Now why would they believe that?
By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2004, 12:02pm PT  

Really, the only person living (that we know of) who knows for certain whether the information in the Killian memos is substantively accurate would be George W. Bush himself.

So CBS delivered these incriminating memos to the White House and the White House then released them to the press. Begging the question...If the information they contained was not accurate, why would they release them at all? At least without some caviat that they suspected them to be forgeries, or at the very least inaccurate or misleading or untrue?

Yet here is Scott McClellan from Wednesday's White House press gaggle:

MR. McCLELLAN:...We received those documents from a major news organization. We had every reason to believe that they were authentic at that time.
...
Q Scott, when you received the documents from CBS, do you know if anyone here looked at them carefully to come to some sort of validity judgment? Or did you simply pass them on to ---

MR. McCLELLAN: No. No, we have not made any effort to determine whether or not they were fabricated or authentic. I think I made that clear the other day. There are media organizations that are looking into this, they're talking to experts, they're raising questions about it. That's where it is. These are serious questions. They're being looked into.

But we had every reason to believe at the time that the documents were authentic. [emphasis added]

What reason would the "President" and the White House have to believe they were "authentic"? Wouldn't Dubya know that the information was inaccurate? Yet McClellan says twice that they believed they were "authentic", had "every reason to believe" it in fact.

If CBS had given them memos in which someone had said George W. Bush had sex with hamsters while in the National Guard, would they have simply passed them on to the press without comment?

Nobody in the press corp, however, bothered to ask McClellan about either that strange point or, more importantly, the substance of those "believed to be accurate" memos.

Nonetheless, for those who feel that the information in the memos must also be ignored if the docs themselves were frauds, I'd point you towards Kevin Drum. He has 5 salient and supported points, based on the White Houses' own released records, which show that Bush, at best, has yet to come clean on his "proud service" in the Air National Guard. And at worst, that there has been some serious skullduggery concerning those released records.

Apparently, however, the press corp is selective as to when they pay attention to the blogosphere and when they don't. Perhaps they're waiting for Fox News to ask the first question, and then they'll jump on in.

They may be waiting a while.