Monday, May 21, 2007

More Bad Times

The New York Times continues to go out of its way to present the case against Duke lacrosse players in the worst possible light.

The latest example came in yesterday’s sports section, and was the subject of an excellent critique in Times Watch. The article, by Peter Thamel, featured comments from Syracuse professor Robert Thompson, who, according to Thamel,

was quick to point out the complexities in the Duke case, which he predicted could be glossed over if the team were to make a run to the national championship. The Duke players hired strippers for their party and were heard by neighbors making racist remarks that night. Reports later surfaced that 15 team members had been arrested in the three years before the party in March 2006.

“Were heard by neighbors making racist remarks”? In fact, one player was heard by one neighbor making one racist remark—which, as we know now, came in response to a racial taunt from Kim Roberts. Of course, Duff Wilson (in his August 25 article), Mike Nifong, and Crystal Mangum have disputed this version of events, but none have too much credibility at this point.

“Fifteen team members had been arrested”? The Times neglected to mention that hundreds of other Duke students were arrested for the exact same offenses. And, as we know now, these arrests came as part of an official policy of the discredited Durham Police Department to arrest Duke students for offenses for which all other Durham residents would receive citations or warnings.

The Times also gives two paragraphs to—of all people—Shadee Malaklou, treating her as a credible source. This is the same Malaklou who contended that “very rarely are the Duke lacrosse players not partying or drinking.” (She later admitted that she had only her own personal experience to substantiate the claim.) And the same Malaklou who asserted, after the AG dropped all charges and declared the players innocent, “In truth, even though the case has now been dropped, the events (and potential culprit) are still unclear.” At some point, it would seem to me, people who make repeated unsubstantiated or inaccurate statements cannot be treated as credible figures, especially since the Times article makes no mention of Malaklou’s past inaccuracies.

A final point of irony in the article. The headline notes that with its march to the Final Four, the team is the “focal point again.” Unsurprisingly, the article contains no mention of how the Times sports section helped make the team the “focal point,” through slanted and factually inaccurate stories and columns.

Obviously, all papers need balance in their articles, and any article on the team will mention allegations about the team's behavior. But given the paper's record in inflaming public condemnation of the team throughout most of 2006, is it too much to expect now that the Times will at least be accurate in its condemnations of the team, or quote from critics who have a minimum amount of credibility?

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't you know, the Duffer has been exonerated for his writing as Nurse Levicy lead him astray. He even said so himself and folk believed him.

Anonymous said...

I began reading the the Thamel piece yesterday, excited at the prospect of the Times sports section actually focusing on the great game to be played that day. I really can't take it anymore - I will cancel my subscription.

Anonymous said...

The article had such little to use as signs of "raw feelings" that they had to use the following as evidence...?

The team has made connections through its community service, but there are still some raw feelings on campus. Donna Lisker, the director of the Women’s Center at Duke, wrote in an e-mail message that she would like to see the men’s lacrosse team do well in the tournament.

She added, “It’s been a trying year for Duke, and I welcome anything that contributes to healing in our community.”

Donna Lisker is a very good person and I doubt her statement had anything to do with raw feelings and everything to do with wishing the team well.

Jamil hussein said...

New York al-Times is definitely the worst newspaper in the US. Its blatant extreme left-wing propaganda, and fabrications are getting worse every day but just wait for the 2008 elections..

mac said...

1:32
Could you make a link to
that article?
Just in case the trolls come
back?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The answer to your question, "Is it too much to expect, etc?" is: Yes, it is too much to expect. The last vestiges of honesty and ethics have drained from the NYT, leaving behind an intellectual cesspool. If the ink didn't run, it would be best put to use in the manner of the old Sears catalogs that used to hang in outhouses.

Anonymous said...

"All the news that fits our adgenda -- and some stuff we make up to fit, mixed in as though it were actual news."

Gary said...

strippers tsk tsk but legal

There's been a lot of comment here and externally that the players should apologize for hiring strippers, that such an act, though legal is ... bad.

I'm not a libertarian, but just like the principle of presuming innocence until proven otherwise, I come from the perspective that one ought to start out libertarian until proven otherwise [need I add by rational principles]. Thus, I want to cast some skepticism that hiring strippers is immoral. The sex industry does produce much harm to individuals, but much of that, similar to drugs, comes from the very legal restrictions on it that drive it underground. I'm not clear on exactly why sexual displays for money is so bad that society ought to (a) make it illegal, or (b) even condemn it. I'm open to persuasion that, given human nature, sexual expression of different sorts and in particular here the case of stripping should be controlled and/or condemned. I just don't see it given what I know.

Again, this is an argument from freedom -- a strong presumption that people should be maximally free, free of my or your morality, free from restrictions, presumed free. Then, and only then, you can start to make arguments for why this shouldn't be so, that moral or legal restrictions should be put into place. But they should be good, strong arguments that hold up to rational scrutiny.

In this case, you could claim that strippers tend to be the sort to falsely accuse you, but that's just an argument to use higher quality stripper firms -- aka buying used cars is often more disastrous, but I wouldn't morally condemn it.

I'm all ferclempt , discuss amongst yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Mac - I do not have the computer skills to link articles. Duffer told KC at the last hearing. Something to the effect "He could not go into it, but was due to the Nurse." Kc wrote this.

Anonymous said...

This rag is beyond redemption. I hope good liberals don't expect us to believe the Times is only "naughty" and biased on the Duke case and is completely credible on all else.

This newspaper is for cat box lining, if that.

becket03 said...

It's no surprise to me that the Times chose Makalou for comment. The Times has raised the craft of "quote shopping" to a high art, having practiced it continuously for decades on end. They've long known how to find the person who'll give them the slant they want.

beckett

mac said...

Gary,

I won't engage the moral aspect
of it, but I will say - as a
sculptor (not so much anymore) -
that having a nude model isn't
a big deal.

Neither is nudity.

Neither is temptation, unless
it gets into the realm of
fantasy (like: "boy, what I'd
like to do with her!" etc.)

The young men at the party
found out how boring a stripper
(or two) can be.

For my part, I'd prefer to attend
sculpting workshops, where fantasy
doesn't enter into the equation,
unless it's creative fantasy,
rather than procreative fantasy
(or something of that nature.)

At least there's a product to be
counted at the end of the session.

What did the boys get for their
$800? They'd have had more fun -
and less pain - if they'd just
taken a drawing class with
a live model.

No judgement, just a comment on
value.

Anonymous said...

Really, the NYT's infuriating bias on this story has not surprised me one little bit.

It's almost worth it to see the Times continuing to publish this nonsense, as long as it opens more eyes to the violence they've been doing to the facts for years.

xutag77 said...

If I was a Duke lacrosse player I would be keeping all of these articles for future reference.

Given the history of this case, they should be able to convince any jury that these type of statements at this point in time are deliberate.

Anonymous said...

How on earth do they consider lax a real D-I sport? Its only played in certain regions of the country, and watching these games, I don't think one of the big, bad defensemen on any of these teams could make a roster as a practice player at a good D-I football school. They're not as big or fast.

Its really a JV sport.

Anonymous said...

With what is going on with football, I doubt any of these guys want to be Michael Vick or Pacman Jones - who are representing the NFL in many people's eyes.

Anonymous said...

Less we forget - Jim Brown is considered the greatest Lax player ever.

Anonymous said...

Jim Brown is considered the best lax player ever... which supports my belief that in all likelihood, the backup linebackers at Appalachian State would be dominant D-I lax defenseman.

Assuming they can catch lax balls and are taught the game, they're bigger, faster, meaner, more powerful, more athletic, quicker, etc. You think there is one college lax defenseman who would be better than Paul Poslusny, Adrian Peterson, Gaines Adams, Marcus Lynch, Darrelle Revis, et al? Those guys would all dominate D-I laxers if given some time to learn the game.

Gary Packwood said...

The New York Times has run out of customers in New York and they are trying to get a 'toe hold' in the southern markets since the Canadians don't want anything to do with them.

The New York Times provides the proper grist needed to mash the southern aristocracy and derail the Monarchy and... the mutterings of President Broadhead sound similar to the ramblings of an English Monarch.

State University graduates in the South like nothing better than needling the 'upper-crust' who behave as if they are members of the Monarchy preparing to build an addition to their kingdom in Raleigh or Savanna.

The Ivy League in the South is more akin to creeping mold and dry rot than ...Ivy.

I suspect that the New York Times knows far more about the southern market that do prestigious southern universities.

The greater sin for college students in the south is to keep your neighbors awake in the early morning hours and peeing on their shrubs. May not be a big deal on Long Island but it is a big deal in the south.

Dost thou not know that creepy northern Monarchs make southern people crazy?

For those of you coming in to Raleigh for the trial, leave your shirts with the Horse monogram ...at home...if you are going to walk around town...for goodness sake.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

I can't understand why anyone is surprised at the NYT's obviously slanted and agenda-driven reporting and commentary. The only thing Pinch Sulzberger understands is losing money. If everyone who cares for truth and justice simply told NYT to take a hike, they would go under completely. Complaining simply won't reach them.

Anonymous said...

comparing Jim Brown to some player at Appalchia U is not making your point.

Anonymous said...

Well I think the linebackers at an obscure D-IAA football school (App State) are physically more impressive than the best that D-I lax has to offer.

Those middling D-IAA football schools are full of backups who are more physically intimidating than D-I lax defenders.

The only additional skill you need is being able to catch, throw and pass a lax ball. Certainly, this is difficult stuff at a high level -- but there are so many athletic football players out there on all the D-I and D-IAA teams that there is very little chance statistically that any of the current D-I lax starters would be starters if those players all decided to play lax instead of football.

On the other hand, I challenge you to name on D-I laxer who -- if he played football -- would be drafted in the NFL draft. Not a-one!

mac said...

Xutag 77

You have to wonder: doesn't the
NY Times have lawyers?

Meanwhile, it's obvious that
the editors have a vision
defect, and can't see any shade
of white - (as in, between the lines.)

Fully half of their sportswriters
can't spell: 90% of them
spell "agenda" - "adgenda."

Most of those same sportswriters
think "agenda" - (when spelled
that way) - is a southern word
for one of the three sexes.

Times makes lousy t.p., mostly
because you can't tell the content
from the... - (so who knows if
you'll feel fresh afterward?)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Gary--

"There's been a lot of comment here and externally that the players should apologize for hiring strippers, that such an act, though legal is ... bad".

Thanks for dredging up this dull thread. It was tedious when discussed before. Now it is just annoying. Just couldn't leave it alone...

Anonymous said...

4:51 says..

there is very little chance .. that any of the current D-I lax starters would be starters if those players all decided to play lax instead of football

"Decided to play Lax" ?? You can start "playing" football in 9th grade and get drafted high by some fancy college; you cant do that if you play lax ( or baseball or tennis or golf, etc) The best lax players (with few exceptions) start when they are very young (5 or 6 yrs old , often) and play all year long. Its a game of many skills (stick/ball handling not a trivial thing), endurance, speed, strength and so on. Slightly more complicated than blocking or making tackles..

Oh..and "could" isnt the same thing as "did". Some of the fabulous athletes you promote just wouldnt have the staying power to make it in lacrosse, IMO. And you could say the same about baseball, golf and tennis (is John McEnroe the finest athletic spoecimen youve ever seen, or what!?)

mac said...

5:30

You're right: comparing Lacrosse
to football isn't like comparing
football to rugby - which is
more challenging to the cardio-
vascular system.

Football trains athletes to
exert max speed/power for about
3 seconds, maybe a little more.

It'd be more useful to
look at Lacrosse and Soccer,
from a conditioning standpoint.

Anonymous said...

Gary - Is this true about the Times and NY. Are they running out of customers? Does the Times need to make a profit or are they part of a big conglamerate that uses the paper as a write off? I find the current state of newspaper fascination. who would have thought and it seems to have happened very quickly, Your thoughts,

Anonymous said...

BTW, the MSM reporting of this case really turned me off both newpapers and the 24 tv channels. Is this true of others?

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 5:21

The players did apologize over and over and over.

But as Carolyn 6:18 said yesterday here on this board...

...However, as to whether apologies and regret have come from a lying black prostitute or a corrupt DA or an invisible police chief or a spineless university president or illiterate hate-filled professors, etc.? Well, you may well ask.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Man, the Times just won't give up, will it?

KC, it's useless. If the Times won't admit what its lies do to itself (plummeting readership, destruction of reputation, etc.), it certainly won't admit what its lies do to others.

Michael said...

re: 5:30

[Oh..and "could" isnt the same thing as "did". Some of the fabulous athletes you promote just wouldnt have the staying power to make it in lacrosse, IMO. And you could say the same about baseball, golf and tennis (is John McEnroe the finest athletic spoecimen youve ever seen, or what!?)]

McEnroe played Football and then Soccer in high school. He credits soccer for his incredible agility on the court.

He won a top-level professional title at the age of 46 and at 40 was in the semis at Wimbledon in the Mixed Doubles when his partner pulled out to have a better shot at the finals.

BTW, if you think that tennis players can't be tough, check out this picture of the winner of the Australian Open

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 5:47 said...

...Gary - Is this true about the Times and NY. Are they running out of customers? Does the Times need to make a profit or are they part of a big conglomerate that uses the paper as a write off? I find the current state of newspaper fascination. who would have thought and it seems to have happened very quickly, Your thoughts,
::
The New York Times is owned by the New York Times Company (Ticker = NYT) which also owns media companies and other newspapers including newspapers in NC.

http://www.nytco.com/

People who understand the business tell me that all newspapers are concerned about the age of their customers as is Saks Fifth Avenue, for example.

Last week a Blogger gave us a cartoon about newspapers that is a hoot. If you will send me an e-mail I will reply with my copy of the cartoon.

I am much more familiar with the on-line version of the Wall Street Journal and their effort to attract those young customers.

If nothing else Houston, Atlanta and Raleigh have very large populations of young professionals.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed at the Times,but bemused by the denigration of LAX ers as athletes.There is a lot of speed ,cardiovascular fitness and and hand-eye co ordination.These men and women are good athletes.One might make the same critique of soccer or tennis.But the point is,they're not trying to playfootball.
I confess the Times ability to porray itself as doltish/dishonest is never ending.
Corwin

Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering - I read the WSJ also and find their reporting to be honest. boy, hope it stays that way. I also like the NY Post.

Anonymous said...

re Malaklou

The most interesting fact about this most unintelligent person is that she's living proof that Duke, along with other elite universities, has affirmative action programs for Muslims.

Anonymous said...

Gary Packwood 4:40:00 PM said...

The New York Times has run out of customers in New York and they are trying to get a 'toe hold' in the southern markets


Their connection to the South is quite old. Adolph Ochs who was the patriarch of the Ochs-Sulzberger clan was a native of Tennessee. I think he was born in Knoxville and grew up in Chattanooga. Until fairly recently they owned several papers in the South. Not sure if that is still the case.

Jack said...

Overheard in the Editorial Room:

Oh, great, they're still reading us. Love us, hate us, just give us the attention. Mission accomplished.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 7: 52 said...

...Their (The New York Times) connection to the South is quite old. Adolph Ochs who was the patriarch of the Ochs-Sulzberger clan was a native of Tennessee. I think he was born in Knoxville and grew up in Chattanooga. Until fairly recently they owned several papers in the South. Not sure if that is still the case.
::
Thank You. Most interesting.
I did not realize that Adolph Ochs moved with his family from Cincinnati, Ohio to Knoxville, Tennessee due to his mother's Southern sympathies.

He died in 1935 long before the people began to move South. He would no doubt be amazed.
::
GP

bill anderson said...

I went to high school with two of the Ochs offspring, Michael Golden and his brother Arthur (who was in our car pool my senior year -- he was in ninth grade). Arthur later became famous for his "Gesha" book.

While I got along with Arthur and Mike, they definitely had the elitist attitudes that one associates with the NY Times, and we see it again in this article. Thamel simply cannot resist making these guys look like hoodlums.

One thing to remember is that it is so much easier for people to be arrested now than it was when I was in college. But, news coverage does not reflect that fact.

Anonymous said...

Pinch is no Punch. And Keller is no Abe Rosenthal.

Anonymous said...

I understand why people are upset with the times, but this article paints a pretty flattering picture of the team. The "wrongly accused" language is pretty strong. And the Times was somewhat fair in at least disclosing that shadee was a women's studies major (nevermind that her quote was decidedly mild).

The times has a history of getting this case wrong, but this article wasn't a 10th as bad as their past coverage.

Anonymous said...

Lets just say that if more of the country played lax, the same kids from the same schools on Long Island, New Jersey, and the Maryland area wouldn't be producing 8 Ivy Leaguers or Dukies starting at the top level per year.

Glorified club sport.

Ryan said...

Where is the investigation into whether the other teams in the Final Four have ever hired strippers or made racial remarks.

Why has the New York Times not published the other schools' players' arrest records (or at least the numbers)?

Anonymous said...

The Times got it right.

The Duke lacrosse team might not be rapists, but they are racists.

Anonymous said...

***"Decided to play Lax" ?? You can start "playing" football in 9th grade and get drafted high by some fancy college; you cant do that if you play lax ( or baseball or tennis or golf, etc) The best lax players (with few exceptions) start when they are very young (5 or 6 yrs old , often) and play all year long. Its a game of many skills (stick/ball handling not a trivial thing), endurance, speed, strength and so on. Slightly more complicated than blocking or making tackles..***

To the extent you compare lax to golf and tennis, I agree completely. Although lax is a bad-a$$ sport in the sense that it is highly physical and there is a lot of hitting, potential for injuries, etc., it is like a country-club sport in terms of being played by only a select few (not because of its difficulty, but due to the fact that TYPICALLY only people who are well-off can afford to play... probably down to towns that Bill O'Reilly would call "working class" which are more often described as "middle class").

And who goes to "fancy schools", football players (Penn State, FSU, Florida, Ohio State, Cal, USC, Mighigan), or lax players?!?!?

Someone mentioned Jim Brown earlier... if my history is correct, JB was only able to play for a wealthy school that had lax because his mother worked as a maid in a resident's house.

Anonymous said...

Its also played in only a few parts of the country, making the talent pool already limited by the need for resources.

And the players are always like "Dude, sweet, lax!"

Anonymous said...

Lacrosse in the Northeast is available to anyone who wants to play and you do not have to have money. It is the fastest growing sport nationally and hopefully will be there for all to enjoy. However if you want to get recruited, as in any sport, you do have attend visible camps that cost money...for many this is returned in a scholarship. for others just a chance to play in collegeis enough. The lacrosse bug is hard to shake.

Anonymous said...

***Lacrosse in the Northeast is available to anyone who wants to play and you do not have to have money. It is the fastest growing sport nationally and hopefully will be there for all to enjoy. However if you want to get recruited, as in any sport, you do have attend visible camps that cost money...for many this is returned in a scholarship. for others just a chance to play in collegeis enough. The lacrosse bug is hard to shake.***

Lax for kids costs money. Maybe... MAYBE poorer high schools foot the bill, but on Long Island where lax is probably the biggest in the country, there are definitely districts that don't have lax and barely found a way to keep mainstream sports like football on the agenda (much of it through private fundraising and even substantial donations from their main rivals).

Lax is not available everywhere that it is played. At the current time, despite its being a "rough and tough" sport, it is truly more akin to golf and tennis than soccer or football or even baseball.

Look at the kids on the rosters. Clearly, if lax were as widespread as football, baseball or soccer, there would be more physical specimens on the field. Again, if it were played nationwide, a few Long Island schools would not produce 8 scholarship starters at elite D-I colleges from each graduating senior class. Would never happen as a statistical matter.

Maybe the sport is growing nationally, but at the current time, its a country club thing.

Anonymous said...

I can name one: Patrick Kearney. He started as a crease defenseman all 4 years at UVA where he played both football and lacrosse. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons where he has started as a defensive end for the past 7 years. Patrick was recruited to play lacrosse and walked onto the football team securing a spot on special teams. He then put on 75 pounds and became a force to reckon with on the gridiron as well as the lacrosse field.

But regardless, I'm not following your argument. I can't name one Tour de France winner or Ironman champion, or decathlete, or World Cup soccer player for that matter who would have their name called come NFL draft day. But I'm sure you would agree they are world class athletes. Lets compare apple to apples. Lacrosse and football are very different sports, both of which require strength, speed, and stamina to play at the highest level. In my opinion Lacrosse demands more of its athletes: better cardiovascular conditioning, eye/hand coordination, not to mention the stigma of being labeled a privileged white male pursing a college degree while harboring racial hatred and doing nothing but drinking and partying.

Cheers,
JK

Anonymous said...

You mentioned Patrick Kerney. Good for you, you've found an exception to the general rule.

When only relatively few people nationwide play lax, the athletes will, as a result, be much less impressive than those the major sports.

Thats obvious, isn't it? I mean, I went to high school on LI and the guys who got scholarships to D-I elite lax colleges were not intimidating athletes... they were just all-county laxers in one of the few counties nationwide where lax is big.

Anonymous said...

9:51 says..

Clearly, if lax were as widespread as football, baseball or soccer, there would be more physical specimens on the field

You certainly have a bug up your butt about "priveliged" lax players not being "great" athletes , don't you? Sorry, but the way of the world is some people have more access to "stuff" than others. But insofar as lacrosse is available in most high schools in the northeast/mid-atlantic states, I think youre all wet about this being a preppy club sport. What is it about "fastest growing sport in the nation" that you don't understand?

By the way, how about a polemic about how white and priveliged college football quaterbacks are? Are they the finest athletes out there? Or kickers and punters? Even inner city basketball players have better competition on the playground than poor white Appalachian kids, dont they? How fair is that?

Jen in Durham said...

Anonymous said...
BTW, the MSM reporting of this case really turned me off both newpapers and the 24 tv channels. Is this true of others?


What this case taught me is that even in the really big stories where the entire MSM seems to agree, they can and do get it wrong, sometimes by mistake, sometimes in a deliberate effort to impose an agenda.

Now I question the MSM's reporting of a lot of things, anything from this case to the Iraq war. If there's an agenda to promote, the MSM has shown that it is perfectly willing to distort the facts regardless of consequences.

LarryD said...

American thinker sometimes has posts about the NYTimes, Their first quarter earnings was down 26%, despite the fact that use of regional plants has kept circulation losses to only 1.9%

The newspaper industry is in serious decline, with no replacement business model in sight.

And Jen, the MS will shamelessly outright lie, if it advances their agenda. It's just that they're getting caught at it more and more, thanks to the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

LOL, yeah the "MSM" is really misrepresenting the Iraq War. I mean, remember when John McCain was able to leisurely walk down the streets in Iraq (with 6 Apaches, 500 soldiers, and stop-and-frisks of all the citizens in the area following a thorough search of all surrounding structures)?

Clearly, the MSM doesn't put these things in their appropriate, glossy light. Come on, a record number of US deaths in one month? But, the Marines painted 10 schools last month! When do we hear about that?!?!?!?

Also, lax players have lame haircuts and are socially inferior to the cooler, more well-liked football players.

Dave said...

This article truly unmasked the Times’ pursuit of an agenda regardless of the truth.

Just a week ago, the same reporter wrote a story with a similar lead about the resurrection of the Duke lacrosse team. It was straight-forward article that rejected the myth of “white privilege” and focused instead on two players from the New York suburbs who are sons of NYC firemen. KC wrote about the article as Times’ first effort at real reporting on the lacrosse team. I wondered whether the sports staff had sneaked one by the editors.

This article is the answer. It’s another story with a similar angle about the return of the lacrosse team but this time dredging up all the garbage that KC recounted in his post. Space in the Times is valuable real estate and the paper never runs two set-up pieces on the same event. So it appears that it was simply impossible for the editors of the New York Times to live with a story in their paper that presents a positive image of the Duke lacrosse team.

It’s baffling. I know the Times has become more and more politicized in recent years and uses its news columns to push an agenda. Many of the posters here have focused on the Times’ agenda. But this sequence of stories seems to go beyond even the pushing of an agenda. Why not allow the reporters to report as Thamel did last week? Why keep inserting these falsehoods into the news columns?

Anonymous said...

the times is giving a balanced report, not just printing the lax viewpoint. the times is printing the good and the bad and you people do not like it; you are used to canonizing the lax men but others do not think these young racist miscreants qualify as saints and they apparently work at the ny times.