Saturday, September 11, 2004

Mark Steyn on CBS and Magic Typewriters

There's nothing like a wit to put the Dan Rather meltdown into perspective. (In other words, ridicule can be pretty withering to a stubborn, arrogant old newsman who's been so deep in the liberal echo chamber for so long that he can't even tell he has a bad haircut.)

Mark Steyn's take on the Rather story is a perfect example. Read it here. And here are some exerpts to whet your appetite:

Amazingly, this guy at the Air National Guard base, Lt. Col. Killian, had
the only typewriter in Texas in 1973 using a prototype version of the default
letter writing program of Microsoft Word, complete with the tiny little
superscript thingy that automatically changes July 4th to July 4th. To do that
on most 1973 typewriters, you had to unscrew the keys, grab a hammer and give
them a couple of thwacks to make the ''t'' and ''h'' squish up all tiny, and
even think it looked a bit wonky. You'd think having such a unique typewriter
Killian would have used a less easily traceable model for his devastating
''CYA'' memo. Also, he might have chosen a font other than Times New Roman,
designed for the Times of London in the 1930s and not licensed to Microsoft by
Rupert Murdoch (the Times' owner) until the 1980s.

Killian is no longer around to confirm his extraordinary Magic Typewriter,
but his son denied the stuff was written by his dad, and his widow said her late
husband never typed. So, on the one hand, we have hundreds of living veterans
with chapter and verse on Kerry's fantasy Christmas in Cambodia, and, on the
other hand, we have a guy who's been dead 20 years but is still capable of
operating Windows XP. It took the savvy chappies at the Powerline Web site and
Charles Johnson of ''Little Green Footballs'' about 20 minutes to spot the
eerily 2004 look of the 1972 memo, and various Internet wallahs spent the rest
of the day tracking down the country's leading typewriter identification

As I watch this unfold I feel like a kid watching the clowns at the circus. Except the clowns are on TV, and don't know they are clowns.


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