On September 16, FOX & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade attacked CBS News anchor Dan Rather for “getting an 86-year-old secretary out there.” Kilmeade was referring to Marian Carr Knox (the former secretary of Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Killian, who is the purported author of the disputed memos exposed by CBS's 60 Minutes). Knox told Rather that although she believes that the memos are fake, she also believes that the information they contain is accurate. Kilmeade's co-host E.D. Hill attempted to discredit Knox, saying she “is the only person saying that [the memos are accurate].”
But as Media Matters for America has noted, The Dallas Morning News -- not CBS -- was the first to report Knox's recollections (on September 15). Knox told The Morning News: “The information in here was correct, but it was picked up from the real ones. ... I probably typed the information and somebody picked up the information some way or another.”
MMFA also noted that, contrary to what Hill claimed, Knox is not the “only person” who has confirmed the memos' content. Colonel Bobby W. Hodges, Killian's superior officer, and Richard Via, another former Texas National Guard officer, have also verified that the content of the memos reflects Killian's true sentiments.
As The New York Times reported on September 12, “He [Hodges] said he had not authenticated the documents for CBS News but had confirmed that they reflected issues he and Colonel Killian had discussed.”
Via told USA Today that “the documents were fakes but that their content reflected questions about Bush that were discussed at the time in the hangar at Ellington Air Force Base, where he had a desk next to Killian's.”
From the September 16 edition of FOX News Channel's FOX & Friends:
KILMEADE: A lot of people are saying -- OK, most of the world is saying -- “Dan [Rather] -- the memos, they seem false.” Yesterday, he [Rather] answered by getting an 86-year-old secretary of the deceased colonel out there who [Knox] says, “Yeah they're false. The documents, but their spirit is exactly what the Lieutenant Colonel felt.”
HILL: Although that [Knox] is the only person saying that. Both the lieutenant colonel [Killian], the deceased lieutenant colonel's [Killian's] wife, and [Killian's] son claim that that is [was] not his [Killian's] intention. I believe the unit commander said that that was not his belief as well, but they have found one woman [Knox] who says although the documents are fake, she thinks that they are accurate. It's interesting that CBS has changed. Instead of saying that the documents are authentic, they are now using terminology, saying, “But we believe the story is accurate” and that's -- you know, when you're now used to trying to figure out what 'is' is
-- look at the wording.