By Brad Friedman on 12/9/2004, 2:05pm PT  

I've been trying to prepare a FAQ on some of the most frequently asked questions I've been getting about the Clint Curtis story. It's taking longer than I had hoped because so much else is currently going on.

But since I get so many questions about that fourth page of the Affidavit, and why it looks different than the first three, let me post here at least an answer to that question right now! PLEASE feel free to point folks to this link or this information when you see them asking that particular question!

And keep being skeptical, which is good! (Though not cynical, which is not particularly helpful at all!)

Q. What's up with the fourth page of Curtis' affidavit [PDF]? The fonts and colors and pixellation were totally different than the first three pages! It must be a fake!

A. The original document was black and white except for the purple ink in the signature on the final page. The person who scanned it had the scanner set on an "Automatic" setting and the scanning program apparently kicked into Color mode only when it got to the purle signature on the last page.

I was concerned that folks would get distracted by that, as silly as it is, when the scan was first sent to me, so I asked to have it rescanned and resent. They did so, and it came back the same way again. The person doing the scanning couldn't figure out how to change it, and then had to get to a meeting. So that's the version I had to go with as I had to get the story out (for reasons explained in our original story itself.)

Please note, these aren't 40 year old documents! This is not the Dan Rather story where shadowy, anonymous figures had presented documents claiming they came from unnamed sources. This affidavit was signed, notarized, scanned and sent to me on Monday of this week! And the guy who created them --- Clint Curtis --- has gone very public in saying so! He was on the radio yesterday morning continuing to do just that!

As well, the copies of the affidavit that have been received by congressional people looking into this, and the folks at CREW who are looking into Curtis' claim are copied from the original. Not from the scan that I released with the story on Monday.

In truth, I don't really even understand the charge of "the affidavit is fake!" in the first place. If it was a fake, I'd think the person whose name is on them as swearing it to be truthful under penalty of perjury would likely have come forward and told the world that the affidavit was a fake!

To that end, while the skepticism is healthy and I share Curtis' point (quoted here yesterday) encouraging folks to research his claims and attempt to prove them false, it would be more useful perhaps if folks investigated the substance of the charges contained in the documents signed by the guy who admits he signed them! Debunking the substance of Curtis' story is more useful to everyone than getting stuck on some archane technical concerns make no sense anyway if one bothers to ponder it.

[Originally published at BRAD BLOG TOO while The BRAD BLOG server was down.
Comments left by readers on the original article can be read at the above link.]