Yer Little, And Yer Yella

|

RatherBiased.com, the site that's having Christmas in September this year, claims to be experiencing server overload and requests concerned citizens to mirror its transcript of Dan Rather's Monday night response to his docucritics. I've been curious about how CBS Evening News is handling the brouhaha but have not gotten around to watching the broadcast (or more importantly, checking on Dan's ratings—I assume this thing must be giving him a boost); so it's an interesting passage. And I'm also pleased with the commercial segueway at the end, which indicates Dan is taking an interest in the real problem of theft by TSA employees:

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.

Advertisement

NEXT: Shotgun Wedding

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. That was the saddest excuse for a cover-up attempt I’ve ever seen. You’d think Dan Rather would have picked up some techniques from all those years he spent as a pain in Richard Nixon’s ass.

  2. Dan’s obvious bias is catching up with him, but he refuses to admit it. The funniest part was when he tried to tell viewers what to think about his forgeries, insisting the allegations contained within were more important than their provenance. Um, no, Dan. The bloggers and Drudge, without editors, busted you & your editors. Deal with it.
    not-Daniel Carver.

  3. Dan the running man. When does he retire? I think the Onion did a piece like this a few months ago. I understand when the text is magnified at 200X the ink jet imprints become obvious. I am sure Dan can explain that.

  4. This just reinforces everything Bernard Goldberg said in “Bias” about the Dan. It is going to be fun to watch him implode.

  5. Like most liberals, Rather thinks we’re all stupid. Granted, his regular viewers are pretty gullable, but to think the general populace can be fooled by such shoddy forgeries is delusional. Stand by your guns, Mr. Rather, your legacy can be that you drove the final nail in the coffin of the old media. Long live the blogosphere!

  6. “That was the saddest excuse for a cover-up attempt I’ve ever seen.”

    I know. That dry recitation of verifiable facts – so passe.

  7. ” 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.”

    I hate to burst your bubble Danny boy, but we’re talking about the early 1970s Air National Guard here. The Guard back then most likely used some clunky, WWII surplus Royal typewriters, not some state-of-the-art, custom model.

    However, when all is said and done, this is really fraud is really going to affect no one. Regardless of whether or not these documents are phony, they won’t sway Republican’s away from Bush, Democrats from Kerry, or the undecideds from apathy. Rather’s status as venurable broadcast journalist make him too big to be harmed by this mess. I’m sure that he and CBS are figuring that this will all be forgotten in a few weeks. After all, why should they give Republicans the satisfaction of an apology when they’re all watching Fox?

  8. Laughably pathetic.

  9. Forgive the error, I just got up.

    Edit: When all is said and done, the issue of is this is really a fraud isn’t going to affect anyone.

  10. Edit to the edit: the issue of whether this is…

    I need coffee. 🙁

  11. Available? Yes. But only to those with the awesome power to control…

    the IBM Selectrec! Gaze in wonder at its amazing BALL OF LETTERS!

    Oh wondrous letter ball! Will I have a boy child or a girl child? Will my goats multiply and spread across the dell? Will my armies have fortune in battle?

    ALL HAIL THE AMAZING BALL OF LETTERS!

  12. Rather/CBS are going to tough this out, “stand by their story,” until it fades from memory. The docs are fake, but my bet is that CBS will prevail nonetheless.

  13. I realized ol’ Danny boy’s ladder was missing a few rungs since Sep. 11th… Nineteen Eighty-Seven! Apparently the clues go even farther back.

  14. 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.

    Some expert. Actually, all you have to do is Ctrl+Z undo when Word turns the “th” into superscript.

    I don’t know if I buy the MS Word angle, though. It’s pretty easy and inexpensive to get an old typewriter off eBay, and if I was to fake such a document, I’d go whole hog authentic.

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

    The idea that the blog world is about to supplant broadcast news and newspapers as the, let alone a, primary source of news is a pipe dream.

  16. MSM, BDSM. Go to the mall this afternoon and ask 100 people randomly, “Do you who know any of the following people?” followed by the top 25 most-read columnists.

  17. I can’t get this this visual of Dan Rather out of my mind!

  18. I was inclined to believe Don’t get your hopes up on this, until today’s open-and-shut WaPo story, including the signature expert Matley yanking the rug out just 72 hours after his Friday appearance on the CBS evening news. If other mainstream media outlets join this chorus, it’s over for Dan.

  19. The entire WaPo piece bears reading; it leaves no room for a reasonable person to defend either those forgeries, or CBS:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18982-2004Sep13.html

    Excerpts:

    –A detailed comparison by The Washington Post of memos obtained by CBS News with authenticated documents on Bush’s National Guard service reveals dozens of inconsistencies, ranging from conflicting military terminology to different word-processing techniques.

    The analysis shows that half a dozen Killian memos released earlier by the military were written with a standard typewriter using different formatting techniques from those characteristic of computer-generated documents. CBS’s Killian memos bear numerous signs that are more consistent with modern-day word-processing programs, particularly Microsoft Word.

    “I am personally 100 percent sure that they are fake,” said Joseph M. Newcomer, author of several books on Windows programming, who worked on electronic typesetting techniques in the early 1970s. Newcomer said he had produced virtually exact replicas of the CBS documents using Microsoft Word formatting and the Times New Roman font.

    A detailed examination of the CBS documents beside authenticated Killian memos and other documents generated by Bush’s 147th Fighter Interceptor Group suggests at least three areas of difference that are difficult to reconcile:

    ? Word-processing techniques. Of more than 100 records made available by the 147th Group and the Texas Air National Guard, none used the proportional spacing techniques characteristic of the CBS documents. Nor did they use a superscripted “th” in expressions such as “147th Group” and or “111th Fighter Intercept Squadron.”

    In a CBS News broadcast Friday night rebutting allegations that the documents had been forged, Rather displayed an authenticated Bush document from 1968 that included a small “th” next to the numbers “111” as proof that Guard typewriters were capable of producing superscripts. In fact, say Newcomer and other experts, the document aired by CBS News does not contain a superscript, because the top of the “th” character is at the same level as the rest of the type. Superscripts rise above the level of the type.

    ? Factual problems. A CBS document purportedly from Killian ordering Bush to report for his annual physical, dated May 4, 1972, gives Bush’s address as “5000 Longmont #8, Houston.” This address was used for many years by Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush. National Guard documents suggest that the younger Bush stopped using that address in 1970 when he moved into an apartment, and did not use it again until late 1973 or 1974, when he moved to Cambridge, Mass., to attend Harvard Business School.

    One CBS memo cites pressure allegedly being put on Killian by “Staudt,” a reference to Col. Walter B. “Buck” Staudt, one of Bush’s early commanders. But the memo is dated Aug. 18, 1973, nearly a year and a half after Staudt retired from the Guard. Questioned about the discrepancy over the weekend, CBS officials said that Staudt was a “mythic figure” in the Guard who exercised influence from behind the scenes even after his retirement.

    ? Stylistic differences. To outsiders, how an officer wrote his name and rank or referred to his military unit may seem arcane and unimportant. Within the military, however, such details are regulated by rules and tradition, and can be of great significance. The CBS memos contain several stylistic examples at odds with standard Guard procedures, as reflected in authenticated documents.

    In memos previously released by the Pentagon or the White House, Killian signed his rank “Lt Col” or “Lt Colonel, TexANG,” in a single line after his name without periods. In the CBS memos, the “Lt Colonel” is on the next line, sometimes with a period but without the customary reference to TexANG, for Texas Air National Guard.

    An ex-Guard commander, retired Col. Bobby W. Hodges, who CBS originally cited as a key source in authenticating its documents, pointed to discrepancies in military abbreviations as evidence that the CBS memos are forgeries. The Guard, he said, never used the abbreviation “grp” for “group” or “OETR” for an officer evaluation review, as in the CBS documents. The correct terminology, he said, is “gp” and “OER.” —

    ——————————

    The Dr. Thomas Newcomer, cited in WaPo’s devastating debunking of Rather, has a string of relevant alphabet soup after his name, and does a highly detailed (but at times humorously sarcastic), overwhelmingly persuasive techno-geek take-down of CBS/Rather here at his web page: http://www.flounder.com/bush2.htm

    –Mona–

  20. I think joe’s going down with Rather. Stick to yer guns, do us all a favor.

  21. Oops, I called him Thomas Newcomer. It is Joseph M. Newcomer, Computer Scientist.

    As for joe, I can understand his distress. These memos were cooked up to **amazingly** appear, after 30 yrs, in the final weeks of a presidential election, and they fit oh-so-nicely with one side’s “Operation Fortunate Son” campaign strategy. That strategy is now hi-jacked by a scandal about the MSM. Investigative journalists, smelling blood, are digging to see whether these fakes can be linked back to the Kerry Campaign or the DNC.

    –Mona–

  22. While I am completely convinced that the docs are fake, actual _proof_ of the fakery requires the original docs. And CBS won’t provide them, ever. Why should they? Who’s big enough to make them?

    As long as CBS, the MSM, and their partisans can deride bloggers as grassy-knoll-conspiracy-theorists, they’ll get away with it. To see examples of such partisan derision, in surprising quantity, check out the comments at today’s WSJ Online Readers Poll.

    Has everybody seen the NYPost article about Marcel Matley the “document analyst” yet?
    http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/30329.htm
    Turns out he’s some kind of New-Agey nut.

  23. “The docs are fake, but my bet is that CBS will prevail nonetheless.”

    I put the over/under for CBS’s admission that the documents are forged at noon tomorrow.

    I’ll give 3/2 that Rather retires this week.

  24. If these docs are authentic, there should be a lot of them around. Rather than insisting that THESE docs could have been produced easily in 1972, show us thousands of such documents with these characteristics from this time period in the same or similar military units. Ones that are unimpeachably (or relatively so) from authentic military documents.

    Seriously, its far easier to debunk the forgery myth by comparison to outside sources. Unless there are other documents from 1972 ANG files that resemble these docs, I’m gonna say that their authenticity is in too much doubt to be used, and that Dan & Co shouldn’t have used them. Not because they think they ARE bogus, but because they’re not sure they’re NOT.

  25. “While I am completely convinced that the docs are fake, actual _proof_ of the fakery requires the original docs.”

    Actually, no. CBS’s own “expert,” Marcel Matley — who is now saving his career by beating a path of retreat — has written previously in the September 27, 2002 issue of the journal, “The Practical Litigator” (I triple-asterisked the money quote):

    –In fact, modern copiers and computer printers are so good that they permit easy fabrication of quality forgeries. From a copy, the document examiner cannot authenticate the unseen original ***but may well be able to determine that the unseen original is false.*** Further, a definite finding of authenticity for a signature is not possible from a photocopy, while a definite finding of falsity is possible.–

    And scores of experts have done just that, i.e., determined that the unseen CBS originals are false.

    –Mona–

  26. i just don’t understand why they’d bother in the first place. the whole “fortunate son” angle is embraced by those who want to embrace it and allowed/dismissed by those who don’t.

  27. Wow, did another astroturf alert go out? Welcome back, Mona. I wouldn’t talk about memos about Bush’s absence from the Guard mysteriously appearing if I were on your team.

    None of the gotcha points you present are particularly revealing, either. Small raised th vs superscripted th? So what – both are commonly referred to as superscript. The TANG may have used an old address after Bush moved. This is significant because…? It’s considered odd that a politically connected, retired high level officer could put pressure on his former subordinates? Why is that?

    Still don’t know which way this is going to come down. Someone may have conned Dan Rather – I’m sure CBS paid well for the documents. OTOH, the assertions of “proof” of the documents’ forgery keep turning out to be less than meets the eye, themselves. What we end up with is nothing proven, nothing disproven, just vague “clouds” over the documents’ reputation.

    If they are a forgery, their appearance immediately after the guy who pulled strings to get Bush into the Guard goes public, and the appearance of ads featuring people who he should have been serving with but didn’t, is just as suspicious as the alternate scenario Mona repeats.

    Sorry, Doug, I don’t really have a dog in this fight. It’s just that I lived through the 1990s, and thus developed a spectator’s interest in right wing railroad jobs.

    My prediction: there will be sufficient doubt cast on the documents to raise legitimate suspicion, and Bush surrogates in the right wing media will overreach and undermine their own cause, just as with impeachment.

    I see Mona and her “investigative reporters” have already begun.

  28. Whoa, Nellie!!! (As Keith Jackson might say) If you recall the first days of Lewinsky, JDM is pulling a Sam Donaldson…i.e., getting way ahead of the established facts on the “Rather resigns” call.

    CBS’s last fallback point will be that “we were misled” and to deflect blame like crazy…then they may get a lifeline from the rest of the MSM. Note above how joe is already using this “deceived” device.

    dhex, the answer to your question is: If the Staudt “sugarcoat” memo were in fact true that would have been a good tool for the MSM/Kerry campaign to hammer Bush.

  29. It’s good to see Joe drinking the Kool-Aid. Stay away from razors on Nov. 3.

  30. “Note above how joe is already using this “deceived” device.”

    Device? Does the possibility of Dan Rather being a dupe really strike you as being especially unlikely? You must think more of him than I.

  31. “Wow, did another astroturf alert go out?”

    Those dirty Republican operatives are really working hard to get out the vote among the 100 or so drunk agorophobes that bother reading the comments section of this and other blog.

    You are one delusional dude.

  32. “CBS’s last fallback point will be that ‘we were misled'”

    That will be CBS’s position. Rather has already staked his defence on the fact that he’s Dan Rather and he can’t be deceived. Which I think he believes entirely. He will think he has been betrayed by elements within CBS when they admit the forgery, and retire as a matter of honor. The only question is: how entertaining will his exit be? Will he just not show up one day, storm off the set after an incoherent rant, or reach under the desk for a revolver?

    Or maybe he’ll just stick with his cushy anchor job for a few more years and never mention the whole embarassing incident again.

  33. snake: well, yeah, i guess so…just seems like so much work for such little payoff.

    i do have a conspiracy theory of my own – i think there’s a farther left element in the dnc that wants to blow this election so they can reconnect with the NOTBUSH elements and really crank this shit out in 2008. or they’re truly fucking incompetent. not sure which one i like better yet.

  34. Jack,

    The challenger is within a point of the incumbant after Labor Day. (Rassmussen today, and yesterday).

    Keep away from razor blades yourself.

  35. i think there’s a farther left element in the dnc that wants to blow this election so they can reconnect with the NOTBUSH elements and really crank this shit out in 2008.

    I thought that was the effect the “voting irregularities” in 2000 were supposed to have in 2004? I guess it ain’t over ’til it’s over, but it seems like the groundswell of the angry and disenfranchised may well be holding down the couch, sucking on a Bud.

    G

  36. I’m shocked, shocked that joe thinks the memos are probably real.

    I actually am kinda shocked, because while I know joe is a Kerry partisan, he (joe, not kerry) seems like a reasonable guy.

    Just step back and ask yourself, joe: what’s more likely–that these memos were produced on a very expensive and pain-in-the-ass typewriter, in such a way that they look just like something typed in MS Word; or that they were typed in MS Word? Plus there’s the signatures, which don’t look anything like Killian’s actual signature.

    I think the burden of proof is on CBS, especially since they don’t seem to have the original documents.

    This story shoud erase any reasonable doubt about the memos:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A18982-2004Sep13?language=printer
    (“Expert cited by CBS says he didn’t authenticate papers”)

    I know that joe thinks the underlying claims about Bush’s service record are more important than the authenticity of the memos. Maybe that’s true. Personally, I just don’t care about whether Bush got favorable treatment in the TXANG. It seems obvious he did, but to me, it’s even less interesting than the question of whether Kerry was a war hero or just sort of heroic. I. Just. Don’t. Care.

    On the other hand, as a politics/media junkie, I find the CBS forgeries completely fascinating. If the Kerry campaign is linked in any way to the docs, I think Kerry could be toast. That would be actual proof of Nixon-level dirty tricks. It would look very, very bad.

    Whether Kerry’s people were involved or not, CBS/Rather/60 Minutes looks pretty screwed.

  37. Joe, really now. Have you read Dr. Newcomer’s analysis at his site? I posted the url. His credentials and long list of relevant professional and scholarly publication are very compelling. And he has staked his professional reputation on the unequivocal assertion that these documents are forgeries of the most blatant sort. By contrast, CBS’s experts are back-peddling with great speed.

    The superscript in the forgeries could not have been achieved by commonly used office equipment, joe. And they are not found in ANY other TANG documents. But the superscipting in the fakes does match perfectly with MS Word. You see, joe, as Dr. Newcomer explains, there are **no** superscripts in the authenticated documents, inlcuding the ones CBS has proffered. The “th’s” in the real documents are NOT superscripts. NOT. Read Dr. Newcomer (and any number of other experts) as to why the ACTUAL superscripting in the fakes is such a smoking gun.

    –Mona–

  38. “I’m shocked, shocked that joe thinks the memos are probably real.”

    Actually, I don’t know one way or the other. As usual, people have decided what I MUST believe, based on my unwillingness to agree completely with what they believe. Having pointed out that the case is not closed is, in H&R Bizarro World, a definitive statement on the documents’ reliability and sourcing.

    “If the Kerry campaign is linked in any way to the docs, I think Kerry could be toast.” I agree. I am cofident they are not so linked – though there will undoubtedly be stories about friend of a friend of a friend, and the whole thing with end with “a cloud over the Kerry campaign’s ethics.”

  39. “I am confident they are not so linked”

    So you aren’t sure that these obvious amateur forgeries are fake, but you are confident that if they are, the Kerry campaign had nothing to do with it.

    Then you wonder why people think they can anticipate your thoughts.

    Just to keep you up to speed, we have today passed the point where it is credible to even say the documents might not be forged if you are dollowing the story.

    Don’t worry though, the after the fact fingerpointing at the Kerry campaign will leave you much more wiggle room.

  40. Bravo to Cavanaugh for the delicious irony in his original post…the last line, with Rather saying that someone was “caught red handed” was particularly good.

  41. The memos are not only fake, they’re the fakiest fakes ever to walk down Fake Street in Faketown. The latest defenses are particularly funny. I suppose that if the memos showed up in the form of embroidered samplers and engraved tombstones, Rather and his enablers would be telling us with straight faces that embroidery and tombstone engraving existed in early ’70s. Sure, but nobody wrote memos that way. The memos are clearly typeset, not typewritten. Nobody who wasn’t a trained typesetter could or would have produced those memos at that time, because the typesetting machines of the day were a pain to use.

    And no, you don’t need the original to prove a fake, only to prove authenticity. If someone showed you a photo of a supposed da Vinci painting, and poking up through the trees in the background was a gas station sign, what more do you need?

  42. This is a hatchet job. It seems rather incongruous to believe that Bush could go through 2 terms as the Texas Governor, and 1 term of Presidency without these documents being scrutinized.

    If any Democrat in Texas had an inkling that Bush’s service record contained such documents, they wouldn’t have spared a moment to bring them to the public light. Further, the Gore Presidential Campaign had to have inside access to most of these documents in the 2000 Campaign and never once sought to make them public. Why did they not do so? Because the documents did not exist.

    I am appalled and amazed as to the ease in which some of the aspects of the documents that could establish authenticity have not been tested.
    For example, CBS has not used Carbon-dating to authenticate the age of the paper. To me, this is an obvious test to run. Further, chemical analysis results could reveal the composition and age of the bleach used to make the paper white. Further chemical analysis could reveal the makeup of the ink and could be determinative of the manufacture of the ink, and maybe the year of manufacture. How CBS has failed to do these simple, yet expensive, measures leaves me to believe that MSM has long dismissed the maxim that “EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS REQUIRE EXTRAORDINARY PROOF.”

    -Richard

  43. Richard, CBS can’t do paper or ink tests because they admit all they have are photocopies.

  44. PapayaSF,

    Exactly. Copies cannot be authenticated in court unless there is an indication of reliability, such as testimony that the copies were made in the ordinary course of business. Any remotely competent attorney knows this, and I am sure that CBS has remotely competent attorneys.

    Why CBS has never bothered to authenticate the copies is amazingly brash and ignorant.

    This whole scenario is a good reason to eliminate some of the “protections” that the MSM has in assailing “Public Figures” (these “protections” somehow ignore the rights of “public” individuals to not have lies published against them). If the MSM had to have a factual basis for publication (ala defamation (slander and libel)) of any story about a person regardless of “public”/”private” distinctions, this whole situation probably would never have occurred. Either CBS would have had enough facts to justify a defense to a Bush-backed defamation suit (which would have been a part of the story as it ran), or they wouldn’t have published it.

    There are many criticisms to such a rollback/expansion of media/individual rights. However, the MSM has done much to defame many good “public” figures regardless of political persuasion. It is high time that media is held to the same standards as the rest of us.

  45. “segueway”?

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

    The Drudge Report alone will get you at least a few hits.

    But it doesn’t matter how many people have heard of them; it matters how many people read them. Ask those 100 people “how many of you watched CBS News last week” — on average, you’ll find that two of them did, and the other 98 didn’t. CBS News only draws 7 million viewers in a GOOD week, which puts them in the same ballpark as the weblog community in terms of weekly viewership.

    What’s even more interesting is that blog viewership is skewed towards the more influential sectors of the country — the wealthy, the educated, and the politically active.

    The idea that the blog world is about to supplant broadcast news and newspapers as the, let alone a, primary source of news is a pipe dream.

    Ten years ago, the average American hadn’t even heard of the Internet. Today it’s a more popular information source than newspapers, and in a few years (if current trends continue) it will surpass television.

    Weblogs aren’t huge yet, but the rate of growth in their readership and influence is. Five years ago Dan Rather would have gotten away with his scam; today he can’t.

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

    You think the dinosaurs knew the name of the comet?

  48. Hey, Phil. Go to the mall and ask 100 people randomly “Do you know who Dan Rather is?” and you’re going to get the same response, BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL THIRTEEN YEARS OLD.

  49. This just gets more bizarre. Go read Drudge. Killian’s former secretary insists the CBS docs are forgeries, but that much of the contents are true. Her speculation is that they were generated by someone who had heard what she knew. She is very old, and a Democrat to her bones, but in the spirit of truth I refer all to her comments.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.