I sometimes think I’m a compulsive note taker. I almost always have a pad and pen (or pencil) nearby so I can scribble down some thought that crosses my mind, an observation of the way the world works, a commentary on my own quirks and desires (including “wish lists” of specific books, DVDs and products I might like to have), ideas for screenplays, thoughts about movies as well as scenes and images from projects I’m already working on, including scripts and my so-far unnamed fantasy epic. And in the past nearly eighteen months, I have jotted down numerous ideas for posts to this blog, some of which I have realized, most which remain just germs of an idea, awaiting some effort to bring them to life in a form which better services to communicate the ideas to others (than a random scribbling on a scrap of paper).
Whenever I sort my notes, I come across numerous such ideas, blog posts not realized. Some I may return to, others have become dated by the time I review the verbal record of my brainstorm. Perhaps, if I have time (which I doubt) in the coming weeks, I may address a few of these ideas. For while the inspiring event may have been a few weeks — or months — in the past, the passage of time has not diminished the importance theme I wished to address.
In one such note, likely from late November (or early December of last year),* I wondered at Mary Mapes’ insistence that the documents she relied upon for a celebrated September 8, 2004 60 Minutes II piece on the president’s National Guard service were genuine. In the immediate aftermath of the program, bloggers raised questions about the authenticity of these documents. CBS was forced to retract the story. And the subsequent Thornburgh-Boccardi report established that the documents, in the words of Powerline’s Scott Johnson, were “pathetic frauds.” (In this January 29, 2005 Weekly Standard column, Johnson offers a good summary of the story.)
In my recently rediscovered note, I wondered why, if Mary Mapes believes that the documents are indeed authentic and remains convinced that that then-Lieutenant George W. Bush received preferential treatment in his Guard service, she doesn’t (now that she’s unemployed) use her free time and reporting skills to authenticate the documents. She could go down to Texas to try to connect the documents to Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Killian, Bush’s then-commanding officer. And review (and debunk with facts and arguments) her critics’ claims.