Friday, September 10, 2004
The last episode of The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan's television masterwork is titled "Fall Out". In it, McGoohans character "John Drake" (known in the series as "Number Six") exposes the House of Cards that is "The Village" and finds that his entire imprisonment was a construct of his own personality. Let's just say that most "Prisoner" aficianados were dismayed with the ending and theorize that it was the result of disagreements between Patrick McGoohan and George Markstein on how to end the series.
We find ourselves at a similar turn in the election. As of this morning, the forged documents scandal is exploding on every network and newspaper save CBS and the New York Times and its affiliates. The Old Media is beginning to turn on itself. This morning's Prowler gives the origins of this fraud as a source within the Kerry campaign. Don't bother clicking on the link right now-the server has crashed as a result of Matt Drudge's link. However, the story is cached on Free Repbulic. An excerpt is reproduced below:
More than six weeks ago, an opposition research staffer for the Democratic National Committee received documents purportedly written by President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard squadron commander, the late Col. Jerry Killian.
The oppo researcher claimed the source was "a retired military officer." According to a DNC staffer, the documents were seen by both senior staff members at the DNC, as well as the Kerry campaign.
"More than a couple people heard about the papers," says the DNC staffer. "I've heard that they ended up with the Kerry campaign, for them to decide to how to proceed, and presumably they were handed over to 60 Minutes, which used them the other night. But I know this much. When there was discussion here, there were doubts raised about their authenticity."
The concerns arose from the sourcing. "It wasn't clear that our source for the documents would have had access to them. Our person couldn't confirm from what file, from what original source they came from."
The documents that CBS News used were not documents from any of Bush's personnel files from his time in the National Guard. Rather, CBS News stated that they were documents uncovered in the personnel files of Killian. That would explain why the White House or the Pentagon had never before released or even seen them.
According to a Kerry campaign source, there was little gossip about the supposedly hot documents inside the office of the campaign on McPherson Square. "Those documents were not something anyone was talking about or trying to generate buzz on," says the staffer. "It wasn't like there were small groups of people talking about this as a bombshell. I think people here weren't sure what to make of it, because provenance of these documents was uncertain."
Towards the end of "Fall Out", the Village begins to come undone under the will and force of the personality of John Drake (the barely concealed identity of "Number Six") and the order is given to "EVACUATE! EVACUATE!" The entire population of the gilded prison begins to head for the hills in mass confusion. That's the impression I have of the Democratic Party and its allies in the media. There is panic in the air at Kerry Central, as their gamble has come up snake eyes.
Fall Out, indeed.