Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Memo to: Editor Ashley

In an interview last week with Boston’s Public Radio station, Herald-Sun editor Bob Ashley launched a new defense of his paper’s embarrassing performance in the lacrosse case. After declining to affirm that he wasn’t afraid of a lawsuit because of the many H-S errors over the course of the past 18 months, he offered a new party line: those criticizing the H-S are engaged in after-the-fact attacks.

Ashley was, on occasion, almost comical in his remarks. For instance, at 21.41 of the link, he asserted, “I think we were skeptical in many instances.”

Really? When? This was a paper whose editorial page and chief reporter covering the case (John Stevenson) demonstrated not one iota of skepticism about anything Mike Nifong said or did between March and December 2006.

Ashley and Stevenson might have displayed a little more skepticism had they seen fit to quote Jim Coleman in any of their stories in the months after Coleman publicly criticized Nifong. The Duke Law professor first went public in mid-June 2006, in comments that have stood the test of time. Yet Ashley and Stevenson ignored Coleman’s remarks when he made them. And they ignored Coleman in July 2006. And in August 2006. And in September 2006. And in October 2006.

NAACP “case monitor” Irving Joyner, meanwhile, seemed to be on Herald-Sun speed dial, always ready to offer flaccid pro-Nifong commentary.

Even Ashley didn’t seem to believe his claims that the paper was often skeptical about the Durham establishment. At 17.27 of the link, he reasoned, “I think it’s easy to look back from a distance, many months removed from what was going on at the time, and take shots. Certainly, we’ve been criticized for our coverage of this, and newspapers are often criticized for their coverage.”

Ashley returned to the theme later in the interview, at 21.57 of the link: “Some of the editorial comments that Stuart [Taylor] cites, looked at from the vantage point of 18 months later, probably have proven to be mistaken. But they were based on the best available evidence and judgment at the time . . . We don’t have the luxury of waiting several months before we wade into the fray.”

The insinuation: the paper’s coverage wasn’t biased; it did the best it could have under the circumstances; and its critics are Monday morning quarterbacks.

(Ashley added, by the way, that he hadn’t read UPI, even as he conceded that many people in Durham were talking about it.)

It’s not clear how Ashley’s explanation would account for the coverage of the Chronicle, which broke several stories and whose editorial and op-ed columns have stood the test of time. Nor is it clear how Ashley’s explanation would account for the coverage of the N&O—which badly misfired in its March 25, 2006 story, but was breaking news on the case as early as April 22, 2006, en route to a pattern of exposé after exposé.

A listener to Ashley’s interview, meanwhile, would have concluded that no criticism of the Herald-Sun existed until Stuart and I published our book.

Ashley must have missed posts such as those of Craig Henry at Lead and Gold. On July 5, 2006, the blog correctly noted that the H-S “still spins for Nifong even when it tries to take a bold, forthright position. Like most of the MSM, it refuses to confront all the disturbing facts in the case when it issues its agonizing reappraisals of the mess that is Durham justice . . . The Herald-Sun is still dissembling as it calls for a speedy trial and it is shirking its duty. Instead of waiting for he truth, the paper should start digging into the mistakes made by the media, Nifong, and Duke. Isn’t that what a watchdog press is supposed to do? The paper has no appetite for such work. Like most local media, they are loyal lapdogs for prosecutors. This is made clear by the gentle way they handle the questions about Nifong’s handling of the case . . .

“The DA gets the benefit of the doubt. From the beginning, the lax players were presumed guilty; their presumption of innocence went out the window back in March. But Nifong—he “must have some evidence.” The Herald-Sun does not tell us what it might be, but they are sure he must have something. It is a touching to see the media place such childlike faith in a politician. It is a faith that is contradicted by the facts we know—no DNA, no severe injuries, no date rape drug, no viable timeline, multiple false statements by the DA, absurdly contradictory accounts by the accuser and the second dancer. Why, then, does the Herald-Sun cut him so much slack?”

It didn't take Craig Henry 18 months to see through Editor Ashley's biased coverage.

And it doesn't seem that John in Carolina is on the editor’s reading list, either. JinC had an August 1, 2006 offering that Ashley might have wanted to have read. The post appeared only hours—not 18 months—after John Stevenson’s deeply flawed article of the same date. Stevenson had claimed to have uncovered “previously undisclosed” DNA evidence that might help Nifong’s case—or at least, of course, Irving Joyner so contended. In fact, the findings had been revealed months before, and even Nifong deemed them irrelevant.

JinC asked whether the H-S had offered a “fake news story . . . a sham repackaging of material previously disclosed.” His post posed a question: “Did the Herald-Sun today give us a genuine story about previously undisclosed DNA matches, or did it give us a sham repackaged "old news" story intended to prop up sagging public support for a case most people know has been nothing so much as a series of injustices?”

John in Carolina wasn’t the only blog to offer contemporaneous criticism of the Herald-Sun. Posts about Ashley’s bias formed regular fare at Liestoppers, which derisively spoke of the H-Ssnooze room.”

In August 2006, indeed, Liestoppers’ Joan Foster composed a poem for Ashley, entitled, “In Search of One Courageous Editor.”

He asks if we've gone "insane?"
For Nifong there's no blame
Bob's hoping that the boys will go to trial
How very debonair
Oh, my...so laissez-faire!
It's easy when the accused is not your child!

Of course, DIW also regularly offered contemporaneous criticism of Ashley’s handiwork, whether from his personal op-ed column; on the editorial page; or in the efforts of John Stevenson. And when Ashley OK’d an article featuring Travis Mangum claiming that Crystal was beaten and bruised, with swollen eyes, after the “attack,” DIW published an official police showing the claim was false. The H-S never ran a correction.

[And for other examples of contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous criticism of the H-S from this blog, Editor Ashley could have checked here; or here; or here; or here; or here; or here; or here; or here; or here; or here; or here; or here; or here; or here; or here.]

Indeed, virtually anyone who commented on the Herald-Sun’s coverage during the course of the case criticized it. The paper might have been spared additional criticism, as the Chronicle’s Adam Eaglin discovered, only because so many commentators didn’t read the H-S.

Since April, while the paper’s editorial coverage has remained as slanted as ever, the news performance has improved dramatically. John Stevenson’s byline largely has disappeared from articles related to the case, replaced by the work of William West or Ray Gronberg. Both have produced first-rate articles. So the H-S clearly has people capable of quality work. Why, then, did Ashley have kept the reliably pro-Nifong Stevenson on the case for so long, unless he found the Stevenson message appealing?

So, in the end, Ashley continues to deny reality. The insinuation that serious criticisms of the H-S did not occur throughout the case is absurd.

89 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess I feel the same way about the Herald Sun that Brad Bannon feels about Nancy Grace in his famous who really cares about Nancy Grace statement.

I have to believe that the people who were relying on the Sun wanted a bias source of news so they could feed their prejudices as opposed to finding out what was happening in the Lacrosse Case

Gary Packwood said...

Great poem Ms. Foster.

I have not seen that poem before today.

Gets right at the heart of the matter.

Thanks You
::
GP

miramar said...

It's amazing that Ashley could continue to repeat this nonsense with a straight face. Curiously, back in January 2006 he was quoted in The Independent as saying, "One of our jobs is to shine a light on things that are going wrong in Durham." By his own definition, he has not done his job, so it makes no sense to claim that the criticism the paper has received is little more than Monday norning quarterbacking.

Anonymous said...

Hope the families sue the pants of the arrogant fellow!The man is a race baiter and a fool to boot.

This rag of paper did more to stir up the Durham racepot than most.

I truly hope we will see some more action soon on the civil case front. Mr Ashley needs to be brought to account for his reckless reporting of this case from the get go?

Richard of Loxley

Anonymous said...

In the list of those who will be sued, isn't the H-S far down on the list? The H-S may have become a journalistic joke, but what would Ashley and the H-S be sued for?

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 12:17 said...

...I have to believe that the people who were relying on the Sun wanted a bias source of news so they could feed their prejudices as opposed to finding out what was happening in the Lacrosse Case
::
Would you agree then that the Herald-Sun should be held accountable for fulfilling the role of Baghdad Bob ...in an American city?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

To the future Duke archivists researching this piece of history millennia from now, greetings. I hope you are enjoying the jet packs and food-in-a-tube we were promised. Future jerks! (Sorry, I'm just touchy about the whole jet pack thing). Here is some background about the Duke Rape Hoax:

1. 21st century humans, as Douglas Adams might note, are still wildly excited about achievements in cigarette lighter technology. So, you see, we are not a particularly advanced people in terms of science or logic.

2. Our social skills have lagged even farther behind. After thousands of years of living with our pigments (skin color) and genitalia, we still have not learned exactly what to do, and not do, with or about them. We have even greater problems with the pigments and genitalia of others.

3. This Duke Rape Hoax developed from a backdrop that included people of one pigment enslaving people of another. Additionally, people with one set of genitalia had historically prohibited people with the other set of genitalia from taking part in government and other important aspects of society.

4. When the slavery and franchise problems were finally eradicated, other, lesser discriminations ensued.

5. These discriminations occurred because we, as a people, were able to vocalize our thoughts and feelings and immediately act upon them. The problem was, many of us had not learned to think before action or vocalization.

6. Evolution, it seems, had gifted us with too much too soon.

7. After the discriminating humans began to realize that discriminating was evil, unseemly and illogical, and had enacted criminal and civil laws against it, it was too late, as the previously-discriminated-against humans wanted to try their hands (at this time we humans have two each) at it.

8. During this later era of discrimination, a person with one skin pigment and variety of genitalia falsely claimed that three individuals with a different pigment and type of genitalia had ... how to express this ... rubbed their genitalia in and around the false accuser. This was one of the most heinous acts one human could inflict on another if non-consensual. If consensual, it was one of the most beautiful. It was also one of the most heinous acts of which one human could falsely accuse another.

9. Although there was almost immediate evidence that the accusations were false, many people who were sympathetic to the false accuser's pigment and genitalia ignored the evidence so that they could heap humiliation and the possibility of incarceration on the falsely accused three, who had, in their minds, the wrong pigment and genitalia.

10. The injustice was narrowly averted when the discriminating person in charge of enforcing the law was found to be in violation of the law.

11. The act of discrimination, it seems, at least to this point in our history and before, was a way to display our ignorance, to vent our rage and to gain power.

12. If you are reading this millenia from now, congratulations. Apparently we were able to move past our pigments and genitalia and the pigments and genitalia of our neighbors. Good for us.
_______________

To MAC (or is it Robin Williams) from the other day: I never thought about it that way, but "Correctology" does make an ass out of you and me.
_______________

"K.C. Johnson can have your cake and eat it too." 49th Century Proverb. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

I used to paper the bottom of my parrot's cage with the Herald-Sun until he started lying to me. The last straw was when my parrot baited the dog against me.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Why would an editorialist feel the need to wade in before he had all the facts? News stories are on deadline. Editorials are most certainly not on deadline.

The failure to understand this distinction could be a huge part of why this story went so wrong. Waiting until you know enough before offering an opinion, supports the presumption innocence in the law.

An addition problem may be that the modern MSM tendency to editorialize in news stories may lead to this erroronious feeling on the part of editorialists of a need to weigh in quickly. But the fix is not to rush editorials, but to keep opinions out of news stories.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

BTW, I went on a trip over the weekend and have a new car so I temporarily have XM radio. On it I heard a PSA or ad on which Coach K spoke.

I was not listening to it carefully, but I believe Coach K quoted Richard Brodhead positively about how people act in crisis. I sort of remember a prior discussion of this ad here, but boy does Coach K's suckup quoting of Brodhead in this PSA or ad lower Coach K in my estimation.

Unless I misheard this ad or something? Has anyone else heard it?

Anonymous said...

According to General Infinite Monkey Theorem, an infinite number of evil monkeys hitting keys at random on an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time will almost surely not libel the Duke boys worse than did the Herald-Sun.
________________

The standard in North Carolina is whether the newspaper's coverage was "substantially" complete, fair and accurate. The Herald-Sun fell so far below that standard as to be unmeasurable.

Moreover, there was no excuse, as John Stevenson apparently had a better working relationship with Mike Nifong than any other person in the media.

Besides the sordid coverage of the Duke Frame, there are also questions about the conflict of interest between the coverage afforded to Nifong and Nifong's paid advertising in that newspaper. I believe K.C. Johnson broke that doozy of a story.
___________________

"Is K.C. Johnson a real human being or just the projection into our dimension of an infinite number of virtuous monkeys?" Riddle of Unknown Origin. MOO! Gregory

Stu Daddy said...

May I inquire why the commentary on yesterday's post was not only closed, but hidden or deleted?

I listened to Bob Ashley on Boston Public Radio. Hard to believe if hadn't heard with my own ears.

Coach Pressler and Jim Coleman were excellent, not to mention Stuart Taylor.

Anonymous said...

JLS @ 1:05 AM ... from a former newspaperman, I say, Excellent Post!

Carolyn said...

Ashley proves Dorothy Parker's definition of horticulture. "You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think."

Dang! KC led Ashley there for over a fricking year - but Ashley STILL aint thinking!

Anonymous said...

Tell us what you heard, and perhaps we could weigh in on it.

Anonymous said...

Is Ashley a Communist?

mac said...

Ashley is part of the Something Happened crowd, AKA "$#!! Happened. $#!! Happened happens to equal the Herald Sun.

MOO Gregory's list was almost complete, except for the semi-mathematical computation of the equation: SH=HS, which will take the place, in the soft sciences of Lubiano, Hardt et al, of E=MC...

I would propose, for historical sake, that the HS be given multiple names, in honor of their duplicity and complicity in the case, giving aid and comfort to those who slandered and libelled the accused:

Squirrel Sun (for the nuts)
HS=SH (Herald Sun = Shit Happened) (oops)
Hurled Scum (a common name already in wide usage)
Helping Spin
Harmful Stuff
Hectoring Suckheads

Anyway, it's stuff you wouldn't want your kids to read. The paper, that is. The names are just names.

Anonymous said...

Early in the case, I emailed H-S reporter Ray Gronberg asking why no one at the H-S appeared to be investigating potential wrong-doing by the Durham Police. This was immediately after the first report from N&O reporter Joseph Neff, which raised serious questions about Nifong's behavior.

This first Neff article was followed quickly by the need for an embarrassing correction by Neff on the front page of the N&O, for a mistake that many considered to be trivial.

I then received an email from Gronberg, implying "see what happens to those reporters who take on this subject".

At the time, I assumed that Gronberg was simply a clone of Ashley and Stevenson, and a closet supporter of Nifong. I have since come to the conclusion, based on Gronberg's subsequent excellent reporting, that he was making the point at the time that any reporter who challenged Nifong and the Durham "establishment" risked having his career as a journalist derailed in that market.

AF said...

1:10
Coach K's conspicuous absence throughout the LAX debacle spoke volumes for what he thought. The fact that someone yesterday uncovered the fact that the basketball team had hosted more of these "stripper" parties may have been what motivated him to remain silent. Especially if he knew about them.
I used to have great respect for Coach K. His silence throughout this mess made me question his motives. I cannot fathom that he would have allowed Boardhead to have railroaded his players and himself the way Boardhead railroaded Presslar and the LAX players.

bill anderson said...

In May, 2006, I established "diplomatic relations" with John Stevenson, and helped him with a story he wrote in which he talked to other prosecutors, one who was a friend of mine from Tennessee (Jerry Estes). Jerry himself told me that he was very concerned with what Nifong was doing.

At the time, Stevenson had at least some skepticism, and we emailed often, but during the summer, his coverage and attitude began to change and his line soon became, "This case must go to trial." It is my guess that he was told that from above, and Ashley really committed himself and his paper to enabling Nifong.

Last April, when it became obvious the AG was going to drop the charges, the Hurled-Scum ran a story by Brianne Dopart in which she wrote about Travis Mangum recalling how Crystal's jaw was swollen from the beating that Reade, Collin, and David allegedly gave her. In other words, the Scum was STILL trying to keep the fiction alive.

It was ONLY after the charges were dropped that the Hurled-Scum then decided it did not want to be on the losing side. Other than the New York Slimes, no paper did a worse job on this story than the Hurled-Scum.

Keep in mind that the Scum was closer to the action than any other paper, yet Ashley and his editorial staff deliberately pursued a "they-probably-are-guilty" line. This was not done in a vacuum. I am sure that Ashley was trying to appeal to the AA community and the leftists at Duke.

Now, did the paper receive any veiled threats from certain groups? Did anyone say that they would lead a boycott of the Hurled-Scum if it did not serve as a mouthpiece for the lynch mob? Did the paper's owners approve such coverage?

My questions are speculation, of course, but I am curious as to why the Scum went out of its way -- almost comically so -- to push this case and demand it go to trial. One thing we know for sure: In 2006, all the way until the December 15 hearing, it seemed that Nifong was going to have his way, and I am sure that the Scum did not want to be caught on the losing side.

(K.C. did not mention the editorials in the Hurled-Scum slamming the first "60 Minutes" piece on the case. However, deforestation of North America would be necessary to write a volume that contained ALL of the bad things the Scum did.)

Anonymous said...

Boston Public Radio? Ashley? Why on earth is anyone providing a forum for this moron, much less Boston Public Radio?

Anonymous said...

7:25 AM

Boston Public Radio . . . ? This is where the marketplce is for this kind of bias . . . National Public Radio is often incomplete in its reporting because of its coloquial even near-sighted coverage of events. Ashely should be reporting on why he and his paper got the story so wrong . . . and they were wrong . . . dreadfully wrong . . . why? The answer might require looking past their collective navals . . . the answer would, I think, be frightening in its representation of what the modern main stream media is about. Remember, in New York, the Times still doesn't understand the World Trade Center is gone and not to be replaced in our lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

Outrage at Duke lacrosse players
Herald-Sun, The (Durham, NC)
March 28, 2006
Editorial

This isn't the kind of national publicity Duke thought it would be getting in March for one of its sports teams.

A crowd of students and residents gathered Sunday morning for a raucous demonstration near East Campus, attracting plenty of media attention. But they weren't celebrating a basketball victory. They were protesting in front of the now-infamous "lacrosse house" at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., the site of a March 13 party that allegedly included a sexual assault.

We now know that the members of the team weren't home at the time. But wherever they were, one would hope the banging drums served as a wake-up call that the students' obnoxious fun and games have taken a very serious turn.

According to reports, 40 or more lacrosse players invited two "dancers" from an escort service to provide entertainment at the party. One of the dancers later told police she was raped, sodomized, beaten, kicked and strangled by three men in a bathroom. When police officers arrived at the house with a search warrant on March 16, none of the players would cooperate with the investigation. Later, under threat of further penalty, 46 members of the team were DNA-tested by police.

There's no question the student-athletes were probably guilty of all the usual offenses -- underage drinking, loud partying, obnoxious behavior. But the allegations of rape bring the students' arrogant frat-boy culture to a whole new, sickening level.

First-degree rape is a class B1 felony, carrying a maximum penalty of life in prison. And if the allegations are accurate, the multiple assailants and the violence of the assault puts it solidly into first-degree territory.

"Get a conscience, not a lawyer," read signs waved in front of the house on Sunday. We agree that the alleged crime isn't the only outrage. It's also outrageous that not a single person who was in the house felt compelled to step forward and tell the truth about what happened. And these are our best and brightest, America's future leaders? When did we stop teaching right from wrong?

Duke officials are facing criticism for not speaking out strongly enough against the alleged crimes. President Richard Brodhead and other officials are in a tough situation. They have called the crimes deplorable, if they occurred, while pointing out that suspects in our free society are granted the presumption of innocence. We should remember those aren't just words. They are a precious part of our constitutional rights.

The Duke sports office has already forfeited two games. Now would be a good time for the players to take the next step themselves and concede that the rest of the season should not proceed under this cloud. If not, Duke should cancel the season on its own. The consistently awful behavior of this team has earned such a penalty.

jim2 said...

Sadly, I think the problem goes back to what constitutes news that the editors think will sell newspapers.

Ashley and the H-S almost certainly decided that a lurid gang rape by Duke white males of a local black woman would sell papers far better than any more careful reporting. Then, once that position was printed, they felt committed to it.

The power of the press is just another example of the axiom that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is, Ashley and the H-S are still unadapted to the net's ability to inform others despite whatever the H-S might print, let alone how the net can be so far inside their paper's decision cycle.

Printed errors, false accusations, and the like no longer gather mass in a vacuum as they once did. Papers used to have other papers as competitors but the consolidation in that industry in recent decades left many largely unchallenged in their localities. That lack of competition gave them great power that made many lazy and - as demostrated by the H-S - corrupt.

Anonymous said...

5:22 AM

Nice list. May I add . . .

Hallucinating Sycophants

Anonymous said...

Bob Ashley is not dumb nor an incapable newspaper man. He and the powers at the H-S made a very calculated business decision to run the Lax story in a way to increase circulation. Unfortunately, the story - the true story - and increased circulation were not compatible so truth had to be sacrificed for profits. The NY Times has sacrificed truth - and profits based on recent circulation reports - for ideology. The result is that readers of both papers are misinformed.

Ralph Phelan said...

Expecting anything but lies from Ashley is a waste of time.

There is someone I'd really like to ask a question of though:

David Paxton - why haven't you fired Ashley yet?!?!?!

jim2 said...

Above, I mentioned how Ashley and H-S had failed to appreciate how the net had ended the ability of papers such as H-S to dictate what the news was. Predictably, I guess, I just encountered a blog post that better captures what i was trying to say:

http://www.atlassociety.org/ct-1966-Atlas_mugged.aspx

Anonymous said...

The days of print journalism are numbered. As we have seen time and again, the MSM cannot be relied upon for accurate, unbiased news (and that includes the very few "conservative" publications). Rather (no pun intended), we are becoming more and more dependent on the internet and the blogosphere for our sources. Why, then, do KC and JinC spend so much valuable time trying to do the impossible? Getting the NYT and the Hurled Scum to admit bias and to apologize and make corrections is a fool's errand. Assume, I do I, that no MSM source can be relied upon, and let it go. Let the bastards stew in their own juices until they disappear in the memory hole.

mac said...

Ashley was taking the Nifong Freeway Bypass: run the toll road until retirement, then walk away, smug and self-satisfied, knowing you got away with a frame and a hoax.

Didn't work out that way, at least for Nifong.

I suspect that Ashley will be looking for other work soon. As soon as it costs his bosses lots and lots of money.

no justice, no peace said...

I didn't realize that Myanmar monks were on the Duke campus yesterday...

Myanmar monks chant "democracy," soldiers move in

jim2 said...

OT, but notice another mention example where Duke granting PC PHD scholarship has had consequences:

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:DjJ2rn5svfQJ:www.columbiaspectator.com/node/26749+Facts+on+the+Ground:+Archaeological+Practice+and+Territorial+Self-Fashioning+in+Israeli+Society.+The+work+is+an+extension+of+her+doctoral+dissertation,+which+was+accepted+at+Duke+University&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

(sorry for long url, but the columbia spectator is currently directing all non-cache urls to their Iran Hitler-wanna-be visit coverage)

no justice, no peace said...

Thomas Sowell, "No Justice, No Peace"

"...Just a year ago, “rape” charges spread lynch-mob hysteria on the campus of Duke University and in much of the liberal media, while professional race hustlers descended on the town of Durham, North Carolina, and mindless tribalism was stirred up by extremists in the local black community.

This year, we have all learned what a total fraud that case was, from beginning to end..."]

This is why Mr. Sowell is so very good at what he does...

"...Liberals’ skills at moral equivalence have been so finely honed during the long years of the Cold War that they have turned this into a case of “unequal treatment,” based on race — as if putting a noose on a tree is equivalent to stomping somebody who is unconscious...."

A very good read.

Ralph Phelan said...

Do this fool's continued claims that they did everything just fine increase his paper's exposure to a large libel judgement?

Does noone in Durham know when to stop digging?

Anonymous said...

9:05 I think you are correct -

Debrah said...

If Bob Ashley were a more compelling and interesting character, an entire series could be written on his ineptitude--yes, that's part of it--and his deliberate faux-reporting of the lacrosse case.

The Herald-Sun operated on not only a calculated agenda, but one that was the result of fear.

Anonymous said...

"Stu Daddy said...
May I inquire why the commentary on yesterday's post was not only closed, but hidden or deleted?"

If you had been here reading the comments late yesterday, you would know.

Anonymous said...

OT - I have been trying to catch up on prior posts and wanted to view the video from KC's appearance at Duke. Unfortunately the link is no longer active. Is there any way to access the video? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Prior to the case, I subscribed to both the NY Times and the Herald Sun. I cancelled the subscription to the Herald Sun in response to their terrible job in covering the case. I wanted to cancel the NY Times as well but my wife, who grew up in New York City, just couldn't bear being without the NY Times. I tried to talk her into a Sunday edition only subscription (I would at least get to do the Sunday crossword puzzle) but she insisted that she was addicted to the Times and I would just have to eat my principles.

C. Thomas Kunz

Debrah said...

"David Paxton - why haven't you fired Ashley yet?!?!?!"

This past year, I phoned the H-S publisher Geoff Moser and asked him the same thing.

Before he saw just how toxic Ashley had become to so many, he was open with his remarks.

He actually said, "Debrah, I wasn't the one responsible for hiring him."

Of course, now, no one is talking about such things.

I think it has been reported that Paxton gives complete autonomy to its editors with regard to their respective papers.

Huge mistake; however, as the editor of the former H-S once stated, "Paxton is a bottomfeeder in the industry."

Paxton and Ashley have made a calculated decision to play to a certain segment of the population.

Circulation seems to have plummeted.

LOL!

Debrah said...

Today's H-S:


Duke president plans changes to athletics

BY RAY GRONBERG : The Herald-Sun

DURHAM -- Shrugging off two reports that in different ways suggested throttling back Duke University's involvement in intercollegiate athletics, school President Richard Brodhead is signaling that he wants to improve Duke's long-struggling football team.

An all-but-signed order from Brodhead favors the creation of a five-year strategic plan for athletics that among other things would "bring football to a level of performance consistent with Duke's mission in athletics," which is to "frequently produce winning seasons and the realistic opportunity to compete for team and individual championships."

Work on the plan is already under way, and a draft is supposed to reach administrators and Duke's Board of Trustees in February.

The plan's football component is even further along. "There's a bunch of work been done on that over the last six months to a year," said Jon Jackson, an associate athletics director who wouldn't discuss specifics about what the document might recommend.

The wording of Brodhead's draft order to Athletics Director Joe Alleva surfaced last week as the president was getting ready to ask Duke's Academic Council to support a revision of the school's mission statement for athletics.

The statement, which got the council's backing, retained its predecessor's call for fielding teams capable of frequent winning seasons.

It also says athletic competition has educational value and "commits us to things most people took as self-evident," including Atlantic Coast Conference membership and Division I competition, said Michael Gillespie, a political science professor who chairs Duke's Athletics Council.

But Brodhead's recent moves came after two advisory groups formed amid the controversy over the Duke lacrosse case urged a different course.

One, the Campus Culture Initiative Steering Committee, in February recommended raising admission standards for varsity athletes and cutting the amount of time they spend in practice and traveling to games.

Meanwhile, former Princeton University President William Bowen and former N.C. Central University Chancellor Julius Chambers responded to Brodhead's request for a review of the Duke administration's handling of the lacrosse controversy by suggesting that the university "take a large step back and think freshly about the role of athletics, and especially the aggressive recruitment of scholarship athletes."

Duke's football team has posted many academic honors, but its on-the-field performance hasn't kept up.

The team has posted only five winning seasons in the past 30 years -- two each under former coaches Red Wilson and Steve Spurrier, and one under former coach Fred Goldsmith. Goldsmith's winning season in 1994 was the team's last to date.

A Sept. 15 win over Northwestern snapped a 22-game losing streak, the longest in the nation.

Gillespie said any plan to reverse the team's fortunes is likely to require better facilities. There's been talk of a major renovation of Wallace Wade Stadium -- and a fund-raising effort for that is under way -- and Brodhead's draft order for the strategic plan specifies that the document should address facility needs.

"When recruits come look at our football stadium, they don't feel thrilled by the possibility of playing there," Gillespie said. "Whereas with Cameron [Indoor Stadium, Duke's basketball venue], they feel they're coming to a mecca."

It's not as clear whether the plan will call for a change in academic standards.

The football team and Duke's men's and women's basketball teams already can recruit players who appear likely to do "acceptable work" in the classroom. The usual standard for all other teams is that recruits must be "able and willing to do the academic work required for graduation."

But improving the football team means being "able to recruit better athletes," Gillespie said, adding that Duke can gain ground even if it finds ways to beat out academic powerhouses like Stanford in recruiting battles more often.

The other question -- one Brodhead's draft order didn't address -- is what "championship" means in football.

Competing with powerhouses like the University of Texas for national titles is one thing, but going after ACC titles is "not an impossible goal," Gillespie said, noting that another private school, Wake Forest University, won the conference title last year.

Duke budgeted $47.4 million for intercollegiate sports last year, Jackson said.

Federal data shows that Duke's football budget topped Wake Forest's as recently as 2005-06, the last year for which statistics are available. Duke reported spending $10.1 million on its football team that year, compared to Wake's $7.9 million.

Both schools lost money on the sport, but Wake didn't lose as much. Duke football posted a $1.7 million deficit, while Wake's loss was $238,585.

Debrah said...

Ashley spent so much time writing op-eds and slanting reports to convey how rowdy and obnoxious the lacrosse players and Duke athletics, in general, are.

However, this one wrote itself......although, there are no smears in the coverage of this pathetic story:


A few bad sports mar a great game

The Herald-Sun
Sep 25, 2007

It's too bad we can't talk about N.C. Central's 27-22 victory over N.C A&T on Saturday in Greensboro without also talking about the post-game brawl.

The brief altercation marred what was otherwise an exciting, hard-fought football game between the two schools, which have a long, intense rivalry.

That rivalry overheated when, just after the final buzzer, a few NCCU players taunted the Aggies by jumping up and down on the logo of the bulldog painted on the field. Punches were thrown, and other players joined the fray. A&T campus police intervened with pepper spray, and, less than five minutes after it began, the melee was over. Other than a few players getting sick from the spray, no one was injured. No charges were filed, although an unidentified NCCU player was suspended for a game.

This type of incident can't be excused, no matter how heated the rivalry. Even in college athletics, where the pressure to win is huge, coaches need to teach and model good sportsmanship. Win or lose, players should shake hands after the game and show respect to their opponents. Taunting may have become almost accepted, but that doesn't make it right.

Another part of maturity is restraint. In other words, just because the other guy is being a jerk doesn't mean you have to stoop to his level.

Then there were the statements made by A&T Athletics Director Delores "Dee" Todd. She threatened to cancel next year's games. She also blamed NCCU coaches for instigating the brawl.

Todd's charges are serious. If coaches were involved, they need to be held accountable. But we hope calmer heads prevail over the idea of canceling future games. This is a premier matchup for the two schools, whose rivalry dates to 1924. There is great potential benefit for both schools in continuing the series.

The administration and coaches at NCCU need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again. But it would be a serious shame if a few bad sports are allowed to bring an end to this rivalry. Did we mention it was a great game?

inman said...

I just had a random thought, most relevant to this case and the H-S.

It actually is a paraphrase of the AG's comments about Crystal Mangum's mental state. It also absolves the H-S of any wrongdoing if it applies equally to institutions as it evidently does to individuals under North Carolina law. To wit:

"Truth is what one believes."

Starting with that as a premise, while some may view statements asserting so-called facts as hurled scum, others may view those same statements as poetry.

This is simply an extension of the Special Theory of Relativity. But, extending the Special Theory's descriptive metaphor involving a train ride and a stationary object, it is clear that there are a lot of trains out there with no caboose.

{{{sound of doppler effect}}}

Debrah said...

An excerpt from Thomas Sowell's latest:

"This time the scene is in Jena, Louisiana. The issue is the prosecution of a black high school student accused of stomping on an unconscious white student — and the lack of criminal prosecution of white students who hung a noose on a tree, who were disciplined by the school.


Liberals' skills at moral equivalence have been so finely honed during the long years of the Cold War that they have turned this into a case of "unequal treatment," based on race — as if putting a noose on a tree is equivalent to stomping somebody who is unconscious.


The black student was found guilty but the verdict was overturned on appeal — not on grounds that he was not guilty, but on grounds that the appellate court did not think he should have been tried as an adult.


The usual legal procedure would be to try the student again, but this time not as an adult. However, the usual legal procedures are not good enough for those who have once again seized the opportunity to hype race — and to hell with questions of guilt or innocence or legal procedures."

haskell said...

Yesterday's post was on 'Activists'. To my way of thinking, activists generally = rabble-rousers. Have you checked out the rabble lately? I suggest you go to aol.com, check the article on Bush weighs in on Hillary -- and then check the comments. OMFG.

bill anderson said...

I sent the following email to Boob Ashley:

Mr. Ashley,

I quote from your March 28, 2006, editorial:

"Get a conscience, not a lawyer," read signs waved in front of the house on Sunday. We agree that the alleged crime isn't the only outrage. It's also outrageous that not a single person who was in the house felt compelled to step forward and tell the truth about what happened. And these are our best and brightest, America's future leaders? When did we stop teaching right from wrong?


Why does your editorial page even now continue the fiction that no players "came forward"? Furthermore, why did you join in the condemnation for people seeking legal counsel, which supposedly is a Constitutional Right? (Granted, PC people believe that all rights are gifts from the state and should be taken away when the political situation is not correct. Now, you seem to hold -- correctly, I believe -- that people held in places like "Gitmo" are entitled to counsel. Yet, you condemn American citizens for seeking lawyers?!?

As we know now, it was a good thing that the players did get lawyers, as we had a tag-team of a dishonest prosecutor and crooked police. Yet, one of the reasons that this tag-team show could go on was because the Herald-Sun stood firmly and absolutely behind the real criminals in this case.

William L. Anderson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Economics
Frostburg State University
Frostburg, Maryland 21532

Anonymous said...

Speculative answers to two questions:
a) Why (and for what) should the H-S be sued for? For reckless disregard of the truth, which is a standard that even newspapers have to meet. This appears to be an open-and-shut case.

b) Why hasn't Ashley been fired yet? Because that would be seen as a tacit admission of guilt by the newspaper, which would still be liable for the destruction left behind by Ashley.

AMac said...

Anon 9:05am commented that the Herald-Sun failed to "make the news" as far as the Lacrosse Rape Hoax/Frame, because Bob Ashley didn't understand how times have changed.

I think he or she is spot-on.

Craig Henry of Lead and Gold explored this point a few weeks ago, in this review of veteran newspaperman Russell Baker's essay "Goodbye to Newspapers?"

Baker gives a valuable dinosaur's-eye view of the meteor strike. Henry's commentary frames the issue much more perceptively.

As with the dawning of any New Age, much of what is passing into history was valuable and useful. In this case, newspapers' news-gathering and news distribution. The forms that New Media will take are still unclear (at least to me).

Debrah said...

An excerpt from Dennis Prager's latest:

"The first example is what is known as political correctness. Leftist denial of what is true is so widespread that we have a term for it, political correctness. There is no comparable right-wing political correctness, i.e., denying truths so as not to offend right-wing values or certain groups.


For example, among many on the left, especially academics, it has been almost impossible for decades to tell the truth about the innate differences between men and women because of the leftist dogma of innate similarities between the sexes. So deep is the left's hostility to truth regarding the sexes that a president of Harvard University was forced from office after suggesting that men's and women's brains process math and some science differently.


Similarly, many leftist professors at Duke University used the false rape charges against three white lacrosse players to reinforce the left-wing belief (itself not true) that America is racist. The truth was not nearly as important to them as proving how racist whites are.


Textbooks. A prime example of the left's view of truth is its changing the goal of high school American history textbooks from telling truth to promoting self-esteem among minority and female students by depicting more women and more non-whites in American history textbooks."

Anonymous said...

KC:

One question keeps re-occurring. How in the world did Durham and its administration get this corrupt?

Ken
Dallas

mac said...

Anon 8:16
Thanks for reprinting the editorial!

Those are some very harsh words to back away from, especially since they (HS=SH) were basically calling for a life-sentence, not thirty years!

What you quoted deserves a second look, IMO. And a third. And a fourth look, as well:

"1st degree rape is a class B-1 felony, carrying a maximum penalty of life in prison. And if the allegations are accurate, the multiple assailants and the violence of the assault puts it squarely in first-degree territory."

Now where is this "skepticism" that Ashley referred to? If that isn't calling for life behind bars, nothing is; the City of Duhh isn't the only thing that should be sued into extinction. Whoever owns the newspaper chain must have some deep pockets, deeper than the Scum floats on the top of the waste-pond. (Deep pockets of green, just waiting for some enterprising attorneys...)

Resign, Bobby, while you can. And close the shop door behind you.

patrick said...

This is my first comment on this admirable forum.

A motive of the enablers that has been neglected I believe is simple moral vanity. The pot bangers, the 88, Nifong, the various journalists (notably that ass Finestein) were not putting forth reasoned arguments or observations as much as they were assuming moral postures. "Posing" if you will.

Moral poseurs come to love their poses as they might love their own offspring. These become part of their identity, too painful to part with. Denial of error is a kind of instinctive self defense.

In a sense the possible monetary motives of people like Ashley and Nifong (circulation and a pension)are the refreshingly familiar motives of ordinary scoundrels who mistook the main chance. Ashley may be no more than that. Nifong's evident self absorption and his deranged courting of publicity, however, swell whatever relatively petty self-interested motives originally drove him into an enormously inflated act of vanity from which it is even now impossible for him to back down.

For the purest example of moral vanity, you have to turn to the academics and to their acolytes the potbangers. They had no tangible interest at stake and hence could exploit the situation to dramatize their virtuous sentiments.

There is no vanity quite like the vanity of academics. And as Samuel Johnson once put it: "There is no blockhead like an Athenian blockhead."

Do not expect apologies.

Debrah said...

"I used to have great respect for Coach K. His silence throughout this mess made me question his motives. I cannot fathom that he would have allowed Boardhead to have railroaded his players and himself the way Boardhead railroaded Presslar and the LAX players."

This has puzzled me throughout the case as well.

And Coach K is supposedly close friends with the Presslers.

I bought Pressler's book along with many of UPI; however, I just haven't had time to read it.

Perhaps there are clues inside.

Anonymous said...

Over the past few weeks, Professor Johnson's summation articles on various players/enablers of the Durham-Duke hoax have been uniformly outstanding. This one demolishes the local press (the H-S) in the same way his earlier The Path Not Taken did the G88. (That one still reverberates with me.)

These posts read like extended footnotes to the book and ought to be appended to it.

Anonymous said...

I quit my Herald Sun subscription of 25 years back in July. The paper keeps coming.
I suspect the corporation does not want to give up the statistic I represent. So, it is being delivered free - to my annonyance.
Yes, to the observation that Ashley has gone out of his way to cultivate black readers. When he started this policy I am not sure. Not a bad idea as long as you don't give up your ethics and compromise your values along the way.
I will be calling the HS Circ office, again, to stop.

Ralph Phelan said...

bill anderson said...
"I sent the following email to Boob Ashley:"

By definition a waste of time. Send letters to his employer.

Ralph Phelan said...

patrick said...
"moral vanity

Anonymous said...

If you weigh the competing interests, the newspaper's decision was easy, but short-sighted:

WEIGH THIS:

1. Sell newspapers based on lurid story;

2. Biggest non-institutional advertiser (Nifong);

3. Appease City government;

4. Inertia; and

5. Appease readership (faculty; blacks).

AGAINST THIS:

1. Truth; and

2. Potential lawsuit.
_________________

Any gain in circulation (which is not apparent given reported circulation numbers) will be heavily offset by lawsuit settlements or verdicts and litigation expenses. Of course, Ashley, like Nifong, was banking on at least a hung jury. This was part of the newspaper's short-sightedness; the other part is that people will someday realize they cannot get the truth from that newspaper.

I found K.C.'s quote about Ashley's response to potential lawsuits to be revealing. My suspicion is that Sullivan and Scheck have already contacted the "Imperiled-One" (to join the MAC train).

If you think about it, the City of Durham had reasons to publicize a settlement demand (e.g. work up taxpayer frenzy). But who has an economic or residential interest in a crappy newspaper? Especially since this would likely be a federal suit with Durham jurors politely stricken from the panel.
_________________

RE-WRITE: "K.C. Johnson had your cake and ate it too." 49th Century Proverb. MOO! Gregory

Stu Daddy said...

To the 10:07 AM...

Thanks for the reply. I had to drop off around 4:00 PM yesterday to attend car pools and mundane matters of my actual life (as much as I love Wonderland). The commentariat was really heating up on semi-off topic matters like the speech at Columbia, the Jena 6 and especially the hard history of Karla Holloway's late son. I had a feeling that our erstwhile administrator might be stepping into the fray, but was surprised to find the entire thread removed.

scott said...

Early on, Ashley and the H-S, stated in an editorial that someone with Nifong's credentials (25+ years as a prosecutor) had to have firm evidence of the Lax players' guilt to continue to pursue the case. Among other self-serving reasons, Ashley and the H-S staked their erroneous coverage on that equally erroneous belief.

Others, far more astute than Ashley, realized early-on that it didn't matter how many years Nifong had been a prosecutor or whether or not he had been an honest prosecutor in the past. In this case -- the Lax case -- he was clearly steering a crooked ship on a crooked course.

How could Bob Ashley have missed all the warning signs that were screaming for this folly to stop:

1. the past criminal history (including a previous false rape charge) of Crystal Mangum
2. the line-up conducted on 4/4/06 that broke all the rules of line-ups established in NC
3. lack of DNA evidence and Nifong subsequently changing his tune from DNA will exhonerate the innocent to DNA isn't that important to determining guilt or innocence
4. the constant change in Crystal's story; not merely small details that might change as a real victim of rape comes out of shock and starts remembering things more clearly, but fundamentals as to how many rapists and who did what
5. Nifong acting not only as prosecutor, but also the lead investigator in supervising the DPD

Any one of these by itself may or may not have been reason enough to call off the dogs, but ALL OF THESE HAPPENED BEFORE Reade and Collin were indicted. There were numerous other warning signs just as obvious that appeared along the way. Readers of this blog know what they are. Ashley ignored them all.

Anyone believe that the H-S coverage on the Lax case was an anomaly and that otherwise it is a reliable news source?

Those who pay for the H-S would be better off canceling the subscription, then throwing the subscription money in the toilet and pushing the handle. They won't be getting anything of value for doing that (but they don't get anything of value from the H-S either). As a bonus they're also avoiding false and misleading information, the type that leads to false and misleading conclusions.

Anonymous said...

RE: Giving it to Reporters and Editors

If anyone hasn't seen it Oklahoma head football coach Mike Gundy's recent press conference where he takes news reporters and editors to task for their irresponsibility and sensationalism is a good dose of common sense that transcends sports.

Anonymous said...

12:11 PM --

It would be a good idea to keep calling the H-S circulation desk and asking them to stop delivering.

Yeah, you're getting a "freebie", but there's also the chance that your neighbors could see the rag in your paperbox, driveway, porch, wherever and think you're paying for it.

That could be a hazard to your neighborhood social life. Forget the guy who doesn't keep his lawn trimmed; you could become the new neighborhood pariah!

Anonymous said...

patrick 11:32 (cf. 12:21):

An admirable and perceptive first comment.

I also like the term "moral preening," the fastidious display of political correctness intended to attract like-minded others (birds of a feather...). A prominent aspect of moral posturing is "sensitivity" and "non-judmentalism," which has been elevated to the highest civic, social, and personal virtue of our time-- unless, of course, you're not part of the PC flock, as the unfortunate laxers were not. Then all bets are off.

Debrah said...

TO Stu Daddy (12:48 PM)--

I'm on my way out to an appointment. Should be back in an hour or two.

Go over to The Diva World...under the Venetian mask and we can talk.

Leave me a message there.

:>)

Anonymous said...

I don't know that Coach K could have done anything other than add himself to the long list of targets.

If he makes any kind of comments, then that just gives the usual idiots an excuse to pile on on more lies. Perhaps a few basketball fans who like him may have then been influenced to be more open minded about the case. But those basketball fans were not the problem. Nothing he could have said would have changed what Nifong and his allies were doing or what the press and media were saying about the players and the case.

Inside of Duke, how much power and influence do you think he really has? Certainly, he had no power to force the gang of 88 to shut up. Did he have enough influence to force Broadhead to do the right thing by the players? Suppose for a moment he said to Broadhead, "I'm leaving if you don't publicly support the players." Based on what we know about Broadhead now, he might have accepted Coach K's resignation. The gang of 88 would be thrilled at such a prospect.

Anyway, I am not so much defending Coach K as saying I don't see what he could have done that would have changed something.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12:11:
I had the same experience when I cancelled my subscription. The Heral Sun kept coming for at least two months. Apparently their circulation department is of the same quality as the news department. Maybe Stevenson runs the circulation deaprtment now.

C. Thomas kunz

amber g. said...

5:22 You forgot -
Herald Sun (anagram) = Uh.. Slander!

Anonymous said...

In her public school, my daughter is being forcefed "To Kill A Mockingbird" ... as non-fiction.

RRH

Anonymous said...

I was not surprised that KC cut the entire thread. I was one of them. We were behaving like kids with no teacher on site at the sandbox. Thanks KC for saving us from ourselves.

Anonymous said...

"These posts read like extended footnotes to the book and ought to be appended to it."

I'm already looking forward to the "updated" paperback version of UPI - so much to add!

Steven Horwitz said...

Having just finished UPI, let me just say that it's a terrific read and that even if you think you're immune to the horror of it all because you know a lot about the case, think again.

Reading it all in one place just brings it all back. Maybe moreso.

Congrats to KC and Stuart for a great book.

Anonymous said...

Dennis Prager stole my Ziggy.

Steven Horwitz said...

A terrific piece in today's Chronicle of Higher Education titled Why Diversity for Diversity's Sake Won't Work. My own experience would suggest this piece is a very accurate picture of the reality of academia (not surprising, as she teaches at school very similar to my own), and I am heartened by her call for academia to rethink how it currently approaches diversity in hiring and the immorality of the ways such approaches undermine anti-discrimination laws.

There are some sane voices among the professoriate, I guess.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Ashley,

I quote from your March 28, 2006, editorial:

"Get a conscience, not a lawyer," read signs waved in front of the house on Sunday. We agree that the alleged crime isn't the only outrage. It's also outrageous that not a single person who was in the house felt compelled to step forward and tell the truth about what happened. And these are our best and brightest, America's future leaders? When did we stop teaching right from wrong?


Why does your editorial page even now continue the fiction that no players "came forward"? Furthermore, why did you join in the condemnation for people seeking legal counsel, which supposedly is a Constitutional Right? (Granted, PC people believe that all rights are gifts from the state and should be taken away when the political situation is not correct. Now, you seem to hold -- correctly, I believe -- that people held in places like "Gitmo" are entitled to counsel. Yet, you condemn American citizens for seeking lawyers?!?

As we know now, it was a good thing that the players did get lawyers, as we had a tag-team of a dishonest prosecutor and crooked police. Yet, one of the reasons that this tag-team show could go on was because the Herald-Sun stood firmly and absolutely behind the real criminals in this case."

Good work, Professor, but not your best. It leaves too many holes for Ashley or apologists to pick at. For instance, this sentence:

"Granted, PC people believe that all rights are gifts from the state and should be taken away when the political situation is not correct."

I realize that many would rather keep this sentence than any other in the letter, since its target is "PC people". But if the aim is an effective letter slamming Ashley for his paper's biased coverage, this sentence doesn't help it, but rather weakens it.

A one-two punch of "When it comes to detainees at Gitmo, you support their right to counsel; why then was the one protest slogan you chose to quote and thus promote one that suggested the lacrosse players should not have counsel?" would have been nearly unanswerable. Ashley would have been limited to something feeble like "oh, I only endorse the first part of that slogan and not the second, and I just kind of forgot to say anything of the sort."

However, throwing in the line about what "PC people believe" serves up Ashley an escape route on a silver platter. It adds weak links to what was a strong chain of argument. All Ashley (or someone wanting not to believe your argument) needs to do is to say "Why, Bob Ashley isn't PC because he believes [some point, even if minor, on which he deviates from the official PC platform]. You're paranoid about this 'PC' stuff, seeing it everywhere, bringing it in even when it's irrelevant, and why should I give any value to the opinion of someone like that?"

(For that matter, I live well outside the Durham area. The only thing I know about Bob Ashley is his contemptibly dishonest performance in covering the Duke lacrosse case and the race for District Attorney, which I know through KC's stellar exposes here at DiW. As far as I'm concerned, it's beyond question that Ashley twisted and slanted his news coverage and even outright lied -- but I actually know of no evidence credibly suggesting that his motive was political correctness.)

As I said -- I already know that some people would rather have that sentence than all of the rest put together. Some people, I know, consider the entire lacrosse case squarely attributable to political correctness (even though some of those who participated most fervently in it, like the crooked Sgt. Gottlieb with his threats of deportation, were hardly politically correct) and they view any reprehensible behavior committed in furtherance the hoax as an opportunity to strike through to the "root cause" of political correctness.

Everyone has to make their own decisions. Just consider, though, that that is exactly what those who applauded the railroading of the players thought they were doing: they thought they were striking at the "root causes" of racism and sexism and classism, and they thought it was so important to strike at those "root causes" they allowed themselves to pretend it didn't matter whether their chain of evidence had some very weak links.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Steven, but your site has this message:

"To continue reading this premium article, you must have a Chronicle account AND a subscription or an online pass.

Subscriptions start at $40; Web passes for under $10.


RRH

Anonymous said...

4:39

As far as I'm concerned, it's beyond question that Ashley twisted and slanted his news coverage and even outright lied -- but I actually know of no evidence credibly suggesting that his motive was political correctness.

Some good points, but need anyone argue that PC is a motive or a "root cause"? It is a "shortcut" mode of thinking (as opposed to reasoning things out), so ingrained or embedded as to be virtually "hardwired" in some people, informing everything they think and do-- what behaviorialists call a heuristic. I agree that PC was not the only factor in play (some of the DPD would seem to operate by rules only they know). But enough was said and done by Ashley and others to expose their thought processes, so that I believe KC was right in identifying PC as the salient heuristic (not sure that KC called it that) that informed the behavior of the press (Ashley and the Times especially) and the university. One of the major theses of UPI.

Anonymous said...

To Steve Horwitz at 3:31:

Any chance you could summarize the article? I can't get into the site without a subscription.


Thanks

Debrah said...

I wish to illuminate a very significant point that we all have wtinessed on this blog.

Two or three posters used anti-Semitic language--(jokingly, of course...as if that's not the way they speak in private)--and none of us made a big deal about it.

No ultra-Liberals with bruised chins from jerking their knees showed up to slam this blog as they usually do (anonymously.....faking injury and spewing righteous indignation.

Think about this.

Think about this long and hard.

If anyone for any reason reports on the truth about criminals or troublemakers in the black community...or just plain destructive people from other groups....

....these phony career flamers will show up screaming.

This is what allowed the Lacrosse Hoax to become what it became.

IMO, KC removed the comment thread yesterday as much for those anti-Semitic remarks as he did for the other issues.

And I applaud him for that.

It's going to be difficult for some to get used to fairness and free speech for everyone.....but it's coming.

So very many people are becoming sufficiently repulsed by the one-sided PC agenda.

Anonymous said...

"Get a conscience, not a lawyer," read signs waved in front of the house on Sunday.

The sign I would show the Herald Sun today would read:

"Get a conscience and a lawyer"

Anonymous said...

To: 4:39 PM

So, everybody in the PC army has to wear a Mao tunic? Hardly, some take orders from the guys wearing the Mao tunics.

P.S. Your suggested sentence:

"When it comes to detainees at Gitmo, you support their right to counsel; why then was the one protest slogan you chose to quote and thus promote one that suggested the lacrosse players should not have counsel?"

Really is a weak sentence.

Carolyn said...

Patrick at 11:32:

Damned good for a "first time post". You've described the mindset of the wrongdoers in this case beautifully.

And yes, you are correct. That mindset will never apologize. Ever.

Anonymous said...

They are the root causes of racism - people who acted early on in this case were the basest, most vile haters.

Anonymous said...

Finished the book while on vacation. Revisits the whole inept, sordid episode.

Saw Stuart on O'Reilly last night and he was GREAT. Wonder if Nancy Grace made it for her rebuttal tonight?

The book should be required reading for law, journalism, and education students.

THANKS, KC.

I don't know how these things work, but after you shut down the blogsite, will the historical entries still be available? I want some friends to read them.

dsl

no justice, no peace said...

Did someone mention Peter Woods? I posted the following several months ago after reading Roger Kimball's excellent book, "The Rape of the Masters".

I won’t go as far as saying the loopy stuff being taught is throwing gas on the fire. The Gang of 88 did that, this (the following) then is more akin to placing the logs. This is the pap that, in my opinion, sets the framework for tragic events such as this (race baiting hoax) one.

Race, gender, and class warfare apologists like to add and change meaning. Is there more to a painting or do certain people divine text from images that don’t exist to serve collective political ends?

I have no idea of Dr. Wood’s involvement one way or the other with recent events at Duke. But I do find the following critique endemic to the larger problem(s) associated with race, class welfare, and gender studies b.s. being jammed down students throats. This approach sure isn’t solving any problems…it’s time for reform, on every campus. The effort to drive race politics isn’t limited to rape trials…

The Gulf Stream, Winslow Homer
Winslow Homer’s own words:

“You ask me for a full description of my Picture of the “Gulf Stream” – I regret very much that I have painted a picture that requires any description – The subject of this picture is comprised in its title…I have crossed the Gulf Stream ten times & I should know something about it. The boat & shark are outside matters of little consequence. They have been blown out to sea by a hurricane…” – Winslow Homer, a reply to a request to explain the painting “Gulf Stream”

Duke Professor’s (Peter Wood)book reviewed (Amazon):

“In “Waiting in Limbo; A Reconsideration of Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Steam” Peter Woods, ties the painting to race and slavery and colonialism. “Perhaps no other American painting is at once so familiar and so little understood as Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Stream (1899). For more than a century, scholars have praised the artist and yet puzzled over this harrowing scene of a black man adrift in the open sea, in a derelict boat surrounded by sharks. Critical commentary, when it has departed at all from the painting’s composition and coloring, has generally viewed The Gulf Stream as a universal parable on the human condition or as an anecdotal image of a coastal storm.

There is more to this stark masterpiece, says Peter Wood, a historian and an authority on images of blacks in Homer’s work. To understand the painting in less noticed but more meaningful ways, says Wood, we must dive more deeply into Homer’s past as an artist and our own past as a nation. Looking at The Gulf Stream and the development of Homer’s social conscience in ways that traditional art history and criticism do not allow, Wood places the picture within the tumultuous legacy of slavery and colonialism at the end of the nineteenth century.

Viewed in light of such events as the Spanish American War, the emergence of Jim Crow practices in the South, and the publication of Rudyard Kipling’s epochal poem "The White Man’s Burden," The Gulf Stream takes on deeper layers of meaning. The storm on the horizon, the sharks and flying fish in the water, the sugarcane stalks protruding from the boat’s hold—-these are just some of the elements in what Wood reveals to be a richly symbolic tableau of the Black Atlantic world, linking the histories of Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States.

By examining the "present" that shaped The Gulf Stream more than a century ago, and by resurrecting half-forgotten elements of the "past" that sustain the painting’s abiding mystery and power, Wood suggests a promising way to use history to comprehend art and art to fathom history.””

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: Prager's comments, "...Textbooks. A prime example of the left's view of truth is its changing the goal of high school American history textbooks from telling truth to promoting self-esteem among minority and female students by depicting more women and more non-whites in American history textbooks."

I watched Ken Burn's War series last night. Unfortunately it is driven by internment, southern racism, and women in the work force. While all accurate the presentation normalizes the activities. They were small dots compared to the larger stories. The children who watch will not know the difference.

I know one critique of Burn's past work was that he binds historically incorrect images to his narrative. My thinking was that if that gets children interested in the Civil War then no harm, no foul.

After watching last night I think this technique of subtle modification of history distorts much of his work in a very PC way. It's a shame because he is very talented.

Ralph Phelan said...

"It's a shame because he is very talented."

So was Leni Reifenstahl.

Michael Bacon said...

The Herald-Sun has been in a downward spiral since its sale to the Paxson Group, a group for whom the H-S is by far their biggest paper, and who have no idea how to run it well. While the old management had some dead weight in it with a bit too much "good ol' boy"-ism, it took its role as an investigative paper very seriously, and ran some exceptional stories over the years.

After the Paxson massacre, the paper's circulation numbers are in freefal. The newsroom was gutted from the beginning, with the expectation changed from quality reporting to "as fast as possible" reporting. In other words, taking a press release, making one, maybe two phone calls, and writing a story. A number of excellent reporters left (mostly for bigger papers), and those that replaced them, while many of them are hard working, either lack the competence or the time to produce good journalism on a regular basis. (some, like John McCann, are indescribably useless.) The exceptions, like the phenomenal Ray Gronberg, leave a lot of us wondering what the heck he's doing hanging around, but quite glad that he is.

I maintain my subscription to the H-S not because it's a quality paper. It's not, by any means. But in the age of collapsing print journalism, I have what I think is very well founded fear for the existence of a daily paper in Durham, other than the N&O. If we can keep the H-S on life support until Paxson gives up and sells at a loss to someone who knows what they're doing, there may be hope.

Bob Ashley is a good fellow being given almost no help in managing a terrible situation. His record on the lacrosse case is regrettable, but I think it's fair to say he had a number of crises of his own to deal with at the time.

Ralph Phelan said...

"The newsroom was gutted from the beginning, with the expectation changed from quality reporting to "as fast as possible" reporting. In other words, taking a press release, making one, maybe two phone calls, and writing a story."
Yeah, so why didn't they do that with the press releases from the defense team? Willful blindness and lying cannot be explained be overwork - effort was actively expended to make their coverage less accurate but more "politically correct."

"Bob Ashley is a good fellow being given almost no help in managing a terrible situation."
Evidence please? If he wants to improve his terrible situation he could start by identifying and getting rid of people who are actively biased. He's had a lot of free help offered by Debrah and JinC, and has turned it down quite rudely.

Steven Horwitz said...

sorry about the Chronicle link. It was working without the subscription yesterday. I'll look to see if it shows up for free somewhere.