Wednesday, 15 September 2004

“Fake but accurate”

You can tell that things are going badly for the Democrats when the New York Times says the silver lining is that the forged memos are somehow “accurate” despite being, by any objective or sane standard, complete fabrications. I hate to break it to the Times, but this isn’t the Critical Studies department; this is the real world, where we have these neat concepts like “empiricism,” “evidence,” and “temporal order,” not to mention “Word didn’t exist in 1972.”

Such concepts do not appear to hold sway with anti-Bush smearmeister Bill Burkett (a Kerry and DNC fundraiser, not that the Times bothers to mention that in its article) or his attorney, mind you:

Asked what role Mr. Burkett had in raising questions about Mr. Bush’s military service, Mr. Van Os said: “If, hypothetically, Bill Burkett or anyone else, any other individual, had prepared or had typed on a word processor as some of the journalists are presuming, without much evidence, if someone in the year 2004 had prepared on a word processor replicas of documents that they believed had existed in 1972 or 1973 – which Bill Burkett has absolutely not done’’ – then, he continued, “what difference would it make?”

That’s right, kids, it’s acceptable to prepare forgeries of documents you think might have existed in the past, or perhaps even ought to have existed, like that B.A. summa cum laude from Stanford I “deserve” even though they rejected my application 11 years ago, all in the name of greater truth.

Update: Jane Galt has more on this theme:

So if I honestly believe that Bill Clinton had Vince Foster killed, and gave written orders to someone to do so, it's okay if I go ahead and type up a couple of memos to that effect and hand them to the press… and okay if the press runs with them.

The Rather Doctrine spreads . . . and my job just keeps getting easier. By next week, we're going to give up printing news entirely, and give our pages over to Tom Clancy.

New spin

As anticipated, CBS’s new defense is that the sentiments expressed in the memos are real, even if the documents themselves are forgeries.

In other words, the memos were real before they were fake.

Plus, I think CBS and Dan Rather might be upset that George W. Bush outsourced their camels.