Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Document Examiner Responds to Mapes

You probably remember Mary Mapes, CBS producer of the Bush National Guard memo-gate story. Because the documents she used in the story turned out to be fake, CBS's already sullied reputation for journalistic integrity took a fatal hit. After an internal CBS investigation, Mapes and others were fired.

Mapes's version of memo-gate was recently released. Ironically, the title of her book includes the word "Truth". In her book tour, Mapes takes the position that the documents have not been proven to be fake, reversing the normal practice of authenticating documents before using them in a news story.

Part of Mapes's book covers her efforts to use document examiner Emily Wills to authenticate the documents. Wills contrasts what the book says with what really happened. (Hat tip to Wills's comments should be required reading for all who interview Mapes about her book. After you read Wills's comments, you will understand that Mapes knew before the story aired that the documents were fake and that she was nonetheless determined, no matter what the evidence, to air the story in an attempt to prevent the reelection of Pres. Bush.

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