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A Note to my emailers (and others)

[Note for those of you who forget to look down, this is Paul typing not Kevin.]

Ok Folks... My mail box has been filling with people saying "Hey did you see this?" in regards to Dr. Hailey's work. First, yes, I've probably seen everything you have found and pages and pages more. Yes, it could fill a book. Who cares?

Let me explain.

For me personally the issue is dead. Before the media started making noises like they were going to run with this study, I treated it as a private manner with the University. I viewed it (and still do) as something worthy of the University's censure. Both academic freedom and academic responsibility are issues that I hold near and dear.

While it might not have showed by the admittedly rude way I worded my first post, I hold no personal animosity toward Dr. Hailey. (I know I could have fooled many of you. ;-) However, frankly, I'm dismayed by some of the things I've seen in that regard.

Here is my point. This story is only of legitimate interest to the public at large when it was going to potentially affect the out come of the election for President. Am I overstating the potential importance of this study? Remember the last Presidential election was decided by 535 votes. ANYTHING can swing an election that close. A rain shower in one precinct can change the leader of the free world in time of war. (scary thought, no matter which side of the aisle you are on, huh?) A case could be made that if the memos ever gained legitimacy it could swing the election. Certainly Bill Burkett and Mary Mapes have both said that.

I think it is safe to say that CBS won't be interviewing Professor Hailey on 60 Minutes next week. The list of errors in his work go far, far beyond what I have published. (Again, yes I have it all documented, no need to mail.) I promise if CBS or the Boston Globe interviews him next week we can publish all the things wrong with the study.

Now, let me speak to the larger issue. I was admittedly rude with my first post. With the benefit of hindsight, it was not my finest hour... But some of the things you people are doing is just beyond the pale. I won't mention names or provide links but the final straw that made me mention this was a site I saw where they were investigating his personal life on a mission to destroy Hailey personally. BAD, BAD, BAD IDEA.

Professor Jim Lindgren said it best: "I do not, however, believe that he should be subject to more than the normal punishment for extremely shoddy scholarly work—the disapproval of his peers."

It is my belief the University was not interested in the me presenting the case for academic misconduct, I think it is obvious they went into CYA mode after my first call. (CYA- Ironic huh?) OK, So be it.

I know many of you genuinely feel the very future of the planet is at stake in this election. That is the exact reason NOT to worry about Hailey right now. Rather than let your passions make you post a personal attack on the author of a discredited study, go pound a yard sign or make an effective point about something Kerry has said or done. Goodness knows there is enough material. As I say so often about different news events to people on both sides of the isle, remember Hailey ain't going to be on the ballot come November.

(Sorry, what started as a short post to my emailers has grown to a full blown rant. Stick with me.)

If you want to keep dissecting his work on your sites, I think it is a waste of time by now, but knock yourself out. But for goodness sakes, leave the man's personal life out of it!

As I'm sure most of you know, I don't own this blog, Kevin does. I'm just his guest. He got tipped from what I personally believe is a credible source that there were other newsworthy angles to the story. He has followed up on them to some extent. If he finds something news worthy, don't expect him to keep it to himself. (But I'll remind him too there are bigger fish in the sea. ;-)

And I can promise that if there is anything else that needs debunking in regards to the CBS Memos, Wizbang (and a whole bunch of other blogs) will be on the case. For now, let's (to coin a phrase) move on.

Some house-keeping notes.

I'm going to close comments and trackback pings on the original post. I'm going to close comments on the REDUX post tonight and close pings in a day or two. I'm not trying to silence anyone but if you have not posted one of the 300 plus messages, you had your chance.

Unless and until something major changes in this story I will not be posting any of the material I have and don't need any more. Thanks.

Comments (28)

The possibility that Bush w... (Below threshold)
Remy Logan:

The possibility that Bush will lose the elections because of fake memos is passed.

We are in the phase of the election now where what matters is talking to swing voters about Kerry and Kerry's positions on things like:

The Kyoto Treaty and what that will do to our economy

Development of Weapons Systems (bunker busters are our best means for destroying nuclear weapon capabilities)

"Global Test" for American foreign policy

Energy Policy (wind power and solar power are proven to not be viable for our needs) (unfortunately, Bush needs to come up with something good too)

Will Kerry cut-and-run from Iraq the way we ended up doing in Vietnam? (YES he will, Kerry has said very little to the contrary)

What foreign countries will Kerry bring into the alliance? There are some blogs out there with excellent posts showing how there are no other countries left. France and Germany have already explicitly stated they will not help.

What is Kerry going to do about Iran and nuclear weapons, beyond giving them the friggin nuclear fuel they need?

And, don't waste too much time on the Kerry cheated theme either. Most Americans don't care. They didn't care about Monica and they're not going to care about whether or not it was a handkerchief or a pen or a piece of paper.

Thanks Paul. Maybe some of ... (Below threshold)

Thanks Paul. Maybe some of the sites putting down Wizbang will lighten up after this; sure hope so for this is my favorite place to hang.

I did find two articles on WND that had to do with internet blogging (sorry Kevin, that's what they called it) that actually set up Dan Rather and others for internet "jihad." I was aghast. Man, these big bill maker mass media types can never be wrong - ptuey! Like hell they can't but that's how they see it. Unfortunately.

Thank you Paul. Well said ... (Below threshold)
Jim Patrick:

Thank you Paul. Well said and true. In the scale of things, this 'defense of the memos' is insignificant. They've been discredited and they'll never be a factor. There's still plenty of big fish to fry.

Though probably more serious (than the faked memos) is the possibility of a Kerry debate cheat-sheet. Again, in the grand scale it's insignificant compared to his position of giving nuclear fuel to the Iranians, the birthplace of calling America 'the Great Satan'.

Remy, good insight again. O... (Below threshold)

Remy, good insight again. Only problem is, swing voters are going for Kerry and he's going for Bush's jugular. Now the polls says they are neck and neck. It scares the hell out of me that Kerry could ever and I mean EVER become President of the United States. ewwwww

I thought he hired a disciplinarian???

I appreciate the idea of ke... (Below threshold)

I appreciate the idea of keeping things in perspective while pursuing issues such as these. but at the same time, people that will try to defend obvious lies and distortions with more lies and distortions must be pursued and punished relentlessly.

He needs to be publicly added to the list of people who are obviously bent on destroying George Bush that he will put his reputation at risk to do it. (Rather, Mapes, Hayley)... There are others. Well he was caught and now his reputation must be destroyed as the punishment. "Dont do the crime if you cant do the time"

The dissapproval of his peers?? Do you think his peers disapprove of what he did?? I doubt it. I believe that they think he is a hero. Although they wont say it publicly.

Thanks for wrapping this up... (Below threshold)
Mrs. Davis:

Thanks for wrapping this up. I had seen the early posts and was curious about the resolution.

However, I must take exception to the description "extremely shoddy scholarly work" because the issue is not the quality of work but the motivation behind it. It certainly appears that this man attempted to perpetrate a fraud to influence the election of the President of the United States. Now given what candidates promise to the voters, this is probably not a crime, but it is behavior we should try to limit to politicians and deny academics. I guess there has been a lot of ad hominem and I don't want to add to it unnecessarily, but should things be as they seem, Dr. Hailey's conduct warrants something more punishing than the disapproval of his peers, which in an academic environment may only be disappointment that his ruse failed.

Dear Paul,I unders... (Below threshold)

Dear Paul,

I understand your caution. It also shows you are a decent person.

I would still like to read that interview you (or ?) did with Dr. Hailey. Did he say who gave him the document(s) and when he received them? Or who requested that he do the study?

Per a previous post by "Attila the Hun," Dr. Hailey's own 16 Sept. 04 post on the net, links to the study. And the study itself states: "It took IMRL three weeks of careful examination to determine that the documents are typed..."

That would make the start of his study around 26 Aug 04. He would, I presume, be in possession of the documents or have had access to them via the net, to be able to do his study. (How long before 26 Aug 04 that was, is another question.) But 26 Aug 04 itself is about two weeks before CBS published the docs.

That's in your thread called "Haileygate Focus Broadens" at http://wizbangblog.com/archives/003858.php

Good luck with the lawsuit.... (Below threshold)
A Hermit:

Good luck with the lawsuit...;-P

You know, if your journalistic standards were really better than CBS you wouldn't be having this problem.

You have "lost interest" in... (Below threshold)

You have "lost interest" in the issue as the professor's side of the story has gained support (from the University, the Utah press, other bloggers, and so on). Your version of the story simply has much less merit, and Hailey's work seems to have more merit, than you thought at first. Therefore, rather than cope with this humiliating circumstance--that you may have been as careless as was CBS--you declare that the story as a whole no longer has interest or value. Convenient. But, unconvincing.

No Sean-- Read the comments... (Below threshold)

No Sean-- Read the comments and this. There are plenty of things wrong with the report. BUT that does not make it right to investigate his private life. Stick to the issues. That's all.

That is how the advocate jo... (Below threshold)

That is how the advocate journalist wins!

These important issues just slides, and everyone forgets to correctly address the matter at hand!

Tom Brokaw will also not be held accountable for his comment about bloggers, and that too is win for the acvocate journalist and big loss for us the informed public aka., bloggers.

Paul,Thanks! I cou... (Below threshold)
Jeff Dennis:


Thanks! I couldn't agree more. You won, you did a great job, and you know when to quit beating a dead horse.

Arguing with flat-earthers is for people without better things to do.


I haven’t yet lost interest... (Below threshold)

I haven’t yet lost interest in this issue. Maybe it ought to be dead, but so far, it’s only mostly dead.

I’m looking into an issue related to the deformation, presumably caused by damaged typefaces. Hailey’s figure 12 is his illustration of the “consistent” deformation. I have some questions about that exhibit, and thought it would be helpful to see where it appears in the original memos.

I can’t find it. Can someone else?

Understand that proving (or... (Below threshold)

Understand that proving (or attempting to prove) the documents are typewritten does not make a person acountable for such things as "attempting to sway an election" in anyway. Attacking a person's life, credibility, and the credibility of is peers is far worse than showing that a document is not digitally reproduced. Let it be understood that the person responsible for publishing such material is by far more respectable than those who deem themselves worthy of making judgment and carrying out punishment for his doing so. The responsibility belongs to none of us to make him regret his research or anything else he devotes his time to. We do not represent our nation as a whole, nor do we represent the government. If Hailey is to regret his work and the publishing thereof, prove with facts that his work is wrong. Don't consider yourselves great enough to prove that he is a bad person.

As far as deformation goes,... (Below threshold)

As far as deformation goes, I don't have a microscope here, but if I did I'd take a look at how much deformation is caused by modern printer ink drying on paper. While it's not visible to the naked eye, I'd bet money you can detect it with a microscope. Then I'd look at a copy of the same deformation on a copy, and see if it is magnified or diminished. Stick to the evidence, forget the messenger.

Good post, Paul. ... (Below threshold)

Good post, Paul.

There was definitely a feeding frenzy feel (to which I contributed, I am ashamed to say) to the story as it broke.

The problem was never the accuracy of your analysis; it was the rudeness of the debate. The ferocity of the attack was intense enough to be offputting for many, I am sure.

The additional analyses that have been performed, together with your own work, makes the shoddiness (at least) of Hailey's work apparent to anyone capable of rationally reviewing the evidence.

And you are also right about the fact that this story has been done to death, that invading Hailey's personal life is inappropriate, and it is time to move on.

Hey, you boys shouldn't sto... (Below threshold)
Ivor the Engine Driver:

Hey, you boys shouldn't stop now. Don't you have a Reichstag to burn?

What, you won't let your mi... (Below threshold)
Ivor the Engine Driver:

What, you won't let your minions comment above? Must be nervous. Heard from a lawyer, huh? Libel isn't nearly so much fun when it's time to pay the piper

How's the weather in Utah, ... (Below threshold)
Clay Jarr:

How's the weather in Utah, Ivor? Are your friends finished pissing their pants?


"Aisle," Paul. "Both sides... (Below threshold)
Frank Villon:

"Aisle," Paul. "Both sides of the aisle." Not "isle." Unless that's some new expression from the television show Survivor or an old expression I've never encountered from Gilligan's Island.

From the link provided by E... (Below threshold)

From the link provided by Exploding Head:
What you see is a professor's research project intended for students and colleagues at Utah State to comment upon and contribute to.

Well, he was critiqued. Maybe more harshly than he is used to, but it is no different than having a student, faculty member, or any other person critique his work.

The really frightening thing is all the uproar people like you and the person that wrote that article have created. The Left likes to talk about the crushing of free speech - look in the mirror. Every criticism of the professor's work is valid. He presented what he believes is evidence that the documents were not forged, and came to that conclusion. His evidence and his conclusion were challenged.

I hope he tries to take this to court. He'll look foolish attempting to argue that his paper - which he posted so it could be subjected to review and criticism - was in fact reviewed and criticized.
Posted by Sean at October 4, 2004 06:01 PM

If it were just shoddy rese... (Below threshold)

If it were just shoddy research, I wouldn't care. It was a deliberate attempt to distort fact. That is unacceptable, even more so since it was subsidized by my tax dollars that allowed the good professor a place to conduct his fraurd. If State Universites want to continue accest to the treasure of hard working American taxpayers, then this type of partisan fraurd must be dealt with severly.

As of 20:52 EDT Oct 4, Hail... (Below threshold)

As of 20:52 EDT Oct 4, Hailey's PDF has changed again. I have not yet read the contents of the new version, but its size has changed since Oct 1.

I am slow to re-respond, as... (Below threshold)

I am slow to re-respond, as I visit the blog world only sometimes, but Paul and others, I did indeed read all the "refutation" stuff, and your updates, and I think your fault was not only in your rudeness, in your unfamiliarity with the practice of civil discourse and its essentiality for healthy democracy, but also with the substance on each side. Namely, I believe Hailey's is a legitimate exploration of the evidence, and not shoddy even if imperfect, from which he is of course free to draw and post whatever conclusions he comes to, and second, your job here in blogworld on the other hand was NOT done well, was rushed and overly colored by the feelings you carried into the work rather than the evidence at hand (from which of course you are free as well to draw and post whatever conclusions...etc.). I think your work was not very good, and you rushed to print, and you want to drop it now that Hailey turns out to have considerable support both as to his substance (still unresolved, of course) and certainly as to process--his contribution was civil and yours was not.

You can be wrong, too, you know. Even if Hailey's work is not entirely correct--and I found it provocative at least--your desire now to drop the issue seems to me simply an attempt to cover your embarrassment for having committed exactly the sin that CBS has done.

Sean, I urge you to read Dr... (Below threshold)

Sean, I urge you to read Dr. Newcomer’s piece on the Hailey report. Not only does it totally demolish the report, but it raises enough questions that the assertion it was a “legitimate exploration of the evidence” is itself questionable.


Your mea culpa is completel... (Below threshold)
Jim Ausman:

Your mea culpa is completely disingenuous. You deliberately led a lynch mob to Prof. Hailey's door, incited them with your talk and now try to wash your hands of the results.

I hope Prof. Hailey sues you.

Your mea culpa is compl... (Below threshold)
Remy Logan:

Your mea culpa is completely disingenuous. You deliberately led a lynch mob to Prof. Hailey's door, incited them with your talk and now try to wash your hands of the results.

I couldn't agree more wtih this sentiment Jim. It clearly expresses my feelings about Dan Rather and Mary Mapes. I hope the Killian family, and all who were maliciously slandered by Rather sue him and all at CBS who were involved.

Jim,You are mostly... (Below threshold)


You are mostly off-base in your comment. I thought there was a quick rush to judgment, and the early words were a bit too harsh. I expressed my feelings to Kevin. I assume others did as well, and the result was a very quick mea culpa. The change took place very quickly. CBS took far longer to concede their initial reports were flawed, and they were flat worn, not simply guilty of intemperate language.

It’s also relevant to note that the original report has been materially changed for the better. I still have concerns, but there’s no doubt that the attention brought by Wizbang contributed to the changes in the report, including the withdrawal of some claims not supported by the evidence.

Wizbang (and others) deserve praise for responding so quickly.

I am still in favor of granting the benefit of the doubt to Dr. Hailey, and holding that the mistaken conclusions in the early draft were the result of poor decisions, rather than mendacity. However, I’m no expert in typography, and I could spot glaring errors in his first report. Dr. Newcomer has identified many additional flaws, including many I had conceded simply because I accepted that Dr. Hailey was knowledgeable in his field. Dr. Newcomer’s report makes it far harder to accept that Dr. Hailey is honestly presenting the facts as he sees them. I will still recommend avoiding terms like “fraud” but I look forward to another draft of Dr. Hailey’s work to see if he corrects the remaining flaws.






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