Demonstrating a Nifongesque ability to adapt new facts to fit old, discredited theories, the resident legal expert of Duke’s earth systems science department, Thomas Crowley, has launched an aggressive e-mail campaign to defend his widely ridiculed Herald-Sun op-ed.
In the event, the earth systems science professor has abandoned the view he expressed in the Herald-Sun. He now maintains: “I do not believe someone has to be a total expert in a particular matter before they can express their view in a newspaper letter.”
The Crowley Criterion seems to be that only “total experts” (Jim Coleman? Susan Estrich? Stuart Taylor?) can express views that oppose Nifong’s wishes; while, to achieve some sort of balance, non-experts can defend Nifong, even if they publish error-filled, illogical op-eds to do so.
In true Nifongesque fashion, however,
To one correspondent,
Why did he take this unusual practice? “My motivation was based on the fairly one-sided stream of opinions coming from the Duke community about the innocence of the lacrosse team.”
The last I looked, the “lacrosse team” wasn’t on trial, despite Mike Nifong’s best attempts to make the case about symbolic justice.
In any event, I wonder what world
Balanced against this record? James Coleman’s call for a special prosecutor. Kerstin Kimel’s defense of the lacrosse players’ character, and the later remarks of interim men’s coach Kevin Cassese. Steven Baldwin’s letter in the Duke Chronicle. Commentary from Michael Gustafson.
On the one side, then, stands 92 people. On the other side are five. And
Joining the likes of Karla Holloway as a victim of this case,
Some people, of course, might consider what Crowley did—suggesting that a date-rape drug was used despite a negative toxicology report; or asserting that defense lawyers were attempting to “manipulate” the public and the law despite admitting that he possessed no evidence to substantiate the claim or, indeed, couldn’t even identify the defense lawyers by anything beyond the status of their facial hair—to go well beyond “mis-stating some fact on the case.”
The earth systems science professor is also ruminating on the outrage his op-ed has generated. His explanation? The powerful criticism indicates the strength of his argument. “I even wonder,” he mused, “whether the vehemence of the reactions reflects not so much righteous indication but the possibility that my statements hit just a little too close to home.”
I have an alternative explanation for