Monday, January 10, 2005

The CBS Report in So Many Words ...

Responsible bloggers will be up all night fisking their way through the mealy-mouthed prose of The Report of the Independent Review Panel on l'affaire CBS. Not me, though - far from fisking it, I lack the ambition even to link to it.

Since so many other capable people will be reducing the report's larger implications to finely-sliced headcheese, I decided to take a different approach by studying the number of times that certain key phrases appear in it:

“Mistake” – 11 occurrences. That in spite of the fact that the report claims to cover the entire period of the Memogate fiasco, not just the first 15 minutes.

“Sorry” – 7 occurrences. And in only five of them is it a CBS employee saying they’re sorry. The other two sorrys come from former Texas Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes, who is indeed a sorry-ass individual.

“Regret” – 4 occurrences. But all four of them are “deeply regrets”. CBS has no shallow regrets.

“Responsibility” – 9 occurrences. Five of them refer to the irresponsible Mary Mapes, one to the sorry-ass Ben Barnes, and the rest just kind of float there, weightless.

“Bias” – 13 occurrences. There are 6 political biases, 1 liberal bias, and 1 anti-Bush bias. Two of them are prepositional biases (as in “appearance of bias”) which is a kind of optical illusion, like the tunnel vision you get from drinking a whole quart of Purple Passion. The other 11 biases, we are told, don’t exist at all except in the minds of crazy people.

“Stupid” – 1 occurrence. Only one, but to be fair, it’s an “incredibly stupid” stupid.

“Dishonest” – 0 occurrences.

“Lies” or “Lied” – 5 occurrences. Three of them refer to Bush as the liar, and two of them to the poor deluded Bill Burkett. Nobody else told any lies.

“Ashamed” – 5 occurrences. Who’s ashamed of themselves? Ben Barnes, all five times.

“Proud” or “Pride” – 3 occurrences. Who’s proud of themselves? Dan Rather and CBS News, all three times.

“IBM Selectric typewriter” – 7 occurrences. Hope springs eternal.

“Microsoft Word” – 3 occurrences. How unfair is that? If this were a report about Lee Harvey Oswald, you would expect the people who make Mannlicher-Carcano rifles to get a decent amount of publicity.

“Forgery” or “Forgeries” – 16 occurrences. Obviously a lot of documents were withheld from the investigators, or it would be like 157 or something.

“Blogosphere” – 2 occurrences. It is referred to as “the so-called blogosphere” by the so-called independent review panel that wrote this so-called report.

“Blog” or “Blogger” – 10 occurrences. Four bloggers are mentioned by name: John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson of Powerline, and Bush-haters Linda Starr and Paul Lukasiak. Charles Johnson is not mentioned by name, but LGF scores a link in the footnotes. The link is broken and accesses LGF's 404 page, which is known to have a "Videodrome" effect on the viewer. This explains the warped verbal imagery of the report, and the weird allusions to abnormal sex practices.

“Kerry” or “Kerry campaign” – 90 occurrences. How did that keep coming up?

“Dan Rather is a f---g idiot” – 0 occurrences. I suspect this so-called report to be a whitewash.

“Anal Electrocution” – 0 occurrences. Obviously CBS has no intention of taking appropriate disciplinary action.

“Fox News” – 0 occurrences. Obviously they’re not going to advise the public on how to avoid this kind of thing in the future.