Monday, March 05, 2007

The Sports Reporters

This case has revealed contempt for athletes—bordering on prejudice, as Nicholas Kristof observed in a June column—among some quarters of the media and Duke’s arts and sciences faculty. Given this response, it might have been expected that sports publications would have provided some balance. Yet the two major spots websites—espn.com and cnnsi.com—instead have featured some of the worst coverage of the case.

As two excellent posts at Liestoppers pointed out, Bomani Jones’ recent espn.com column reveled in its prejudice. It dripped with contempt for the lacrosse players and revealed a mind (like so many in Durham) unable to process the information that has come to light since April 6.

Given Jones’ branding the entire lacrosse team as racists because one player uttered a racial slur as part of a racially charged argument, Joan Foster wonders why the espn.com author elected to ignore the findings of the Coleman Committee report on the question of the team’s racial attitudes. (After a comprehensive inquiry, the committee discovered no evidence of racist or sexist on-campus behavior.) Moreover, if we are to adopt Jones’ standards, Foster notes, should “the entire English Dept at Duke be called ‘racist’ in turn for their then-colleague Houston Baker’s racist remarks in a letter last spring?”

In his defense, Jones assured readers that “any opinion I offer on anything is from an objective position . . . That’s the job. And nothing is more important to my job performance than integrity . . . Never, for a second, question whether I’m fair. I’m passionate and imperfect, but I’m not a fool. Neither are my editors. They never would have sent me to the game if they didn’t think I’d do the job right.”

Liestoppers uncovered some previous examples of Jones’ objectivity—comments such as “I’m skeptical about white women crying rape against black men,” and, “Without question, I’d say that Duke is a white supremacist institution.” It’s good to know how loosely Jones appears to define “objective” and “integrity.”

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But since Jones orders readers to take him at his word, let’s do so: he states that his editors sent him to write about the game fully aware of his prejudicial attitudes. And assigning a figure like Jones to write about the lacrosse case is only par for the course among sports coverage.

In fact, cnnsi.com is the dot.com equivalent of Nancy Grace’s Headline News Network on the air or the New York Times or Herald-Sun in print. Its most recent article featured a quote from one—and only one—outside legal source: Irving Joyner, saying that “the odds are good that it will go to trial . . . I think they will go forward.” A fair-minded reader would come away from the article believing that no one doubted that enough evidence existed to move forward with the case.

While espn.com has featured the weak but neutral Roger Cossack as its case legal analyst, cnnsi.com has employed the outrageously biased Lester Munson. “Using his legal training and expertise,” claims his website, “Munson [speaking of himself in the third person] is able to gather and to analyze material not often found in routine sports coverage. He is able to put criminal charges and civil litigation in the sports industry into a context that gives new insights into each case and into American pop culture.”

Munson’s first case-related comments came on April 18. Despite the court filing from Mike Nifong’s office that DNA would exonerate the innocent, Munson immediately downplayed DNA’s role. “There are hundreds of convicted rapists in prison,” he contended, “even though there was no sign of their DNA in the examinations of their victims . . . Lawyers for the accused players can talk endlessly about DNA, but the absence of DNA is not conclusive by itself.” He implied that the team had a history of “previous predatory conduct,” and expressed little doubt that a crime occurred: “There is always an element of brutality in what occurs. In the Duke situation, it may be the number of athletes joining in the attack. In the Tyson case, the attack was brutal.”

The next day, Munson gave an interview under the headline of “Duke lax players are staring down a tough trial.” Downplaying Reade Seligmann’s alibi evidence, he asserted incredibly, “The police and the prosecutor will scrutinize this evidence in exquisite detail, and if they find something is askew, that something doesn't fit in the alibi evidence, they will not hesitate to charge Seligmann with yet another crime. That would be obstruction of justice.” Could Seligmann in fact have been innocent? Very unlikely, proclaimed the legal “expert”: “You don’t see many alibis in criminal cases—it's a very rare thing. Ordinarily, 99 times out of 100, the police have the right guy, and you'll find that most people arrested were involved in something. Getting the wrong guy is very unusual.” Munson offered no evidence to support his extraordinary assertion.

Munson also offered a Wendy Murphy-like theory as to why Nifong had initially only indicted two players. “The question we must ask,” he not-so-sagely observed, “is whether this third player is in the process of negotiating with the prosecutor and is seeking immunity from prosecution or is seeking leniency for his testimony against the other players.” And asked on how the DNA test results would affect the case, Munson was unequivocal: “Its absence is not important. There are hundreds of men in penitentiaries across the United States who were convicted of rape without their DNA being found on the victim. It does help the defense to some extent, but it's not conclusive. The whole idea that DNA evidence was somehow conclusive was the invention of the defense lawyers.” [emphasis added] Munson obviously never read the March 23 NTO motion.

In June, Munson made what could be termed an obligatory appearance for all Nifong enablers, offering his insights on the Nancy Grace show. Remarking that he had “studied this at some length,” he assured Grace’s viewers that “the state has probably a better case than most observers are describing . . . Mr. Nifong is a seasoned, experienced prosecutor. He is not stupid . . . I think that Nifong is probably managing the discovery in such a way that there may be some surprises for these defense lawyers further down the road.” Munson seemed unaware that the state of North Carolina has an open discovery statute.

Nifong’s dropping the rape charges did not make Munson any more reasonable. The decision to dismiss the charges, he theorized, “is not a big surprise.” (It was a surprise to just about everyone else.) Munson noted that “there is little doubt that something unsavory happened at the party on March 13,” and—amazingly—looked for “the accused players to attempt to settle everything with a guilty plea on lesser charges.”

[Update, 11.27am: I e-mailed Munson to ask if he still held to his April, June, and December views; he replied as follows:

I remain convinced that something bad happened in the lacrosse captains' house on that night. The women left in a hurry. The women are working girls and they felt a sence of menace that caused them to bolt. The broomsticks may have been a factor. The police reports include an inventory of what was left behind, e.g., their money. Was there a rape? Maybe not. Probably not based on what we now know. When I report a rape case I look at the brevity of the encounter, the brutality of the sex, the injury to the victim, the outcry witnesses, and previous predatory behavior of the accused. This formula allows me to avoid the useless statement of "he said she said." Using my calculus, the evidence of a rape is minimal. Is there enough to get the case to a jury? Is there enough even to continue with the case now in the hands of the attorney general?

I am baffled by the conduct of Mike Nifong. When we began reporting on the case, we were told that he was a perfectly respectable and experienced prosecutor. That appears to be incorrect. The suppression of the exculpatory evidence is probably a crime. As a lawyer and as a journalist, I am appalled at what he did . . .

Why would another son of impressive wealth go out of his way in Georgetown to beat a gay man for no reason?

You ask for a reference on the fact that most people who are arrested are guilty and plead guilty. I believe that is common knowledge. The number of criminal cases tried to verdict in the criminal justice "system" is miniscule. If there were not plea bargains, the "system would collapse. If you need a reference, I would suggest "Courtroom 302" by Steve Bogira, a wonderful and detailed account of a year in the life of a courtroom in a busy criminal court.

It is heartening to see that Munson has now condemned Mike Nifong, which he did not do in December. The "something bad happened" argument [what, exactly?] appears to be his last defense. I know of no evidence about "broomsticks," and also the women did not leave in a hurry--they didn't leave for almost 50 minutes after the broomstick comment.

I know of no evidence that anyone associated with the case went "out of his way in Georgetown to beat a gay man." The Bogira book is an interesting read; I had asked Munson, though, for a reference to his claim that 99 percent of the people charged are guilty of something.]

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There is one sports site that has provided extraordinary coverage of the case: Duke Basketball Report. Early on, DBR provided a forum for legal experts to comment on Nifong’s handling of the case: these posts represented the first public case comments by Friends of Duke’s Jason Trumpbour, recently identified as Mike Nifong’s Public Enemy #1.

In the months thereafter, DBR has run scores of columns and summaries on the case, ranging well beyond athletics to include examinations of prosecutorial misconduct, vestiges of McCarthyism, and the role of the bar. Its forceful endorsement of the Recall Nifong-Vote Cheek line looks prescient as Nifong now appears to be on its way out.

In a case where so many in the media got the story wrong, DBR not only understood the significance of Nifong’s misconduct but also provided a model of how a sports-centered site should have covered this case.

Hat tip: E.H.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

In June, Munson ... assured Grace’s viewers that “the state has probably a better case than most observers are describing . . . I think that Nifong is probably managing the discovery in such a way that there may be some surprises for these defense lawyers further down the road.”

He got that right: Nifong was indeed "managing" the discovery, and there sure were some surprises down the road.

AMac said...

Bonami Jones has more to say at his blog, here.

If a pro-player reader sends an abrasive or dopey email, it proves that Jones was right all along.

Hmmm, can everybody play this game?

Anonymous said...

JLS says....

Professor Johnson, I am not sure if you are a sports fan, but ESPN is not in the business of sports reporting. The pretend reporting they do is all to hype what ever event is being broadcast on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPNDeportes in the next few days.

It would be as if the White House either under a Democrat or GOP President published a newspaper. That would not mean that it was a real newspaper doing real reporting. Similarly ESPN never does any real reporting, they flack their next program.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Bomani Jones says: "Never, for a second, question whether I’m fair."

Oh, no, no, no, Mr. Jones. Never, for a second, order me NOT to.

Bakerman said...

Incredible. It's a confederacy; The Dunces of Durham....

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Jones and Munsen on the ice with Kolosov. If they aren't true believers within two minutes I'll call Rescue Squad 51, Roy DeSoto and his partner John Gage assisted by Dr. Kelley Brackett, Nurse Dixie McCall, and Dr. Joe Early at Rampart Hospital. (if you were born after 1970 nevermind)

Anonymous said...

There is no net bias against athletes SI and espn. Rather, there is a desparate need to show that the irresponsible and criminal behavior among some athletes is mirrored among white athletes.
It has been noted that Bomani Jones finally commented on the "Pacman" Jones issue. Indeed, he did: to point out that the problem was not with Pacman, but with the NFL's system of enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Oh KC - Lester is a disgrace. What a disappointment - Princeton and Chicago. Felix F. is spinning in his grace. Again, "the plea down statement". Thank God these families had money and the determination to fight these charges. Thank God for you and the rest of the Bloggers.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how to reach Munson. Would someone who does, please semail him the Korn letter in the New York Law Review.

Anonymous said...

I wrote this to Jones on his blog "much easier to go after white boys, than go to the ghetto and help the black community." Jason Whitlock is one of the only black or white sports commentators to see the truth and write it.

Anonymous said...

"Editor's note: Bomani Jones lives in Durham, N.C., attended the University of North Carolina from 2003-05 and worked as a teaching assistant in a summer program at Duke University in 2005 and 2006"

Did he graduate from UNC; it appears not? Where else did he attend? In which summer program was he a teaching assistant? Was it derived from AAAs? What is the background of his Editor(s)?

His comments defending his objectivity remind me of Clinton wagging his finger stating that he "did not have sex with that woman."

Were he as objective as he thinks he'd be ostracized as an "Uncle Tom". He should go spend some time with others who are objective: Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, etc.

Jones may want to consider reading, "The Millionaire Next Door." Fur coats due not make financial sense. Writing the facts in this manner suggests someone may be able to pick up a deal on a fur coat at some point in the future.

It's crap writing like this which led me to cancel my subscription. None of my athletic children will read that bilge in our home.

No justice, no peace.

Anonymous said...

jones' mind is not incapable of processing the info as you have stated. he is perfectly capable of processing the info; he has just come to another conclusion with the same set of circumstances and so have a lot of the black community. and for the record, stop trying to minimize the racism of the lax team. you know that more than one person was accused of racial epithets; in Bissey's original TV news interview he said this and Kim Roberts also said the N word echoed; echoed means more than one repetition of something. in addition, these young thugs also threatened to sodomise the women. who knows what else they said and did; the defense has not told the whole story and nifong went silent after the indictments.

becket03 said...

Lester Munson said some incredibly dumb things, didn't he? And now it appears he's gone to ground til the whole thing blows over.

He strikes me as a Frank DeFord wannabe without DeFord's talent. Which reminds me, how come DeFord didn't jump on this thing? The case has all the angles DeFord has built his career on, e.g., bleeding heart white guilt, moral preening, etc.

Maybe DeFord's not working much anymore.

beckett

Anonymous said...

Bomani Jones and Duke, Summer Teaching TA below

Fair? You be the judge.

Are any of the Duke faculty listed signatories of the Economics dept. letter of support? Yes; Curtis Taylor, Pietro Perelo, Charles Becker, and Daniel Graham. This represents 80% of the Duke Summer Faculty Members who did sign the Economics Dept. letter.

Committee on the Status of Minorities in the Profession, 2005 Pipeline Conference.

“The Problem of the 21st Century: Economics Faculty
and the Color Line,"

“A Study of the Impact of Human Capital Accumulation
on African-American Business Survival”

"Alternative Diversity Measures and the Implications for
Public Policy Research"

“Plagiarism in Economics: A Problem Needing
Attention!?”

Who said the Economic Dept. was immune from PC drivel?

jiga said...

I have been following this blog for several weeks. Living now away from the US, it helps me to see that there are still so many people that are as outraged at this situation as I am.
I think that one thing that helps me to understand how so many people still want to find these boys guilty is to see the thread that runs through all of them: envy.
Poor blacks want them guilty because they are rich and white. College nerds because they are athletic, strong and attractive. The losers from the Anger Departments of course drip on academic envy.
It is sad to see how class envy, academic envy and just plain "I hate you because you are more whatever than I am" makes people so vindictive.
Anyway, I've had my say. Thank you for the opportunity and for helping me keep the faith.

David Page said...

Last week I posted the following comment to the page 2 editors. I have recieved no reply as of yet.

"Your "Columnist", Bomani Jones totally missed, or chose to miss, the reasons for the large turn out for the Lacrosse game last weekend. We did not come out to celebrate, but to support a team that was treated unfairly. There is no celebration over a "rape" case in which a troubled woman chose three people, in a lottery, to be prosecuted. And there is no celebration over a DA being disgraced for racially exploiting and dividing our community. The team got hosed, and we wanted to let them know that there were people who cared about injustice. It was not the first time either. The woman's lacrosse team expressed their support at their Final Four last year. 51% of Durham voters voted against the DA Nifong, even though he got 95% of the black vote in November.

It is the media that chose to make this game a national affair. It is ESPN who choose
a black UNC graduate to report on the game at a time when racial tensions are high in Durham. It is not unfair to question your motives. Hopefully it was stupidity not malice that guided your journalistic choice and the “Page 2” piece. "

It was not till reading your latest post that I learned of his racist background.

It should be noted that ESPN.com had a reporter, Lauren Renolds at the game who saw the same event and wrote an article so supportive of the people there that I e-mailed her asking her if she was associated with Duke. She responded promptly letting me know that she was in no way associated with Duke having graduated from Hamilton College and has taken post grad classes at the UNC School of Journalism.

It is amaziing to watch how two pwople from the same media outlet can go to the same event and "see" and report totally different things.

Mr. Jones has shown us how Perception can be so biased by preconception. It is a shame that the Editors of ESPN .com allowed more gasoline to be thrown on the fire.

bill anderson said...

K.C.,

Good job on ESPN and CNNSI. I recently sent SI a letter after its latest outrageous lacrosse piece quoting only Irving Joyner, who has zero credibility among lawyers in this case.

I think that Munson has been singularly bad and has been trying to drive the case single-handedly. He simply is a blowhard who happens to be employed by a national sports news organization, and that is a bad combination.

Many of these publications have a love-hate relationship with athletes. They are staffed with jock sniffers who wanted to be athletes themselves, but could not make it. Thus, they also see athletes as coddled, violent bums. A bad combination leads to bad coverage. Just as we see what happens when the state ignores legal procedures, we also see what happens when journalists ignore the facts.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, many prominent (by name and audience size) venues still choose partial disclosure to buoy their storylines akin to the Group of 88 who, as well, cannot back away from what became a cause without a case.

Zombie said...

If the Duke LAX player weren't prejudiced then, and I don't think they were, they are now. They should have vigorously defended their position and gotten lawyers from the first moment. Appearing on talk-shows to refute the slander on day one would have made a difference, I think. If any of them were from the deep south, they would have known to do this.

scott said...

One shouldn't be surprised by the coverage of the 2 major sports websites referenced in the post. ESPN and CNNSI fall right in line with the rest of their liberally biased colleagues in the news media. This group so wants there to have been a rape on March 13, 2006 -- Jones to avenge his own racism and Munson to assuage his white, liberal guilt.

Jones assertion that his editors wouldn't have sent him out to do the game if they didn't think he would do it right is laughable. Editors from the major media are sending biased reporters out to do stories all the time. Why? Because they themselves are biased and provide no objectivity to the story the "journalist" comes up with. So, yeah, I'd say the editor who approved of Jones'approach on this latest story after all that has transpired in the Nifong Scandal is a fool.

Speaking of fools, what is with all these so-called "legal experts", like Munson, who don't even take the time to research NC's full disclosure law? How many times have we had to listen to one of these idiots make a comment to the effect that Nifong is likely to be managing the discovery and very likely has a surprise for the defense? We who know about the law aren't fooled, but what about someone who doesn't? How are they to interpret what is going on? Many assume the legal credentials of Munson make him correct. I wonder what Munson would have to say about these comments now -- ”the state has probably a better case than most observers are describing . . . Mr. Nifong is a seasoned, experienced prosecutor. He is not stupid . . ." Nifong may be a seasoned, experienced prosecutor, but he is stupid, he is a liar, and only the likes of Irving Joyner (another discredited "legal expert") thinks the state has probably a better case than most observers are describing. Munson has no business commenting on this case as a "legal expert" and CNNSI should be ashamed for presenting him as one.

Anonymous said...

Well.... It has been my humble opinion for quite some time that sports journalists seem to hear a higher calling by considering themselves journalists. The fact that they are part of the mainstream media makes it so I only take what they say about anything with a grain of salt. What sports journalists have to say about larger issues beyond sports usually just sounds like the stereotype of the dumb jock attempting to sound deep and intelligent. It is unfortunate that so many readers actually value their opinions, whether about sports or something actually important to our lives like the ramifications of this case for all of us. It reminds me of the times when Jay Leno and David Letterman decide they are going to be serious and have a guest on their show for the purpose of being an interviewer that grills them about a sensational situation the guest is involved with. When I see this happening, I feel that they should just shut up and be funny. That is why they are on television, and that is what they do best. Sometimes. Oh well, we all know what opinions are like.....

Nifong's hat trick said...

Contempt for athletes is in line with contempt for our military. Look at some of the college course offerings across the nation, not just at Duke. Institutes of Higher Education are against anything white or "manly". Denouncing men in the military,in sports and as athletes is just part of the University agenda to emasculate society.(and it's working!)
Bomani Jones is just a product of his environment. His rhetoric is old and transparent. The black "victimhood" blah blah blah "whitey bad" attitude is nothing new, requires no thinking and was for certain cultivated by his liberal university education. So is Bomani's take on the Duke Lacrosse scandal really that surprising?
Bomani's column speaks loudly about ESPN as part of the MSM, so again no surprise about its prejudiced content.
Bomani might actually learn something by talking with Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson (Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny)who calls the Duke scandal a "perfect storm for race hustlers."
Peterson believes that "Americans are too sensitive when it comes to matters of race and sex. Liberal black leaders and feminists understand this and are exploiting this weakness for political gain." Peterson believes that the "reputations and lives of the boys and their families are being destroyed partly because of the students' own poor judgment...but primarily because of the double standard society uses in dealing with incidents involving race and gender."

P. Rich said...

Leftists deride criticism of MSM bias from the Right as being paranoid. I suppose if one is far enough Left, the derision is understandable because everything, except perhaps the Workers' Daily or Mother Jones, will appear to be skewed, but in the opposite direction. Relative perspective explains why Mrs. Bill Clinton, for example, sees all MSM as Right wing.

Attitudes such as those displayed by these espn.com and cnnsi.com "analysts" should come as no surprise except to MSM apologists. The rest of us see business as usual, especially from cnn..., though it is a bit disappointing to know the newsroom rot has spilled over into sports coverage.

Anonymous said...

Thank you KC for pointing out the bias in sports coverage. It's an excellent counterpoint to Cash Michael's assertion (and that of others of his ilk) that these young men have sustained no real damage because of this case.

What do the legal eagles think will be the course of action once the rest of the charges are finally dropped? Will these media sources be running apologias to cover their butts against civil liability?

Anonymous said...

The Espn.com website has a link on its homepage (bottom right-hand corner) to its ombudsperson, George Solomon. I would think that any concerns with Espn's coverage should be addressed to him. I couldn't find an ombudsperson on CNNSi.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

2:43 said:

jones' mind is not incapable of processing the info as you have stated. he is perfectly capable of processing the info; he has just come to another conclusion with the same set of circumstances

In order to hold onto his conclusions, he's had to choose carefully from the info that's come out, ignoring such things as the full Duke report on the investigation of the lacrosse team, and the fact that much of what Nifong said (that led to bad opinions of the team) has been shown to be false.

stop trying to minimize the racism of the lax team. you know that more than one person was accused of racial epithets

Any evidence that the three indicted players were accused of this? Is it acceptable to prosecute for imagined violent crimes because of what some in the same room are claimed to have said?

who knows what else they said and did

Is it acceptable to prosecute for imagined violent crimes because of what we imagine some in the same room might have said or done?

nifong went silent after the indictments

His silence included such things as a long interview with the NY Times.

John Kaiser said...

I can't believe anyone would dare suggest these young men have sustained no damage from this case. They are forever branded as accused rapists. In the mind of many leftists they will always be guilty- at they were judged guilty right after the initial accusation.

Howard said...

It has been clear to us ESPN junkies for a long time that they are as biased as is possible to be. If you ain't PC you don't work there. Period. The worst offenders that I saw were Jim Rome and that clown Kornheiser. Both of them climbed all over the case especially featuring the rich (and hopefully soon to be sued) author John Feinstein. ESPN is racist (black is everything), and sometimes their bias creeps into game coverage. Glad you are taking the time to point this out.

Anonymous said...

Well Munson was right. Nifong was "managing the discovery and did have a suprise for the defense". All of which came to light on December 15th. Is Munson really laying low now? I boycott both SI and ESPN for their coverage and obvious bias (dare I say lies) of the situation. Forget Jones, he is stand up stupid. I hope these guys are included in the law suit - yes. ESPN also. Follow the money. Where is Cash? Jones and Cash - of Durham and Cary fame.

Anonymous said...

Well Munson was right. Nifong was "managing the discovery and did have a suprise for the defense". All of which came to light on December 15th. Is Munson really laying low now? I boycott both SI and ESPN for their coverage and obvious bias (dare I say lies) of the situation. Forget Jones, he is stand up stupid. I hope these guys are included in the law suit - yes. ESPN also. Follow the money. Where is Cash? Jones and Cash - of Durham and Cary fame.

Anonymous said...

Jones's bio says attended UNC - not graduated. Anyone know the truth?

Anonymous said...

Thank you KC for posting Munson's response which is indicative of his inattention to the details of the case.

I would not think of making public commentary, particularly "expert" commentary about something as important as a criminal case without learning all of the details available.

Munson's incredible remark of broomstick(s), the women's "sence (sic) of menace that caused them to bolt" (note to Munson, the alleged victim didn't "bolt" anywhere, she had to be helped to the car), and the borderline libelous comment about Finnerty and the DC confrontation shows a lack of understanding that goes far beyond mere unprofessionalism. I can't believe this guy is a Chicago law grad.

At least there's an appropriate element to Mr. Munson's last name, to borrow a line from a Farrelly brothers' movie one would be "Munsoned in the middle of nowhere" if they make public comments without knowledge of the underlying facts.

Anonymous said...

2:43 AM
jones...is perfectly capable of processing the info; he has just come to another conclusion with the same set of circumstances and so have a lot of the black community.

You know, I'll bet Bomani Jones is quite capable of processing the info on this case: he just isn't doing it. Now I wonder why that is? Can't be bias, because Jones has already ruled that out.

Well, whatever is the mysterious reason, you'd have to be crazy to go in front of a jury that included Jones or anyone who thinks like him. Never mind the charges - those "racial epithets" Bomani and 2:43 are so worried about would absolutely require a guilty verdict.

And they don't see a darned thing wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

Just to add a little to 9:56's response to 2:43, not that it seems likely that 2:43 will care:

The racial epithets: One neighbor reported hearing the "cotton shirt" remark; Kim Roberts also said this remark was made, after she got into a dispute in which she used a crude racially-based description of the team members she was arguing with. So that's one. Kim Roberts also said on 60 Minutes that the "n--" word echoed--but if you read her entire statement she was saying that because it echoed, it may have sounded like more than one person said it, even though she thinks it was only said once. (In fact, "echoed" actually means a repetition of a sound that is originally made only once--because it bounces off surrounding surfaces.) So that's two, if these witnesses are correct--and we don't know whether they may have been said by the same person. So this gives us some evidence that one, or two, members of the lacrosse team may have made racist remarks or may even be racist--not much on which to base a conclusion about "the racism of the lax team." If 2:43 is still thinking, because of the 911 call, that lax team members were shouting racial epithets randomly at passersby, he or she needs to remember that that call, and that claim, were made by Kim Roberts, pretending to be a passerby (as she also stated on 60 Minutes). Roberts also clearly stated that none of the three indicted players was involved in this verbal exchange.

One other thing--I have seen many statements like 2:43's that "these young thugs threatened to sodomise [sic] the women"--but that is far from clear either. First, no one has ever suggested that more than one person made any such remark; second, there are conflicting accounts about what was said and with what intent. According to some reports, there was a discussion of whether the dancers had sex toys, and one person apparently said he could provide a broom for that purpose. This is a disgusting remark, for sure--but if that account is accurate, it's not a threat of sodomy; it's just a very crude attempt at humor.

And to those, like 2:43, who want to attribute every bit of bad behavior by any individual on the team to the entire team, think for a minute about whether you do this in your own life. Are you equally responsible for everything you disagree with or disapprove of done by every person who is a member of your family, school activity, club, athletic team, fellow employees at your workplace, church, nation?

Anonymous said...

Another disturbing trend is the David and Goliath sereno. Comments of 9 to 13 defense attorneys against Nifong. Not the state of North Carolina and all its powers, but poor alone Nifong. Not to many commentators remember or even know that the NC Prosecutors had offered him help, which he turned down. Its clear, he could not keep the record straight. Imagine what his in-box looks like.

Anonymous said...

There will always be a bias against athletes because they seem to get special treatment in ways which help them at an age when they cant appreciate it or dont know what to do with it.

As long as athletes can get accepted to colleges that they wouldnt otherwise get accepted to just because they can play a sport, then there will be a problem.

The kid who lost his or her admission spot to an let in a non qualifier who can play sports deserves to have resentment against the system. When so many athletes flame out of school because of legal or academic trouble or dont bother to earn a degree, then something is wrong.

Most people that hate of them are jealous of their athletic talent, but there is a group out there who hates them because they receive special favors. Unfortunately for the athletes, they are often assumed guilty because of their overall behavior. It is a price you pay for fame.

No matter what you think of athletes, once all the information comes out, if people are innocent, they need to be treated as such. Why these charges stil have not been dropped is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

If you rank the worst examples of supposed "journalists" covering this case then Munson goes at the top of list along with Cash Michaels and Nifong's piss boys at the Herald-Sun. He's a complete jackazz.

RockyMountainMan said...

I'd like to bring to your attention, if no-one else has, this notable editorial from Black Athletes Sports Network:

Hard Lessons From The Duke Rape Case
by Earl Ofari Hutchinson,
published on Jan 7, 2007

Anonymous said...

<<<“Its absence is not important. There are hundreds of men in penitentiaries across the United States who were convicted of rape without their DNA being found on the victim.>>>


It is the case that in some Rape cases there is no DNA however given the specific allegations of this case there would have been DNA. How many cases are there with No DNA, No Condom, and an alleged victim who took a rape exam within hours of the alleged event without washing?

Anonymous said...

"Why would another son of impressive wealth go out of his way in Georgetown to beat a gay man for no reason?"

This really convinces me that Munson has read a lot about the case--NOT.

(And a side note to judge Bayly and US Atty. Weinstein : yes, stealing someone's good name, even if done in the name of good politics, does damage him more than if you had stolen his purse. Shakespeare got that one right.)

Petition for Justice in the Duke Lacrosse case :

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/208340697

Let's see if an army of techno Davids can defeat the political establishment.

Anonymous said...

To point out resentment toward college athletes from an academic standpoint is still a difficult case. As Myles Brand loves to point out, athletes at all levels are graduating at a higher rate than the regular student body.

Obviously, the financial issue comes into play here, as many athletes on full or partial scholarships face fewer hurdles, but considering the time commitment involved, there's a balance in place.

The fact is, an athletes-vs-students storyline here is a shallow one to dwell in.

Anonymous said...

Like Cash, Jones is small time. People writing into Mail Call, only make him think he is Somebody. - he is not only nobody, he is dumb. Let those who agree with him support him. Wtihout support from the white community, he like Cash will fade away. Jason Whitlock is usually a thoughtful commentator. He can not be that bad if fired from ESPN.

Anonymous said...

I sent an email to the ESPN omnibustman. Do not expect a reply. They are pandering to their readership. Boycott this station,

P. Rich said...

rockymountainman

Thanks for the link. That article is, in several respects, a healthy reminder to us all.

becket03 said...

I wrote an email to Bomani Jones on the day his column was posted, just as some others on this forum have done. I decided to go the route of questioning his manhood for a few reasons; a) his column avoided discussing the real issues in the lax case in what I considered a cowardly fashion; b) a woman at Liestoppers, Joan Foster, obliterated his argument with a show of literary courage that should shame Jones; and c) I saw a pic of Jones with him in a fur (probably faux-fur) full length coat with a mean-ass gangsta expression on his face that said, "I'm so bad," so I figured him for a typical full of his macho self sportswriter who'd be susceptible to teeth-grinding aggravation when his manhood is questioned. And, also, as the email states, Jones says we should shun these players because they've been involved in 36 disciplinary incidents, including public urination! I mean, how pansyfied is that?

So I just had to stick it to him. Plus anyone who has to tell you how "objective" he is obviously can't be trusted.

Jones didn't respond to me either by blog or email.

Mr Jones:

I write to provide a link for you to Liestoppers, where your pusillanimous column on the Duke LAX case is expertly and passionately skewered and destroyed by Joan Foster.

Since you're nearly faint from shock that "36 separate disciplinary incidents," including (gasp!) "public urination," have been linked to the team, I hope your editor has admonished you to keep smelling salts by your desk. And of course, with your delicate constitution, surely ESPN finds it necessary to assign stronger men than you to report on, say, the Pacman Jones story. You wouldn't be up to it. His seven recent arrests and presence at a shooting where a man was left paralyzed would have you quivering behind your mother's apron.

Here's the link to Foster, a woman with the COURAGE to say what's really happened in this case. Read it, and, since I'm sure you keep hankies at the ready, weep:

http://liestoppers.blogspot.com/

Signed, etc.

P.S. By the way, exactly how many times did these miscreants pee outside?

Anonymous said...

KC,

Want to know why Lester Munson doesn't practice law anymore?

Check out Illinois ARDC (attorney registration and disciplinary commission).

Nifong's hat trick said...

Anon 1:32
Athletes are committed and dedicated to their morals, values, work ethics,team efforts and school spirit. Not all athletes receive "favors" for their devotion to playing a sport for their school.
Here are some of the favors my children received as student athletes:
In addition to a full schedule of classes:
1)Getting up every day at 5am to sign in at the gym for work out
2)Hours of practice/day
3)Verbally abusive behavior by coaches
4)Spring vacations traveling with the team to play games
5)Spending holiday breaks at school when everyone else went home and the school was closed (that means no cafeteria)
6)Mandatory sign-in study/library time
7)Minimal scholarship money
8)Mandatory team functions and meetings despite midterm or endterm schedule
9)Games on any day during the week & weekend
10)At times required to miss class for games
11)Buying expensive practice equipment (Division 1 school)
12)Traveling by bus for games, arriving home late at night and being required to get up at 5am next day
13)Required participation in spring and fall sports program
14)Continuous workout schedule throughout the year
15)Running laps at end of games they did not win

Just to name a few

Gary Packwood said...

Duke lacrosse No. 1 for first time ever

© 2007 The Associated Press / March 5, 2007 6:34 PM

DURHAM, N.C. — Nearly a year after its season was canceled amid rape allegations against three players, Duke's lacrosse team topped the national rankings for the first time in school history Monday.

The Blue Devils (3-0) received six of 10 first-place votes in the USILA coaches poll to move past Georgetown for the top spot, and also reached No. 1 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll, earning 13 of 16 first-place votes.

"The polls and rankings are stuff for the fans and media to talk about," first-year coach John Danowski said. "For this team, we need to be focused on getting better each day and preparing for the next opponent."

This is Duke's first full season since a woman alleged she was raped by three men in a bathroom at a team party where she was hired to perform as a stripper last March.

Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans were charged with rape, sexual offense and kidnapping. The rape charges against the three were dropped in December.

Attorneys for the three players have said their clients are innocent.

Anonymous said...

Terrific commentary,” raved the professor of Education, “especially in light of the sickening display of sham virtue by the students involved and the parents determined to ‘get’ Nifong.

In a cesspool that includes the group of 88/8x, Broadhead, and Nifong, you don't have to be very virtuous to look virtuous. In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.....

As for 'getting' Nifong....read his response to the Bar....he impeaches himself. One must apparently stand in a rather long line to 'get' Nifong, and he himself is at the head of it....

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Best topic, but will this really work?