Tim Noah on why the CBS documents, which were at best weakly sourced, were so widely credited, even by the White House:
The documents were entirely consistent with everything that’s already been established about President Bush’s National Guard service. We know strings were pulled on his behalf to get in. We know that, for whatever reason, he wouldn’t take a required physical. We know that Bush agitated for a transfer to Alabama, and that for a period of six months there exists no evidence that he ever showed up. None of this makes Bush a bad person—except insofar as he feels free to question, or permits others on his campaign to question, the manhood and patriotism of his opponent, John Kerry. 60 Minutes may have inadvertently framed the president, but in doing so it framed an already guilty man.
Just to be clear: Framing a guilty man is not OK, whether you’re a cop or a reporter. But it’s also true that being the victim of a frame isn’t the same thing as being innocent.