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1
Charles Johnson  Sep 14, 2015 • 5:42:33pm

I can’t speak for any of the other sites Mapes mentions here, but this description of what I wrote is absolutely false:

Within a few minutes I was online visiting web sites I had never heard of before: Free Republic, Little Green Footballs, Powerline. They were hard-core, politically angry, hyperconservative sites loaded with vitriol about Dan Rather and CBS.

I just looked at the posts from those days, and there’s no anger or vitriol AT ALL in what I wrote. My posts are actually very dispassionate considering the emotions that were flying around at that point, and as you wrote, EC, I approached the subject more as a forensic investigator than a partisan attack dog.

It’s really offensive to me to see these quotes. Mapes is just flat-out lying about what I wrote on this subject.

I’m sure there were some comments that were over the top back then, because there were thousands and thousands of comments being posted and there was no way I could read them all or moderate them; our software was nowhere near as sophisticated as it is now, and I had very few tools to handle abusive commenters.

But the commenters were NOT ME, and my articles about these fake documents were not vitriolic or abusive in the least.

I’m trying hard not to be vitriolic now, though, because this nonsense really pisses me off.

2
Charles Johnson  Sep 14, 2015 • 5:43:50pm

And by the way - excellent post.

3
Eclectic Cyborg  Sep 14, 2015 • 6:02:36pm

Thanks Charles, I suspected you’d never read the book and saw what she actually wrote about this site and, by extension, about you so I figured I’d dust off my copy and share.

4
Great White Snark  Sep 14, 2015 • 6:12:46pm

Charles,
If you would like to answer to any of this on video, I would happily send my crew. It would be a real pleasure to push back, put the truth to the matter.

5
Mich-again  Sep 14, 2015 • 7:54:48pm

There is a plausible explanation for the rathergate memos that all of us assumed were fraudulent after it became clear they matched Microsoft Word default settings. The memos may have been scanned from the original typed pages using optical character recognition software, which converts the scanned text into a Microsoft Word file.

Here is an example of what I mean. My Uncle’s father was awarded a patent way back in 1931. When he obtained a copy of the patent from the patent office a couple years ago what was sent to him was a .doc file in MS Word default settings.

Patent from 1931 scanned into MS Word with OCR

In my opinion this is a more likely explanation than someone trying to pass off totally fabricated documents to damage GWB’s rep.

6
Charles Johnson  Sep 14, 2015 • 8:12:24pm

re: #5 Mich-again

There is a plausible explanation for the rathergate memos that all of us assumed were fraudulent after it became clear they matched Microsoft Word default settings. The memos may have been scanned from the original typed pages using optical character recognition software, which converts the scanned text into a Microsoft Word file.

Here is an example of what I mean. My Uncle’s father was awarded a patent way back in 1931. When he obtained a copy of the patent from the patent office a couple years ago what was sent to him was a .doc file in MS Word default settings.

[Embedded content]

In my opinion this is a more likely explanation than someone trying to pass off totally fabricated documents to damage GWB’s rep.

Sorry, but I don’t agree at all.

In 2004, OCR software was not very sophisticated and made LOTS of mistakes when scanning text documents. But again, it’s very, VERY unlikely that a scanned OCR document would exactly match line spacing, line breaks and tab stops.

I don’t think this is a plausible explanation at all, unless you can somehow show that a 2004-era OCR program would convert a scanned document to look exactly like a document that was typed from scratch - because the document typed from scratch matched exactly in every respect.

7
Great White Snark  Sep 14, 2015 • 8:47:03pm

re: #6 Charles Johnson

After this comes out I really hope some major media outlets get in touch with you. I probably spoke too fast above, it would be a shame for your point of view to get lost in the studio promo noise that comes with a release like this.

8
Mich-again  Sep 14, 2015 • 8:51:45pm

Charles those are very good points and I am not the expert to get that deep into it. I know OCR was around as early as ‘86 when I worked as a runner for a law firm in Detroit and I was pretty amazed with the technology, but the legal secretaries would have to proofread the OCR docs for errors so it wasn’t perfect. Still I am surprised that no one at CBS ever threw that out there as a possible explanation. Unless that might have clued others in to how the documents might have been obtained.

9
Great White Snark  Sep 15, 2015 • 6:58:56pm

Never saw it said any better


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