Friday, September 10, 2004

Bad Reporting

I will not get into the game of spin and duck on type fonts etc, but I will comment on this online story from WLWT. The story states that:
Richard Polt, a Xavier University professor, was called on to examine documents from the 1970s that could shed new light on information about George W. Bush's service in the military.
Ok, that is fine, but who called on him?? How did WLWT find out he was called upon? Later on the article states:
Several national magazines have called on Polt for his opinion.
Ok, now we have something added of merit, but WHAT MAGAZINES? National Review? Weekly Standard?

The most insane element was section, including the magazine reference:
"When you think about some of the details of the documents, it just adds up to something recently produced on a computer," he said.

Several national magazines have called on Polt for his opinion. He said the only excuse could be that the documents were handwritten and someone produced them on a computer.
How the hell does this guy know what the "only excuse" could be? That is a theory, but this guy has no knowledge or experience in what else could explain why "might" have been typed recently.

His opinions are being refuted in other places: Here and Here, and CBS is still sticking with their story and they have their own expert, Marcel Matley.

WLWT went for the local angle to this story, but failed to give any qualifications to the professor, failed to show who “called” on him to analyze the documents, and also failed to point out that he undoubtedly had copies of copies of copies of the documents, if not a higher level of distortion. Mr. Polt has done a lot of research on typewriters, but his knowledge of type fonts, seems to be limited. From his bio he appears to be a philosophy professor.

The game of claiming forgery has turned into another case of the Chewbacca Defense. There was far more to the CBS News story, than just those documents, but that doesn’t matter, when the game is afoot.

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