Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Nartey Dilemma

The lacrosse case took an Orwellian turn on January 5, when Cathy Davidson published an impassioned apologia for the Group of 88 statement. The ad, she wrote, “said that we faculty were listening to the anguish of students who felt demeaned by racist and sexist remarks swirling around in the media and on the campus quad in the aftermath of what happened on March 13 in the lacrosse house. The insults, at that time, were rampant. It was as if defending David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann necessitated reverting to pernicious stereotypes about African-Americans, especially poor black women.”

Davidson’s claim, of course, was absurd. Between March 29, when the idea for the ad originated, and April 6, when the ad appeared, almost no one “on the campus quad” was defending the lacrosse players, much less using “pernicious stereotypes” about black women to do so. Indeed, the reverse was true: during that week, the players endured regular harassment from student and community “activists,” as well as some of their professors. And, as protesters carried banners screaming “Castrate” or blanketed the campus with “wanted” posters, what was the response of Davidson and her 87 colleagues? To publish a statement reading in part: “to the protestors making collective noise, thank you for not waiting and for making yourselves heard.”

Yesterday brought a further reminder of the real state of affairs from late last March, as opposed to Davidson’s imagined reality. As revealed in the Liestoppers forum, the Baydoun/Good book made the first public reference to an e-mail sent by Duke student Chauncey Nartey to Coach Mike Pressler last March. The subject line was a menacing: “WHAT IF JANET LYNN WERE NEXT???” (Nartey already had sent an all-caps e-mail to Presser demanding that the coach terminate all practices until the “alleged rapists” were found.) In the atmosphere at the time—where, despite Davidson’s subsequent claim, the lacrosse players, not their tormentors, were beleaguered—the Presslers took seriously the fact that someone had taken the time to ferret out the name of their older daughter, hardly an item that would have been common knowledge to the average Duke student. On March 31, Sue Pressler filed a complaint with the Duke Police over the e-mail.

Nartey never mentioned his e-mail to his colleagues in the Duke Student Government: two days after he referenced “JANET LYNN,” the Duke Student Government spent two hours considering its response to the crisis. At this session, Nartey demanded that the lacrosse team be prevented from practicing until Nifong completed his investigation. More temperate members of the Student Government resisted the move, and his resolution was tabled. Sophomore Matt McNeill spoke for the level-headed majority, urging his colleagues to respect due process: “You need to investigate the entire situation before you make charges against anyone.”

It is unclear whether the Duke Police informed anyone within the administration about Nartey’s e-mail. (Indeed, it is unclear how or to what extent the police investigated Sue Pressler’s complaint at all.) But by early May, the administration was fully aware of the document: Larry Moneta was informed by late April, and Brodhead himself learned of the e-mail no later than May 3, 2006. In a meeting with the lacrosse team, one player asked him about the disparate treatment of Ryan McFadyen and Nartey.

That senior administrators knew about the e-mail makes Duke’s handling of the Nartey issue one of the most inexplicable elements of the case. Nartey is one of just two students (outgoing Student Government president Elliot Wolf was the other) to have been invited both to serve on the Campus Culture Initiative and to join President Brodhead at one of the “Duke Conversation” events.

According to CCI chairman Robert Thompson, the Campus Culture Initiative’s “main thrust was to develop an inclusive social community,” since Duke’s “next challenge is . . . engaging difference.”

Imagine the reverse scenario: a white Duke student sent a menacing e-mail to an African-American Duke coach. Does anyone believe that Duke would respond by appointing this student as one of five students positioned to offer lessons to the school’s more than 6000 undergraduates on “engaging difference” and developing “an inclusive social community”?

On March 23, I asked Thompson when he learned of the Nartey e-mail and why he did not demand Nartey’s resignation from the CCI at that time. His response? “I personally do not know anything about an email from Chauncey Nartey to the Presslers. Your question is the first time I had heard about it.”

Thompson’s statement—which I have every reason to believe is true—casts further doubt on the already dubious nature of the CCI’s proceedings. One of the committee’s five student members had sent a March 27 e-mail that prompted the filing of a police report. The vice-chair of the CCI, Larry Moneta, had known about the e-mail since last April. And yet the first that Thompson heard of the e-mail was in March 2007—a year after Nartey sent it, and 11 months after his own vice-chair learned of its existence? Does that sort of behavior reflect the kind of “inclusive social community” that Thompson and the CCI aimed to achieve?

The decision to invite Nartey to Brodhead’s February 2007 Charlotte event is even stranger. By this point, the fraternity of which Nartey was president had been suspended, at least until all its current members had graduated from Duke, for reasons that remain unclear. Nartey himself bizarrely suggested that jealousy from the national organization played a role in the decision. “Just being,” he told the Chronicle, “a black organization—which thinks of itself as the elite among black males—and then going to Duke, there’s always that dynamic between us and the members of the national organization.”

Surely, it would seem, the combination of his sending the Pressler e-mail and his presiding over a fraternity that was suspended by its national organization would have ensured that Nartey no longer was singled out by the Duke administration as a model student. Yet such behavior appears to have had no effect.

Friends of Duke spokesperson Jason Trumpbour responded with outrage to the Nartey revelation:

The contrast between [Nartey’s] treatment and that of Ryan McFadyen could not be more stark. McFadyen’s message was transparently a joke and was sent to like minded individuals. In case that was not obvious from the message itself, it was clear from the context of the other messages and replies related to it. Yet Ryan was kicked off campus and, not only was Nartey unpunished, he was held out as a model Duke student. Moreover, if actual threats were communicated to a specific individual, that is usually a crime in most states.

When I saw Chauncey Nartey’s name on the list of featured students at the Duke Conversation in Charlotte, I absolutely could not believe it. It is not just the hypocrisy and dishonesty. Did Duke really believe that this information would never come out at some point?

Trumpbour’s question is unanswerable.

112 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another mysterious Liberian.

Anonymous said...

This is laughable. I would have paid money to see the answer to question about the disparity of treatment. The bottom line is that Nartey was treated differently because he was black. How is Pressler supposed to feel?
What, because the email sender is black, he gets to be subjected to this by a member of the Duke community?

That Nartey guy is lucky. There are a lot of fathers in the world who would have sought him out and kicked the everliving crap out of him.

Anonymous said...

KC was there anything written in the body of the “Janet Lynn” e-mail or was it just sent with the subject line only?


Also was the e-mail sent from Nartley’s Duke e-mail account?

KC Johnson said...

The email was sent from his Duke account.

On the body, my understanding is no. Nartey has claimed that he sent the second email to get Pressler's attention for the first email--an argument, of course, that makes little or no sense.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Michael Wise thinks of the Nartey email and the disparity of treatment.

Anonymous said...

Nartey is another big embarrassment to Duke University. This is just another reason all of these books need to be written by all of the different individuals. They all tell a different story. The answer is no, the Duke administration never dreamed all of this information would come out and they would look even worse than we possibly thought.

Anonymous said...

I raised two boys and their friends were always at our hourse. It was obvious from the get-go that this was a joke from a teenager.
Why is Nartey special to Brodhead?

Anonymous said...

KC -

Will you be in Durham for Nifong's hearing next week ?

Do witnesses at this bar trial face any possibility of legal charges if they lie on the stand?

Anonymous said...

how was this a threat? it did not state that the writer was going to rape the daughter. instead, it seems to be a rhetorical question to Pressler as to how the coach would react if his own daughter was the Lax victim and not the black daughter of Mr. Travis Mangum. Would Pressler have been so blase then and continued practicing like nothing happened with no suspensions, etc? it is a plea to his conscience, not an explicit threat to his daughter.

for you all to try to conflate that the Nartey email is as vile and threatening as the sexually sadistic email of Mcfayden is ludicrous. The Mcfayden email explicitly states that the writer wants to mutilate women as they walk in the door and that he will be sexually satisfied by this to the point he will ejaculate in his duke spandex. such imagery is similar to what has been recorded in interviews of real sexually sadistic killers in terms of content; that they are so satisfied by violence and mutiltation that they ejaculate and it was included in the novel because this is so abnormal that is it characteristic of serial killers. for someone to write a letter identifying with that thought content is abnormal. you people have been trying to minimize that email for months but i have never seen evidence that myfayden even took the class American psycho was a text for and that is one of you all's major justifications for his perverted email. the other justification is that it was a joke. yeah, of course. the type of joke Ted Bundy would tell.

one more thing about american psycho; be careful in insisting that the players were so enamored of it. many people do not know this but in the book and movie, the main character is a preppie who is a stock broker and preys on women of the night and at the end of the novel/movie he gets away scott free because no one believes he is capable of such crimes.

Anonymous said...

Remember, Nartey was allowed to behave like this - even rewarded for it. Apparently Nartey was later forgiven for this garbage because he was so upset at the time. No excuse for his email would be sufficient, but that one's truly abominable. Upset? Guess that's what lets one hang up a "Castrate" banner.

Similarly abominable was Brodhead's reaction to the whole thing.

There is, finally, no excuse for Brodhead, none. Consider Coleman's argument that Brodhead showed a blessed neutrality that enabled the SP to exonerate the accused. If this was neutrality, then God help us all.

KC Johnson said...

To the 12.32's two questions:

yes, and yes.

rrhamilton said...

What Cathy Davidson said: "we faculty were listening to the anguish of students who felt demeaned by racist and sexist remarks swirling around in the media and on the campus quad in the aftermath of what happened on March 13 in the lacrosse house. The insults, at that time, were rampant. It was as if defending David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann necessitated reverting to pernicious stereotypes about African-Americans, especially poor black women.”

What Cathy Davidson meant: "we faculty were listening to the anguish of students who felt demeaned by racist and sexist remarks swirling around in the media and on the campus quad in the aftermath of what happened on March 13 in the lacrosse house. The insults, at that time, were rampant. It was as if attacking David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann necessitated reverting to pernicious stereotypes about white Americans, especially athletic white men.... And I am proud that we faculty supported these attacks and pernicious stereotyping 100 percent!"

When reading 88ers, remember that the truth is always the inverse of what they state.

R.R. Hamilton

Gary Packwood said...

Nartey and his kind are enabled by faculty members such as Cathy Davidson because the Anger Studies faculty know so little about their students.

Davidson and many of her peers apparently believe that Duke undergraduate students mysteriously appeared on campus from the hills of Tennessee; dressed in bib overalls; farm boots and nursing a half pint of moonshine.

The poor dears need to be protected from racist and sexist remarks swirling around in the media and on the campus quad.

Are these faculty members academic advisors?

Do they help with campus organizations and programs?

If not, they don't understand their customers and ...Orwellian behavior should be expected.

Nartey has been building his power base in the shadow of these professors and someone needs to pull his plug and the plugs of those who enabled him.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

If I had not known that we were discussing the administration of a major university, I would have assumed this was a cult.

Anonymous said...

react if his own daughter was the Lax victim

There was no LAX victim, unless you're referring to the players.

If I had a daughter who did the things Precious did, I'm not sure how I would react but I would be filled with shame -- for starters.

Anonymous said...

To the first 12:32:

I can't help but wonder if your surname is Nartey, Moneta or Brodhead.

Anonymous said...

The psycho e-mail was a reaction to being ripped off to the tune of $800 and then being racially taunted and generally provoked by some really disturbing and disgusting acts that would not have made the actors seem like sex objects of any sort but rather, the worst sort of parasites.

That all that came of this was a joking play on a popular movie is remarkable for the restraint it shows. Imagine what would be out in the public domain if the G88 and other activists gave up all of their e-mail for the period in question!

rrhamilton said...

Everyone sit down, because you are about to see me agree with 12:32(a) AM, even though it was her and my contending posts which likely led to the removal of "The Deutsch Files" comment section.

I will just repost her first paragraph here, with which I fully agree in substance if not in style, and say that I find considerable merit in her other paragraphs.

how was this a threat? it did not state that the writer was going to rape the daughter. instead, it seems to be a rhetorical question to Pressler as to how the coach would react if his own daughter was the Lax victim and not the black daughter of Mr. Travis Mangum. Would Pressler have been so blase then and continued practicing like nothing happened with no suspensions, etc? it is a plea to his conscience, not an explicit threat to his daughter.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

This defies explanation. There is something very, very wrong with Duke's administration. Their actions are not the actions of rational, reasonable people.

Try and construe Nartey's e-mail in the light most favorable to him. He was just trying to make the point that how would Pressler feel if something terrible happened to his daughter but he just wasn't thinking and did it in a horrible way. And he somehow didn't realize how his message would look to the Presslers and didn't think about the effect it would have on them. I don't buy any of that but that's as favorable as it gets. And even in the most favorable light to Nartey the e-mail is terrible. What are these people at Duke thinking?

Man, what a slap in the face this must have been to Mike Pressler and his family. I can't even imagine it. And look how they treated Ryan McFadyen and how they treated Nartey. McFadyen makes a bad joke in a private e-mail to some friends and suddenly he's treated like public enemy number one and thrown off campus. Nartey makes what any parent would have to consider potentially a threat against their child and he's held out as some kind of exemplary Duke student by Brodhead and he's on the CCI.

Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

McFadyen send his e-mail to his friends. It was clearly not intended to become public, or threaten anyone. And I am pretty sure McFadyen's friends figured out it was a joke.
Nartey has send his e-mail to Coach Pressler. This was a second e-mail he send to coach Pressler. I sincerely doubt Pressler thought it was a joke, or welcomed it.
And by the way, why does Cathy Davidson think anyone defended Reade, Collin or Dave before the group of 88 ad came out-they have not been identified as suspects or indicted yet.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

What a slick trick.

Anyone who protests about Duke using racism to protest racism is called a racist.

Anonymous said...

KC--you are a model of restraint in recounting these outrages. This is a total and utter disgrace. More evidence of a flagrant double standard. We keep asking: what if such-and-such a letter/email/statement had been made by a white person about/to a black person? We all know the answer. It is brazen and shameless. I splutter with rage at it all. But why don't Duke students? Their parents? Alums? Why on earth do they put up with such grotesquely selective standards? Where are they? Why do they put up with it? Why do they pay for it?

Anonymous said...

"Nartey is another big embarrassment to Duke University".

Is it? The institution is shameless. It just keeps applying its double standards and displays little evident emabarrassment.

Anonymous said...

By the way, group of 88 members kept complaining about threatening e-mails. I wonder what Duke would do if some student send them e-mails similar to the ones Nartey send to Pressler?
Would that student be put on committees?

Anonymous said...

KC,

Why are we just now hearing about this?

Darby..

Anonymous said...

dukes comment is NOT to ENGAGE difference BUT DECENCY...something they dont know how to teach

Anonymous said...

Brodhead and Moneta should resign. Duke trustees need to take disciplinary action on the rogue professors. The civil lawsuits should begin soon. The discovery process will prove interesting. The bar association should strip Nifong of his right to practice law and should refer criminal actions to the proper body. Cooper needs to step up as the state attorney general and deal with the Nifong and Durham police crimes. As governor and the person who appointed Nifong, Gov. Easley should provide leadership in this raging embarrassment to the state of North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

Before the Nartey emails became common knowledge, I saw Broadhead as merely incompetent, spineless and extremely biased against privileged white male athletes.

It does not matter whether you see Nartey's mention of Pressler's daughter by name as a threat or simply an act demonstrating extremely bad taste,

Clearly the appointing of Nartey to the CCI and the trotting of Nartey before alumni groups were needlessly divisive acts.

Such nastiness exposes Broadhead's venal side.

How can the Duke community possibly heal when the Duke President went out of his way to rub salt into the community's wounds.

Ernie in Utah

Anonymous said...

The lacrosse team was composed of white male athletes perceived as coming from the upper class Wall Street elite. Those are the enemies of Marxism. The Hope Franklin Center Faculty has a lot of Marxists. This was too good of an opportunity for the bigots to pass up.

Go read the Prof's published works and discover it for yourself.

Yes it is that simple.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
how was this a threat? it did not state that the writer was going to rape the daughter. instead, it seems to be a rhetorical question to Pressler as to how the coach would react if his own daughter was the Lax victim and not the black daughter of Mr. Travis Mangum. Would Pressler have been so blase then and continued practicing like nothing happened with no suspensions, etc? it is a plea to his conscience, not an explicit threat to his daughter.

for you all to try to conflate that the Nartey email is as vile and threatening as the sexually sadistic email of Mcfayden is ludicrous. The Mcfayden email explicitly states that the writer wants to mutilate women as they walk in the door and that he will be sexually satisfied by this to the point he will ejaculate in his duke spandex. such imagery is similar to what has been recorded in interviews of real sexually sadistic killers in terms of content; that they are so satisfied by violence and mutiltation that they ejaculate and it was included in the novel because this is so abnormal that is it characteristic of serial killers. for someone to write a letter identifying with that thought content is abnormal. you people have been trying to minimize that email for months but i have never seen evidence that myfayden even took the class American psycho was a text for and that is one of you all's major justifications for his perverted email. the other justification is that it was a joke. yeah, of course. the type of joke Ted Bundy would tell.

one more thing about american psycho; be careful in insisting that the players were so enamored of it. many people do not know this but in the book and movie, the main character is a preppie who is a stock broker and preys on women of the night and at the end of the novel/movie he gets away scott free because no one believes he is capable of such crimes.

Jun 6, 2007 12:32:00 AM

======================================================================

I don't mean to be disrespectful but are you silly?

1. Are you saying it was okay to send that email about Pressler's daughter?

2. Do you really think McFadden's email is relevant to this case? Or it justifies the Nartey email?

wayne fontes said...

It should surprise no one that Moneta took no actions against Nartey. A brief review of his actions in the Water Buffalo affair tells you all you need to know about Moneta. In that case, which was groundless from the start, Moneta and Penn administration actively sought to frame a student. How so? The Penn administration sought to change a hearing from an administrative one to an evidentiary one with a single days notice so the student in question couldn't get his witnesses to court (it was mid summer). The Penn police were ordered to suppress an honest report and fabricate a dishonest one and star chamber tactics were used to try and hide the administrations actions. Moneta has never acknowledged that he or the university were in the wrong. Compared to that simply ignoring Nartey's email was a piece of cake.

Like the Soviet show trials what matters to Moneta and the Duke administration is that Nartey comes from a victim class. The email he sent, even when viewed in the most benign light possible, could be construed as threatening. This doesn't support the victim/oppressor construct. For a long time PC warrior like Moneta to suppress a fact that doesn't support the narrative is perfectly acceptable. You have have to remember it's not about the truth.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. There are a number of plugs that need to be pulled at Duke to in order to restore the dignity that has been eroded by this mess. The first plug belongs to Broadhead - and it is his successor that then must engage in the additional and gut wrenching plug pulling that must follow.

My sense is that this is just going to get worse until the BOT takes action.

James Howard said...

To the 'anonymous' (12:32) who asks "how was this a threat?" -

Your question is either naive or disingenuous.

This would obviously have been perceived as a threat (and IMO that was Nartey's intention) at a time when anyone associated with the team was the target of abuse, verbal attacks and harrassment from faculty members, students and outsiders.

When you have the New Black Panthers turning up in Durham, the pot-bangers out in force and vigilante posters being displayed on campus then ANYONE receiving such an email would feel threatened.

McFadyn was punished appropriately for his lapse in judgement and poor taste.

Nartey should have, at the least, been cautioned about HIS behaviour. That he was rewarded for it is disgusting and inexcusable.

Anonymous said...

The ONLY thing the Presslers wanted was for Nartey to be referred to the Duke Judicial Board for review-period. At an executive level (the Allen Building), the decision was made not to do so, in clear violation of Duke's rules regarding conduct complaints. In all likelihood, that decision was made to protect Duke from further embarrassment-at the expense of truth and principles. Mike Pressler is right-It's not about the truth for Duke, at least not in this travesty.

To suggest that a parent, any parent, would not be concerned that Nartey's email constituted a potential threat is dissembling, at best, particularly given the climate.

Anonymous said...

Lying in the manner of the "Big Lie" seems to be a tactic of this Group88 crowd.

AMac said...

Anon 12:32am the Second --

In excusing Nartey while damning McFadyen, you show your unfamiliarity with the expression What's sauce for the Goose is sauce for the Gander. Did you know that Orwell wrote Animal Farm as a parody? "Some animals (Nartey) are more equal than others (McFadyen)" isn't a virtue -- instead, it speaks to the Hard Left's moral defects.

Not to interrupt your typecasting as McFadyen as a wannabe serial killer, but that email was a private communication and a joke, written to friends who understood it as such. For your analysis to make any sense, a crime has to have been committed. So please name it (thoughtcrimes and poor taste don't count). Read Bill Anderson for an honest account of McFadyen's conduct.

By the way, Snow White, may I paw through all of your correspondence to see if anything there offends me? May I do the same with your boyfriend/girlfriend, family, and political allies? How about the "thank you for making yourselves heard" protesters?

Though what those pals wrote on the Trinity Park listserv is bad enough.

Foolish Nartey apologist, destruction of privacy and presumption of guilt cut both ways.

Anonymous said...

One truly couldn't make this stuff up, not even Tom Wolfe.

Shouldn't there be an internal, but public assessment of Duke's handling of the hoax, just as there was an investigation of the behavior of the lacrosse team?

bill anderson said...

The first 12:32 post is laughable, but typical of what I am seeing in Durham among the enablers. They wanted so, so much for the charges to be true and when their little fantasies blew up, they had to go to other things like RYAN MCFADYEN WROTE AN AWFUL EMAIL.

By the way, if a Duke LAX player had written a similar email to a faculty member -- as Nartey had done -- I can guarantee you that 12:32 would be insisting that this was PROOF that the LAX players were a bunch of devils.

In short, it is impossible to rehabilitate a place like Durham. It is what it is, where lies are the truth and the truth is called a pack of lies. One wishes this place could be quarantined, but at least there are a few sane, intelligent people left there -- but not many.

Anonymous said...

These are the folks your contributions to the annual fund are paying for.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post, KC. As a parent of a rising junior at Duke, this information about Nartey makes my blood boil. The idea that he was "upset", therefore, he should not have been at least suspended is infuriating. Guess what? My child was "upset" last spring too. She was upset about some of her professors' unprofessional conduct in the classroom. She was also upset watching her own administration pander to NCCU, Durham, and the black community in a disgusting display before any evidence had come out. Somehow, I doubt if she had sent a threatening e-mail to either the adminstration or her professors that she would have excused because she was "upset".
Pressler took the high road by not pressing charges. Because I am no "angel", I would have been relentless in pressing charges against this young man.
The fact that this young man was presented at the Duke conversation AND part of the CCI is just another insult to the Duke student body. It is so absurd that it is difficult to comprehend what Brodhead's train of thought could possibly have been in justifying these appointments. While following this case, I have been quite impressed by many Duke students. So, why on earth would select someone like Nartey to represent Duke when there so many qualified candidates?
KC, thank you for your continued work on this case. When I began reading this blog a year ago, I never dreamed how much dirt would be uncovered. While it is sometimes difficult to read about the either incompetent and/or simply lying Duke administration/professors, thank you for digging to find the truth.
After reading a summary about the Duke conversation held in Philadelphis last night, it is obvious parents/alumni/students need to keep pushing the adminstration for the truth. The "let's just move on" mode of the adminstration is sickening. As parents, we must demand the administration and the professors be held accountable for their unprofessional handling of this case.

Anonymous said...

It's not just Brodhead that need to go, it's the entire BOT who have stood by and watched this parade pass by without so much as an utterance.

Anonymous said...

Re:12:32
The McFadyen email was pounced on as evidence of the depraved nature of lax team. Therefore, it became necessary to put the email in context and show that this was a parody of a text that was required reading for many Duke undergrads and not an expression of Mcfadyen's true self. The media, G88 and others who desperately wanted Crystal to have been raped, clung to this email as a form of circumstantial proof of what happened that night. It was considered a "recap". But we now know nothing criminal happened that night so the email can be put in its proper context as an expression of poor taste but nothing more.

Nartey's email differs from McFadyen's in at least one respect: it required research. The fact that someone took the time to find out the name of the coach's daughter and his email address is creepy. KC is correct. Placed in context the Nartey email is more threatening than McFadyen's. Nartey could have said, "What if it was your daughter?" but he chose to say,"Janet Lynn". Using "daughter"
would make it a rhetorical question and a call to conscience. The reference to Jamie Lynn makes the email a possible threat. So why did McFadyen pay a price and Nartey not even suffer a rebuke?

Brant Jones

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:32 makes several very strong points. Perhaps this writer shares my own sense that this blog has lost its clarity of focus--the exposure of a grave injustice in the making--and now wanders toward various ancillary themes of dubious intellectual and ethical status. One of these is a kind of hagiography of the whole LAX team. McFayden's e-mail was not illegal. It was not a "smoking gun" that revealed the reality of a hideous crime. It was, however, disgusting, crude, insensitive, and deeply unfunny. Let me also add that in the circumstances it was almost unbelievably stupid. It is probably not surprising when immature frat boys act like immature frat boys, but there is a difference between tolerating what is obnoxious and denying its obnoxiousnes. Many features of the party and its planning reveal a similar want of good sense and gentlemanly honor--if that latter concept is not too quaint and archaic to invoke within the context of the contemporary academy. Nartey's e-mail deserves all the same adjectives already applied to McFayden's. And of course the obvious racial politics are in this instance as offensive as they have been in so many others relating to this case.

In a hurried and unflective "answer" to 12:32 (posted at 12:34) KC wrote as follows: "To the 12.32's two questions: yes, and yes.

I have searched 12:32 in search of "two questions". In fact there are two, and two only. They are

"How was this a threat?"

and

"Would Pressler have been so blase then and continued practicing like nothing happened with no suspensions, etc?"

Let me ask KC how one answer's a "how" question with the word "yes". And I won't take yes for an answer.

Michael said...

re: 12:32

Harmless email? What would happen if you sent that email to POTUS?

Right, a Secret Service detail would arrive at your door and take you into custody.

Perhaps you should read a little more at Liestoppers about the Presslers and police protection from the threats that they received.

That the Presslers went and had the email traced (it wasn't clear who it was sent by) indicates the seriousness of the act.

KC Johnson said...

To the 8.26:

I was asked if I was going to be in Raleigh for the hearing; and whether people who lie at the hearing could be subject to criminal charges.

The answers to both questions were yes. We appear to be referring to different 12.32 comments.

Anonymous said...

"How was this a threat?"

I'm willing to accept the argument that the e-mail, as written, is not a direct threat. But it is disturbing and vaguely threatening for two reasons:

1) As K.C. points out, the writer had gone to the trouble of finding out the coach's daughter's name. A purely rhetorical e-mail, not intended to disturb the coach, would have said "your daughter."

2) The writer used the word "next." Again, a purely rhetorical phrasing would be something like "what if your daughter were raped" or "what if your daughter were the victim." "Next" carries with it the idea that someone might intentionally single out Coach Pressler's daughter for harm.

A dispassionate linguist might find the Nartey e-mail completely unthreatening, but I can't imagine a loving father would. And it seems clear to me that, whether or not the e-mail should have led to Nartey's suspension, it was rash and inappropriate enough to disqualify its author from representing Duke as a model student at the Duke Conversations.

As to the McFadyen e-mail, it certainly is vile, and read out of context it appears quite chilling. However, as K.C. has also pointed out, the people to whom it was sent were clearly aware that it was not serious and not an actual threat (as reflected in their responses to it, which were not released with the e-mail but which K.C. and other commentators have apparently read)--and they would not have been the objects of such a threat had it been made (not the case with the Nartey e-mail to Pressler).

There's a lot of crassness in our culture today--misogynistic, materialistic rap lyrics, trashy celebrity "news," slasher movies, endlessly replayed cable tv shows about serial killers. When we see some of it mirrored back by a teenager, it's worth thinking about in terms of what kind of cultural influences we are offering our children. But when it's an isolated event, not part of a pattern of behavior, it's not by any means cause to worry that the individual involved is "abnormal" or a potential Ted Bundy. If you think otherwise, you probably haven't often heard the way young people talk when they think adults aren't listening.

Anonymous said...

There is one thing to consider about McFayden's suspension that is different from Nartey. Perhaps the release of the McFayden e-mail caused the University to believe that McFayden could not safely stay in Durham. In all other respects, I agree that elevating Nartey to some special status is beyond reason.

gak said...

rrhamilton said...
Jun 6, 2007 12:58:00 AM
I will just repost her first paragraph here, with which I fully agree in substance if not in style, and say that I find considerable merit in her other paragraphs.


I respectfully disagree. The idea that this comes across as a rhetorical question at a time when tension is so high just doesn't float with me. I only have boys, so I don't know what fears a parent has with young girls, but if I saw that from an unknown source, I would be in fear of my family's safety. All the other hot headed threats and demands going on at that time, the rhetorical question thing doesn't work.

Michael said...

[McFayden's e-mail was not illegal. It was not a "smoking gun" that revealed the reality of a hideous crime. It was, however, disgusting, crude, insensitive, and deeply unfunny. Let me also add that in the circumstances it was almost unbelievably stupid. It is probably not surprising when immature frat boys act like immature frat boys, but there is a difference between tolerating what is obnoxious and denying its obnoxiousnes.]

It was a private email.

Rude, crass, obnoxious, etc. can easily be found on the internet. Just visit the Yahoo Finance groups and witness the insults between shorts and longs.

As far as your comment on the circumstances go, how was he to know that the stripper would lie and accuse the team of rape and that he would be blackmailed into telling lies about his teammates by the police?

I hang out on a tennis discussion board where there are quite a few teenagers and they can be pretty crass and obnoxious. Do I worry that they're going to go out and kill and maim someone? No.

Would you want the contents of your emails and life dumped out for the world to see? Or do you support personal privacy?

I'm sure that Kim Curtis would prefer her emails to be left private, no?

Michael said...

I read the review of the Philly communication meeting at LS and it looks like Brodhead is in stonewall mode. It would have been interesting to see his response to someone bringing up the Nartey email: like Chauncy Nartey sent an email threatening Coach Pressler's 8 and 14 year old daughters. Could you tell us why you rewarded him by including him on your communications tour?

Brodhead could have ducked the question but it would have had a major impact on the rest of the people in the room.

It appears that the questions that Brodhead ducked did have an impact on the people in the room though.

Would appreciate a blog post on the conversation at some point.

gak said...

Having read this and other blogs over the past months, I truly do understand why KC calls it Durham-in-Wonderland. I understood it earlier, but this one just really is beyond words. The guilty are MODELS and the innocent are criminals. It would be nice to see the Coach P and the other families push a class action suit against the school. The discovery process would be a great reality show.

Michael said...

For those critical of McFadyen, I would hope that you would praise his character when he chose to tell the truth after getting threatened with public humiliation instead of swearing out a lie. Similar to Elmostafa.

Bill Anderson has an excellent article on Lew Rockwell about the matter.

In Praise of Ryan McFadyen

[Ultimately, what is important about this email involves how police obtained it, and what they did with it. I will go a step farther and say this: Far from being the psychopathic villain that many blogs and mainstream journalists have called him, the affair surrounding the release of this email – the illegal release, I might add – demonstrates that Ryan McFadyen has much better character than his accusers, for McFadyen refused to commit a felony and has paid a very high price for his integrity. I will repeat my claim: Ryan McFadyen, far from being a "dirtbag extraordinare," as one blogger called him, demonstrated that he had integrity that is missing from the entire Durham Police Department and the office of the district attorney of Durham County, North Carolina. Let me begin.]

I may add that I think that his integrity exceeds that of the posters here critical of this young man.

Anonymous said...

Last night at A Duke Conversation in Philadelphia, President Brodhead discussed the lacrosse case, and said that one of the things that needed to be studied was "prejudgment". At that point I almost threw up. So far, those that prejudged have been rewarded. McClain, Deutsch, AAAS, Nartey, and Curtis all have received promotions, enhanced status, showcase opportunities, or been allowed to keep their jobs after the most egregious conduct a professor can commit. I do not espouse the position that Nartey should have been suspended, just that he should not have been rewarded. But Bill Anderson is right, Duke is a place where truth is lies and lies are truth. As an alumnus and a parent of an alum, a former active alum and former contributor, that is painful to say. --Buddy

Anonymous said...

To K.C. and others:
I have often seen references to the McFayden email being understandable "when taken in context." I have assumed from these references that the content of the email that was reported were selected quotes from the email and that, had the entire email been quoted, it would have been obvious that it was a joke. Where can the entire text of the email be found?

For those who think that Pressler took the email too seriously, let me tell you a personal story. I received a number of communications (faxes in the old days) from a fired former worker at my firm (who I did not even know, he did not work for me or my department). I brought them to the attention of my firm's security guys and they called and wrote him and told him to cease contact with anyone at the firm. A short time later, he sent me another fax stating that if I did not help him find a job, "heads will roll, yours first." I took this quite seriously; reported it to my firm's security force and went to the cops with it. I was absolutely terrified; just walking to the train station from my office was horrible. I was constantly looking over my shoulder looking for this guy I had never met who was obviously a loon.(I got his picture from our security guys). Long story made shorter, the cops arrested him, we got a restraining order against him and my head did not roll. I was extraordinarily happy when I found that he had moved to England. Until you have gotten a communication like the Pressler one, you absolutely have no idea how terrified stalking victims are.

C. Thomas Kunz

Anonymous said...

Considering the tone of the campus, the administration and the public at the time, the Nartey email was a very thinnly veiled threat. A threat to scare Pressler into stopping practices. If someone even remotely threatened my daughters like that, I would have contacted the DA. Ooops the DA was Nifong, Who could he have contacted the DPD. Ooops they are corrupt too. Pressler should have stepped up to the plate and made this email public, his family was being threatened. Lets not forget the New Black Panther Party was there for support as well making death threats to Reade in open court, in front of the judge. Was anything done about that. No. Nartey should be hauled in and charges pressed. These people have gotten away with enough. Duke, Broadhead, and their henchmen are as bad as Nifong and the DPD, Baker and Chalmers. They all lie in the same cesspool.

emmy said...

KC, as I wrote at LS, there's nothing inexplicable about this! These Duke admins are cowards, who are bound by the chains of ULTRA, destructive, PC-itis...they are sadly transparent...they are so paralyzed at the thought of being labeled as "judgmental" to a black student, that they allow anything to go...and this to me betrays a racist, or at least bigoted, attitude...it's as if they just don't expect anything more from a black student...wrong is wrong, and what Nartey did *was* wrong (even *if* it wasn't a crime)...one needn't check for skin color/gender/sexual preference/political affiliation, when attempting to right wrongs...

duke09parent said...

"Brodhead himself learned of the e-mail no later than May 3, 2006. In a meeting with the lacrosse team, one player asked him about the disparate treatment of Ryan McFadyen and Nartey."

I wonder if anyone can report what Brodhead's response was. It is the disparate treatment of the two studens that is so reprehensible. I regard both emails as offensive,but mildly so, deserving of some disciplary action short of suspension.

Anonymous said...

I agree that we should consider the same happening with a white student and black coach. Can you imagine the outrage that would swirl if a white student wrote to a black coach and referred to his daughter by name?

This would be front page news and the student would be murdered in the press.

Mike Lee said...

The 12:32 EE Cummings idiot is par for the course among these backwards Durham hypocrites.

Sure, Mcfayden's email shows how horrible the lax team is and Nartney's message is meaningless. No double standard here....

Nartney's actions are completely inappropriate. I can assure you that if I were Mike Pressler I'd have done some research of my own, on Chauncey Nartey.

Mike Pressler is a better man than I am. The second he mentioned my daughter by name I'd have found him and had a little chat with him face to face. If he didn't get the message loud and clear, I'd have done more than have a little chat with him.

Anonymous said...

I think a crucial point needs to be remembered in all discussions of the McFadyen e-mail, to which 12:32(b) so desperately and dishonestly wants our attention to be diverted, away from the threatening e-mail sent by Nartey to Pressler.

Namely, the McFadyen e-mail was private. Now you may insist "well, even as a private communication, intended for an audience who would understand its references, it was grotesque and wrong." That's your prerogative. However, if you establish that as the code of right and wrong, you must be willing to live by it yourself. From now on, you may not say anything in any private conversation which any third party might not judge to be "in bad taste", "grotesque", "threatening", "et cetera". Your conversations in bed are now open season for anyone to pass judgment on. Better watch your metaphors, baby; if you talk about "killing two birds with one stone" expect to get nastygrams from the ASPCA. Get it yet? They intercepted a private e-mail, whose sender knew its recipients and knew what references would be understood by its recipients. 12:32(b)'s idea that maybe any similarities to American Psycho were coincidental ("i have never seen evidence that myfayden even took the class American psycho was a text for") is ludicrous. Their argument that by referencing the "thought content" of the book McFadyen marked himself as "abnormal" is again to idiotically ignore the obvious facts -- namely, that the team was living with a false stereotype that 12:32(b) and their ilk were fanatically promoting, that of the spoiled rich white sexual predator. To insist that any reference to the behavior of fictional spoiled rich white sexual predators is automatically identifying with that behavior, instead of sarcastically addressing the demonizing stereotype, is as idiotic as believing that when Amanda Marcotte said "Can't a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair." she actually meant it was unfair. Or are you saying that a blogger addressing a public audience has less responsibility to avoid sarcasm, metaphor, references to shared experiences, anything that could possibly be misconstrued by a third party, than a student writing a private e-mail?

rrhamilton said...

To gak at 8:46 AM:

I will agree that the different responses by Duke to the McFadyen and Nartey e'mails was inexcusible. In my view, both should've been handled as Nartley's was: As minor mistakes by two students who weren't thinking clearly at the time.

Nartey has called his e'mail "a mistake", "stupid", and "foolish", and he wrote a letter (not an e'mail) of apology to Coach Pressler. See http://liestoppers.blogspot.com/

Both your and 8:32's comments focus on the perception of Coach Pressler to the e'mail.

you: I respectfully disagree. The idea that this comes across as a rhetorical question at a time when tension is so high just doesn't float with me. I only have boys, so I don't know what fears a parent has with young girls, but if I saw that from an unknown source, I would be in fear of my family's safety.

8:32 AM: A dispassionate linguist might find the Nartey e-mail completely unthreatening, but I can't imagine a loving father would.

I will admit that I was reacting as a "dispassionate linguist" when I wrote the 12:58 AM comment. As a father of three girls, if I had been Coach Pressler, my first instinct would've been to do something to enrich Nartey's dentist.

But I would've expected the more dispassionate people at Duke to see this e'mail for what it was -- a poor attempt to communicate the seriousness of the alleged incident rather than a real threat to my daughters.

My bottomline: Duke's responses to both the McFadyen and Nartey e'mails should've been similar to one another -- and closer to the response to Nartey's than McFadyen's.

R.R. Hamilton

Duke 85 said...

Who released Mcfayden's email?

12:32 What's your take on the Navy "rape" case? Black guy has consensual sex with white female. White female accuses him of rape. She is given immunity (no sex with other cadets at Navy)and then reveals that there was no rape. He is dismissed. She is retained. Black applications for this year are down.

The race of the liar is reversed but not the sex. Does that throw your world view into chaos?

BTW, Pressler's daughter was 7 years old.

Anonymous said...

There's another Brodhead whitewash in the Duke Magazine this month as well. I'd quote from it, but I was so angry I threw it out. I remember it did mention "obsessed" bloggers (with a screen cap from D-I-W) and stated that the myth of left-leaning academia is part of the neo-con narrative. The G88 didn't get a mention until 7 pages in, and then it was the "we were worried about social conditions on campus" tripe.

Anonymous said...

Correction: Deutsch was appointed as Dean of Social Sciences in January 2006, and the promotion was announced in January to the affected departments -- months before the lacrosse party (although she did not actually assume the post until July 1).

Here's an official announcement to the public, dated March 1 -- again, BEFORE the lacrosse party.

http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2006/03/roth_deutsch.html

KC has, I assume inadvertently, created the impression here that she became Dean as some kind of reward for her 88-ness, but this is factually incorrect.

Gary said...

I've said several times: There's NO WAY that this whole affair would be published if it were all a work of Southern fiction. The stereotypes are just too, well, stereotypical. The Orwellian sub-theme is just too blatant -- a good fiction author would leave this much more implicit rather than continually hitting the reader over the head with it.

Thus, for the sake of KC's book, he's lucky it actually happened. For the rest of us, we're unlucky that the muck in this pit seems to have no bottom.

Interesting said...

I know this may come as a major shock but....

There is a professional victim who calls herself Pigeon who writes on the UBUNTU website (you know, the organization that states it was formed in the aftermath of the rape of a black woman by the Duke lacrosse team) who also uses no capitalization and attempts to write like EE Cummings.

Her posts are extremely sad actually. She writes about having 10 shots of vodka in 10 minutes, smoking a couple of bowls, having a few beers and passing out in a blackout ALL AT THE TENDER AGE OF 16. Of course underage drinking is a horrible sin if committed by white lacrosse players, but a professional victim can use drugs and drink at 16 and it makes her even more of a victim.

She then writes a very lengthy post about the trauma she would have gone through if she had been raped and if she had reported said rape. Another poor victim.

I guess this is what should be expected from an organization that publicly claims to have been formed in the aftermath of an event that did not happen and then as one of its first orders of business holds a day of truthtelling.

What a joke.

becket03 said...

“WHAT IF JANET LYNN WERE NEXT???”

Nartey makes a threat with this statement. If he'd been simply trying to get Pressler to identify with the pain of Mangum and her supporters, he would have said something like, "How would you feel if this had happened to Janet Lynn?"

Nartey's use of the word "NEXT" is crucial to understanding his intent. He's implying that what happened (so he believed) to Mangum could happen to Pressler's daughter next, but he was clever enough to provide himself with legalistic deniability by framing the threat in a question.

Just by naming a child (how did he get Janet Lynn's name?) in connection to a rape, Nartey deliberately sought to shake up Pressler and his wife. By using the future tense -- raped next -- Nartey threatened Janet Lynn, and undoubtedly directly caused the Presslers to take protective measures for their daughter.

beckett

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
KC--you are a model of restraint in recounting these outrages. This is a total and utter disgrace. More evidence of a flagrant double standard. ..................................... don't Duke students? Their parents? Alums? Why on earth do they put up with such grotesquely selective standards? Where are they? Why do they put up with it? Why do they pay for it?

Jun 6, 2007 1:26:00 AM

=========================================================================================================

Can anybody from Duke answer this?

By the way, my nephew's SAT scores recently came back. Did extremely well. He is a (northerner) bright, well spoken, young man with a very strong application (high class rank, extracurricular activities, etc). He is applying to the good schools in the DC area, as well as Vanderbilt, Rice and a few others. I asked him about Duke: "my school adviser discouraged from applying because of the LAX case".

Of course I'm biased--but this is a kid that most schools will want.

Mark my words--in the long run Duke will pay a price.

By the way, I must say I have always been impressed with Duke as an institution and especially their grads. While it may be unfair, the fallout from this case may be more than they think.

Again, Im curious what the Duke alumni and students say. Why are they (for the most part)so quiet? Why do you cede the discussion to the Feinsteins, the MSM, etc?

mb said...

KC, once again I find myself surprised that anyone might consider the hypocrisy of the Duke administration to be unusual: Political correctness is practically a religion in academia, so this sort of behavior is what is not only expected of faculty and staff, it's required of all but the most secure and/or tenured persons. Academia in the West has become the Bizzarro world, where truth is fiction, lies are the truth, discrimination and prejudice is justice, and injustice is treating people using equal rules and laws.

Thus, two different standards were used, one to reward criminal behavior and one to punish the innocent, all in the name of 'justice' as defined by the metanarrative.

Anonymous said...

It is stunning that this student was selected to represent Duke at the Duke Conversation. What throws me more is how no one in Duke's administration ever came out and said that the threats to Pressler, his family and the team should stop but they did call for an end to alleged email threats to professors. Why would the administratio reward what is at best a total lack of good judgement on the part of that student in sending an email that refers to the coaches daughter by name in the context of rape? Sweeping this matter under the rug to avoid publicity is one thing but the administration is hardly doing that when they single him out to speak to alums about the school.

Gary Packwood said...

Ryan McFadyen vs. Nardey ... and Irony

In American Psycho, the book and movie, the main character is a preppie who is a stock broker and preys on women of the night and at the end of the novel/movie he gets away scott free because no one believes he is capable of such crimes.
::
For Ryan and many other people such as myself, the fact that the bad guy was a preppie and that the novel is discussed at Universities at all is SERIOUSLY... IRONIC ...in the first place. It is just a hoot!

Some poor naive soul over here in Texas gained permission to speak to a group of sixth graders in a private affluent elementary school about the horrors of 'shooting up' with drug. Kids in the 6th grade in an affluent elementary school think that such a lecture is SERIOUSLY...IRONIC...and so do I.

Several of the sixth grade kids walked around for weeks talking about their Crack Pipes, Bongs and Secret Places on their toes to insert the needle.

The fundamentalist church folk were just scandalized.

Finally a group of parents came forward and told the naive ones to CHILL and get a life.

Nardey's email had nothing to do with IRONY. It was just mean.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

the poster at 8:26am restores my faith in humanity. the rest of you are apologists for what cannot be apologised for: perverted sexually violent thought content. not one of you yet has even proved Mcfayden even took this class so the "context" you keep bringing up is dubious. also that it was private to a group of likeminded individuals and therefore ok is a dubious argument. on the basis of that argument, perhaps we should excuse all of Hitler and Himmler's personal corrospondance about how many jews were killed because it was private and not meant to be read except by a select few likeminded individuals of the SS. i tend to think not as unacceptable is unacceptable. perhaps i would feel differently if i saw the rest of the conversations from the people he emailed it to but somehow i doubt it. it was probably just more sexually violent content that happened to be emailed immediately AFTER the alleged rape which in terms of police work is not significant whatsoever. yeah right. if you are dumb enough to believe that, then i have a nice bridge to sell you as well.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 8:37 nails the issue:

2) The writer used the word "next." Again, a purely rhetorical phrasing would be something like "what if your daughter were raped" or "what if your daughter were the victim." "Next" carries with it the idea that someone might intentionally single out Coach Pressler's daughter for harm.

Bingo. It's the cliche' mobster line of, "nice place - I'd hate to see anything happen to it."

Tom Wolfe really, really needs to do a fusion of "Radical Chic," "Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers," "Bonfire of the Vanities," and "Charlotte Simmons." This story has it all.

Jeffersonian

Cedarford said...

This doesn't support the victim/oppressor construct. For a long time PC warrior like Moneta to suppress a fact that doesn't support the narrative is perfectly acceptable. You have have to remember it's not about the truth.

The central point anyone wishing to fight the Brodheads, Monetas, Group of 88 have to remember is that it is not about the truth.

You will waste all your time arguing with them. They don't care. They only care about power. PC totalitarians are so convinced of their overall correctness and the wisdom of their path that any apology is seen as weakness and lack of ideological commitment to the great social justice transformation they wish to implement.
The only way to fight them is not through debate, but demanding their power to control events and escape consequences be taken away(including their prize full scholarship African illegal alien).

Hope this creepy little stunt follows "esteemed Duke student leader and law school scholarship candidate" Nartey. But that the utter moral corruption of Moneta and Brodhead covering up and then rewarding Nartey with extraordinary Duke favors sticks to those bastards.

And it wasn't just Nartey. Moneta and Brodhead sanctioned or tolerated other threats and antics like Curtis' grade retaliation. Or Duke employee Levicy.

They are despicable men, and so are the BOT people that are complicit in aquiescing to their actions in the name of Duke U.

*************************
Michael - It was a private email.

Rude, crass, obnoxious, etc. can easily be found on the internet. Just visit the Yahoo Finance groups and witness the insults between shorts and longs.

As far as your comment on the circumstances go, how was he to know that the stripper would lie and accuse the team of rape and that he would be blackmailed into telling lies about his teammates by the police?


Precisely, Michael. Unlike the poster "anonymous" who is either stupid or an asshole, there is a night and day difference between the McFayden and Nartey emails.

McFayden wrote is with no knowledge of any rape allegation pending, with sacrcasm and being emotionally miffed about being ripped off for 800 by 2 strippers for a 5-minute show done by Roberts only. It was a private email to friends. And McFayden was pilloried for it as a "rape-cheerer" suspended from classes, tossed off campus, and denounced in every major media outlet as a perverted monster.

Nartey, on the other hand, decided to send 2 emails in attack mode to a Duke employee he didn't know. In his second, he decided rather than just rhetorically do the "you'd think differently if it was your daughter" to throw a scare at Pressler over her safety. He researched the 14-year old daughter's name up. Used it in a way just as him using similar not common knowledge like "what if it was your daughter in her 2nd floor bedroom at the rear of your house, who now sleeps safety, unlike my Sister victim?"
And that creepy illegal aliens consequences were nothing but more rewards from PC Duke Administrators kissing his feet.....
My real outrage is not about the 21-year old black student sending what he at least knew would be read as an attempt to scare the Presslers to make his point. It is that Duke Adminstrators never made him accountable for his unacceptable, near criminal email - as they were savaging McFayden and Pressler - then they went further and heaped more PC awards and recognitions on Nartey.

Next up?

Maybe Brodhead with join Victor Zhau at DUMC and celebrate Tara Levicy being named as Duke Employee of the Year...

Anonymous said...

Ryan McFadyen wrote an e-mail to his friends. It was not supposed to become public. Maybe e-mails that 88 wrote to each other should become public as well-let's see what they have been writing.

KC Johnson said...

To the 12.43:

I have neither written nor implied that Deutsch received her dean's position as a reward for the position that she took on the lacrosse case.

Deklan Singh said...

KC, this is just a simple mistake that anyone like yourself who's intimately acquainted with Duke might make. Let me set you straight.

BLACK STUDENTS GET A PASS AT DUKE FOR ANY ATTACK OF ANY KIND ON A WHITE PERSON.

WOMEN GET A PASS AT DUKE FOR ANY ATTACK OF ANY KIND ON A MALE.

Glad I could help you out there. All the best.

Michael said...

re: 4:41

If you really feel that way, give me access to all of your private records and your emails. Otherwise you're just full of hot air.

Oh wait. You post as Anonymous. Just another coward lobbing rocks from his glass house.

But of course you can run an experiment. Send Nartey's email to POTUS and send Ryan's and see which one they respond to. One is a threat. The other they'd laugh at as sophomoric prose.

Anonymous said...

Hate this new comment format.

Michael said...

re: 9:37 and the other poster that demanded to know whether or not Ryan had one of the classes with American Psycho:

Can we just agree that he acted heroically in telling the truth under threats from law enforcement and kindly allow him some privacy in his life? If he wants to reveal his class history, that's his option.

The email that he sent should have been 100% private. We should all treat it as if we had never seen it. Just as the arrests should evaporate as if they never existed (the lawyers should be working on that one).

Michael said...

The thing that I like about the new format is that you can make the font bigger without the text getting squeezed into a very narrow column. It's nice if your eyesight isn't so good.

AMac said...

no-caps 12:36am / 4:41pm --

[emailed responses to McFadyen's note were] probably just more sexually violent content that happened to be emailed immediately AFTER the alleged rape which in terms of police work is not significant whatsoever. yeah right.

no-caps makes an excellent point on timing that causes me to change my mind. I hadn't noticed that McFadyen and his teammates emailed their stupidly offensive jokes to one another in the immediate aftermath of the alleged rape. This timing indeed proves their guilt!

By the way, no-caps, I have decided to claim that I was violently assaulted at about 3:11 pm. I allege that my assailant muttered that s/he would be trying to sell a bridge on-line in an hour's time. Given your own admission of guilt at 4:11 pm, I hope you're ready to undergo the cuffs-'n-orange-jumpsuit treatment that you've wished on McFadyen.

Anonymous said...

I like the new comments format-I actually could not post comments before but now it works.

emmy said...

"also that it was private to a group of likeminded individuals and therefore ok is a dubious argument. on the basis of that argument, perhaps we should excuse all of Hitler and Himmler's personal corrospondance about how many jews were killed because it was private and not meant to be read except by a select few likeminded individuals of the SS"


Hey Dipsh*t! There *is* one small argument with your comparison here...HITLER AND HIMMLER ACTUALLY KILLED PEOPLE! I know it's unfortunate (for you), but Ryan M. didn't actually kill any strippers, nor did he threaten to...you people were just so glad to have your damn outrage button pushed...and you performed admirably...Pavlov would be proud...

Anonymous said...

4:41--
I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and respond to your comment even though you have invoked Hitler and thus, under the comparison to Hitler rule, have disqualified yourself from consideration as a rational debater.

First, you are incorrect when you say that "the rest of you are apologists" for Ryan McFadyen. A careful reading of the comments shows that many are very critical of McFadyen's e-mail, but focus on the gross disparity in the university's reaction to that e-mail and to Nartey's less "perverted" but nevertheless inappropriate e-mail to Coach Pressler. I know it's complicated to keep two ideas in your mind at the same time, to imagine a world in which not every question can be answered with an all-or-nothing solution (i.e., if Nartey no, then McFadyen yes), but try--you may find the effort rewarding.

Second, you are incorrect when you claim that every commenter invokes the "American Psycho" defense for McFadyen--not true on its face. Some do, some don't.

Finally, sure--the e-mail might have raised some questions in the minds of the police. But if they actually did know the complete context, and thus presumably know that the e-mail was a joke (however sick) rather than an actual threat, was it good police work to take it out of that context to bloster their case (leaving aside for the time being the legal/procedural issue of how they got hold of it in the first place)?

And (I know I'm out on a limb here, adding a point after I already said "finally"--oh, well, there's just no shutting me up) for what it's worth, I don't share your opinion that the e-mail "cannot be apologised [sic] for." I certainly think it should be apologized for, and it has been. But just like I wouldn't call Jimmy Carter's "lust in my heart" actual adultery (I'm probably dating myself here), I wouldn't call Ryan McFadyen's e-mail evidence of actual perversion--just extremely poor judgment and bad taste.

Anonymous said...

This is called blaming the victim. See, one victim wrote an e-mail, so they all deserved to have the season cancelled, the coach fired, the death and mutilation threats, the G88 piling on, and so on.

BTW, who appoints/elects the BOT? Presumably there are no shareholders. Is there any effective way to appy pressure here?

bill anderson said...

Can we just agree that he acted heroically in telling the truth under threats from law enforcement and kindly allow him some privacy in his life? If he wants to reveal his class history, that's his option.

Exactly. Everything I hear about Ryan McFadyen is good. The people at Delbarton really liked him. Furthermore -- and I guarantee that K.C. and others on the blog can understand -- that many of us would not want our private conversations made public, and we know people, even prominent people, who have said things in private that they would not want to be public.

For example, I had a friend who was a prominent political figure in Tennessee, and I could have ruined his career simply by telling the press something he had done (and said). I would not have done such a thing, but the point is that he had said something to me in private that had it been made public would have made his political life very difficult.

My point is that Ryan was making private comments, while Nartey was making a threat. Yes, it WAS a threat, and I guarantee you that had a LAX player sent something like that, the player would have been charged with a crime.

I am sorry that the Duke alums have to watch this implosion. I went to a public university (Tennessee) and do not have the high expectations of my alma mater that they have. Duke University has been a great place with very, very loyal alums, and to watch it be destroyed by these cretans is too much to bear.

Anonymous said...

Even if he didn't take the class, the movie was popular not long ago. I'd guess that asignificant fraction of people of college age have seen it.

Also, bear in mind the circumstances of the e-mail release -- DPD knew they were framing innocents by this point as did the DA and they went before a judge and obtained permission to do the release. The e-mail didn't raise any doubts in those who knew the truth but was used to raise doubt in everyone else.


BTW, I haven't read coach Pressler's book yet, but I would be quite suprised if the "resignation" didn't go something like this:

Duke: "We think we have cause to terminate your contract are are prepared to do so. But, if you agree to resign, not to discuss the terms, and to wave any possible future legal action, we will pay out the remainder of your current contract. You should consult with a lawyer, but we need an answer right away. Sign here."

Pressler: "What choice have I got?"

Anonymous said...

"These are the folks your contributions to the annual fund are paying for."

No I don't think so...best I recall my wife's solicitations for the annual fund, the chapel fund, and the reunion fund may have all accidentally been thrown away.

My daughter will not be completing the Duke application, with fee, this year either.

Curious how that happens...

Anonymous said...

poster 11:55pm> that's what Duke needs to hear more of to change. I'm completely confident your daughter will go somewhere that is more forgiving and supportive of college student behaviour. Another drop in applications next year might bring things around. The fact that it was a unanimous decision by the presidents of all the colleges to give another year of eligibiity to the players who lost out last year, proves that in other schools> the whole event most likely would have been handled differently and had a different outcome. I think even if the schools have difficult town relationships, this one seems particularly hostile to Duke students. A reflection of poor communication with the powers that be at Duke. They have alot of work to do, maybe in a few years it will be better.

Anonymous said...

actually, American Psycho is not that well known a film. It was not a commercial success like say, the Texas Chainsaw massacre or other more recent splatter films. many people are unfamilar with it and when the infamous email originally came out, people were having to explain what American psycho was about trying(desperately) to put it in context and to defuse its power. however, some things speak for themselves, loud and clear, especially in criminology. right now on CNN they are showing the MYspace and emails of the guy accused of killing the young girl last seen at target. they are reading out alot of the stuff he wrote on the web about killing girls and especially the daughter of a law enforcement officer. I guess since this is private, this is not pertinent. Yeah right. If someone accused of a crime or witnesses a crime writes something before or immediately after the event that discusses the event, this is always pertinent to a criminal investigator and that is just criminolgy 101 as perps like to fantasize about crimes and brag after participating. all this talk on here about it being out of context, etc, is just an apologia for what is perverted and consistent with criminal behavior. this guy was no hero; just a sicko with an attraction to sexual violence. these guys were just lucky CGM was wasted and a toxic screen was not done or this would have turned out differently,imo. i am still waiting from you guys to find out if he took the class. my contacts here at duke says he did not!

AMac said...

nocaps --

Whether or not a reader would like McFadyen (I probably would) or approves of his American-Psycho email (I do not) are trivial.

McFadyen is relevant because the Duke Administration's handling of Chauncey Nartey can be benchmarked against their treatment of him: each student wrote an email that was, at a minimum, in extremely poor taste. McFadyen was suspended while his letter was publicized. Nartey was honored and his letter was hidden.

Since you insist on sliming McFadyen, give us some context. Are you his ex-girlfriend? Part of the Group of 88? A frustrated CASTRATE banner-holder?

Since you insist on parroting a discredited and bizarre narrative, address its main fallacy: how can McFadyen's American-Psycho email speak to the party-goers' guilt or state-of-mind about The Crime when the alleged felonies you reference did not take place?

nocaps--you, me, and the other readers of your three comments in this thread (12:36am / 4:41pm / 2:22am) share a secret:

You are a troll. "Someone who intentionally posts derogatory or otherwise inflammatory messages about sensitive topics in an established online community such as an online discussion forum to bait users into responding."

No further rebuttals from me. Seek help, or start your own blog for like-minded conspiracists.

Either way.

Michael said...

> actually, American Psycho is not that well known a film.
> It was not a commercial success like say, the Texas Chainsaw
> massacre or other more recent splatter films. many people are
> unfamilar with it and when the infamous email originally came
> out, people were having to explain what American psycho was
> about trying(desperately) to put it in context and to defuse
> its power. however, some things speak for themselves, loud and
> clear, especially in criminology.

A look at the Amazon.com DVD entry for American Psycho has it ranked
at 867. Gone with the Wind, in comparison, is ranked at 8,655.

A look at the Amazon.com book website for American Psycho by Ellis
shows the sales rank at a surprising 2,995. In comparison, the book An
Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, 2007, is ranked 3,278.

For comparison, I have the book Early Intervention in Psychosis, A
Guide to Concepts, Evidence and Interventions by Birchwood, Fowler and
Jackson on my desk and its sales rank is 1,363,251 at Amazon.com.

So American Psycho appears to be more popular than your portrayal.
I'd guess that Gone with the Wind isn't terribly popular with the
younger generation though many older readers and DVD buyers would
probably express familiarity with the book and movie. And I would
say that many people are unfamiliar with Gone with the Wind. That
does not imply that it wasn't popular in its time.

> right now on CNN they are showing the MYspace and emails of the
> guy accused of killing the young girl last seen at target. they are
> reading out alot of the stuff he wrote on the web about killing
> girls and especially the daughter of a law enforcement officer.
> I guess since this is private, this is not pertinent. Yeah right.

It's obvious that critical thinking isn't one of your strong points.

If you go and create a web page or post in a public forum, guess what?
You give up your rights to privacy. If you take out an ad in the New
York Times and post personal information there, guess what? You can't
sue the New York Times for revealing your private information.

I searched Google news for articles on the police reading his emails
and didn't come up with any hits. Perhaps you could provide a link
to an article that states that they went through his email.

> If someone accused of a crime or witnesses a crime writes something
> before or immediately after the event that discusses the event, this
> is always pertinent to a criminal investigator and that is just
> criminolgy 101 as perps like to fantasize about crimes and brag after
> participating.

1) There was no crime and the police knew it.
2) Please provide a citation for your assertion. Looks more like
something that you just made up from watching too many cop shows.

> all this talk on here about it being out of context, etc, is just
> an apologia for what is perverted and consistent with criminal
> behavior.

I would appreciate a citation for this as well. If so then millions of
other readers and viewers of the book and movie should have their
emails examined by the police.

I had a look on the web for any past criminal history for Ryan and
didn't come up with anything. Perhaps you have evidence of criminal
history. I think that what's more likely is that you just like to
anonymously slander people that you're jealous of.

> this guy was no hero; just a sicko with an attraction to sexual
> violence. these guys were just lucky CGM was wasted and a toxic
> screen was not done

[When Judge Smith arrived at the end of August, Nifong knew the case
was over. The date rape drugs test came back negative, Elmo had been
acquitted, and Sixty Minutes was in town asking the hard
questions. Nifong wanted a]

I found this at LieStoppers. I have requested a source for the claim.

It appears that you think that "something happened". Cooper, with
far more access than you to private and public information, proved
that nothing happened.

> or this would have turned out differently,imo. i am still waiting
> from you guys to find out if he took the class. my contacts here at
> duke says he did not!

Given the clear popularity of the DVD and Book, I think that it
doesn't really matter if he took a class with the book at Duke.

Again, if you really feel that private email is fair game, send
me the access information to your email accounts and a disk with
your archived emails for the last 20 years. After all what have
you got to hide? Oh, that's right. You're an anonymous coward.
So you already do have something to hide.

Michael said...

Test: Lacrosse case accuser free of controlled substances

Given that she has exhibited the same bizarre behaviour before, one could reasonably conclude that the causality wasn't Lacrosse event specific.

She was already taking some pretty potent stuff. I believe that at least one of the drugs that she was on modified neurotransmitter activity.

My recollection on the drug testing was pretty fuzzy so it was good to go over the court and news article on this item again. The Liestoppers guys are good. You ask them for some research and you get back a bunch of links in short order.

Michael said...

Regarding the privacy issue, here's a presentation by Legal Counsel at Virgina Tech on the inability of Virginia Tech to provide private student records. This is quite some time after the shooting occured.

Remarks to the Virginia Tech Review Panel


Remarks to the Virginia Tech Review Panel

By Kay Heidbreder, University Legal Counsel

May 21, 2007

Colonel Massengill and Members of the Review Panel, if I may……

My name is Kay Heidbreder. I serve as the University Legal Counsel and Assistant Attorney General assigned to Virginia Tech. In this capacity, I provide legal advice under the direction of the Attorney General to the University. Given my position, Dr. Steger has asked me to provide an overview of the legal mandates under which Virginia Tech operates with respect to the protection of student information. This overview is not meant to be legal advice to this panel. Rather, Dr. Steger believes that it is crucial for this Panel to have some context of the legal landscape for institutions of higher education. In addition, he has asked that my remarks center on the interplay between the Counseling Center, the student disciplinary system, faculty interaction with students and the police department. He has also asked me to share the constraints that the University faces in providing student records to the public at large.

At any institution of higher education in Virginia, there are a number of laws protecting the privacy of students and student records. These laws include The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C.A. 31232g, HIPAA 42 U.S.C. Section 1320, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Section 2.2-3700, Code of Virginia, as amended, and the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act, Section 32.2-3800, Code of Virginia, as amended. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (aka FERPA or Buckley Amendment) sets forth criteria for the dissemination of information to protect a student’s rights of privacy.

The University is restricted in its ability to share a student’s educational records with third parties, external to the University, absent a properly executed release or a court order. While it is debatable whether the FERPA protections end at the student’s death, the other laws contain no such limitation. Exceptions to these non-disclosure requirements include sharing records with employees within the University who need the information to do their job. For example, an instructor can share grade information with the Registrar. However, there is never permitted a disclosure for medical or counseling records. This absolute prohibition tracks the restrictions covering disclosure of medical records as provided in HIPAA or the federal legislation that protects health information for every individual treated by a medical professional in the United States. FERPA also provides a quirky privacy provision that places a wall between the educational records at an institution and the law enforcement records maintained by the campus police department. To put this in concrete terms, educational records cannot be freely disclosed by the administrative offices with the police department. To give an example, a student is charged in the University’s disciplinary system with a violation of the acceptable use policy that prohibits sending harassing e-mails to a fellow student. The University’s hearing officer is precluded from sharing the outcome of the hearing with the campus police. Another example is that police are not informed when students are treated for psychiatric problems. In the same vein, the police are not given health information when a patient is released from a hospital. This latter example actually relates to the privacy protections contained in HIPAA.

In addition to the federal statutes, state law also restricts the University’s ability to disseminate student records. The General Assembly has articulated the privacy concerns in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act by exempting from mandatory disclosure a student’s scholastic records. While the Freedom of Information Act permits limited disclosure of records at the University’s discretion, FERPA and other state laws preclude disclosure. In particular, I would draw your attention to the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act, Section 2.2-3800 Code of Virginia, as amended. Specifically, that statute authorizes the University to collect, maintain and share information with third parties only to the extent necessary to accomplish the University’s mission of educating the student. It does not provide for unlimited disclosure in the law enforcement context to third parties.

The protections afforded by federal and state laws to the individual are most absolute in the medical context. For example, a medical screening is not part of the University’s admissions process. The Code of Virginia, Section 23-7.5, requires that each prospective student provide a health history, but this history is not all encompassing. The health history is really a listing of diseases against which the student has been immunized. The purpose of this code requirement is to guard against the potential outbreak of controlled diseases in the close confines of a residence hall. Even this modest requirement is not absolute as the General Assembly has waived the immunization requirement on a student’s religious grounds.

--------------------

As far as grabbing electronics go, they still needed a warrant to go after the data there for one of the victims.

By Brad Heath, Donna Leinwand and Alan Gomez, USA TODAY
BLACKSBURG, Va. — Police obtained search warrants Thursday for a cellphone and computer belonging to one of the first people killed at Virginia Tech as they tried to identify motives behind the shootings that left 33 people dead.

The FBI also planned to subpoena Cho Seung Hui's high school records, the school said, as it digs deeper into the background of the loner who seldom spoke, frightened teachers with his angry writings and repeatedly stalked female students online.

In the warrant application, Virginia Tech detective Stephanie Hanley said investigators wanted to examine a laptop and cellphone found in freshman Emily Hilscher's dorm room because they "would be one way the suspect could have communicated with the victim." Hilscher and another student, Ryan Clark, were killed in her dorm two hours before Cho opened fire inside Norris Hall, an engineering building. Police have not definitively linked Cho to the dorm killings

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-04-19-vt-warrants_N.htm

Anonymous said...

michael,

in what world is American psycho 897 on DVD sales on Amazon.com? Must be the Bizarro world. There are various DVD editions on Amazon and none have that sales rank:

unrated edition( date issued: 2000) rank: 34,195
regular edition(2003) rank: 41,035
newest edition(the new uncut killer edition--out in 2005) rank: 1394

Your numbers were similarly off for the book version but of a whole different magnitude. the hardcover is listed as 3,140,114 in rank and 19,037 in rank for one paperback edition and the most recent mass market paper back edition was ranked as low as 831,139 in sales rank. to be fair one heavily discounted version did have a sales rank of 3155.

i guess i should not be surprised as i find that lax supporters are not strong in math or in truthtelling as a rule,imo.

Anonymous said...

dear ms. no caps,

On-line sales numbers go up and down daily if not hourly and the post you attacked might have been correct. Or is that how you make judgements? By calling names and seeking to demean?

The important point in this thread is that a person wrote something that threatened the daughter of a university employee/could have been interpreted to threaten the daughter. He showed poor judgement. Said person, being an adult, ought to have known better in the climate of the time. And, the university showed poor judgement as well in holding this person up to the larger community as some sort of paragon.

Michael said...

> in what world is American psycho 897 on DVD sales on Amazon.com? Must
> be the Bizarro world. There are various DVD editions on Amazon and
> none have that sales rank:

That's where it was on Amazon.com when I posted. It appears that the
numbers are fairly volatile.

> Your numbers were similarly off for the book version but of a whole
> different magnitude. the hardcover is listed as 3,140,114 in rank and
> 19,037 in rank for one paperback edition and the most recent mass
> market paper back edition was ranked as low as 831,139 in sales
> rank. to be fair one heavily discounted version did have a sales rank
> of 3155.

Barnes and Nobles has it at 4,897.

The point remains. The book and movie are by no means obscure.

> i guess i should not be surprised as i find that lax supporters are
> not strong in math

Reading a number off of a web page isn't indicative of math ability.

If you think that you're good at math, give this problem a try:

What's the exact probability of hitting 1,000,000 rolling one die
with integral values from 1 to 6? Someone asked this in one of my
forums and we had several people with graduate math and computer
science degrees, and several Phds and Phd candidates look at the
problem. One of the probability guys and one of the computer science
guys got the value that it converges to. I found an expression for
the exact answer using a paper from the 1700s.

> or in truthtelling as a rule,imo.

Well, if you want to prove that I lied, you'd have to get the numbers
from Amazon for the last 30 hours. Otherwise, you're just as bad as
CGM, the false accuser.

Anonymous said...

you can call all the names you want but i proved you were full of it on the sales figures as anyone can look it up and see that those ranks you posted are full of s--t and my ranks are more factual. you then compound your mistatements by trying to use another website entirely to try to bolster your proven false claim that American psycho is oh so popular but i can predict you are probably wrong on those sales figures as well.

oh and the little probability problem is off topic.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, ms. no caps,

I checked and no surprise--your figures are not "more factual" than the other blogger's. And again, you call names and attack. That doesn't help your argument any.

Doesn't it occur to you that important point here is that the novel--and the film--are well-known popular culture icons? And, at a school like Duke, many, if not, most students will have heard of the novel and probably make reference to it.

Do you simply ignore the lack of common sense shown by the other young man, CN, the one whose politics seem to parallel yours? Bad judgement and bad behavior matter. Threatening--or appearing to threaten--someone in one's community (in this case, Duke) is really not on. Are you ignoring this issue by going off task or do you not understand it?

Michael said...

[you can call all the names you want but i proved you were full of it on the sales figures as anyone can look it up and see that those ranks you posted are full of s--t and my ranks are more factual. you then compound your mistatements by trying to use another website entirely to try to bolster your proven false claim that American psycho is oh so popular but i can predict you are probably wrong on those sales figures as well.]

My figures are correct at the times that I posted.

Regardless of my figures or your figure; both indicate a popular movie and a popular book.

[oh and the little probability problem is off topic.]

So Lacrosse detracters are poor in math and typically have problems with the truth. Perhaps you need to take a deep breath and calm down.

Michael said...

re: 8:25

This guy gets beaten to a bloody pulp on so many points, including this one, and retorts with some simple market volatility.

Pretty pitiful.

One could argue that Early Intervention in Psychosis isn't a very popular book. But go to a site like LibraryThing.com and you'll find it ranked 329. LibraryThing.com is a site that you record the books you own at. Apparently it's a very popular title with members there.

The folks at librarything.com tend to be brighter than those in the average population becuase, they read.

http://www.librarything.com/work/7135

Anonymous said...

and your point is ? american psycho is not entirely unknown but ask yourself this: if it was so well known that everyone knew what Ryan was talking about why was it reported on the news without that explanation for many days into it? if it was so well known, why didn't Brodhead and the mainstream press seem to recognize it immediately? only when the lax defenders came up with the story that the book was taught at duke and the defense lawyers also began to say this same apologia was the email put into "context" although no one has come forward yet and stated that Ryan took that course which would be a natural follow-up question for a thinking reporter. my sources here at duke say that he was not in that class but ? if that is true. one thing's for certain, everyone was certainly not taking it as a joke when it was first published so ? just how well known and iconic something is if no one recognised it.

Michael said...

> and your point is?

You seem to think that Ryan is a monster for what he wrote. And are
out on a crusade to prove that the title isn't well-known.

> american psycho is not entirely unknown but ask yourself this: if it
> was so well known that everyone knew what Ryan was talking about why
> was it reported on the news without that explanation for many days
> into it? if it was so well known, why didn't Brodhead and the
> mainstream press seem to recognize it immediately?

There is a lot of diversity in the United States as far as
entertainment goes. I have the iTunes radio tuner on my screen and
there are categories for 50s/60s Pop, 70s/80s Pop, Alternative,
Ambient, Blues, Classic Rock, Classical, Country, Dance, Eclectic,
Electronic, Folk, Hip Hop/Rap, International, Jazz, Latino, Pop,
Public, Reggae, Religious, RnB/Soul, Rock and Talk/Spoken Word. My
personal music interests would be limited to two of the categories
here and I really wouldn't bother with the rest.

On average, we go out to see a movie every one to two years. The last
book that I purchased is Fundamentals of Algoithms by Brassard and
Bratley and the last book that I borrowed for our son is Probability
Theory, The Logic of Science by Jaynes. I've never seen American
Psycho nor have I read the book. I work in a building full of
engineers with Phds and Masters degrees in mathematics and computer
science with most in their 30s, 40s and 50s. I would guess that less
than half, perhaps far less than half, have read the book or seen the
movie. I would guess that the vast majority have heard the title as I
have.

I would have a hard time believing that the average 20-year-old is
interested in the Fundamentals of Algorithms or SIMD optimization
or esoteric math papers on combinatorics from the 1700s.

When I was in college, I took a semester of French Literature and a
semester of German Literature. I have all of those books in my home
library. I would have a very hard time remembering passages from
any of those books. I might remember the story line but that would
be about it. We also read Paradise Lost in English 101. I couldn't
recall or pattern match a line or paragraph if my life depended on
it.

Now take a look at Brodhead's background. He was born in 1947 so that
would make put him in his 40s when the book came out and in his 50s
when the movie came out. I've read that Brodhead is a scholar of
19th-century American literature and Shakespeare. Do you really think
that this is the kind of guy that would read American Psycho or see
the movie given his age when they came out? And even if he did, would
he have every passage memorized?

> only when the lax defenders came up with the story that the book was
> taught at duke and the defense lawyers also began to say this same
> apologia was the email put into "context" although no one has come
> forward yet and stated that Ryan took that course which would be a
> natural follow-up question for a thinking reporter.

I guess that you'd have to include Larry Moneta, Brodhead and Bryan
as part of the LAX defenders given their take on the matter:

: Duke's vice president for student affairs Larry Moneta said McFadyen
: could return to the lacrosse team in the fall, according to the June 7
: letter to university President Richard Brodhead.

: The student's e-mail, which Moneta said was sent "in jest," was among
: various factors that led Duke to cancel the season of its highly
: ranked lacrosse team even before three players were charged with rape,
: kidnapping and sexual offense. McFadyen is not charged in the rape
: case.

: In his letter, Moneta said McFadyen was suspended because there were
: concerns whether his presence on campus posed a risk to him or
: others. But Stephen Bryan, Duke's associate dean for judicial affairs,
: reviewed the case and decided that McFadyen did not violate university
: policies regarding abuse, endangerment and disorderly conduct,
: according to Moneta's letter.

: According to Moneta, McFadyen said the e-mail used language from the
: book "American Psycho," a novel by Bret Easton Ellis - later made into
: a movie - about a serial killer.

Duke Player who Sent Inflammatory E-mail Reinstated

> my sources here at duke say that he was not in that class but ? if
> that is true.

I've read that there were three classes where the text was used but
he could have seen the movie, or read the book outside of the class.
I note that Random House for High School Teachers lists American
Psycho in their online catalog at Random House For High School Teachers.

> one thing's for certain, everyone was certainly not taking it as a
> joke when it was first published so ? just how well known and iconic
> something is if no one recognised it.

Here's a memorable quote from a huge hit movie:

[Wonderful girl. Either I'm going to kill her or I'm beginning to like her.]

How many people would be able to place this off the top of their head?

How about this quote from a popular 1980s television show?

[Friend, you picked the wrong plane to mess with]

I'm not particularly interested in the music that teenagers, and those
in their 20s and 30s listen to. I don't think that I'd be interested
in the books that they read either.

But the fact of the matter is that Duke's administration cleared Ryan
after their investigations which is saying quite a bit given their
hostility and disdain for the Lacrosse players.

Frankly, your argumentation in this branch of the thread is as
sophomoric as his email was.

AMac said...

Michael, you have the patience of a saint.

And, given your correspondent's fondness for topsy-turvy reasoning, you have a soft spot for lost causes as well.

Worthy lost causes, though.

Michael said...

re: 11:27

I've send Bill Anderson an email to see if he would like to add some of the discussion here to his article on Ryan. The discussions here have required thought and effort but serve to make things more clear in my mind.

And of course I think that this would be useful for his article on Ryan as it would address this particular argument against Ryan in an article so that one could just point to the article if someone else brought it up.

My son is taking a course this summer on writing and there's a heavy research component to the course. He does stop over and read what I write from time to time. I don't think he understands my thought processes for avenues of argumentation and research but he's had the building blocks to do so for many years.

A lot of kids just like to argue their perspective and I've tried to show him the usefulness of being able to argue both sides of a case, however distasteful that may be to personal views.

Anonymous said...

This is for Michael:

I think ms. no caps isn't interested in understanding your points. She wants to keep the attention on Ryan McF's e-mail rather than engage in discussion of Chauncy N's. I would appreciate it if she could explain what was acceptable about the latter's e-mail? Threatening someone's very real daughter?

She must know--or maybe she doesn't--that all kinds of comments/descriptions/whatever from books and films become part of popular culture, of course. Think of "Play it [again!], Sam" from "Casablanca," for example. Ditto "Gone with the Wind," "Home Alone"...

One of the interesting issues with undergraduates is that they sometimes conflate films (which they don't mind seeing) with literature (which they mind reading).

Michael said...

I think that digging up the article where the Duke Administration declares Ryan innocent should suffice.

I enjoy working through the strategies and tactics of a battle and have found that it's good to have skills in defence and offence and the patience that goes along with both.

Anonymous said...

to the poster at 1:34, I know all about pop culture allusions, you idiot! and i am telling you that none of american psycho is on the level of the recognised lines from movies like Casablanca: "round up the usual suspects", 'this is the start of a beautiful friendship" or Gone with the Wind: "frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" and "tomorrow is another day" and "as God as my witness, I'll never be hungry again!" or even Paradise Lost(which i read in high school and remember VERY well!):"It is better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven." Psycho does not have that level of mass recoginition and no one initially recognised what Ryan wrote. Sorry to burst your bubbles.

Also, Michael, you are on here defending the email and you admit on here that you have not even read the book or the seen the movie yourself, yet you arguing it is more popular than Gone with the Wind with people recently! WTF? Maybe you should go and rent this masterpiece and get the book and actually see for yourself what Ryan is quoting and see how wonderful and benign it is( i am being sarcastic here).

If you are a mature adult you will be shocked that it is taught at duke and sad that a young person would be quoting from that sort of book/movie. i HAVE seen it and it is horrific( i could not make it through the book, it was too graphic and even more nauseating). it is not a fit subject for young men and women and to be quoting from it is abnormal. if you had experienced the movie or the book, you would not be trying to minimise it.

And last, i am not an undergraduate. Far from it, i am definitely a postgraduate.

Michael said...

> to the poster at 1:34, I know all about pop culture allusions, you
> idiot! and i am telling you that none of american psycho is on the
> level of the recognised lines from movies like Casablanca: "round up
> the usual suspects", 'this is the start of a beautiful friendship" or
> Gone with the Wind: "frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" and
> "tomorrow is another day" and "as God as my witness, I'll never be
> hungry again!" or even Paradise Lost(which i read in high school and
> remember VERY well!):"It is better to rule in Hell than serve in
> Heaven." Psycho does not have that level of mass recoginition and no
> one initially recognised what Ryan wrote. Sorry to burst your bubbles.

People have differing tastes in their reading and while you may find
the above titles interesting, I do run into brilliant people that would
have a lot of trouble identifying with the material that you posted
above. I think that American Psycho has some amount of popularity given
the rankings that I've seen on book sites and given that I'm aware of
the title. I generally don't read fiction nor watch movies so just the
fact that I'm familiar with the title indicates that it has been out
there.

> Also, Michael, you are on here defending the email and you admit on
> here that you have not even read the book or the seen the movie
> yourself, yet you arguing it is more popular than Gone with the Wind
> with people recently! WTF?

I indicated that it had a higher rank that Gone With The Wind at one
or more websites. I'm old enough to realize that tastes vary from
generation to generation. I don't see the attraction of rap or hip-hop
music but it seems to be wildly popular with the younger crowd. I'm
sure that the younger crowd doesn't exactly flock to Neil Diamond
concerts.

> Maybe you should go and rent this masterpiece and get the book and
> actually see for yourself what Ryan is quoting and see how wonderful
> and benign it is( i am being sarcastic here).

Why? I don't claim that the book is wonderful. It doesn't appear to be
as obscure as you make it out to be and, as it does appear to be
something used in high schools and colleges.

> If you are a mature adult you will be shocked that it is taught at
> duke and sad that a young person would be quoting from that sort of
> book/movie. i HAVE seen it and it is horrific( i could not make it
> through the book, it was too graphic and even more nauseating).

Kids seem to be numb to graphic violence on movies and books today.
Check out some of the lyrics of popular rap music today or find a
Christian commentary site on rap. Your typical person can filter
this stuff out though in their own personal behaviour.

> it is not a fit subject for young men and women and to be quoting from
> it is abnormal. if you had experienced the movie or the book, you
> would not be trying to minimise it.

It appears that you're making a moral judgement on a particular piece
of literature. The mature person realizes that this is a waste of time
in the age of anything goes. The more you try to censor something, the
more a generation wants to see the material.

But the Duke Administration did their investigation and found Ryan
innocent of violating university rules and if these old guys didn't
have a problem with it, why should you?

> And last, i am not an undergraduate. Far from it, i am definitely a
> postgraduate.

I run into a lot of people with graduate and postgraduate degrees.
They wouldn't tell you that they had graduate and postgraduate
degrees, though, unless you asked them. Their work, accomplishments
in shipping products, getting patent awards, contributing to corporate
profits and writing industry papers is what they are proud of.

The head of the company doesn't have an undergraduate degree. But his
accomplishments in life far outweigh 99% of those with postgraduate
degrees.

Anonymous said...

i consider it that you all "asked" that question when one of the other posters implied i am an undergraduate. i am as about as postgraduate as you can get, ie, i have a terminal degree. as to the head of a company not having an indergraduate degree, so what? the ability to make money is not a substitute for intellectual accomplishment or morals. BTW, your lack of intellectual accomplishment is showing as i quoted the most famous lines of all those works and many people will recognise what i wrote. Many people can even recognise which character said what line for Gone with the Wind: "Frankly my dear..." is a line by Rhett Butler, "Tomorrow is another day..." and "I'll never be hungry again.." are by Scarlett. As to Paradise Lost, the character of Satan said the famous line above. I could go on but i sense you do not have a clue as to what i am talking about (and it is off topic). Suffice it to say that American psycho does not have that level of recognition, period. I advise you to read the book or watch the movie before you get on here and make a fool of yourself trying to pretend it is normal for young men to so identify with that movie as to write what Ryan wrote. maybe you need a bit of putting it in context yourself before you defend and minimise it. as to duke deciding to readmit Ryan, that is a political decision trying to avoid litigation and only occured after the pr firm the lax team hired had gotten their message across and the possibilities of a lawsuit was mentioned; there is no indication that it was a decision based purely on ethics. i know duke well and duke does not operate on those terms.

Anonymous said...

So, when will President Brodhead resign?