February 5, 2015

Brian Williams lied and he's still lying... but why?

Power Line's John Hinderaker details why it had to be a lie from the start and why Williams's effort to cover his lie now can only be more lying:
Confronted with the facts, Williams recanted and apologized, chalking up his repeated error to the “fog of memory” after 12 years. No one is buying Williams’s apology, for several reasons: 1) it wasn’t 12 years ago when he started telling the story, but shortly after the event; 2) whether your helicopter was or was not hit by an RPG isn’t the sort of thing you are likely to be confused about; and 3) even the apology wasn’t candid. Williams wrote that “I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG,” but failed to note that his helicopter was “behind the bird that took the RPG” by an hour.

Williams is not just an anchor, he is the Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News. Given the magnitude of the firestorm in which he has been engulfed, and the lack of any apparent defense for his mendacity, it seems inevitable that he will resign or be fired by NBC.
This is so devastating to Williams that it's hard to fathom why he did it. Wasn't it brave and honorable enough to be traveling with the military in Iraq? Isn't it braver to get on a helicopter knowing the one in front of you was hit than to happen to find yourself on one that is hit? Why lie and lie about something that you know many people are able to refute? It's so reckless and unnecessary. It makes you seem like you're a compulsive or pathological liar or you've got some strange self-destructive urge. Hinderaker's speculation is quite different from mine:
Williams used the story to burnish his credentials as a reporter; as a war correspondent; as a man.... He advanced his career... But I speculate that there was more to it than that. Often when he told the story, the context was Williams’s expression of admiration for the fighting men and women whom he got to know in Iraq.... the soldiers whom Williams got to know in Iraq work for peanuts, relatively speaking.... [T]he kind of wealth that has been heaped upon Brian Williams gives rise to a phenomenon that has played much too large a part in our national life: liberal guilt. Again, this is pure speculation, but I suspect that Williams’s emotional need to portray himself (in his own mind, not just to outsiders) as someone who braved dangers, was shot at and nearly killed, was part of how he assuaged the guilt that came packaged with the hundreds of millions of dollars he has earned for doing, really, not much.
But it was dangerous to be there and to get on the helicopter when the helicopter an hour ahead of you got hit! Why pile a lie on top of that? Out of guilt? And what's liberal about that guilt? Anyone who hasn't fought in war could feel guilty that others have done more. Hinderaker has to drag in the pay differential. I guess the idea is that it's liberal guilt, because nonliberals don't feel bad about making a lot of  money. Hinderaker goes on to speculate that this liberal guilt — if it was strong enough to motivate Williams to take such a huge and stupid risk — could have infected all sorts of news stories on NBC.
How has liberal guilt shaped stories that he has written and delivered on the economy; on taxes; on wages; on corporate profits; on fiscal policy; on race relations; on affirmative action; and on many other subjects NBC News has addressed over the years? If Williams would make up bald-faced lies in one context to assuage his own liberal guilt, is it unreasonable to think that he and his NBC colleagues have passed off misrepresentations, misleading data, errors of omission and, yes, outright falsehoods in service of the liberal cause on other topics, for the same reason?
I assume there's a liberal slant to its news, but I haven't bought the "liberal guilt" theory of Williams's bizarre behavior. It could nevertheless be true that liberal guilt drives the liberalism of liberals. I've spent decades deeply embedded among liberals and guilt just doesn't seem to be the central force in their psychology. "Liberal guilt" is some kind of meme among conservatives, and it doesn't resonate for me.

ADDED: What's up with Hinderaker and semicolons? I invite speculation about the mind of conservatives.

144 comments:

Paul said...

I think your Tags say it all: Brian Williams, liberalism, lying...

Hagar said...

The networks should dump the star system and use the money to improve the "News" part of their names. The anchors are just actors, and there is a zillion young people with more acting talent out there, who would be thrilled to do the job for 1% of the salary.

Scott M said...

Watch the Letterman interview where he goes into detail about the attack and relish in the sociopathic side of the news.

pm317 said...

Brian Williams has no college degree. That is his guilt/shame. He does not think he deserves to be where he is and I agree with him.

Martha said...

Brian Williams lied to embellish his credentials-- to separate himself from mere pretty faced news readers. Remember the ABC anchor who was hit by an IED for real? Bob Woodruff was critically injured in Iraq and never again anchored ABC News. That was Williams competition. Lying about his war experience worked for Williams for 12 years-- even wowed Letterman.

The Drill SGT said...

The only value of the News Reader / Anchor system is to impart the credibility of the "Name" to the product being read.

Williams has forfeited that credibility, and should go. perhaps he belongs on MSNBC the sister network which features liars and thieves. (e.g. Sharpton).

As a combat Vet, I have zero respect for those, like Williams, who attempt to expropriate the valor of others for personal gain...

Unknown said...

Yeah, Liberals may suffer from a lot, but it isn't guilt.

No, Williams wanted to be admired for his "bravery".

tim in vermont said...

Ask Hillary about why one would be motivated to lie about their helicopter being under fire. I am sure she can explain it better than we can.

The Savage Noble said...

Guilt is not a central force, a sense of superiority (and being worthy of it) is a force, in my experience.

Vet66 said...

As a veteran I agree with the "liberal guilt" as I have witnessed press dumps from several times. Clueless they are in danger zones they believe their salaries shield them from the threat that their time may be up. What the rest of us took as part of the job the media types were invariably moved to believe that danger was for the rubes and dummies in flyover country not for the elite. Most departed the country subconsciously feeling less good about themselves and their portrayals of us as "baby killers," "Crazy 'Nam vets" and "William Calley wannabes." They drafted (conscripted) most of us right out of High School, supported the lefties/liberals/progressives who trash us to this day and inspired the Battle Hymn of William Kelley. That is what inspires white guilt. Special remembrance haunting us in Jane Fonda. Never forget and enjoy your guilt.

MayBee said...

Is there any evidence he knew the helicopters ahead of him were hit?

The way I heard it, he landed an hour later and asked the guys with the disabled helicopter what had happened.

Rusty said...

For the same reason idiots dress up in fatigues and try to pass themselves off as real soldiers. He wanted to be one of the cool kids.

tim maguire said...

[T]he kind of wealth that has been heaped upon Brian Williams gives rise to a phenomenon that has played much too large a part in our national life: liberal guilt.

But to a man, they'd rather feel guilty than be poor.

Ever notice that projection is one of the most consistent aspects of liberal argumentation? Conservatives often say (correctly) that if you want to know what a liberal is up to, look to what he's accusing his opponents of.

I think liberal guilt is the central force in their psychology, but of course they don't say, "I want big government because I feel guilty." No, they are too cowardly to face it, so they turn their guilt outside--they slander their country, they slander whites (even if they're white), they cannot face their guilt so they project it onto the other. "It is they who are doing all these things I feel guilty about, it's their fault."

I have no idea what this has to do with William's lie, which I think comes from a need to be a hero. It reminds me very much of Hillary's equally fact-checkable lie about running from bullets in Kosovo.

campy said...

Why is he lying? He's a newsman. It's what they do.

MayBee said...

I've spent decades deeply embedded among liberals and guilt just doesn't seem to be the central force in their psychology.

Interesting. I took a course from a very liberal college professor whose thesis was the only real motivating factor in life is guilt.

The Drill SGT said...

The gold standard for pathological lying on this topic is the Letterman interview.


That crap about being in Chinooks, out in front of the invasion hauling bridge sections to the Euphrates has huge holes in it.

1. He was an hour behind the helo that was hit. 1 Hour, is a hundred miles behind.

2. They were carrying bridge section, "to a bridgehead". That means there was likely at least a Cav Squadron (800 men) and an engineer company (200 men) (bridges dont magically assemble) on both sides of the river along with other helo assets at a FARP.

3. Chinooks, other than SOF ones and theses weren't, don't lead anything. They are airborne trucks.

4. their helo landed because of the dust storm, not fire.

Hagar said...

If you are paid $15 million per year plus perks for reading "news" off a teleprompter, your grip on reality is likely to be rather loose.

PackerBronco said...

Michael Kelly could not be reached for comment.

Kevin said...

Liberal guilt goes like this:

1. Individuals don't matter, only collectives matter.

2. Therefore, individual rewards and punishments are unjust. This is particularly keen in Hollywood, where for every star there are 10,000 failures, and the degree of difference in the level of "deserving" between the stars and the failures is slim to none, with a huge amount of pure luck involved (when there's not simple corruption involved, which brings even more guilt).

3. I am rewarded, but I know it is unjust. When I look at the people who are punished relative to my rewards, it makes me sad.

4. At the same time, this is pretty sweet and I'm pretty comfortable, so I'm not giving this up. Maybe we should pass laws that make other people give their rewards instead? If I work to pass such a law, I can make my sad get smaller, while still remaining as comfortable as I currently am.

That's all there is to it. It isn't particularly deep and doesn't require a quorum in the Trilateral Council to declare it in effect or even an op ed in the Times. It just happens.

Psota said...

I'm petty sure the semi-colons are a lawyer thing.

Brando said...

Hillary likely lied about her "sniper fire" story because she thought she could embellish her story a bit (they were in an area that had sniper warnings, so she could say she'd heard a couple shots) and the small number of people who were with her might not contradict the story. Also, the natural Clinton instinct is to lie enough so that no one pays particular attention to any one lie.

Williams is odd though--surely his story could be verified, and whether they were hit with an RPG isn't something people can get wrong (unless they were hit by SOMETHING and the question was whether it was an RPG or something else). To knowingly lie in that case is baffling--you'd get caught easily, and besides, how much more does it help him compared to the truth? And it's hard to imagine he was actually confused or misremembered whether they were hit--you might forget a small detail but being in a copter hit by an RPG seems pretty big.

Quayle said...

"This is so devastating to Williams that it's hard to fathom why he did it."

That's an easy one.

Pride.

Competition with others, which is the substance and crux of pride.

The desire to go up, above others.

"Pride is the root of all evil" and "Pride cometh before the fall."

I mean, this understanding is.... what? ..... only a few thousand years old.

Laslo Spatula said...

It wasn't enough to be in a war zone -- he needed to have a battle story of his own.

In the immortal words of Keanu Reeves:

"Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever."


I am Laslo.

MayBee said...

People have this thing where, when we tell stories that generate feelings, we want to recall the feelings generated when the story was first told.

So, say you get an estimate for air conditioning, and you are expecting it to be $2500. It is instead $5000 and you are shocked. So you tell that story. But pretty soon, you get used to the idea that the estimate was $5000, so when you tell the next person about the shocking estimate, you up the estimate you received to $10,000. That feels shocking again, making your story worthwhile.
And then you keep using this multiplier, because otherwise the whole point of *telling* your story disappears for *you*.

If you read the history of Williams telling the story, you see that happen. At first, there is an amorphous story about helicopters coming under fire around the area where Williams was. Hearing that after he landed must have been quite exciting for Williams, and people were interested. But over time....he had to up the danger quotient to keep the excitement and interest quotient going.

Larry J said...

In his mind, he probably believed his stores were fake but accurate.

AllenS said...

Liberals have a narrative, an agenda, and they'll say anything that they have to to reach that narrative/agenda.

Every Liberal that I know is like that.

MadisonMan said...

Hubris.

Bobber Fleck said...

@Althouse

You said: "I've spent decades deeply embedded among liberals and guilt just doesn't seem to be the central force in their psychology."

Just curious: What do you think the central force in their psychology is?

Skipper said...

Liberal guilt is, of course, an imbedded way of life. Every lefty I know (which is mostly everybody I know) apologizes for everything they do such as buy a new car, move to a big house in the suburbs, travel on expensive vacations. By declaring their regret, they justify the acts. It happens every time.

RAH said...

Hindraker liberal guilt bis farfetched. Williams was stealing glory , bravery sacrifice from soldiers . He wanted that for himself

Curious George said...

"I've spent decades deeply embedded among liberals and guilt just doesn't seem to be the central force in their psychology."

Because they are not rich. And they are government workers of one sort or another. They think they do "public service." What to feel guilty about?

The author is talking about RICH liberals.



mezzrow said...

"I've spent decades deeply embedded among liberals and guilt just doesn't seem to be the central force in their psychology."

Fish have trouble pointing out the water, as well. You need to get in touch with your guilt privilege.

Big Mike said...

This is so devastating to Williams that it's hard to fathom why he did it.

Because he works for NBC and lives in a liberal cocoon. It's the same reason why Hillary Clinton could say that she deplaned under sniper fire, and no one in the mainstream media called her on it. Liberals seems to have a huge need to make their actions seem even more noble and courageous than they were. And their buddies are pretty much cut from the same bolt of cloth, so people like Hillary and Brian know they won't be called on it.

And does he even now realize how devastating this is? I can't help but conflate this with Dan Rather's insistence that the Killian papers were "fake but accurate." Rather still doesn't get why he should have stopped at the word "fake" and apologized to his audience.

Wasn't it brave and honorable enough to be traveling with the military in Iraq? Isn't it braver to get on a helicopter knowing the one in front of you was hit than to happen to find yourself on one that is hit?

Yes. But a person who doesn't get what real bravery is all about wouldn't think twice about upgrading their story.

Why lie and lie about something that you know many people are able to refute? It's so reckless and unnecessary.

Because he expects his colleagues to cover for him. And they have.

TreeJoe said...

The question over the next 48 hours is what NBC is going to do about it.

Williams lied, then his apology included lies, and he's on tape throughout the years repeating his harrowing story in great detail - which are clearly lies.

This obviously dishonors the soldiers who he was there with - but it also dishonors NBC news and real injured newsfolk like Bob Woodruff. Letting Williams pass on this and keep his position will be an incredible blow to the morale and long-term in-house credibility of NBC News.

rhhardin said...

Williams does news for soap opera women. Every story is slanted towards the best soap opera, regardless what happened.

It's the news biz.

Roger Sweeny said...

Why lie and lie about something that you know many people are able to refute? It's so reckless and unnecessary.

Well, it did take 12 years for that refutation to take place. I'm sure Williams knows of lies public figures have told that never get corrected.

exhelodrvr1 said...

When he got on the helicopter, he did not know that the other one had been hit.

Sydney said...

Everyone wants to be Chuck Norris

exhelodrvr1 said...

It's not necessarily devastating if liberals are caught lying, because the media doesn't hammer them for it. Obama and Reverend Wright, for instance. Hillary and the sniper. Bill CLinton and Monica.

MaxedOutMama said...

I think this was merely the style in DC. Remember when Hillary was running out of choppers under fire, and she told that story until someone debunked it in her campaign for the presidential nomination.

I think these bozos were just making up stuff, mostly to be told in their in-group, in a very immature game of oneupmanship.

And, in closing, may I point out, Ann, that your name does not appear on The List? Ann, if you do not act soon you will not get the embossed Democratic Party official membership card and the toy helicopter of heroism. Act NOW, Ann, before this opportunity escapes you forever.

Paul said...

Libs... amazing how so many of them try to fake out they are brave.

But in reality they have a yellow streak a mile long.

Hillary tried the same lie he did. Kerry did to. But politicians fair better than reporters.

Known Unknown said...

I have my own helicopter lie.

I lied that I took a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and took pictures and had those pictures turned into post cards.

The difference is, I was 8 years old.

MayBee said...

Why do people ask why people lie?

Why do people think asking why someone would lie is a refutation to the idea that someone lied?

(this is not directed at Althouse, but instead at the lie deniers, like Ryan Lizza)

Sebastian said...

"Letting Williams pass on this and keep his position will be an incredible blow to the morale and long-term in-house credibility of NBC News."

In the same way Bill's lies about no sex with that woman or Hillary's lies about coming under fire or Barry's lies in his autobiography or Barry's lies about if-you-like-your-doctor or Harry's lies about Mitt not paying his taxes were an incredible blow to the morale and long-term in-house credibility of the Democratic Party.

For the real lefty operators, truth is malleable. If lies serve the cause, lie they will.

For media liberals like Williams, the motivation may be more complex -- guilt, pride, and coolness. They believe their own fairytales, so why not an enhanced anecdote?

But our hostess is right that guilt is not the main driver for committed liberals or leftists. Ideological conviction and lust for power are.

Swifty Quick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
khesanh0802 said...

I don't think that it is fair to generalize this as liberal guilt. I would rather keep it strictly personal and say that Williams was probably scared shitless to be in a combat zone. He suddenly realized that he might be a target, therefore mortal. When he, thankfully, left that combat zone he was ashamed of how frightened he was ( had he stayed longer he would have learned that everyone in their right minds is scared shitless in a combat zone) so he made up a story that made him feel better about himself and his soiled underwear. Happens all the time. His sin is that he didn't shut up once he changed his skivvies. In my eyes that makes him guilty as charged and he should be shunned.

glenn said...

I suspect newcomer David Muir is behind this. Maybe we can make it a toofer.

TreeJoe said...

Sebastian,

There's a difference between Clinton lying about his prevarications and Obama lying about his past, and Williams lying about his on the job experience.

Also, there's a difference between Clinton and Obama trying to pretend something didn't happen and Williams telling detailed stories trying to invent something that didn't happen.

One of these types of lies hurts the individual's credibility the most.

The other type of lie hurts the individual and all those who surrounds them to a much greater degree.

Robert Cook said...

"I can't help but conflate this with Dan Rather's insistence that the Killian papers were 'fake but accurate.'"

Dan Rather did not say this; he still says that the authenticity of the documents they presented has not been conclusively disproved. It is others who asserted the documents may have been "fake, but accurate."

(Personally, I believe this to be true. Bush's people knew the story of his having gone AWOL could be a problem, as it had dogged him for years, so they had to effectively kill the story forever. How better to do it than to provide forged documents that closely mirrored the various tales that had been told about his misadventures in the Texas Air National Guard, get them put before the public in a widely seen venue, then swiftly impeach the documents as fakes, and along with them, the story of Bush's pussing out of his cushy stateside military obligation?)

sane_voter said...

@Kevin nailed it.

Lance said...

This is so devastating to Williams that it's hard to fathom why he did it. Wasn't it brave and honorable enough to be traveling with the military in Iraq? Isn't it braver to get on a helicopter knowing the one in front of you was hit than to happen to find yourself on one that is hit? Why lie and lie about something that you know many people are able to refute?

Someone needs to address these questions to Sec. Clinton in regards to Tuzla, Bosnia.

Joe Schmoe said...

I don't know if it's guilt so much as it is the need to personally inject themselves into every damn thing they do. They want to be the news, not report it. They want to know where their artisanal goat cheese is from so they feel some personal connection to it, smug in their unique knowledge that separates them from the hoi polloi. They seek out the obscure artist or musician so they can stake some claim to having discovered a previously unknown talent.

It's a narcissistic and self-congratulatory way to look at the world. That's why they favor collectives; not for themselves, but to keep the masses wedded to their mass-produced existences, while they can revel in their artisanal world without competition. It's a caste system as rigid as any conceived in the history of man.

BrianE said...

It's all about the narrative for liberals.
It's not much concern for the truth, but creating a story that could have happened.
We're seeing this play out daily in the news. I listen to NPR on the way to work and it's mind boggingly frustrating to listen to them prattle on, with almost no facts in the vicinity of the speaker.

RonF said...

Maybe he can make slow-rapping the news and having montages made from slices of his newscasts on Jimmy Fallon's show his full-time job. Now that we know he's an entertainer and propaganda mouthpiece instead of a journalist, it's only fitting.

Bob Ellison said...

I think the semicolons aren't a lawyer thing (they tend to be taught how to punctuate) nor a conservative thing (they tend to want to appear smart, as do liberals, who tend to fail at it).

The simplest answer is that we are once again forgetting one of the rules that Hinderaker is old enough to have learned in grade school: a semicolon is not a list-separator for prose. That's a comma, usually.

I use too many semicolons; mostly I use them correctly to separate independent clauses; they should not be thrown about with abandon like that. But neither should they separate apples; oranges; snakes; lizards.

holdfast said...

Michael Kelly could not be reached for comment.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/05/us/michael-kelly-46-editor-and-columnist-dies-in-iraq.html

holdfast said...

@PackerBronco

Damn, great minds think alike.

holdfast said...

@cookiethecommie

I only wish the GOP was really that smart. Still, if your little theory is correct then a big Bravo Zulu to Karl Rove.

Kidding aside, anyone smart enough to come up with that scam should have used documents that looked a little more authentic - the memo in question was so easily debunked as a fake that Rove or whoever would have assumed that editors at CBS would have caught the obvious deception.

Drago said...

Cookie the Ultimate Lefty Conspiratorialist: "(Personally, I believe this to be true. Bush's people knew the story of his having gone AWOL could be a problem...."

LOL

You. Are. A. Moron.

As anyone who has ever spent time in a Reserve Unit as a trained Aviator/Flight Officer etc but not in a flying billet can attest to.

At least this latest conspiracy of yours doesn't involve folks not in the chain of command or government somehow commandeering an SR-71 and flying it off to Europe to meet with Iranian mullahs!!

At this point there really is no possible way you could achieve a lower credibility score.

It will be entertaining to see what you could come up with next.

BTW, the whole "Bush AWOL" lie is what finally turned a generally democrat-leaning guy in my last command into a non-democrat. It was particularly sweet when I informed him that, according to the new "democrat rules for AWOL status", he had now been swept up in it's ever-expanding net. He didn't appreciate being called AWOL simply because he made quite frequent use of rescheduled drills to maintain the required minimum number of points for a qualifying year.

Jason said...

I, for one, will not kick a man when he is down. He went on the air and apologized, and that should settle it, as far as I'm concerned.

Instead I am praying for him and his wife, Morgan Fairchild.

Drago said...

So, for those keeping track, Cookie is fully on board the "9-11 was an inside job", "october surprise" and "Bush/Rove/Cheney are responsible for the dems/CBS (but I repeat myself) forged documents" conspiracy train.

But, oh yeah, don't you dare call Brian Williams a liar and those islamists have nothing to do with those islamist terrorist acts.

And the Soviets never funded any western protest movements.

The list is endless.

Robert Cook said...

"I only wish the GOP was really that smart."

Not the GOP...Karl Rove.

Robert Cook said...

Drago, you're lying. I don't believe 9/11 was an inside job.

2/5/15, 10:12 AM Delete

Todd said...

TreeJoe said...
Letting Williams pass on this and keep his position will be an incredible blow to the morale and long-term in-house credibility of NBC News.

2/5/15, 8:38 AM


In-house credibility is a non-issue as no one in-house cares and NBC has long had no out-side credibility left to lose. They see NOTHING wrong with this and don't think their audience will either (are are probably right).

uffda said...

"Isn't it braver to get on a helicopter knowing the one in front of you was hit than to happen to find yourself on one that is hit? "
No, it is not. The follow-on flight to a downed helo site would include plenty of gunship escorts hosing down every conceivable ambush position to prep the LZ.

I once had a new co-worker tell me and another Viet Nam vet that he also served in the war - on a Navy rescue helo plucking shot down pilots from the South China Sea in 1982.

JAORE said...

"Personally, I believe this to be true... His having gone AWOL could be a problem, as it had dogged him for years, so they had to effectively kill the story forever. How better to do it than to provide forged documents"

Wow, Cookie. No evidence presented, or even suggested. Did Bush plant explosives in the Twin Towers too?

This, alone, is enough to establish your credentials as paranoid, out of touch with reality, blinded by ideological hatred, all of the above.

Robert Cook said...

Brian Williams, of course, IS a liar, and should be fired. I don't know what you're talking about with your remark about Islamist terrorists.

Lyle said...

Semi-colons are coming back in fashion. They will be abused and misused. I have trouble with them myself.

Todd said...

RonF said...
Now that we know he's an entertainer and propaganda mouthpiece instead of a journalist, it's only fitting.

2/5/15, 9:20 AM


Sorry but how are those two things different? If you want a difference, you have to find a "reporter" but the USA does not make those anymore.

Squints said...

Personally, I use semi-colons when I'm feeling half-assed.

Do try the veal.

Drago said...

Robert Cook: "Brian Williams, of course, IS a liar, and should be fired. I don't know what you're talking about with your remark about Islamist terrorists"

Well, haven't you heard?

The latest lefty meme is that it's not islamists pulling islamist terrorist jobs!

Which is great from a lefty perspective. That frees up alot of thinking time to make up brand new and even more hilarious conspiracy theories regarding republicans/conservatives/libertarians etc.

But even I have to admit that the latest lefty move to assert that the Killian docs are forgeries but were generated by Rove and company is right up there with the Arabs who were dancing in the streets on 9-11 and praising bin laden but now swear that 9-11 was the fault of the jews.

Drago said...

Robert Cook: "Drago, you're lying. I don't believe 9/11 was an inside job."

No Robert Cook, you're lying.

Bush was never AWOL.

And. You're. Insane.

Gabriel said...

I don't care what psychological motivations underpin the words, actions, and goals of progessives.

I regard it as a species of ad hominem that subsitutes for substantive argument, just as when progessives claim conservatibes are motivated by fear or bigotry.

Jason said...

Welp, there went my last real rationalization for not switching entirely to NakedNews.com

Drago said...

I can't wait to revisit why/how Rove blew up the levees in New Orleans with cookie!

Not to mention how it was the Bush family personally that funded the rise of Hitler!!

No sign of secret routers for the Bush family though.

Yet.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FullMoon said...

Cut/paste from soopermexican site:

Williams had a harrowing Katrina experiance also

" My week, two weeks there, was not helped by the fact that I accidentally ingested some of the floodwater. I became very sick with dysentery, our hotel was overrun with gangs, I was rescued from the stairwell of a five star hotel in New Orleans by a young police officer we are friends to this day."

But in the Dateline special where he recounts his experiences 5 years later, there’s no mention of the story. He says that the police were in the Sheraton in New Orleans, and that his camera crew were allowed to film outside. But that’s it, he doesn’t even mention being in any other hotel. How could a hotel used as a staging area for policemen be “overrun with gangs”?

This is definitely not conclusive evidence that he lied about the attack, but it had many elements that are the same as his Iraq RPG story, which should cast doubt on any other story he speaks to that isn’t corroborated by someone else.

bbkingfish said...

Williams has a job where this sort of dishonesty cannot be tolerated. He should be fired immediately.

Of course, if he were a Republican congressman, you would have to make him chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Charlie Currie said...

I think there's two types of "liberal guilt".

1. Limousine Liberal Guilt - feeling guilty for having so much more than others less fortunate. Therefore, supporting redistribution, as long as it doesn't effect them all that much.

2. The Obama Liberal Guilt - feeling guilty for their perceived notions of all the harm the USA has caused to its citizens and to the world. Therefore, the on going Obama apology tour.

Robert Cook said...

"The latest lefty meme is that it's not islamists pulling islamist terrorist jobs!"

Hmmm...my membership to the Loony Lefty League must not be paid up...I haven't got the word on this, not a peep.

Drago said...

bbkingfish: "Of course, if he were a Republican congressman, you would have to make him chairman of the House Budget Committee."

Hmmmm, one can only wonder what infraction Tom Price has committed that would cause bbkingfish to step right over Clinton et al to point the finger of "dishonesty" at him (Price).

Drago said...

cook: "Hmmm...my membership to the Loony Lefty League must not be paid up...I haven't got the word on this, not a peep"

Have you heard of barack obama and josh earnest?

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-01-19/why-obama-can-t-call-charlie-hebdo-terrorists-radical-islamists-

Maybe you've heard of former DNC Chair Howard Dean?

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/maher-confronts-howard-dean-for-saying-paris-terrorists-about-as-muslim-as-i-am/

Not to worry Cookie. I'm sure it's simply a matter of time before you come up with the REAL culprit behind Brian Williams lie and islamist terrorist activities.

And his name rhymes with Marl Tove.

Fen said...

"But I speculate that there was more to it than that. Often when he told the story, the context was Williams’s expression of admiration for the fighting men and women whom he got to know in Iraq.... I suspect that Williams’s emotional need to portray himself (in his own mind, not just to outsiders) as someone who braved dangers, was shot at and nearly killed..."

If you follow ThisAintHell, you routinely see the pattern of posers claiming "I was only impersonating a Navy Seal to honor my friend who was one". Its one of their fallback excuses when they get busted telling lies.

This is what William's is doing now - pretending that he embellished the story for the benefit of the troops and not himself.

Fen said...

Ha. Robert Cook hasn't received the latest set of talking points? Oh boy, you know what that means, Robert, don't you? Your little Marxist pals no longer need their "useful idiot". Prepare to be purged soon.

FullMoon said...

Cut/paste from Ace

Brian Williams announces that he saw a body floating face-down past his French Quarter window during Hurricane Katrina. Also, he breaks out his WarCock to announce "I beat that storm" and that he transformed into a SuperAnchor, "finding [his] voice," during this event.

wendybar said...

Is anybody really surprised??? He has been lying for the Obama administration since 2007, why wouldn't he lie to give himself some cred???

Anonymous said...

The semicolon, besides separating independent clauses can be used in separating a series if the elements of the series may also include commas. That's from the AP Stylebook of too many years ago. In the quoted series above commas would do as no element in the series used a comma.

Also Kevin indeed nailed the guilt of the white liberal. Althouse's inability to recognize the white guilt (or any guilt) around her is, well, creepy.

Drago said...

Why doesn't Williams just get Karl Rove to gin up some fake military files that document the heroism of Williams?

After all, if you believe Cookie, that would be right in Rove's wheelhouse.

Robert Cook said...

Drago,

What makes you think I would pay attention to anything Obama or Dean might say? (I never heard of Josh Earnest.) Obama and Dean, are mainstream Washington politicians. They're no more worth hearing or heeding than John Boehner or Lindsay Graham. They're certainly not members of the Loony Lefty League.

(If they tried to enter the clubhouse, Commie Boy and Socialist Lass would kick their slimy, Wall Street-appeasing asses!)

rhhardin said...

Limbaugh agrees with me, that's not a lie, it's soap opera.

Williams' genre.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add, in my previous post, that in post-truth America, Brian Williams did nothing wrong.

Deb said...

Most, if not all, of the men I've known who have been in combat prefer not to discuss their experiences. This includes my father (WWII veteran), my husband (Vietnam, Special Forces), my brother (U.S. Navy, Vietnam era, Submarine Service) and others. I'm usually suspicious of people who make a point of discussing their combat experiences in detail. Usually, it seems, they would prefer to forget it, not relive it a dozen times.

Matt Sablan said...

He was still lying because he could get away with it. Once he couldn't, he stopped. Just like a three-year old.

The Drill SGT said...

Khesanh0802 said... had he stayed longer he would have learned that everyone in their right minds is scared shitless in a combat zone)

How true. The brave are the ones that manage to control their fear better.

As an officer, I was trained to control my fears, give orders clearly and simply in combat and never to run or appear agitated at news. "It unsettles the men", one SGT Major told me...

"Everything in war is very simple. But in combat even the simplest thing is very difficult."

- von Clausewitz



Ken B said...

MayBee nailed it. Williams was already on the trailing helicopter. He diod not choose to board it after learning of the attack. Thus Althouse's reconstruction collapses.

Careful writers use semi-colons to separate independent parts of a sentence, which they still wish to logically associate by placing in the same sentence. Samuel Johnson's writings are full of semi-colons; readers unused to writers not of their own time and sub-culture sometimes kvetch.

Wilbur said...

The Grey Lady buries this on B10. Nothing to see here. Keep moving.

In a very real way, they're correct. Williams just got caught telling the sort of lies and truth-shading he's been telling all of his professional life.

Quaestor said...

Robert Cook wrote: Personally, I believe this to be true...

What could possibly be Cook's motive for revealing the inner workings of his dark, deluded mind?

n.n said...

Death of a JournoList.

Robert Cook said...

"What could possibly be Cook's motive for revealing the inner workings of his dark, deluded mind?

Uh...it's called being honest about what I think.

Drago said...

Cookie: "Obama and Dean, are mainstream Washington politicians."

Hilarious.

Bolsheviks always consider Mensheviks part of the problem.

William said...

Different standards for judging being AWOL were applied to Bush and Bergdahl.

William said...

Everyone tells self aggrandizing lies. My whole existence has been nothing but one self aggrandizing lie. What is remarkable about Williams is not that he lied, nor even that he lied in such a public forum, but that he got away with it for twelve years. The cocoon is remarkably effective. Well, in the long run, Hillary got away with it. Maybe he will too.

William said...

Alger Hiss was given standing ovations when he made paid appearances at Harvard. Bill Clinton is an esteemed Democratic spokesman. Blumenthal never lost a vote because of his little white lie about service in Vietnam......Liberals feel that their lies were told to conservatives and not to them. You have to lie to conservatives in order to make them understand the higher truth.

damikesc said...

Of course, if he were a Republican congressman, you would have to make him chairman of the House Budget Committee.

If he were a Democrat politician, he'd be the massive front runner for their Presidential nomination.

Robert Cook said...

"Bolsheviks always consider Mensheviks part of the problem."

Reactionaries always see centrists as radicals.

kcom said...

"'This is so devastating to Williams that it's hard to fathom why he did it.'

That's an easy one.

Pride.

Competition with others, which is the substance and crux of pride.

The desire to go up, above others."


For those of you who have Comcast go to the On-Demand service. They have a little news and information reel running in the corner while you look for your on-demand selection. They have a segment with Brian Williams extolling the virtues of NBC News that is one of the most bombastic, self-congratulatory, patronizing and arrogant things I have ever seen on television. You have to watch it to believe it. It starts off with him intoning something like "We will tell you what you need to know..." He obviously hasn't gotten the memo about the whole internet thingy. People don't want to be told what to think any more. That's not his job. But most of all just listen to it for the tone of voice. It's truly breathtaking. And what's worse, it goes on and on and on. Arrogance personified.

Bilwick said...

Why is Brian Williams lying? Because he's a "liberal"? Just a wild guess.

eLocke said...

@poker1one 11:41 AM

The first and third elements do.

n.n said...

Motive obviously matters. It offers insight past a persona into character, and rationalizes long-term goals that are repulsive in the short-term.

It's the difference between ObamaCare and ObamaGreed, a national redistribution scheme to engender good perceptions, reduce individual donor liability, and progressive capture of private capital.

It's the difference between elective/premeditated abortion to reduce poverty and reduce helpless human beings, and an unprecedented genocide, the mass murder of over 2 million wholly innocent human lives annually for wealth, leisure, and pleasure.

Known Unknown said...

Is he getting shit-canned?

He should be getting shit-canned ASAP.

Drago said...

Robert Cook: "Reactionaries always see centrists as radicals."

Radicals always claim to be centrists.

Radicals also always use the term "reactionaries".

Maybe the term "reactionary" was actually invented by Karl Rove so we could sneakily identify radicals when they use that term.

I mean, when Karl wasn't busy ginning up fake national guard documents and blowing up levees.

Bob Boyd said...

EMD said...
"Is he getting shit-canned?

He should be getting shit-canned ASAP"

I predict he will not be shit-canned.
The machine will crank up to save him.
A big name psychologist from Harvard or some such will talk about the latest in high-tech brain imaging and how they now think human memories work and how that explains these kinds of things which are more common than you may realize.
A military man will talk about the fog of war and tell stories of confused memories among those who have been in a war zone.
Other reporters/colleagues will talk about the Brian Williams they know and what a swell guy he was and how profoundly he was affected by his Iraq experience.
The whole thing will be minimized. Time and other stories will push it off the front page. Williams will ride it out and it will pass.

Remember, if Brian Williams goes down for this, Hillary must also be held to the same standard.

Robert Cook said...

"Radicals always claim to be centrists."

With no evidence they are radicals, why would they not?

~ Gordon Pasha said...

Williams is today listed as a member of the "Congressional" Medal of Honor Foundation's Board of Directors. Wonder how long he can show up there and look the real deal in the eye after this?

The Drill SGT said...

Expect Williams to plead PTSD by association...

Drago said...

Robert Cook: "With no evidence they are radicals, why would they not?"

LOL

Why is conspiracy-boy suddenly so concerned about "evidence"?

Drago said...

Gordon Pasha: "Williams is today listed as a member of the "Congressional" Medal of Honor Foundation's Board of Directors. Wonder how long he can show up there and look the real deal in the eye after this?"

It's a wonder that John Kerry didn't offer one of his 3 Purple Hearts to Williams.

Has anyone seen John Kerry's scars from these 3 wounds?

They must be as physically horrible as Williams psychic injuries.

hombre said...

The mediaswine invent stuff about others. Why not about themselves?

Robert Cook said...

If you place such value on evidence--as opposed to conspiracy nuts like me--why can't you produce any that Obama and Dean are "leftists" or "radicals?"

Bob Boyd said...

As I said at 2:38, Its already started:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/02/05/the-science-behind-brian-williams-mortifying-memory-flub/?tid=sm_tw

ken in tx said...

Semi-colons should be called semi-periods. I think I read that in 'Strunk and White'. They should be used between independent clauses that could be separate sentences except the writer thinks they are logically connected.

Joe said...

On semi-colons. There weren't that many, mainly a series in one paragraph. I suppose it's because Hinderaker is literate.

Unknown said...

If you watch the original report he filed for NBC Nightly News you can see how this happened. NBC posted it yesterday on Facebook, which is in and of itself, interesting.

http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/dateline-special-operation-iraqi-freedom-394019395828

So to start, he's got Tom's attention with his story so he gets a live shot. This story goes on for FIVE minutes, an eternity in TV time.

0:29 Brian intimates risk.

0:32 Things "started to happen."

0:41 Jagged hole in A helicopter. Not which helicopter or THE helicopter.

0:50 "We took fire on the way in." On the way to pick him up? Another run? We don't know.

1:04 Build tension.

2:19 "Fire on the way in." Sounds a little melodramatic since nothing unusual is going on.

2:38 An hour ahead is omitted. Now we know the hole is in the other helicopter, but so much has transpired and we already think the story is leading up to them being hit.

4:15 Now the reason they landed. Again 2 minutes later so it obfuscates why they landed to begin with by contextually removing it from narrative.

So this report is factually accurate, but key facts are removed or jumbled in a way, as to build drama, which is what got it on the air to begin with. This edit required conscious editing to arrange it in this way to build the drama. Those that participated in it know full well what and why they did it and they succeeded. The problem is Brian began to believe it.

furious_a said...

This is so devastating to Williams that it's hard to fathom why he did it.


It's what fakes and posers do for street cred, attention, admiration, promotions and pay raises.

Plus he was jealous of Lara Logan.

furious_a said...

How better to do it than to provide forged documents that closely mirrored the various tales that had been told about his misadventures in the Texas Air National Guard, get them put before the public in a widely seen venue, then swiftly impeach the documents as fakes,

Give it up, Cookie. Mary Mapes was on the ANG AWOL story for five years. She introduced her source to the Kerry campaign. She and Rather both wanted to believe the memos were authentic and the story true.

The beauty of Mapes/Rather's career murder/suicide pact was that it took a couple of coders who knew fonts no more than the evening of the broadcast to completely dismantle Mapes/Rather's Pulitzer Prize project.

T. A. Hansen said...

News journalists cannot have any meaningful war experiences let alone lie about them compared the solidiers that live it day and night. The big difference the jourmalist gets to go home. He is a noncombatant. What irks me most about Williams is they way he tried to conflate his paltry joyride into actually being part of the mission. He used military lingo and inserted himself as an active participant.

Trashhauler said...

For the record, none of the aircraft I flew was ever shot down, hit by ground fire, or crashed.

I will take partial credit for the "did not crash" part.

Michael K said...

"For the same reason idiots dress up in fatigues and try to pass themselves off as real soldiers. He wanted to be one of the cool kids."

This is part of it. John Kerry is the other part, I think. He first ran for office in Massachusetts as a veteran and lost. Then he became an "anti-war veteran_ and that clicked with his leftist voters.

Williams has spent decades belittling soldiers and Bush and those who took us to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It enhances, at least in his own mind, his credibility to say "I was there and was even shot at so don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about."

I think that is a big part of it, just as it is with Kerry who has inflated his own record and got away with it until the Swift boat vets.

Then his leftist supporters tried to discredit the real vets. They had kept quiet for many years, as well. We haven't yet seen the reaction from the left. No doubt they will claim they are having PTSD or something.

Michael K said...

"Of course, if he were a Republican congressman, you would have to make him chairman of the House Budget Committee."

It didn't take long for the leftist meme to surface.

William said...

I heard the interview that Jake Tapper did with the pilot of the helicopter that Williams was on. The pilot said that the helicopter was fired on by small arms and that most probably everyone in the chopper knew that they were being fired on. So Williams story is correct to this extent: he was in a combat zone and he was fired upon. All the rest seems to be embellished.......This will probably save his ass. He was guilty of an elaboration and not a lie......I think there's an International Brotherhood of Newscasters. They will not be hard on a fellow brother, and Lietterman an Stewart will refrain from mocking him.......My guess is that this will have the duration and reach of a Clinton scandal. We all embellish and it's time to move on to other hinges.

walter said...

Jason: "I, for one, will not kick a man when he is down. He went on the air and apologized, and that should settle it, as far as I'm concerned."

Kidding, right? He prefaced his "apology" by saying he did it to honor soldiers..by stealing honor. He's not down..he's still digging. Finish the job and finish burying yourself, Brian...figuratively of course....

walter said...

William,
It appears to be at least 5 against 1 in regards to what happened:

" Stars and Stripes compiled its account of what happened to the two helicopter companies that day — one based in Germany and the other in Savannah, Ga. — through interviews with five soldiers who were there, including a mission commander, retired Army officer Jerry Pearman of California who was a lieutenant colonel at the time.

Their account, however, was disputed by another former Chinook pilot, Rich Krell, who told CNN that he was flying Williams’ aircraft during the mission. Krell told CNN that Williams’ plane did suffer minor damage from small-arms fire but did not say the damage was enough to force him to land.

"Yeah, he messed up some things and said some things he shouldn't have,” Krell told CNN, referring to Williams.

Krell’s version was at odds with the recollections of both Luke and Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Miller, who was the flight engineer on the aircraft carrying Williams and his crew. Miller and Luke insisted separately that aircraft in their formation did not take ground fire that day and landed in Iraq only because of the sandstorm, which paralyzed coalition operations for days.

“No, we never came under direct enemy fire to the aircraft,” Miller told Stars and Stripes on Wednesday.

Miller said the NBC crew affixed microphones to a helicopter headset and recorded air traffic from the Chinook that had been hit.

Luke said that after the formation carrying the NBC crew landed at Rams Base, Williams and the soldiers approached the stricken helicopter to ask the crew what had happened."

http://www.stripes.com/news/us/brian-williams-apology-draws-mixed-reviews-from-mission-vets-1.327935

Mick said...

Of course he is a scumbag liar. He's been licking the Usurper's ass for years. Just another of the media courtiers. This is the end for him, just like Rather. Liberal lie, and double and triple down on the lie, that's how they roll, so convinced of their own moral superiority.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Krell’s version was at odds with the recollections of both Luke and Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Miller, who was the flight engineer on the aircraft carrying Williams and his crew.

Different perspectives and different meanings:

The pilot said that the helicopter was fired on by small arms

means "I saw muzzle flashes or green tracer with little parallax. "

aircraft in their formation did not take ground fire that day

means, "I was the crew chief, and regardless of what the pilot says about seeing tracers, nothing hit the bird because I go over the skin each flight and have to patch the holes, and there weren't any. PS: I had two days in the storm to check"

Robert Cook said...

"The beauty of Mapes/Rather's career murder/suicide pact was that it took a couple of coders who knew fonts no more than the evening of the broadcast to completely dismantle Mapes/Rather's Pulitzer Prize project."

It wasn't "coders," it was rightwing bloggers at Free Republic, Powerline, and Little Green Footballs. It beggars the imagination to believe these guys could have determined so quickly, from documents merely shown on television, that the documents were fakes. It is this swiftness of supposed analysis and response--lacking the actual documents in hand for careful examination--that screams the fix was in. The fake documents were planted with CBS, and as soon as the the segment was aired, those responsible--linked to the Bush election team, no doubt--leaked the word to these right wing blogs that the documents were fakes, and provided the reasons why. Or, more probably, they had let it be known before the airing so the bloggers would be prepared to immediately debunk the story, thus forever impeaching anyone might cast doubt on Bush's military service.

From Wikipedia:

"Within minutes[55] of the segment, the authenticity of the documents was questioned by posters on Free Republic, a conservative Internet forum, and discussion quickly spread to various weblogs in the blogosphere, principally Little Green Footballs and Power Line.[56] The initial analysis appeared in posts by "Buckhead," a username of Harry W. MacDougald, an Atlanta attorney who had worked for conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and the Southeastern Legal Foundation and who had helped draft the petition to the Arkansas Supreme Court for the disbarment of President Bill Clinton.[57] MacDougald questioned the validity of the documents on the basis of their typography, writing that the memos were 'in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman,' and alleging that this was an anachronism: 'I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old. This should be pursued aggressively.'"[58]

All this from documents shown for just moments on tv? Within "minutes?" By an attorney who just happened to have ties to right wing organizations? It is to laugh. These guys had been prepped and were ready to go the minute the segment had concluded.

ChicagoRefugee said...

Sarah Hoyt introduced me to the saying "drinking their own ink," which is exactly what I believe Lyin' Brian did last week - and has been doing for a long time.

If you look at the timeline, the particularly egregious lying started right after the death of the general whom LB was accompanying on his little trip to the sandbox.

Once he knew the only witness - at his level, as his crew and the soldiers he flew with would be seen (by Williams, natch) as inconsequential and unimportant - was safely dead it gave him free rein and the confidence to embellish his story, to raise his status, to gild the lily.

I'll bet he was shocked at being called out by lowly military grunts. After all, hadn't Al Gore assured us that only the dimwitted bitter clingers got sent to Iraq? The smart kids were all back home attending Ivy League colleges. (And let's just forget the blatant, statistically undeniable, admissions bias against non-Jewish ex-urban, males of pallor in that process, shall we?)

Jason said...

If you know fonts and kerning you can spot a non-typewriter font in an instant. You don't need the document "in hand," fool.

Rusty said...

All this from documents shown for just moments on tv? Within "minutes?" By an attorney who just happened to have ties to right wing organizations? It is to laugh. These guys had been prepped and were ready to go the minute the segment had concluded.

Until they got their hands on the documents CBS said were genuine and then the whole thing came unraveld for Rather and Mapes.
Comrade, Bob the fabulist.

Wilbur said...

"It beggars the imagination to believe these guys could have determined so quickly, from documents merely shown on television, that the documents were fakes"

But you're talking about a forensic subject for which you lack any expertise.

No wonder it beggars your imagination.

Loren said...

You know, I was on a commercial airline flight that made a "emergency" landing with the thought that a landing gear was down but not locked. I remember that landing with my head between my legs. I remember the pilot landing carefully on one main and then slowly rotating the plane onto the "unlocked" main gear. I remember the co-pilot walking down the cabin, to peel up a piece of carpet and look through some port to do a visual inspection of the gear. I remember the flight attendants gathering all the loose items in the cabin and stuffing them in the lavatory. I remember the flight attendants repeating the safety briefing and everyone on the plane paying attention. I remember the fight attendant showing me and 4 others how to operate the front door, after checking for fire, should they not be available (even though their seat was RIGHT NEXT to the door). I remember the fire trucks on the grass next to the runway, waiting for us to land. I remember us all cheering as the plane came to a stop. I remember the mechanic telling the crew that the gear was not locked and the plane could not be moved with us on board. I remember walking from the plane to the terminal. I remember the side of the terminal building having a bunch of grasshoppers on it. Nobody was shooting at me, there was no fire, there was no one injured, but I remember it pretty clearly.

I don't care how many times someone would report on that story, I can not fathom someone who was not on that flight having those memories. I don't see how anyone in reporting on the story can do it enough to think they themselves were on the flight.

Unknown said...

Stars and Stripes reporter just reported that the chatter you hear in William's original story about coming under fire is radio communication from another helicopter.

jaed said...

(A day late as usual, but possibly worth it for anyone who reads this old thread):

CBS posted PDFs of the forged documents in question on their web site. (I'm not sure whether they showed them onscreen at all, actually. Sixty Minutes style is to show brief excerpts, in typewriter font, as a graphic in the upper left corner of the screen while the presenter reads the relevant portions out loud. They usually don't show pictures of actual documents.

In any case, the debunkers had PDFs of the documents in hand, available from CBS during the broadcast - not screen grabs or video.

And one more thing: that there was a serious problem with these documents, alleged to be originals from 1975, would have been obvious literally at a glance to anyone old enough to remember what office correspondence looked like in the 70s. Such correspondence was typewritten, not laser-printed. Typewriter fonts, being monospaced, looked very different from a letterpress font such as Times New Roman. Office correspondence didn't have superscripts, centering, double-justified margins, or multiple type sizes, either.

A glance, I say, was enough. And this is one of the facts that condemns Dan Rather as a journalist who knowingly broadcast lies in order to influence an election: Dan Rather is even older than I am, and he could not have been fooled for an instant by this sort of crude, anachronistic forgery. Even if he was not complicit in their creation, he would have realized immediately that they were not authentic. (I can only imagine some young person was tasked with actually typing them up, who simply lacked the historical perspective to realize that printing out a word-processing document and then running it through the copier for a few generations to blur the type would not produce something that would actually look like a memo created in the 70s. If whoever created the forgeries had had the wit to find an old typewriter instead of using their office computer....)

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs used his expertise not to determine that the documents were not, as alleged, typewritten in the mid-70s - as I say, that was already obvious - but to figure out, from the typography, exactly which computer program and OS version had been used to create them. (Word X for Mac OS X - which came out in around 2001 - if I remember correctly. Using Word's default settings, which would have automatically created the superscripts, set the tabstops, and so forth.) TrueType fonts are continually being revised, and the result is that the forms and spacing are a little different in each operating system release, so expertise with fonts helped pinpoint the exact version.

Ted said...

Occam's Razor:

He's a compulsive liar. It's not at all uncommon.

I'll bet he embellishes his personal narrative and has done so since his teens or even earlier (when you're really young, it's just labeled "storytelling," but not until his employer, NBC, started putting him on entertainment shows did his stories get heard.

In fact, to a compulsive liar, even one with so much to lose, that format, the talk show where the guest feels tremendous pressure to be interesting, had to be absolutely irresistible.

I suspect that there's a genetic predisposition to liking the spotlight and to performing.

Yes, back to Occam--he lied and did so compulsively, and yes, it's a pathology when it reaches this stage of development that he did it knowing it could trash his career.