Monday, February 21, 2005


Rhymes with "infringed". You know, like the rights of internees

Michelle trots out her favorite word - and no, it's not crikey - to describe Rep. Hinchey of New York, who apparently (according to a transcript of a recording made by LGF) said:
Probably the most flagrant example of that is the way they set up Dan Rather. Now, I mean, I have my own beliefs about how that happened: it originated with Karl Rove, in my belief, in the White House. They set that up with those false papers. Why did they do it? They knew that Bush was a draft dodger. They knew that he had run away from his responsibilties in the Air National Guard in Texas, gone out of the state intentionally for a long period of time. They knew that he had no defense for that period in his life. And so what they did was, expecting that that was going to come up, they accentuated it: they produced papers that made it look even worse. And they — and they distributed those out to elements of the media.
Okay, let's all take a deep breath. First of all, this is a transcript provided by LGF, but I'm going to operate under the extraordinary assumption that it's true. Now, let's point out one thing: Hinchey was very foolish to make these comments.

But he's not the first to think of this. And true, some of it does read like wackjob conspiracy theory - but just because it sounds crazy doesn't mean it is crazy.

The place to start when it comes to conspiracy theory is not "does it sound too outlandish?" but "does it have a precedent?" I'm positive that when the Watergate story started rolling, somebody - probably Ben Bradlee, for that matter - had exactly the same reaction: "The White House involved in a break-in and coverup? Wow, you've really gone over the deep end, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford!" or something like that.

But in the end, the truth became as strange as fiction - and let's not forget who had a "walk-on role."

Rove's dirty tricks - from bugging his own office to dumpster-diving to planting fake stories (get it?) - have followed him throughout his career, and unlike his boss, he's never claimed that he hit the life reset button at age 40. To paraphrase lay psychologists everywhere, insanity is hiring the same guy and expecting a different result.

So am I endorsing Rep. Hinchey's remarks? Not necessarily, but I am repudiating the right-wing blogosphere's shock and outrage that this could even be suggested. Back to Michelle:
"I think it's blatant fear-baiting really," Johnson notes. Any reasonable person who sat down and tried to create Hinchey's scenario would get a "migraine headache."
Yes, that's Charles "Best Commenters in the Blogosphere" Johnson on MSNBC. They're letting anybody on the liberal media these days, aren't they?

Update: And when you put it like TBogg does, it starts to get even fishier:
Within three hours of the documents broadcast on CBS, Harold McDougald posting as "Buckhead" on FreeRepublic posts:
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. 47 posted on 09/08/2004 8:59:43 PM PDT by Buckhead [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies ]
According to Trickster over at Tacitus:
MacDougald is an Atlanta lawyer in the firm of Womble Carlyle et al. He has no professional background in printing or office equipment and his legal expertise lies elsewhere. He graduated from Brown University in 1980, and assuming he is the same Harry W. MacDougald who graduated in 1976 from Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia--and my research reveals he very probably is--he would not have been old enough to have used typewriters on a professional basis in 1972-73.
Read the whole thing and just try not to make the connection.