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27 September 2007 @ 08:27 am
It took him long enough, but it appears that Dan Rather is fighting back against his pretty-certainly-unfair dismissal in response to Bush administration pressure some time ago.

He's a guy that's capable of making this happen, and I hope he does well at it. He deserves to.

According to the article, he's not particularly interested in the $70 million he's suing for -- but he *is* interested in using the lawsuit to take a lot of sworn depositions from a lot of people who have worked hard to screw up the integrity of the news.

I'm really, really glad he's doing this.
Anthony: red devil duckterpsichoros on September 27th, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
Dan Rather is suing because he was too interested in slandering Bush to make even the most elementary checks of a document which was too good to be true? That's hilarious!

Actually, if his intent is to take a lot of sworn depositions, tha's despicable, and I hope some of those being deposed file for summary dismissal using an anti-SLAPP suit.

Rather is a great big fraud, and it took the Killian forgeries to make it obvious to everyone. HE shouold just crawl back into whatever gilded hole he's in, and stay there.
Noahangelbob on September 27th, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
We disagree on many of these points.

You knew this, but it seems only polite that I respond, and I have no other polite response.
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Anthony: standardsterpsichoros on September 27th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
If you are willing to believe that the Texas ANG regularly produced reports in the 1960s on a typewriter which just happened to produce output which looks exactly like Microsoft Word with its default settings produces, I'm not going to be able to convince you of anything else, and won't try.
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Noahangelbob on September 27th, 2007 08:44 pm (UTC)
As things quoted here have shown, the "default settings" that you mention is simply incorrect. Though "capable of being produced by Microsoft Word" is not.
Anthony: interrogating textterpsichoros on September 27th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
Actually, nothing quoted here shows any such thing. The CJR report implies by insinuation that the typography expert was somehow flim-flamming because his report was long and included technical terms, and because he was willing to make a categorical statement. Another person quoted in the CJR report has no particular expertise in typography, but even though his lack of expertise does not make him doubt the typography, he does doubt the genuineness of the documents because they get military jargon wrong in ways which an experienced ANG commander and experienced ANG secretary would not have gotten wrong. The tone of the CJR report implies that the documents were not proven to be forgeries, but there is no actual evidence presented by CJR that the documents might not have been forgeries, except that it was those evil right-wing bloggers who first claimed the documents were forgeries. Ad hominem is not dispositive, no matter how much liberal journalists want it to be.
Noahangelbob on September 27th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
Here's the easiest way I know to show that the document is not the same as what's typed into Word on default settings: here's a picture of the document.
gf2egf2e on September 28th, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)
I just read through the font spacing issues as described here:


The documents haven't been proven false, no, but I think they meet the "false beyond a reasonable doubt" standard. Nobody has yet demonstrated a 70s era typewriter that could actually produce matching output - that's not the most important issue, but it still seems highly surprising to me.

I've seen many clear and coherent technical arguments that the memos are false; I've seen very, very few reasonable arguments the other way. I would be interested in seeing a good refutation if you know of one.

I'm not a fan of Bush by any stretch of the imagination, but IMHO, these memos, and those vicious rumors about kicking puppies are among the few bad things he hasn't done. I'm not suggesting this is what you're doing, but some people seem to cling to every bad thing they can find about a politician they dislike, the facts be damned. That sort of mindset leads to some impressively illogical political discussions IME.

Noahangelbob on September 28th, 2007 01:17 am (UTC)
Yup. I knew very little about the documents, but I'll agree they're pretty certainly false. However, if the content of them (i.e. the bits about Bush's military service) were false, the White House would presumably have an easy time disproving them. In fact, the White House specifically said at the time that they'd release documents clearing things up, and then didn't.

So yes, the documents seem not to be genuine, though not as bad as the claim above ("Microsoft Word on default settings"), which makes Dan Rather sloppy, but not horribly negligent, in his treatment of them.

And again, I'm mostly in favor of seeing some testimony about these things. The way he was forced out was also not proportional (in my opinion) to the negligence in question.
rehana on September 28th, 2007 02:15 am (UTC)
I find this pretty convincing. I agree, though, that the content may well be true, and I don't know enough to get into whether that's slander.
Noahangelbob on September 28th, 2007 02:25 am (UTC)
Ah... And that's what they mean about default settings. The margins and centering. Yup, that's pretty convincing.

I would say the superscript argument (about the th) is less convincing -- while typewriters wouldn't do superscript in full generality, it was common to see specific instances on typewriters, in the same way that they can't do arbitrary fractions, but "1/2" and "1/4" were often found on some typewriters.
IANAL: analyzequeen_elvis on September 27th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
I read an article pointing out that Rather had more access than he's claiming to have, but I don't care, ultimately. What's he's claiming is that corporations have too much control over news, and that is totally true. If this lawsuit manages to get all these issues out in the open, it will have done a public service regardless of whether Rather wins.
KJBcapnkjb on September 27th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
Dan Rather was one of the first people I probably recognized, and quite possibly one of my first words - according to my parents, I said "Dan Rah!" when his show came on. Dan Rah and apple juice, my friend.

What I'm saying is, I respect that dude a lot more than the geniuses he's suing, even if he is only some dude who can read a teleprompter and put on a serious face when the situation calls for it.

Heck, even if he screwed the pooch as mightily as some suggest, his actions are still leagues less craptacular, short-sighted, and destructive than the people he's charged with slandering.
JohnGgomijacogeo on September 27th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
Amazing how one's politics affect whether one views Gunga Dan as a hero or nutjob. Personally, I'm going with "nutjob". But I'm happy to watch him and Mapes twist in the wind for another election season - bring it on!
Noahangelbob on September 27th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
I don't regard him as either. Most of what I know about him is simply as a news anchor, and most of what he had to say about the Bush administration at the time which was so nutty (that they applied a lot of pressure to keep "good" stories on the news and to discourage major media outlets from airing "bad" ones) has been substantiated so thoroughly and by so many other sources that it wouldn't matter (to me) whether he was saying it because of simple experience or voices from Venus.

I'm interested in seeing more of this stuff come out under oath.
JohnGgomijacogeo on September 27th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
Why did you consider it nutty? Every industry has this sort of relationship with the press - print what we like and you'll get more access, print what we don't like and we'll cut you off. Almost every book by a Washington reporter devotes some amount of space to this game. Hillary's camp just pulled it on GQ magazine - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/clinton-gq.
Noahangelbob on September 27th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
I'm saying that most of what I know about Dan Rather that was considered nutty is, y'know, expected. Denied by all concerned, but expected.
Jonahjd5p on September 27th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
The fact of the matter
The fact of the matter is, everyone with a grievance can get their day in court.
It may end up getting dismissed, but I don't see that happening.
Whether you agree with what happened, what he is saying or the righteousness of his motives . . . this should be an interesting ride.