CBS Ignores Typewriter Expert

Much as been made, over the fact that Times New Roman was created in the 1930’s and that superscript “th”s and proportional spacing were all available in some form in the 1970s.

What many of the Rather apologists ignore is that for you to claim is was possible to create these documents in the 1970s you can’t set about proving that 4 different features were available on 4 different machines. You must prove that ALL the typesetting features used in the memos were available on the SAME machine.

It is hardly believable that the Col. Killian would have typed the proportional spaced parts of the memos on one typewriter then taken the paper out and made the “th”s on another.

CBS had a world renowned typewriter expert, Peter Tytell, try to tell them the documents were bogus for this exact reason, but they ignored him. In the words of Mary Mape, “Enough about the [expletive] ‘th’.”

Tytell was so well known in his field that CBS had already interviewed him twice in the past. In fact Andy Roony interviewed him in 2000 and called him a “famous typewriter detective.” Tytell gave CBS enough evidence that the fact the memos were forged really should not have been in doubt. He, like many others, concluded the typeface was Times New Roman and it was done on a computer.

Tytell a real expert with a resume a mile long. (included at the end of this post) He provided them concrete evidence, he just didn’t do a search on

Tytell told the Panel that he watched the broadcast that evening and determined “within 5 seconds” that the superscript “th” on the Superscript Exemplar [real document -ed] had been produced by an Olympia manual typewriter, and that it was materially different from the superscript “th” on the May 4, 1972 Killian document that had been shown on the September 8 Segment. The “th” on the Superscript Exemplar did not rise above the adjacent number and was underlined, while the superscript “th” in the May 4, 1972 Killian document rose well above the adjacent number and was not underlined. The May 4, 1972 Killian document is Exhibit 2B to

Tytell provided the Panel with a typestyle “strikeup” chart that he created using an Olympia SG3 manual typewriter with Elite 87 typeface. He also provided the Panel with a separate chart that he created to compare various portions of the Superscript Exemplar with corresponding passages of the Superscript Exemplar that he created using the Olympia manual typewriter. Tytell explained to the Panel that, as shown on the comparison chart (Attachment C), the Olympia manual typestyle appears to match the typestyle used on those portions of the Superscript Exemplar (including the line containing the superscript “th”). Tytell also explained to the Panel that the Olympia manual typewriter was the only typewriter available in the early 1970s that he knows of that had the superscript “th” key as a standard feature.

What this says is that the Olympia “th” matched the “th” on the REAL documents but did not match the Killian memos. This was a problem because there was only one machine that could do a “th” back then. He could reproduce the real documents with the Olympia but not the bogus ones. Why not???

Tytell also concluded that the Killian documents were not produced on an Olympia
manual typewriter. Tytell explained to the Panel that the Olympia manual typewriter available in
the early 1970s did not have proportional spacing
and therefore could not have produced the
proportional spacing that appears in the Killian documents.

That’s the problem. To prove it was even possible to produce these documents, you need to have a machine that does both the “th” AND the proportional spacing AND it has to have the same font as the memos AND it has to a regular typewriter not a typesetting machine AND it has to at least plausible that a Texas National Guard unit would have one. (that’s a lot of AND’s)

But Tytell didn’t stop there:

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Tytell also reviewed the June 2004 version of the Haas Atlas, which he described as a compendium of available typewriter typestyles that he considers a key resource in examining typography issues. Tytell told the Panel that he reviewed the proportionally spaced, serif typestyles in the Haas Atlas and did not find a single match with the Killian documents.’

Tytell explained to the Panel that IBM, for example, had 18 different proportional spacing typestyles available during the 1971-1972 period for the IBM Selectric line. Tytell created a chart of these “IBM Proportional Spacing Typestyles” and also created a separate chart ofthe most significant “Typographic Features” of the Killian documents, including the “M,” “W,” “G,” “4,” “5” and “th” characters. Based on a comparison of the significant typographic features in the Killian documents against the available IBM Selectric proportional spacing typestyles, Tytell concluded that none of the IBM Selectric typestyles is a match to the typestyle in the Killian documents.’ For example, he determined that none of the IBM Selectric typestyles matched the distinctive features of the capital “M”, capital “W”, and “5” from the
Killian documents.

Based on the foregoing, Tytell focused his analysis on whether the Killian documents could have been produced by the IBM Selectric Composer, a high-end “golf-ball” machine with proportional spacing that was available in the early 1970s and was used mostly by printers.” …

Tytell provided the Panel with a chart that he created to show those IBM Selectric Composer typestyles that in his view were the “closest” to the typestyle used in the Killian documents. With respect to these typestyles, he explained to the Panel that the Baskerville, Aldine Roman and Journal Roman typestyles have a “J” that drops below the baseline of the other letters and therefore is inconsistent with the typeface on the Killian documents. He also stated that “Press Roman” comes the “closest” ofthe IBM Selectric Composer typestyles to the typestyles used on the Killian documents, but explained that there are differences noticeable to a trained eye in the opening ofthe “G,” the width ofthe “H,” “M” and “W” and the length of the leg on the “R.” Tytell also provided the Panel with a “Typestyle Differentiation” chart that he created to illustrate that the Killian documents appear to have been produced in Times New Roman and could not have been produced on the IBM Selectric Composer typewriter.

Of course if you follow my links you will see the blogosphere had all this documented just a few days after the report aired.

Then Tytell makes the point I made repeatedly:

As explained above, Tytell concluded that the Killian documents appear to have been produced in Times New Roman typestyle . He explained to the Panel that, according to his research, Times New Roman was designed in 1931 for the Times ofLondon newspaper and became commercially available in 1933 . However, he told the Panel that Times New Roman was only available on typesetting and other non-tabletop machines until the desktop publishing revolution in the 1980s. Therefore, he concluded that Times New Roman could not have been available on a typewriter in the early 1970s and the Killian documents must have been produced on a computer.

The Panel explains that since Tytell is not immortal, infallible and omnipotent, they can not say for sure that the documents are forged. — But his testimony would certainly prove it beyond what any rational person would call “reasonable doubt.” And let’s remember “beyond a reasonable doubt” is all we need to put someone to death in this country. Certainly in a court of law the documents would be found to be bogus.

*** And a thanks to James Lindgren who pointed us toward Appendex 4 of the report where this information can be found. James also reports that better copies of the documents were released today as well.

From Appendix 4:

Tytell’s Qualifications
Tytell is a forensic document examiner based in New York City, who is known in particular for his familiarity with typewriters. He has been a document examiner for over 30 years and comes from a family of typewriter experts that owned a typewriter repair shop in New York and a related document investigation service for many years. Tytell informed the Panel that he has been involved in over 100 court proceedings as an expert consultant, both within the United States and abroad, and has testified as an expert witness in many of those proceedings on behalf of law enforcement agencies and private clients.

According to the resume that he provided to the Panel, Tytell is a diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners, a member of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, a member ofthe Questioned Document section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the current Vice-Chairman of the Questioned Documents Subcommittee of the American Academy of Testing and Materials’ Committee on Forensic Sciences. He studied the examination of documents under his parents, Pearl and Martin Tytell, both of whom had been licensed by the University of the State of New York to teach Questioned Document Examination and Identification.

Tytell has taken courses in document analysis and related subjects at Georgetown University’s Institute of Advanced Analytical Chemistry and Georgetown University’s Institute for Criminal Law and Procedure ; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; the Institute of Paper Chemistry ; Rochester Institute of Technology; and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In addition, he has participated in over 40 specialized workshops, seminars and courses relating to document examination techniques and has himself presented over 50 papers and lectures on typewriter identification and other document examination subjects at the numerous professional meetings that he attends on a regular basis.

Tytell appears to be well regarded within the document examination field, particularly with respect to typewriter issues. In 2000, Andy Rooney interviewed Tytell for a CBS Sunday Morning story about typewriters and the closing of the Tytell family typewriter shop. During that interview, Rooney referred to Tytell as a “famous typewriter detective .” By all indications, Tytell has built up an impressive collection of typewriters and related parts and manuals. A November 1997 Atlantic Monthly article described the Tytell family typewriter shop as “mostly floor-to-ceiling shelves of typewriters in cases or wrapped in plastic sheets, boxes of typewriter parts past numbering” and, according to Tytell’s father, “the largest collection of foreign type in the world.” According to published reports, even though the repair shop ceased operations several years ago, Tytell still maintains many of those machines, parts and manuals for the document examination business that he operates on the same premises.

That has to be the longest post I’ve ever made.

Nope - No Political Bias in CBS Report
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