The Corner

Proving They Could Be True

As I noted in today’s G-File — which was written yesterday — Dan Rather’s best option is to argue it’s not impossible the memos are authentic. That, of course, is an outrageous position for a news organization. Imagine if NR ran a story saying John Kerry has an unconsumated crush on Jacques Chirac or, for that matter, if we ran a story saying that Kerry is a closet pederast and we defended the story by saying that it “could be true.” Indeed, the big media ridiculed the Swift Boat Guys for alleging things that couldn’t be proven true. The Swiftees did not get far by saying their allegations could be true. Anyway, Jonathan Last — in a very useful piece — highlights this point today:

Yet the most damning bit might be the reaction quote Kurtz and Dobbs get from CBS spokeswoman Sandy Genelius. “In the end, the gist is that it’s inconclusive,” she says. “People are coming down on both sides, which is to be expected when you’re dealing with copies of documents.”

Old CBS default position: “The story is true. The story is true.” New CBS default position: Who knows what the truth is! You can’t prove anything!

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