[King]:Let's take a brief look.Fake-but-accurate lives on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "60 MINUTES II," SEPTEMBER 8, 2004, COURTESY CBS)
RATHER: Did then Lieutenant Bush fulfill all of his military commitments?
And just how did he land that coveted slot in the Guard in the first place?
Tonight, we have new documents and new information on the president's military service and the first ever interview with the man who says he pulled the strings to get young George W. Bush into the Texas Air National Guard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Are you sorry about that now?
KING: You think the report was correct?
RATHER: Yes. And I think most people know by now that it was correct. Keep in mind that Colonel Killian's -- he's the deceased commander of George Bush -- his secretary took a look at the document and said everything in here is true.
As noted in an earlier post on this subject, however, Dan Rather is so delusional at this point that he seems to think that the supposed Killian memos haven't been proved fake.
KING: But there were some erroneous things in the report, right, weren't there?Think about what Rather in saying in the big picture, here. Rather is saying that Killian's secretary, a liberal partisan who received a nice (paid) vacation courtesy of CBS for her story, provides enough evidence to support the story. That is what he is saying because the documents were almost surely forged, at odds something like 1 million to 1. The only shred of hope that the documents weren't forged comes from the notion that a rare and expensive typewriter from that earlier era was used for routine documents in the Texas Air National Guard, and beyond that happened to have features of typography that would make it virtually identical to one produced with Microsoft Word. And that's ignoring the mistakes in formatting.
RATHER: That has not been proven. What -- the one place, the one place that we were vulnerable -- I acknowledged it and wish we hadn't been was -- I want to make it very clear, nobody to this day has shown that these documents were fraudulent. Nobody has proved that they were fraudulent, much less a forgery, which they're often described that way. The facts of the story, the truth of the story stands up to this day.
And what is journalism?
Journalism is trying to get at the truth, trying to separate bull shine from brass tacks. And the brass tacks were in that story. The story was true.
Language Log provides a good explanation:
And there's even more where that came from.
One small but telling observation of typography has to do with two characters I recently discussed in another context here):
The first has the HTML code ' and is known as the apostrophe or tick or pock. The second has the HTML code ’ and also ’ because it is a 9-shaped right single quote, used to match the 6-shaped left single quote. As I remarked, no font distinguishes the functions by consistent uses of these differently shaped glyphs. The Times Roman font standardly uses the character ’-shaped character for both the apostrophe function and the single right quote function, though you can insert the '-shaped glyph if you want to for some special reason. One special reason might be that you wanted to simulate a typewriter: since their invention, typewriters have had only the ' glyph. You were supposed to use it for both left and right single quote functions as well as the apostrophe function. But many people do not seem to notice the difference in shape between these glyphs. And the alleged Bush memos have ’ (see the pictures given as part of the analysis here ), the one never found on typewriters. These memos were not typed in 1972.
A second and even clearer giveaway feature is the appearance of small-font superscripts in words like 117th. In 1972 these could hardly be done at all using office equipment. If you had a fancy typesetter, the IBM Selectric Composer, which would have cost you the 1972 equivalent of about $20,000, then if you knew how you could produce something like this effect, but it was struggle, and involved stopping to adjust the paper position and change the type ball before and after the th (a blog called The Shape of Days gives the full details). But Microsoft Word's AutoCorrect feature and WordPerfect's QuickCorrect feature both automatically change 117th to 117th as you type if you leave them with the default settings the way the programs come from the factory — unless you leave a space to break up the sequence, getting a thoroughly non-standard look (117 th). The alleged Bush memos have a mixture of 117 th (with a space) and 117th (with a small-font superscript). They were typed using a modern word processor, like Word or WordPerfect, using the factory defaults. The forger was not careful enough either to switch off the automatic substitution, or to go back and remove the space in 117 th, or to go back and turn the superscript off in 117th (any of which would have been fairly easy). These memos were not typed in 1972.
In short, Rather is delusional and has veered outside his own definition of journalism. He can't see the truth to tell it.