Monday, January 01, 2007

WRAL: Carrying Nifong's Water?

A peculiarly imbalanced story on Mike Nifong's impending swearing-in recently appeared on the WRAL website.

The piece noted the controversy surrounding the swearing-in, and notes that "the intense scrutiny he has received from the Duke University lacrosse case leave some wondering whether he will be able to finish the term."

Yet only one person is quoted in the article: one of the few defenders of Nifong remaining, Irving Joyner. Joyner is identified solely as an NCCU law professor. The article contains no mention that he is serving as the "case monitor" of the pro-accuser NAACP; nor is he identified as someone who has repeatedly over the last several months rationalized Nifong's handling of the case.

Joyner describes Nifong as under pressure from "three of the best defense attorneys in the state shooting after him" (with a vague insinuation they're doing something wrong), and the state bar. No mention of the Conference of DA's letter.

And what will Nifong's fate be? Joyner speaks as if he's reading from a Nifong press release:
"The State Bar is not the place you make an example of someone. The State Bar is there to protect the public and protect the profession and the protect the professionals within the bar," he said, adding that he would be surprised if the group moves for disbarment.

Joyner said he doesn't see the lacrosse case as one that will ultimately define Nifong's career. Once the Duke case is dealt with, he said, Nifong will be judged on how he handles the everyday duties of his office.
Joyner is, of course, entitled to his opinion. But WRAL viewers are entitled to know of Joyner's biases.

39 comments:

GPrestonian said...

"Joyner said he doesn't see the lacrosse case as one that will ultimately define Nifong's career."

To 'Nifong' & 'Nifonged' will succeed 'truthiness' as next year's M-W Word of the Year. This case will be the ONLY thing that Nifong is remembered for, his name & countenance etched forever in the halls of prosecutorial infamy.

Joyner - what a maroon! ;>)

Anonymous said...

Just like people being black prevents schools from admitting the most qualified applicants, it also causes schools to hire people as professors who otherwise wouldnt be able to call themselves by such a title.

This Joyner guy is another example of why blacks will always be looked at as inferior and why smart blacks who only want to accomplish things on merit are ridiculed and called uncle toms by their own race.

Back to watching the White Entertainment Channel....

Anonymous said...

This one is a losing cause...and I would leave it.

The official black community in the triangle is feeling humuliated by the turn of events and has turned to Joyner for its well-spoken dose of disinformation.

Think of him as Tony Snow. Or Baghhad Bob.

Anonymous said...

Joyner is delusional. Even Nifong thinks this is a central case.

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer: The article isn't balanced. However, it is a holiday weekend maybe with minimum staffing. Let us see what they do tommorow morning if Nifong takes the oath of office for another 4 years.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

I wish someone will be at the courthouse with a video camera so Nifong can go on YouTube for all of america to see, what a real court jester looks like.

I do wish I could be there.

GPrestonian said...

7:40:

No, no, it's his other case that's the big one. He has 2 cases, or did you forget!? ;>)

Anonymous said...

If the state bar is not the medium to chastise the Fong,maybe Mr. Joyner will welcome an Federal investgation???????

Wilt

Anonymous said...

With just about everyone piling on Nifong these days it is odd that WRAL managed to stumble across one of the few people left who will defend him. Oh well. Maybe they lost everyone else's phone numbers?

Anonymous said...

Who owns WRAL?

Anonymous said...

Please can someone on here advise?

As Nifong has Sword of Damocles hanging over him ,is he still allowed to be so arrogant as to go through with his swearing in tomorrow?

It all sounds rather hypocritical of this corrupt individual.

Will Nifong have to resign from the position any time soon? Thanks

Wilt

gs said...

The Charlotte Observer, has even coined a neologism using his name: "Now we can 'Nifong' someone when we want to trump up criminal charges based on flimsy evidence allegedly for political purposes.

Nifong has made a name for himself.

Anonymous said...

A Duke wanna be


http://www.cbc-raleigh.com/history/jfg.asp

Anonymous said...

Swearing in a DA under investigation by the Bar and DA Association simply makes no sense.

If it is allowed to happen, the governor and the state will look like fools. Edwards will look like he represents a bunch of nits.

I simply cannot believe this will happen - too many bigshots enshrine themselves forever in the museum of rot.

Anonymous said...

7:08
I submit that you went a little overboard with "...why blacks will always be looked at as inferior..."
Always is a long time...
The Civil Rights movement is relatively young, and detritus like Joyner is too prevalent. But there are bright spots also - whether or not they are called Uncle Toms by their own race. One can hope that one day history will look back at Joyner and his ilk as a repulsive component of an eventual attainment of full civil rights for all Americans - even white males.

Anonymous said...

What a perfect time for mass media to descend upon the swearing-in ceremony. He will be unable to lock the door or tape up the window.

Anonymous said...

The height of hypocrisy will be the swearing in. He will be lying with his fingers crossed behind his back to uphold the Constitution. Nifong will continue this hoax for as long as he can, to string these young men along and not drop all charges is criminal. Joyner is an ignorant fool who is a racist. Because the accuser is black then no matter what the evidence states he will believe everyword she says just because she is black. He makes the entire black community look stupid and ignorant.

gs said...

As I understand it, even Nifong swaering the oath in front of a notary public would be legal. A judge is normally used, but they would forever be assosiated with Nifong.

Nifong could get sworn in, in a private room with just a handful of people.

It will be interesting to see if Nifong makes it a "public event" on Tue, or takes the oath like a "thief in the night".

Anonymous said...

And I am sure every experience Joyner has had with blacks has been a positive one?!

Anonymous said...

I say compare Joyner's DNA with Meehans find. Might be a professor-student thing.

bill anderson said...

Wilt is on board!! Life is good!!

Wilt, you should have seen us doing the fireworks last night!

Durham Lawyer said...

I think we supporters of the players need to be careful not to get into the mindset that the writer of every article that is not "on message" must be a supporter of injustice and the railroading of innocent people. We have to be careful not to become the thought police we so criticize. Do we really want every single newspaper and TV station to sign a pledge of fidelity to the players? Do we really want the N&O and WRAL and other media outlets to become reverse versions of the "snooze room?"

I also think we have to remember that there is an entertainment component to the news. Everything that happens or that people say, especially if it's controversial, is subject to becoming fodder for the rating machine. How many of us now will tune into WRAL tonight at 11:00 1)to be outraged and 2)to watch a few commercials?

Durham Lawyer

Anonymous said...

In the context of this case that would seem to be a not unreasonable suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Come on KC, the article was fine.

When you post insignificant things like this, it waters down your other outstanding (and significant) posts and makes you look silly, like you are trying way too hard to expose media bias, reaching too much, etc.

Anonymous said...

Once Nifong is indicted I think the h-s will lose a good half of its' subsciber base.

Anonymous said...

I would expect this will be the Night of the Long Knives - though generally I have been wrong about these things.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

I do not see that article as carrying the water for Nifong as much as Prof. Johnson does. The Joyner stuff was in the last least read paragraphs. Earlier in the article was the mention of the NC Bar charges.

I would not be surprised if the Durham Herald article on his swearing in ignores the controversies surrrounding him completely.

GPrestonian said...

I sent an email to Julia Lewis, the repoter for the WRAL article. Will post her reply, if any.

OK, sounds like the latest few natives are restless, time to move on! LOL Here's the next topic, should KC decide to accept the assignment!

FOX News 1/1/07 - Susan Estrich: Duke Prosecutor's Fourth Victim

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

9:30 certainly the MSM particularly print media are dying out. But people subscribe to the Durham paper for high school sports, comics, movie listing, local ads, coverage of the Durham Bulls, ect.

I happen not to subscribe to my local paper now, but buy it from time to time for some of these reasons. Information about stories that are covered nationally or information about opinions is no where on my list.

I suspect it is much the same with the Durham paper and while this case is harming them, hyperbole aside they will lose nothing like half their subscribers.

KC Johnson said...

To the 9.30:

As I said, I don't have any problem with Lewis interviewing Joyner.

But at the very least, she should identify him as someone with a formal connection to the case (as NAACP "monitor"), not as a neutral law professor.

For the overwhelming segment of the WRAL viewership that wouldn't know of Joyner's connection, this isn't good reporting.

Moreover, it seems to me that most legal observers would disagree with Joyner's assertions. It's unusual reporting, therefore, to quote from only one analyst, not identify that source's connection to the case, and have that source represent an opinion that doesn't seem to reflect majority opinion.

Anonymous said...

9:44
You are proably correct but it does seem to me that both blacks and whites are going to feel that they were flim-flamed by the h-s.

Everyone knew Nifong was lying and that includes the h-s. The h-s will pay in my view.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

Professor Johnson, I certainly agree with you that WRAL should have let its web readers know the bias of Professor Joyner and could have quoted someone on the other side particularly since the other side is likely the majority now.

Anonymous said...

Nifong supporters are trying to convince you, KC, that the WRAL story was "fine." No, it wasn't "fine" and it was second-rate journalism. No reporter or broadcast outlet should make this mistake. Don't be misled by the Nifong supporters.

Anonymous said...

Joyner has not made a correct statement about this case before so no sense starting now. Might as well be wrong until the bitter end.

E said...

What makes this more odd is that WRAL has been a fairly good source of information about this incident often seeming to take a pro/lax stance.

Anonymous said...

The owner of WRAL, Jim Goodmon, is a Duke alumnist.

Anonymous said...

Write to Jim Goodmon, if that's how he spells his last name.

Anonymous said...

Goodmon attended Duke but did not grduate. He joined the Navy. I wonder what caused that?

GPrestonian said...

OK, here's the response I received from Julias Lewis, the WRAL reporter on this piece:

gprestonian-
Hope this New Year finds you well.

1) Unfortunately, I was unable to reach anyone else - perhaps because it was a holiday. Believe me, I called everyone under the sun! I think however I balanced the piece citing that many believe Nifong won't be allowed to serve out his four year term and that he is under serious scrutiny for his judgment and integrity in the handling of the Duke lacrosse case. I also said in the piece that the state bar has questions about his honesty.

2) You are right, I should've mentioned he's the NAACP case watcher. Just a side note- if you talk with Professor Joyner , I think you may find that he's not necessarily a Nifong "supporter".... in a story Ken Smith did last Friday, Joyner said Nifong should probably recuse himself from the case.

3)Unfortunately, we only have a minute and 15 seconds for our stories- I felt the State Bar complaint was much more important to focus on since the Conference of District Attorneys is not a regulatory body. We did full stories on their stance Friday, Saturday and Sunday. (and we were able to reach and interview Professor Coleman last week!)

I hope that answers your questions- to some degree! I also think if you look at our complete coverage you will find that we have done a fair and balanced job. We do NOT however do editorials/opinion pieces that newspapers are allowed to do- instead, we lay out the facts and let viewers make up their minds. I'm sure if we did do editorials- there wouldn't be much time left for the rest of the day's news!!!!!! :)

Thank you for taking the time to write. Feedback like yours always helps us to do our jobs better in the days ahead.

Take care- Julia