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September 10, 2004
From Here To Oblivion

John Kerry had enough problems over the last five weeks trying to keep his head above water after suffering an almost unprecedented meltdown in the polls. CBS' embarassment over the forged documents wouldn't have been anything but an albatross around their already-sinking necks anyway, but the Prowler may have added the millstone that takes them to the bottom. Published shortly after midnight and inaccessible at the moment, The American Spectator column claims that the forged documents came directly from the Kerry campaign:

More than six weeks ago, an opposition research staffer for the Democratic National Committee received documents purportedly written by President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard squadron commander, the late Col. Jerry Killian.

The oppo researcher claimed the source was "a retired military officer." According to a DNC staffer, the documents were seen by both senior staff members at the DNC, as well as the Kerry campaign.

"More than a couple people heard about the papers," says the DNC staffer. "I've heard that they ended up with the Kerry campaign, for them to decide to how to proceed, and presumably they were handed over to 60 Minutes, which used them the other night. But I know
this much. When there was discussion here, there were doubts raised about their authenticity."

This raises all sorts of questions, all of them extremely bad about the Kerry campaign and CBS News. Starting with the latter, it appears that CBS and 60 Minutes simply lied about the sourcing of the documents to its readers. They may not have realized that the documents were forgeries -- they didn't check very hard to find out, though -- but they told their readers and listeners that the documents came from Killian's personal files, which implies that they came to CBS directly from that source. CBS vouched for that chain of custody, knowing that it came from the Kerry campaign, a vital piece of information that its customers could have used initially in determining the veracity of the story.

So what else has CBS aired directly from Kerry's oppo research team without telling us? The most obvious would be CBS' companion interview with Ben Barnes, who claimed to have spoken a few words on Bush's behalf to get him into the TANG. CBS claimed his motivation was to relieve his soul, but failed to mention that Barnes has donated almost a half-million dollars over the past five years to Kerry and the Democrats, and is Kerry's third-largest individual contributor.

But the Kerry campaign has it even worse. Thanks to a barrage of ads from the Swiftvets, Kerry already has suffered damage to his image in voter evaluation of his honesty and integrity. If his campaign passed off forged documents to news organizations to smear George Bush, it will destroy the shreds of his credibility in such a way that he may not even be able to win re-election in his next Senate campaign.

Not only does it paint the entire Democratic party machine from Kerry and Terry McAuliffe down as completely dishonest, but also incredibly incompetent. How long would it have taken to have a document specialist verify the memos, especially given that even the campaign had its doubts? Voters who manage not to be completely put off by the dishonest have to ask themselves whether they want the country run by people this flat-out stupid. And fair or not, the whole mess winds up in John Kerry's lap. It's yet another case of misfiring a grenade, only this time the wounds won't be superficial.

In any case, their oppo research is finished. No one but the lunatic fringe will believe any new negative "bombshells" about George Bush. CBS is also finished for this election cycle in terms of investigative journalism about Bush. They've been revealed as dupes, and partisan dupes at that. Dan Rather may make it to the election, but no one will mourn his retirement shortly afterwards; this will leave a black mark on his record that not only will stain his final days but cause a long-overdue reassessment of his entire career. Expect Bernard Goldberg to have the last laugh.

And expect, over the next few days, for people to insinuate or flat out assert that only Karl Rove, the eeeeevil genius, could have set up the Democrats like this. The Prowler even mentions this as a trial balloon coming from its ABC source:

According to one ABC News employee, some reporters believe that the Kerry campaign as well as the DNC were parties in duping CBS, but a smaller segment believe that both the DNC and the Kerry campaign were duped by Karl Rove, who would have engineered the flap to embarrass the opposition.

Uh, sure. That'll fly among the moonbats, but Rove would hardly have trusted the mainstream media to investigate the documents themselves. It took amateur pundits in the blogosphere to do that, and some of the news outlets still haven't reported the fraud. No, this one belongs completely to the idiots and moral midgets at the Kerry campaign.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 10, 2004 4:55 AM

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» A QUESTION ABOUT THE "MEMOS" from DiscountBlogger
Why is the Kerry campaign involved in the possible forging of documents to make it look like Bush shirked his national guard duty? It's looking increasingly likely that this may be the case. If it is the case, and the... [Read More]

Tracked on September 10, 2004 6:09 AM

» Tiffany Lied from Shot In The Dark
Ed, as usual, is at the bleeding edge of the CBS Forgery case:Starting with the latter, it appears that CBS and 60 Minutes simply lied about the sourcing of the documents to its readers. They may not have realized that... [Read More]

Tracked on September 10, 2004 6:55 AM

» Can they really be that stupid? from Brain Shavings
Captain Ed, the skipper at Captain's Quarters, comments on a story from The Washington Prowler which supposedly alleges that 60 Minutes got the faked Killian memos from the Kerry campaign. I say "supposedly" because at the moment the Prowler page is in... [Read More]

Tracked on September 10, 2004 7:56 AM

» Fraud Exposed from The Nudnik File
The documents CBS used in its 60 Minutes segment attacking Bush have at this point been thoroughly discredited. Powerline led the way in exposing this fraud, proving once again that "new media" is kicking the crap out of the "old media". In its zeal ... [Read More]

Tracked on September 10, 2004 8:16 AM

» D-Day for Big Media from Secure Liberty
The real story here is the influence of the new media. Specifically, in this case, the blogosphere, and most prominently, POWER LINE. POWERLINE has is just right is saying, POWERLINE wins, CBS loses. This From Druge by way of POWERLINE: CBS NEWS e... [Read More]

Tracked on September 10, 2004 8:26 AM

» Spending the Principal IV from MartiniPundit
How bad is it when the MMD know there are doubts about the authenticity of a source but decide to run with them anyway? Is it herd, pack, or partisan mentality? This from the Prowler via the Daily Recycler: More than six weeks ago, an opposition resear... [Read More]

Tracked on September 10, 2004 2:17 PM

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