TITLE

Blog-Gate: Yes, CBS screwed up badly in 'Memogate'—but so did those who covered the affair

AUTHOR(S)
Pein, Corey
PUB. DATE
January 2005
SOURCE
Columbia Journalism Review;Jan/Feb2005, Vol. 43 Issue 5, p30
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article discusses the attacks on CBS News after the September 8, 2004 incident wherein the TV program 60 Minutes II ran a story about how U.S. President George W. Bush got preferential treatment as he glided through his time in the Texas Air National Guard in 1970s. The story was anchored on four memos that, it turns out, were of unknown origin. Three types of evidence were used to debate the documents' authenticity after Rather and 60 Minutes II used them in the story. The first, typography, took many detours before winding up at inconclusive. The second, military terminology, is more telling but also not final. The third, the recollections of those involved, is most promising, but so far woefully underreported. Haste explains the rapid spread of thinly supported theories and flawed critiques, which moved from partisan blogs to the nation's television sets. The very first post attacking the memos was on the right-wing Web site FreeRepublic.com by an active Air Force officer, Paul Boley of Montgomery, Alabama. Nearly four hours later it was followed by postings from Buckhead, whom the Los Angeles Times later identified as Harry MacDougald, a Republican lawyer in Atlanta. Other blogs quickly picked up the charges.
ACCESSION #
15533464

 

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