Thursday, September 09, 2004

Bush memo

Journalistic Integrity Watch

Here’s a notable item from the indispensable Power Line.

Do you notice anything odd about the memos regarding George Bush’s National Guard service that “60 Minutes” posted on their site yesterday?

They certainly seem pretty damming. They say Bush used influence of people “upstairs” to get him special treatment in the Guard back in the early 1970s

But for those of you alive and sentient back then, don’t the memos look a little unusual?

In the days before computers people wrote letters on a machine called a “typewriter.” IBM made one of the top of the line typewriting devices. It was called a “Selectric.” The Selectric could do amazing things in the analogue days. But one thing it couldn’t do was superscript.

Look at point number 2 in this memo where it says “Report to the 111st F.L.S. administrative officer . . .” That little "st" after 111 was not possible on an IBM Selectric, or any other typewriter of the era.

For that matter, I believe the default font of the Selectric was Courier not Times Roman which coincidentally is the default format for Microsoft Word which is fairly common today but rare in 1972.

I'm not one to traffic in conspiracy theories but these memos certainly look forgery-esque. But why would anyone do this? And in an election year no less!

Who among us doesn't want to see George Bush reelected by a commanding margin?

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