Tuesday, September 21, 2004

 

SIX pages?

There were six pages of memos, apparently. Where and what are the other two pages? I found the article below at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000629546

'USA Today' Editor Paulson On Paper's Handling of Bush Military Documents
Frank S. Folwell/USA TODAY
USA Today Editor Ken Paulson.
By Joe Strupp Published: September 14, 2004 12:25 PM EDT

NEW YORK USA Today Editor Ken Paulson defended his paper's use of the now-disputed documents related to President George W. Bush's military service, saying the paper "accurately reported" the story."The only difference between USA Today and every other newspaper is that we had the documents to look at," said Paulson. "Like every American newspaper, we are trying to determine the authenticity of the documents." USA Today obtained six pages of memos, according to Paulson, on Wednesday night, but he declined to reveal the source.Paulson would not say if the source was the same as that used by CBS. "That would be speculative," he told E & P. "Two hours after the broadcast, we received the documents and they matched the '60 Minutes' documents," Paulson explained. "We began reading them and trying to decide what to do when the White House released four of the six pages we had."Paulson stressed that it remains unknown if the documents are real. "The jury is very much out on the authenticity of the documents," he said. "All we can do is keep reporting on the story."The records were first revealed during "60 Minutes" last Wednesday, purportedly written in the early 1970s by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, Bush's former commander in the Texas National Guard. The memos indicate that Bush received favorable treatment while in the guard.When asked if USA Today erred in any way in its reporting, Paulson was adamant in his defense. "When the White House released the documents Wednesday night, no one including the White House believed they were anything but genuine government records," Paulson said. "When questions were raised later about the authenticity of the documents, USA Today and other responsible news organizations reported the allegations and CBS' response to those claims. That is what we will continue to do."The first USA Today story Thursday reported on the memos as legitimate, noting "60 Minutes" had revealed them the previous night. The story included no caveats indicating that they might not be authentic.The same story reported that a White House spokesman commenting on the memos "did not dispute the documents' authenticity" and that "Killian's signatures on the memos match those on many of Bush's publicly released records."In later stories, USA Today reported only that the source was "a person with knowledge of Texas Air National Guard operations" and "the person refused to be identified out of fear of retaliation. It is unclear where the documents, if they are real, had been kept in the intervening three decades." Paulson said the fact that the White House had released some of the memos and "60 Minutes" had reported them as fact made it easier to use them in a story. "We had a higher confidence level then and we only decided to go to press after '60 Minutes' and the White House issued the documents," he said. "We ran a story on Thursday about '60 Minutes' reporting on the documents, and we used the documents to amplify our story."On Monday, USA Today published one of the more thorough summaries of the dispute thus far, with a point-by-point analysis of the allegations -- including conflicting quotes by experts and interviewees, some of whom have shifted their views just in the space of a few days."Document analysts differ over whether the memos, ostensibly written by Bush's commander, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, are genuine and could have been produced by typewriters available at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston in 1972 and 1973," the story stated, in part. "Two retired FBI forensic document examiners who studied the memos at USA Today's request said Sunday that they probably are forgeries. Four other authorities interviewed by USA Today, including typewriter and type font experts, said the technology existed at the time to create the documents. None of the experts consulted offered an unequivocal opinion."

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