January 12, 2005

Yellow Journalism


From Jonathan V. Last at The Daily Standard: It's Worse Than You Thought. (Via Little Green Footballs)

After all of his examinations, [the panel's typewriter expert] Peter Tytell had reached exactly the same conclusion as [independent expert Dr. Joseph] Newcomer. And, like Newcomer, Tytell's judgment to the panel could not have been more forthright. The panel reports, "Tytell concluded that the Killian documents were generated on a computer." ...

So how did Thornburgh and Boccardi [the panel] manage to walk away from their own expert's decisive verdict? The answer is hidden in footnote 16 on page 7 of Appendix 4:

Although his reasoning seems credible and persuasive, the Panel does not know for certain whether Tytell has accounted for all alternative typestyles that might have been available on typewriters during that era.

Leave aside the "no political bias" finding; leave aside the kid-glove treatment of Dan Rather and Andrew Heyward. This abdication of responsibility by the panel in the face of their own expert's conclusions is so startling that it legitimately calls into question -- by itself -- everything else in the report.

As RatherGate.com noted earlier this week, anchorman Dan Rather has also refused to acknowledge that the memos are fakes. Quoting from the Panel's report:

Rather informed the Panel that he still believes the content of the documents is true because "the facts are right on the money," and that no one had provided persuasive evidence that the documents were not authentic.

No "persuasive evidence"? Dr. Newcomer's evidence is beyond persuasive; it's conclusive: The Bush "Guard memos" are forgeries. (The link is via Charles Johnson, who also has a long list of related posts here.)

Reporting the truth is obviously not a priority at CBS. They seem to be afraid of it in this case. Which is too bad for them; completely exposing and acknowledging the facts, no matter how damning, was the only way for the network to salvage its journalistic credibility.

Posted by Forkum at January 12, 2005 03:03 PM