Several Times readers sent in letters published today taking to task the milquetoast performance of Public Editor Byron Calame on the lacrosse case. As one commenter noted, they’re almost impossible to find on the Times website. Here’s a sampling:
In trying to defend The New York Times, you actually expose the serious ideological bias of the Duke rape case reporting.
The reporter Duff Wilson focused in on 33 pages of a 1,850-page report. These 33 pages were written such that an unbiased reporter could conclude that the prosecutor had a substantial case against the Duke lacrosse players. But what about the other 1,817 pages?
Those are the pages upon which the
attorney general and the American people concluded that the players were innocent. Why focus on 33 pages late to the investigation? North Carolina
Forgetting about the possible police bias in trying to bolster their case by way of the 33-page report, didn’t the five or six different stories given by the accuser closer in time to the event cause Mr. Wilson to wonder? He should have laid out those contradictions for us all to see. That’s fair reporting!
, April 24, 2007 Va.
I believe there were generally two oversights in the coverage of the Duke lacrosse case, not only by The Times but by other news organizations as well.
Aside from some grumpy groans from sports columnists, little notice has been taken of the actions and demonstrations by students and staff, representing Duke’s radical feminist groups, racial awareness organizations and so on. These were standard rants by the usual bodies concerned with social justice, and staffed by those driven by exuberant idealism. Their outpourings clearly assumed the accused were guilty. But the media missed an opportunity to report on the cruelties that can be done by such careless people, however nobly motivated.
JAMES H. DAVIS
Champaign, , April 24, 2007 Ill.
Even if no one else at The Times has had any decency, you should be the one with a steel backbone, a real conscience, a sense of honor and — yes — a capacity for outrage. Because what was done to these boys by The Times was, and is, an outrage.
Yet you spoon up this “Oh, The Times was mostly in the right after all.” No, it wasn’t, and you should all have the character to shout it from the rooftops, at least as loudly as the paper maligned the Duke students. These boys and their families have been terrorized for a year by the vast official power of the government and the even more vast power of the yellow P.C. press. Yet you prattle about “this overstated summary,” as if it’s nothing more than an inconvenient traffic ticket.
, April 24, 2007 Lilburn, Ga.