Thursday, September 06, 2007

Wall Street Journal Review

From today’s Wall Street Journal, review by Abigail Thernstrom:

There was plenty of wrongdoing, of course, but it had very little to do with Duke’s lacrosse players. It was perpetrated instead by a rogue district attorney determined to win re-election in a racially divided, town-gown city; ideologically driven reporters and their pseudo-expert sources; censorious faculty members driven by the imperatives of political correctness; a craven university president; and black community leaders seemingly ready to believe any charge of black victimization.

Until Proven Innocent is a stunning book. It recounts the Duke lacrosse case in fascinating detail and offers, along the way, a damning portrait of the institutions—legal, educational and journalistic—that do so much to shape contemporary American culture. Messrs. Taylor and Johnson make it clear that the Duke affair—the rabid prosecution, the skewed commentary, the distorted media storyline—was not some odd, outlier incident but the product of an elite culture’s most treasured assumptions about American life, not least about America’s supposed racial divide . . .

In this fundamental injustice, [Nifong] was aided and abetted by others in Durham. Richard Brodhead, the president of Duke, condemned the lacrosse players as if they had already been found guilty, demanded the resignation of their coach and studiously ignored the mounting evidence that Ms. Mangum’s charge was false. He was clearly terrified of the racial and gender activists on his own faculty. Houston Baker, a noted professor of English, called the lacrosse players “white, violent, drunken men veritably given license to rape,” men who could “claim innocence . . . safe under the cover of silent whiteness.” Protesters on campus and in the city itself waved “castrate” banners, put up “wanted” posters and threatened the physical safety of the lacrosse players.

The vitriolic rhetoric of the faculty and Durham’s “progressive” community—including the local chapter of the NAACP—helped to intensify the scandal and stoke the media fires. The New York Times’ coverage was particularly egregious, as Messrs. Taylor and Johnson vividly show. It ran dozens of prominent stories and “analysis” articles trying to plumb the pathologies of the lacrosse players and of a campus culture that allowed swaggering white males to prey on poor, defenseless young black women. As one shrewd Times alumnus later wrote: “You couldn’t invent a story so precisely tuned to the outrage frequency of the modern, metropolitan, bienpensant journalist.” Such Nifong allies—unlike the district attorney himself—paid no price for their shocking indifference to the truth.


Read the entire review here. Thernstrom’s closing sentence summarizes one of the sad realities of this case.

167 comments:

Debrah said...

I'm glad I stayed up for this one.

What a great review. Simply grand.

Thernstrom goes into biting detail in areas many reviewers have feared.

This book is going to be one of the biggest hits the bookstores have seen in quite some time.

I love it!

"Until Proven Innocent" is a stunning book. It recounts the Duke lacrosse case in fascinating detail and offers, along the way, a damning portrait of the institutions -- legal, educational and journalistic -- that do so much to shape contemporary American culture. Messrs. Taylor and Johnson make it clear that the Duke affair -- the rabid prosecution, the skewed commentary, the distorted media storyline -- was not some odd, outlier incident but the product of an elite culture's most treasured assumptions about American life, not least about America's supposed racial divide.

Debrah said...

It's clear that Abigail has kept up with Wonderland in her off-time.

Anonymous said...

Nice article, and in a high-profile venue!

Anonymous said...

The New York Times' coverage was particularly egregious, as Messrs. Taylor and Johnson vividly show. It ran dozens of prominent stories and "analysis" articles trying to plumb the pathologies of the lacrosse players and of a campus culture that allowed swaggering white males to prey on poor, defenseless young black women. As one shrewd Times alumnus later wrote: "You couldn't invent a story so precisely tuned to the outrage frequency of the modern, metropolitan, bienpensant journalist." Such Nifong allies -- unlike the district attorney himself -- paid no price for their shocking indifference to the truth

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

A price? Maybe not directly. But consider:

1. There are further lawsuits in the future. Some of these jokers are going down.

2. Not ALL academics are idiots--> some of that group of 88 will lose good job offers (esp the least talented ones).

3. The MSM continues to look less and less relevent. Who under the age of 75 cares what CBS thinks about anything.

4. Somewhere a talented, idealistic teacher/doctor/etc will decide to take their skills where there is less chance of running into Durham types. Sad really---> but why take the chance?

5. Durham can only continue to decline as a city. I mean mark my words--> people will start bailing out at some point.

6. Nobody publically connected with this case (Im talking about the pro-Nifongs) will ever totally shake the connection. Keep in mind--the INTERNET makes it impossible to really do this. Some of the more nasty Duke undergraduates will find this out. Corporations do not like to hire loose cannons.

7. No sane college basketball (at least most) player will ever want to play in Durham. I dont care how many polls and rankings you show me--when Duke sports begin to decline it will have some sort of impact on the reputation.

8. Sadly, real criminals will be freed because of this case (some of these criminals will have actually hurt friends and relatives of the GO 88/Nifong types). And, of course, they will whine and wonder why this happened.

9. As for the Times, they were outplayed on this case by everybody. Why could KC Johnson do what the Times could not do? I no longer read the thing (well, 1-2x/wk--> but not daily: for the first time in 30 yrs).

10. If my local police force even thinks of hiring a Durham cop or asst DA I will make sure my community is aware. I'm not the only one--and KC's blog has taught me a few things about how to do this. In KC's book--2 of the pictured cops (the guys who rounded up that poor cab driver)look silly. Really silly.

11. Finally, outside of the (paid) defense attorneys and a smattering of others (such as Stephen Miller) and of course the Laxers---> can anybody think of much courage or character from the Durham/Duke community? Had anybody done this---it would have likely been a Pulitzer Prize or the start of a notable political career.

Anonymous said...

A stunning review for what will prove to be a stunning book. This review is the best encapsulation of the rape hoax I've read. The fact that it has been published in a respected newspaper, with a decent nationwide circulation, is icing on the cake. Busy financiers like Bob Steel and John Mack will find this review hard to overlook.

Still waiting for my Amazon.com order to arrive, I have not been able to judge for myself whether it would be clear to readers who haven't followed DIW that the book is much more than an examination of a compelling saga of one university in one municipality. I was delighted to see that the book's broader context is very clear to the "Wall Street Journal" reviewer, who states that the book "recounts the Duke lacrosse case in fascinating detail and offers, along the way, a damning portrait of the institutions -- legal, educational and journalistic -- that do so much to shape contemporary American culture. Messrs. Taylor and Johnson make it clear that the Duke affair -- the rabid prosecution, the skewed commentary, the distorted media storyline -- was not some odd, outlier incident but the product of an elite culture's most treasured assumptions about American life, not least about America's supposed racial divide."

I can't wait for the book to arrive. I can't wait to see how "The New York Times" will treat it. Can't wait to see it climb up and up on the "Times" best-selling non-fiction list.

Thank you, KC and Stuart T., for creating a book whose growing popularity will make it hard for Duke trustees and university administrators and faculties around the country to ignore.

Anonymous said...

Thernstrom's review cuts to the chase, leaves no doubt, and is written in a direct style that even a NYTimes editor can understand. This detailed review in the WSJ will help those that otherwise may not have followed the LAX case understand the pervasive depth of criminality and injustice that the defendents faced.

For those in the Duke administration and faculty that still don't understand, Thernstrom's review is the Reader's Digest version of how future generations will judge Duke's repugnant activities.

I hope that the Duke Trustees have this review staring them in the face this morning... they can't hide. After reading this excellent review, they may even want to buy KC's book. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Stellar, explicit, review. Loved it.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Has Justice 4 Two Sisters reviewed the book yet?

Anonymous said...

5.15 writes: "Busy financiers like Bob Steel and John Mack will find this review hard to overlook."

Exactly. And I'll go one step further. If folks like Steel and Mack *continue* to ignore the melt-down on their watch, they should have the guts to resign. If Duke had shareholders "management" (including the "directors") would have been sued long ago. Thernstrom's review speaks in a language that even idiots and cowards like Steel and Mack can understand and does so in a forum (the WSJ) that these two clowns by definition respect.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't you feel better if the WSJ had asked someone whose social politics didn't appear to so closely parallel yours review the book?

KC Johnson said...

To the 8.04:

I'd urge you to contact te WSJ editors to express your concerns; their e-mail is wsj.ltrs@wsj.com.

Anonymous said...

"Wouldn't you feel better if the WSJ had asked someone whose social politics didn't appear to so closely parallel yours review the book?" 8:04 AM

I'll settle for the Michael Kinsley review and the lady from the ACLU.

Anonymous said...

8:04 writes: "Wouldn't you feel better if the WSJ had asked someone whose social politics didn't appear to so closely parallel yours review the book?"

What, "social politics" like a belief in due process, the presumption of innocence, basic fairness?! Who do you think you're kidding? Go home troll, and re-read today's WSJ.

no justice, no peace said...

KC, I've started the book and again congratulate you and Stuart.

Though I don't recall how I found DIW, I've followed this hoax for over one year. Yet, on just about every page, and I'm only thirty pages into the book, I read details that I wasn't aware of or that I had been forgetten.

With one in college, another applying, and a third to follow, my blood is boiling.

Duke has significant, institutionalized problems.

Durham, and the Durham PD, may be worse, but less is expected...

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, this will be made into a movie.

Also, hopefully, Hollywood will avoid the temptation to fictionalize it because . . . .

"whatever they [Nifong, DPD, G88, etc.] did was bad enough."

AMac said...

Anon 8:04am --

Great point! I agree! The Party Line praise of Until Proven Innocent from the VWRC charter members like Abigail Thernstrom, [irony] Evan Thomas, Michael Kinsley, and Jeralym Meritt [/irony] has quickly grown tiresome.

I'll find the speak-truth-to-power book reviews by Group of 88 members to be much more interesting. Please post links when they appear!

And the truly fascinating review will be the one that appears in The New York Times. Who have the Editors chosen--Duff Wilson? Selena Roberts? The shade of Walter Duranty?

Anonymous said...

Now that Brodhead knows the TRUTH, what exactly are the SERIOUS ACTIONS he intends to take in response.

MOVE ON????... UNTIL JUSTICE IS DONE????... NOT HARDLY LIKELY.

Michael said...

That's pretty hard-hitting stuff for a book review. It looks like KC's blog voice just got amplified a thousand times.

Debrah said...

TO 8:04AM--

Your comment is amazing and ridiculous....both at the same time.

We just entertained a post--given much space and discussion--by Evan Thomas, the man whose views of the world I would guess most closely "parallel yours".

After his mag Newsweek splashed a sensational and libelous photo on their cover of the lacrosse players--based solely on the word of a rogue prosecutor, he did, grudgingly...kicking and screaming on the inside it appeared....give this book the only review that he could: thimbs up.

Go back and look at the list of reviewers of the book. Many of them--Jerilyn Merrit and Michael Kinsley come to mind--have views which I'm sure are right in line with your own.

No one can obfuscate the truth on this book. You look silly when you attempt to do so.

Sometimes perfection is not to be denied.

Ralph Phelan said...

"If Duke had shareholders "management" (including the "directors") would have been sued long ago."

Due to its board structure Duke is essentially "owned" by the Methodists of North Carolina. At the upper levels of church hierarchy they are a very PC bunch.

I can only assume that Brodhead is doing exactly what his employers want him to do.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, this will be made into a movie.

----------

I hope they cast a 900-pound freak as Sgt. Gottlieb.

Debrah said...

SBI Called In

Debrah said...

Durham meets with opposition lawyers

Debrah said...

Regarding my 8:37AM post---

Make that THUMBS up


Don't want to cause more confusion.

:>)

Jimmy said...

8:04!!! "social politics"! That is an awesome phrase. Straight from the Gang of 88 phrase book! Well played! So, perhaps Fidel Castro, rest his soul, should review it. Joseph Stalin, perhaps. Robert Mugabe or some other hero of yours. Sheesh! You are killin' me here! Social politics. Holy carp! I am left speechless. Typeless even...

I would imagine Michael Nifong has time to review the book - wonder if he fits your definition. Wahneema, if that is her real name, probably could write a word or two. Ok, we've seen her work, and we know that's not true. But she could hire someone to write it for her.

Hoowee...

Anonymous said...

"SBI Called In"

If this (admittedly state-level) criminal inquiry goes forward, Brodhead and Duke better gets it lawyers back, and quick. Any criminal attention aimed at DPD will absolutely spill-over onto Duke's role and activities. Duke may have conspired as it tripped over itself in its effort to enable the DPD, violate its own students federal statutory privacy rights, and sell its soul to the G88 and the PC wackos. Just as Duke threw its students under the bus under Brodhead's (and others')orders, criminal targets within the DPD will throw anyone it can from Duke under the bus as well.

"Move on"? No, not even close. This is going to get nastier--much, much nastier--real quick.

Anonymous said...

Now that its been published in a review that brodhead acted like a coward (and as steel said, if brodhead does it then the BOT does it also) I will wonder how anyone involved with Duke University can keep brodhead on as president for any length of time past today.

I am also wondering if part of the agreement wih Dave, Colin and Reade is the non-renewal of brodheads contract when his term of cowardice is up in a couple of years?

Anonymous said...

"I am also wondering if part of the agreement wih Dave, Colin and Reade is the non-renewal of brodheads contract when his term of cowardice is up in a couple of years?"

Also, on a related but distinct point, Duke tried awfully hard to cap its liability through its settlement agreements with the Lax 3. OK, that covers civil liability to those three for whatever the scope of coverage outlined in the settlement contract. But Duke's *criminal* exposure incident to its treatment of the Lax 3 (and 46) and its activities with the DPD and others is *not* something Duke can cabin through private settlement contracts. This would be an issue between Duke and the State of NC (or, better yet, the US)--and *not* between Duke and the Lax 3. If Brodhead (and Duke) thought it "bought the peace" with its initial settlement with the Lax 3, then he is even stupider than I imagined.

Anonymous said...

Excellent news about Mr. Cooper's potential investigation. I really do not see how he could decline the request. It is disappointing, but not surprising, that Mr. Hardin could not find his voice until the LAWYERS showed up in town. There certainly does need to be some "accountability" as plaintiff's lawyers have pointed out.

As an aside, the NYT has a front page article today about an inmate in Mississippi who will be re-tried even after it was found his DNA did not match the DNA left by the rapist/murderer on the victim. He has been released from prison, but the prosecutor plans to move ahead with the theory that the former inmate was an accomplice. The victim was a three year old girl left in the former inmate's care on the evening of her rape and murder. It's not clear what other evidence, if any, the prosecutor has.

Observer

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: WSJ review.

Abigail Thernstrom's review made the Wall Street Journal OpinionJournal (WSJ.com) daily digest.

Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal on-line digest

This means the review is one of three articles(all free) that are delivered in digest form. One does not need be a subscriber to receive these free digests, so the review will secure even wider exposure.

Ironically one of the other two stories is by Daniel Henniger in his column titled "Wonder Land".

Congratulations KC (and Stuart).

Anonymous said...

Please ask Tom Wolfe to review the book. His views along with John Grisham's would give the proper awe of the true facts and of the depth of self-serving actions of so many people in the case. To use another literary analogy KC has been cast in the role of George Smiley in John le Carre's "Tinkle, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" who is asked to "go backwards, go forwards" to get to the bottom of the mole at MI5. (but is this not the function of an historian?) And does not the whole Emperor Has No Clothes side to this story say so much about the PC mindset of the seemingly credulous?
The whole "narrative" persistence of the something happened myth will probably not be shaken by the truth to some prejudiced people.

inman said...

Debrah @ 8:55

Thanks for that link! I especially liked the closing line:

"Coleman said a federal grand jury could be more effective in cases like this. Federal grand juries can subpoena documents and compel testimony."

YES!

Anonymous said...

"Craven--- So lacking in courage as to be worthy of contempt." As applied to Brodhead, Abigail certainly wordsmithed it precisely. Brilliant.

gak said...

Is there somebody in the know who can answer a couple of questions for me.
1) Now that Mike Nifong has been convicted of criminal contempt, can he still apply for his license back in 5 years or whenever?
2) Is anybody looking at Dr. Mehan of DNA Security for purjury. It would seem to me that he has changed his answers as needed from hearing to hearing?

Anonymous said...

More snipers than usual this morning.

I always appreciate that sort of confirmation from the other side

Anonymous said...

What a stunning review...Kc and Stuart Taylor have certainly investigated more than the the Duke PD, Durham PD, Duke and other city officials. What a hero to the lacrosse players/parents.

A heartfelt thank you for the help you have given them...who knows where they all would be without your continual help..

Friend of a Lax Players parents

Anonymous said...

KC//8:09--

I don't care what the WSJ thinks. I was wondering what you thought. Abigail is not great for your liberal credentials, so-called, now is she?


Again, you're not stupid, so why'd you avoid the question?

Anonymous said...

Jimmy at 9:05,

I guess you're part of the world that attacks all of those things you don't agree with/don't understand. Last I heard, "social politics" was in fairly common usage.

What is this with G88? Your bogie man?

Anonymous said...

8:14--

What are you? A blogger-fascist? Someone says something you don't like and you call them names? And tell them to go home?

I actually have read the WSJ. Just not the right-wing editorial page.

Anonymous said...

"I can only assume that Brodhead is doing exactly what his employers want him to do"

I take the same read of the situation. More people will come to understand this as they get over the shock of it's awful implications. The academy, from the pinnacle down, seems to be riddled with this awful doctrine (p.c.). It's so unprincipled, illiberal and trashy.

Anonymous said...

Wonder why Duke Baketball Report is not covering this review by the WSJ, as the prominent reviewer calls Brodhead "craven". There seem to be fewer and fewer Brodhead apologists at DBR, perhaps only 4 now,so it is surprizing no one has linked the review.DUKE FEMALE

Anonymous said...

To anonymous at 9:14 and at 9:24, could you each please explain what behavior on the part of Duke officials rises to the level of a criminal act. Don't say violating FERPA because the penalty for that is withdrawal of Federal funding. It is inconceivable to me that anything Duke did would rise to the level of a criminal act. Stupidity, cowardice, firing people, suspending emailers, suspending laxers under indictment, issuing idiotic statements from the Predident of the school,not reining in despicable members of the faculty, employing incopetent nurses, etc. are not criminal acts.

KC Johnson said...

To the 8.09:

Again, if you have a problem with the WSJ's selection of a reviewer, I would urge you to write the letters page.

I have no problem with the WSJ's selecting Thernstrom to review the book, just as I have no problem with Newsweek selecting Evan Thomas to review the book, or the Chronicle selecting Anne Llewellyn to review the book, or the favorable blurbs from an ideological spectrum ranging from Jeralyn Merritt and Nadine Strossen on the left to William Barr and George Will on the right. It seems to me one strength of the book is that it appeals to people with a wide variety of belief systems.

Anonymous said...

I've nearly finished the book. It appears to be very well researched and is remarkably fact-intensive. I had originally given President Brodhead some leeway in his handling of the fiacso because the first three or so weeks of the fiasco was like a tornado. I asked myself: "How would I have reacted?" I'm not sure any of us armchair quarterbacks would have performed well under the cirumstances handed Brodhead. That said, Brodhead's apparent (if the account in the book is accurate) unwillingness to even meet with the accused, their parents, or their lawyers is unacceptable. These allegations should be investigated, and, if affirmed, Brodhead should be shown the door.

Debrah said...

Just gave the Indy office a call to see if they were sending a writer/reporter to cover Tuesday night.

This is the most fun anyone can have. All of these little writers and journalists who were living large on their excesses in the Spring of 2006---just as Abigail has described in her WSJ review above---are spastic in their replies about this case now.

I affected my most bleeding-heart-liberal-only-concerned-with-saving-you-from-yourselves voice when talking with the lady at the Indy a while ago. (I do wish now that I had stuck with acting longer as I was advised to do. Soap opera roles are so easy and fun!)

I mentioned my concern for the thrilling and once-substantive Hal Crowther as I witnessed his descension into a shocking abyss--LOL!!!--while covering the lacrosse case. I said that as reader (in reality, only on occasion) I was sure that they would want to send someone out to Page on Tuesday as well as critique the book for us.

Best Diva-speak of the conversation:

"All Indy readers depend on your unique and always-ahead-of-the-curve coverage, and I do hope to be reading about this new book in your next issue. My friends at the local bookstores can't keep it on the shelves."

All this was done in a very soft, breathy tone...as if not a care in the world except for Hal and the Indy's next sneeze.

The lady was syrupy nice and assured me she would look into it.

LOL!!!

These people are so nonplussed. Life as they have known it is no more.

Debrah said...

TO "inman" @ 9:57AM--

Sounds good, doesn't it?

LIS!

Anonymous said...

Who are the snipers? IMHO they are the G88+27. They are the only ones who would object to any exposure of the truth. Obviously they have time on their hands to offer their distorted wonderland views on this list.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
KC//8:09--

I don't care what the WSJ thinks. I was wondering what you thought. Abigail is not great for your liberal credentials, so-called, now is she?


Again, you're not stupid, so why'd you avoid the question?

9/6/07 10:34 AM


Here's a suggestion: Rather than merely carping about other writers' reviews, why don't you write a review of the book. If you can't get it published anywhere else, I'm sure KC will publish it here in the comments section.

I, for one, would read every word.

RRH

Debrah said...

TO 10:34 AM--

I hope you aren't who I think you are.

No one but a role-playing troll continues to behave in such a silly manner.

Anonymous said...

Again, KC (do you not read well?), I don't care what the WSJ thinks. I expected them to get a right winger. I wondered how you felt & your second response told me. A bit defensive, eh?

We shall see I suppose if your book appeals to people with a "wide variety of belief systems." I am looking forward to seeing Nadine Strossen's review. Or did she just blurb it? A different thing, as you know...And, she's not left. She's somewhat left of center. That's different.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: anon10:47

It is no use. One might expect people unhappy with the use of police powers to try to wrongly convict three young men would be circumspect about seeing crimes. But alas they want revenge and see also sorts of immaginary crimes on the part of anyone who did not side with the lacrosse team.

Anonymous said...

8:09/11:01

I guess if you get enough people to pin a "right wing" label on KC's shirt, then maybe you won't have to bother reading the book at all, eh? It's much easier to call someone a fascist then actually engage them in a critical discussion of the facts, isn't it?

BTW, you sound like an academic or an "activist". Do you really, really like the sound of your own voice? I bet you do!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous carper said...
....I am looking forward to seeing Nadine Strossen's review....And, she's not left. She's somewhat left of center. That's different.


Why should let Nadine influence you -- why not write your own review of the book right now? Give us that "left" or even "somewhat left of center" view of the tome.

KC Johnson said...

To the 11.01:

Again, seeming that you appear to have a strongly principled objection to the WSJ's choice of reviewers, I would urge you to express your opinion to the letters page. I'm sure the editors would treat it with the seriousness that it deserves.

Your portrayal of Strossen as "somewhat left of center" suggests an unusual take on the American ideological spectrum.

Anonymous said...

Now here is another example of the rot that infects our universities. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118861115325715423.html

...Some men of his means and achievement buy a yacht, or turn to philanthropic work, or join other corporate boards. Mr. Rodgers went back to school: He became a trustee of his alma mater, Dartmouth College -- and not a recumbent one. He has now served for three years; and though he notes some positives, overall, Mr. Rodgers says, "It's been a horrible experience. I'm a respected person here in Silicon Valley. Nobody calls me names. Nobody demeans me in board meetings. That's not the way I'm treated at Dartmouth. The behavior has been pretty shabby."

Now the college's establishment is working to ensure that the likes of T.J. Rodgers never again intrude where they're not welcome. What follows is a cautionary tale about what happens when the business world crosses over into the alternative academic one.

Founded in Hanover, N.H., in 1769, Dartmouth has long been famous for the intensity of its alumni's loyalty. It is not unfair, or an exaggeration, to call it half college and half cult.

In part this devotion is because of what the school does well. "Dartmouth is the best undergraduate school in the world," says Mr. Rodgers, who graduated in 1970 as salutatorian, with degrees in chemistry and physics. There were "small classes taught by real professors, not graduate students," he says, "and I never realized how that was heaven on earth until I went on to my next school." (Mr. Rodgers earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford in 1975.)

Partly, too, Dartmouth's alumni fidelity is a result of engaging graduates in the life of the college. It is one of a few schools in the U.S. that allow alumni to elect leaders directly. Eight of the 18 members of Dartmouth's governing Board of Trustees are chosen by the popular vote of some 66,500 graduates. (The other seats are reserved mostly for major donors, along with ex officio positions for the governor of New Hampshire and the college president.) This arrangement has been in place since 1891.

Until recently, though, Dartmouth's elections have been indifferent affairs, with the alumni choosing from a largely homogeneous slate handpicked by a committee closely aligned with the administration. In 2004, things got -- interesting. Mr. Rodgers bypassed the official nomination channels and was named to the ballot by collecting alumni signatures; he needed 500 and ended up acquiring more than 15 times that. He was dissatisfied with the college's direction and resolved to either "do something or stop griping about it." He was elected by 54% of the voters.

Although there were a lot of political issues churning about the campus, Mr. Rodgers decided "that I would pursue just one issue, and my one issue, the one substantive issue, is the quality of education at Dartmouth. . . . I decided that if I started debating the political argument du jour it would reduce my effectiveness."

That kind of pragmatism, however, didn't inhibit a highly political response from the aggrieved, including the college administration and some of the faculty. Mr. Rodgers notes that certain professors "seemed to specialize" in accusing him of being retrograde, racist, sexist, opposed to "diversity" and so forth. Or, in the academic shorthand, a conservative.

A curious label for a man who is in favor of gay marriage, against the Iraq war, and thinks Bill Clinton was a better president than George W. Bush. Mr. Rodgers's sensibility, rather, is libertarian, and ruggedly Western. He is also a famously aggressive, demanding CEO, with technical expertise, a strong entrepreneurial bent and an emphasis on empirics and analytics. His lodestars, he says, are "data and reason and logic."

At Dartmouth, he remarks, he has produced dozens of long, systematic papers on the issues. His first priority was to improve its "very poor record of freedom of speech." Soon enough, the college president, James Wright, overturned a speech code. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a watchdog group, elevated Dartmouth's rating from "red" to its highest, "green," one of only seven schools in the country with that status. "We made progress, and I was feeling pretty good," Mr. Rodgers says.

He intended to move on to quality of education next, but the political situation at Dartmouth degenerated. Mr. Rodgers's candidacy was followed by two further elections, in which petition candidates -- Peter Robinson, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Todd Zywicki, a professor of law at George Mason University -- were also elected. Mr. Rodgers says that, like him, they're "independent people willing to challenge the status quo."

Perhaps sensing that a critical mass was building, Dartmouth's establishment then tried to skew the petition trustee process. The details are complex and tedious, but last autumn they cooked up a new alumni constitution that would have "reformed" the way trustees were elected. In practice, it would have stacked the odds, like those in a casino, in favor of the house....

Anonymous said...

11:01 writes "We shall see I suppose if your book appeals to people with a 'wide variety of belief systems.'"

From your comment, I suspect that you would believe that the readers of this blog do not come from a "wide variety of belief systems". Like the variety of reviewers cited on the book's jacket sleeve, I suspect that this blog attracts people of all sorts of "belief systems". Given the sheer number of people who have viewed this blog, upwards of 3 million, it would be statistically impossible for all of us to be of the same "belief system" as one another or of the blog host. The book, which I've eagerly read, like the blog attracts people of differing "belief systems" because of its universal appeal to reason, logic, fairness and the defense of individual civil rights.

Anonymous said...

btw, I think if Al Hunt of the WSJ had reviewed the book, the review would've been substantially identical.

RRH

Anonymous said...

10.47 writes: "To anonymous at 9:14 and at 9:24, could you each please explain what behavior on the part of Duke officials rises to the level of a criminal act. Don't say violating FERPA because the penalty for that is withdrawal of Federal funding. It is inconceivable to me that anything Duke did would rise to the level of a criminal act. Stupidity, cowardice, firing people, suspending emailers, suspending laxers under indictment, issuing idiotic statements from the Predident of the school,not reining in despicable members of the faculty, employing incopetent nurses, etc. are not criminal acts."

If--as I assume is almost all but a given--that, among others, members of the DPD engaged in criminal conduct, then Duke might be exposed as a co-conspirator. This is at the very least plausible given what we already know about the coordination b/w Duke and the DPD. And I'm certain there's even more we do not yet know.

Trust me, from a legal standpoint it looks like Duke will soon find itself in a flat-out street-fight. Not the type of "situation" it envisions for itself.

Anonymous said...

KC//11:21:

1. I don't object to the WSJ's reviewer. The WSJ can choose anyone they want, even your pal, Debrah, to review your book. I have never written to criticize their choice, although you keep asserting that I have. Why are you doing that? Are you trying to perpetrate an untruth? Please stop it. You're wrong.

2 What I wondered, and have repeated, was if you cared if someone with AT views--so close to your own--reviewed it. I wondered if you wouldn't have preferred someone with more different views.

3. I think that Nadine Strossen is quite serious about freedom of speech. Is that a left-wing position only?

Where is the proof that your minions demand of the posters who disagree with you that my "portrayal of Strossen as 'somewhat left of center' suggewsts an unusaly take on the American ideological spectrum"?
Is she, as one of your posters likes to ask, a communist? No.

Is she an unreconstructed Trotskyite or Stalinist? No.
Is she a Maoist? No.
Is she an anarchist? No.

Those are left positions, KC. Liberal, which you are not, is somewhat left of center/

You understand?

And you still haven't clarified if her comments were a blurb or an actual review...



No, KC,

Anonymous said...

11:15; Naw, I don't like the sound of my own voice, do you? I prefer to write.

And, no, people don't have to pin the label "right wing" on KC Johnson's shirt. He wears it proudly. Look at his blog site, his publications, ie, his area of study, and his record.

As for his discussion, look at him on this thread with his insistence that someone talk to the WSJ, when said person has made it clear that's not the question. Oh, yes, excellent critical discussion skills. Not.

Anonymous said...

11:20

I'm not planning to read the book. I mentioned Strossen's review in response to KC Johnson who brought it up. I saw her comment on his site and asked if it were part of a review or just a book blurb.

I have met Nadine Strossen and thinks she's smart. That's why I'd be interested in what she says.

I often read reviews of books I don't plan to read. In fact, that's when I read them the most. That's why, I assume, one subscribes to the NYRB or the TLS. Alles klar?

Anonymous said...

Corrections to my 11:30 before KC Johnson sics...

suggests
unusual

AMac said...

Anonymouses posting repeatedly --

Kindly post your comments under a pseudonym so that us readers can follow your arguments. You know which earlier remarks you're building on, but we don't.

KC Johnson said...

To the 11.30:

I see now. Under this spectrum, George W. Bush would be deemed "somewhat right of center?--since, after all, there are Fascists, and monarchists, and fundamentalist theocrats who are the real "right." Thanks for clarifying.

"And, no, people don't have to pin the label "right wing" on KC Johnson's shirt. He wears it proudly. Look at his blog site, his publications, ie, his area of study, and his record."

My first book was a highly sympathetic portrayal of the peace progressives, a group of anti-imperialist senators who criticized Wilsonianism from the left.

My second book was a highly sympathetic portrayal of Ernest Gruening, the Alaska senator who culminated a 50-year public career as a left-wing dissenter by casting one of the two votes against the Tonkin Gulf Resolution.

That's quite a "right-wing" record of scholarship . . .

Shouting Thomas said...

Ok, anon, so what happens if you label KC "right wing?"

Does that mean that the lynching of the lacrosse players didn't happen? Or does it mean that you are in favor of the lynching of the lacrosse players on the grounds that they are "privileged white males?"

I'm glad to see that the PC left is on the attack against the book. That means that the castle of academia has taken a serious hit. Now, let's sit back and watch that hit reverberate through every humanities department in the county. After 50 years of sexual and racial quotas, bonehead Marxist indoctrination and a political litmus test for hiring in virtually every department, those entrenched in power should be shaking a bit as the depravity and stupidity they have spawned is make apparent.

Anonymous said...

11:22

Looking at this blog and posting are two very different issues. Are many of the people who comment here well to the right of center even in the US? Oh, yes.

Are there others who disagree with them? Sure. They're the ones the majority chase off as trolls.

Are there variations within the two? Sure. Some of the former group thought it was ok to bother T. Levicy after her move; others didn't. Some make really racist comments about black people's intellectual capacity; others don't. Some, for example, thought that SEK was probably not telling the truth about getting signed up for 80 list-servs after criticizing Saint KC.

On the other side, some people think the blog has gone off the deep end. Others don't. Some agree with some of the comments about the G88; others don't. Most don't stick around because of the shrillness of the attacks posted here.

hman said...

To the anonymous troll:
Alert readers will have noticed that you have had nothing to say beyond the standard PC concerns of the racial/gender/whatever idenity of a commenter-book reviewer.
It is more work to familiarize oneself with more of the details of this fascinating case but some of us here have done so and so we care not a bit to read your empty prose.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson: I applaud you for having the patience to engage in dialogue with a poster who ends a sentence with the word "not".

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

If--as I assume is almost all but a given--that, among others, members of the DPD engaged in criminal conduct, then Duke might be exposed as a co-conspirator.

Actually you have a DUTY to cooperate with the police in criminal investigations unless you are a suspect. It was not Duke administrators' job to evaluate the DPD behavior in terms of cooperation.

Basically one can not enter an illegal conspiracy with the police because THEY ARE THE POLICE. They can break the law, but you cooperating with them even in an illegal investigation can not make you a conspirator.

So while Duke possibly committed lots of since settled torts, they committed no crimes. I know this will not stop you from imagining all sorts of things like Duke in a street fight, but also just like Nifong wishing Mangum had been raped, your wishes won't change reality.

One Spook said...

Anon @ 11:01 on morning troll patrol writes:

"We shall see I suppose if your book appeals to people with a "wide variety of belief systems."

Wake up sleepyhead! The book already appeals to people with a wide variety of belief systems!"

The problem you folks on the extreme left fringe are having is finding a good leftist reviewer who thinks that presumption of innocence, due process, truth, honesty in prosecution, honesty in law enforcement, and fidelity to students in the academy are really poor ideas.

But keep looking ... you'll find someone. And be sure to get back to us ... we're waiting.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

KC,

Your defense of your scholarship will do for people who don't know the field, but there might be people who read this blog who have a clue.

Anonymous said...

K.C.: Don't bother wasting bandwidth on these enablers, trolls, G88-types, and such. Incredibly, some of them might just be beginning to understand how the consequences for this Hoax are going to roll. Hence, some might be panicking and scrambling. That would explain today's snipers.

In addition, your work and scholarly record speaks for itself. As does theirs.

Shouting Thomas said...

KC,

Why are you even bothering to defend yourself against the baleful accusation of being "right wing?"

Aren't you just adding flame to the fire of the dumb academic insistence that conservative viewpoints are so condemnable that a person who holds them cannot be hired, read or heard out?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 11:23. I do not "trust you" on this. Could you cite one circumstance in which a University has been accused of being a co-conspirator with the police? Or any institution at all. In order for there to be a conspiracy there must be an agreement by the conspirators to pursue criminal conduct. It is inconceivable to me that Duke could be shown to have entered into an agreement with the police to engage in criminal conduct. If criminal proceedings are brought against members of the DPD, they will most likely be premised on the cops acting under "color of law" to deprive the laxers of civil rights. Duke, as a private institution, cannot act under color of law.

haskell said...

Well, my son is starting his junior year in high school, and I have put Duke back on the list of schools he will visit. Thanks, in large part to DIW and UPI, there are a bunch of folks at Duke who are gonna get religion, or be religionized. The same may be true of Durham. In a couple of years, I hope the tide will have turned, and the Duke and Durham communities will be well into a healing and rebuilding process. In light of the rampant PCism elsewhere, still largely uncalled to account, Duke might be a better choice. In any event, I know now to take a hard look at academic departments, professors, and offerings.

Ralph Phelan said...

KC Johnson said...
"To the 11.30:

I see now. Under this spectrum, George W. Bush would be deemed "somewhat right of center?--since, after all, there are Fascists, and monarchists, and fundamentalist theocrats who are the real "right." Thanks for clarifying."

You don't need to bring in folks outside the mainstream of American electoral politics. Compared to, for example, the New Hampshire Senatorial delegation, Bush really is "somewhat right of center" at best.

I've been known to use the description "mush-eating liberal wimp" myself [1][2][3][4][5].

[1] When Clinton saw a mess needing fixing in the Balkans, he didn't spend six months begging the UN for permission to do something. He just did it.
[2] Clinton actually enforced laws against hiring illegal aliens.
[3] "No Child Left Behind" doubled the size of the Federal Department of Education, that Reagan wanted to dissolve for being unconstitutional.
[4] Federal prescription drug coverage. $$$$
[5] I could go on, but you probably don't want me to. Suffice it to say, your commenter lives in a world where the range of political opinions he's exposed to is both limited and skewed as compared to the general population, and that world is probably either a newspaper or a university.

Anonymous said...

KC writes on 9/6 at 11:25 a.m.: "The reasons that I came to Brooklyn--a desire to live in New York, a commitment as the son of public school teachers to public education, support for the Chancellor's educational reform agenda--remain the same for me now as they did in 1999."

Thank you for your comment. I am a graduate of a public college (and a private law school). The best part of my public undergraduate study was the faculty. Yes, many of them could have taught at more prestigious institutions (and had done so in the past), but many of them, like you, had a real commitment to public higher education. Like myself, many of my classmates were from immigrant parents and/or parents of the working class and were the first in their families to attend college. Even if our high school transcripts allowed it, we could not attend schools with Duke's price tag. Free thinking professors with true scholarship such as yourself are needed at Duke, but we need, and appreciate, you more at Brooklyn and other public institutions.

haskell said...

anonymous 11:30

I cannot, and do not need to speak for KC. I would submit, though, that everyone sees the world from a different prism, or different lens. A lens many people choose, which I disagree with, is to validate facts or topics based on who states them. This is the stance of the G88, people and personalities seem more important than issues. This blog is not about people but about behaviors. The way people act is far more important than where they came from, their race or gender, or a political label. If a behavior seems inappropriate, in a forum such as this, it is OK call attention to it. The sad thing about your posts, to me, is that you seem unable to get away from a personality mindset. You are in the majority, unfortunately, since large numbers of the community also fall into this category, more impressed with star-style than substance.

Anonymous said...

11:30

You seem more obsessed with "pinning a label" on a publication's author you don't agree with than citing particulars you find disagreeable. Is it becausee thats the only way you know that you can discredit that which is almost beyond refute? Is your take on the "facts" of the case different? How so? Aren't you being a bit childish?

Anonymous said...

I feel that 8:04 did have somwhat of a valid point in that a positive review of KC's book by someone who is perceived to be right-wing is, regardless of its merits, going to be less persuasive to liberals than a review by someone they feel shares their values. And I suspect that KC does wish his book to be read by liberals, especially those in academia.

Anonymous said...

Where I come from, KC would be considered a commie. Ask John Silber, who was "too conservative" (LOL!) to be governor of Massachusetts, but was run out of my university after the chairman of the BoT called him a bolshevik. Anywhere that John Silber or KC Johnson are "conservatives" is surely a nutty place.

Anonymous said...

KC:

I think your record speaks for itself.

Loved the book. For the paperback edition, I suggest that your publisher does even more thorough job of book "finalization" (index and "Long Island")

Anonymous said...

And here I am figuring I'd actually read the book and decide what I think of it for myself. Silly me.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the great WSJ review.

I have also enjoyed hearing the rantings of the bitter and beaten nonentities of the Far Left.

If they suffer at your success, they have no one to blame but themselves.

To steal shamelessly from Dean Wormer of Faber College . . .

"Smug, deluded, and bitter is no way to go through life, son."

Locomotive Breath said...

"Busy financiers like Bob Steel and John Mack will find this review hard to overlook."

EXCELLENT POINT!!

In particular their entire peer group will see that review. Nothing will focus their minds on a problem like being asked about it 7 times a day.

At some point, maybe, just maybe, the board will decide that's it's time to not be seen playing games. Steel helped Brodhead throw Pressler over the side because the lax team PR became inconvenient. At what point will the Brodhead PR become too inconvenient to ignore?

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone that's read much of KC's writing would try and argue facts with him...he'll win with half his brain tied behind his back (apologies to another conservative)!

Of coure, these "others" don't want to argue facts--they want to sling insults.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead has paid Duke University advisors that include an attorney. His PR and legal counsel does not excuse his horrible public behavior. Brodhead must resign.

Anonymous said...

All of this morning's snarking and sniping sound, to me, like high praise for Taylor and Johnson's book. Music to my ears.

Anonymous said...

What they're whining about KC, is that you have actually written books rather than "forthcoming" pieces like Wahneema Lubiano and friends.

Another distinction is that the books are actually in a language--English--rather than the tortured prose of Holloway and some of the faux pedants in the G88.

By the way, my 3 copies of the book were ordered months ago from Amazon and still haven't arrived. I am annoyed as a fan of yours but even more as an Amazon shareholder!

But wait. I guess the last admission is enough to cast me into outer darkness by the G88 and their trolls on this board. How could you expect a capitalist to have an unbiased view of the Lax case and your book?

Diesel

miramar said...

Some of you guys seem to be getting a little testy today, so it might help the ambiance to announce that tomorrow the Duke undergraduates are organizing a Mike Nifong Send-Off Party, timed to coincide with his jail time. I wonder if anyone will be banging pots when Mike does the perp walk.

Anonymous said...

Dear KC,
Ya done good.
corwin

Anonymous said...

Miramar --

"... tomorrow the Duke undergraduates are organizing a Mike Nifong Send-Off Party, timed to coincide with his jail time."

Man, I have never before wanted so badly to be in Durham, North Carolina at 9 am on a Friday morning.

Anonymous said...

A PS here. I find the term "social politics" as meaningless as "purple Fahrenheit."
Corwin

Anonymous said...

11.53 writes: "It is inconceivable to me that Duke could be shown to have entered into an agreement with the police to engage in criminal conduct."

Dear President Brodhead:
"Inconceivable"? Are you sure about that? Just read the "motions" and "documents" (linked) carefully. While you're at it, you might also want to vaguely familiarize yourself with the germane facts with the understanding that more facts--likely many more--will emerge through discovery. I mean, what do you think Hinman (and others) is going to say to investigators? He strikes me as more than willing to roll on *anyone* to save his own sorry ass.

No, we ain't done with Duke quite yet, not by a long shot.

Locomotive Breath said...

miramar said...

Some of you guys seem to be getting a little testy today, so it might help the ambiance to announce that tomorrow the Duke undergraduates are organizing a Mike Nifong Send-Off Party, timed to coincide with his jail time. I wonder if anyone will be banging pots when Mike does the perp walk.


DETAILS - MY FRIEND - DETAILS

Some of us are local and would love to go!!!

Anonymous said...

"Don't bother wasting bandwidth on these enablers, trolls, G88-types, and such"

One, of course, tends to agree with the above.

Today, however, the snarkers seem to have completely slipped the leash and are running absolutely amok. One must, I suppose, make an attempt to keep the general factual framework intact.

So tiresome.

Anonymous said...

I never thought KC’s ideas were liberal or conservative. Instead he proposes fact gathering, research and logic in reaching his conclusions. The people who seem to earn his ire are those who substitute ideology for research.

For those who want to debate with KC I would recommend that you do your homework first and then show that you can logically support other conclusion then the ones he has reached.

Anonymous said...

1:27 Best bet is WRAL.com will carry live video coverage. I watched WRAL all the time with the Nifong trial and they have really good video. I'll be there for sure...

Anonymous said...

For Ralph Phelan at 12:03 PM:

Congratulations for recognizing that Bush isn't "right of center" in America. Besides cutting taxes, what "conservative" thing has he done in office? .... ** crickets chirping **

And you're right: If on 9/11 Clinton had been president, he'd've had Saddam in a spiderhole before the smoke cleared over Brooklyn. Clinton may have been a scoundrel of the first rank, but at least he never felt the need to whine and beg at the U.N. before bombing or invading somewhere.

Ah, I'm wandering OT, so I'll stop now.

Speaking of "OT", what is "AT" -- as in what our resident sniper said today at 11:30 AM:

2 What I wondered, and have repeated, was if you cared if someone with AT views--so close to your own--reviewed it.

Granted the whole sentence makes no sense, but I'm particularly curious as to what "AT views" are.

RRH

Ralph Phelan said...

Further comment on the anonymous troll:

It's very much a collegiate technique of argument to just delare someone "right wing." In fact, it's specific to the liberal arts areas of the campus.

It requires some assumptions about one's audience.
[1] Everybody accepts that left=good & right=bad, and everyone kows that everyone else accepts it.
[2] Nobody has the math or physics experience to realize that all coordinate systems are arbitrary and that choosing one's origin is important.

You can attack it by not following assumption 1, e.g.:

"And, no, people don't have to pin the label "right wing" on KC Johnson's shirt. He wears it proudly."

Well he can't have it because he doesn't deserve it. Unless someone here can top me calling GWB a "mush eating liberal wimp" and backing it up, I get to keep it!


Or one can attack it by not following assumption 2:
"For practical purposes I consider the center of gravity of American politics to be somewhere in the tiny space to the right of Joe Lieberman but to the left of Olympia Snowe.
Where do you place the center and why?"

Anonymous said...

Right wing or Left wing. What the heck difference does it matter if you're looking for the truth. Blue sunglasses or brown sunglasses, they see the mountain differently, but they both see the mountain. To see it HONESTLY, they both have to take off the glasses!

I'm amused by those who think that to "pin the accusation of conservative" on KC is to discredit him. MANY would think just the opposite.

Truth knows no party, damn it all!

Can't you just shut up the drivel and look for truth?

Anonymous said...

Miramar: "Some of you guys seem to be getting a little testy today, so it might help the ambiance to announce that tomorrow the Duke undergraduates are organizing a Mike Nifong Send-Off Party, timed to coincide with his jail time. I wonder if anyone will be banging pots when Mike does the perp walk."

Oh. My. G*D! That is HYSTERICAL.

Once I heard the sentence, I assumed that the city would allow him to turn himself in without handcuffing, but . . . I was thinking of a possible alternate scenario . . . maybe during yesterday's meeting between the players' civil attorneys and the city's attorneys when the city's attorneys implied that the city would do anything possible to lessen the financial sting that one of the players' attorneys responded in jest, "Reade and Collin were handcuffed and forced to do a perp walk; and will be watching on Friday morning to make sure that Nifong receives equal treatment". Cruel as it may sound, I would definitely buy a ticket to that show!

Anonymous said...

The irony of some of the partisan triumphalism that is going on in here is that both the Left and the Right should be chastened by the lessons of the rape hoax. Perhaps the most chilling aspect of the case has been the willingness of the police to prosecute palpably innocent men.

Apalling as the academic misconduct has been, we should remember that the Duke faculty do not wield the power of arrest.

-Penry

Anonymous said...

KC,

A metacomment: Many years back I started on the social and by extension, political left, then slid to the right [referred to as maturation.] I conclude from many comments to many of your posts,

Tolerance is a conservative virtue.

A fervent (and intolerant) fraction reject you, pushing you to the right. Conversely, some like myself, passing judgment, are openmindedly willing to be tolerant, to juxtapose your otherwise estimable work with your own expressed need to be "to the left of 90% of everyone." Even to elide your own occasional metaphorically abusive ad hominem political barbs, but whatever. Nobody said life would be easy. I'll be accused of intolerance. It works that way.

-- No, not that Glenn

Richard Aubrey said...

I hope the partiers have sent invites to the 88ists and Brodhead.

Debrah said...

Duke's Gang of 88 and their enablers cannot blame KC and others who continue to expose their insanity.

A resident of Durham wrote this to Bob Ashley's editorial page for allowing the atrocious Kathy Rudy column:

********************************
A simple matter

Your political correctness has calcified your brain. On Aug. 29, you gave up half your Forum page for Kathy Rudy's column titled "The truth about Michael Vick, dog fighting and race." You are without honor or common sense. What in the name of God were you thinking about?

There is not another side to the Vick story. He and his co-defendants showed cruelty and meanness that is rare in a civil society. They murdered dogs that could not win. They hanged dogs, drowned dogs and electrocuted dogs.

The most astonishing method was the slam. They laid a 60-pound pit bull that had lost a fight on her back and grabbed her by the hind legs, swung her around as if she were a big axe and slammed her onto the ground. If she survived, they did it again.

You cannot imply, hint or suggest that a man with a $130 million contract to play football is a "victim." Those Virginia authorities who declined to prosecute him should be in jail.

I have never heard anyone say, "Go to the chicken house and drown a couple pullets for Sunday dinner." Nor did anyone electrocute a hog for a barbecue on the Fourth of July.

What's next? The other side of the Crucifixion? After all, Jesus was a trouble maker.

R. L. Taylor
Durham
September 6, 2007

scott said...

8:04 AM et. al. --

It took you over 3 hours and several posts to finally get around to stating your point -- you think KC Johnson is a "right-winger."

Oh, the horror!

You're a pinhead.

See just say what you're thinking -- it saves everyone a lot of time.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead has an attorney? Why would he need an attorney, unless he's done something wrong?

Anonymous said...

Very funny, KC. Suddenly your critics show up, and here we are expecting them to be highly styled, uber-eloquent polemicists, oozing kindness and offering slick, multisyllabic explanations of their barbaric behavior, with great emphasis on how much they CARE about the poor, poor peoples who depend upon the kindness of those who author life-saving academic treatises, to get through their poor, oppressed lives.

And what do we get instead?

Crude thugs, offering ugly insults, cheap-shots, shameless ignorance, and name-calling. Really convincing, eh? Ugh!

In just a short time, these folks have revealed the true character of your opponents, better than your own book could possibly do.

Anonymous said...

My book has arrived! Time for a long sojurn on the front porch!

The racheting up of the snipers convinces me that they are K-88ers who are reduced to flaming anonymously. They just can't stand the heat.

Honorable behavior is not a matter of political persuasion. People like Mr. Nifong, Tara Levicy, Sgt Gottleib all stood in front of their family and friends and took oaths - which they violated greviously. Further, Mr. Brodhead and the K-88 had a very sacred trust -- the care and education of our young people. This too was violated greviously.

I hope those that can be are held criminaly or civily liable and those who are now protected by settlement read this book and weep for their actions.

Debrah said...

Chapter 18--"Turning the Tide" is particularly fun!

Anonymous said...

Hurray! I got my book today --- preordered in July from Amazon. I went straight to Brodhead's chapter 10. Somehow you managed to include many details that I haven't read in your blog. I was afraid the book would just be a rehash of DIW, but it's not. Congrads on a great achievement!

Broadhead and Gang of 88 must resign!

Anonymous said...

RRH

AT are the initials of the WSJ reviewer...

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter to me very much that KC Johnson is--in my opinion--right wing. Nor does it matter much to me that many of the people who comment here are.

What bothers me is that he provides a blog spot for racist comment. Oh, yes, I know many of you think you're not racist--and some of you may not be, BUT some of you say things that reasonable people can construe that way. I understand that. I understand some of you think white men are on the defensive in the US, however unlikely this may be. You are entitled to your opinions.

When I read some of the comments here--the name calling, the just plain meaness, I assume that many of you, especially Deb, are simply badly socialized.

What is, however, most disgusting to me is the use of troll--I don't like what you say, so I'll "other" you as a troll. This kind of behavior seems to me to be exactly what some of you are opposing in the people you criticize--villifying people who are innocent of any wrong doing. Last I checked, KC hadn't been deified, so disagreement with him wasn't even a venal sin.

You talk about "Angry Studies." It seems to me many of you are angry...very angry. In Debbie's case, I'm assuming it has to do with her age.

You seem to think only KC can argue cogently. I'm not overwhelmed by his forensics abilities. He's ok, but he's a bit self-impressed & doesn't always write well.

Sign me: Yep! I'm a professor and I don't support the 88, but I think that KC should just shut up. Please.

Anonymous said...

12:49: With just the errors of omission I've noticed in KC Johnson's faculty reviews, I think half his brain probably is tied behind his back. No other explanation except willful omission. (Read backwards in relevant threads for people pointing out errors of omission.)

Gary Packwood said...

Debrah 3:09 said...

...Duke's Gang of 88 and their enablers cannot blame KC and others who continue to expose their insanity.
::
True and I have not yet seen anyone who has noted that Abigail Thernstrom titled her WSJ review...
At Duke, the Massacre of Innocence.

She didn't say Durham or North Carolina...she said ...At Duke.

Duke's Gang of 88 and their enablers need to prepare themselves to for another round of high drama when their turn in the barrel comes sooner rather than later and they pay the price for their ...shocking indifference to the truth
::
GP

Anonymous said...

To the idiotic Troll at 4:38 Troll who wrote, among other nuggets: "... I'll 'other' you...."

"Other you" and "... K.C. should just shut up."?! And you claim to be a "Professor"? Only at Duke, perhaps, and assuredly in the humanities. You certainly reveal quite an open mind. Good night, troll.

Debrah said...

TO GP--

You know, I really don't think they understood it all until now.

The depth of the distaste that people have for what they did...and continue to do.

They've been showing up on various Wonderland threads....attacking anonymously. LIS!

Sad, that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:48> You can't find fault with KC other than he might be right wing, so you go after Deborah. It's pretty low for a supposed professor who probably hasn't been tuned in all year to the fine and often insightful comments she has supplied.
By the way, I didn't know that truth, honesty and fairness were attributes that are more right wing than left wing. It could be understood that the rignt wing professor from Brooklyn cares more about the above attributes than your left wing counterparts. If you are truely a professor at Duke, take back your school and support your students in the future. Last time I looked they were in dire need of support of the majority of professors who want us to believe they believe in truth, honesty and fairness as regards their students. I've instructed my own son not to assume the prof's care at all about him and act accordingly.

Anonymous said...

4:38 & 4:43,

I've never called you a troll. I've invited you (or someone using the same "anonymous" nom de plume) to write a review of KC's book and publish it here. I now invite you to publish some faculty reviews that don't contain the "errors of omission" that you say KC's did.

RRH

Anonymous said...

"It seems to me many of you are angry...very angry." 4:38

UPI hits #31 on Amazon and is getting rave reviews.

Nifong behind bars, after being disbarred and publicly destroyed.

Duke pays $$$ to the people it maliciously harmed.

Duke scholar frauds are exposed and humiliated.

ThugIntellectualLoozahs gnash their teeth as justice triumphs, their narratives are shredded, and their nefarious plans are spoiled.

And, more civil and criminal legal fun awaits.

Angry? Not a chance.

To quote Kent Dorfman, Faber College Class of '66, "Boy, this is great!!"

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 4:38

...You talk about "Angry Studies." It seems to me many of you are angry...very angry.
::
Well I suspect you are correct but our angry bunch is not standing in front of young students teaching them to be angry and then throwing them under the bus when they resist.

Also, for the most part we are not professors sitting silently and mute while watching the G88 and other enablers on campus to do what they do.

Some of us are angry, professor.

We are angry at you.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Blog commenters:
Sisters and Brothers.

Those who came here today to protest KC's imagined shortcomings don't even show us the consideration of argument or example _ nothing but unsupported and abusive assertion.
They claim to be our superiors in sensibility and intelligence and then prove that they are neither.

redcybra said...

to 4:38

A troll is someone who joins a blog or thread and comments in a provocative manner so as to get a rise out of people. Another characteristic of trolls is adoption of a sneering and condescending tone (Abigail is not great for your liberal credentials, so-called, now is she? Again, you're not stupid, so why'd you avoid the question?)

Trolls also change the subject as soon as one attack is parried (Is KC right-wing?) and say their REAL issue is something else entirely, which they have somehow not mentioned until now (KC provides a blog spot for racist comment!)

Finally, trolls can dish it out (personal attacks, etc), but not take it, and their description of others (I'm not overwhelmed by his forensics abilities. He's ok, but he's a bit self-impressed & doesn't always write well... I think that (Professor Troll) should just shut up. Please.) often is a better description of the troll. In this case, you.

Anonymous said...

Deborah,
Thanks for your insights and participation. Don't listen to any of these low shots from people who are now very uncomfortable with the truth laid out for all to see.
Hopefully they will do harm going forward.

Anonymous said...

Up to #28 on Amazon now.

Anonymous said...

Help me! I've been "othered" and I can't get up!

Debrah said...

"When I read some of the comments here--the name calling, the just plain meaness, I assume that many of you, especially Deb, are simply badly socialized."

I'll have to look into that as perhaps being a root cause. Then I will be about the business of trying to get access to assistance.

You see, I was the baby in the family...rather spoiled early on. Then I endured various tumultuous experiences....catapulting an unsuspecting Diva into a daunting world previously unknown.

I have been othered and perhaps I just need a good dose of intellectual thuggery to lift me from this well of despair.

Even a tempestuous Diva needs tenderness.

inman said...

WOW ... #25 @ 7:33 PM ... pretty awesome ...

... This is clearly indicative of the quality of the book. But I suspect it also is the subject matter and the notion that political correctness in all too many aspects of American culture has simply gone too far!

And frankly the "on-the-edge" studies of many in the '88 with their related left-ward tug on cultural tradition and culturally acceptable norms -- and at times, even the eradication of cultural icons -- is surely a catalyst for this reaction.

For example, consider the following:

"Nearly 43,000 people died in car accidents in 2002, according to auto accident statistics available through the U.S. Department of Transportation''s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Now that was 2002, ... but rarely does the media report on this problem, ...surely this is a problem worthy of daily discourse ... especially when the number of deaths in Iraq is a daily subject for folks like the "cultural drift mongers" among the '88. Frankly, given the statistics on Iraq, an American soldier may in fact be safer there than in the United States. But does anyone believe for a second that an '88er would go to a rally to commemorate those who have fallen to win, to maintain and to defend our freedom and uniquely American culture?

May I suggest that American culture does not necessarily need to adopt every kook and nut-case theory simply to satisfy some ill-conceived diversity agenda.

Frankly, I'd like to see more of those diverse souls show a little bit more respect for the blood that was spilled to provide them with their very right both to criticize and to live a blessed life.

Anonymous said...

UPI at 25 (two slots below John Grisham) on Amazon.

"Othered" and proud of it.

Anonymous said...

8:01PM

I, too, feel "othered" by the Gang of 88 and their supporters.

It's a great feeling!

no justice, no peace said...

"...othered and can't get up."

Too damned funny...

TruthHurts001 said...

What bothers me is that he provides a blog spot for racist comment.

When all else fails, just play that predictable, mindless, reflexive, trusty race card.

Same old song and dance.

Boring.

Anonymous said...

11:30,

I have never written to criticize their choice, although you keep asserting that I have. Why are you doing that? Are you trying to perpetrate an untruth? Please stop it. You're wrong.

Where did KC assert that you had written to criticize their choice? Please give the posting time of his assertion. II only see that KC has urged that you do:

At 8:09:

I'd urge you to contact te WSJ editors to express your concerns; their e-mail is wsj.ltrs@wsj.com.

At 10:49:

Again, if you have a problem with the WSJ's selection of a reviewer, I would urge you to write the letters page.

At 11:21:

Again, seeming that you appear to have a strongly principled objection to the WSJ's choice of reviewers, I would urge you to express your opinion to the letters page.

Where does KC actually claim that you have done so? You aren't trying to perpetrate an untruth, are you?

Debrah said...

TO 6:29PM--You're very nice.

Anonymous said...

K.C.

Here's another "congratulations" for a job more than "well done."

What is the chance that you might convince your publisher to send a FREE copy of your masterpiece to every member of Duke's BOT?

Even if they never looked past the cover, perhaps their spouse or significant other would read it and nag them about the facts of the case.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

POST OF THE DAY


Anonymous said...
"It seems to me many of you are angry...very angry." 4:38

UPI hits #31 on Amazon and is getting rave reviews.

Nifong behind bars, after being disbarred and publicly destroyed.

Duke pays $$$ to the people it maliciously harmed.

Duke scholar frauds are exposed and humiliated.

ThugIntellectualLoozahs gnash their teeth as justice triumphs, their narratives are shredded, and their nefarious plans are spoiled.

And, more civil and criminal legal fun awaits.

Angry? Not a chance.

To quote Kent Dorfman, Faber College Class of '66, "Boy, this is great!!"

9/6/07 5:26 PM

Gary Packwood said...

Until Proven Innocent

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #26 in Books
::
GP

Mike Lee said...

4:38, I'm sure readers of this blog will give your opinion the consideration it deserves.

Your argument appears to be heavy on accusation and light on evidence.

If you'd like more information about KC Johnson or the Duke lacrosse case, I'd suggest purchasing his new book. Thanks for contributing.

inman said...

Is a race card something that NASCAR gives out? If so, I want one.

Anonymous said...

10:49 AM
KC Johnson

It would seem that what KC Johnson says about not having a problem with whomever reviews his book is the point of the book. The facts of the case lead directly to the resolution of the case. If you are an honest person, you must agree. As to the politics of left and right, saying something different is just dishonest. Unless falsehoods are made up and presented as facts what else can a reviewer do with the case except tell the truth? So much has seen the light of day as to make anyone who whould present such politicized fabrications and rationalizations look very foolish and bigoted. This is the situation of many of the Group of 88 and their ilk. They no longer control the narrative. Thanks KC.

Anonymous said...

roblem with whomever reviews his book is the point of the book. The facts of the case lead directly to the resolution of the case. If you are an honest person, you must agree. As to the politics of left and right, saying something different is just dishonest. Unless falsehoods are made up and presented as facts what else can a reviewer do with the case except tell the truth? So much has seen the light of day as to make anyone who whould present such politicized fabrications and rationalizations look very foolish and bigoted. This is the situation of many of the Group

PROFESSOR JOHNSON:

What, pray tell, is in your book that one couldn't learn from a Google search or a few views at the Manhattan Institute's site?

The con of your book is that it's somehow "illuminating". What it really is, is a celebration--by whites--of the demonization of black faculty and Crystal Gail Mangum.

You won this time, but don't try to convince me that your booh has original reporting or unique analysis.

In fact--your book's POV is white America's disgust with black people.

Enjoy the gloating while it lasts.

We will soon have a Democrat in the White House!

inman said...

11:23 is a moron.

11:23's comments are all too reminiscent of pot banging. Further, the racist overtones are all to apparent.

So, in the spirit of this racist who thinks that white America has a "disgust with black people"...

...I offer this, in contrast:

You may be wrong. You may be the problem. So, please find a way to be part of the solution.
_______________________

Oh and by the way, just for the record ...most of the '88 are not black. Some of the "diversity hires" are black, but the majority are not.

Your very premise is grounded in misunderstanding and agenda driven anger.

Pathetic.

rrhamilton said...

Anon *hic-hup!* ymous said...
roblem with whomever reviews his book is the point of the book. The facts of the case lead directly to the resolution of the case. If you are an honest person, you must agree. As to the politics of left and right, saying something different is just dishonest. Unless falsehoods are made up and presented as facts what else can a reviewer do with the case except tell the truth? So much has seen the light of day as to make anyone who whould present such politicized fabrications and rationalizations look very foolish and bigoted. This is the situation of many of the Group

PROFESSOR JOHNSON:

What, pray tell, is in your book that one couldn't learn from a Google search or a few views at the Manhattan Institute's site?

Buy a copy and find out.

The con of your book is that it's somehow "illuminating". What it really is, is a celebration--by whites--of the demonization of black faculty and Crystal Gail Mangum.

KC was just the little boy who said the emperor has no clothes.

You won this time, but don't try to convince me that your booh has original reporting or unique analysis.

Why would he waste his time?

In fact--your book's POV is white America's disgust with black people.

Who has a lower view of black people than to think they are represented by CGM and the black members of the 88?

Enjoy the gloating while it lasts.

Sorta like the gloating after V-E Day.

We will soon have a Democrat in the White House!

If you nominate Zell Miller, you will.

9/6/07 11:23 PM

haskell said...

anonymous 11:23

"The con of your book is that it's somehow "illuminating". What it really is, is a celebration--by whites--of the demonization of black faculty and Crystal Gail Mangum.

You won this time, but don't try to convince me that your booh has original reporting or unique analysis.

In fact--your book's POV is white America's disgust with black people.

Enjoy the gloating while it lasts.

We will soon have a Democrat in the White House!"

This has got to be a put-on, right?

Again, I cannot speak for KC. But I can quote Socrates:

"And what is good, Phaedrus,
And what is not good --
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?"

Crystal Gail Mangum is not a demon, she is a poor soul who was used by Nifong and the G88 to further their own agendas. If you define a demon as a malevolent spirit, you need look no further than Nifong and the more outspoken members of the G88. And, for what it is worth, since you are the one who brought up black faculty, I feel that the majority of black faculty members are bright people who do a good job. At times though, as in the case of Whoopi Goldberg on Michael Vick, the black "culture" gets in the way. Good people can be misled. Bright people can be misinformed by exposure to politically correct "facts". When cultural or political agendas, or racial identity become more important than truth and fairness, then I think we have a problem> You may choose to disagree, but I "disrespect" you for that choice. Feel free to point your finger, and call me names -- I just consider the source and sigh.

Anonymous said...

4:38-Wrote "You seem to think only KC can argue cogently. I'm not overwhelmed by his forensics abilities."


On this point I agree with you. After all it is pretty easy to figure out that someone is being railroaded when they are arrested with no creditable evidence.

So why is it that all those learned people didn’t figure it out? Agendas? Did you figure it out and speak out against the group of 88? Why or why not?

Anonymous said...

Dear RRH,

I've no interest whatsoever in reading/reviewing KC Johnson's book. I've read what he's written here & found it to be filled with errors of omission. For noting this, I am villified as a troll.

When people comment on Debrah's vicious attacks here on those with whom she disagrees or//in my opinion//on those she believes dare criticize KC Johnson, she foams at the mouth.

Do I care what she's done in her past life? NO!!!!

Did I care about what happened to the men on the LAX team? Yes.

But, to disagree with and/or correct KC on this blog brings out the furies. (Errors of omission: Off the top of my head: think how long it took him to correct/change/edit his comments about Professor Priscilla Wald; there are others.)

Because of the nastiness of the comments on this site, I've gone from opposing the G88 to having a great deal of sympathy for them.

Sign me,

because I'm a contrarian voice, for most of you, I MUST be a troll. Tolerance for other opinions here? Pas du tout.

Anonymous said...

Inman at 11:46, it's not 11:23 who's the moron. It's you. All of that inbreeding you love to tells us about. Three centuries or whatever of early immigrants--rarely the cream of the crop--does it to you...

While C.G. Magnum is probably certifiably crazy, something 11:23 ought to have noted, the attacks on American blacks that have appeared on this list really can't be denied. This might have been useful to engage, but you engage in name calling.

ANGER STUDIES!!! ANGRY WHITE MEN!!!ANGERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Anonymous said...

Gary Packwood at 5:25: I am angry at you for standing in front of your children and possibly others and teaching them anger. Ok?

At least the faculty you accuse of such misdeeds, EVIDENCE, PLEASE, is, if in fact engaging in such behavior, doing so with older people, young adults and adults.

I AM angry at YOU. I am afraid my children might be exposed to people like YOU. Self-rightious and finger-pointing.

KC Johnson has roused the rabble. I hope he knows how to bring to a halt again when it gets out of control.

Anonymous said...

correction: rightous

TruthHurts001 said...

The con of your book is that it's somehow "illuminating". What it really is, is a celebration--by whites--of the demonization of black faculty and Crystal Gail Mangum.

Translation:
If you dare to point out black racism, you will be called a white racist.

Same old song and dance. Boring.

no justice, no peace said...

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor...no.

Richard Brodhead, Larry Moneta, and Dean Sue...no.

Baker, Lubiano, and Chafe...no

Martin Luther King, Jr....yes.

Pretty odd that today's civil rights movement, the MSM, and progressive academics have instead, delivered loud noise that are "fantastic lies".

inre: "...Crystal Gail Mangum is not a demon, she is a poor soul who was used by Nifong and the G88 to further their own agendas..."

This is complete bs, CGM must be prosecuted. The fact she is getting a pass is deplorable.

Her prosecution has nothing to do with race, giving her a pass has everything to do with race.

This lack of prosecution of CGM becomes an acute festering sore when one considers how the State of NC pursued Elmostafa, Roberts, and of course, the young men.

Something about justice denied...

Polanski has been consistently right on this point...

no justice, no peace said...

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - MLK, Jr.

One could easily cast the aforementioned characterization upon the Klan of 88 and the abettors, however it assumes they are sincere and conscientious.

One may be more inclined to characterize them as race/gender/class hustlers without a moral compass.

Debrah said...

This thread has been valuable.

In bold relief we have someone whose writing skills are subpar--very subpar.

Yet this individual claims to be a professor.

One lesson people in this country will be treated to by reading KC's book is how we have lived for so long in a dumbed-down dictatorship of political correctness.

And that sorry state of affairs has descended to such a level that Reade, Collin, and David were almost sent to prison for something they never even thought about doing so that the black community could hang onto their archaic fantasies of mass victimhood.

Many are angry because they fear the gravy train on which they depend--an easy, free-flowing ride--is drying up.

Gleefully trying to put innocent people in prison will do that.

I try to keep a sense of humor most of the time about these things because they are so pathetic; however, I intend to cease pointing out my life of friendship to the black community every time some angry bigot attack dog shows up. My parents taught me by example that race was not how to judge people. In fact, I reveled in embracing the black classmates I grew up with. It wasn't even anything to think about as an issue.

There are no "race" issues coming from others that would have propelled this case.

The open and blatant racism has come from the black community. Continuing to point out this destructive hypocrisy is a service to everyone.

Lastly, I was perplexed that someone calling him/herself a "professor" would have to use such misogynistic silliness to argue the lacrosse case.

I have yet to understand how my "age" makes me angry.

Who the hell is such a person who would say this to a stranger? It's almost insane.

LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

2:04 AM:

Righteous

Anonymous said...

When I come to this site, I usually cannot view the most recent posts. Right now, the latest one I can view is this WSJ post. However, when I google the page, its description is "In today's "Only-in-Durham" moment, former Nifong citizens' committee co-chair Victoria Peterson led a group welcoming the ex-DA to incarceration with a ..." I want to read about that! When I view the cached version, i can view up to the 9/6 "On the Schedule" post. I continually refresh the page and nothing happens. Is this just me?!? how do I get the most recent version?

Anonymous said...

Now I can view the most recent post....weird. This has happened in the past, though....Must be the excessive traffic!

CJ said...

"Such Nifong allies -- unlike the district attorney himself -- paid no price for their shocking indifference to the truth."

As KC notes, THIS reality is what points to the depressing conclusion: not a damn thing will change.

Everyone not named Nifong must be stunned that they've skated free. The focus on the "rogue DA" serves them well.

It's worth reminding that FIVE institutions failed here: Judicial, Political, Academic, Media and Religious (if you count the Duke chaplain and local clergy stoking the flames.) That is unprecedented in modern times.

They will pay no price. There will be no introspection. No academic conferences to explore the roots of the scandal. No media seminars to discuss avoiding a repeat. Five institutions. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

To 2:04 (twice):

rightious?

rightous?

Want to try again?

inman said...

Dear 2:00AM

Thank you for your comments. I find it interesting that you refer to comments that I made almost 2 months ago. Must have struck a nerve even then. But let me correct something that you don't seem to understand.

You said: "Three centuries or whatever of early immigrants ..." when a more accurate statement would have been "...immigrants, most of whom were here well over two centuries ago."

Oh, and please excuse the expression, there were indeed some "black sheep" in the family. And I know of two circumstances where cousins were given permission by the Church of England to marry, if that's what you refer to as inbreeding. And oddly, they were what most would consider "cream of the crop"...if, for example, you consider the genetic background of Thomas Jefferson of any quality.

Finally, you say:

"ANGER STUDIES!!! ANGRY WHITE MEN!!!ANGERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!"

Could this be thugniggaintellectual? For if so, EVEN ANGRIER ENRAGED BLACK MEN!!!HATE!!!

Best regards.

Stu Daddy said...

To the 11:21 (and the 2:04), see the 10:06. ;>)

Anonymous said...

11:57, Finally, Inman, I'm a white woman, with as Waspy credentials, I suspect, as those you always flout.

So, I'm neither angry nor a man of any color. I'm a happy little camper coz I read this hilarious stuff on line at breakfast.

Love and kisses,
Troll Baby

Anonymous said...

12:17 PM

Then you'll be even happier to know that thousands are reading along with you. And most are buying the book. You have a happy day camping.

Anonymous said...

Hey, what do you bet that Nifong's a happy little camper today, too?

inman said...

Dear Troll Baby,

Please excuse my obvious presumption. But I must admit that I am disheartened that you weren't Professor Neal. Darn!

Thanks for the clarification!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappoint you, Inman. I should have thought you'd be able to recognize a female versus a male voice! ;-)

TB

inman said...

TB @ 4:29

I can't hear.