Thursday, September 08, 2005

Rathergate - The revolution accelerates

One year ago this evening, CBS' 60 minutes aired the now infamous segment that relied on the forged Texas Air National Guard documents. The world hasn't been the same since.

One year ago tonight

I do not intend to rehash the story of the fake documents. Rathergate is now much larger than a story of fake documents. Rathergate was the storm that focused not only the blogosphere but the entire new media into a battle with the old media. The new media won.

Other such battles had been fought before. But in this episode, the old media was forced to recognize the blogosphere and its contribution. The old media (or MSM/DNC as I call it) has waged a continuous war over the past year to marginalize the blogosphere and regain its old monopoly. I cannot do a better job than Hugh Hewitt of summarizing Rathergate and its impact. Check out pages 37-42 of Hewitt's book "Blog."

For those who don't remember the sequence of events, the exposure of the CBS' perfidy began within hours after the broadcast. At 8:59:43 PM Pacific Time on September 8th, Buckhead posted the following at Free Republic (see post #47):
To: Howlin
Howlin, every single one of these memos to file is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman.

In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing, and typewriters used monospaced fonts.

The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's. Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used monospaced fonts.

I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old.

This should be pursued aggressively.

That post was the 21st century's "shot heard 'round the world." After 12 days of stonewalling CBS would grudgingly backtrack on the documents.

Within a few months, Rather would retire, the blogosphere would force out Eason Jordan from CNN, Newsweek would be exposed as having published lies about Korans in the toilet at Gitmo and the MSM/DNC would continue its long, slow tailspin. The final chapter on the whole MSM/DNC media monopoly has yet to be concluded. But the opening paragraph of that final chapter was written on September 8, 2004.

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