" Say what you want about them, but they've done a lot of good over the decades, and now they've been cut off at the knees by this demented fossil. How they must hate him.

TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK

P.P.P.S. You know that "Buckhead" dude who sparked the whole thing? Turns out he's totally a Republican, even though he was posting to Free Republic. Therefore, MS Word was invented at Woodstock. Halleluiah.

P.P.P.P.S. Not to tell you what to do, but you should read Last and Steyn on this topic if you haven't already. Also, this post from Michele gives you an idea of what Adrian Monk's blog might look like, and I say that with all due respect and affection for both of them.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 08:02 PM

WSJ = We Salute Jim

WSJ.PNG

P.S. I thoroughly reject this scurrilous allegation! [WINK]

Posted by Jim Treacher at 08:22 AM

September 16, 2004

Well, since I've got more traffic today than in I think the last six months put together...

For anybody who still hasn't seen it:

(And to my 37 regular readers: That's the last time I'll post it, honest!)

P.S. Apparently there are two Americas... The America that thinks Microsoft Word was invented in the early '70s and/or believes in time travel, and the one where the rest of us live.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 08:32 PM

You wanna know the real injustice of Rathergate?

It's that I'm this good and I'm not getting a dime for it.*

Regarding my new choice of header (see top of page), Gabe Roth writes:

just found your site via Kausfiles...

the title of my senior honors thesis was "You Said That Irony Was the Shackles of Youth: Generation X, Postmodernism, and Late Capitalist America." this was the kind of thing they let you get away with in the Brown University English department in 1994.

Yeah, that's why I never finished high school. So, ya think Michael Stipe is thinking up rhymes for "memo" right now? Nah, probably not.

*Just kidding. About the boasting, not the poverty. But thanks for reading!

Posted by Jim Treacher at 03:25 PM

CBS News: "Our ratings are droppin' like a steer's family jewels in a rusty bucket"

Wonder why?

Reader Larry Soza passes along this Democratic Underground thread with the video of the original 60 Minutes piece, back in the good old days when the stunning evidence was still real. Weird that none of the DU kids have had anything to say about it since Sept. 9. (The WMV link doesn't seem to be working, but scroll down for the MOV file. If you're on a PC, you might need this codec to view it.)

Posted by Jim Treacher at 10:37 AM

September 15, 2004

Seems to me the only time a headline should describe something as "fake but accurate" is if the story's about squirtguns

But I guess that's why I don't work for the New York Times.

Why do I keep wanting to look behind me to see if there's a looking glass there?

Posted by Jim Treacher at 10:50 PM

You can't spell "Dan Rather" without R-E-T-A-R-D

I mean, Kinko's? Amateurs. Everybody knows you always fax your phony-ass bombshell evidence from Mail Boxes Etc.

One week now. Kind of amazing, huh?

Posted by Jim Treacher at 08:18 PM

Anybody else remember Nathan Thurm?

Thurm.jpgI can't seem to find a picture of him to post. You know, the sweaty little "I knew that! What makes you think I didn't know that?" guy who Martin Short played in the SNL parody of 60 Minutes? For some reason I kept picturing him while reading this.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 03:17 PM

Ol' Dan might be 73, but he's surprisingly fast and strong

You think a tranq gun is gonna take him down? Get real. Until they figure out a way to get him contained, I think CBS is going the right thing in postponing their big announcement.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 01:38 PM

Rather Alters Stance on Space-Unicorn Royalty

NEW YORK -- In a stunning reversal yesterday, embattled CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather renounced his claim to the throne of the Space Unicorns, instead declaring himself to be the Bonnukarr, culmination of human evolution, sent back in time from the 857th Century by the warrior-god Kobaltine IV to prepare mankind for the coming Insect Wars.

"All light flows through me," Rather explained. "All vision is mine."

Poking himself in the left temple with increasing force and rapidity, Rather noted that this revelation of his true nature has brought with it a host of supernatural powers, including the ability to dissolve most solid matter with invisible beams from his fingers, great physical strength and endurance, and the ability to sense the presence of his arch-enemy Lord Gnarl, who "flits from one soul to the next, never far, always just out of reach."

Rather then finished the remainder of his newscast without using vowels.

(Spokesmen for Kobaltine IV could not be reached for comment.)

RELATED STORIES: Water-Wetness Questions Continue to Plague CBS

PREVIOUSLY: Garofalo to Be Lowered into Shredder

Posted by Jim Treacher at 12:39 AM

This image is staying at the top of my blog until I see it on a national news program (for more than 2 seconds) Oh, why bother... it's not really earthshattering evidence anyway, right?

Pass it on.

(If you decide to join me and post this on your own site, though, please save it to your own server instead of linking to this copy. Speaking of the guy who created this, Charles Johnson is getting swamped!)

Update: Hee. That was quick! FEEL MY POWER, CNN. But seriously. Okay, how about we keep it in people's faces until it gets shown for more than 2 seconds, and maybe even gets some sort of examination?

Posted by Jim Treacher at 12:00 AM

September 14, 2004

This seemed too good to leave in the Reason Hit & Run comments

Phil Dennison wrote, regarding Rather vs. blogs:

Blogosphere, schmogosphere. Go to the mall this afternoon and ask 100 people randomly, "Do you know who any of the following people are?" followed by the top 25 most-read blogs.

And I was like:

You think the dinosaurs knew the name of the comet?

Update: And yet another new wrinkle. Tee-hee!
Update 2: Visual proof of what killed the dinosaurs.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 01:58 PM

The Crayola Gambit

I have nothing but love for the blogosphere as a whole, but I'm starting to think if these memos had been written in multicolored crayon, you guys would be digging around for Crayola sites and bickering over whether those particular hues did indeed exist in '72. "I was in the National Guard back then, and there's no way a lieutenant colonel would have ever used Hot Magenta!" Let's try to focus, people:

cya.jpg

30-year-old typewritten memo, I'd like to introduce you to Microsoft Word. Oh, I see you've already met! Isn't that funny.

Team Bleah has a mega-roundup with links to the CBS implosion (Bill Glennon: Media Juggernaut) and the various MSM* outlets who are finally catching up on Hurricane Kenneth, Rathergate, MemoranDUMB, or whatever you want to call it. You know, I wouldn't be surprised if some or all of them are secretly minions of Lord Gnarl.

And finally, typing the following sentence makes me feel like my life is complete: Lord Floppington fact-checks my ass.

*Mainstream media, for those of you who don't sit in front of blogs all day. If anybody who doesn't sit in front of blogs all day is actually reading this.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 08:45 AM

September 13, 2004

Unidentified Flying Office

Ken Layne compares this whole memo deal to the Majestic 12 documents, which hadhave some folks convinced that the gov't. knows about space aliens that have been zipping around and putting things in people's butts. As Layne points out, Chris Carter bought his own island off that crap.

You know, come to think of it... UFOs are a pretty damn good explanation for these memos, aren't they? Think about it, we've been limiting our thinking to terrestrial word processing programs. "There's no way this Killian dude could have had Microsoft Word back in '72!" Well... what if he did? What if he befriended a friendly alien creature and borrowed its laptop to type up his memos? Everybody knows aliens are way more advanced than Earth folk, so they had Windows in like the '50s probably. Who knows how advanced they would have been by '72? "This thing is blazin', Z'eep! What is it, a Pentium Gajillion?" So Killian typed up those memos on the spaceputer, and then when Z'eep's space friends came to Earth to take him back home, they brought along Dan Rather, who they'd been keeping as a space pet but he kept dumping on the space furniture so they left him down here, and so that's how he knew about the whole alien laptop memo thing, and he's been waiting for 30 years to finally run with it, and that's why the documents match up because of advanced alien technology, and so once again Bush sucks.

I like it! I think I'm gonna go with that explanation. Hey, if you think you can prove me wrong, fire away. Remember: The burden of proof is on you.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 07:13 PM

The thing of it is?

Tonight's edition of the CBS Evening News was only slightly less ridiculous than that.

So has anybody started selling pajamas with little Dan Rather heads on them yet? (Go ahead and steal the idea if you want. This blog seems to be allergic to making money anyway.)

Update: Via Erik Erickson, via Rather Biased (which apparently is having server problems), here's the transcript of tonight's CBS... News? That word is in the title of the show, so I guess that's the only criterion. Anyway, click the extended entry to read their explanation of how they didn't actually fuck up.

Another update: One thing that's missing from this transcript is something Rather said at the very end, which I remember because it pretty much sums up his whole viewpoint. Also because I Tivo'd it. Added text in bold:

CBS News asked the White House today to give direct answers to a number of questions: Did a friend of the Bush family use his influence with the then-Texas house speaker to get George W. Bush into the National Guard? Did Lieutenant Bush refuse an order to take a required physical? Was he suspended for failing to perform up to standards? And did he complete his commitment to the guard?

In reply, a White House spokesman told CBS News today: "As you know, we have repeatedly addressed these issues."

These direct questions have not been fully, completely answered. The White House and the Bush-Cheney campaign always point out President Bush received an honorable discharge. What's in the 60 Minutes report CBS News believes to be true, and believes the documents to be authentic.

That's right: This week of all weeks, Dan Rather is complaining about getting stonewalled. Even better, stonewalled by the guy he just tried to take a headshot at, before he realized he was carrying blanks. Breathtaking. And the 30-year-old Word docs? That whole thing is settled now. Move it along.

***

DAN RATHER: Coming up on the "CBS Evening News," more on the controversy the president's national guard record. It's tonight's "inside story." [commercial break]

Besides checking on John Kerry's service record, CBS has been checking president Bush's service in the national guard, including whether or not he did or did not fulfill his commitment. We're gathering information, asking questions and probing. CBS is also addressing questions about documents used to corroborate some of the information in our reporting. Documents used to corroborate some of the information in our reporting. Some of these questions come from people who are not active political partisans. It is tonight's inside story. At a democratic national press conference today, some of the shots fired at military men were aimed at president Bush's national guard service.

But official records showed he skipped a physical and was grounded. Do you know how hard it is to get your annual physical? I took 37 of them in a row.

RATHER: There has also been criticism of the new documents obtained by CBS. But CBS used several techniques to make sure these papers should be taken seriously. Talking to handwriting and document analysts and other experts who strongly insist that the documents could have be created in the 70s.

Everything in those documents that people are saying can't be done, as you said, 32 years ago, is totally false. Not true. Like I said, proportional spacing was available, superscripts was available as a custom feature. Proportional spacing between lines was available. You could order it any way you like.

RATHER: Richard Katz, a software designer found other indications in the documents. He noticed the lower case l is used in documents instead of the actual numeral one. That would be difficult to reproduce on the computer today.

If you were doing this a week ago or a month ago on a normal laser jet printer, it wouldn't work. The font wouldn't be available to you.

RATHER: Katz noted the documents have the superscript "th" and a regular-sized "th". That would be common on a typewriter, not a computer.

RICHARD KATZ: There is one document from may of 1972 which contains a normal "th" at the top. To produce that in Microsoft word, you would have to go out of your way to type the letters and then turn the th setting off or back over them and type them again.

RATHER: CBS news relied on an analysis of the contents of the documents themselves to determine the contents authenticity. It is in line with is known about the service and dates.

For instance, the official record shows that Mr. Bush was suspended from flying on august 1, 1972. That date matches the one on a memo given to CBS news, ordering that Mr. Bush he be suspended. Shortly after "60 minutes" broadcast the new documents last week, "usa today" obtained another new document. In the memo dated February 2, 1972, Colonel Killian asked to be "updated as soon as possible on flight certifications, specifically Bush." That appears to be in line with newly released white house documents that indicate changes in Mr. Bush's flight certification in early 1972. An analysis shows that instead of exclusively flying the f-102 he'd been certified in, the president began additional training in a lower level plane and flight simulators.

CBS news asked the White House today to answer a number of questions: Did a friend of the Bush family use his influence with the Texas house speaker to get George W. Bush into the National Guard? Did Lieutenant Bush refuse an order to take a required physical? Was he suspended for failing to perform up to standards? And did he, in fact, complete his commitment to the guard?

In reply, a White House spokesman told CBS's John Roberts: "As you know, we have repeatedly addressed these issues, including during the interview you conducted on behalf of Mr. Rather last Wednesday." The White House and the Bush-Cheney campaign always point out President Bush received an honorable discharge.

What is in the "60 Minutes" report CBS news believes to be true and believes to be authentic. Straight ahead on the "CBS Evening news," they're supposed to inspect your bags, not steal from them. He got caught red handed.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 05:35 PM

Rather: "Prove I'm Not Queen of the Space Unicorns"

rathercorn.jpgNEW YORK -- For the fourth time in as many days, CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather interrupted his telecast tonight to reiterate his claim that he has been crowned Queen of the Space Unicorns.

Glaring into the camera, Rather leveled a stern denunciation of his skeptics, terming them "hateful" and "jealous."

"I have told you again and again the tales of my ascension, my travels and adventures amongst the Cloud People, my ongoing struggle with Lord Gnarl and the Carved Army of the Fateful Forest. You've heard the facts, and that's the end of it. You think you can challenge my claim to the throne? Go for it. But you can't, can you? You can't, and you know it. So let's just get past this."

Holding up a document that he insisted was proof of his royal lineage, Rather repeated his demand to be addressed as "Queen Alareol the Wise, Protector of the Rainbow-Flame." The document appeared to be a doorknob menu for a local Chinese restaurant.

"I don't expect you people to understand what I'm going through," continued Rather. "I don't have to take this. All I want is a little consideration here. A little consideration, and some nice green grass. Crunchy, delicious grass. Nnnnnyaaaaar."

The CBS Evening News airs at 6:30 p.m. EST.

BREAKING NEWS: Rather Alters Stance on Space-Unicorn Royalty

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Posted by Jim Treacher at 12:47 AM

September 12, 2004

Hey, does anybody know if there's video of the original 60 Minutes piece out there?

The one that started Hurricane Kenneth? The whole segment, not just clips. If so, could you drop a link in the comments? Er, post a hyperlink, that is. Thanks in advance!

Posted by Jim Treacher at 10:23 AM | Comments (2)

Pop quiz is right

PC Magazine has a non-partisan examination of text from the manual for the IBM Selectric Composer typewriter compared with the same text typed in Word. It shows the two samples side-by-side, and they look pretty dang close. As the article puts it, "The fact that the two resemble each other does not prove that both of them were typed in Microsoft Word." And, you know, if you just eyeball them, they look like a match. Hell, if somebody read the two documents to you over the phone, it'd be a slamdunk!

But the author of the article doesn't overlay one sample on the other, the way people are comparing these "memos" against their own Word files of the same text. (They don't look "very much like" Word docs, as PC Mag puts it. They look exactly like Word docs.) In deference to Atrios, who provided the PC Mag link, I decided to put the left one (MS Word) on top of the right one (IBM Selectric):

exact_match_huh.GIF

As you can see, the word "The" lines up perfectly. Take that, RethugliKKKan$! But hey, I'm just a guy who knows how to cut-and-paste and deselect Draw Opaque in MS Paint.

In my pajamas.

P.S. Say... IBM vs. Microsoft again?
P.P.S. Okay, this is really cutting into my baby-eating time, but here's the same comparison at double size:

exact_match_huh_2.GIF

Maybe PC Mag will put up some examples that couldn't be mistaken for postage stamps?
P.P.P.S. It's alive! ALIVE!!!
P.P.P.P.S. And LGF (Let's Get Fonty?) arrives at the same conclusion, with a much more aesthetically pleasing presentation.
P.P.P.P.P.S. And here the author of the PC Mag piece attempts to keep up with his critics.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 09:30 AM

For Your Ears Only

From today's NY Times:

A former National Guard commander who CBS News said had helped convince it of the authenticity of documents raising new questions about President Bush's military service said on Saturday that he did not believe they were genuine.

The commander, Bobby Hodges, said in a telephone interview that network producers had never showed him the documents but had only read them to him over the phone days before they were featured Wednesday in a "60 Minutes" broadcast. After seeing the documents on Friday, Mr. Hodges said, he concluded that they were falsified.

That's right: The documents were "verified" over the phone. Boy, I wonder what that conversation might have sounded like? I wonder... wonder... wonder...

CBS: Okay, this'll just take a second, sir, we're kind of under a time crunch here. So, we have what we believe are documents written by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian in the early '70s. Do you know anything about that?

Hodges: Killian? Early '70s? Hmmmm... I'm pretty sure by that point in his life, he did indeed know how to read and write. Yep, yep, I'm almost 100% positive.

CBS: Yesssss! [Pause] Ahem. Well, thank you very much for your time, sir.

[CLICK]

Hodges: Hello?

The headline of the NYT story is, "An Ex-Officer Now Believes Guard Memo Isn't Genuine." Which is kind of misleading, isn't it? Shouldn't it be, "An Ex-Officer Believes Guard Memo Isn't Genuine, Now That He's Been Allowed to Study on It for a Minute Using More Than His Gift of Hearing"?

P.S. Welcome Instapundit readers! This blog is suddenly All Hurricane Kenneth All the Time, so please feel free to look around.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 04:01 AM

September 11, 2004

Look, you don't need to bore people with jibba-jabba about kerning and superscripts and so forth

Just show them this. CBS has Gil Grissom on payroll, for Pete's sake. He could have told Rather that there's no way a Word file is going to line up this perfectly with a typewritten document, no matter what sort of machine it was typed on. I'm kind of glad he didn't, though, because now we get to watch CSI: Credulous Septuagenarian Implodes.

You know, I think I figured out why this thing is so fascinating to me, and to so many other people. (Beyond how hilarious it is, of course.) It's because, even if I don't know exactly how I feel about Iraq or Bush vs. Kerry or any of that, I know what I can see with my own freaking eyes.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 01:45 PM

Holy goodness, I can't seem to go anywhere these days without running into hard factual evidence of presidential perfidy

Going through the dumpster behind Wendy's after the lunch rush, I found a manila folder full of Warren G. Harding's credit card statements. Spare me all your nitpicking and try to focus on the issue here, folks: How much longer is the media going to ignore Harding's Web-porn problem?

Then as I was walking back to the halfway house, an adorable moppet ran up and offered to sell me a color photograph of George Washington buggering a pack mule. This, as I think you'll agree, is a bombshell. The man on your dollar bill was an animalist, and soon the whole world will know about it! Is $5 too much to pay to guarantee my place in history? I think not, but I talked the little bastard down to $3.25 anyway.

Then I figured I'd thought of enough "match up a president's name with an appropriately anachronistic technology" ribticklers for one day, which is probably good, so hey, beer.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 10:42 AM

I was cleaning out my Grandpa's attic, and I found Teddy Roosevelt's cellphone with all his numbers still on it

Oh, this is gonna be good!

Posted by Jim Treacher at 08:54 AM

September 10, 2004

Dear God, please tell me Dan Rather won't walk away from this thing with his whole entire ass in one piece

From the Washington Post:

"Until someone shows me definitive proof that [those obviously fake documents] are not [authentic], I don't see any reason to carry on a conversation with the professional rumor mill," Rather said.

Okay, I'm no Howard Kurtz or anything, but I've seen one or two episodes of Law & Order in my day, and... isn't the burden of proof on the accuser? It is? Okay. And isn't this crewcutted septuagenarian fadebrain the one who made the really big serious accusation? He is? Check. So... isn't he sort of, you know, under the obligation to verify his claims? And not in a position to sit back and demand that everybody else prove to his satisfaction that it's not clearly bullshit? Is it out of line for me to ask this stuff? Sorry. Sorry. But I mean, if these memos were scribbled in burnt sienna crayon on the back of a Denny's placemat and somebody had the unmitigated gall to say something about it, would that be part of the "professional rumor mill"? I'm just asking here, no big deal.

Hey, this blogging thing is kind of fun after all.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 11:02 PM

Hey, I just found a videotape of the Kennedy assassination!

Finally, solid proof! The camera is looking right over Lee Harvey's shoulder as he's firing away. The timestamp is 11-22-63. A-ha!

And don't try to tell me it's a fake since it's shot on videotape. That was invented in 1951! That's before the Kennedy assassination! I know because I Googled it!

This is huge. Get me Rather on the horn!

Posted by Jim Treacher at 08:06 PM

And are we really going to call these "forgeries"?

If a nine-year-old kid photocopies some pages out of the encyclopedia and turns them in as his book report, is that a "forgery"? And if his teacher doesn't catch it and gets fired, can they get a shot at anchoring the CBS Evening News?

Another good'n.

Posted by Jim Treacher at 11:37 AM

For some reason, this morning I'm reminded of one of the faux-Onion headlines I wrote a while ago

Dan Rather Ignores Pesky Sprites

You know, if I had any Photoshop skills, I'd come up with some more "newly discovered documents": FDR's Powerpoint presentation on how to best capitalize on the upcoming Pearl Harbor attack, transcripts of Lincoln's phone conversations with his gay lover, etc. It would be cool to get to go on 60 Minutes... (D'oh! Way ahead of me. (And another good one. (And I know it's not popular to admit that Charles Johnson might be right about anything, but if you can look at this and still try to hold out hope it's not a fake? Bitch please. (And yet another one. Quick reminder: They didn't have MS Word in '73. (And another. Back and to the left... (And this one, with animation and sound effects even!))))))

Posted by Jim Treacher at 07:40 AM

September 09, 2004

DAMING PRUF, HAHAHA FASHIST BYBY

AWAL.PNG

stoplyang CLICK

NOT TRATCH USADIOTS PUCE

Posted by at 11:31 AM