The Weekly Standard, in its September 27 issue (on sale Monday), describes the meltdown of the CBS National Guard Memo story.

“Fake but accurate.” Heh.

UPDATE: If you’d rather have the Washington Post version (which doesn’t mention blogs at all), registration is required. But it does describe behind-the-scenes activity at CBS, including the fact that CBS stopped checking when White House communications director Dan Bartlett let three hours go by without questioning the documents’ authenticity:

At that point, said “60 Minutes” executive Josh Howard, “we completely abandoned the process of authenticating the documents. Obviously, looking back on it, that was a mistake. We stopped questioning ourselves. I suppose you could say we let our guard down.”

I suppose you could say that. So it’s all the White House’s fault for not telling them the documents were fake. Got it. How exactly Bartlett was supposed to verify a document he wasn’t asked to verify, ostensibly taken from the personal files of a dead man, within three hours of learning of its existence, was not explained.

“So much of this debate has focused on the documents, and no one has really challenged the story. It’s been frustrating to us to see all this reduced to a debate over little ‘th’s.”

The devil, they say, is in the details. It’s about credibility, and right now CBS don’t got it. Plenty of people who happen not to be in CBS’ newsroom have challenged the story, but you have to actually stick your head out of the door to be aware of that.

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