It’s disappointing that the Bush National Guard memos appear definitively to be fake. However, on the plus side, it’s good to know that all the criticisms raised by lunatics like Charles Johnson have also been definitely proven false (also here).
As a bit of a typography geek, I was underwhelmed by Johnson’s notorious animated GIF. It showed that two documents typed in the same typeface using the same spacing and then shrunk to a very low resolution looked quite similar; this barely even *implies* anything about authenticity, never mind proving it.
Based on a similar gut feeling, Hunter at Kos (linked above) investigates all the blogosphere criticisms of the documents: it’s clear that they could reasonably have been created in Lt Col Killian’s office in 1972. The key evidence that they weren’t comes from the WaPo interview with his secretary: she says that in real life, she didn’t use the kind of typewriter that would produce such a document. Even though they existed, and not just as enormous print-shop typewriters.
As Matt Yglesias says, the rightybloggers have no right to be at all triumphalist about their achievements here. They’re just as wrong as Dan Rather was (just as incorrect in this case, I mean; obviously the ‘we must slay all the Muslims’ crowd are far more *wrong* than Mr Rather…)
Update 2: heard an interesting rumour that Microsoft deliberately modeled Word’s type spacing on an IBM Executive, so that major corporates who switched to word processing could keep a consistent corporate image. Can’t find any credible sources for this as yet – any confirmation or denial would be appreciated. Incidentally, I really don’t care whether or not the documents are real; the issue is more one of not letting liars like Johnson pretend they were right.