You are on an individual archive page

Click here to return to the main page

Wikipedia does good things. Reward them.

The Daily Links Page
Got a link to submit?
  • New Evidence Proves First Flag Made By Betsy Ross Actually Shirt For Gay Friend
  • Colbert Leads Huntsman in S.C.
  • Polish prosecutor 'shoots self after news conference'
  • Jim Rome leaving ESPN. Bonus: Footage of Jim Rome getting attacked by Jim Everett & crying like a baby
  • Broncos, Tim Tebow stun Steelers in OT, win 29-23 in NFL playoffs
  • Video: Remember 2008
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop faces weapon and drug charges
  • Video: Green Bay anchorman loves lamp
  • Video: Rodgers & Raji in the new Discount Double Check ad
  • Jim Rome: out of The Jungle and onto the (horse) farm
  • New IL Law Requires Photo ID To Buy Drain Cleaner
  • Fawn Cuddles Kitten, Hearts Explode
  • The priest who changed the course of history for the worse... by rescuing four-year-old Hitler from drowning in icy river
  • Get Fit or Get Fined: Web Service Offers to Charge You for Skipping the Gym
  • Fine proposed for botching US national anthem
  • Why Best Buy is Going out of Business...Gradually
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Edina boutique takes heat for trashing $4,000-plus gowns
  • Law Student Goes 'Homeless by Choice' Touts Value of Gym Club Membership
  • VIDEO: Snoop Dogg on 'The Price Is Right'
  • Flynn and Out
  • Don't put Bielema on the firing line
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Your end of the season Vikings comment thread
  • Mass. budget motel fights forfeiture by feds
  • Vikings scrutinize downtown Mpls. stadium site near basilica
  • Kelly Clarkson criticized on Twitter after singer endorses Ron Paul for President 
  • Political Predictions for 2012
  • We're All Doing The Best We Can
  • Video Of Little Girl Getting Pissed Off About Pink Toys Will Make Your Heart Swell
  • The 10 best sports-related Hitler Reactions of 2011
  • Happy Endings on the housing crisis
  • Why You Just Got New York Times Spam
  • There Will Be No Friday This Week In Samoa
  • The Most Hipster State In The US
  • Online Merchants Home in on Imbibing Consumers
       [ 1 comment ]
  • On islamic fashion
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Sears as Lampert's 'Mismanaged Asset' Loses Customers to Macy's
       [ 1 comment ]
  • 5 social network predictions for 2012
  • Cheetah, chimp star of classic Tarzan movies, dies at 80
  • The Hottest Things on TV in 2011
  • Beer in cans: It's not just for Bud anymore
  • Seven Packers earn Pro Bowl selections
  • The Worst Angry Christmas Tweets In the World
  • Minnesota cities try to hold back on rented housing
  • Why Iowa Shouldn't Vote First Anymore
  • Some Falcons Players Upset Drew Brees Went For The Record Last Night
  • We've Identified Jilted Packergirl
  • With its 'W' initiative, ESPN tries to solve the equation of serving women sports fans
  • Owner surprised to find cat regularly catches bus
  • Charles Barkley: Skip Bayless Has Surpassed Peter Vecsey As The Biggest Jackass In The History Of Journalism
  • Handicapping the 2011 NFL MVP Race, 2.0


  • Mapes Doesn't Get It

       January 11, 2005

    I recently came across a statement from Mary Mapes concerning her well-deserved firing (hat tip: Little Green Footballs). I don't have the time to fisk the whole thing, and even if I had the time I doubt there is enough Zofran in the world to keep me on balance while I do it. But I would like to highlight one part of her incredibly self-serving rant, with my emphasis added:

    Much has been made about the fact that these documents are photocopies and therefore cannot be trusted, but decades of investigative reporting have relied on just such copies of memos, documents and notes. In vetting these documents, we did not have ink to analyze, original signatures to compare, or paper to date. We did have context and corroboration and believed, as many journalists have before and after our story, that authenticity is not limited to original documents. Photocopies are often a basis for verified stories.

    Mary, Mary, Mary...I think you've been reading too much Corey Pein. Exposing the documents as fake didn't rely on ink analysis, or looking at original signatures, or dating the paper on which the thing was printed. What made it laughably easy (and exposed your whole little effort as extremely childish) was the simple fact that in the space of five minutes, both Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs and Joseph Newcomer were able to duplicate EXACTLY the memos in question, using only Microsoft Word with default settings. That's what made it such an amateurish forgery, and that's why you got caught.

    Using Mapes' logic, the picture below should be accepted as a true copy of the Mona Lisa, mainly because you don't have ink to analyze, signatures to compare, or paper to date...but you have context and corroboration with me telling you it's a copy:

    Obviously that is a fake, and a rather glaring one. If it was a photocopy you wouldn't need to look at the ink, or the signature, or the paper. You can tell just by looking at it. So it was with the memos.

    Now, Mapes is correct in one thing: photocopies are indeed often used as a basis for stories. But she has a rather casual, rather glaring skip in her logic chain, to wit: the problem with the memos wasn't that they were photocopies, but that they were so spectacularly fake that the fact that they were photocopies was rendered immediately irrelevant. These memos receive no credibility simply by virtue of them being photocopies, or more precisely the fact that other photocopies have been used in other stories.

    Further, as the story came out (and the CBS report made clear) the context and corroboration Mapes relied on was itself dependent on CBS staff telling those people the documents were real. That's not even that fine of a line to get tripped over, and that Mapes doesn't even acknowledge it speaks volumes. Her entire diatribe amounts to reiterating that the memos were "fake but accurate." Well, if that's the standard she wants to use to pursue a story, that's her choice.
    But she ought not be surprised, nor insult our intelligence us with faux-outrage, when her credibility takes a well deserved hit as a result.

    Posted by John Tant at January 11, 2005 08:35 AM

        The trackback entry for this page is :


    Trackback Entries



    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Bryan Smith at January 11, 2005 11:16 AM

    Nice! I love the drawing. It also confounds me how this investigation could not just call the documents forgeries. In addition to the ability to recreate the docs in Microsoft Word in five minutes, several abbreviations and styles on the documents were incorrect, typewriters of that era could not produce these memos (without many hours of work for each document and several typewriters), and Killian's secretary says the memos are fakes.




      page rendered in 0.039 seconds | ©2004, 2005