Monday, January 01, 2007

New Years' Roundup

Michael Skube, a former Pulitzer Prize winner and professor at Elon University, predicts in an L.A. Times op-ed that Duke’s “recovery from a rush to judgment” might be a painful one indeed. As “the vigilante posters have come down” and “the candlelight vigils have gone dark,” it seems that “this time the story might not be reducible to the all-purpose epistemology of race, gender and class.” Critics of Duke’s response, Skube perceptively observes, are most united by “a reaction to the group-think that immediately took hold once the story came to light.”

Skube discovered that the potbangers of last spring have erected a “wall of silence.” From Jennifer Minnelli, who attended a March vigil: “I have no comment. Good luck with your research.” From the husband of a vigil organizer: “Your chances of getting a comment from her or from anyone in this house are exactly zero.”

Skube obtains a quote from one protester, Ned Kennington, who does regret his actions, but who deflects blame onto Nifong. “Duke,” Kennington states, “is populated by a faculty that is very socially conscious. I think I am guilty of that. But this [case] was fueled by Nifong’s assertions, which fit into our preconceptions.” He adds, “I trusted that Mike Nifong was talking in a careful, judicious way when he called the lacrosse players hooligans.”

(Consider the unintended irony of that last remark. Also, blind faith for the police and/or prosecutors is rarely a trademark of the academic Left.)

Nearly nine months out, not one of the Group of 88 has retracted his or her signature from the document. Or expressed a word of support for the lacrosse players. Or even publicly criticized Mike Nifong. And despite prompting from Ed Bradley, Richard Brodhead refused to have anything critical to say of the Group of 88’s rush to judgment. Skube concludes, “For the university, those preconceptions — a reflexive, left-leaning culture shared by many of its supporters — are part of the larger problem.”


As John in Carolina has noted, Mike Nifong is scheduled to be sworn into the office for which he sold his soul tomorrow morning at 8am, in Courtroom #1 on the fifth floor of the Durham County Courthouse.

With the Troika—wife Cy Gurney, chief “investigator” Linwood Wilson, resident homophobe Victoria Peterson—determined, for their own reasons, for him to stay on, perhaps the D.A. plans to proceed with the event.

If he were willing to widen his network of advisors, however, perhaps he’d be considering some other options, such as:

  • Taking early retirement, and asking the governor to appoint his replacement.
  • Taking a leave of absence, with the hope of returning at an unspecified date, perhaps to two more years at Traffic Court, so he could obtain his much-desired maximum pension.
  • Entering into the equivalent of a plea bargain with the Bar, perhaps trading his resignation for a pension deal.

Nifong’s decisionmaking process as of late has been, to put it charitably, erratic. But whatever leverage he possesses in terms of a deal begins to vanish once the swearing-in date passes.


Every year, the Duke chapel features a well-attended Christmas Eve service. The Durham Police often sends an officer to provide security for the affair. I’ve spoken to a couple of people who went to this year’s service, from whom I received interesting news.

It seems that this year’s police officer was a somewhat well-known figure. I’ll supply two clues as to his identity: (1) his initials are M.G.; (2) he’s known for a remarkable ability to recall conversations, verbatim and without notes, months after the fact.


The mainstream print media in Australia has done a far superior job covering this case than its American counterpart. While for months the Times propped up Nifong and the Washington Post played the race card, Marc Coultan has provided first-rate reporting for Australian readers.

He continued to do so in his summary of last week’s events, entitled, “Prosecutor in hot water over evidence.” Coultan’s reporting provides straightforward recapitulation of the facts, without any attempt to defend Nifong, and allows the readers to draw their own conclusions. After describing the accuser’s new story of December 21, he dryly remarked:

It was the latest in a series of uncertain identifications from the woman. It came after a court hearing in which the person who did the DNA tests admitted he had agreed with Mr Nifong not to include vital evidence in his report that would have helped the players’ defence.

Coultan also succinctly laid out Nifong’s evasions regarding what he knew about the exculpatory DNA evidence and when he knew it—highlighting the March 18 court filing, “The state is not aware of any additional material or information which may be exculpatory in nature.” That statement, we know now, was a lie—perhaps explaining why the prosecutor is in “hot water.”


Last Wednesday’s Washington Post carried an uplifting op-ed exploring recovery efforts in New Orleans by Duke historian and Group of 88 member William Chafe. Chafe, who recently spent a week in New Orleans, detected “a remarkable resiliency of spirit” in the city, where “energy, engagement and love persist, creating tiny ripples of hope, from thousands of individual acts of courage.”

Chafe celebrates the activities of the “Rainbow Tribe”—a commune—which includes more than 100 volunteers who have come to New Orleans to help the city rebuild. Most, he says, spend their time gutting local houses ruined by Katrina. And these aren’t just any kind of volunteers: “They respect the integrity and autonomy of the neighbors they are there to help, committed not to fall into old hierarchies of white and black, male and female.”

On the Sunday when he was in town, Chafe stopped by a small bar, where “30 neighborhood residents gather for a weekly get-together. White and black, gay and straight, old and young, they listen to their favorite jazz quartet and vocalist. They hug, laugh, cheer. They welcome strangers in their midst, anxious to talk about what they’ve been through.” Again, uplifting and hopeful.

But let’s have a reality check. This is the same man who, late last March, wrote that the whites who lynched Emmett Till provided an appropriate historical context through which to interpret the actions of the lacrosse players. Then, in mid-May, once his assumptions proved wrong, he denounced the players for drinking and said he no longer would comment on anything related to the case.

Given the magnitude of Chafe’s misinterpretation of events in Durham—and his subsequent refusal to acknowledge his error—it’s rather difficult to take anything else he says seriously, even his uplifting tale of the New Orleans Commune whose residents are committed to approaching issues of race, class, and gender in a way that Chafe deems acceptable.


Outside the editorial room of the Durham Herald-Sun, it’s not easy to come up with a pro-Nifong editorial given recent events, but two papers recently have managed to do so—using remarkably similar tone and (non-)content.

In Idaho, columnist Tom Henderson in the Lewiston Morning Tribune sneers that the dropping of the rape charges* “must be a moment of profound jubilation down at the country club.” The op-ed concedes that the accuser might have changed her story on multiple occasions, but “a court can decide” whether she’s lying, since “as long as Nifong thinks he has evidence against the defendants, justice demands that he pursue it.”

  • Any mention of the state bar filing ethics charges against Nifong? No.
  • Of Nifong ordering police to construct a lineup that violated their own procedures? No.
  • Of the North Carolina Conference of DA’s demanding that Nifong recuse himself? No.
  • Of the Nifong-Meehan conspiracy to withhold exculpatory DNA evidence? No.

Likewise, an editorial in the Wilmington Journal scoffs that “money trumps justice.” As in Idaho, the moral certainty is clear: “This case needs to go the distance, no matter how that’s defined by the court system in Durham.” The editorial accuses the “Dukie Three-ers” of constructing “a lie-ridden, racist fairy tale” in demanding a change of venue, part of a veneer of “lies, distortions and racism” from critics of Nifong.

  • Any mention of specific “lies” or “distortions” by Nifong’s critics? No.
  • Of the state bar filing ethics charges against Nifong? No.
  • Of Nifong ordering police to construct a lineup that violated their own procedures? No.
  • Of the North Carolina Conference of DA’s demanding that Nifong recuse himself? No.
  • Of the Nifong-Meehan conspiracy to withhold exculpatory DNA evidence? No.

Early in the case, such fact-free, impassioned commentary was commonplace. But it appears, fortunately, as if we’ve passed a tipping point, in which crass appeals to class or race bias no longer carry much weight.


One issue that received little attention from the Meehan hearing. As Meehan made clear, the purpose of his hiring was his lab’s ability to perform Y-chromosome testing, which isolates male DNA. Yet, under repeated questioning from Brad Bannon, Meehan admitted that his lab also ran standard DNA tests—which the State Bureau of Investigation lab had already done. Why would Meehan duplicate the SBI tests?


A couple of excellent commentaries in the national media. At MSNBC, Mike Celezik terms the manner in which Nifong dropped the rape charges—just before Christmas, in a Friday filing by fax—“disgusting,” consistent with Nifong’s “campaign that has long since had no purpose other than to destroy the reputations and futures of three young men.”

Nifong, Celezik correctly notes, has “not only smeared the three players, he’s dragged an entire profession even deeper into the muck of public opinion.” And he “is the worst sort of public servant: a coward”—someone who couldn’t get enough of the cameras when things were going his way, and who then refuses to publicly justify his actions once the real facts have come out. Celezik concludes:

If it weren’t so tragic — a word I don’t use often, but one that fits here because of the senseless wrong that has been done for the most selfish and venal of reasons — it would be painfully funny, a parody of a prosecutor making a parody of justice.

In the Washington Times, Tom Knott reasons that “the travesty of the Duke University lacrosse case is descending to absurd depths, mostly because . . . Nifong is up to his neck in muck and has no choice but to cling to the varied recollections of the accuser without the benefit of DNA evidence.”

Knott especially takes to task “Duke’s higher-ups and the activist branch of its faculty.” He observes:

They can cling to the notion that theirs is a fairly special campus, although there was nothing special about the rush-to-judgment actions of the university: the cancellation of the rest of the lacrosse season, accepting the resignation of the coach and all but convicting the three defendants. They connected the dots of race, class and gender and made their pedestrian conclusions, not unlike the talking heads on cable TV.

And, like the talking heads on cable TV, they’re determined to admit no error. So much for the dispassionate analysis of evidence, or the need for educators to engage in “critical self-reflection.” Indeed, with the Campus Culture Initiative, the Group of 88 appears determined to use the affair to create what Mark Anthony Neal termed a “progressive” campus.


ABC’s Law and Justice Unit has an important piece placing the Conference of DA’s letter in context. With so much that’s occurred over the last several days, it’s easy to overlook the letter—even though the document is even more extraordinary than the State Bar filing ethics charges against a sitting D.A. for a case that’s still pending.

The article, by Lara Setrakian, terms the Conference’s letter “yet another moral blow” to Nifong, and she goes outside the state for context. Joshua Marquis, a district attorney in Oregon who is active in the National District Attorneys Association, terms the letter “extraordinarily unusual and it means a great deal.”

Marquis is blunt in his evaluation of Nifong:

As prosecutors, we do not try our cases in the media. We do not file charges frivolously . . . I do not know what the merit of the charges are, but Mr. Nifong has not brought respect to our profession. Some of his actions have brought great disrepute on the profession of prosecution.

Setrakian also obtains a comment from the third member of Duke Law’s faculty to publicly criticize Nifong. Law professor Thomas Metzloff, a Yale graduate who obtained his J.D. from Harvard Law School and is an advisory member to the State Bar’s ethics committee, remarked that the ethics complaint “crystallizes the conflict of interest.” He thereby endorsed the proposal made months ago by his colleague, Jim Coleman, that the case be turned over to a special prosecutor.


Finally: historians are not supposed to make predictions, but the staff at DIW will violate this principle with today’s post. I predict that Mike Nifong will not find 2007 to be an enjoyable year professionally.

*--corrected item


bill anderson said...

Michael Nifong may not have a Happy New Year, but there are others who will. I predict that the book by K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor will be a best seller and will bring some serious beer money to some people.

The Idaho paper is run by some old-line 60s leftists who suddenly have discovered that maybe the "pigs" are Really Good Guys when they try to frame people that old 60s radicals don't like. May this be a lousy year for them, too.

By the way, this will be the year that once again I get a life.

Roman Polanski said...

the occasional poster "jc" has been forced to use Roman Polanski's name, because he has a stalker who has alienated many people on this board

not that i mind stalkers/epigones, but this is serious stuff...

methinks "group-think" is another euphemism--for antiwhite racism

Jason T posts that there should b a reconciliation with the 88--isn't that kind of like forgiving your rapist

the 88 contributed to the persecution in a decisive manner, and brodhead stood by and watched--yep, that's cinematic

i apologize for my epigone's insults, but i visit about 4 times a week, so was not aware of what was transpiring

in a lot of ways, the most interesting part of this drama is yet to come--and i'm not referring to mikey losing his virginity--lol

happy new year

Anonymous said...

If you haven't done so, check out Bob Wilson's excellent posts on John in Carolina's blog. Wilson is a former N&O reporter and former editorial page editor of the Herald-Sun. He offers much insight into the performance of his two old newspapers. In one post, in answer to a question, he brilliantly dissects the infamous N&O Precious as victim "interview."

Anonymous said...

The criticism of the Duke players, less though it is each day, is always general and slanderous while the critique of Nifong's actions and support for the innocent defendants is always rooted in unrebutted specifics.

Thus, the ethics charges cite specific ethical rules and actions that violated those rules while columnists sneer about money and country clubs.

Defenders of the lacrosse players note that it is impossible that no DNA was left for sampling and it is even more unlikely (if such a difference in unlikleness can be measured) that the defendants DNA washed away while others' DNA was left behind, while the critics note, in generalities, that not all rape prosecutions require DNA.

As KC clearly notes, these generalities always reveal the prejudices of the writers. The general attacks always refer to class or race, rather than facts.

Thankfully, the tide has turned, but apparently Nifong will always have supporters.

KC Johnson said...

Agree completely on the recommendation re Bob Wilson.

His posts have been superb, and they're also an unfortunate reminder of what could have been had the H-S had professional journalists, rather than Bob Ashley, at the helm during this affair.

luke said...

KC, if I may be presumptuous, I propose this entry be labelled "For Whom The Pot Bangs."

bill anderson said...

Damn, K.C.! You STILL awake? Get some rest. This is going to be a most busy week.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

I found the Skube opinion piece quite odd, in that he did not have an opinion. Why write an op-ed if you dont have an opinion? I could only conclude that since the PC academic view of the case had been blown out of the water, he dare not offer any real opinion on the matter?

As for the NC DAs letter that has somewhat been lost in the splash of the NC Bar charges, I have wondered if we would hear of another similar example of such a move by the DAs of a state. It shows how extra ordinary that letter is that so far no one has said, here is a similar situation where the DAs as a group wrote an out of control DA and told him to tone it down.

Anonymous said...

Professor Skube of Elon actually offers an opinion in his Los Angeles Times piece — and a strong one at that:
“For the university, those preconceptions — a reflexive, left-leaning culture shared by many of its supporters — are part of the larger problem.”

He put his finger on a major problem for academic institutions and for our nation.

Gunslinger said...

“I trusted that Mike Nifong was talking in a careful, judicious way when he called the lacrosse players hooligans.”

So much to comment on, but let me just say that the above may well go down as the quintessential comment from the pot-banging hard left. I'm not surprised that these atrocious people are keeping mum these days -- after all, being an ideologue means never having to say you're sorry.

Happy new year KC, Bill, and all the other righteous blog posters.

Roman Polanski said...

will someone please deconstruct the term "socially conscious"?

where is the great R. Crumb when u need him?

think he's still living in france

Anonymous said...

By the way, Professor Johnson, Happy New Year! You have restored our faith in a little bit of academia.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....

Well sorry maybe I am just one of those "artless" people on the internet Skube took time out in his op-ed to label, but I am also an academic too. I just reread that piece and I do not see an opinion worth an op-ed.

I did not see a strong opinion that Duke strives to be diverse in every way but opinions. This is an irony in the academy where ideas are what should count. I saw a whimpy little conclusion that about preconceptions that you noted.

TombZ said...

"I predict that Mike Nifong will not find 2007 to be an enjoyable year professionally."

From your keyboard to God's LCD monitor, KC...

BTW, also a real good call.

Roman Polanski said...


i thought it was well written--its principal argument is that this is a unique situation for an elite university, compounded by the silence of the 88

the op-ed's message: serious friction at Duke, which will probably result in D's rank falling at US News

figure it out: just based on early admission applications decreasing 20% means trouble--hello Emory, Vanderbilt, U Va

all this tells me Brodhead has to go--his continued presence at Duke will be polarizing, imo

Learned Hand said...

KC: thanks for everything. Many forget that despite the horrible travesty befalling the three, the entire Duke lacrosse team has had to deal with this - and will, most likely, have to for years to come. As a double Duke alum, former lax player, and lawyer, I feel their pain. I do not pretend to be in the line of fire like them, but it effects us all, in some small way.

I truly appreciate your analysis and work on this. If only our MSM would wake up and realize the renewed importance of true investigating and objective reporting, they might regain their respect. Regardless, I wish you the best 2007 and pledge my full support if you ever need any help, input or work. Just ask.

NO ONE deserves this. White, black, man, woman - we deserve fairness and justice. May it find us all this year. Peace out.

Anonymous said...

1:45 New Years Eve.....

Damn, I need to get a life!!!!

Anonymous said...

Chicago writes:

The Herald-Sun is still calling it the "Duke Lacrosse Rape case" despite rape charges being dropped over a week ago.

From a story in today's paper.
What are our top priorities for 2007?

Dec 31, 2006 : 11:05 pm ET

Schools, crime, downtown, roads, the economy and getting over the Duke lacrosse rape case.

Anonymous said...

The Herald-Sun is a joke of a newspaper. Paxton Media in Kentucky overpaid for it; now, it's worth even less. Poetic justice.

GPrestonian said...

xcellent recap, KC. Good on you for characterizing the Wilmington Journal piece as an 'editorial'.

Thay have it classified in the Op-Ed section for some reason, even tho the byline is 'editorial staff'. Dunno if they were trying to pass that effluvium off as someone else's opinion or what.

GPrestonian said...

Ooops, my mistake, the Op-Ed tile is lit but it is in the Editorial section.

GPrestonian said...

Looks like Tom Henderson's column isn't available unless you pay...

Here's a couple of his submissions to F.I.R.E

Joe T. said...

If you go to and type in the keyword "Nifong" you'll get to find videos of some of the potbanger protests. Not a bunch of pretty faces, for sure, but at least the hateful rats deserve to be seen in spite of their hiding.

Joe T. said...

Actually, re. just try looking up the videos of user marco2006

Anonymous said...

Tom Henderson's editorial in Lewiston Morning Tribune 12/30/06:

"T.H. - Them Duke boys is innocent (at least not guilty)

by Tom Henderson

It must be a moment of profound jubilation down at the country club.

Charges that members of Duke University's lacrosse team raped a stripper have been dropped.

See? Conservatives -- including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker -- told you they were nice guys. Their only real crime was being born into affluent white families. And you know how hard it is being a rich white man in our society.

"White males -- descendant as they are of the imperialistic, colonizing, native-raping patriarchy -- are the new culturally approved targets of the lynch mob," sniffs Parker.

Let this be a lesson to all of you who immediately suspect white guys who hire strippers of behaving badly toward women. As they used to say in Hazzard County, them Duke boys is innocent.

Well, not exactly "innocent."

"Not guilty" is more like it. There wasn't enough physical evidence to connect the defendants to the alleged rape.

DNA testing found genetic material from several men on the woman's underwear and body. But none of it came from the players. Given this blow to his case, District Attorney Mike Nifong dropped the rape charges.

That doesn't mean the alleged victim is lying. It just means there's no evidence to support her allegation.

Some people are outraged that Nifong continues to pursue kidnapping and sex charges that could put the defendants behind bars for more than 30 years.

The accuser -- a 28-year-old student at North Carolina Central University -- is a lying floozy out for money and publicity, exploiting the fact that she's black and the defendants are white.

Or so goes the legend on the blogosphere.

Interesting. We're not supposed to jump to conclusions about the defendants based on their ethnic, economic and cultural backgrounds. Yet it's OK to make assumptions about the accuser.

She has changed her story several times, but does that mean she's lying or she's traumatized?

A court can decide that. As long as Nifong thinks he has evidence against the defendants, justice demands that he pursue it.

The lads may be innocent. But we can't assume that, any more than we can assume the accuser is lying. -- T.H."

january said...

To 1:59 a.m. -- it IS a rape case. It just wasn't Precious who got raped.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

4:45am I have to agree with you on that one, the only ones that have been raped in this matter are Collin,David,Reade their families.

Nifong this is war you are going down!!!

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer: Take a look at what Ruth Sheehan has to say in the N&O titled "Its time to drop the charages".

Earl Hofert said...

Nifong is discredited. The boys are going to walk, and get a pile of money from the Durham taxpayers (including those who voted against Nifong, unfortunately). That salves my outrage a bit...but it would be nice to see something happen to the craven professors who signed the auto-da-fe. Something official, and something punitive. Something besides the shame and regret of abetting a witch-hunt, and having a mountain of scorn placed upon them by observers.

james conrad said...

david brooks of the times, did a first rate series of stories several years ago on the relationships between far left professors and students at ivey league colleges to determine if the kids were really being indoctrinated by these teachers. his conclusion? these kids were very smart and although the kids treated their professors respectfully, basically ignored/excused the left wing rants as harmless nonsense......what this duke case painfully demonstrates, the nonsense isnt so harmless

Anonymous said...

KC or Bill Anderson,

Do you or anyone else know how many of the "Group of 88" are themselves white?


bill anderson said...

I don't know. My sense is that it is about 50-50, but I suspect K.C. knows more on that subject.

I'm going to have to write on the academic situation again for LRC. This really highlights the nature of the various "studies" programs that really are nothing more than centers of activism.

Notice how these people -- the ones who held up Confess! signs and the like -- suddenly have no comment? Their behavior makes me want to encourage the LAX families to go after Duke University with everything they have.

Don't forget, LAX players had teachers calling them "rapists" while in class. The pot-banging atmosphere that they had to endure is not exactly the educational experience that Duke promised them.

My hope is that some of the families take Duke to the cleaners so the university can be made an example to people everywhere. This nonsense has gone far enough, and we need to fight back.

don said...

Is it true that the accuser identified 4 players but that one was proved to be out of town?

don said...

It is Jan 1 2007. Shouldn't the H-S, The Newspaper of Racket, be taking a position on the swearing in of the DA which may occur tomorrow?

bill anderson said...

No, the four she ID'd all were at the party. She said, however, that she was "100% sure" that another person she pointed out was at the party, and she said it each time.

Actually, the guy was not there.

The fourth person she ID'd was the son of a Duke professor. I don't know if that was the reason he was not indicted, or if Nifong just liked the Number "3." Who knows?

Even by then, I think that Nifong and the police knew this was a fraud, but believed that they could pull it off.

Anonymous said...

Re number of black signatories among Group of 88. Bill said: "I don't know. My sense is that it is about 50-50." This would mean that Duke has about 44 black profs in Humanities depts, which is unlikely. My guess would be that, leaving aside the people in Af-Am, most of the others are white, and of those many or most are left-over sixties types like William Chafe.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the conclusion of Skube piece in the LA Times doesn't send shudders down the spine of some university administrators. I wonder if activist campus leftists have finally overplayed their hand. “For the university, those preconceptions — a reflexive, left-leaning culture shared by many of its supporters — are part of the larger problem.” Add to that the 20% decline of early admissions applications to Duke this year. If that is followed by a similar decline in applications in the regular pool, Duke is forced to draw from atrophied pool of top students in a highly competitive arena. In addition to an almost sure drop in the rankings is the deteriorated image of the place that will take years to correct. Who wants to pay to send their children into that mess, regardless of political ideology? Duke knows this as they have instituted an expensive, full-blown PR campaign. Why have the Group of 88 clammed up? Are we watching a situation that may for the first time cause a university to pay dearly for "over the top" irresponsibility from loudmouth campus leftists who have never before felt any resistance?

My response is the following: I have a daughter who is in the middle of her junior year in high school. She is an excellent student: Grades, all As. Rigorous courses. SATs coming in January, PSATs - 227, 99+ percentile. Many other things going for her. Guess who won't be applying to Duke.


Anonymous said...

From Skube piece "In response [to bad publicity], the university has undertaken a 12-city nationwide public relations campaign, called "A Duke Conversation," involving not only Brodhead but also hundreds of alumni and Duke students. Their message: What you read and hear about Duke — drunken parties, out-of-control athletes, pervasive arrogance and privilege — is far from the truth."

If this is what he "conversation" is, it misses the point. Duke's problem is not its students; it is its faculty and administration. The fault, dear Dick, is not in the stars but in ourselves.

libertewoods said...

"...blind faith for the police and/or prosecutors is rarely a trademark of the academic Left."

Except when it's the enforcement of their grim laws of social engineering which they stridently impose on us.

Art Thomas
Barboursville, Virginia

don said...

I also have a duaghter who turned down Duke and is now a Junior at another elite school. This happened before the LAX case but I am happy she does not attend.

This case could happen anywhere but the fecklessness and lack of support of the administration may be unique to Duke. I do not really want my child at a school that 'throws students overboard'.

Anonymous said...

IMO, this case is a watershed event for Duke University. The university will have to accept second tier status. Most Americans have short attention spans when it comes to most scandals but not when their hard earned cash is on the line. They will choose an institution such as Stanford. They would want their child to worry about what start-up to join and not what line-up he will be in. Duke will have to do something radical ,IMO, to oversome this - maybe free tuition to all admitted. Also the state may feel the impact of this case economically. As an investor in a start-up , you need a legal system that repects individual rights. Because of this current case, a lot of people have been educated on previous legal abuses in the state of North Carolina.

Richard said...

Re: Tom Henderson's editorial in Lewiston Morning Tribune

As long as Nifong thinks he has evidence against the defendants, justice demands that he pursue it.

As long as he thinks he has evidence? What does that mean? How do you think you have evidence? You either have it or you don’t and Nifong does not have it! If anyone really believes that after nine months the FA really changed her story about being raped I got a bridge to sell you. What evidence do we have that she changed her story? Because Mike Nifong said so and he would never lie to us? When Nifong states that he doggedly pursued the rape case because he believes that the FA is telling the truth, even though he had never spoken to her about the rape, we have gone from the world or reality to the world of fantasy. This is a patent lie. Even Baghdad Bob would have been embarrassed to come up with such a fantastic story. What really happened is that Nifong realized that with the DNA evidence the rape charge was demonstrably false. He knew that if he tried them on it the jury would bring back a not guilty verdict. Thus, it was Mike Nifong, and not the FA that changed the story so that he could attempt to exclude the DNA evidence that would have destroyed his case. He will do whatever it takes to convict the Duke Lacrosse players, justice be damned. It has become a vendetta on the part of Nifong. Nifong is truly an evil man. I can only hope he gets the justice that he has tried to deny to the Duke Lacrosse players.

libertewoods said...

Where reason fails, laughter and ridicule are worthy weapons.

Anonymous said...

Bill and Anonymous 9:12 a.m.

Thanks for the attempt at breaking down the "Group of 88." Its certainly a question that interests me.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 8:36 a.m. said:

"Most Americans have short attention spans when it comes to most scandals but not when their hard earned cash is on the line. They will choose an institution such as Stanford. They would want their child to worry about what start-up to join and not what line-up he will be in. Duke will have to do something radical ,IMO, to oversome this - maybe free tuition to all admitted. Also the state may feel the impact of this case economically. As an investor in a start-up , you need a legal system that repects individual rights. Because of this current case, a lot of people have been educated on previous legal abuses in the state of North Carolina."



Isn't DNA Security, Inc of Burlington, N.C. a startup?

libertewoods said...

Bill Anderson,

Re: getting a life. Don't be too hard on yourself. Your early articles piqued my interest in this case. A good use of your life.

ART Thomas

Anonymous said...

What, if anything, will happen to the accuser after this case is dismissed. Are there laws in place whereby the presiding Judge could bring charges for false accusation. She, as much as the Group of 88, needs to pay for the suffering she has caused the three accused and their families. Perhaps a few years behind bars would be in order considering this is the second such accusation she has made.

Anonymous said...

I predict Nifungu will not have a law license at the end of 2007 and that he will be facing federal criminal charges of civil rights violations and obstruction of justice. He won't see prison until 2008.

Anonymous said...

RP said...

great post, 9:36--"watershed event" is spot on, but unique to Duke? to cure u of this delusion, suggest u visit the black studies site at Princeton, where u'll find "University" professor Cornel West's current research "examines the cultural nexus between Anton Chekhov and John Coltrane"--yep, and Henry Gates of Harvard crowned West the most brilliant of all black studies professors

agree with 7:06, 8:08, 8:48, 2 of whom wonder "how to fight back" and "how to get back at 88"

it's trench warfare, fellas--allow me to make a few suggestions:

1. imo, ethnic studies faculty, especially "black studies" faculty, try to make their academic pursuits more important than they really r--should get feedback from students as to what's actually taught in class--document the info

2. write a detailed paper on content and academic excellence of all ehnic studies programs--just copy editing some of their "scholarship" can b devastating

3. determine the ENTIRE cost to Duke per annum to fund ethnic studies, including a cost-benefit analysis

4. construct a nice PowerPoint presentation, with TV footage, extolling the "socially conscious" activism of the 88

5. author a paper entitled "Does AAAS Attract Racists?"--ask KC for some Lubiano quotes

6. encourage current students to boycott the 88's classes

7. immediately distribute a press release ridiculing Brodhead's roadshow, pointing out that Brodhead's inaction was DEVASTATING TO THE SONS OF DUKE--let's title this "you can't talk your way out of this, Mr President"

8. propose the defunding of all ethnic studies departments--reassure media that worthwhile subject matter will be subsumed in nonethnic fashion

9. create paper on optimal academic usage of funds previously designated for ethnic studies

10. b aggressive in distributing this info to media

Roman P

Anonymous said...

I dont think it is a great idea to give Tom Henderson too much publicity, but like many of the anti-defedant pro-Nifong crowd, is views make no sense.

Is he saying that the press and public can never protest what they believe to be a wrongful conviction, that the workings of the judicial system are in effect a silent zone that must never be discussed.

Or is he saying that you have to wait until the conviction occurs, and then you can say something, after all the turmoil and energy.

If the evidence is what matters, then the easiest answer is to hand the case off to another office, who will presumably reach a reasonable decision.

What if the prosecutor violates ethical rules and won't listen to the evidence?

what if the prosector admits, as this one has, that he has not talked to the victim, obtained information from the defendants, or even read the documents because they are so "numerous" and that his public statements show that he does not even know what the documents say.

Of course, he can not answer any of these questions. If pestered with requests to explain his position, he will certainly clam up.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

10:18 Crystal will just get what she has gotten in the past for doing shit like this. NOTHING!

This is her third time filing false charges.

Even if Collin, David, and Reade don't get any money out of her, they should still sue her.

That just might send a message to any female that wants to do this to any other young man. I don't feel bad for Crystal Gail Mangum, she brought this on herself.

joan foster said...

Some excellent ideas, jc..or Roman. I've taken a break from "making my meatloaf" , as you suggested, over at Liestoppers to compliment you on your post.

Many voices are still needed...and, all are appreciated me anyway. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

A small suggested correction to today's post--when discussing the Henderson piece, you referred to the filing of ethics charges against Nifong when, I think, you meant the dropping of the rape charges. You've been working too hard!

Anonymous said...


I am sometimes silly, but never mean. I didn't read the meatloaf post--someone Googled me and thought it would be fun to b my epigone. I have a sense of humor and would probably hire this person. But he humiliated me by making me look like a wack job--and given that this board addresses important issues, I decided to change identities.

I'm sure this person made other disparaging remarks to other posters. I'm opinionated; therefore, I'm a target.

happy new year

Roman P

PS when i was in paris recently had the pleasure of having lunch with him--he's 1 of my heroes from my college days

Anonymous said...

All of these posts on this blog are usually right on,but it always bothers me that the most critical tend to be those who dont actually practice law, but stand on the sidelines teaching impressionable people who lack real world experienceand who cant see the professor offers very little that will help them once they are in the real world.

I wish there was such indepth criticism and analysis from more people who are in the game and not out of it and discussing the incompetance of others.

If those of us in practice cannot be the real voices of criticism then what kind of profession are we. Im sick of reading or hearing from professors, but i understand why lawyers are silent.

Its like being conservative in a room full of fellow personal injury lawyers who will rip you because you like Bush.

Anonymous said...

Notice another contradiction in the Wilmington Article. As to the very serious and changing charges of rape, sexual assualt, and kidnapping, everybody needs to shut up and let the court system work in peace. as to the properly supported change in venue motion, one that is supported implicity by every elected DA in the state of north carolina and the north carolina ethics commisssion, it is totally appropriate to use smear words and adjectives.

GPrestonian said...

Seen on LieStoppers' Media Roundup, Mon., Jan 1, 2007 thread:

William Anderson - What the Duke Non-Rape (and Non-Kidnapping/Sexual Assault) Case Taught Me in 2006

Earl Ofari Hutchinson (Chicago Trib) - Hard lessons from Duke case

Anonymous said...

Has anyone compiled a collection (or at least links) to the various letters to the editor, blog entries/comments, op eds, quotes etc. from Duke faculty and administration on this case? A huge undertaking I know, but it would be instructive. One thing I have noticed (and I'm hardly the first to point this out) is just how factually inadequate, emotion-based, misleading, and worst of all, poorly reasoned, poorly written and intelectually unrigorous all of these statements seem to be. KC has done a great job of deconstructing much of this lunacy, but I was wondering if there is some sort of one-stop-shopping location for a review of these statements.

This coming semester, there will need to be a reckoning at Duke. The more ammunition that we on the students' side have (and I mean all students), the better equipped we will be to deal with the PC leftist idiocy of the faculty that has poisoned academia and helped fuel the rape hoax.

Happy new year to all!

Shouting Thomas said...

I am grateful that this website has helped to expose this miscarriage of justice.

I have no doubt that the three young men are innocent.

I would like to suggest, however, that we take a hard look at the young woman who brought these charges. She is a very damaged young woman.

In my personal life, I've dealt with the problems this woman exhibits. She is, in all probability, a victim of childhood sexual abuse or incest, or she was prostituted as a child, or all three.

And, from my personal experience, I will tell you that the likely perpetrators of her abuse are members of her immediate family or intimates. I am accusing no person in particular, because I don't know the specifics.

The black community has been quick to make this an issue of white racism. I find it much more likely that the cause of Precious' serious psychological problems is a black person within her own family or circle of intimates.

Anonymous said...


KC Johnson has done a spectacular job in this area--I'm sure he's expanding his database as we speak


Anonymous said...

Responding to 11:42 AM

The outrageous off campus party hosted by the lacrosse team would have never happened had administrators at Duke attempted a vile form of social engineering in the 1990s. This picked up after the unfortunate death of a student due to alcohol poisioning (possibly an outcome of overregulation--would he be around today if he was allowed to drink legally?). Student Affairs bureaucrats were allowed to invade every facet of students' lives.

We need to look carefully at the growth of student affairs and whether we really want a university where students are reformed according to some bureaucrats vision of proper attitudes and behavior young adults in college should have to follow.

Anonymous said...

My days of contributing to Duke are over.
I've changed my will. There are many more deserving beneficiaries than Brodhead and his crew.

Anonymous said...

best YouTube video i've seen

go to; use its search engine: type "Duke Lacrosse Hoax"

it's 4:29min


Gregory said...

In the Michael Skube non-editorial, Duke public relations chief and Vice President John Burness was quoted as stepping in it: "Even a good story is a bad story if it's about lacrosse," Burness says, "because it's a reminder."

Again, thinking about your job and not the students. A good story about the lacrosse players, Mr. Burness, is a GOOD D*MN STORY! This is the "public relations chief," too!

A question for Burness: Have you no common sense, sir? At long last, have you left no common sense?

It's the students, stupid.

Brodhead, pack your bags. Spinelessness should not be rewarded.

On another note, I appreciate reading highfalutin writers like Skube deride "artless opinionators on the Internet." Even the hack Henderson had to mention the "Blogosphere."

In my lay-psychiatric opinion, based upon a scientific sampling of over 20 million news articles and editorials over the past three years, there is a 98.4% correlation between the use of such terms and laziness or fear. (margin of sampling error - 2%)*

Laziness, because they fail to do the work that bloggers do. Fear, as their positions will likely soon go the way of the neighborhood smithy.

Finally, Henderson's lack of knowledge of the basic facts of the case was shocking (or, did he hide the facts, like Nifong, because they were "exculpatory").

*sampling data made up.

anotherfac said...

..Nearly nine months out, not one of the Group of 88 has retracted his or her signature from the document...

KC has done a wonderful job with the wonderland series of columns, but on of the few mistakes has been not to let the 88 go. The listening statement, if one reads what it says, says a lot about the authors (students), little about the faculty who "signed on", and really nothing about lacrosse or the team.

durham said...

From 1:59 am's item:

Schools, crime, downtown, roads, the economy and getting over the Duke lacrosse rape case..

Roads and the economy and doing fine. Schools and crime are some good and some bad.

The downtown is undergoing the most extensive renovation and rebuilding of any place I've ever been. What's been completed downtown is really well done, most every downtown building has been sold to a deveopment project, and there is construction everywhere. People who are working only from memories even 6 months old are out of date.

So, please don't over generalize.

Anonymous said...

Roman P's 10:27 is brilliant. Everyone should read it.

Remember, 84.1% of permanent faculty signatories of the Listening Statement describe their research interests as related to race, class or gender.

We should think positively: Duke has the opportunity to be in the vanguard of transforming the academic breeding grounds of hate and academic waste. Do not abandon Duke.

Anonymous said...

"We should think positively: Duke has the opportunity to be in the vanguard of transforming the academic breeding grounds of hate and academic waste. Do not abandon Duke."

That's charitable. They've shown no inclination take advantage of that opportunity.


Anonymous said...

Downtown redevelopment- yes, buildings were going cheap. Some owners just couldn't wait out over twenty years of incompetence,
indecision, mismanagement, waste, crime, bickering, taxes and abuse by durham city leaders.
Good luck with their investments.

KC Johnson said...

On the 88:

The statement was of extraordinary significance in how events unfolded--how often, in any circumstances, do you see 88 faculty members issuing a public statement denouncing the behavior of their own students--much less when those students are the target of a prosecutor whose procedural violations already were beginning to emerge (the public reversal on DNA, the procedurally improper comments). Any fair-minded resident of Durham would, correctly, have interpreted this action as extraordinary. They might even have, as statement author Wahneema Lubiano told ESPN, intepreted the statement as a "stake" through the "collective heart" of the lacrosse team.

Yet this group, which was so eager to speak out at the time, has now either constructed its own wall of silence, or continued to issue comments (Grant Farred, Karla Holloway, Alex Rosenberg) suggesting that they're unaware of everything that's transpired in the case since March 29. Moreover, when other Duke profs have tried to speak out on behalf of the players (the aborted law school petition, Steve Baldwin's statement), they've been quick to denounce the "free speech" of others.

Anonymous said...

KC...thoughts on law suits from the entire team, to the coach , to the e-mailer, to the Duke 3... includes ...Duke, Durham County, Nifong, MSM slander etc?

GPrestonian said...


I think that 10:51 Anon's suggested correction is right:

You said:

'In Idaho, columnist Tom Henderson in the Lewiston Morning Tribune sneers that the filing of ethics charges against Nifong “must be a moment of profound jubilation down at the country club.”'

Aonon 10:51 & I both believe that he's sneering at the country club set because the rape charges have been dropped.

Henderson's very next sentence after the country club lead-in is "Charges that members of Duke University's lacrosse team raped a stripper have been dropped."

You go on to say:

''Any mention of the state bar filing ethics charges against Nifong? No.'

Anonymous said...

KC's right

the real drama is yet to come

to b a fly on the wall in either brodhead's office or holloway's classroom

i'm gettin all choked up

come on men, let's take over this place--lol

what a bunch of dopes!

wait a minute that sounds like i gots the title

the best is yet to come--and it will definitely be funny


bill anderson said...

There WILL be lawsuits against Duke, of that I am pretty sure. Remember, these families were among the most loyal to Duke University in this whole country. These families LIVED Duke, and they truly loved their alma mater.

Duke University in NO uncertain terms told them (1) we hate you, (2) your sons are rapists, (3) we don't want to hear any complaints from you, and (4) please send your checks, anyway.

Duke not only alientated the lacrosse families, but also has managed to alienate a much larger group of people who would be "paying customers." This is going to hurt the university in so many ways.

Anonymous said...

"Roman Polanski"/"jc":

Your posts are quite frustrating: I thoroughly agree with virtually everything you say, but your writing style is infuriating. The lack of periods is an affectation that isn't at all charming.

It's also baffling to me, because clearly you have valuable ideas to offer yet you don't seem interested in communicating them as efficiently and seamlessly as you easily could.

rdubose said...

Nifong and Brodhead both understood, from an early date, that no crime had occurred. I think it is easy to prove this - beyond a reasonable doubt.
This is the fact that is the war-club that will be used to beat the brains out of the bad guys.
If this was all just about yet another corrupt southern DA not many people would be obsessed with this twisted saga.
But here is the real deal: In the on-coming century, we as a nation are going to have to take on a resurgent China/India. (BTW, I admire them). Alert folks are going to start to ask awkward questions of our educational intitutions. One of which is, "Why do you get off stigmatizing and dehumanizing the slice of our demographic that can actually compete successfully"?

GPrestonian said...

Another article / essay hot off the presses (& found at LieStoppers' Media Roundup thread):

Thomas Sowell Jan 1, 2007 - The Real Issue At Duke

Anonymous said...

3:54--I apologize, but I'm usually in multitask mode, plus I never learned to type.

I'm in a good mood today, having finally discovered how I might present this material to a producer (hint: POV: Richard Brodhead).

I'll comment on stuff later.

Thanks for your interest.


GPrestonian said...

Re: my 4:14pm link to Thomas Sowell's column - simple, short, and to the devastating point. I did notice one 'oddity' (to me, anyway):

"Now, Nifong faced a tough election against a woman he had once fired and who would undoubtedly fire him if she became District Attorney."

Did Nifong fire Freda Black twice? He fired her the day after he won the primary in May, didn't he? Is Sowell saying that he had previously fired her? Math does not compute...

GPrestonian said...

Re: my 4:22:

Correction - Nifong apparently fired Freda Black the day after he was appointed DA for Judicial Didtrict 14.

Concerned Texan said...

It seems to me that in recent days with all the focus on Nifong and the Wendy Murphy's of the world that we have (temporarily) lost sit of the role Brodhead and his yes men and woman, Burness, Trask and Dean Sue in particular, played in the Duke drama. Also, Bob Steel's role, which may have been influenced by ambitions to follow Hank Paulson to the Treasury and related need to not let negative PR get in the way, needs some close scrutiny. Bob , who pulled Brodheads strings early on, needs to come clean, at a minimum he needs to recognize the his current conflict and resign from the Trustees. The damage done by these characters, it seems to me, did more damage than the group of 88.

Concerned Texan said...

Forgive my last post suggesting we had lost site of Brodhead. In the future I will read all the comments before I satisfy my compulsion to say something.

Anonymous said...

Typos are inevitable. But too many D-i-W readers carelessly post items without reading them.

Anonymous said...


"Even if Collin, David, and Reade don't get any money out of her, they should still sue her."

My concern is that *she* will sue *them*. Remember OJ - free in criminal court but nailed in civil court? Imagine CGM suing in a Durham civil court. I figure the chances of coming up with an award would be pretty good, because, after all, they're rich, white and *something* must have happened.

The Duke 3's legal team must be anticipating this. I wonder how they intend to preclude any lawsuits?

Anonymous said...

the above poster is actually correct. The accuser can still go forward in civil court and the burden of proof would be less than in a criminal case. A change of venue is not possible for a civil case as it is always tried in the jurisdiction it is filed in and in this case Durham, NC.

Anonymous said...

im so disgusted
i been out of the country for 8 months
a fantasy around the world trip
at 45 about time huh
95% of the people i met loved american people
and hated the govenment
and you have such fair treatment for your people
as that guy in jordan said explaining cops and criminals in america
innocent till proven guilty
explaining to his friend what that was and his friend was like WHAT?
a friend well a sex buddy from the past
hes a senior now at duke
emailed me
with this sorry story
cause he knows i was and am political
and i was like is this the story of last march?
reading the wilmington journal editorial
i was stunned
by the cynicism
and the false position they put forward
that is not the black communities
let justice or injustice come
then we do something about it
and who are those rich white boys getting justice before us
and ruined lives are just for a little bit?
i assure your readers
100's if not 1000's of black mothers in durham
with sons in prison or out and SO effected by what happened
let me tell you they could sit down with a lacrosse mother and talk so well
the truth
the wilmington journal editorial staff
who ever they are
are sellouts hiding behind the black community
their postion on change of venue and evidence and da misconduct
appalling sellout
but remember something
the naacp refused to defend the scotburo boys in the beginning
cause it was about rape
i wish you well and will follow this case