Thursday, May 17, 2007

Point of Emphasis

Duke’s Office of News and Communications has posted what amounts to an official version of the lacrosse case and the University’s response to it. Unsurprisingly, the essay casts the administration’s actions in a wholly positive light.

The ONC document opens by noting AG Roy Cooper’s proclamation of innocence. It then identifies the villains of the case:

  • Nifong: “Cooper spoke of a ‘rush to accuse’ and said ‘there were many points in this case where caution would have served justice better than bravado’”;
  • The media: “In one of the many similar judgments made about how the news media covered the case, columnist David Broder described ‘a painful exercise in journalistic excess.’”

(The document also takes note of “extensive commentaries on blogs and tabloid television shows.” Given that in January, President Brodhead had linked blogs with vile anonymous e-mails, I suppose being linked with tabloid television shows is a step up.)

The ONC report contains five principal sections: the administration’s record of upholding the accused players’ presumption of innocence; the cancellation of the 2006 lacrosse season; the significance of Jim Coleman’s opinions on the case; the standards the administration offered for when a University should comment on legal matters; and the effects of the case on Duke.

Today’s post examines the first of these issues; tomorrow’s will look at the other four.

From his first statement in March 2006, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead repeatedly emphasized both the seriousness of the charges and the need for the players to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise within the legal system.

April Statements

This assertion does not accurately describe two of Brodhead’s key statements from April 2006.

(1) In Brodhead’s April 5, 2006 statement—the president’s final remarks on the case before the first two indictments—he announced the cancellation of the season, the dismissal of Coach Mike Pressler, and the formation of five investigative committees. This statement included no reference to a presumption of innocence, although it spoke of the seriousness of the charges at length, and in passionate terms. The statement opened with four paragraphs based on the thesis that

we can’t be surprised at the outpouring of outrage. Rape is the substitution of raw power for love, brutality for tenderness, and dehumanization for intimacy. It is also the crudest assertion of inequality, a way to show that the strong are superior to the weak and can rightfully use them as the objects of their pleasure. When reports of racial abuse are added to the mix, the evil is compounded, reviving memories of the systematic racial oppression we had hoped to have left behind us . . . Compounding and intensifying these issues of race and gender, they include concerns about the deep structures of inequality in our society—inequalities of wealth, privilege, and opportunity (including educational opportunity), and the attitudes of superiority those inequalities breed. And they include concerns that, whether they intend to or not, universities like Duke participate in this inequality and supply a home for a culture of privilege. The objection of our East Campus neighbors was a reaction to an attitude of arrogant inconsiderateness that reached its peak in the alleged event but that had long preceded it.

Meanwhile, in its 2,399 words, the April 5 statement made no mention of presumption of innocence. The closest it came to even entertaining the possibility that Crystal Mangum was lying came in the following two sentences:

I assure you, however, that the Duke disciplinary system will be brought to bear as soon as this can appropriately be done. Until that time, I urge us to be patient and remind ourselves that allegations have been made, the team has denied them, and we must wait until the authorities act before reaching any judgment in the criminal case.

I don’t think that many people would seriously argue that those sentences constituted “emphasizing” a presumption of innocence.

(2) On April 20, 2006, Brodhead made his first public appearance after the arrests of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. He informed the Durham Chamber of Commerce, “If our students did what is alleged, it is appalling to the worst degree. If they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough.”

There were, however, victims in the case, according to the president: “This has been such a difficult issue for our campus and throughout the community . . . Of the things that have pained me about this episode, one of the greatest ones is all the publicity that this has brought, unwished to Duke University and, indeed, Durham.”

Again, I don’t think that many people would seriously argue that those sentences constituted “emphasizing” a presumption of innocence.

March Statements

In his first two statements on the case, on the other hand, Brodhead did affirm his support for the presumption of innocence.

On March 25, 2006, he asserted, “The facts are not yet established, however, and there are very different versions of the central events. No charges have been filed, and in our system of law, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. We also know that many members of the team, including some who were asked to provide DNA samples, did not attend the party.” These 58 words comprised 33 percent of the total statement—the highest percentage dealing with a presumption of innocence in any Brodhead statement for months.

Yet none of the newspapers that covered the statement—the N&O, the Herald-Sun, the Chronicle, or the AP—quoted the remarks above. (The H-S paraphrased it, while the Chronicle mentioned but didn’t quote Brodhead’s assertion that not all team members attended the party. The N&O and AP didn’t quote or reference the three sentences at all.) Perhaps that was because the three sentences were overshadowed both by the abrupt cancellation of the Georgetown game and by Brodhead’s opening, arresting sentence: “Physical coercion and sexual assault are unacceptable in any setting and have no place at Duke.” All three papers plus the AP quoted the sentence—which implied that the president believed a crime occurred—verbatim.

If, as the ONC document now claims, Brodhead was determined to emphasize both the seriousness of the charges and the need for the players to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise within the legal system,” he might have adjusted his subsequent statements to guard against any media misrepresentation. Instead, by April 5, comments about the presumption of innocence had vanished entirely. Over the next two months, Brodhead would label the lacrosse players “arrogant,” “dishonorable,” “disrespectful,” and “irresponsible”; say their behavior was “heinous,” “highly inappropriate,” and “unacceptable”; and blast the team’s “culture of privilege.”

Even Duke’s own official publications paid little attention to the president’s increasingly pro forma comments about the presumption of innocence.

Take, for instance, the Office of News and Communication summary of the March 28, 2006 press conference in which Brodhead announced the indefinite suspension of the season. Brodhead’s remarks paralleled those of March 25 (he used the same words in many places); both contained sizable chunks dealing with a presumption of innocence. Yet the ONC summary—entitled, “Brodhead: ‘It Is Not the Time to Be Playing Games’”—didn’t mention the president commenting on presumption of innocence. The Duke document did, however, quote the president saying, “Physical coercion and sexual assault are unacceptable in any setting and will not be tolerated at Duke. As none of us would choose to be the object of such conduct, so none of us has the right to subject another person to such behavior. Since they run counter to such fundamental values, the claims against our players, if verified, will warrant very serious penalties, both from the university and in the courts.”

The longest official Duke summary of the lacrosse situation was Robert Bliwise’s “Spring of Sorrows” article, which appeared in the May/June Duke Magazine, an official University publication sent to all Duke alumni. In more than 6000 words, Bliwise never claimed that Brodhead emphasized “the need for the players to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise within the legal system.” In fact, Bliwise never mentioned Brodhead even uttering the phrase presumption of innocence. Instead, the Duke publication quoted liberally from Brodhead’s April 5 statement.

It would seem that if Brodhead wanted to emphasize his commitment to the presumption of innocence, he could have ensured that official Duke publications made the point.

In his July 25 letter to Friends of Duke, meanwhile, Brodhead stated that “we are eager for our students to be proved innocent.” Of course, a presumption of innocence presumes that the accused don’t need to be proved innocent.

People of good faith can disagree on the merits of Brodhead’s original approach to the case. As Jim Coleman has pointed out, an excessively aggressive defense of the accused students by the Duke administration could very well have backfired.

But it’s hard to see how the record above could support an assertion that a “presumption of innocence” was “emphasized” by the administration throughout the case.

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

Professor Johnson easily wins this argument. The inept Duke administration and the pathetic Brodhead are simply an embarrassment to a once-great university.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It's amazing to see Brodhead and Bob Ashley jump through hoops and claim that they really didn't say what they said. Wouldn't it be easier to simply apologize?

As bad as that is, this revisionist history at least implicitly recognizes that what they did was wrong, no matter how much they say otherwise. The core group of 88, on the other hand, actually seems to be proud of what they did. While Brodhead and Ashley try to find a way to put it in reverse, Fared puts it into overdrive...

Anonymous said...

Farred is simply a daily reminder of how Duke treated the lacrosse players and their coach.

Gary Packwood said...

I have read his March 25, 2006 statement many times and I still shutter when he says.... "No charges have been filed, and in our system of law, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty."

That almost sounds like an apology for going backward that he is giving to the extremists on campus such as Grant Farred.

I just never say IN OUR SYSTEM OF LAW and it annoys me that the Broadhead did.
::
GP

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

OMG - We are back to body parts - no body fluids please. The folk at Duke are going to do it their way and tough it out. Just as the DPD, citizens of Durham and anyone else in NC except Nifong. They have their right to go to Hades in their own way too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kc - for deleting the stuff.

Gene Machina said...

What is striking about Brodhead's comments at the time is how readily he assumes that accusations by a black stripper must be true. If Crystal Mangum has been white, he would have been far more skeptical. He probably was so fearful of the blowback that would result if he'd raised even a hint of doubt about her credibility that he was forced to act as if he believed her implicitly.

I also suspect that Brodhead, even if he didn't believe the gang rape accusations, almost certainly thought the lacrosse players called the strippers "niggers." For a white college administrator like him that probably seemed more heinous than rape. As he said at the time, even if the players didn't rape the stripper, "what they did do, (allegedly use the n-word)was bad enough." in short, Brodhead is a fool. For him, a racial taunt is worse than a gang rape.

Anonymous said...

This statement is the best Duke's administration can do? It is pathetic when compared to the statement signed by 1000 Duke students. If the administration cannot do better than this, they really ought to hand in their resignations. Dr. Johnson correctly shows the Duke administration's statement to be intellectually weak and at variance with the vast body of evidence.

Anonymous said...

The behavior, actions, and statements by the Duke admin-istration are very consistent with poor character and lack of ethics.

As anyone who has spent any time in academia knows, this is not all all unusual in our institutions of higher learning.

Often educators can be idiots-probably more that any other major field.

Anonymous said...

the timing right behind the DPD WHITEWASH is amazingly news insensitive...the dummies at the Duke newsorganization must be using the group of 88 for public relations advisory

the trustees have ended the year, and DUKE once again allegedly slanders the students and challenges them to sue duke...

broadrot is playing a game of chess but hes a disabled player...and the "shutdown" of his presidency is coming, as he shut down the lacrosse team

this time we know where the facts are...this time ...

the wheels of justice will make him eat his broadrotted burgessed words...

Gary said...

I don't think that Brodhead's days are necessarily numbered at Duke -- he never suggested that it was legitimate to study whether there might be differences between men and woman for example. He may well weather this storm.

I do wish he'd at least say something like "Though I did try to uphold the presumption of innocence, I too was swept up in the emotions and stereotypes of the times. However, once burned is twice shy, never again."

Baring that, I wish privately that he's vowed to stay out of the thrall of the group of 88 and sort of wall off that growth -- keep it a cyst as it were rather than allow the cancer to continue to grow.

I'm not holding my breath however.

Anonymous said...

this isnt going away

and the longer it lingers so to will the bad publicity at duke

he made the players team and coach walk the plank...he needs to taste the same medicine

the BOOKS coming about on this will awaken readers...in fact im thinking of proposing a movie as the reverse racism, the superiority of negroes as if they have moral authority just like duke, is compelling drama

READE is the new RUDY

Anonymous said...

reade needs to be carried from the field like ruttiger was...he needs to be the hero for all those innocent white players who are harmed simply because of who they are and what they stand for

all three players need to be carried from the field and broadrot needs to sent packing

Anonymous said...

Who is paying the attorney that is "helping" Mangum financially? One wonders about the nature and extent of her connections in the police department. There appears to be nothing she can do to get herself arrested.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead fired the lacrosse coach, canceled the season, and expelled the three students.

This is not emphasizing the presumption of innocence.

Duke isn't just telling lies. It's telling stupid lies.

Anonymous said...

I am getting impatient for resolution of all of this. It took a long time for the three falsly accused boys to be proclaimed innocent, but justice has not been done yet. The bad actors at Duke, the DPD, and the DA's office remain uncontrite. All of the fancy words in the Duke report and in the DPD report do nothing to make amends. I find this disgusting and frustrating, and hope that no parent, ever again, will send their child to Duke. Supporters of Duke will say that it is not just Duke, or the legacy or the 'institution' of Duke should not be punished, but there seems that there will be no closure. I've started talking to the young lacrosse players that I coach, warning them about 'wrong place - wrong time situations' and warning them about attending Duke. Don't consider Duke - Duke is the university that screwed its lacrosse players. I look at kids wearing clothing with the Duke logo and shake my head in confusion: Why would you support that place? Why would you alumni support that place? It's a sick environment.

With all that said, I'll be in the stands at Navy this Sunday cheering their team on, and I'll be in Ravens stadium in Balto on Memorial Day weekend cheering them on if they make the F4, because these boys have overcome adversity. Congratulations to them, and there are lots of 'life lessons' in their success, but there is no reason to send kids into that environment when you know that it reeks.

bill anderson said...

Good job, K.C. This gives the lie to Brodhead's attempts to re-write the record by now saying that HE emphasized innocence and all that. Granted, I do understand James Coleman's point, but Brodhead:

1. Could have met with the families and told them what Coleman said. He could have had Coleman with him when he spoke to the families, and that would have been helpful;

2. Could have left out the extracurricular statements that he made about coercion and the like. He was trying to play both sides, and since Nifong was hellbent to throw people in jail, Brodhead decided not to be caught on the losing side (or what he thought would be the losing side).

Unfortunately, he refused to meet with the families, threw the players to the wolves on campus, and generally hid behind the worst kinds of statements. Keep holding him to the truth, K.C.

bill anderson said...

I need to emphasize one other point: Last year, the official Duke response was to demonize the LAX players. We were told of a report (nonexistent) that spoke of the LAX team as a "train wreck" waiting to happen.

We were told ad nauseum that they were a criminal gang because some of the were arrested for PUBLIC URINATION. (Translate: peeing in the bushes late at night in fairly remote areas.)

If there was -- and is -- a train wreck, it is the juxtopositioning of Duke University with the rest of Durham. We have a faculty at Duke that both is "elite" yet wants to make itself "one with the people." Thus, while Duke is expensive and elite, there is no shortfall of groveling and apologizing to the rest of Durham for Duke's being what it is.

Does anyone think that Brodhead would have cancelled the basketball team had it hired strippers? (The answer is "No," since the basketball team had a party in which it hired strippers.)

You see, the mostly-white LAX team was the perfect target and the gutless administrators at Duke made its choices. Now it must live with them.

Ex-prosecutor said...

Since Duke believes that Mr. Brodhead behaved in such an exemplary fashion, I, as a non-Duke graduate, propose that he be given an award for his great courage, leadership and wisdom. Perhaps a lovely certificate, utilizing some of his notable statements, and suitable for framing.

It is a sad comment on our times, but his actions and inactions are typical of what we could expect of university administrators. When class and race are involved, they choose the pc highway, regardless of the facts. That's a route requiring no bravery.

mac said...

Wednesday's post gives us a picture
of a DPD and City Manager who refuse
correction, and who are racists against
blacks as well as whites.
This morning's post - and commentaries -
illustrates Brodhead's inability
to communicate - and with respect
to what Bill Anderson wrote -
Brodhead's unwillingness to
communicate.

Let's compare notes: the DPD
and Nifong wouldn't accept
exculpatory evidence from the
students' attorneys; Brodhead
wouldn't meet with the players
and their parents.
I'm wondering if the students'
attorneys also attempted to
contact President Brodhead?

Is there a plague of Aspergers
Syndrome in Durham?

bill anderson said...

There is one other point that needs to be emphasized: While Brodhead has gone on and on about the "persecution" of some members of the G88 who have received some nasty emails, he has said NOTHING about the death threats to the LAX players and the vicious verbal threats made to them on campus and in at least some of the classrooms.

Moreover, he has said NOTHING about the attacks on Mike Pressler and his family. Would Brodhead have stood for Karla Holloway or Houston Baker receiving the same treatment? So, let us put all of this into perspective, PLEASE!

Anonymous said...

KC, another excellent post. Seriously, is there a movie coming out on the Duke case? There should be.

Anonymous said...

This latest Duke lacrosse report is just another piece of evidence for plaintiff lawyers to use against the University. For a school with so much puffery, Duke is capable of some really stupid moves. This latest report is one of them. If the 2007 team wins the national championship, Brodhead will be there acting as thought he invented the game. These people are fooling no one.

rrhamilton said...

The bottomline is that Duke says the expelled players, Finnerty and Seligmann are "welcome" back on campus. But that's a lie, because if the players were truly "welcome" to return, then wouldn't they feel "welcome" to return? And if they feel "welcome" to return, then wouldn't they return? After all, they made the choice to attend Duke three years ago -- when they felt they were truly welcome. That they do not plan to return now proves that Duke does not welcome them to return.

I understand that Solomon "Kill The Whities" Burnett is a visiting student at Duke. So, the situation is this at Duke: A racist criminal like Burnett feels welcome at Duke, but innocent white students do not. That is the legacy of the Brodhead presidency that must never be forgotten.

If Brodhead wants to bring truth to his words then he must give more than words. A good first step would be to announce that each anniversary of April 11th (the date the boys were finally declared what we always knew them to be: Innocent), will be a Duke holiday. Do that and other things like that, and only then can Duke say that it truly "welcomes" back Finnerty and Seligmann.

R.R. Hamilton

mac said...

Perhaps the boys could teach
a course in ethics to the
staff and faculty?

Considering the apparent academic
lackluster of some of the Duke
faculty (am I right in understanding
that a few in some departments
don't actually have degrees?) -
this would be a step up.

The boys could also teach a course
in something called "leadership."
Boardhead would automatically
get an "incomplete."

wayne fontes said...

Ah yes, Dick Brodhead the Teflon Dean. By caving in to the protesters and the G88 he allowed Nifong to be reelected and prolonged the hoax for months.

To MAC: The defense team twice offered Brodhead a chance to view their files and he refused to look.

We also need to remember that Brodhead commissioned the Bowens Report. By choosing Bowens and Chambers to head the committee he guaranteed that a Lax bashing report would be produced.

Anonymous said...

All must continue to keep the pressure on Brodhead and other feckless members of the Duke Administration.

Brodhead is attempting to lie his way out of this debacle of his own making. He must not be allowed to get away with this cover-up.

Anonymous said...

The verbage by Duke now and the verbage by brodhead early on in this case convinces me that all these higher ups at Duke are dilusional. One can not claim the innocent statements are true with the facts that the lacrosse players (including their families) were tossed to the curb during a downpour of injustice by brodhead and the university. Me thinks the pressure is snapping these twigs.

Michael said...

"I think a lot of people owe a lot of apologies to other people. I think that those people ought to consider doing that."

If Duke and Brodhead think highly of Cooper's involvement in this case, then perhaps they should consider his suggestion.

Anonymous said...

As I have posted before, when Brodhead was at Yale his nickname was "Dickless" Brodhead.

P. Rich said...

Brodhead proves once again that he is a self-serving little girlyman and pawn to the faculty radicals. Now it's distort and deny. Earlier his statements fairly dripped with feelings, and his use of emotional trigger-words was a sly and provocative way to keep the r/c/g pot boiling while signaling approval to the Gang and drooling Leftists in the media.

scott said...

Tom Sawyer could have taught Duke's Office of News and Communications nothing about whitewashing. Indeed, they could teach him a thing or two.

Anonymous said...

How very Stalinesque.

Anonymous said...

Apologies?
Some folks would be happy with a simple apology?

What has transpired on the Duke campus can not be blown off with an apology..

Duke - the one entity that should have stood as the defending citadel of REASON, FAIRNESS, CONTEMPLATION, RESPECT FOR THE LAW and PROFESSIONAL sanctuary for those young people put under their umbrella of responsibility at great cost to parents --- FAILED miserably!

As a fish rots from the head, Duke has shown the level of rot extends further into the body of faculty than anyone could have imagined..

Even though nearly all of the 88 professors were from political/ethnic "studies" programs or navel contemplation courses - they were professors who must be held to standards of ethics, integrity and professionalism that were not in evidence..

Rather, they were an out of control lynch mob, led by bigots, racists and PC mobsters of the worse kind --- with President Brodhead marching to the ranting mob's drum beat...

This criminal farce has done very serious damage to Duke's reputation - which if not addressed properly, could lead to the deserved and long term decline of Duke's standing and value to the community..

Apologize and it goes away?
Hell no -- President Brodhead, the "88", the DPD, Nifong and many others need to feel the wrath and suffer the professional and financial consequences they so richly deserve..

Forgive them? Hell no... Crucify them first.

Anonymous said...

I have always had a difficult time faulting the administration... While I do believe that they should have come to the aid of their students (at least they should not have affirmatively sold them down the river), and that they made several significant missteps, I also appreciate that they were walking a fine line in an explosive environment.

That said, it does not excuse this attempt to revise history. Shame.

Anonymous said...

PhD in IB says,

So the powerful Duke PR machine will bury the shameful, disgraceful, embarrassing behavior of the administration during this painful ordeal and spin its actions as appropriate and supportive.

I want to vomit. The utter lack of character, loyalty, common decency and leadership displayed by the administration contrasts ,at the very core, with virtue and the quest for truth and excellence fundamental to a sound education. After spending $250k educating a child four years at Duke would a parent expect him/her to graduate and extol the virtues exhibited by President Brodhead and his administration?

I am so grateful the boys have been proclaimed innocence but Duke is guilty and no one cares.

Anonymous said...

How many flags must these clowns send up their flag pole before they realize no one is saluting?

Duke 85 said...

"When reports of racial abuse are added to the mix, the evil is compounded, reviving memories of the systematic racial oppression we had hoped to have left behind us . . ."

I guess a white girl raped by a white guy feels lucky that there was no "memory of racial oppression" to add to the trauma.

I'll be at Navy this weekend for the Duke/Carolina lacrosse game. Still trying to decide what to put on my poster board.

jamil hussein said...

Another corrupt lawyer and democratic party hack (who stole secret 9/11 memos from the national archive) has just surrendered his law license in order to avoid Bar Counsel. I suspect Nifong does the same. (Somehow I feel that if Karl Rove or Condi Rice had stolen and destroyed secret 9/11 memos this would be a major scandal).

instapundit.com:
SANDY BERGER UPDATE: "Samuel R. Berger, the Clinton White House national security adviser who was caught taking highly classified documents from the National Archives, has agreed to forfeit his license to practice law."

This would seem to be the key bit, though: "In giving up his license, Mr. Berger avoids being cross-examined by the Board on Bar Counsel, where he risked further disclosure of specific details of his theft."

Anonymous said...

"The messages he had received referred to articles or news items which for one reason or another it was thought necessary to alter, or, as the official phrase had it, to rectify...As soon as Winston had dealt with each of the messages, he clipped his speakwritten corrections to the appropriate copy of the Times and pushed them into the pneumatic tube. Then, with a movement which was as nearly as possible unconscious, he crumpled up the original message and any notes that he himself had made, and dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames."

--George Orwell

David Page said...

This letter of excuses put out by VP for Public Relations, John Burness speaks volumes about his own ineptness.

It was HIS job to work with the media in order to make sure the Duke side of the story got out. Unless the Duke position was that the team was guilty, Burness failed dramatically.

Had Bill Green still been in charge, the press would have listened and been more even handed out of respect for an accomplished news professional with a proven track record and credability. The best that an be said about Burdess is that he is a constant "spinmeister".

Had Paul Dumas still been head of Public Safety and Terry Sanford still been president of Duke this mess would have been resolved in days. Nifong would have been a non factor.

Unlike their replacements Dumas, Green and Sanford had character, courage and committment. They made the University great. The lesser men (people) just try to hitch a free ride on the gravy train.

Many "old timers" at Duke are wondering:

....."where are we going and why are we in this handbasket."

David Page said...

This letter of excuses put out by VP for Public Relations, John Burness speaks volumes about his own ineptness.

It was HIS job to work with the media in order to make sure the Duke side of the story got out. Unless the Duke position was that the team was guilty, Burness failed dramatically.

Had Bill Green still been in charge, the press would have listened and been more even handed out of respect for an accomplished news professional with a proven track record and credability. The best that an be said about Burdess is that he is a constant "spinmeister".

Had Paul Dumas still been head of Public Safety and Terry Sanford still been president of Duke this mess would have been resolved in days. Nifong would have been a non factor.

Unlike their replacements Dumas, Green and Sanford had character, courage and committment. They made the University great. The lesser men (people) just try to hitch a free ride on the gravy train.

Many "old timers" at Duke are wondering:

....."where are we going and why are we in this handbasket."

No justice, no peace said...

Managers strive to do the right thing, Leaders do what's right.

Brodhead failed in the former because he is not a Leader. At a minimum he has, and continues, to fail in managing the people and process.

Anonymous said...

wayne fontes said...
Ah yes, Dick Brodhead the Teflon Dean. By caving in to the protesters and the G88 he allowed Nifong to be reelected and prolonged the hoax for months.


This great point is too often forgotten: Nifong barely won both the Democratic Primary and the general election -- which were both held long after it was clear the case was a fraud. Brodhead could have with a minimum of effort helped swing either of the elections and thereby saved the innocent boys millions of dollars in defense costs and months of extreme personal agony.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

I have followed this case obsessively, daily since the initial news reports hit the national press. The initial allegations never did pass the sniff test.

My continuing interest and outrage centers far more on Duke's response than the media's or the justice system's.

A the risk of trivializing the issue, has anyone else noticed the uncanny resemblance between Brodhead's appearance/behavior and the fictional character Myrtle the Turtle? I swear, I can't look at his picture without that wonderful old children's story coming to mind.

Thanks for keeping everybody honest KC. You're amazing.

RL alum DU medicine '75

Anonymous said...

From his first statement in March 2006, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead repeatedly emphasized both the seriousness of the charges and the need for the players to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise within the legal system.

Presumed innocent?

He may not have put them in stocks, put on an inquisitor's robe, and said, "GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY," but what he did say was "...bad enough..."

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

"The Commissar Vanishes" by David King.

"In Stalinist Russia, it was commonplace for Soviet history to be rewritten with inconvenient participants removed.."

'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

This anonymous comment board at the Duke Chronicle website is worthwhile reading:

http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/messageboard/index.cfm?event=viewtopic&umessage_id=2a7c993c-c966-48b2-a779-490fea315959&reffeature=messageboardtab

Anonymous said...

Just fire Brodhead, Burness, several of the 88- please spare me the agony of seeing any more drivel from these feckless, duplicitous asses.

If Duke wins the NCAA and Brodhead shows up at all- anywhere on the field, in the stands, anywhere whatsoever- I will vomit.

These people are ruining DUKE. They do not deserve to have jobs there. Get them out of there asap. Enough of this mess. I cannot stand any more. Duke, '78

Anonymous said...

10:56am
Pee Wee Herman also. ;-)

mac said...

When Brodhead said "bad enough,"
what resonated to some was
"guilty enough."

Bad enough = guilty enough.

'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead should take a semester of "principles of justice from dead 18th century males most faculty would like to ignore or does not understand: their continuing relevance," assuming such a class can be found at Duke.

Someone at Duke who "knows what really happened" in the Administration's rush to scoop burial dirt over the lacrosse team ought to speak up--break the "code of silence" that now envelops the faculty. We "know you know." Speak up and "tell truth to power" etc.


Parents of kids off to college in the next two years (as mine is this year) should be horrified at this admininstrative doublespea

Anonymous said...

10:56: Do you mean Yertel the Turtle?

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

Unfortunately, this official version ignores, in my opinion, the 800 pound guerilla failure of Duke administartion; that is, they allow/enable/support the continued racist and harassing behavior of faculty.

The contradiction of how "Brodhead/trustees/Duke staff denegrated innocent students (for whom they are supposed to provide an environment of safety and support) versus how they don't denegrate the 88, et. al., is their worst travesty, and smacks of the worst kind of racism and sexism. "

Oops, should be "harassing behavior BY faculty" - sorry.

Ed

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the multiple posts - I'm computer challenged today (makes me a victim?)

:)
Ed

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:56 wrote:

"...has anyone else noticed the uncanny resemblance between Brodhead's appearance/behavior and the fictional character Myrtle the Turtle?"

----------

See this cartoon by Dennis Draughon, which appeared in the News & Observer very early on in the case -- I think it captures Broadhead remarkably well:

[sorry I'll have to split the links, and you'll have to paste them back together in the URL field of your browser, because they're a bit too long for the blog's columns]

http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/
display.cfm/17936/

As the Nifong farce went from joke to travesty, Draughon's cartoons (which appear on Saturdays in only the Durham edition of the N&O) got better and better. See these:

http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/
display.cfm/29653/
http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/
display.cfm/32755/
http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/
display.cfm/33839/

And these:

http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/
display.cfm/28741/
http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/
display.cfm/28166/

And the one that KC recently featured in the "humor section" of the Sunday Roundup:

http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/
display.cfm/35115/

Anonymous said...

10:51 am

"Had Paul Dumas still been head of Public
Safety and Terry Sanford still been president
of Duke this mess would have been resolved
in days. Nifong would have been a non factor."

- Maybe so, but they would not be dealing
with Durham's new Shadow Government, aka
the NAACP run City Council, police depart-
ment and courthouse.

It ain't the same old Durham you may
remember, anymore.

no justice, no peace said...

Due Diligence:

- uncover potential dangers
- carry out assessments
- perform assessment analysis
- implement risk managment
- research and understand environmental vulnerabilities, threats and risks

Due Care:
- do the right thing
- implement solutions based upon analysis
- properly protect the instituiton and its assets
- act responsibly

Hat to to Shon Harris, CISSP with Logical Security. Though this is from an Internet security managment process presentation it is on point relative to the administrations efforts to mitigate risk to the Duke brand and act as stewards.

Clearly Duke administration has/is not acting with due care. Regarding due diligence...if any risk managment assessment was done, it completely missed that the threats were from the City, the DA, the media, and of course, insiders (insider trust) - the Gang of 88, their abettors, and Duke Medical.

The lack of proper risk mitigation appears to be driven by the fact the administration is an abettor/enabler for the race/gender/class warfare frauds. They are one and the same.

Anonymous said...

Before accusing Brodhead and others of revisionist history, many of the posters on this site would do well to look in a mirror. I don't have a dog in this fight, but the amount of self-righteous, 20/20 hindsight in these posts makes me wonder. Let's at least get a few facts straight.

- The students were not expelled. They were suspended after being indicted by a grand jury for a serious felony. I assume that is standard practice at any university.

- The lacrosse players had been engaged in extensive bad behavior. If you bothered to look over the Coleman report, you would see that it discusses far more than public urination. Here's one pertinent quote,

"in contrast to their exemplary academic and athletic performance, a large number of the members of the team have been socially irresponsible when under the influence of alcohol. They have repeatedly violated the law against underage drinking. They have drunk alcohol excessively. They have disturbed their neighbors with loud music and noise, both on-campus and off-campus. They have publicly urinated both on-campus and off. They have shown disrespect for property."

I don't know about the origins of the "train wreck" comment, but this behavior (as well as the underage drinking and hired strippers) deserved to be publicly condemned. Saying other students were acting in a similarly irresponsible manner doesn't make this antisocial behavior any better.


It would be stupid to claim that no mistakes were made by Duke's administration in responding to Nifong's lies, but the bile some of you have in characterizing Brodhead as a villain just mystifies me.

Shouting Thomas said...

"in contrast to their exemplary academic and athletic performance, a large number of the members of the team have been socially irresponsible when under the influence of alcohol. They have repeatedly violated the law against underage drinking. They have drunk alcohol excessively. They have disturbed their neighbors with loud music and noise, both on-campus and off-campus. They have publicly urinated both on-campus and off. They have shown disrespect for property."

If we were to expel every student at Duke for these offenses, who would remain enrolled?

Get serious. This type of behavior is just standard college kid mischief. Portraying it as anything other than that means you have an agenda.

Michael said...

HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) -- The Connecticut legislature voted unanimously Wednesday to give $5 million to a man imprisoned for more than 18 years for a rape he did not commit, then gave him a standing ovation.

Moved by James C. Tillman's humbleness and lack of bitterness, lawmakers said they hoped the money will let him live the rest of his life in relative comfort.

The bill passed 148-0 in the House and 33-0 in the Senate. It now heads to Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who said she would be honored to sign it.

CNN News story

Perhaps Brodhead would like to comment on whether he thinks that there should be restitution to all of the students for their legal bills.

Anonymous said...

AARRGGHH!

Of course I meant 'Yertle the Turtle.'

Thanks.

RL medicine '75

Anonymous said...

"in contrast to their exemplary academic and athletic performance, a large number of the members of the team have been socially irresponsible when under the influence of alcohol. They have repeatedly violated the law against underage drinking. They have drunk alcohol excessively. They have disturbed their neighbors with loud music and noise, both on-campus and off-campus. They have publicly urinated both on-campus and off. They have shown disrespect for property."

They were wrongly accused (and presumed guilty) of RAPE, not bad behavior. The resulting racist/harrassing/denegrating behavior of Brodhead, the 88, et. al. IS villainous. Their continued parsing and inability to un-ambiguosly apologize IS "bile-worthy."

Ed

Michael said...

[It would be stupid to claim that no mistakes were made by Duke's administration in responding to Nifong's lies, but the bile some of you have in characterizing Brodhead as a villain just mystifies me.]

No mystery to me. If the folks on the blogs could figure it out early on, a university president and administration should have been able to figure it out too.

If I leave my kids under the charge of others and pay a few months salary per year to do so, I expect the organization to use reasonable care to take care of them. Not CYA mode. Not villifying them when the evidence didn't point there.

After Cooper declared them innocent, I would expect the school to apologize and make some kind of offer for damages.

Even Taco Bell will do that if you have a problem with their products. And in most cases, it's no questions asked.

Anonymous said...

Part of Brodhead's April 25 speech sounds as if it were written by members of the Group of 88, stressing the race-class-gender triad and conjuring up memories of race oppression in the past. It's too lucid to have been written by Grant Farred. If not an enabler of the 88, Brodhead is an apt student of them.

Brodhead quoted: we can’t be surprised at the outpouring of outrage. Rape is the substitution of raw power for love, brutality for tenderness, and dehumanization for intimacy. It is also the crudest assertion of inequality, a way to show that the strong are superior to the weak and can rightfully use them as the objects of their pleasure. When reports of racial abuse are added to the mix, the evil is compounded, reviving memories of the systematic racial oppression we had hoped to have left behind us . . . Compounding and intensifying these issues of race and gender, they include concerns about the deep structures of inequality in our society—inequalities of wealth, privilege, and opportunity (including educational opportunity), and the attitudes of superiority those inequalities breed. And they include concerns that, whether they intend to or not, universities like Duke participate in this inequality and supply a home for a culture of privilege. The objection of our East Campus neighbors was a reaction to an attitude of arrogant inconsiderateness that reached its peak in the alleged event but that had long preceded it.

Anonymous said...

It's also worth pointing out that, although the suspension might have been justified (for safety, for the students to concentrate on their defense) there's no justifying the lack of verbal, public support from Brodhead for the due process, even as Nifong was making public, inflammatory statements and rigging lineups (which Brodhead most likely could have found out about had he tried, or asked the 3's defense lawyers).

There's also no defense for his allowing professors, protesters, and student activists to demand that the players tell them "who did this," to hold signs calling for castration, to yell "burn [the players' house] down," to publish inflammatory ads in the paper, and to print wanted posters without any rebuke from his office.

He at least could have commented on these issues. That was KC’s point. And cast in that light, Duke’s official actions toward the players (suspensions, firing the coach, allegedly telling the players they shouldn’t tell their parents about the charges, allegedly assuring them that they thought the charges were baseless) seem less standard.

Anonymous said...

2:10:

Notice that Brodhead said: "...an attitude of arrogant inconsiderateness that reached its peak in the alleged event but that had long preceded it."

How can you state the "peak of arrogant inconsideration" as a fact if the relevant event is only "alleged." Is that a non-sequitor, or what??? (sounds like perjorative gobbledy-gook to me). Did Brodhead wink when he said "alleged?"

Pat Carpenter said...

US Representative Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk

Government and Racism

"...Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that
views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals.
Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical
characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms
of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the
advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism. Their
obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist..."
http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2007/tst041607.htm




http://www.house.gov/paul/legis.shtml

Anonymous said...

Duke’s Office of News and Commucations, which has its close parallels in most American academic institutions, is not an independent newspaper. Its publication is designed to further the public relations of Duke University. It is a repository of propaganda, a collection of carefully crafted “commercials” for the Duke “brand”. There is nothing illegal or even immoral about its agenda. It serves a positive function in the university’s fund-raising efforts and in giving alumni, parents, and friends some sense of what is going on at the institution. You can no more expect it to “emphasize” unpleasant features of Duke news than you can expect cigarette advertises to “emphasize” the fact that their product will kill you. You must expect as little of that sort of thing as the sponsor can get by with. At least one of President Brodhead’s statements did have the equivalent of a discreet “Surgeon General’s Warning” to the effect that according to the fine print of “our legal system” there is a “presumption of innocence.” Of course he did not “emphasize” that fact. He barely mentioned it, indeed. But the Duke News Office is indeed emphasizing it, since it is now its job to do so.

I can see why this story is annoying to Professor Johnson, but most of his criticisms evaporate with the recognition of the story’s genre. You can no more expect a Duke PR release to be “accurate” than you can expect a donkey to be a giraffe. I doubt that it has much potential for mischief. People whose only knowledge of the rape hoax comes from this story are not the people who are likely to be making decisions about the future of Duke, its top administrators, or the small but outrageous faculty caucus that caused most of the on-campus trouble. Many things were exposed at Duke during the past year, but “white male privilege” and “arrogant sexual prowess” [?] barely make it into the footnotes. The big story here is the Duke faculty—the extremism, incompetence, and semi-literacy of the noisy few, the pusillanimity, fecklessness, or preoccupation of the many. If you look at a list of the members of the Trustees of Duke University you will find some formidable people. Folks like John Mack, Uwe Reinhardt, and Karl von der Heyden are neither fools nor yes-men. This rape hoax was carried out with outrageous, manipulated publicity. There is some hope that its implications for Duke will be carried out discreetly and thoughtfully, in the private chambers of the institution’s governors.

mac said...

2:58

Yeah, but we want it done in
the Public Square, in the fondest
memories of the French Revolution
(sarcasm) - the way Nifong et al
built their National Razor for
the boys, all but certain that
they would get to use it.

Discreet justice practiced upon
an indiscreet mob (Nifong et al,
Nifong being the indiscreet mob-
leader) is as satisfying as
farting in a bathtub.

Sign me - temporarily -
Danton

Anonymous said...

The public square will be Nifong's hearing/trial. Maybe they will behead him in open view. That is all folk will be getting.

mac said...

Haman - Nifong - should hang
nicely, and upon his own hand-made
gallows.

Anonymous said...

Nifong, DPD and Duke are all now co-conspirators. How sad Duke has chosen to cast it's lot with those criminals who lie and have no ethics. How sad Duke does not stand for truth no matter how unpopular. How sad Duke has decided to tarnish it's reputation by perpetuating these lies by trying to rewrite history. How sad Duke lashes out at those like KC, Liestoppers and Bill Anderson who are willing to stand up and tell the truth.
How sad that the Duke administration and the Group of 88 did not understand that the "truth will out".

This is for the learned Group of 88:

"Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of
the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his
own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of
your son: give me your blessing: truth will come
to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man's son
may, but at the length truth will out."

Wm Shakespeare

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Duke '78 @11:16am!

I'm disgusted with the mess at Duke; the mess has NOTHING to do with the Lacrosse team (I'm proud of how they've handled their end in the past year).

The mess has everything to do with incompetent self serving faculty like Lubiano and Farred. How did they get hired, and why have they not been fired???

BOT: what's going on at my Alma mater??!!! Why are you not fixing the real mess?

Duke '80

Jack said...

I think the Duke Administration, anti-Brodhead angle has been pretty much played out. The injustice on the part of the police department and the District Attorney, yes, for the protection of the citizens in Durham and elsewhere, the corrupt practices should be exposed and prosecuted. But Duke? Who gives a darn? It is a private university, it has fostered, through its own admission policies a student body that has been so ridiculed, it has hired and cultivated the radical faculty that has turned against it. So? That's Duke's problem, and I doubt very much that more than a handful of posters here are alumni, student or parents of the school.

mac said...

Jack,

Played out?
Not even close.
The lawyers and the people
they represent get to play the
fat lady - (in the first act,
anyway)- and the first act
ain't even begun in this
opera. In fact, the
orchestra hasn't even
warmed up yet.

Anonymous said...

Jack - Agree completely. Except for Emory, my kids all went to the great schools of the NorthEast, Washington University - St Louis and Chicago. Only one of their friends went to Duke, Put me down for the Who Cares School,

don t. said...

K.C.,
Thank you, thank you, thank you, ad infinidum! Keep up the pressure on this feckless stumblebum until he leaves. Then.....the 88 mental midgets.

trinity60

Anonymous said...

"Professor Johnson easily wins this argument. The inept Duke administration and the pathetic Brodhead are simply an embarrassment to a once-great university".

No. This is one of the only areas of this case where Professor Johnson has been consistently wide of the mark. He has pulled his punches with Brodhead throughout, for reasons that seem inexplicable to me. (I suspect it has something to do with Professor Coleman's support for Brodhead.) In fact, Brodhead has acted reprehensibly throughout and is a disgrace. Why credit Professor Johnson with "easily win[ning] this argument"? All he has done is succeed in pointing out the discrepancy between the Duke claim that Brodhead emphasized the accuseds' innocence and the facts, which belie that claim. But he has not really pressed the case against Brodhead. It seems that this is one place where Professor Johnson has fallen strangely short, and still he gets credit for it.

Anonymous said...

"As bad as that is, this revisionist history at least implicitly recognizes that what they did was wrong, no matter how much they say otherwise. The core group of 88, on the other hand, actually seems to be proud of what they did. While Brodhead and Ashley try to find a way to put it in reverse, Fared puts it into overdrive..."

You are letting Brodhead off much too lightly. His comments on and behavior in this case have been disgraceful. Why credit him with a change of heart? He is just covering over his earlier mistakes. It's called a survival instinct. He made his choices and should pay the price for them now. Unlike the Gang of 88 (who are disgraceful in their own way), Brodhead speaks for Duke (officially at least) and, as such, was a pivotal figure in this case. He might have helped set the tone early on by standing foresquare behind the players, who were entitled to that unless/until convicted. I wholly disagree with the Johnson/Coleman view that an excessively aggressive defense of the lacrosse players may have backfired. Maybe yes, maybe no. But, until proven guilty, they were innocent, and were therefore entitled to be treated as such.

Anonymous said...

Duke and Brodhead must be judged for what they said and did, but also for what they FAILED to say and do. On both counts, they fell WELL short. The lacrosse coach was summarily dismissed when he was innocent. Brodhead is guilty (of dereliction of duty), yet he hangs on. Off with his head.

Anonymous said...

"Baring that, I wish privately that he's vowed to stay out of the thrall of the group of 88 and sort of wall off that growth -- keep it a cyst as it were rather than allow the cancer to continue to grow.

I'm not holding my breath however".

Good. If you did, you would faint and may hurt yourself. Brodhead has exposed himself for what he is. He's not going to change.

Anonymous said...

"Good job, K.C. This gives the lie to Brodhead's attempts to re-write the record by now saying that HE emphasized innocence and all that".

I really don't get this. Professor Johnson is being congratulated for understating the case against one of the chief villains of this piece. Brodhead was so clearly and consistently wrong throughout, and disastrously so. Professor Johnson has misjudged him for as long as I've been looking at this site, which is a long time. It is about the only aspect of this case where Professor Johnson has a blind spot. Nobody's perfect.

Anonymous said...

"These people are ruining DUKE. They do not deserve to have jobs there. Get them out of there asap. Enough of this mess. I cannot stand any more".

Correction: RUINED Duke. The case merely exposed the depth of the rot. The place was packed with Grant Farreds and Houston Bakers BEFORE the event. The Duke beloved of its graduates is gone with the wind...

Anonymous said...

"I don't know about the origins of the "train wreck" comment, but this behavior (as well as the underage drinking and hired strippers) deserved to be publicly condemned. Saying other students were acting in a similarly irresponsible manner doesn't make this antisocial behavior any better".

As someone who works in a university, I can assure you that this behavior, which you denounce, is utterly normal and absolutely pervasive. All it establishes is that the LAX team was like 80% of undergraduates. Stop the presses!!

"It would be stupid to claim that no mistakes were made by Duke's administration in responding to Nifong's lies, but the bile some of you have in characterizing Brodhead as a villain just mystifies me".

If Brodhead had been fired or resigned over his behavior in this case, there would be no such bile. It is here because of a powerful sense of injustice that he has gotten away with murder. There is much anger over that, and it is wholly justified.

Anonymous said...

"I pledge that Duke will respond with appropriate seriousness when the truth is established".

Brodhead made this pledge in his disgraceful letter to the Duke community of 5 April 2006. The truth has now been established. He got it wrong. Time for a response of "appropriate seriousness": QUIT!