Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday Roundup

A wonderfully perceptive article in Newsweek, where Susannah Meadows and Evan Thomas (who have done first-rate reporting on this affair for months), tell the story through the eyes of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, and reminds people of the personal effects of how the media and the Duke faculty activists responded to this affair.

The press needed there to have been a rape to keep the story going. It was much too dull to consider that the lacrosse players deserved the presumption of innocence. Finnerty’s girlfriend, Jessica [who is one of the most gentle people I have ever met], would throw things at the TV. For weeks, NEWSWEEK’s cover story on the case, illustrated with mug shots of Finnerty and Seligmann (Evans had not yet been indicted), sat on a table in the family den before Finnerty finally got around to reading it. “The title [‘Sex, Lies and Duke’] was pretty bad,” Finnerty recalled . . .

Seligmann found the stereotyping especially painful. Recruited by Harvard and Yale, he had proudly chosen Duke. Now he was being portrayed, at least by implication, as a dumb jock. Some elements of the Duke community, like the girls’ lacrosse team, rallied behind the players, but the faculty seemed to write them off as racists and thugs. “It was a very lonely feeling,” Seligmann recalled. “You were looking for people to step up and be behind you when you most needed them. Certain people weren’t there.”

Seligmann also recounted his drive home from a May court appearance, when he reviewed the discovery file. “At first,” wrote Meadows and Thomas, “he was encouraged. There was nothing there—no DNA or physical evidence, and the accuser seemed to have changed her story numerous times. But then it dawned on Seligmann that the very lack of evidence made Nifong’s determination all the more eerie and worrisome. There was seemingly nothing that would stop him.”

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The Daily Show did its take on the media’s coverage of the lacrosse case, with this hilarious item by Jon Stewart, taking to task Nancy Grace.

One thing I regret: we’re unlikely to see any significant national press coverage (from one of the networks, or a major cable news network) doing what Stewart did in this skit: putting together some of the most outrageous things said about this case on camera, and either allowing the likes of Grace, Wendy Murphy, et al., to be undermined by their own words; or—perhaps better—allowing the people they slandered (the players, their families) a chance to respond.

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Joe Cheshire, Dave Evans’ lead attorney, has a revealing audio interview with NBC-17, available here. Cheshire blasts Nifong for appealing to—and stoking—class hatred, and also criticizes the “politically correct” in the Durham community and nationally who chose to exploit this case to advance their own agendas at the expense of justice.

Sources tell me that a loquacious Brad Bannon also conducted an interview with the Raleigh TV station, but it does not appear to be on the website.

And Reade Seligmann’s attorney, Jim Cooney, responded to some questions in bringing the “Blog Hooligans” of the Liestoppers forum behind the scenes of the defense:

I am happy to answer many of these questions, but please do not interpret these answers as any attempt to take credit for what was a joint effort by attorneys that I am humbled to be associated with.

First, the most important answer: Yes, Brad is single and he is taking applications.

Second, we did believe that we were going to prevail at the February 5th hearing. Through the efforts of Doug Kingsbery, we had the leading experts in the country prepared to testify about the “pin the tail on the donkey” line-up created by Nifong. Our hand was strengthened when Linwood Wilson, during the course of the December 21st “interview” with Precious, showed her the same line-up again (apparently so that she could learn their names).

While we would have all welcomed a dismissal at the 2/5 hearing, it would not have been an exoneration. Those who wanted to believe Precious would have claimed that the case was dismissed on a technicality created by high-priced lawyers. Consequently, when Nifong removed himself from the case and turned it over to the AG, we made a considered (and roundly criticized) decision to agree to a lengthy delay until May 7th. We did so because we believed that honest prosecutors, after examining this evidence and what we were able to provide to them, would not only dismiss the case but would do so in terms that would make it clear that our boys were innocent. This was obviously a calculated risk, but ultimately we were confident in the innocence of our clients, in the strength of our evidence, and in the integrity of Jim Coman and Mary Winstead.

By the end of the Special Prosecutors’ investigation, we had no more secrets - - they literally had seen every piece of evidence that we had and they knew what a trial would look like. Some of this evidence is under seal and cannot be discussed; much of it is still not known to the public. However, I think it is fair to say that our case was even stronger than what the public knew. We made the decision to share not only everything that we were required to share, but to share everything that we had because we wanted to achieve not just a dismissal, but an exoneration. While there was risk to this, in the end no matter what happened the basic fact was not going to change: these boys were innocent.

Bill Anderson, however, has made an excellent point - - there was nothing inevitable about this result. At any point in the process, this case could have taken a different turn or twist and we could have easily found ourselves trying it in a courtroom. While I firmly believe that we would have mopped the floor with Nifong (or anyone else crazy enough to try this case), anytime a case goes to a jury there is risk. Even a hung jury would have been devastating to these young men - - we simply made the gamble that we needed to go for more than dismissal, we needed exoneration.

Fortunately, we were dealing with tough,fair and principled prosecutors in the AG’s office. As Wade Smith said so brilliantly, Roy Cooper, Jim Coman and Mary Winstead are everything that Mike Nifong is not. While there was considerable angst in the blogosphere, we had confidence in their integrity.

The defense teams kept in constant real time communication. We had an email network set up and Brad and I talked with each other several times a day, seven days per week. Indeed, my wife, who has never met Brad, sees him as competition for my affection.

Shortly after I joined the team, we had a 2 day retreat in which we “war gamed” the case and ultimately designed the “end game” strategy that played itself out in our filings in December and January. Each person to the team brought a different strength and we had remarkable leadership.

This said, there is one member of the team that has gone unmentioned: you Blog Hooligans. I reviewed the Boards everyday not only for the latest commentary, but also because you did an excellent job of rounding up the media reports (which saved me time) and for the analysis that I saw play out. Many of the posts and observations were critical as I drafted the Motion for Change of Venue; the hyperlinks to original source material helped me reconstruct the incredibly inflammatory coverage of this case as well as the many cowardly acts that were taken against these young men that are detailed in the Motion.

One incident in particular stands out. In January, we filed a Supplement to the Motion to Suppress dealing with Precious’ December 21st statement to Linwood Wilson. In it, she claimed that the picture that showed her at the house after 1230 am, was in fact a picture of her going into the house. In the Motion we held back on 2 facts that proved this was not true. The first was that the picture actually shows her holding Dave Evans’ shaving kit; a fact not publicly known (at least until now). The second was that the picture taken just before it, shows her with one shoe. Brad and I knew that Nifong and Wilson had missed this and that we could use it at the hearing to show what a liar Precious was. However, not 12 hours after filing the Motion, someone on this Board had posted the picture and pointed out that she was only wearing one shoe. I remember thinking “Damn, these guys are good.”

In the end, the central fact of this case was that our boys were, and always will be, innocent. No matter how much Nifong smirked about his evidence, or how much Linwood Wilson tried to intimidate witnesses or change Precious’ stories, they could not change that single fact. We always knew that there was no smoking gun because there was no crime; anything they came up with was destined to be wrong and untrue. This was a huge comfort as we went through this case. To paraphrase Dave Evans, they were as innocent on every day of this prosecution as they were on the first and last days.

Finally, the Seligmanns, and particularly Kathy, read this blog regularly and have appreciated the support and outrage that has been shown. During a difficult time for them, they found a great deal of comfort from the comments on this Board.

I can echo the last statement. Kathy Seligmann regularly read the LS forums and repeatedly expressed to me her wonderment and appreciation of how people who didn't know her, or her son, nonetheless gave of their time, motivated solely by a pursuit of justice and outrage at Nifong's misconduct.

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Vincent Carroll, editorial page editor of the Rocky Mountain News, expressed pleasure at the AG's declaration of the players' innocence, but added his hope that Nifong's facilitators among the Duke faculty would now be held accountable. To Carroll, "the most remarkable fact about the Duke lacrosse fiasco is not" that it took so long to dismiss charges or that Nifong successfully employed a race-baiting strategy in the campaign or even "the cheerleading for the prosecution that could be found in such major media as The New York Times."

"No," writes Carroll, "the most astonishing fact, hands down, was and remains the squalid behavior of the community of scholars at Duke itself. For months nearly the entire faculty fell into one of two camps: those who demanded the verdict first and the trial later, and those whose silence enabled their vigilante colleagues to set the tone."

Indeed, Carroll notes, "As recently as a few months ago President Richard Brodhead was still defending the 88 professors who trampled on the presumption of innocence, going so far as to describe some of them as victims, too."

Nor, Carroll concludes, was this a Duke-specific event: "Would those athletes, facing a similarly dubious claim of rape, have fared any better at America’s other elite universities? The idealist yearns to answer yes. The realist, sad to say, knows better."

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An apology from John Burness was appended to the Steven Marcus Newsday column: “I apologize for the content and tone of my comments. They are not consistent with the viewpoint or sentiment of the leadership of Duke University.”

Over the past several months, I’ve dealt with Burness on a fairly regular basis: he always has been generous in his time with me and in answering any questions I have had, even though I have been quite (and at times very) critical of the administration in which he serves. His willingness to respond to my queries has made this a better blog, and I am grateful for his help.

Marcus’ article, however, contained another quote, from an anonymous senior administrator, that was far harsher than anything Burness said, in that it was a direct attack on all three of the falsely accused players (including Reade Seligmann, who no senior administrator had publicly attacked since April 20). And I’ve heard a number of stories from people who’ve spoken to other senior figures at Duke and have heard very similar comments to those of Burness quoted in the original article.

This reaction, to be frank, mystifies me. Over the past year, I’ve gotten to know around 20 current and former members of the 2006 team—some casually, many quite well, a few very well. (I knew no one associated with Duke lacrosse at the start of the case.) They’re not perfect people, but then again, I don’t believe I’ve ever taught a perfect student. I’m certainly not a “choirboy,” either. But each team member that I’ve met is someone I’d be happy to have in my class, or as an academic advisee, or as a student at my school.

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Sports reporters, in general, have not performed well in this case. But last week, an extraordinary column from Jemele Hill at espn.com. In a personal message to Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty, and Reade Seligmann, Hill wrote, “My being a black woman, my knowing too many athletes who treat women like items to be purchased in a vending machine, and my witnessing enough athlete rape trials where accusers are overwhelmed by their fame and fortune—it all tainted my perception and made me doubt your innocence . . . I’m sorry.”

She said she could blame Mike Nifong, or the media, or civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson. But, in the end, Hill said that she blamed herself. She fully realized that “for the last year, your lives and those of your families have been more difficult than any of us can possibly imagine . . . You have every right to not trust anyone and think less of people. Duke University abandoned you. An overzealous prosecutor tormented you. A community, a nation, didn't believe you. Journalists everywhere, sensing ratings and salivating over the salaciousness of black strippers and white athletes, chose to keep you under attack.”

Read the whole column here. It is remarkable.

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The Boston Globe (owned by the New York Times) has been remarkably silent on the lacrosse case, despite pretensions it has beyond a regional base. Perhaps it should have maintained its silent policy. Here’s the first sentence of the editorial it published after Roy Cooper declared all three players innocent: “Three members of the Duke lacrosse team may have been louts, but all the evidence suggests they were not rapists.”

What evidence did the Globe supply that Reade Seligmann or Collin Finnerty—people who attended a party in which they played no role in organizing and perhaps drank beer—are “louts”? None. And while Dave Evans, as a captain, played a role in organizing the party, can the Globe seriously maintain that convening a tasteless spring break party can overshadow anything and everything else someone does in his life, and therefore make Evans a “lout”?

I fear the editors of the Globe’s editorial page wouldn’t recognize a “lout” if they saw one staring back at them in their mirrors.

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Friday’s Chronicle provided yet another reminder of the sterling nature of the paper’s coverage of the case. In an editorial entitled “In Search of Closure,” the editors noted that even though the case is over, the University “is far from close to achieving closure on the broad range of issues brought to light by the lacrosse situation.”

The editors praised President Brodhead and BOT chairman Steel for pledging “to learn from the lessons of the past year as Duke now turns its attention to the future”—although, it’s worth noting, both men have been vague on exactly how they intend to learn from their acknowledged errors in handling the case.

Brodhead and Steel, however, at the very least deserve praise for admitting that they made mistakes and hope to learn from them. The editors, appropriately, then speak to those in the Duke community who took ultimately untenable positions last spring (or later) and have chosen either silence or defiance in response:

There are other members of the Duke community, however, from whom we have not heard, and from whom we must hear before we take those necessary healing steps ahead. These are the voices of the range of individuals, from students to professors to community members, who responded to last year’s allegations not with moderation, as the administration did and for which it was nonetheless heavily criticized, but with extreme, inflammatory and unfounded statements on everything from the guilt of the accused to blanket commentary on the bigotry of the student body.

Examples of such statements abound. From the English Department (Professor Houston Baker), to the Literature Department (Grant Farred), to the Cultural Anthropology Department (Orin Starn), to the Department of African and African-American Studies (Wahneema Lubiano and Mark Anthony Neal), among others, professors have made comments that did little to enhance the dialogue when it needed direction.

These comments ultimately arose within an environment characterized by mistrust, misinformation and speculation. As such, we are not accusing the individuals who uttered them of breaking any laws or even, in the case of some commentators, of proclaiming the players’ guilt; rather, we believe most of these individuals erred in entering the already-controversial dialogue in an inflammatory, unconstructive manner.

Nor are we necessarily asking for an apology—but by refusing to clarify or simply discuss some of the wildest claims thrown about in the heat of the moment but certainly not forgotten now at its resolution, these individuals risk playing a part in fostering the very same environment in which scandal and distrust developed in the first place.

In such a setting, issues worthy of university-wide discussion may be lost thanks to the penchant for hyperbole from a distinct minority.

Whether your statements were taken out of context or simply made within the context of anger and uncertainty which was so pervasive last year, the Duke community needs to hear from you, for your sake as well as ours.

The Chronicle has consistently played a constructive role over the past year. Long ago, the lacrosse captains publicly apologized for making a mistake in holding the party. The Steel statement has admitted that mistakes were made. It is time for figures such as those the Chronicle named (as well as Bill Chafe, Karla Holloway, and Peter Wood) to explain their actions. As Reade Seligmann’s statement to Newsweek demonstrated, the behavior of these figures did not pass unnoticed by those victimized by a false accuser and a rogue prosecutor.

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Schedule Announcement: Subject to change if events warrant, this post will be the blog’s final Sunday roundup. Between now and Nifong’s ethics trial beginning June 12, I plan to have regular (12.01am Eastern) posts Monday through Friday only; the Friday post will be a week in review. I will, of course, do mini-posts whenever news breaks or important items appear about the case.

Hat tips: C.W., S.T.

81 comments:

Anonymous said...

The brilliant defense attorneys, the extraordinary and relentless Professor Johnson, the incredible Liestoppers, the man who should be Duke president, Professor Coleman, the gutsy Professor Anderson, the tireless and insightful John in Carolina, the three innocent and courageous lacrosse players and their wonderful families, the terrific reporter Joe Neff, who almost single-handedly overcame a pathetic performance by North Carolina newspapers, the late, great Ed Bradley — and thousands of blog hooligans.

Dodi said...

I am glad to see that the Newsweek article included the following observation:

"Nifong got a boost from The New York Times in August. On the front page of the Friday paper, a long article featured a confidential report—a Durham policeman's summary of his interview with the accuser. Though he didn't take notes during the interview, he said she'd described someone with Finnerty's distinctive tall, thin looks as her assailant. The newspaper treated the report unskeptically, even though notes taken during the interview by the other officer present indicate that none of her descriptions fit the player. "We were so blown away," says Mary Ellen Finnerty, Collin's mother. "We were just so furious."

The NYT and Duffus Wilson have conveniently forgotten this hatchet job, so it's a good thing that Newsweek is reminding the entire nation.

Alex said...

Professor Johnson,

I think that you have done a literally wonderful service with this blog (as indicated by the fact that the defence lawyers used it as source materials) and the acknowledgement from the exonerated players.

Well done. Justice itself is, in my view, in your debt.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

1. I would say far more than the N&O Newsweek deserves praise for their coverage of this. Both the N&O and Newsweek made mistakes early and hurt the Duke lacrosse program and the former defendants. Once Newsweek figured out they had been had by Nifong, Newsweek has gone out of its way to make good for the players. The N&O got better as this affair has played out, but they never have made ammends in my view.

2. I read Ms. Hill's column earlier this week. You are so right that she is to be commended. She owned up to her mistake and apologized with no excuses. It take a big person to do that.

3. I am happy you are slowing down just a bit now. I for one intend to follow this as closely through Nifong's hearing and any civil litigation. But we want you rested and ready to go at the key moments.

miramar said...

Re: "Kathy Seligmann regularly read the LS forums and repeatedly expressed to me her wonderment and appreciation of how people who didn't know her, or her son, nonetheless gave of their time, motivated solely by a pursuit of justice and outrage at Nifong's misconduct."

Mrs. Seligman, if you ever read this, my daughter is a Duke student so I took Nifong's abuse of other Duke students very personally. Although I would certainly understand if Reade decided to transfer, I am sure that I speak for a lot of people when I say that I sincerely hope that he will return to Duke. People like him make Duke a better place.

Joe T. said...

Jemele Hill is an admirable woman. A wonderfully honest article.

don t. said...

Steel and brodhead are to be admired for admitting that they nailed these kids to the wall, fired an outstanding, decent coach, cancelled the lacrosse season, etc., etc.????? The whole gd world was watching their miserable performance...just what in hell are they supposed to do???? Deny it?? Blame it on Nifong???

My rage at this perversion grows by the day..

I have thus far contacted 31 fellow alumni who have agreed to withhold and withdraw all contributions to Duke until the feckless stumblebum is fired and the 88 airheads are reprimanded and fired if possible.

I will never forgive these cretins for what they have done to my school.

Trinity60

Anonymous said...

Excellent job covering the case! I look forward to getting a copy of your book when its released. Thank you again for the work you put in, it helped keep us all informed of the latest news in this bogus case.

Anonymous said...

12:38

The Seligmann family will definitely be suing Duke, and some faculty will probably be named as respondents.

The family, I'm sure, has no intention of enrolling their son back into overrated Duke.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

KC,

Thanks for all that you have done on this case. You have cut through the spin and replaced it with truth in a way that amazed us all. I am glad that you'll get some time back for the other parts of your life, at least on the weekends.

Jewelcove

don t. said...

Further to my previous post...my comments are in no way meant to detract from the unbelievably fantastic work you have put in on this travesty or your impact on the outcome. My rage at brodhead, Steel et al is matched in intensity only by my admiration for you and your efforts.

I plan to buy 10 to 15 copies of your book and give them to those I know who have not followed the case as closely as I have.

Trinity60

Anonymous said...

This just occurred to me:

KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor's book is mistitled, and, worse, covertly supports the bullshit "logic" that has framed the case.

If a competent prosecutor had gotten this case, the boys would never have been arrested, but Precious Panties would have been charged with filing a false police report and public drunkenness.

Given this scenario, the title should have been:

"Precious Panties Doesn't Wash: The Power of Soap in a Parasite-Free Utopia"

Polanski

Anonymous said...

KC- Interesting that you are a fan of John Burness, since he is one of the most duplicitous people I have met.

Not saying that his malicious bonhomie and gossipy nature isn't as impresesive as his bulk

but he is one of the worst examples of a leftist wannabe poseurs at Duke

Hates Jew, hates anyone to the right of Noam Chomsky, and I think hates himself fundamentally.

Anonymous said...

Burness should be fired, plain and simple. Glad he answered your questions, but frankly, that is his job. So is expressing the views of Duke University. I find his addendum to the Newsday article offensive - he IS the mouth of the University. And he called Duke arrogant and Pressler a bad guy. He has strengthened any civil case against the University by either Pressler or the three players. He should be fired, plain and simple.

As we see your schedule change, I have to say - THANK YOU, KC! Your work on this case has played a critical role in not just the decision that Cooper came to, but the perception of this case. Any time I heard a person try to denigrate the players, I sent them to your blog and said "read this, and get back to me." Every single one of those people are standing with us all cheering this result, and anticipating Nifong and Gottleib's criminal cases.

You have done incredible work, Dr. Johnson. Thank you, as a Duke alum, a Durham resident, and an individual subject to the laws (and weaknesses in those laws) of the United States.

Luke said...

KC, are you trying to slowly ween me...are you subtly trying to tell me to move on with my life????

Cedarford said...

Jim Cooney tantalizes - Some of this evidence is under seal and cannot be discussed; much of it is still not known to the public. However, I think it is fair to say that our case was even stronger than what the public knew.

Hopefully more can be discussed. I'd love reading about what part of the case that added even more weight to the Defense was blocked from, or under the public's radar screen.

And, even under seal, I hope defense counsel or their clients will eventually talk in general, not specific terms that would violate a seal order - about what is it that made the defense case "stronger than the public knew".

My guess is:

1. Tara Levicy's actions after her rape exam where info was divulged and opinions made that were not accurate, but under seal as pertaining to the exam itself and under HIPAA.

2. Past antics of Crusty Mangum that were known to defense counsel but protected by rape shield law pending court challenge (that will never be made, now).

3. Incidents related to Mangums drug use and mental health that were awaiting motions to use them at trial, but protected from public scrutiny as non-criminal and private - since they involved patient privacy at substance abuse centers and mental health facilities.

4. Other sex workers or Johns who spoke to investigators on background of direct experience or hearsay regarding CGM extorting from clients with threats of false rape, who obviously don't want their faces slapped up in the media.

5. Any evidence of Mangum doing snitching or payoffs to the police, which might shorten her lifespan is publicly known.

Speculation is fun. Some or none of my speculations may be true. Hopefully, more to follow from the media, Cooney, or Nifongs Bar trial or the lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

Here is a question for you lawyers on the blog.

If the Group of 88 committed libel and/or slander, could Duke University be jointly liable under the doctrine of Respondeat Superior?

Mike in Nevada

Anonymous said...

"Brodhead and Steel, however, at the very least deserve praise for admitting that they made mistakes and hope to learn from them".

KC, still pulling your punches with Brodhead. I admire all you have done here, but have always found it very odd that you have let Brodhead off so lightly. He is, in my view, one of the chief villains of the piece. He occupied a pivotal position in this case and proved to be a massive disappointment. (It is worth re-reading his open letter to the Duke community of April 6, 2006). I certainly think that he should resign immediately.

Anonymous said...

"I will never forgive these cretins for what they have done to my school".

Trinity60... Nor should you. I have no affiliation with Duke whatsoever. But I can see that it was Brodhead who cut the lacrosse team loose when a storm blew up. I re-read his open letter to the Duke community of April 6th, 2006, and think to myself: how can he survive having written THAT? I hope he can't. He didn't say as much as some of the Gang of 88, but he was, in many ways, MUCH worse than them in the effects of his choices.

Anonymous said...

I don't own a TV, so I have not been able to watch Nancy (dis)Grace until now. I saw the Jon Stewart clip. I hadn't realized how low things had sunk. What a sad travesty of free speech she is. One marvels at her shamelessness. A classic exmaple of the invert ratio between the size of the mouth and the size of the brain. Just as well I don't have a TV. Who wants one with someone like THAT on it!?!

Anonymous said...

Like everyone KC, appreciate everything you have done to help these boys and get justice. Weaning us - get a life and soldier on - We will still be here, but good luck and Gd speed.

Anonymous said...

I am as happy as everyone else on this blog about the outcome of this case. And I hope that the three accused players get to see justice done in the full and are able to get their lives back on track. They set a very high standard during this ordeal with their stoicism and grace under pressure.

But it seems increasingly clear that this whole imbroglio has done a great deal of good. (On balance, and obviously not to the players.) It has exposed SO MUCH rottenness, in the media, Duke administration, Duke faculty, DA's office, interest groups. The hypocrisy, corruption, ideological extremism, prejudice, and self-interest was already present when this case arose. By turning out the way it did, it has brought all of that out into the light of day, which is a good thing. Some (not many) have repented. Others who have not repented may think twice before launching their next crusade. And the rest of us will watch with vigilance for future abuses of this kind, which are inevitable (although, I hope, less likely because of this case). When everything is examined in the whole, the balance of good over bad in the case favors the former (ONLY because the case collapsed).

The only exception is that women who are really raped are probably worse off now than before because of Nifong, the accuser and all of their sanctimonious supporters. I would wonder how they sleep at night if I thought they were capable of seeing what they had done. But that would be to give them much more credit than they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Hill deserve much credit for her essay. That takes some guts. But she is repenting very late in the day. She waits until the Attorney-General publicly declares that the three players are innocent. Why? It has been obvious for some time now that they are innocent. She did well to admit her mistake. She would have done much better to have admitted it many months ago.

Joe T. said...

It's a good weekend. And after that third drink tonight, it occurred to me that Ubuntu the Clown has a good ring to it.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

I apologize.

Despite my working in a law office for decades, and despite KC counseling patience (again and again), I still lost my cool on this site too many times exploding in frustration over how the defense team seemed so placid in not arguing for a speedier end to this travesty. I got so angry at them that at times I stupidly thought they were in cahoots with the prosecution.

I was damned wrong.

Only now, after Jim Cooney has so patiently explained it to me, do I now realize that the defense team did it exactly right. Their caution was not to simply achieve legal justice - they were after something far greater and more precious - moral justice. Thank the lord, they got what they deserved - and earned.

Please accept my apologies.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:45

I think Ms. Hill's article, and apology, were provoked by the "compare and contrast" of the Duke players' innocence (about time!), Imus' crude remark followed by his open, sincere, and complete apology, and how things are playing out in both cases.

Her observations are - for both situations - dead on. Furthermore, her apology is a fine example.

Dianna

james conrad said...

Brodhead is not a leader, hes a mouse and enabler of immature morons with severe emotional issues.

GS said...

Well down KC.

you deserve a respite.

P. Rich said...

"...we believed that honest prosecutors, after examining this evidence and what we were able to provide to them, would not only dismiss the case but would do so in terms that would make it clear that our boys were innocent."

Just another indication that Broverman's "experiment failed" nonsense is, to the defense, evidence of innocence.

'The editors praised President Brodhead and BOT chairman Steel for pledging “to learn from the lessons of the past year as Duke now turns its attention to the future” '

So much meaningful PC blather. The only meaningful events will be replacement of Brodhead and a healthy helping of tar and feathers for the Gang of 88-1. Sometimes the old ways are the best. I'm not holding my breath.

"Brodhead and Steel, however, at the very least deserve praise for admitting that they made mistakes and hope to learn from them."

No, they do not. And I do not believe they have in any candid and direct manner admitted anything. They have been silent, or in CYA mode, pretty much all the way once it became painfully obvious this case had no foundation in fact.

Anonymous said...

Sweetmick says, I need a fix 7 days a week. You get no respite. You got us addicted to the real greatest daily show, and now you're beginning to shut us off. Okay, okay, I'll buy the book. Even 2 or 3.

Anonymous said...

Saturday nite's Fox News Watch with Eric Burns discussed press coverage of the Duke trainwreck. As you'd expect, the two token Liberals on the panel--Neil Gabler and Jane Hall--both fell back on the "something bad happened" argument. They stressed that the Duke3 were the cause of the whole mess; after all they were (gasp) drinking, and (good Lord!) hiring strippers!! No bad words for Nifong, the Duke infrastructure, or Durham city/county officials. And some people say Fox is a hotbed of right-wing reactionaries!!

Anonymous said...

A great summary.

Thank you Ms. Hill for an honest apology. It helps.

On the other hand, for the New York Times it was always about preserving the narrative. The players were louts even if they were innocent.

When I was a kid, we were always taught "Don't judge a book by its cover".

Ms. Hill gets it, the NYT doesn't.

Good night KC. Get some rest. Your writing is needed in a lot more places. This was only one battle in a larger war.

Anonymous said...

Will the Smithsonian be getting Precious Stinkin' Panties?

Polanski

Anonymous said...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Precious Stinkin' Panties will be starring in "The Love Rectum," to be directed by Spike Lee.

Jay said...

I wonder ... if some of the evidence that remains under seal might just be the identification of the DNA found on/in/around MIss Precious.

Might it possibly belong to (ahem) prominent citizens of Durham?

Anonymous said...

Did Newsweek put the guys on the cover over a banner of the word innocent? Please tell me they did.

Innocent until proven guilty is the pillar of American justice. Nifong is not the only person who rushed to judgment.

I love Duke University. Apologies must be made to Colin, Dave, and Reade. Pressler must be apologized to publicly. The team needs an apology also. The parents of players need an apology for "the blue wall of silence" that the administration supposedly built.

If Duke doesn't want to pay for their defense, Brodhead should publicly call for alumni to contribute to the player's defense fund.

P. Rich said...

Write-ins to today's NY Post, which earlier after the NC State AG statement had featured a pic of CGM :

"Are you insane? Do you want to start race riots?

I went to Duke and lived in North Carolina, and I can tell you that they have their own brand of justice - money.

The patriarchal attitudes there don't help, either.

Crystal Gail Mangum didn't stand a chance for a fair trial in the press or in the courts, and your lousy front page just affirms the worst in human nature."

Helena Kerekhazi
New Rochelle

"A few rich white boys come along and we should all stand up and take notice because they are exonerated.

I feel raped every time the white media take aim at this woman.

Perhaps Mangum has mental problems, or perhaps she was looking for something that this society will never give her unless she can find it in herself - respect.

Don't expect me to feel sorry that their lily-white future was tarnished. They will go on and live a good life."

Maxine Smith
Leesburg, Va.

"In the midst of the Don Imus fiasco, how dare you put the young lady's face on the front cover?

It just proves that in this country there is an underlying contempt for African-Americans that is manifested in words and print."

Janet Jones
Manhattan

"Whether you believe in the innocence or guilt of the young men involved, demonizing this young woman without knowing the facts is not just irresponsible, it is despicable.

Mangum did not create the media circus that ruined her life and the lives of those she accused. The prosecutors and the media can be blamed for that.

Unfortunately, the only people who know the truth are the four involved.

It is because of headlines like The Post's that many women are too frightened to speak out when they are raped."

Andrea Kelly
Brooklyn

The "true believers" out there will never surrender to facts, and this large group of idiots very much includes the majority of enablers in this case.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your work on this case, KC. I'm glad to see you'll be taking some time off now, and that you'll be able to spend uninterrupted weekends with your wife, Jackie Brown.

Anonymous said...

That sports reporter who apologized compared the duke case to the Imus case, implying that they are similar. Justice was served in the Imus case since he was fired, according to her. I do not see how accusing someone of rape and getting almost thrown in jail for years is even close to calling someone names. Will it soon be a federal offense with jail time to criticize a minority?

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm happy that this fiasco is over.

Al Sharpton still has a microphone. He's still on the radio.

After a week of hand wrining over racism and racial epithets, one of the worst black racists still has a platform.

And Geraldo Rivera says he's a great civil rights leader.

Anonymous said...

Coverage of the Duke Lacrosse case by the New York Times has been despicable. Duff Wilson will be forever remembered as among the biggest cheerleaders pushing this hoax. Particularly offensive was his bolstering of the rape-hoax-lie by front-paging the previously undocumented personal recollections of Sgt. Mark Gottlieb back in Aug. of 2006. Yet he continues to cover this story as though he had some modicum of credibility. Based on the facts we all now know, the Durham Police Department should be investigated for witness tampering, violating photo lineup procedure, failing to document key evidence, withholding exculpatory evidence, civil rights violations, etc., etc. If the NYT wants a story, they should write about THAT. Alas, that falls outside their politically correct agenda for "selling copy."

Anonymous said...

I agree. Duff Wilson's articles were shameful.

No justice, no peace said...

Since there is a tremendous lack of transparency, governance, and leadership coming out of Duke, it would be quite interesting to analyze the month-to-month giving amounts, # of donors, type of donation, etc. since this travesty began.

One wonders how Duke calculate/reports people who remove Duke from planned giving/estate planning gifts.

One wonders the success rate in competitive grant applications from foundations.

One wonders how large gifts for specific use skew the numbers. How do they report gifts that are later rescinded after a donor begins to understand Duke’s action and in-action? Along those lines, how can one measure how disgusted a donor really after they rescind a gift and have received positive press announcing the gift?

One wonders about gifts targeted for AAAs and gender studies, if there are any. How much duress do these depts. place on the general budget? Ironically they likely aren't self-supporting and depend (indirectly) on programs that are self-supporting such as the helmeted sports and basketball, sports they so despise.

Duke administration and board behavior certainly raise credibility issues on how information, such as fund raising is and will be presented.

Admissions numbers are another transparency issue altogether.

These people have institutionalized the damage, done an inexcusable job in dealing with the case, and insulated the indefensible by promoting and pacifying the professors at Duke that produce the least. Their efforts are a sure fire formula to win the race to the bottom or, at a minimum, fulfill the apparent objective to enable mediocrity to become the defining attribute of the school.

Anonymous said...

Joe Cheshire's audio mentioned in this post should be required listening for the Group of 88. They should have to sit in a room together and listen to it over and over and over.

rod allison, detroit said...

Thanks for all the good work, KC. I'll miss the Sunday Roundup, but its probably just as well - I have other matters to attend to and your coverage is always too good to pass up.

When the evidence file is released this week, I expect there to be some bombshell material that shames the Minister of Justice even further. I'm thinking Cooper waited a few days after dismissal to release the evidence to give some of the holdouts like the NCAAP one last chance to unhitch their wagon.

Anonymous said...

Preserving narrative at all costs!

If the Don Imus story hadn't broken the same week as the Duke charges were dropped there would have been another story national story preserving the narrative of persistent and deep seated racism in American society.

Don Imus made a nasty, stupid, racist and most of all decidedly unfunny remark about the Rutgers women's basketball players. It was offensive but let's face it, it did far less damage to the Rutger's team than Candace Parker and her Tennessee teammates. If they were given a choice between winning with the Imus comments or losing without the Imus comments, they would gladly suffer Imus'idiocy.

I'm not sorry to see a nasty bigoted jerk get canned. It was long overdue. But the story of the lacrosse players was a lot more serious. To compare the suffering of the Rutger's team with that of the wrongfully indicted players is moral lunacy.

Preserving narrative is what the main stream media is about. The Duke case defies that narrative and the Imus case supports it. Guess who is on the cover of Newsweek and guess who is not.

Louts but innocent- New York Times

Dont feel sympathy for privileged white males- Terry Moran

Al Sharpton getting his face all over the airwaves denouncing racism when he should have been surrounded by reporters demanding he apologize for his racial demagoging against the lacrosse players.

Too many people in the media owe their positions as reporters to affirmative action and too many executives have built their careers around implementing preferential treatment to readily give up the narrative of pervasive racial oppression.

Anonymous said...

KC

The piece by Jemele Hill was magnificent. You should have added in your press roundup an article in todays's Worcester Telegram about this great guy from Leominster who has been writing every day on the case

http://www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070415/NEWS/704150473/1116

Are you stopping the weekend editionn so you can train for ma marathon?

Anonymous said...

I continue to be amazed at the lack of outrage at the accuser. Evan after the charges were dismissed, she has said nothing. If she was the victim of any crime, she or her enablers would be calling press conferences from the highest mountain top. Instead nothing but silence which is funny considering the Imus fiasco. I gueee apologies are more in order for blacks who get called names by someone who does not even know them versus one from a person who lied to try and send 3 kids to prison for 30 years. Yeah Nifong continued with the hoax, but at any time the accuser could have used Sharpton to call a press conference to say she was sorry and the DA or some rogue cop was making her say stuff. She will start saying that after Nifong is sued and he tries to blame her.

Yet we sit here and focus on Nifong and people of his ilk. While they all should be severely punished for having the brains to know better, this does not excuse the accuser for what she did. Cooper, while eloquent, certainly is no different then Nifong. He knows the accuser is a con artist and not mentally ill to the point where she cant be responsible for what she did. He effectively uses an excuse, a liberals favorite word, to appease his liberal and black voting base because he wants to be governor. If CGM had been a big breasted white girl from Georgia who didnt want to get married, criminal penalties and restitution(maybe CGM could be in charge of trash pickup at a local mental facility) might be forthcoming. Cooper makes me want to puke.

For all the intelligence on this board, people seem to forget that if you let people like CGM use poverty and the social failures of their race to get out of being responsible for what they do, there will be an increased likely hood that there will be another Tawana Brawley or CGM in the futre and racists like Sharpton will continue to spout their racist crap. Maybe the next group of kids falsely accused are from NC State who cant afford the big dog lawyers to get the truth out and they end up going to jail.

Am I the only one who sees this? I hope the lacrosse kids have some civil lawyers with the ability to make CGMs life even more miserable then it is. While normally it does not make sense to waste money in civil cases when you are trying to get blood from a stone, when you have the economic advantage these boys have, they need to send a message.

White conservative people are getting destroyed more and more everyday. While it is refreshing to see the analysis on this board as to what the problem is, it will continue as long we are trying to be politically correct no matter what is done by the other side. It might take another 100 years, but Rome is crumbling from within and in the meantime we are all trying to make sure we make enough money to build big palaces to keep our families away from the crappy human beings that are taking over this country.

Good luck to those kids. They dodged a bullet and we need to learn that there are many guns stil being fired all over this country by people like Sharpton and CGM and the liberals who use them to stay in power.

Anonymous said...

Two Competing Narratives

There were two competing narratives that formed the context of the majority commentary of the case. On the one hand you had the view of Duke as the world of rich, privileged white males committing racial and sexual violence on a struggling black single mother. On the other hand you had the narrative of political correctness run amok: the obsession with white guilt gone to such an extreme that the delusional tale of a disturbed black woman caused a thirteen month witch hunt to frame three innocent white Duke athletes.

The greatest irony of this case is that both narratives can be found most pointedly in the writings of the same man, Tom Wolfe.

Wolfe's novel, "I am Charlotte Simmons", framed the entire lacrosse team as the drunken, sexually exploitave white male party culture portrayed in his novel.

On the other hand, Wolfe's essays "Radical Chic" and "Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers" was the hilariously devestating depiction of hip black activists taking advantage of the guilt and fears of ever accomodating white liberals.

It would be interesting to hear Wolfe's take on the whole Duke lacrosse debacle.

Anonymous said...

Many of the people in the media who place the blame for all that has happened on drinking and hiring a stripper are the same people who would be incensed if someone criticized a rape victim for associating with unsavory men or for wearing provocative
clothing. Truly a double standard.

Anonymous said...

This is my email to Nancy Grace.

“Nancy,

It is better a guilty man go free then an innocent man be convicted.

Furthermore, who is more guilty of a lynching one who hangs someone from a tree believing the person he is killing is a criminal. Or the one who stands up in front of a crowd screaming “lynch him here is the proof”.

In my estimation you are the one standing in front of the lynch mob, even when you knew or should have known the players where innocent.

You share a special quilt because your motivations were not for justice but for money. Face it the only reason that you tried and convicted these young men was to increase your ratings and thus your wealth.

Nancy, Imus made a stupid comment that hurt some brilliant innocent women. You made many comments that hurt brilliant innocent young men, and has resulted in basically a one year in home prison sentence for them.

Imus is gone and rightfully so, you have done far worse you need to apologize and the time you spend apologizing should be greater then the time you spent trying to incite a lynch mob. Furthermore; you should donate your ill gotten gains from the period you started trying to lynch these young men until your apologies are finished. Donated it to their families to help pay the massive legal and security bills created by you and your coconspirator D.A. Nifong, who knew he could not get a conviction in a court of law and relied on you to lynch these men in the national media.

Tom Elbert”

Maybe someone with better writing skill could write a better version that we could as a group start emailing to the rest of Nifong’s coconspirators in the media.


Tom E.

Anonymous said...

9:47am

re accountability for Precious Stinkin' Panties

I'v been arruing for a statute that severely punishes rapists like Mangum--and that's what she is: a rapist. She raped Collin, Reade, and Dave's reputation with her vile mouth.. And you're right, if these thugs aren't punishes, they'll do it again.

The larger issue is that integration is a failure. Just look at black-on-white crime (of which the Duke case is an example), affirmative action, and society's inability to punish black criminals like Panties.

I blame whitey for not having the balls to force the black community to be accountable, and I also blame weak-kneed liberals like KC Johnson for intentionally overlooking Panties' deserved punishment for her major crime.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

This isn't the French Revolution:
people who have come clean,
like Ms. Hill, deserve a
handshake. Disgracing the
fallen is rarely a good idea -
(it's bad sportsmanship, if
nothing else.)

But this is not a game, even if it
seemed like that to NoFang, to
"Cruella" Murphy, to Nancy Grace.
I'm grateful that KC has chosen
to run the Jon Stewart piece -
(and grateful to Jon Stewart)-
because most of us who don't watch
her don't understand that she's
the modern equivalent of the
fishwives at the foot of the
scaffolding in the French
Revolution, screaming vile
invectives and demanding blood.

We should never be as these people,
categorizing by race and income.
Witness the quotes from the N.Y
Times, provided by p. rich -
(ah, did ya have to actually BUY
a copy? Do you have parakeets?) -
which indicate the level of race-
relations in this country.
Some of us - posters - add to the
misery. I hope I haven't -
(Toxoplasmosis Gondii, nonwithstanding.)

For those of us who would NEVER
have known or understood a small
portion of the facts of the case,
we thank you, KC. If not for you,
we might not be here today, reading
the well-deserved litany of kudos.
(thanks to Bill Anderson and
others, too, particularly
Wendy McElroy in the early
stages.)

Jim Cooney gave you guys (and
gals,) such great credit -
and that is saying a lot.
For those of you who missed it-
of didn't get it, AG Cooper's
comment that he didn't use
"outside sources" meant that
his case and KC's were parallel
but not intertwining, and that
KC (and other "Blog Hooligans")
had it right. Couldn't be
higher praise from either the
Defense Attorneys or from the
Attorney General.

Thank you for all of this, and more!

Mac

redcybra said...

After everything that has been revealed here by KC's (and others) hard work, it would be a cold day in hell before I would ever consider sending a kid of mine to Duke. Especially with Brodhead as President. I had forgotten about this, but ran across it the other day. What Brodhead did at Duke was apparently foreshadowed by a similar situation at Yale, though in that case the accused was not as fortunate in his legal representation, if any.

National Review Online
June 6, 2006 7:17 AM

Forget the Facts
Duke's president has a history of allowing public relations to trump principle.

By Michael Rubin

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTcyOTVmMTQ2ZGY4NzEzNzA5ZDEzNmQxMzIyMzYwZjE=

Anonymous said...

HEY DOOFUSES< STOP DEMANDING THAT THE BOYS BE CHARACTERIZED AS "INNOCENT"

They are not innocent or guilty of anything. They are severely wounded crime victims, and because their tormnter is black, they will not see any justice.

IT'S REALLY FUCK'N PATHETIC YOU LOSERS STILL DON'T GET IT!

Polanski

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that Duff Wilson and Selena Roberts embarrassed themselves and the NYT with their "reporting." However, on page 24 of today's NYT, there is an article by Peter Applebome that points out (correctly) that the demonization of the innocent players continued despite the collapsing case. The article points out (again correctly) that the damage done to the players far exceeded the damage done by Imus to the Rutgers players.It also points out (again correctly) that we shouldn't hold out hope for apologies from the academia that demonized the innocent players. It even quotes the infamous e-mail from Houston Baker accusing the players of living like farm animals. I just wish he had pointed the finger at his own paper.

Frank Rich (who I enjoy reading) also points out (in an article about Don Imus)that Al Sharpton has yet to "apologize for his leading role in the Tawana Brawley case, the 1980s racial melee prompted by unproven charges much like those that soiled the Duke lacrosse players."

Let's hope the NYT "fesses up" and offers a genuine apology for its earlier reporting.

I just watched the Sports reporters on ESPN. They started off with the Duke case. They pointed fingers at Nifong, but more importantly they pointed fingers at the media that protected him. They admitted that the media rushed to judgment because it was (to paraphrase) the politically correct thing to do. They addressed the ease with which everybody fell victim to the notion of white privilege and this poor girl who had to strip for a living. Mike Lupica pointed out that Jesse Jackson had promised to pay for CGM's education and now claims that he did that because he didn't think a girl should have to strip for a living. As Mike Lupica said, that's good news for all the strippers.

I sincerely doubt we'll see Jesse start up a scholarship fund available to all strippers.

As a side note, I have always thought that most crackpot professors are ignored by students, and that the students do not adopt their diseased viewpoint. As a result, I didn't worry much about them. I now see that the beliefs of those like the Group of 88 are genuinely dangerous to our country. They hinder rational discourse and harm those who are blamed for society's ills. They also harm those who buy into their beliefs, because they remove personal responsibility from the equation. I have hope that the conduct of the crackpots in this case will undermine their standing in the community and will make it easier to resign their imbecilic beliefs to the dustbin of history.

Anonymous said...

Re: 10:20

As for the desire that we not "categorize by race
or income," and that perhaps
some of us have done or aree
doing exactly what the
Wanheemas and CGMs of the
world are doing,
I rest my case.

Mac

Anonymous said...

Mrs Seligman:
I am glad you appreciated the efforts of the bloggers. My motivation - I have 3 children in their 20's who have finished college and /or law school.
Any parent can (should be able to) relate to what happened to these boys.
There, but for the grace of God, go I.



Western Blot

Gary Packwood said...

PARENTS
miramar 12:38 said...
...my daughter is a Duke student so I took Nifong's abuse of other Duke students very personally.
::
Parents of students who comment here on this board deserve special recognition.

All of you are saying in many different ways, that political aspirations or egos or cultural wars are not to be advanced or won on the backs of young people on any campus.

Universities have a special responsibility for 'DUE CARE' when teaching and watching over youngsters.

When parents say that they take harm against their child very seriously, we should listen and then join together with those parents to get that message out to the university and the surrounding community.

Harming young people for political or personal gain is just not acceptable.
Keep Blogging miramar and Mrs. Seligman. Never give up.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

10:25 re G88 as "crackpots"

That's true enough, but if you examine the most corrosive members of the G88, you end up at AAAS--a totally worthless department that fosters antiwhite bigotrywhich led to the rush to judgment.

It's so simple to fire or not hire incompetents in the real world, yet Duke and other so-called elite institutions feel the need to hire low-IQ mediocrities like Lubiano and Holloway. They are parasites, and the university should therefore remove them from their host.

Get it?

Polanski

Anonymous said...

AMEN Joe

don t. said...

To 9:00. Amen. I sincerely hope that the smaller players like myself are not being marginalized by the likes of Bill Gates and other institutional contributors who are much more sensitive to the PC crowd.

To 8:30

Quoting Janet Jones: "....there is an underlying contempt for African-Americans....". No, not yet. But with the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and you, we are quickly getting there. Ms. Jones has a problem of perspective..she needs to get off the island and out into the provinces to get a sense of reality.

scott said...

Will Newsweek do the right thing and put the LAX 3 on the cover with the word INNOCENT prominently displayed for the world to see? People who saw their faces on the cover last year, but never followed the story and could still believe they are actually guilty, should be provided the opportunity to see their faces again now that the truth has come out. I would recommend a split cover -- the left hand side would show last year's cover with the NOT sign (red circle with a diagonal slash through it) and the right side the INNOCENT photo described above.

I would rate the story by Meadows and Evans as "so-so". It didn't come close to providing the reader with the facts of Nifong's depraved indifference to legal and ethical standards that those of us who have followed the case have come to understand. I especially did not care for the ending. I can see someone reading the last line about Reade smiling and thinking "the little bastard got away with something."

Anonymous said...

re PRich at 8:30

NO One deserves to be viewed as guilty until proven innocent. What is ironic is that there is a lot of bashing on whites and black in this topic...

Vengeance for slavery on all white kids is not fair just like thinking all black people are shiftless and lazy is not fair...for every "evil rich white man" that is out their there is an equivalent in another race, it just seems as if there are more because...well they are the majority...

Racism is something that will have to take time to eliminate. Some hearts can be changed and corrected (imus or other white folks that are ignorant and were raised by the bull connor jim crow types) but then you have gen Y who's parents will be in their late 20's and early 30 who are playing with other races from birth...that is my hope.

Unfortunately racists from both sides may have to die out before another leap in our culture. Have you noticed, most black and white folks that grew up in the civil rights era inherently distrust and despise each other? My pops (born 1951) has a inbred distrust of white people and he is not alone... when I hear or read the word honky that is a 70's word right? just teasing...I just want things like this to get better on both sides...I may have to wait until I'm 60 until that happens...unless Jesus comes first.

Jack said...

The hypocrisy is sickening. Let's not forget that Newsweek published jarringly implicit photos of the lacrosse players, the N&O and other local papers enjoyed dancing along the edges of inflammation, just short the point where they might be on the hook for slander and libel. The national television media were likewise despicable in their salaciously "merging race, money and gender" (as if that is a pre-packaged category, sitting on a shelf waiting to opened and spoon fed to a gullible public. Oops, it is!) Now these entities are somehow enlightened, free to get on the winning side now that the AG has proclaimed the players innocent? And KC Johnson seems to be softening, giving credit to individuals and organizations that displayed no principles, no common sense or sense of fairness; even that base line of skepticism toward the government and large institutions they so commonly exhibit when it suits their purposes. As despicable as the NY Times editors, its reporters and columnists and it editorial policy has been, at least they are consistent. No bandwagon for them. Same with the Duke faculty and the Gang of 88 - they felt last April that the players had done "something" and they are not now convinced they should change their minds. They may be many things, despicable, bigoted, self serving and wrong. But in this particular case, with the recent turn of events, at least they are not hypocritical. On ESPN's "the Sports Reporters" this morning, the panel decried the conduct of Nifong, the accountability of the false accuser, and, yes, "the media deserves much blame in fanning the flames of community discord" or words to that effect. They went on, as a group and individually (Mitch Albom in his closing remarks) to cite all the deficiencies, the lack of evidence, the terrible procedures and how this has had, and will continue to have terrible consequences for the 3 young men falsely accused. Yeah? So? What do they now know that they did not know last April or May, or June or September? Their "outrage" is disingenuous, their detachment from the "media" that fostered this travesty is putrid (I've already used “despicable” twice). Where have they been, and why should they be given ANY credit now? They speak of the media as if they are not a part of it - and a prominent part, Sunday mornings beamed into millions of homes across the country, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Daily News, Boston Globe. These men can’t bring themselves to say, "We were complicit, we failed to speak out. The clever, perceptive banter, the insights we spout daily, weekly, these are not indications of our intellect or our journalistic skills, or investigative qualities, or our sense of good judgment or fair play. We just played along like everyone else. If they possessed such qualities, they would have, should have been forceful and objected a year ago. Unfortunately, what they should have done, would have dome, we COULD NOT do.

I am hoping (and that hope is diminishing) that KC Johnson’s eye toward the commercial success of his book does not relax his position on the most egregious contributors of the hoax – the media in all its forms. Nifong, the Gang of 88, Broadhead and the Duke faculty, administration and trustees – there are always disgruntled, objectionable supernumeraries in any event. And they have been terrible, with Duke University’s posture particularly heartbreaking for students and alumni. Now, water carrier John Burgess is getting re-habbed! But it dies an early death without the media; those nasty, resentful, race baiting Duke faculty, the decidedly indecisive Board of Trustees, the sickening attitude of Richard Broadhead – none of these individuals get any traction, have any voice without the national and local print and electronic media outlets.

scott said...

Sorry, 12:38, your statement that people like Reade do make Duke a better place is correct, but your suggestion that he should even think about returning to Duke is unrealistic if you have his well-being at heart.

This isn't a Hollywood movie where at the end everyone who was demonizing these 3 realize how wrong they were and become "best buddies" to Reade when he comes back to a heroic fanfare.

I'm not speaking strictly about Duke, but rather the larger community of Durham when I say that there are still people who think these rich, white guys got away with raping a poor, black woman, and would decide to offer some rough "justice" of their own if they had the opportunity to confront Reade or Collin.

No, Reade and Collin deserve to try to get their lives back in order and attending another school, not constantly looking over their shoulder, is the way to begin that process.

Anonymous said...

The media reaction this week is a bit of a disappointment with many taking the new meme that this happens all the time and these kids are lucky because they are rich and white. And if they were black they would be in jail.

One good person in the media who did put together a series of clips was Howard Kurtz and he even mentioned Selina Roberts.

Howie is a true professional.

Anonymous said...

1:05

re media reaction

Did any media organization characterize it as typically vicious black-on-white crime?

Anonymous said...

"PARENTS
miramar 12:38 said...
...my daughter is a Duke student so I took Nifong's abuse of other Duke students very personally.
::
Parents of students who comment here on this board deserve special recognition.

All of you are saying in many different ways, that political aspirations or egos or cultural wars are not to be advanced or won on the backs of young people on any campus.

Universities have a special responsibility for 'DUE CARE' when teaching and watching over youngsters.

When parents say that they take harm against their child very seriously, we should listen and then join together with those parents to get that message out to the university and the surrounding community.

Harming young people for political or personal gain is just not acceptable.
Keep Blogging miramar and Mrs. Seligman. Never give up.
::
GP"

Pass the sick bag nurse!

You sound like the woman on the Simpsons, whose only line is the shrill exclamation: "But what about the children?!?"

Undergraduates are adults.

Anonymous said...

"Mrs. Seligman, if you ever read this, my daughter is a Duke student so I took Nifong's abuse of other Duke students very personally. Although I would certainly understand if Reade decided to transfer, I am sure that I speak for a lot of people when I say that I sincerely hope that he will return to Duke. People like him make Duke a better place".

Return to Duke?!? Now I begin to understand how Duke was able to get away with so much over the years (e.g. appointing racist profs, etc): a LOT of Duke students' parents are naive fools.

Anonymous said...

I doubt either of the 2 students will return to Duke.
Nifong is still DA and Gottlieb, Himan, etc. are still employed by the PD.
To go back to Duke, would put the students back in danger.

Anonymous said...

KC.

There is an excellent column in the New Jersey Metro section of the NY Times today. I am not sure whether the article is in the national edition, but Duff Wilson could learn something from it.

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/tsc.html?URI=http://select.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/nyregion/15towns.html&OQ=_rQ3D1&OP=76303113Q2FXRBlXQ7B-Z((Q7BXQ5BaaQ27Xa2X!eXcQ26ZBdT(cX!eQ7B(Rc-kQ5DQ7B.E


OUR TOWNS
After Duke Prosecution Began to Collapse, Demonizing Continued
By PETER APPLEBOME
Published: April 15, 2007


Why did denouncing three Duke lacrosse players remain fair game long after it was clear that the charges against them could not be true?

Anonymous said...

3:57

Could you (or someone)
put that on a link
for those of us who are...
challenged?

Mac

scott said...

This is a link to the story referenced in 3:57 PM.

Please note that it is in the NYT Select section so you have to pay for it. Nothing in the NYT is worth paying for.

Anonymous said...

I posted a summary of the NYT article at 10:25 am this morning. It clearly states what we all know: That the 3 victims contued to be demonized as the case fell apart, that the Imus remarks pale in comparison to the harm done to the 3 lacrosse victims, and that we should not wait for an apology from the members of the academia that crucified the 3 victims. It also quoted the Houston Baker e-mail that is beyond comprehension.

PS- I went to Vanderbilt and am embarassed that he is a "distinguished" professor there.

Anonymous said...

Eli Weissel, when asked what did he learn from the camps said "When they tell you they are going to kill you. Believe them. "

Anonymous said...

I am quite disturbed by the way many seem to be easing up on Richard Brodhead, Steele, and the entire Duke community of libelous and slanderous players.

Very few university presidents would have reacted so cowardly in the face of such unproven and amorphous circumstances as did Brodhead...throwing his own students to the unproductive 88 wolves and their sweaty-with-delight janissaries.

Justice, the type that life, itself, has a way of doling out with time, will come.

Reade, Collin, and David are young men.

I believe in karma above all else.

Debrah

BTW....looking forward to the "60 Minutes" finale shortly.

Anonymous said...

Does Nifong look like the kind of guy that would hang out with poor people - no matter what their color.

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

Don't worry about anyone
"easing up." The Lacrosse
players' attorneys haven't
even gone to the bullpen to
warm up. So far, only
the ballboy has been
brought out onto the playing
field.

And for those who think this
might be yet another example
of "wishful thinking?"
Remember the talking heads,
moments before the AG's statement,
calmly expounding on the "fact"
that the AG wouldn't use the word
"innocent?"

Have faith, and keep posting.

Mac

Anonymous said...

KC,

You note that sports reporters often did a poor job on this story. I worked in daily journalism for many years, and found that that sports journalists often got carried away with the PC aspects when they were doing hard news stories that had a PC angle. The reason? I think they felt that they were looked down upon by hard-news folks as covering fluff that was not important and, when they had a chance to prove themselves, then gosh darn it, they would show that they could make a difference. Also, the newsrooms I was working in always pushed diversity issues, even giving extra points for making sure we didn't sleight minorities.

Anonymous said...

I find Cooper's comment that Nifong was a "rogue prosecutor" quite a statement.

I am not sure that many know or have looked up the word. It might have been a way of more politically saying what he said about Nifong.

Looking in the American Heritage Dictionary I get the following definition:

An unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person; a scoundrel or rascal.

That certainly says a lot. Cooper had pretty scathing words for Nifong's actions but expressed it in words that not all fully understood.