Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Huff Post Huffs

An odd post at Huffington Post, which tells us that the media has done a 180-degree shift, seems vaguely disappointed by this development, and says that Seligmann, Finnerty, and Evans cannot be considered innocent "given that there [sic] case has yet to be heard by a judge." This fact, Melissa Lafsky notes, is a reminder that "it behooves us all to use reasonable care in making wide proclamations of guilt - or innocence."

Lafsky concludes, "While plenty has been terribly wrong with the investigation, prosecution and coverage of the alleged incident at Duke, as law professor Susan Estrich, who reported on the case for Fox News, noted, '[n]one of this means the woman is lying.'"

Embarrassingly for Lafsky, the quote from Estrich came in August. Here's Estrich's latest column:
The woman is a liar. That is the English translation of the latest round of maneuvers, in which the prosecution dismissed the rape charges because the woman could no longer say, as she once did, that she had intercourse with three men at the party. In other words, she lied when she said she did.
[Update. 9.46am: Without indicating that she had done so, Lafsky just changed the wording of the section of her article dealing with Estrich. It now reads in the fashion below. I have bolded the sections she added, without saying these were edits:

While plenty has been terribly wrong with the investigation, prosecution and coverage of the alleged incident at Duke, as law professor Susan Estrich, who reported on the case for Fox News, said in August (which still holds true, until a jury decides otherwise), "[n]one of this means the woman is lying."
I wonder why she made these changes . . .]

45 comments:

GPrestonian said...

LOL, I say that quote and thought I was on an old Huff post, KC. SE has certainly done a 180.

Anonymous said...

In this case, so much has happen since December, how could you use such a quote from August? Did you miss Meehan, The Bar ethics charges?

Anonymous said...

Of course the accuser is a liar; I think the whole country knows this. But what puzzles me is why NO ONE has tried to talk some sense into her and get her to admit she's lying. Maybe Cheshire can get a confession on Feb. 5.

Anonymous said...

To all of you Duke bashers out there:

Good news. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has announced that Duke has received 18,500 applications for the 1,665 seats available in the Class of 2011. This represents more than eleven applications for every seat in the class and is the second highest number of applications ever received by Duke.

Anonymous said...

10:35
Good they will need the money to settle the lawsuits and pay their lawyers.

Anonymous said...

10:35pm - And I read that Duke extended the deadline for applications, so they're not done yet.

Anonymous said...

10:34

Nifong is keeping her under wraps, even from her own family. If you believe cousin J.

Anonymous said...

Duke law also got a new dean, Judge Levi, well liked by all. He wouldn't be coming to a dead school. My $160k maybe safe! Now, if we can just get Mikey over to Butner prison before football season.
Kemp

Anonymous said...

10:34 asked "why NO ONE has tried to talk some sense into her and get her to admit she's lying."

Making a false claim is a crime. If she got wobbly at some point, don't you think it is possible that Nifong reminded her of penalties she might face if she did a turabout? She was trapped the moment her first crime (false claim) became useful to Nifong.

Anonymous said...

10:35 Hold on! I'm not "bashing" Duke. I have been very critical of the administration for it's lack of support for the students implicated/accused of horrendous crimes. I've been very critical of the professors who not only rushed to judgement based on little proof, but of some who were not only gleeful over the charges, but used this horrible ordeal to further their own agenda without a thought or care of how it could impact the lives of those accused.

If you consider this "bashing" Duke, I have to ask...what is more important? An institution or the lives of three innocent victims? Frankly, I hope at least these three sue Duke and are awarded huge settlements. Do you know why? Because it will protect the rest of the current and future student body from ever having to live through something like this.

From your tone, I gather you are a student. Get on your knees every night and thank your God that you didn't happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up like these students. Until the institutional attitude that students are really nothing more than cash cows rather than real kids who deserve the respect and protection of the faculty is changed, take real good care of yourself because you are all alone out there.

CF said...

HEH!

CF said...

Their early admissions (generally richer kids) were down about 20%. It will be interesting to see the stats. My guess is that some less qualified students might think they have a better shot this year

Anonymous said...

Completely off topic.

The most important thing you will read today.

http://www.xanga.com/DukeEgr93

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen much discussion of the fact that for CGM the feb hearing marks the dividing line between filing a false police report (a minor slap on the wrist, if anything) and the major deal of perjury.

Somebody who has as much experience with the CJS as CGM would no doubt be aware of that.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that applications for early admission to Yale were also down by 13 percent as compared to last year.

Anonymous said...

"To all of you Duke bashers out there:

Good news. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has announced that Duke has received 18,500 applications for the 1,665 seats available in the Class of 2011. This represents more than eleven applications for every seat in the class and is the second highest number of applications ever received by Duke."

SteveDinMD: I think you're a bit premature in declaring victory from this single data point. Though certainly not negative on its face, the substance underlying this statistic could be less favorable than you imagine. Before making pronouncement one way or the other, I would prefer to know WHO these applicants are. Are they more or less intellectually gifted than in previous years? Will they require more or less financial aid on average? What is the distribution of the applicants' prospective majors? The answers to these and other questions could give more insight into which direction(s) the student body might be headed and to what extent -- if any -- the lacrosse hoax might have influenced this. Who knows? Perhaps there's truth in the old adage: "ANY publicity is good publicity."

Anonymous said...

10:35,

My understanding is that applications from NC and surrounding states are up, and down from the northeast. I would imagine average SAT's and gpa's are down, too

Keep whistling into the wind, booster boy. From my viewpoint, it would be both inexplicable and a shameful lesson lost if Duke didn't suffer for their past and current mishandling of this sordid affair.

Anonymous said...

lol - probably a student of the "88" - nice research of the facts Miss.

Anonymous said...

You can let Melissa Lafsky know of Estrich's current comment -- as well as update her on recent developments -- by sending her an e-mail at her blog. Send it to Melissa Lafsky [opinionistas@gmail.com].

Anonymous said...

10:35

Very easy to explain. The 20% dip in early admission apps has been well and widely known for weeks. Lots of kids and their parents very likely saw that dip as increasing their own chances to gain admission to an elite institution for which they otherwise might not be qualified.

So the record breaking stat you've presented is positive for Duke only if it represents a rise or status quo ante in the quality of applicant, not if the new applicants are just opportunists who previously would have been considered below Duke's standards. My guess is the latter is the case.

Anonymous said...

Who are the new applicants?

Lots of Kareems and Crystals.

Yawwwzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that for months the Duke bashers on this website have been predicting a massive decline in the number of applications to Duke, and when it did not materialize, they immediately shift their ground and say that the applicant pool must be a lot lower. Of course, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support those statements but, hey, what else is new?

Anonymous said...

Melissa Lafsky is less than three years out of law school. What notoriety she has attained derives from a gossipy blog she wrote, once anonymously, detailing her social life working at a major law firm. That the Huffington Post would turn to her for anything approaching serious analysis says everything you need to know about that website.

Anonymous said...

The 10:35 poster ("To all you Duke bashers out there") is a Brodhead-apologist spammer who has been sabotaging the Duke Chronicle board by repeatedly putting multiple identical postings (including this "Good news" post) on every thread. He can't distinguish criticism of the current Duke administration from "Duke-bashing."

Michael said...

A few points:

On CGM and the CJ system, LS has a list of her accomplishments and coursework on Police Psychology is included. That one was a bit of a surprise to me.

The Northeast has taken a decent hit in real estate values since the market top in Summer 2005. Massachusetts, in particular, has been hard hit as this has affected the building and construction industries. Mass has been experiencing negative to flat population growth for a few years too with the educated middle class moving out, ironically, to places like NC for a lower cost of living.

MA has had trouble attracting businesses into the state as it is an expensive place to do business and the election of the new Governor should keep it that way.

I don't really follow how the economy is going outside of MA and NH in a detailed way but I do know that the popping of the housing bubble has had negative economic effects around the country.

Michael said...

re: 10:35

Or, as traders would say, buy the dip.

Anonymous said...

Duke could release preliminary data on applicants and 'clear up' the issue of exactly who applied.

I do not think that a drop in applicants should ever have been expected do to the ever expanding number of people vying to fill the 'selective' seats in the top universities. Duke has open seats and kids want to be in one of those seats. The case was probably not a factor in filing the application by many except, perhaps, those whose parents held strong views or the rich kids that did not like the legal atmosphere in durham. Not enough to cause a drop.

Duke has been recruiting/doing admissions outreach like never before. Again, all colleges do this (like never before every year) to increase their selectivity etc.

The 'surge' is not really notable - the trend for admissions is ever upward at all selective schools - because there are a limited number of seats and an expanding population wishing to fill them. The question, then, is who is in the applicant pool.

I imagine that they have similar numbers on test scores as prior years but geographic distribution will not be wonderful. The family income might have decreased some (case was perceived by some - especially those who are - as an attack on rich white kids). This is why the 20% fall could be a 'big' deal in the early admissions as they are usually there.

Then again rich kids that would not normally get in may have chose to apply regular admission after seeing the drop in the news (when you apply for college you do watch this stuff - at least some do for the selective schools).

As for rankings it matters if the selectivity drops (might), financial aid available (they can dip to be massage that), alumni giving rate (would like to know this number very much), total alumni contributions (also - any big gifts cancelled, big donors stop etc), and size of the endowment. The size of the endowment depends on alumni contributions and investment returns. If contributions decreased then the endowment 'lost' the investment returns on such contributions. Assuming such a thing was Duke specific then it would 'hurt' in the rankings.

Anonymous said...

If anyone cares to take a look at the website set up by The Chronicle, you will see that the Duke bashers have been sabotaging the site by creating numerous threads all of which deal with the same topic, namely, that Brodhead must go. If they had limited themselves to one or two threads, I would have limited myself to one or two messages.

gwopy.corr said...

If you read the rest of Estrich's August 9th article, it is clear that the portion of her article quoted by Lafsky was not intended to have the meaning that Lafsky implies it to have. Lafsky has simply used a misappropriated quotation to support her thesis. Such an action is certainly frowned up and borders on being completely unethical.

Anonymous said...

Melissa Lafsky is an idiot. I used to read her "opinionistas" blog back before she sanitized it.

Earl Hofert said...

The Huffington Post still exists? Huh, imagine that.

Anonymous said...

I guess the Puffington Host author got some e-mails about the Estrich quote. It has now mysteriously vanished from the article without any notice, update, or correction noted.

Anonymous said...

The number of applications to Duke did drop compared to last year, although not by a lot.

Anonymous said...

1:35 says, "the Duke bashers have (said) that Brodhead must go. If they had limited themselves to one or two threads, I would have limited myself to one or two messages"

Well, thanks for explaining yourself, Shill. At least the "bashers" have explained their reasons for wanting him to leave.

So maybe you can now tell us why it's so "important" that Brodhead not "go"! If youre just on his payroll or a family member, please indicate. If youre a faculty member worried about your position, please indicate that too. If you want to pretend you have a "principled" reason, we'd be fascinated to hear it. Let's share!

Anonymous said...

hmmm

Anonymous said...

I normally post under the screen name HumboldtBlue ...

You may surmise from my name that I reside about as far from Duke and Durham as one can and still remain in the continental United States.

I read Lafsky's piece yesterday and immediately sent in a comment (one of only three at the time), dropped a few logic bombs and the link to KC's website here in wonderland.

After 14 comments were allowed and posted, the article was mysteriously taken down from the main HuffPost page. No more comments were allowed, and yet, just as I prepared to leave work (6 pm PST) the post re-appeared and the changes in the original text had been made.

Now I have no dog in this fight, except for this: This case has shown us, sadly, once again, that the actions of DA's across this nation must be closely scrutinized. How many innocents sit in jail because of DA's who were not investigated and hounded the way Nifong has been since his disastrous attempts to declare the hooligans guilty?

I'm amazed at KC's work, and also with the fantastic way that the professors of identity-politics have been outed in such a grand, and damning manner (and I'm as liberal as they get).

Anonymous said...

Dear KC:

Remember that Elizabeth Chin editorial in the Chronicle of Higher Education---"A Teachable Moment"?

Has anyone approached this big PC advocate and asked her to comment on her prejudgement of three students that she pretty openly called "rapists" in her class?

She is back at Occidental College in California, I think.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

"She is back at Occidental College in California, I think."

If so, that's a shame. Occidental is a damned fine institution.

Anonymous said...

Occidental did used to be a fine organization. Check out Dr. Chin's "new" department. They eliminated the Anthropology Department, and now they have "Critical Studies and Social Justice."

Imagine how the professors would treat students who don't buy into the politics implicit in the course descriptions.

Seriously, look around the site..and see what Dr. Chin and others are teaching. It's amazing.

http://departments.oxy.edu/ctsj/

Anonymous said...

HumboldtBlue again ...


Eesh, I checked the Oxy website. Can anyone please decipher this for me? I have no college degree, and it's obvious that this stuff is way above a prole such as myself.


Critical Theory and Social Justice

Critical Theory and Social Justice is fundamentally interdisciplinary, drawing on ideas from across traditional academic disciplines. “Critical” refers to various bodies of theory and method—Marxism, psychoanalysis, the Frankfurt School, deconstruction, critical race studies, queer theory, postcolonial theory, and intersectionality—that interrogate the essentialist assumptions that underlie social identities. “Social justice” refers to an extrajuridical concept of fairness that is focused on exposing and ending social inequalities. The aim of the Critical Theory and Social Justice Department is to promote understanding of how categories such as “race”, “sexual orientation”, and “nationality” help people recognize and combat some injustices and hinder them from recognizing and combating others.

Anonymous said...

HumboldtBlue again ...

could the irony of this course offering be any more ironic?

180 Stupidity (currently a CSP seminar)

Stupidity is neither ignorance nor organicity, but rather, a corollary of knowing and an element of normalcy, the double of intelligence rather than its opposite. It is an artifact of our nature as finite beings and one of the most powerful determinants of human destiny?stupidity is always the name of the Other, and it iis the sign of the feminine. This course in Critical Psychology follows the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and most recently, Avital Ronell, in a philosophical examination of those operations and technologies that we conduct in order to render ourselves uncomprehending. Stupidity, which has been evicted from the philosophical premises and dumbed down by psychometric psychology, has returned in the postmodern discourse against Nation, Self, and Truth and makes itself felt in political life ranging from the presidency to Beevis and Butthead. This course examines stupidity.

Anonymous said...

You know the funny part about the "Stupidity" course? The person who designed the course didn't even know that the old, long off the air cartoon character's name is spelled "Beavis," not "Beevis."

I also enjoyed the exclusionary jargon, like "organicity."

I think these people ate a thesaurus.

Anonymous said...

HumboldtBlue again ...

"I also enjoyed the exclusionary jargon, like "organicity."

What the hell does organicity mean, and should I be worried about my organsand their 'nicity?

Anonymous said...

It would seem that "Critical Theory and Social Justice," along with all derivative areas of "scholarship," should be grouped academically into a single super-curriculum: "Ignorance Studies."

-- SteveDinMD

Anonymous said...

HumboldtBlue again ...

The responses to the HuffPost ... umm, post, make for an interesting read.