Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ironies

The ABC11 message-board reports that at last weekend’s Gay Pride parade in Durham, some of the marchers wore “Stick with Mike” T-shirts.

That would be the same “Mike” who said he was “very pleased” to have as his citizens’ committee co-chair a woman who said that if gays and lesbians “are not infected with diseases . . . they will be, even women”; and who opposed adding sexual orientation to the state’s anti-discrimination statute on the grounds that “they could come to work dressed one day looking like a female and two weeks later looking like a male.”

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The Herald-Sun reported that earlier this week, a grand jury in Durham rejected a request from Nifong’s office for an indictment. The paper observes, such actions “are extremely rare in Durham. While hundreds of indictments are returned every year, the number of annual not-true bills often can be counted on the fingers of one hand, according to court officials.”

The grand jury system was originally intended as a check on the power of the state, not as a rubber stamp for the state. In Durham, at least, the system clearly isn’t working.

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University Ranking Watch notes the irony of Professor Karla Holloway’s writings passing for scholarship:

If Professor Holloway were a graduate student who had been reading too much post-modern criticism and French philosophy, perhaps she could be excused. But she is nothing less than the William R. Kenan Professor of English at Duke. We surely expect clearer and less “reader-othering” writing than this from a professor, especially a professor of English. And what sort of comments does she write on her student essays?

Indeed.

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The N&O broke the story that Durham City Manager Patrick Baker appears to have overlooked a memo indicating that a Durham city dump had been operating without a permit for two years. The dump later caught fire.

This is the same Patrick Baker who devoted his time this past spring to interviewing Durham police officers to make sure they were telling the same story about the lacrosse case investigation. That effort was a failure, too: Sgt. Mark Gottlieb’s “after-the-fact” report, it turned out, told a different tale than that offered by virtually every other member of the force.

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The N&O revealed that—amidst growing, unchecked gang violence and national condemnation for prosecutorial misconduct—the city of Durham spent $64,000 to develop a new slogan. The choice? “Durham: Where Great Things Happen.”

Posters at both the Talkleft and Liestoppers boards have proposed more appropriate slogans, including:

  • Durham: Where Even If Nothing Happened You Can Be Prosecuted for It.
  • Durham: Enter at Your Own Risk
  • Durham: Lax on Crime and Crime on LAX!

The best suggestion, in light of the procedural improprieties we’ve seen in this case: “Welcome to Durham—YOU MAY BE NEXT.”

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just another week in Durham. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Also ironic is the revelation this week by Asst. Editor Linda Williams that the N&O edited its first interview with the Accuser to omit what she told their reporter about the second dancer's "actions at the party."

Here is a blog post from editor Sill about that interview. Note what she says about "not introducing new accusations."
April 3rd blog entry…

Monday, April 3, 2006 Our coverage was fair

Public editors and executive editors are bound to disagree sometimes, so you might not be surprised that I don't agree with Ted Vaden's conclusion Sunday that it was unfair for The N&O to publish a front-page interview with the woman who reported being raped at a Duke lacrosse team party.

The story was published March 25, the day after we broke the news that more than 40 lacrosse team members had reported for DNA samples in the case under investigation by Durham police and the district attorney. We took care in editing the story not to introduce new accusations -- the basics were the same as in police reports, which had already been made public. In the interview, the woman told our reporter why she was at the party and what kind of work she did, among other details."
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We know in some of her early versions of the story the Accuser accused the second dancer of "participation" in the alleged crimes. One wonders, if that long ago Spring day..she told the N&O that same thing...but they removed it from their story..thus allowing the "crock" to become a "could be."...deals to be made...and this sorry story to maintain a racial consistency.

KC Johnson said...

To the 5.06:

Excellent points. I am planning a post on the N&O controversy for Monday.

Anonymous said...

I saw the suggested new slogan, "Welcome to Durham—YOU MAY BE NEXT.” first posted at Liestoppers message boards. I see it's made the rounds.

I think we should take a collection and rent a billboard with that slogan because it's true.

Anonymous said...

I followed the link to the ABC11 message board. The poster said "one" marcher was wearing the t-shirt supporting Nifong, not "some" as you assert. Was this an honest mistake or do you typically take a little literary license with the facts to spice up your commentaries? One lone drag queen in a t-shirt is one thing, but suggesting that there was a critical mass is another; a little more sensation huh? Stephen Ambrose would be proud. Here's a slogan. "Durham: Where K.C. Johnson mysteriously takes an interest in something with which he has absolutely no connection except perhaps for an opportunity to promote some unknown personal agenda or vendetta."

LearnedHand said...

wow - another incredibly insightful post from our "anonymous" hero - standing up against the tyrannical, ulterior-motive-hiding, statistic-glorifying, exaggerator: kc johnson.

you are fun to read. makes me feel good to know that some people are still so unconvinced, willfully blind and incredibly threatened, that they will go to any lengths to attack and gain any small perception of ground in thier losing battle.

so - we are again trying to pick apart some minor flaw in a well-written statement by prof. johnson, are we? well, let's do it.

you, my friend, are also wrong. the poster on the abcnews website did not say "one" at all - the quote was: "A hideous...looking woman walked by with a yellow shirt that said lets keep Mike." Then, the writer followed this statement by stating that "I asked my wife what idiot would wear such a shirt in public. The WOMEN might as well carry a sign that says I am an idiot that does not follow scientific evidence only my agenda and darn the innocent lives that are destroyed." (btw - awesome statement.)

it is entirely reasonable to read this post and believe there was more than one person with a shirt baring such a ridculous statement.

furthermore, my sad, silly little friend, you also attempted, poorly, to connect prof. johnson's actual statement of "some" to "critical mass." hysterical. in fact, and i hope you don't explode in rage - prof. johnson's usage of the word "some" is not incorrect. "some", as defined by webster's dictionary, means "being at least one,"...which is what we had.

so please...take your small-minded, petty, tantrum-driven crusade to belittle a blog filled with insight AND opinion (wow - who would have expected that on a blog?), which educates thousands...and skeedattle. you are only hurting your cause.