CBS Stands By Reporting, But Also Says Memos' Authenticity Is "Inconclusive"
Reacting to the latest setback, CBS last night defended its report once again. On the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather said CBS talked "to handwriting and document analysts and other experts who strongly insist that the documents could have been created in the 70s." Bill Glennon, technical consultant, was shown saying, "Everything in those documents that people are saying can't be done, as you said, 32 years ago, is totally false. Not true. Like I said, proportional spacing was available, superscripts was available as a custom feature. Proportional spacing between lines was available. You could order it any way you like." Rather also said that Richard Katz, "a software designer, found other indications in the documents. He noticed the lower case 'i' is used in documents instead of the actual numeral one. That would be difficult to reproduce on the computer today." Katz: "If you were doing this a week ago or a month ago on a normal laser jet printer, it wouldn't work. The font wouldn't be available to you." Rather: "Katz noted the documents have the superscript 'th' and a regular-sized 'th.' That would be common on a typewriter, not a computer." However, the New York Times notes that last night, CBS "did not present any of the other experts who originally helped it authenticate the documents." Instead, "it featured computer and typewriter specialists who had called or posted defenses of CBS on Internet blogs."
The Washington Post reports the following reaction by CBS spokeswoman Sandy Genelius to news that Marcel Matley was not vouching for the documents' authenticity: "In the end, the gist is that it's inconclusive. People are coming down on both sides, which is to be expected when you're dealing with copies of documents."
"Deepening Concern" Inside CBS News Described.
The New York Times, meanwhile, says there is "deepening concern" about the growing controversy inside CBS News, adding that some of Dan Rather's colleagues "said in interviews that they were becoming increasingly anxious for him to silence the critics by proving the documents' validity and as new questions about their origin arose. Most declined to be quoted by name." Several CBS correspondents "said in interviews that. . .developments were making them increasingly nervous. One network correspondent said, 'I've talked to colleagues who would love to see more of a defense.' This person described the state of the staff as 'deep concern, I'd say not panic we all want it to be right.'"
First Lady Says Documents Are "Probably Forgeries."
While the Bush Administration has remained largely silent as the controversy unfolded, First Lady Laura Bush yesterday weighed in, says the Washington Post. During a Des Moines appearance, Laura Bush said, "You know they are probably altered. . . . And they probably are forgeries, and I think that's terrible, really."