Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Selena on the Faculty

In her screed against the lacrosse team in Sunday’s New York Times, Selena Roberts lashed out at those who criticized the rush to judgment:

Some of them have expressed their anger with threatening e-mail messages to Duke staff members who had voiced opinions on the scandal.

Fresh from her appearance in Durham alongside Group of 88 stalwart Grant Farred and anti-lacrosse extremist Orin Starn, Roberts happily accepted the Group of 88’s e-mail canard. Even though she was in town, she gave no evidence of acting like a reporter and actually checking with either the Durham or Duke Police to determine whether an investigation had begun into these “threatening” actions.

What “opinion on the scandal,” by the way, have such “Duke staff members” voiced? Roberts doesn’t say.

Perhaps she was referring to William Chafe’s suggesting that the whites who lynched Emmett Till provided the appropriate context through which to interpret the behavior of the lacrosse players.

Or Houston Baker’s describing the players as “farm animals.”

Or Karla Holloway—in the name of upholding a university’s basic principles—passing along fifth-hand, unsubstantiated, slanderous gossip about her own school’s students.

Or her co-panelist Grand Farred’s accusing hundreds of Duke students of harboring a “secret racism.”

Roberts describes such items as the above with the bland clause “voiced opinions on the scandal.” I wonder why she was so eager to withhold from her readers exactly what opinions her ideological comrades among the faculty have expressed?

22 comments:

David said...

Do you think politics has gone too far in America? invading too many facets of our lives?

Anonymous said...

DAMN KC!

You're rolling today!

Jason said...

Ms. Roberts's column is exhibit "A" as to why the NYT's business model is collapsing. Collapsing circulation, collapsing revenues, et al.

Anonymous said...

KC: this woman's obviously a nitwit who hasn't bothered to learn the facts of the case. Like so many of her clueless colleagues, she's pushing an agenda -- she cares nothing that the facts blatantly contradict the point of view she's pushing. You're giving her way too much attention. Like the disgraced Jayson Blair and Judith Miller before her, she's not a real journalist; she's just a lazy dope. Stop letting her get to you!

Jamie said...

I wonder why [Roberts] was so eager to withhold from her readers exactly what opinions her ideological comrades among the faculty have expressed?

Ah, but by leaving out specifics about those opinions, Selena Roberts isn't really primarily motivated to hide anything - she's just making her readers comfortable.

Like Amanda Marcotte, Roberts and her employer know darned well that anyone likely to read and believe stuff written by a Selena Roberts wants all countervailing facts withheld, spun, misrepresented, minimized, whenever possible.

The whole world picture is so much clearer, nicer, more manageable that way: Roberts, the NYT and their allies are civilized and right and good, and anyone who objects to their distortions is backwards and bad.

The NYT has been following this "principle" for years.

gak said...

from this post
"Or Karla Holloway—in the name of upholding a university’s basic principles—passing along fifth-hand, unsubstantiated, slanderous gossip about her own school’s students."

Is this documented on the web anywhere? I would like to read it. I've tried to read as much of the original documentation as possible (except the legal filings).

bill anderson said...

Damn! K.C., you and Stuart are going to have to do a chapter on the zombies at the NY Times.

Congrats on your appointment in Tel Aviv next year! They had better finish this case so you can have this stuff out of the way before you have to leave!!

becket03 said...

Off topic but germane to DIW:

KC Johnson's book, Until Proven Innocent

beckett

Deklan Singh said...

This just in from Selena Roberts! Things are happening! Things and stuff are going on and have gone on in the past!

What? You want the specifics? Who told me about the things and stuff? Oh, a person told me .... uhhhh .... yeah, a person ... you know! Anyway, things ... yeah ... bad things. Oh, you want all the information surrounding the things and stuff? Well, why don't I just give you a few bits of information, out of context, which might help you understand what I've been deluding myself into believing. Cool? What? I can't here you ... LaLaLaLaLaLa ... here you go ... I can't here you ... white boys aren't angels ... LaLaLaLaLa ... other details are "forthcoming", just ask Waheema Lubiano ... LaLaLaLaLa ........

Thanks, Selena.

Anonymous said...

This is what is called a pack of bold-faced lies. Distortion this extreme is nothing else. An attempt to lie to as wide an audience as possible -- to paint an alternate reality that far too many will buy.

This running critique is excellent, if far too easy. The proverbial fish-in-a-barrel scenario -- only there are many who are either too ill-informed, too indoctrinated, too filled with hate, or too controlled by narrowly perceived self-interests to see what is right there. Then, there are those who have given up the ability to think for themselves...

Anonymous said...

I sure am sorry I couldn't catch Prof Starn's presentation at his conference last week: "Tiger, Barack and the Incredible Whiteness of Phil". Is this referring to Phil Mikkelson? I'm looking forward to next year's talk on "The False Consciousness of Vijay Singh".

Anonymous said...

This is nothing less than part of an attempt to manipulate large numbers of votes, in order to gain political power. This is a good way to get around campaign contribution limits -- deliver a "service" that is valuable in a quid-pro-quo arrangement that is legal only because it is set up by those who make the laws and tolerated only because it is hidden.

The sad truth is that in our democracy, we have reached the point where the majority of votes are cast after being subject to manipulation of this sort that goes way beyond advertising or political discourse. The press, our system of education, many organizations seeking to represent various groups, and other institutions are actually working to trick people into voting against their own self-interests.

And it is working. Think about this, don't take anyone else's word on it. Open your eyes and see.

Anonymous said...

I have said this before:

A carney barker sticking up for other carney barkers. Selena, head out behind the trailer and burn a fat boy with the rest of the crew (88) before you do your shift on the Tilt-a-wheel.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Roberts reminds me of the former NYT reporter, Judith Miller, in that she hobnobs with the big boys (Orin Hatch, Grant Farred) and becomes their tool in getting their agendas published in her paper.

rrhamilton said...

I have been wondering when someone was going to finally call out the Group of 88 on this claim of "threatening e'mails". Yes, where ARE the investigations? It's illegal to make threats by e'mail.

Illegal, that is, unless your target is a politically correct one: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=27434

Cedarford said...

Jason said...
Ms. Roberts's column is exhibit "A" as to why the NYT's business model is collapsing. Collapsing circulation, collapsing revenues, et al.

Concur.

*Mismanage existing TV and Internet assets.
*Get caught in scandal after scandal stemming from ideology intruding into hiring, promotions and reporting that erodes confidence in the organizations credibility.
*Mismanage internal employee crisis and diminish employee loyalty and unions through capricious and stumbling actions.
*Mismanage by showing favorism in a way that Abe Rosenthal and predecessors would never, ever tolerate in the newsroom - management on the business side never would.
*Attack 1/2 of their most loyal and attractive to advertiser subscriber base - NYC Jews - by becoming hostile to Israel and religious Jews.
*Attack other influential users of NY Times product, notably conservative white businessmen, police, whole regions of the USA where the Times has ambitions to be a "national" paper and media conglomerate.
*Turn to a Manhattan cocktail party approach to culture and sports. The Times was once famous for objective, detailed sports and culture coverage. Now it sees and allows only reportage done through a prism of approved race, class, and gender politics. Alienating still more once loyal readers while failing to understand that the number of new people induced to buy the NYTimes for less Yankee coverage and more about lesbians in the WBA is actually a quite smaller market, same with sneering at mundane Valentine's day gifts while raving about Gaboonian folk art. What's your market, schmucks???
*Failing to treat the Class B shareholders of 65% of NY Times equity with anything but arrogance and condescension until recently, when belated apologies don't make stock that has dropped 70% in a boom market with a famaous American brand any easier to accept with those shareholders now shopping a class action lawsuit if "pinch" and cronies don't go.
*Failure to correct errors, allowing ideology to repeat the same error. (False rape claims taken as true without efforts to verify the story with other sources a notable case)
*Failure of the Ombudsman role to work.
*Failure in Mergers and Acquisitions. Betrayal of the Washington Post in a joint venture (Int Herald Trib) that has made Times reps poison when joint ventures are discussed with cable TV channels on projects.
*Getting humiliated by bloggers sniffing out NYTimes dirt rather than finding and fixing the problem in-house.
*A failed Internet strategy - Times Premium Service - for failing to understand there are far easier and more affordable alternatives like Lexis-Nexis, Bloomberg, WSJ.
*Openly dissing other media chains then expressing surprise when they seek other syndicators.

Roberts followed 5 other reporters that "blew it" with NY Times Duke coverage.
Then right after her, another once female sportswriter swallowed more false rape tales and the Times was once again looking rather "fabulatorious".

The truth is the little people have little recourse in getting the NY Times to reform. You can do a few things that help. Don't pay a cent for it's product. Ask your business if you have access to "free copies", "Times Premium internet access" to pick alternate news product. Write other newspapers and say that with all the errors and bias creeping into NYTimes stuff, to go with better news feeds. Write them and tell them that the Times is sinking so fast that their paper is a better product and that's why you read them over the "Tattered Old Prostitute" or such. The Washington Post, NY Post, WSJ love those little letters...

But the reality is that it will go on until one thing changes - their grip on a critical mass of liberal Jews, Euro elites, academics, educators, government officials, old WASP circles, lawyers of high disposable income and influence. In their intellectual, political, and business circles it is sort of expected that conversation will assume a familiarity with the Times main stories and points. Just as DC politicians and lobbyists are nearly obligated to read the Washington Post.

There are signs that this "monopoly on the minds of high performers" is losing it's grip. Alternatives exist. And many in the "glitterati of the intelligensia" are signaling their displeasure with the Times "sloppiness and obvious agendas...and the availability of alternatives. The New Yorker, Washington Post, WSJ, Atlantic Magazine have stuck the rapier into "Pinch" Sulzberger and the decline of the franchise, fabulists like Jayson Blair, and the new Leftist ideology no longer in the background but corrupting the product.

Once that critical mass accepts that the New York Times cannot be confidently used as the "information source of record" in interactions with other similar high performers in the same circles or "communicated downwards" to their own personal or business audience, the NY Times goose is cooked.

AMac said...

In my opinion, there are a lot of people who are angry at the Group of 88, and the anonymity of email is a spur to uncivil behavior. Take the two together, and I expect that a good number of the 88 have been recipients of threatening, or arguably threatening, e-mails.

(This line of argument is a good reminder for anti-Hoax people to avoid handing their adversaries the "victim" card for allies like Selena Roberts to trot out.)

(It is also true that members of the Group of 88 have been caught mischaracterizing civil disagreement as something much worse--a tactic that is both lamentable and expected.)

All that said, the "dog that didn't bark" is the Duke Administration's failure to publicize that it has taken directed Duke's IT department to take the obvious practical steps to insulate faculty from obnoxious email behavior, or to let people know that the Duke Police Department is actively working to trace genuinely threatening emails and to prosecute mailers who have promised violent acts. Presumably there's been no publicity because there has been no (or little) activity to publicize.

That suggests that some in Duke's Hard-Left community prefer bearing the cross of email harassment over partial remedies that would, at worst, greatly reduce the problem. Perhaps martyrdom is no longer reserved for the religious among us.

Anonymous said...

gak said...

from this post
"Or Karla Holloway—in the name of upholding a university’s basic principles—passing along fifth-hand, unsubstantiated, slanderous gossip about her own school’s students."

Is this documented on the web anywhere? I would like to read it. I've tried to read as much of the original documentation as possible (except the legal filings).

-----------------------------------

See KC's posting from Jan. 16 2007.

Anonymous said...

KC:

Your analogy to the Floyd Landis case is more apt than you may suppose.

In both cases, the alleged act seemed "over the top" for the parties involved.

In Floyd's case, it seems incredible that he would take testosterone (which is unlikely to have a short-term beneficial effect) and then win the stage, when he knew he would then be tested.

Similarly, it seems incredible that the players would attack someone, especially with 40 people in the house and the house being rented by the captains.

Also, as in the Duke case, the "authorities" violated basic procedures regarding disclosure and testing. For example, in Floyd's case, the UCI and WADA officials spoke openly about the adverse result before Floyd was informed - and they have continued to make outrageous statements even in the face of numerous laboratory errors.

The gist of both cases is that there is an overwhelming lack of accountability (and perhaps criminal behavior) on the part of the "authorities."

ben tillman said...

"Perhaps she was referring to William Chafe’s suggesting that the whites who lynched Emmett Till...."

Till was killed by the husband of his victim, and an accomplice. It was private retribution, not the sort of public action implied by the term "lynched".

Anonymous said...

I have to say the as crass and simple and tired and superfluous as people like William Chafe are, perhaps he slipped up and taught us something after all.

The blathering Chafe has a point in bringing up the Emmett Till episode from the mid-20th century. Eureka!

The white woman who was so insulted and "harmed" by young Emmett's whistling at her....along with her husband's Jim Crow mentality as he went after Till for this childish prank.....show a similar false "injury" as does the false accuser/prostitute Crystal Gail Mangum in this modern-day lacrosse hoax.

And both women are equally repulsive in the harm they have done.

Perhaps this was the point William Chafe--Duke's prized potbellied pig of portly pontification--was trying to make.

Hmmm........

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Correction:

I have to say that.....