Monday, March 19, 2007

March Madness, II

After going through the 10 worst op-eds/editorials yesterday, today’s bracket of the blog’s version of March Madness—the worst of the case—features the 10 worst “news” articles. As with yesterday’s bracket, the worst of the worst ranked is #1. Reader nominations are welcome in the comment thread. Worst of the Duke arts and sciences faculty publications come tomorrow.

10.) Sal Ruibal, “Duke Works to Learn Truth, Guard Image,” USA Today, March 30, 2006. In his basic summary of the early case, here’s how Ruibal described events: “University officials agree that a March 13 party thrown by three captains of the nationally ranked lacrosse team became a drunken soiree that included two female party dancers.” A “drunken soiree”? And Ruibal tracked down a Duke graduate student, Michelle Christian, to provide a damning, absurd quote: “I’m still afraid that the people involved will just get a slap on the wrist. Because of Duke’s culture of privilege and superiority, they’ll get away with it.

9.) Ray Gronberg, “Cop Who Arrested Duke Students Doing Job,” Herald-Sun, Sept. 12, 2006. In early September, Michael Biesecker of the N&O broke a troubling story: Sgt. Mark Gottlieb had a wildly disproportionate record of arresting Duke students. A few days later, Jared Muller the Chronicle obtained interviews with several of the students, revealing deeply disturbing details about Gottlieb’s behavior. How did Durham’s hometown newspaper respond? By a story saying that Gottlieb was just following orders, and in which reporter Ray Gronberg admitted he never looked at the (publicly available) police files in question. For this he blamed not himself but instead a mysterious figure he labeled “Bethany.” This lacrosse-case equivalent of Madonna or Cher, apparently a Durham celebrity who was known to all by first name only, was allegedly an employee of Durham attorney Bob Ekstrand. “Bethany,” Gronberg said, had the key information, but she refused to speak with him on the record. Alas, Ekstrand has no one in his office with either a first or last name of “Bethany.”

8.) Ray Gronberg, “‘60 Minutes’ Interview Draws Local Reaction,” Herald-Sun, October 16, 2006. Although billed as a “roundtable” discussion on the case, the H-S invited only people who believed that a trial must occur, regardless of how much procedural misconduct Nifong had committed, or the amount of exculpatory evidence the players presented or other media outlets (not, of course, the H-S) uncovered. NAACP “case monitor” Irving Joyner set the tone with his pro-prosecution spin; African-American Durham minister Carl Kenney asserted that “it’s important that when there’s a claim of rape, the accuser has her day in court”; and one of the students appeared to condemn 60 Minutes for producing a report that would “agitate people.”

7.) Janet Reitman, “Sex and Scandal at Duke,” Rolling Stone, July 2006. That the article was cited in the Campus Culture Initiative report (one of only two bibliographical sources) and is assigned in Anne Allison’s springtime class, “Group of 88 for Credit,” gives some sense of its quality. Reitman employed the Group of 88’s favorite tactic—quotes from anonymous alleged students—to prove her case that Duke females have a “retro view of rape.” She subsequently blamed editors for having created the impression that she was describing the Duke social scene as a whole. And since she discussed a wild party at a fraternity that doesn’t even exist on Duke’s campus, Reitman appears to be the perfect example of a journalist whose goal was to find facts that would fit her story, and make them up as necessary.

6.) Michael Corey, “Phantom in Wonderland,” Blue Devil Weekly, February 5, 2007. Corey denounced the “seething” and “shrieking” blog attacks against the Group of 88, who he portrayed as victims of the blogs in the same way that the three indicted players were victims of Mike Nifong. Yet Corey’s article cited not even one blog post that he deemed “seething” and “shrieking.” An author concerned with “seething” and “shrieking” rhetoric, it seems, might have been offended by Houston Baker calling the lacrosse players “farm animals.” Or by Bill Chafe arguing that the whites who lynched Emmett Till provided the appropriate context through which to interpret the actions of the lacrosse players. Corey’s only comment about such professors? Their lives were forever changed when they signed the Group of 88’s statement, which subjected them to “seething” and “shrieking” attacks from blogs—from which, of course, he never quoted—and from the “lemmings” and “locusts” that read blogs.

5.) Duff Wilson, “Duke Rape Case Shadows an Unusual Race,” New York Times, Nov. 1, 2006. After producing a 5600-word magnum opus that never even mentioned that Mike Nifong had a general election opponent, Duff Wilson returned to Durham with a 1081-word pre-election preview. In the article, Wilson devoted more space to a candidate polling 2 percent six days before the vote (Steve Monks) than I have ever seen in any New York Times political story. And he finished with three unabashed pro-Nifong statements, including the following from Ron Stephens: “He’s a good person, he’s a good lawyer, but he’s in a situation he has never been in before.” Wilson ignored Stephens’ connection to the lacrosse case, apparently not considering it newsworthy that Nifong was receiving a character endorsement from the very judge who had signed the NTO order and the order unsealing the McFadyen e-mail, and had presided over the initial hearings of the case itself.

4.) Sal Ruibal, “Rape Allegations Cast Pall at Duke,” USA Today, March 30, 2006. Here’s how Ruibal led his story: “The flier being distributed outside Duke’s student union Wednesday night looked like a wanted poster: 40 faces of young men, smiling smugly for the camera . . . These men are wanted on the Duke campus. Their fellow students want them to come forward about what happened in a shabby off-campus house March 13. Police say the athletes have refused to cooperate with their investigation.” That a reporter effectively celebrated one of the darkest episodes of this case—the vigilante poster—is astonishing. Ruibal also tracked down a grad student (in, of course, cultural anthropology and women’s studies) who described the allegations as undisputed fact: “It is important that we not let this go down easily. There’s a culture of rape at Duke, so we’re hoping this will get them to speak up. This rape is a symptom of a larger problem at Duke.” The only other student quoted was a graduating senior, who stated, Lubiano-like, “The members of this lacrosse team aren’t the only people who exercise their privilege on the bodies and minds of those of us in their environment.”

----------

A gap separates the top three articles in this bracket, since the three pieces below not only were shabby journalism but also either directly stimulated or kept alive a case that has now been exposed as a fraud.

3.) John Stevenson, “Lawyers Haggle over DNA Matches,” Herald-Sun, August 1, 2006. The closest thing in the case to an out-and-out journalistic fraud. Stevenson obtained access to the Meehan DNA files, presumably from his sources in Nifong’s office. Not only did he miss the biggest story of the case—the Nifong-Meehan DNA conspiracy to withhold exculpatory DNA evidence—but Stevenson managed to portray the Meehan tests as favorable to Nifong (with, of course, the requisite quote from Irving Joyner) while suggesting that items revealed by the N&O and WRAL in May were first reported by him on August 1.

2.) Samiha Khanna, “Dancer Gives Details of Ordeal,” N&O, March 25, 2006. Seven times, the story described the accuser as a “victim”—not alleged victim, not accuser, not complainant. Although the accuser’s police record was publicly available, the article did not mention it. Nor did it reveal the accuser’s claims about the second dancer robbing her. Nor did it provide context for a closing quote from Duke Law professor Paul Haagen that studies show that “helmet sports . . . are sports of violence,” since most such studies do not include lacrosse players.

None of this context was provided. Instead, the story played as a morality tale of the virtuous black accuser being verbally and sexually assaulted by the out-of-control white athletes. The N&O, it’s worth noting, has published more quality articles on the case than every other newspaper combined. But the effect of this story—which framed the way the case was discussed in the initial days—was enormously harmful.

1.) Duff Wilson and Jonathan Glater, “Files from Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers,” New York Times, August 25, 2006. Of the four brackets for DIW’s “March Madness,” this was the easiest #1 seed: could there have any been doubt about the worst “news” article of the case? This story had it all. Using as its spine the transparently phony “straight-from-memory” Gottlieb notes. Saying over and over again that discrepancies couldn’t be “explained” by the authors. Four out-and-out factual errors, three of which went uncorrected, the fourth corrected in a misleading fashion. Distorting the medical evidence. Ignoring the political context in which Nifong operated. Quoting Gottlieb’s memorandum that a fellow officer said the accuser had bruises in photos taken on March 16, but not mentioning that the photos (which were in the discovery file) showed no bruises. Suggesting that the accuser--a person who never told the same story twice--was basically consistent in her myriad, mutually contradictory tales.

Perhaps most remarkable, Wilson and Glater had access to the entire April 4 lineup, so they knew of the accuser’s multiple mistakes (identifying people who weren’t there, misindentifying the player who made the broomstick comment, not identifying people she was 100 percent certain of seeing in the March 16 ID). Yet in an article that spanned more than 5600 words, they did not consider this item even worth a mention—despite the fact that the April 4 lineup, as Nifong would later admit, constituted the only evidence he possessed against the three players indicted. In fact, in their article, Wilson and Glater actually suggested the accuser's ability to recall from the lineup was unusually impressive.

Journalism schools in the future looking for a case study of how to get an important story entirely wrong should consult the Wilson/Glater August 25 article.

58 comments:

Michael said...

re: #10 A Drunken Soiree

Duke LAX Picture Living Room

is more like a pretty boring show.

hman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The winner is New York al-Times? I'm shocked, shocked!

Somehow I can't say I'm surprised to see NYT to claim number 1 spot. New York Slimes is the biggest disgrace and propaganda machine in this country. I can't see anybody outside dailykos/Gang88 ilk buying that paper.

Anonymous said...

N&O and Khanna came in a close second.

Anonymous said...

For the silliest article I've seen, I would nominate the following, which I described in an unanswered letter to the editor in question in these terms: "I'm writing as a faithful online reader of the Guardian/Observer over the past several years, grateful for finding here news well before it crosses the pond, if at all. But my faith in the accuracy of your reporting has been damaged first by a recent column by your Washington agent's account of the Lacrosse scandal at Duke University, where I have taught for forty-five years, and even further by Paul Harris' Observer article on Sunday, 21st May. The Devil (a mascot colored blue at this university) is, as every reporter should be aware, in the details, and here journalists for weeks now have failed to meet the test (most often by failing to read the last sentence or two of the dispatches from which they derive their 'first-hand' observations). The totality of Harris' piece is clearly based on material readily available online except for his attempt to introduce local color into his piece, as if to demonstrate on-the-spot reporting. 'The house stands locked and empty', he writes of the site of the alleged rape, 'the blinds in its grimy windows drawn tight. Across the road stand the Gothic buildings of Duke University, now embroiled in controversy after allegations of a brutal rape behind the house's white-painted door'. [Is this "The Mysteries of Udolfo," I ask myself, or "Irene Iddesleigh"?] Well, the door is white-painted, sure enough, though the East Campus across the street from this 'gruesome' scene is a mix of 1928 Georgian, turn-of-the century Roman imperial, and, most recently a dormitory complex in a postmodern version of Dutch Colonial whose architects are the ones, if anybody, who should be carted off to jail. Perhaps Mr. Harris' seeing-eye dog could not convey to him the complexity of this scene...."
Thanks to this blog and its siblings, I like to think that Mr. Harris might be more circumspect nearly a year later. Indeed the day of the Citizen Journalist (to use the "Liestoppers" phrase) seems to have arrived. For an informative article on the accomplishments of Josh Marshall 's blog "Talking Points Memo" see Terry McDermott's article "Blogs can top the presses" in the LATimes for 17 March:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-blogs17mar17,0,4018765,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Anonymous said...

Jon Ham from the Right Angle blog:

The “some Iraqis” McClatchy speaks with

The News & Observer’s “Q” section ran a story today with this headline: “What do the Iraqis think?” It was written by McClatchy (The N&O’s owner) Baghdad Bureau Chief Leila Fadel. The story was filed nearly two weeks ago with this headline: “4 years after invasion, many Iraqis look back with longing.”

In her story, Fadel interviews four people and comes to convey that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. How did she choose these four people? Were they picked at random or did she know in advance they were disillusioned and secretly longed for the days of Saddam? And how did four people become “many” in the headline?

Meanwhile, an actual poll of more than four people paints a different picture. The headline on this story from Britain’s TimesOnline is: “Resilient Iraqis ask what civil war?” This story, published today and not two weeks ago, says:

The poll, the biggest since coalition troops entered Iraq on March 20, 2003, shows that by a majority of two to one, Iraqis prefer the current leadership to Saddam Hussein’s regime, regardless of the security crisis and a lack of public services.

If you ever wanted to know how a biased media can create fiction from truth, go no further than McClatchy’s Leila Fadel.

Anonymous said...

I cancelled my subscription to the NYT on the day Nifong excused himself from the case.

A few days later, a nice young lady from the paper called to make sure I intended to cancel and asked why. I kindly told her "because it's a lousy paper." When she asked if I would like to donate any issues to some worthy recipient, I laughed, then said, "I'm sorry. I wouldn't give this paper to my dog." After she apologized and I let her know that my comments weren't at all aimed at her personally and we hung up, I felt relieved that I would never send a dime to that rag again.

Anonymous said...

I remember the first big ESPN article (and most after it) as being pretty terrible as well. The time when ESPN was considered to have high journalistic standards seems like a distant fantasyland.

Bakerman said...

With the resources to mislead so many, the New York Times takes the prize in both laziness and journalistic incompetence.

I suggest #1 and #5 be combined.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

1. I agree all on the list were worthy and the NYTimes top ranked article was worthy of that spot.

2. I was very happy to see you not give the N&O an undeserved pass this time and mention the failure of the paper to include the full interview including the comments about Roberts [aka Pittman.]

3. The only omission from your list I can think of is the NCCU article on Mamgum where the reporter later admitted she self editted unfavorable comments about Mangum from her neighbors because it did not fit the Mangum as victim theme she was crafting.

Anonymous said...

No wonder newspapers are in big trouble with circulation off. With this kind of reporting it is only going to get worse and they deserve it. How did it come to this? I am mad all over again after reading these recaps.

Luke said...

Perhaps a crossover, but for the future Duke faculty nominees, please consider Timothy B. Tyson. Tyson, author of the book "Blood Done Sign My Name," is a senior research scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies and visiting professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture at Duke's Divinity School. A sampling: "One of the women has small children and is trying to put herself through N.C. Central University. Our society has chosen to withhold support from people who seek to improve their lot. Grants and loans have become much harder to obtain at the same time that the gap between rich and poor yawns wider every day. The Duke students took advantage of the woman's position. In doing so, they stepped into a tragic and painful history that still resonates."
A few choice entries from Mr. Tyson: News&Observer Editorial Ugly past echoes in Duke case

Photo of Tyson Protesting In Front of 610 Buchanan

Oh, and as to the Divinity School's divine approach to the lacrosse incident, read: Divinity School Responds To Events Surrounding Duke Lacrosse Team A blurb: "We as a Divinity School community are deeply troubled by the events surrounding the Duke Lacrosse team. While there are currently more questions than answers about the specifics, the broader issues of sex, gender, race, money, power, and Duke-Durham relations continue to affect us. We are particularly mindful of these issues and the struggles they represent during this Women's Week in the Divinity School, and Sexual Assault Prevention Week in the whole University. Our community is engaged in various activities to express lament and sorrow, and to listen to God and one another in the midst of struggles and pain. Earlier this week we invited the community to pray together and to join in solidarity as a part of morning worship through a time of silence."

Luke said...

Further to my comment on Timothy Tyson, for those who are able to, listen to this MP3 of his radio interview on the Duke Lacrosse case...truly incredible, you have got to hear this:

http://www.ibiblio.org/wunc_archives/sot/audioarchive//sot032706a.mp3

Anonymous said...

Many students in journalism schools at America's universities are indoctrinated early that it is their calling to "make a difference".

And how do they "make a difference"? Not by reporting the truth (which as any journalism student can tell you, is "relative"), but by fabricating evidence and distorting presented opinions to fit a pre-desired story line.

Many products of journalism schools learn early the maxim that "the ends justify the means". Stalin would be pleased.

Lonetown said...

This will not only be a lesson for journalists.

The skill and professionalism of this blog and a few others have demonstrated the power of the written word when used properly.

This stuff is like garlic to a vampire as far as the MSM is concerned. Your taking money right out of their pockets, because they abandoned ethical journalistic practices and you didn't!

JWM said...

The Raleigh N&O's March 25 anonymous interview story IMHO should be #1.

I'd also put the N&O's Apr. 9 "Swagger" story high on my top ten list.

Sure, Duff Wilson and Jonathan Glater's story was terrible.

But it came five months after the N&O first began savaging the players and telling us about the frightened "young mother."

John in Carolina

RIchard Aubrey said...

I don't get it.
Why would a journalism school think the NYT's Wilson story was something to avoid?

bill anderson said...

Once again you have done us a great service. I cannot imagine an "incident" which has produce more bad journalism than this one. Why? Because modern American newsrooms are as politically correct as the typical college and university faculties. This was something waiting to happen, and more than 40 young men and their families now understand what political correctness really means.

Anonymous said...

Sweetmick says there is no justice if Truthless Sheehan of the N&O is not included in this list. From her "silence is sickening" to "we know you know" to the way she felt Mrs. Evans' was "arrogant" for her "you've picked on the wrong families" statement on 60 minutes, Sheehan has shown she is more dangerous to truth and justice than the Group of 88 and Nifong. It was the press in all its forms that enabled and encouraged Nifong, and Sheehan was leading the charge.

JWM said...

I'd put the N&O's March 25 "anonymous interview" story #1.

The N&O’s March 25 story of the frightened young mother beaten and gang-raped by three Duke lacrosse players whose teammates had formed a “wall of solidarity” the “authorities have vowed to crack” launched the witch hunt.
.
The NY Times’ Wilson/Glater August 25 story was terrible but it came five months after the witch hunt was launched.

And what about many other N&O news stories such as it’s “Priors” story and its “Swagger” story?

They’d be on my top 10 list.

John in Carolina

Zombie said...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7668930

In March 1 NPR story, Janet Reitman did say that in retrospect it looks like the LAX team is innocent.

Anonymous said...

The NY Times couldn't figure out what was going on in its own city. It was responsible for the protection of its citizens in explaining the initial bombing of the World Trade Towers. It just cannot interface reality. It must make everything politically correct. It has never told the truth about Jayson Blair. It has just "moved on."

scott said...

This is a compendium of the reasons why I have refused to subscribe to a newspaper for years and will never do so again. There is no way I'm going to support their trash with my hard-earned money. Everything worthwhile on the pages of the legend-in-their-own-minds New York Times can be found on the internet for free.

So called "journalists" in print and picture formats have been getting away with providing an inferior product since their inception, but it has declined precipitously in the last 3 decades.

These "journalists" make the claim that they are neutral when in fact the overwhelming majority (between 80 and 90 percent) lean one-way politically and have an agenda to match. At least the "journalists" in Europe are upfront about their bias. Journalism in the US has a lot to learn about being honest.

People who read newspapers and watch American TV "news" should always remember the old adage "Cavaet Emptor."

Nifong's hat trick said...

"Duke Works to Learn Truth, Guard Image.” Did Sal Ruibal mention who exactly in Duke's administration was working to find the truth?

Michael Corey denounced "seething and shrieking blog attacks against Group of 88, did he also denounce the seething and shrieking attacks FROM the group of 88 AGAINST the Duke LAX players?

Sal Ruibal “Rape allegations Cast Pall at Duke”
Student quote “The members of this Lacrosse team aren’t the only people who exercise their privilege on the bodies and minds of those of us in their environment.” How true, the members of the Lacrosse team AREN'T the ONLY people who exercise their privelege on the bodies and minds of those in their environment,the PROFESSORS are the ONLY people who do that!

Anonymous said...

I am reminded of the Change of Venue motion that cited news articles, op-ed pieces, and TV reports. KC focuses on the top 10, but the volume of articles is astounding in itself. The COV motion in December had counted 295 articles and 20 unsigned editorials from the Herald-Sun alone. But let us not forget, (how could we), the slant provided by Mike Nifong. The motion cites, "The District Attorney, in one interview, estimated by early April - - or approximately three weeks into this case, - - he had granted 70 interviews and spent more than 40 hours being interviewed by various media outlets and papers." Nifong was a busy boy manufacturing fodder for the front page. Three weeks into the process, the world though of Nifong as a good guy and had little reason to suspect his motives or believe he was incompetent. He played the press like a fiddle. This is where the truth was derailed and for still remains off track a year later.

In a sound-bite world, 5600 word articles may not be as troublesome misleading headlines and prime time teasers: "[distortion], details at 11."

GPrestonian said...

1:28am JLS:

"3. The only omission from your list I can think of is the NCCU article..."

JLS, was that article actually published? I remember the article about the NCCU journalist, but was thinking that she decided not to write her article at all?

Anonymous said...

Ok who is surprised the New York Times is number one?

Do people still take that rag seriously?

Anonymous said...

Thomas Sellke here.

My Purdue colleague Professor A.G.Rud does not appear to be strictly eligible for any of these "March Madness" awards.

I protest.Professor Rud is certainly deserving of further recognition for his enlightening contribution to the discussion.
Perhaps there should be a few special awards for those who,while not fitting into any of the four categories,have distinguished themselves to an unusual degree.

Anonymous said...

#10: IMO The "drunken soiree" bit makes the LAXers sound like old men spilling bourbon on their starched bibs, but "female party dancers"? Quite a euphemism for the two...damsels...who turned up.

Now at your best drunken soirees, the entertainment may include a pair of "soiled doves"; one will demonstrate naughty pantomimes direct from Paris while the other plays the ocarina.

Gary Packwood said...

Parallel Universe

It looks like K.C. has developed a new method to identify the existence of a parallel universe...right under our noses.

And, it appears that we can rank the members of this universe in accordance to their commitment towards secretly transforming America.

These people have created journalistic interventions for America which they see as filled with oppressive forces - particularly sexism and racism and a little privilege-ism thrown in for good measure with respect to Duke.

Now that K.C. has 'outed' these writers and their minions, lets see if they are individually corrupt or perhaps working together as a corrupt organization.

Suppose there is a second shift at AP or UPI that issues dispatches for members of this parallel universe...late in the evening?

Finally we have identified what the infection looks like.

P. Rich said...

Seems to me that the country is in serious need of a major source of fact-based news. There isn't one in the current media, and there probably hasn't been for some time now. Journalistic bias is rampant, as is the trend toward "news as entertainment." Blogs help, but enough of the right ones don't reach enough people.

Democratic rights should be exercised on the basis of information and personal values at least partially shaped by objective renditions of history and current events. Imagine a jury trial where lawyers and witnesses had no constraints on the non-factual content of their their statements. The related system of laws would simply collapse.

Now extend that chaotic model to the general populace, media and the political process; then look around and realize the disintegration is already happening. Large numbers of poorly educated, uninformed people are influencing, and in many cases determining, critical election outcomes; and the enabling trends show no signs of improving.

Millions of people have been exposed to the Duke lax case. Thousands read this excellent blog. And if a nationwide survey were taken today regarding the case, just how much validity do you think the results would have. Yet similar political and situational surveys are taken every day, and ignorant outcomes are waved about and leveraged to influence government policy and voting behavior. We are in serious trouble as a nation, and far too many so-called Americans such as have been regularly highlighted here are happily contributing to the decline.

John Kaiser said...

All good examples of the hubris of higher education and its denizens and acolytes.

scott said...

1:15 AM --

Good for you. I encourage everyone to acknowledge poor performance by the media by cancelling all newspaper subscriptions. If enough people do it, they'll either go out of business or change the way they present what is laughingly referred to as "the news" in this country.

There is no valid reason to spend money on something you can get for free. If you like to work crossword puzzles (the # 1 lame excuse people give for continuing to subscribe to the NYT), buy a book of them at your local bookstore. You'll get more puzzles for less money and you won't have the rest of that rag stinking up your house.

The NYT is not unique in being "a lousy newspaper." They all are.

Anonymous said...

I wouldnt be too hard on all News papers. the Wall Street Journal satnds out as one of the few credible reporters. Their editorials actually occur on the editorial pages.

But of course, business people deal with reality. "Wishing makes it so" doesnt really work in the real world.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all, KC.

I can't believe it. I really can't believe it. It's too good to be true.

At last, liberal academics have had their faith shaken. Now you see what it's like for all of us on the right. For years, we Neanderthals have suffered at the hands of the MSM. We stayed in our caves. With Limbaugh and Fox, we've ventured out...encouraged by their successes.

Perhaps, when this is all over, liberals will never again blindly accept the nonsense promulgated by the MSM.

I doubt it, though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all, KC.

I can't believe it. I really can't believe it. It's too good to be true.

At last, liberal academics have had their faith shaken. Now you see what it's like for all of us on the right. For years, we Neanderthals have suffered at the hands of the MSM. We stayed in our caves. With Limbaugh and Fox, we've ventured out...encouraged by their successes.

Perhaps, when this is all over, liberals will never again blindly accept the nonsense promulgated by the MSM.

I doubt it, though.

Anonymous said...

These propaganda machines are striking back. They are advocating several initiatives that would weaken blogs and objective news reporting:

1: Campaign Censorship laws (McCain-Feingold and proposed additions to it). This would make it impossible to report on political events as every conversation, fax and email must be reported to authorities. In France, goverment already banned blogs or non-MSM journalists to describe violent events (e.g. daily muslin riots).
2: Media "fairness" bills (fairness is of course defined by New York Times and and Gang88). This blog would probably had to give 50% of the space to Gang88 in the name of "fairness". New York Times can of course continue as is.

Contact your congressman or vote accordingly (this sentence would be illegal in the proposed legislation). Scary.

Anonymous said...

Well Done, Professor Johnson. What a fiasco. I do think the first place finish for the New York Times is very appropriate. They can add this award to their case full of dubious honors. Walter Duranty's and Jayson Blair's to begin with.

I am looking forward to seeing how you rank the dubious scholarship of Nifong's academic supporters. Unfortunately, it won't be easy, because there is so much of it.

Orson Buggeigh

Anonymous said...

Professor Tom - Thanks for a good laugh this morning. Your are a star.

Anonymous said...

6:45 Agree with you completely. This mean spirited women wrote two of the worst articles, Her mea coupa does not cut it in my book. plus, she can't write. Thanks Anne Coulter for not joining in with the MSM in conceming these guys,

Cedarford said...

I'd go with a dishonorable mention for Lynne Duke of the Washington Post, a black female reporter, for disingenuous quotes, half-truths, and dumb analysis in her May 24th, Front Page article in the Washington Post; "The Duke Case's Cruel Truth".

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/23/AR2006052302022.html

Some of her more fatuous, wrong, and cliche'd lines:

She was black, they were white, and race and sex were in the air

Whatever actually happened......it appears at least that the disturbing historic script of the sexual abuse of black women was playing out inside that lacrosse team house party.

Things got rough. Someone in the crowd held a broomstick aloft and shouted "I'm gonna shove this up you," the other woman told police when she reported being raped.

It is that the Duke case is in some ways reminiscent of a black woman's vulnerability to a white man during the days of slavery, reconstruction and Jim Crow, when sex was used as a tool of racial domination.

What happened next is disputed. But one of the dancers ended up in the emergency room showing physical signs of rape.

a physician and a forensic nurse examined the woman at the Duke University Hospital emergency room and found "signs, symptoms and injuries consistent with being raped and sexually assaulted vaginally and anally," a court document says. (Except that it didn't.)

Duke also riddled her news article with various "experts" that talked about how much white men want black women sexually.

Another piece of crap at the WP, joining Andrew Cohen and Eugene Robinson in prejudging guilt.

Anonymous said...

I am astounded at views and actions of the elements of the media called out here by KC. And I am equally astounded by the other constituencies - the Group of 88, large elements of NCCU, the NAACP and others who have subscribed to the view that "something happened" so as to merit a criminal inquiry against the lacrosse team. My astonishment does not equate to a condemnation of "radical liberals", or special interest politics, or the empirical benefit that so often appears to derive from leveraging white guilt and engaging in a form of racial extortion - while these factors may be objectionable, they are not "new" or "unique". No, what I continue to be astounded at is that so many hitched their wagon to an obvious hoax - one that was obvious fairly early on - and in so doing have profoundly enabled prosecutorial misconduct of the highest order that anyone who cares about having any confidence in the criminal justice system. I recognize that journalists are often accused (rightly so) of having thin skin, but how emancipating it would be for them, and how helpful would it be to enhance confidence in the criminal justice system, if they could admit that in their zeal to find a set of facts that could finally prove their worldview, they badly miscalculated? I just don't get it. What kind of Fourth Estate do we have if the height of prosecturial misconduct can't be an overriding priority for a news organization?

Anonymous said...

According to Rud, the gang-rape was "simmering", and I see Michael Corey characterizes pro-LAX bloggers as "seething and shrieking". May I join in this sibilance? Durham's justice system, sirs, is a suppurating sore.

Anonymous said...

I hope you will provide a detailed summary of everything the Duke administration did . I hope you include all of the administration players including deans ,press,trustees,broadhead,counsel,athletic deparment,etc.This is extremely important do alums in particular and is much needed to expose what they really did to cut through all the universities attempts to spin and mislead us all.

jamil hussein said...

interesting article.

Duke Case: The "Liberal" Problem - Wanting The Hoax To Be True
By Michael J. Gaynor
Mar 18, 2007
http://www.postchronicle.com/commentary/article_21269813.shtml

wayne fontes said...

To Luke

For a little more of Professor Timothy B. Tyson check out his Feb. 26 editorial in the Duke Chronicle.

http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2007/02/26/Columns/Assault.Is.Not.Normal.Just.Ordinary-2742876.shtml

Note his use of statistics which I would call "slippery" to be charitable.

Anonymous said...

Kill him, Marve. Kill him good!!!

I didn't like the "castrate" banner, and don't like the above.

I typed "helmet sports" into Google and the first page that came up was Hard Headed Sports - Bike, skate,ski, snowboard, kayak, water, and whitewater helmets

Sure enough, lacrosse isn't in the list.

Anonymous said...

The New York Times Duff Wilson "body of evidence" piece in a landslide.

In the other articles, the authors wanted the allegations to be true. Because of this bias, along with laziness and stupidity, they at least, for the most part, thought they were reporting what really happened.

The New York Times was altogether different. The Times deliberately tried to mislead the public. Their article came later, when enough evidence was out, and it was past the time for merely jumping to conclusions.

They had to know the allegations were false, but they nonetheless tried to make the case that they were valid.

They did this purely because of the political implications of the case. Specifically, they couldn't allow the public to know that the criminal justice system can actually work against white privileged boys, or that white liberal Democrat politicians can cynically pander to black voters, and would go so far as falsely accuse somebody to do so.

The Times knowingly threw three innocent kids under the bus in furtherance of their politics.

Rod Allison, Detroit

Anonymous said...

Someone call Sal Ruibal. I stumbled across a "drunken soiree" this weekend. It was a St. Patrick's Day party. Unlike the lacrosse "drunken soiree" where guys just sat around looking bored, people at the St. Patty's Day soiree were actually "ambulating" around.

Someone should alert the Cultural Anthropology Department too. I'm not sure what the consequences of this St. Patrick's Day celebration will be but I'm afraid the people involved will just get a slap on the wrist. Because of the Irish's culture of privilege and superiority, their devotion to St. Patrick and their propensity for wearing green, they'll probably get away with it.

Anonymous said...

Duff, of course, felt no need to explain what that body of evidence was. They have been getting away with this for years. Thanks to the blogsphere, this outrage is being exposed - the "reporters" are participating in the demise of newspapere and their so called editors are helping them. No newspaper buying until they can write an unbiased account of events. Most of all, the traitors writing about Iraq.

Anonymous said...

I agree with an earlier post: Tim Tyson has got to get some play. He's an unrepentant Duke prof and peddles the same false historical "meta-narrative" of the 88. My only question -- why wasn't he a signatory of the Gang's first ad?

Anonymous said...


Michael Gaynor: Wanting the hoax to be true

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed how Tim Tyson has managed to stay below the radar. He did not sign the "We're Listening" statement but I believe his articles and remarks, especially early on, were unbelievably inflammatory and he certainly is an expert at playing the race card. In my mind, he exemplifies "white guilt." He is an ardent supporter of the accuser and I don't recall him uttering even a single word of concern about the false accusations against Reade, Collin, and Dave and this total travesty of justice.

Anonymous said...

OMG, you people are ridiculous! There is plenty of money out there for another Fox News or two to exist... and according to you all, the "oppressed" rightwingers would come out in droves for more and more conservative media.

But I gotta make the quite simple observation: With conservatives having so much money, if there was a market for right-wing spin above and beyond Fox, sufficient to provide a 2nd media outlet with enough viewers, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN ONE YEARS AGO!

The fact of the matter is that Fox News thrives on the segment of the population that wants to hear its own beliefs reiterated on a daily basis.

To claim MSNBC is some sort of liberal bastion is not only ill-informed, its plainly ridiculous. Tucker Carlson and Joe Scarborough vs. Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann. The ONLY one of those 4 who compares to almost EVERY one of the psychos on the Fox News Channel is Olbermann, who doesn't even try to be fair. EVERY SINGLE RIGHTWING HOST ON FOX IS LIKE OLBERMANN!

On the other hand, Matthews -- though clearly a Democrat -- is much more fair, at times being very transparent about going harder after Dems and trying to look friendly with Repubs to make him seem "fair and balanced". On the other hand, you have Scarborough and Tucker Carlson... two REAL conservatives (i.e., they don't spew NEO-conservative garbage every night).

I mean, MSNBC is the network that is most often accused of being the worst out of Fox, CNN and MSNBC. But two of the four nighttime hosts are staunch REAL conservatives (again, not neocons), and only ONE of them (Olbermann) compares to the left-wing version of psychopaths who won't listen to a word edge-wise (i.e., John Gibson, Fred Barnes, Mort Kondrake, Bill O'Reilly, Brit Hume, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Brian Kilmeade, Mr. Happy [LOL, what a tool], et al).

Your argument that MSNBC is soooooo liberal must be premised on the fact that Scarborough and Tucker Carlson are also liberals... or at least one of them is.

As for CNN... I have so much more respect for CNN as a pure news network then I could ever have for Fox. I don't know if CNN could accurately be described as "liberal" or not... but even if it were "liberal", once again, there aren't maniacs like on Fox, who run the show. If your argument is that they take a less pro-American, and more internationalist perspective on issues... well I'm sorry, but as far as news goes... thats kind of the essence of a NON-BIASED perspective. CNN is much more news-orientated than is Fox News.

As for the print media (a/k/a, the "old media"... once again, there is more than enough money amongst conservatives to have been competing with "right-wing" newspapers for the past 100 years. Newspapers like the NY Post would be much more common... if the proverbial Billy-Bobs and country bumpkins actually read newspapers, and/or could afford them. Intelligent conservatives already read the Wall Street Journal, and the NY Post for outright biased slants and great sports coverage.

lm said...

"Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

That is the motto of "The Fire" organization - and would work equally well for this (and some of the other) Duke case blogs. The more "sunlight" focused on prosecutors and police, the universities' angry studies departments, etc..the better.

Lessons learned from the Duke case: Never talk to police without a lawyer.
Never assume that innocence is your best defense and the truth your shield.
Never trust that a prosecutor's sole motivation is the truth.
Check the credentials of the professor before you take the course.
Know what your alumni donation is supporting - you may be surprised.
Finally, if a dispassionate approach and a devotion to fact over agenda-serving fiction is your news preference, the MSM will disappoint.

Anonymous said...

@ Luke 2:09 AM

Whatever was said at the Divinity School must have been a lulu because it now appears to be inaccessible. Gotta admit it's pretty cool for a Divinity School to play cover-up.

I seem to remember some old screed about "false witness," but I am sure something that ancient doesn't bother a really up-to-date Divinity School

JeffM

Anonymous said...

How come we know that the coverup is worse than the crime and those who attempt to cover up don't?

Anonymous said...

The best opinions come from John in Carolina, who suggests moving the N&O's Khanna piece to the No. 1 position, dropping Duff and his August piece to second, and from Cedarford for the suggestion to add Lynne Duke's WashPo piece to the Top 10. J-in-C's suggestion to add the News & Obersever's swagger piece to the Top 10 is also an excellent one.