The Chronicle, Duke Basketball Report, and Stephen Miller all published powerful endorsements of Lewis Cheek this morning.
To the Chronicle, “
The editorial lays out Nifong’s record of procedural violations in the lacrosse case, but also makes the critical point that “Nifong’s handling of the case to date raises a number of questions about his prosecutorial conduct, but also about the general manner in which he carries out his duties as district attorney.” Indeed, Chronicle editors astutely argue, “Nifong appears to be, from his actions during the past few months, a DA who will do anything to get a conviction and gain political favor.”
Duke Basketball Report has done as much as any website to keep Nifong’s misconduct in the public eye, and its editorial this morning represents the logical culmination of the site’s efforts to restore ethical conduct to the D.A.’s office. The editors note that they “normally don’t issue endorsements in elections,” but in this highly unusual circumstance, are “making an exception, and endorse the Cheek campaign.”
The central question, according to DBR, “is whether or not justice is being fairly administered and whether they are being treated equally under the law. In our judgment, Mike Nifong has miserably failed this basic test and therefore does not deserve to retain his position.” Echoing the critique of Duke Law professor James Coleman, DBR asks, “If Mike Nifong will run roughshod over three guys whose families have the resources to fight back, what’s to stop him from doing it to people who can’t? In fact, who would even know?”
And, like the Chronicle, DBR comments on the unprofessional demeanor all have witnessed from
And in passionate language, Stephen Miller denounces Nifong for having perpetrated “a moral, social and legal outrage,” an “assault on our peers, our community and the core values of our nation.” He realizes:
To successfully unleash this depraved injustice, it seems our DA has managed to go against criminal procedure, legal precedent, constitutional protections, hundreds of years of common law and thousands of years of ethics tracing back to the Old Testament.
Nifong must have confused
with a police state. America
Accordingly, Miller notes, “all who are registered to vote in
Miller’s op-ed, it’s worth remembering, follows up on the extraordinary column by Kristin Butler in last week’s Chronicle dissecting Nifong’s failures. Why can’t we see such figures at the Herald-Sun, or penning N&O editorials?
The endorsements also make clear their condemnation of the spoiler write-in campaign. The Chronicle, for instance, bluntly concludes that Steve Monks, “a Republican write-in candidate with little trial experience, has no chance of being elected.”
As JinC noted yesterday, playing up the chances of the Monks effort succeeding appears to be Bob Ashley’s strategy of using the Herald-Sun to split the anti-Nifong vote. One particularly notable article came out on November 3—penned, of course, by John Stevenson.
The article contained the following assertion, unchallenged: “Monks downplayed suggestions that a write-in candidate cannot win. ‘That is nonsense,’ he said.
Does the Herald-Sun have a fact-checking policy, or does it simply print any incorrect fact that a spoiler candidate offers? If Monks had said, “UFOs will descend upon
Monks’ claim that 55.6% of the congressional candidates who have run write-in bids have succeeded is demonstrably false. In the last 40 years, a grand total of two candidates running for the House (Joe Skeen and Ron Packard) have triumphed in write-in bids: both prevailed under highly unusual circumstances, in which the local political party apparatus repudiated the party’s official nominee and threw its support to another (write-in) candidate in the fall campaign. Meanwhile, over the last four decades, there have been thousands of write-in bids for Congress, most of which draw only a handful of votes. For a paper to print a claim that only nine write-in bids have occurred is transparently absurd.
The Herald-Sun’s shabby journalism has been a low point of this affair. That it’s now printing outright factual errors about congressional history to promote Nifong’s efforts gives a sense of Editor Ashley’s desperation.