Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Journalism, Bias, and Time Zones

Check out this Powerline post discussing the Columbia Journalism Review article on Memogate. The author of the CJR piece repeats a charge that the documents were discovered as forgeries too quickly, thus suggesting a vast right wing conspiracy. As I recall, Rocket Man discussed this particular charge on radio or television, stating that the Free Republic post was time stamped in the Pacific Time Zone. This meant that the post did not come during the broadcast, but after it ended. (Please correct me in the comments section if I am wrong.) I also recall that the 60 Minutes story only showed a quick flash of the memos. The real scrutiny came after images of the forgeries were posted on the 60 Minutes website.

In any event, check out my lengthy post on the substance of the memos. My position is that it is not unusual in the Reserve Component of the military to miss drill, miss a physical, or not to be remembered by those with whom you served temporarily.

The only thing that I would add (given that some still cling to the "fake, but accurate" theory) is that one legitimate area of inquiry before Memogate was that Bush's National Guard unit was known for being filled with the sons of prominent Texas politicians (and the son of secretary Marian Carr Knox). If true, this would cast doubt on whether Lieutenant Bush received special treatment within the unit. If being a congressman's son is no big deal in this unit, then why would the unit give Bush special treatment?

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