Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Stuart and I have a response to the recent Chronicle letter here.

The letter generated an extraordinarily revealing reply from "clarifying" professor Kerry Haynie:
As a member of the Lacrosse ad hoc Review Committee, I join with Professors Coleman and Kasibhatla in their criticism of the way in which KC Johnson has mischaracterized our committee's report. I have not read the Taylor and Johnson book . . . Our report cannot and should not be seen as a commentary on anything that happened on that now infamous and tragic evening. We neither exonerated nor condemned anybody for anything that was alleged to have happened that night . . . KC and Stuart, as usual, I will not respond to you either.

Haynie suggested that he had read (unidentified) posts on the blog, as well as seen "assertions" by either Stuart or me "in the newspapers" (again unidentified).

Had Prof. Haynie read the book before penning his letter, he would have realized that Stuart and I never even remotely claimed anywhere in the book that the report either "exonerated nor condemned anybody for anything that was alleged to have happened" on "that now infamous and tragic evening." (I have never made such a claim in the blog, nor am I aware of any "newspaper" that has featured anything resembling an "assertion" from either Stuart or me suggesting such a claim.) It's troubling to see Prof. Haynie, a tenured faculty member at one of the nation's leading universities, admit his closed-mindedness: he will not read his critics' work, nor will he respond to them, but he feels safe in publicly condemning them.

Duke alum Caroline Dooley has a strong letter in today's Chronicle as well.

Whoopi Goldberg urges Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to apologize for their presumption of guilt in the case.

Finally, the latest in a long string of great Chronicle editorials, on the civil suit against Durham.


Ken said...

Please explain to me why academic tenure is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That Prof. Haynie is really, really brave. He won't read UPI, clearly has not read the blog or anything else KC and Stuart have published, offers vague and unsupportable criticism, AND refuses to respond to email. Academic bravery at its bravest! Way to stand up to the "man" and fight the establishment!

KC - in the many months that I have read this blog, my personal nickname for you has been "Academic Bad Ass" (forgive the vulgarity). When you complete your time in Israel, perhaps you can open an academic boot camp and give lessons in badassery. Just a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

One can find al sharptons video response to whoopi on

whoopi's video is there also.

sharpton lies of course.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised that Professor Haynie did not read UPI but I am surprised by his statement. He should not comment unless he read the book or, is he too busy? In this case he should have refrained from comments that place him in an unfavorable light.

Anonymous said...

You know, when I heard Whoopi talking in rather sympathetic terms about Michael Vick and how dogfighting is a part of Southern black culture, I was saddened and disappointed. Hearing her make this public call for Al Sharpton to give an apology makes me feel better.

Anonymous said...

... also, you might want to double-check that video clip; I only heard Whoopi asking Al Sharpton to apologize, not Jesse Jackson. Perhaps he was mentioned, but I don't think he was asked to apologize.

Anonymous said...

Whoopie goldberg is a great comedian. I respect her for that but she is not a great thinker. Calling her a heroine because she asks Al to apologize nineteen months later is kinda meaningless. I enjoy her whether I agree with her or not.

Anonymous said...

I followed the link in a comment to [ Sharpton's response to Whoopi]. Unfortunately, there are no surprises -- Sharpton is claiming that he never presumed the guilt of the players, even though he condemned people who were looking into explanations other than the players being guilty.

One thing that was on the page, though, caught my attention: it says that the New Black Panthers actually met with Nifong. Is that correct? He met with an armed hate group when he wouldn't meet with the defense lawyers?

Debrah said...

Professor Coleman's reply to the Diva:

"I never attribute weight to what others call me, whether it is "hero" or "traitor." I spoke out during the students' ordeal because I thought they were being unfairly prosecuted. I spoke out recently because I thought KC and others had elevated the 88 people who signed the letter in the Chronicle to a false status to serve their own biased purpose. It should be obvious that I really don't care what others call me for saying what I believe is true."

To which the Diva replied:

Thank you for the reply Professor Coleman.

You and I seem to have one thing in common:

".....I really don't care what others call me."


Anonymous said...

Debrah at 4:08 said...
Professor Coleman's reply to [my email] was...

This response seems like a very polite, well-spoken, and considerate one from a man who is currently being villified on many blogs and message boards. The fact that he is able to stand by his point without being attacking or venemous is admirable. And he also points to the internal consistency of his actions, even if they have been cast as "flip-flopping" at times.

While I find your response to Prof. Coleman rather rude, Debrah, thank you for posting this.

W. R. Chambers said...

It is difficult to understand the basis for Prof. Haynie's point of view. If appropriate, please post his entire letter. The excerpt from his letter plus the explanatory sentence that follows it suggest the possibility that Prof. Haynie attributes to Mr. Taylor and Mr. Johnson comments that others posted on DIW.

Now that the spotlight has shifted to Durahm, one wonders why Professors Coleman, Kasibhatla and Haynie are focusing on alleged mischaracterizations of the Coleman Report, which is widely regarded as a professional, fact-based report that was especially valuable because it was produced during a time of slanderous rumors, charges and threats. The Coleman report stands in stark contrast to the "work" of the District Attorney and much of the media and has much in common with UPI.

There must be some reason why three members of the Duke faculty feel it is necessary to speak out now about alleged mischaracterizations by KC and Stuart of the Coleman Report. I am sure the reason makes sense to those who are speaking out.
But for those who don't know what their reasoning is, their timing is puzzling. Whatever the reason is, it probably is a clue to what life in the academy is like.

Ralph Phelan said...

Kerry Haynie opines on a book he hasn't read.

Ole Holsti asks for apologies already given multiple times over the last year and a half, and makes comments about students' parents betraying total ignorance of important basic facts, like the fact that some members of the team weren't even there.

It seems like the recent spate of Duke faculty statements come in two flavors - disingenuous (like Coleman's) and uninformed.

I guess that's because it's really hard to make an informed and honest defense of Duke or general* criticism of KC at this point.

*It is of course possible to find errors in a body of work as large as what KC has done - I've done so myself - but they're mostly rare and non-fatal to his overall conclusions.

Anonymous said...

I can picture the Professor with his hands cupped over both ears, yelling, "La, La, La, I can't hear you, La, La, La," at the top of his lungs.

Anonymous said...

No one will ever accuse 4:06 for having class. Professor Coleman is a true classy gentleman with brains.

Gayle Miller said...

It is painfully evident that those who were most offensive in their behavior and words from the inception of this entire sorry debacle to the clear and unequivocal exoneration of ALL the lacrosse players, and most specifically the 3 indicted players, that some people at Duke are so invested in their own, insular and tightly closed little worlds that reality cannot intrude even for a second.

I'd pity them if I weren't so deeply offended by them.

Anonymous said...


It appears that the good professors are making a concerted effort to mitigate some of the disgrace they are feeling by "shooting the messengers."

While this action was predictable considering the pressures they must be feeling, their feeble attempts will fail over the long haul and shouldn't be dignified by a response.

Losers always seek to place the blame for their own personal failings elsewhere and Duke professors are no different.

I doubt if you will ever have the spare time to respond to every spurious charge that is directed toward you.

Why waste your valuable time trying?

Anonymous said...

May 2006
Malik Zulu Shabazz, an attorney with the New Black Panthers, told Fox News Channel Tuesday that the prosecutor in the Duke rape case shared information and evidence with the Panthers during a meeting. In an interview with Fox News Channel's Brian Kilmeade and Juliet Huddy, Shabazz said that members of his group, who are protesting the treatment of the alleged victim of a rape by the Duke University lacrosse team, met with the prosecutor to review his evidence against the students.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "Is ______ a communist?"

It appears the answer may be yes.

One wonders where the Klan of 88 and their abettors separate on the issues from the CPUSA?

This is in clearer language than what is produced from the 88, that's for certain.

2008 Election Manifesto

Anonymous said...

That letter reads like it was written by Polanski. Stop being so gullible

Anonymous said...


Re: Professor Kerry Haynie

His ignorance is stupefying! Does he really think that no one in the Duke administration reads blogs/letters?

These folks are really running open loop.


Anonymous said...

KC, you're missing the point. By whining about Kerry Haynie's response, you're trying to deflect attention away from what Coleman said about you. Coleman has been one of the most honest actors through this. He went to the trouble of writing that letter to let people know that you, KC, are not an honest actor.

Many people committed great wrongs through this saga, and what you did pales next to what Nifong did. Nonetheless, you've twisted many people's words, and you never take responsibilty for it. Your bloodlust against the faculty is the same as Nancy Grace's against the players. It's just a different target.

don t. said...

Ken at 3:00

When you find out, please let us all know.


traveler said...

When you read the Duke alum's letter in the Chronicle, there is a poll question: Do you agree with the ex-lacrosse players' decision to file a federal civil rights lawsuit? When I voted it was 89% yes.

Anonymous said...

Can you give one example with specific references where KC has twisted people's words? I have read most of everything he has written on this case including the source material (which he supplies, unlike most of his critics) and I have not seen this to be the case.

KC Johnson said...

To the 5.54:

Thanks for your perspective. I've always found anonymous ad hominem attacks to be rather ineffective. But I wished to reply regardless.

If my intent were to "deflect attention" from what Coleman said about Stuart and me, writing a letter to the editor responding to Coleman's missive--and then linking to that letter in DIW--would be a remarkably ineffective way of doing so.

I notice that you did not defend Haynie's remarks. Nor did I notice you disputing anything that Stuart and I said in our Chron letter. Nor did I notice you pointing to any Duke prof's "words" that I "twisted."

Just as anonymous, ad hominem attacks tend to be ineffective, even less effective are anonymous, ad hominem attacks that bypass specific examples in favor of denunciatory language.

Anonymous said...

Haynie and Anonymous@5:54: Two more of the "don't confuse me with the facts" crowd. The wronger they are, the louder they squeal.

Michael said...

I thought that Polanski wrote the three or four really outrageous posts in that thread.

Perhaps someone could confirm that Prof Haynie really did write what was on that board.

Anonymous said...

"Columbia Noose"
I find it curious that the first thing the Columbia AAS prof does is hire a lawyer.

Anonymous said...


Re: anonymous, ad hominem attacks

I have noticed these attacks. It appears you are having the desired effect.


AMac said...

KC Johnson wrote (6:09pm) --

"Just as anonymous, ad hominem attacks tend to be ineffective, even less effective are anonymous, ad hominem attacks that bypass specific examples in favor of denunciatory language."

It's true that Anon 5:54pm did write a denunciatory ad hominem attack that bypassed specific examples.

However, here's an idea that Anon 5:54pm might consider: Rather than improve the caliber of your criticism (which takes effort), why don't you and your chums make the same unfounded claims, over and over, wherever you find a suitable Comments thread?

What's that? You've already thought of that? Oh.

Never mind, then.

Jacob said...

Infamous and tragic evening? The evening certainly was infamous. The tragedy began the next morning and is likely to follow the young men throughout their lives.

Anonymous said...

I admire Whoopi Goldberg for her advice to Sharpton. However, I wish someone would send Elisabeth Hasselback a copy of your book. She is so clueless,she states that the coaches gave up on the players and she unfortunately grouped them into the same sentence with Brodhead!!! This must have been a blonde joke. The coaches, both head and assitant, were there for the men. Someone at the view should inform Elisabeth that the coaches at least the lacrosse coaches(not sure about that K man) never turned their backs on the players like the administration. They showed true grit .. Maybe Rosie knew what she was talking about when she panned Elisabeth ..

traveler said...

Re: anonymous, ad hominem attacks:

I think these posters might be the grad students attached to the Gang of 88. It could not be easy to look at this group of so-called professors teaching hate, and see racism in its truest form. If they don’t see it, then we see the damage they have done to yet another generation. Teaching hate has become their sustainable future. This Duke case has had some good results in that perhaps students can see these people for what they really are, but of course they cannot speak up in class. We saw at Duke, grade retaliation is alive and well. The intense scrutiny of everyone involved will go on, and even though Duke settled to keep a lid on bad pr, Pandora’s box is open, and the sludge coming out has a horrific smell

Duke Parent '06 said...

I am proposing another investigation, this one into faculty prejudice and bias against students who have committed the serious infraction of exercising their rights to free association.

88 Duke faculty signed a statement thanking "for not waiting" protesters among whom was a young woman who held a "CASTRATE!" sign outside the Lacrosse captains' house. One of those faculty signers had, just the week before, openly ridiculed and belittled my daughter in a senior Political Science high honors class just because she was wearing a sweatshirt with 3 Greek letters on it. What would he have said (or done) if she wore a "Castrate!" sweatshirt to the next class? Thanked her?

(My daughter joined a student committee whose goal was to "counteract negative sterotypes of fraternities and sororities on campus". Who would think that it would be necessary to combat faculty openly stereotyping their students in class?)

As an aside, one of my daughter's sorority sisters was the girlfriend of one of the indicted players. The miscarriage of justice by a prosecutor, encouraged by prejudgment and faculty hostility, including mentors whom she respected, took so much pleasure away from what should have been a jubilant graduation for her.

Go to Hell Duke! (except for basketball of course)

Anonymous said...

precisely, the American academic commenting on a book he hasn't read -- see you in another country in another life

Debrah said...

Here's my analysis on this whole thing:

Most administrators and key professors at Duke knew early on that Reade, Collin, and David were innocent.

Most Durham city officials and key officers in the DPD knew early on that Reade, Collin, and David were innocent.

However, once this story--the Hoax--was put into play and once certain local reporters like those at the News & Observer became so enthralled with "getting" a bigtime civil rights/rape/white accused/black accuser/rich athletes/poor stripper tale put to print......there was no going back.

There was no going back because of the kind of town Durham is. "Race" bleeds into and out of everything.

There was no going back because Duke's president and his administration and an inordinate number of the faculty have an internal psychological constitution that informs them on a daily basis that they must look at the world as if it's the middle of the 20th century with regard to racial matters.

Today's John Leo column addresses that.

Ted Vaden's column in the N&O and the post over at JinC about the way the editors will not reply to his questions addresses ongoing and very damaging problems in the media....still....even though everyone wants this case to go away.

This is a very ominous and foreboding time.....and it makes me sad.

So much hatred that was previously kept undercover surfaced when it was a group of white affluent men who needed justice.

I personally had no idea how much some people really hate whites, Jews, Asians, and others...until reading some comments on the various blogs.

And some wonder why the lacrosse players are suing Durham.

Duke is trying desperately to do damage control. Key professors have been encouraged to speak out now...hoping that many have forgotten what was done by the worst among them.

And I have no doubt that those in charge of the Duke Endowment along with other sources have made it clear that those key professors who help mend Duke's reputation--through lies or whatever--will want for nothing in the future.

(Of course, they wouldn't come out and say it. That would be gauche.)

Their positions will be padded and secure.

I truly believe that deep pockets are making these helpers very happy right now.

Anonymous said...

10/10 5:54 PM:

KC doesn't twist words. All he does is quote members of the G88, and anyone can see how twisted their words are.

Bella said...


It's so nice to have some comic relief after a long day of classes. Much appreciated, thank you.

TaterCon said...

New review of UPI has been written by Thomas Sowell, conservative black professor, and was posted after midnight at

It'll probably be posted later this AM at National Review Online, too.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Wow I have a paper to revise for a journal, a paper to referee for another journal, two papers I am currently working on and this saga won't end.

If the posts claimed to be from faculty on the thread after the Johnson/Taylor letter really are from Duke faculty, it is a really sad place.

no justice, no peace said...

Maybe the answer to academic malaise is to adopt the "think tank" model which would do away with tenure and make professors accountable?

The following is an interesting OpinionJournal article by Christopher DeMuth who is the President (retiring) of the American Enterprise Institute.

Think Tank Confidential

Anonymous said...

K.C., I keep hearing the song, "It's a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille" puttering about in my brain! And, that IS your fault!


Anonymous said...

Re: Prof Haynie

Sometimes you just have to laugh and laugh some more...I'm getting that topsy-turvey feeling--we've slipped down the rabbit hole again.


Anonymous said...

The Chronicle has the ability to identify who those posters were (the "Faculty" and "Haynie" posts). When one of these lunatic professors were messing up the Chronicle Poll results last year by repeatedly voting for their position, they found out who it was and they eliminated the duplicate votes issued from that single IP number. I have a feeling the Chronicle staffers already know who these clowns are. The problem is who at Duke really cares?

no justice, no peace said...

Dartmouth and the Breznev Doctrine

A great New Criterion commentary regarding the totalitarian approach to stiffle reform at Dartmouth.

If only Duke could get that far along...

By the way, Breznev was a Communist. The Dartmouth President and Chairman of the Board appear to be Progressives.

Anonymous said...

The person quoted could just as easily be refering to the Duke Board...Nasher, Bass, et al. Maybe the prominent Trustees will insist upon reform as their names are forever tarnished by continued inaction. Where are the substantive remedies to academic malaise exposed by the hoax?

An excerpt from the New Criterion article...

"...As several observers have pointed out, such insulation from accountability would not fly in the corporate world. But academia is—and in some ways, should be—different. By and large it is a self-perpetuating, impervious bureaucracy, sensitive only to a faculty that, these days, can be counted upon to list leftward. And therein lies the rub. Accountability is not the same thing as democracy; there is an important sense in which colleges and universities, dedicated to intellectual excellence, are meritocratic rather than democratic institutions. Their towers are, or should be, ivory. The real problem is that administrations—and what has just happened at Dartmouth is a case in point—have abandoned the meritocratic goal of education in order to cater to a politicized intellectual agenda set by the faculty. An anonymous contributor to, the excellent weblog overseen by an industrious Dartmouth student named Joe Malchow, captured the reality of contemporary academic governance:

"An ineffective board of wealthy seat purchasers, vetted for compliancy, and who view their trusteeships as an honor bestowed on them by the president in recognition of their financial support, rather than as a demanding job of performing oversight, will respond to any ruckus by telling the president to quietly make the problem go away so they are not embarrassed and the social status value of their purchased seats is not diminished. After all, that was the deal: they paid their money for the honor.
This type of trustee typically has little knowledge of the academic world or of principles necessary to the proper functioning of the university. Indeed, they have no very clear idea of what the institution is supposed to be or to do, or even interest in the matter. The president’s response will naturally be to appease the faculty and other trouble makers rather than discipline them. As a result, the president ends up serving disruptive faculty elements as a neutered mascot on the issues that concern them as President Wright has done, or he is ousted, as was the case with Harvard’s Larry Summers."

Pitiful on so many levels.

The value of a University of Phoenix degree increases daily.

Anonymous said...

To NJNP at 6:35 am: Thanks for sharing the Demuth article. Great reading. However, I think you may have misconstrued Demuth's comparison of private think tanks with "academic" think tanks. I believe that Demuth was trying to make the point that many university departments operate as think tanks in that they are committed to a particular political viewpoint in their "scholarship", but dihonestly deny that they are political operatives for the far left. While true think tanks such as AEI proudly acknowledge their political "foundations" and are funded by donors who know exactly what they are supporting, "academic" think tanks (the Sanford Institute for Public Policy is a great example) take public grant money, student's tuition dollars, and alumni donations to fund stealth think tank work for the far left. These "academic" think tanks are similar to private think tanks in their goal of shaping public policy and public opinion (to left-leaning causes). They do so trading on the good name and reputation of leading academic institutions. If only they had the intellectual honesty to declare their true "political foundations"!

Florida Gator said...

Thomas Sowell's review of UPI on Townhall.

Steven Horwitz said...

Sowell review is here.

Debrah said...

The brilliance and wisdom of Thomas Sowell....which never run dry.

Ethical Duke said...

Duke Students for an Ethical Duke has posted a fantastic WSJ editorial by Peter Berkowitz (with his permission). We hope all of you will read it.

The front page has a link.

lulu said...

Coleman is clearly trying to backtrack. At the time when called on by the university, he did the right and honorable and scholarly thing. Since then he has learned his efforts were viewed by his friends and colleagues (those he cares about) as helpful by the enemy camp. Objectivity is not valued.

Currently, friends and sympathizers are trying to help him get his "cred" back. The awful thing is what kind of "cred" he values!

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Another public disclosure of the corruptness of higher education.

Debrah said...

H-S letters:

Starn missed the point

Who does Orin Starn [Forum, Oct. 3] think he is stating that another person doesn't owe an apology for his actions in the lacrosse fiasco? Duke President Richard Brodhead may have advocated that the justice system be allowed to work. However, he negated that position when he canceled the entire lacrosse season.

If Starn doesn't think that was a clear indication of Brodhead's true feelings, then he is as myopic as he accuses the authors of "Until Proven Innocent" to be. He is correct that the young men failed to show good judgment, but that in no way justifies what ensued.

I have read at least two of the books on the case, and nowhere did I see the young men being held out to be heroes, angels or choir boys. "Scapegoats" is the term which came to my mind. They gave Nifong the ammunition with which he won an election he was losing, and the pseudo, academic elitists a forum from which they could spout their hatred for anyone who has attained financial standing greater than their own.

To describe the authors as myopic and mean-spirited is disingenuous at best. What was done to those young men by Nifong, some of the Duke administration, including President Brodhead and the 88 members of the faculty, would better meet those descriptions

For the most part, the book by Stuart Taylor and K.C. Johnson was merely a compilation of what eventually came to be known as fact. The book was published months after the damage had been done and the truth could no longer be denied by anyone, including apparently, Starn.

Curtis Casey
October 11, 2007

Don't punish taxpayers

Now that a civil suit has been filed by the Duke lacrosse players' families against the City of Durham and its Police Department, if a guilty verdict is returned, justice demands the city and police officials pay out of their own pockets.

If the city's tax monies are used to satisfy the suit, those individuals who are responsible for the witch-hunt would escape personal responsibility and would sidestep the pain of direct and immediate consequences for their actions. The city's taxpayers did nothing wrong. They did not make the decision to persecute and to prosecute the lacrosse players. Their tax monies ought not to be used to correct a blatant injustice perpetrated by officials who clearly demonstrated an unwillingness to be reasonable, rational, circumspect and cautious with their accusations or thorough with their investigations.

This isn't vengeance. It's real-life education.

George Mitchell
Blairsville, Ga.
October 11, 2007

What Durham deserves

Even a casual read of the substance of the Duke lacrosse case lawsuit must make the named defendants' blood run cold. My guess is that once this lawsuit runs its course and the dust settles, the name "Nifong" will become a verb in law enforcement circles.

I hope the locals who cheered their hero on in his pursuit of those lacrosse players have pockets as deep as their shared willingness to believe a man who was an obvious fraud from the get-go. I predict this civil suit will result in a mind-numbing seven- or eight-figure damage award.

Nifong, now out of work, and out of his chosen profession, will find that his idiotic and selfish conduct will mean a lot of potholes don't get filled in his home county for a lot of years to come.

Mike McNew
Marina, Calif.
October 11, 2007

10/10/07 5:54 PM said...

5:54 here.

The evidence that KC put up is selective. It seems to me that if he wants to blog about a letter that he wrote in reaction to Coleman's letter, he'd link to Coleman's letter. That wasn't done, but I'll do it here:

or if that doesn't work because it's multiline:

KC says in his letter that he's puzzled that Coleman attacked his characterization of Coleman's report. KC says, "One or both of us have given similar characterizations of the report, in print, no fewer than 23 times since May 2, 2006." KC then talks about what's in the book. So it seems if you only read KC's letter that Coleman made a vague claim about what KC mischaracterized, much like the vagueness he rightly points to in the fragment of Haynie's letter.

Let's see if Coleman's letter is vague in that way and could be referring to the book or to any of 23 printed characterizations:
"Firstly, we reject the characterization put forward by critics like Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson that the Lacrosse Committee report, that examined the past behavior of the lacrosse team, is a "stunning vindication" of the team (Washington Post, September 7, 2007). On the contrary, the report very carefully details a pattern of behavior that the committee characterized as "socially irresponsible" that should "have been a cause for alarm." Dismissing this finding as trivial is a biased and unjustified misrepresentation of the facts."

Oh, there's a direct reference to what they're responding to. Maybe we ought to look in the Washington Post, say on September 7 and find the phrase that Coleman put in quotes.

Here it is:


"Yes, the report Coleman's committee issued in May 2006 said that some lacrosse players drank unlawfully or excessively and had committed such petty offenses as having noisy parties. But alcohol aside, the report was a stunning vindication. Team members had "performed well academically"; respected the Duke employees with whom they came into contact; behaved well on trips; supported current and former African American players; and had no history of fighting, sexual assault or harassment, or racist slurs."

Here's an example of what I mean about KC twisting words. KC did quote it, but the sense of the report is not what KC says. He says it's a "stunning vindication," the lead author of that report says that's a mischaracterization. Another author of that report, Kerry Haynie says it's a mischaracterization.

I'm not sure how my earlier post counts as ad hominem. I didn't say anything about you, just your actions. The word "whining" did make it a bit spicy though. One could say that I attributed motivation without evidence. I don't see how what I said is any more of a stretch than the line in KC's letter that begines "And while we are not surprised to receive criticism from defenders of the academic status quo,..." So if I ad hom'ed, we both did. In any case if it hurt your feelings, sorry about that.

This seems pretty airtight to me. Coleman writes a report. KC praises the report. KC uses the report as evidence in an argument. An author of the report says that KC is wrong in his characterization of the report. Either KC, a professor, doesn't understand the report (unlikely) or he twisted the words. Throughout this tragedy, KC has ignored people's intent and thus twisted their words.

I'm not a defender of every act by every faculty member. There's a lot more variation than KC and Nancy Grace believe. There are stubborn nuts among the 88 who will never apologize. I wish that weren't the case and that they would apologize for whatever pain they caused the players, even if they didn't mean to. The players were quick to apologize for what they did do (which is not at all what they were charged with). Brodhead has apologized. People are trying to knit Duke's community back together. KC is behaving more like a stubborn nut obsessed with punishing the 88. The faculty aren't as bad as he characterizes them, just ask Professor Coleman.

By the way, I am pretty sure that more of the 88 would have apologized for the pain the ad caused the players if it weren't for KC. The few that have have had their words twisted by KC and used to beat up their colleagues. That has discouraged more from doing so and thus has worked against the healing.

Anonymous said...

Is Haynie a Communist?

Steven Horwitz said...

As a side note, my new issue of Sports Illustrated came today and there was a short blurb on an NCAA study about Division I athlete graduation rates between 1997 and 2000. The overall rate for Div 1 athletes (I assume these are 4 year or 5 year grad rates) is 77%. Among men's sports, the three highest graduation rates belong to fencing, gymnastics and lacrosse (numerical data not provided).

Of course this says nothing about Duke per se, but it might help address the problem of lumping together "helmet sports" as I imagine the football grad rates is substantially lower than the overall average.

KC Johnson said...

To the 5.54:

The Coleman letter was linked, repeatedly, in the blog, both in this thread, and in this thread. My responses in the Chronicle thread to Coleman initially also were re-posted.

"I am pretty sure that more of the 88 would have apologized for the pain the ad caused the players if it weren't for KC. The few that have have had their words twisted by KC and used to beat up their colleagues."

You are either misinformed or have access to material not in the public record. In fact, only one Group member (Arlie Petters) has publicly apologized for signing the ad. Here's how I responded to Petters' action: "It disappoints me that more signatories--people who, after all, have chosen a career of teaching students--do not feel as Petters does." Not only I have I not "twisted" Petters' words, I had nothing but positive things to say about his decision since his apology.

As for Coleman--as both Stuart and I noted, we had characterized the report in a similar fashion no fewer than 23 times since May 2, 2006. Coleman appeared in person on a panel with Stuart three weeks ago and said nothing as Stuart characterized the report in that fashion (though he did criticize--without offering specifics--the book's arguments about the faculty). I saw and chatted with Coleman two weeks ago: again, no mention of our alleged mischaracterization of the report. I interviewed Coleman for an hour for the book: again, no mention of an alleged mischaracterization.

At the time of the report, no one denied that the players had a record of drinking too much (this had been widely disseminated in the media, especially in an N&O article). The issues at play were whether the players had a record of racist or sexist behavior; whether they were indifferent students; whether they had proven resistant to discipline from their coach or the AD; and (more generally) whether they were arrogant jerks. On each of these issues, the Coleman Committee report produced a record wholly at odds with the popular caricature, offering no evidence at all to justify the faculty/Nifong/media attacks--a "stunning vindication" of the team.

It's worth noting, by the way, that people at the time, ranging from Houston Baker (who was furious about these findings) to David Brooks (who cited the findings in a June NYT op-ed), characterized the report as we have since May 2, 2006. Indeed, the characterization of the report offered by Stuart and I seemed wholly non-controversial--perhaps why Coleman had expressed no disagreement in any of the many conversations Stuart and I had with him about our 23 previous characterizations of the report.

Finally, I'm not sure how describing Coleman as a defender of the academic status quo is an "ad hominem" attack. He is a defender of the academic status quo--he's an eloquent defender of affirmative action in higher education and the importance of "diversity" as practiced in the last 15 years. That might be good policy or it might be bad; but it is an accurate description of his position.

Anonymous said...

Interesting posts that appeared on the Chronicle board yesterday following Haynie's attack on Johnson & Taylor. Haynie didn't respond.
Mugged by another Group of 88 fraud?
posted 10/10/07 @ 9:08 PM EST
Hey Professor Haynie-

What's with all the "forthcoming books" from the you and the rest of group of 88 fraudsters

Is your book "Stepping Stones or Stumbling Blocks?" really coming out this year? The year is coming to an end...and no your name isn't coming up somehow at Stanford Press.

(BTW: Way to use a trite christian metaphor for the title...)$Content/Faculty+and+Staff/$file/brattonvitae07.pdf

Professor Haynie-
If you would be so various CVs, you have listed this book as forthcoming in 2004, 2005, 2006, and now 2007.

Cambridge does not have a listing of it in their forthcoming titles.

New Race Politics: Understanding Minority and Immigrant Voting, edited by K. Haynie and Jane Junn (forthcoming 2007)

Could you clarify, please.

Thank you

Ralph Phelan said...

" There are stubborn nuts among the 88 who will never apologize. "

87 out of 88 in fact. That's 98.8%.

"This seems pretty airtight to me. Coleman writes a report. KC praises the report. KC uses the report as evidence in an argument. An author of the report says that KC is wrong in his characterization of the report. Either KC, a professor, doesn't understand the report (unlikely) or he twisted the words. "
Or he agrees with the facts as reported while disagreeing with the author's interpretation of those facts. Odd you should forget to mention that option, it's actually pretty common in real scholarship.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz said...
Among men's sports, the three highest graduation rates belong to fencing, gymnastics and lacrosse.... the problem of lumping together "helmet sports"...

Fencers wear facemasks. Do they count?

Anonymous said...

So what KC actually said to the Post was that "ALCOHOL ASIDE, the report was a stunning vindication..." Yet the Coleman letter omitted that qualification. Selective quotation? Twisting words?

Anonymous said...

Are baseball catchers more violent than pitchers?

Anonymous said...

"5:54" writes "By the way, I am pretty sure that more of the 88 would have apologized for the pain the ad caused the players if it weren't for KC."

Academics with life time tenure who are intimidated by others (KC, bloggers, etc.) to not apologize for a commentary that they sincerely believe caused pain to their university's students reveals an element of cowardice that has no place in the academy. If a professor - with complete job security - does not have the strength of character to take action that s/he believes to be right, then s/he is not fit to teach pre-school. Perhaps Prof. Johnson, Dr. Hull, and alike are the brave ones; they're the ones who risked criticism from their peers to do the right thing. If members of the G88 believe that what they did was wrong and believe that they should apologize and don't do so out of fear of criticism, then they deserve even more scorn than they have received. Conversely, if they believe that they are in the right, then at least they should have the courage of their convictions and defend their actions. Alas, the G88's behavior illustrates that they are cowards at best and cruel cowards at worst.

Ralph Phelan said...

Re "Vindication?"

All other things being equal, the publication of an offical report about me saying that I was basically a good guy but that I had a serious drinking problem would not be grounds for great joy.

But if I was at the time of its publication being widely denounced as a racist, sexist, violent, homophobic, arrogant, moronic rapist with a drinking problem, I think I'd be well within common usage if I described it as a "vindication."

traveler said...

Re: The Coleman Ad Hoc Report

The reason this committee was convened was based on a hoax, the witch hunt they participated in was based on a hoax, the resulting report is based on a hoax. If you read the charge of the committee laced with the words, criminal violations, inappropriate behavior, the intent of this committee was clear to me. I think the Coleman report is a hoax, how could it be otherwise? My college dorm would have had more infractions than this report. No doubt the sports-hating group did want more mob action, but there was this "stunning vindication" that spoiled their party.


1. The Charge to the Committee
On April 5, 2006, you jointly charged the Ad Hoc Committee as follows:
[T]o look into the behavior of members of the lacrosse team over the past five years, and specifically the record of both charges of inappropriate social conduct and criminal violations and of official Duke, community and team responses to that conduct and those violations. The Ad Hoc Committee should interview faculty members about classroom behaviors, and receive and take into consideration information from members of the Duke community or from any other knowledgeable source about the conduct of or respect for others shown by members of the team.

10/10/07 5:54 PM said...

5:54 again

What does this paragraph contribute to the argument about whether you mischaracerized the Coleman report?
"As for Coleman--as both Stuart and I noted, we had characterized the report in a similar fashion no fewer than 23 times since May 2, 2006. Coleman appeared in person on a panel with Stuart three weeks ago and said nothing as Stuart characterized the report in that fashion (though he did criticize--without offering specifics--the book's arguments about the faculty). I saw and chatted with Coleman two weeks ago: again, no mention of our alleged mischaracterization of the report. I interviewed Coleman for an hour for the book: again, no mention of an alleged mischaracterization."

Nothing. It's an attempt to make Coleman look rude and/or duplicitous. Thus it is in here just to impugn Coleman's character or manners. Even if he were rude, that does nothing to change the evidence that KC misrepresented the Coleman report. Thus it is an ad hom.

Game. Set. Match.

"You are either misinformed or have access to material not in the public record."
"...the public record." Why qualify in that way? Because it lets you deflect from statements like this (from this blog: Friday, August 17, 2007):
"Of the Group of 88, only one member (Arlie Petters) has publicly expressed regret about the statement’s impact. Two other (tenured) Group members privately apologized, in writing, to lacrosse families—only to retract those apologies when they signed the “clarifying” letter, which affirmed, “There have been public calls to the authors to retract the ad or apologize for it . . . We reject all of these.”"

Here you twisted the intent of the clarifying statement. It's not an either/or situation. Many of the clarifying faculty regret that the players interpreted the ad as an attack on them, but also believe that the issues raised in the "listening statement" ad are important and are worth raising. Many of these people wish they could rewrite the ad to make it more clear that it wasn't an attack on the players, but that the reaction to the allegation reveals some social problems at Duke. You seem to believe that the 88 and much of the rest of the faculty were all ill-intentioned racists and reverse-racists. You've been so Manichean that if somebody publicly apologizes for the unintended consequence of the ad, they expect that it will be presented as confirming that the "listening statement" itself is something they should apologize for. Yet the original ad wasn't what you portrayed it as.

The Coleman report also isn't what you portrayed it as, just ask Professor Coleman, or the other authors.

KC is a polarizing force for Duke now, not a fence-mender. Thus the comparison to Nancy Grace. You're just as wedded to your faculty-are-evil myth as the extremists who prejudged the players were (and sadly some still may be).

inman said...

Steven Horowitz:

If soccer players DID wear helmets, their graduation rates might be HIGHER.

And do those rubber things that swimmers wear on the their heads count as a helmet. After all, that is clearly "headwear" and probably protects against ear infections.

And wrestlers and boxers also clearly wear protective headwear (at least at the collegiate level).

What about equestrian sports (such as UVA's Polo team). Rarely does one see a competitive rider without a helmet. Equestrian sports surely belong in the helmeted sports category.

And what about hockey and other winter sports (e.g. luge and bobsled)...

...oh, and I should certainly mention the helmets that cyclists wear.

Gosh, the helmeted sports category keeps growing.

The '88 advocate who first limited helmeted sports to football and lacrosse was clearly a discerning sports enthusiast.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Haynie's CV from Rutgers, dated April 2, 2002, lists "Stepping Stones or Stumbling Blocks?" as "forthcoming in 2003."

Haynie CV

Anonymous said...

And in printed materials for a conference held at UNC law school on Feb 3 2006 Hynie listed himself as "co-editor of New Race Politics..." and "co-author of Stepping Stones..." -- books which didn't exist then and still don't exist today.

He's another Lubiano.

Ralph Phelan said...

"It's an attempt to make Coleman look rude and/or duplicitous."
And a damned successful one, too!

"Thus it is an ad hom."
No, given that Coleman just called KC rude and duplicitous, it's more of a "tu qoque." Go learn more about logical fallacies - I can see why so far your uses of them have been embarrassingly clumsy and obvious.

KC Johnson said...

To the 3.20:

The p'graph you quoted, it seems to me, is directly relevant: it's not as if Coleman has been saying since May 2, 2006 that the report was mischaracterized, nor is it as if Stuart and I didn't have considerable contact with him between 5-2-2006, nor is it as if Stuart and I changed our interpretation of the report between 5-2-2006 and today.

"The Coleman report also isn't what you portrayed it as, just ask Professor Coleman, or the other authors."

Does the report, in fact, suggest that the players were sexist? or racist? or indifferent students? or arrogant jerks? or people with a record of treating staffers badly? I've referenced the C.C. report more than 20 times on the blog: each time, I have noted that the report stated the players drank too much, as many students at Duke do, and that it portrayed them as people with good records on all the other issues.

In the context of the popular, media, and Nifong caricature of spring 2006, that was a stunning vindication--especially in a report that investigated the players' conduct without allowing them to have a representative to cross-examine witnesses.

ironically, at the time, Coleman publicly told people not to "just ask the authors." Instead, he suggested that people should read and interpret the facts for themselves.

As to the "clarifying" letter, I quote: "There have been public calls to the authors to retract the ad or apologize for it, as well as calls for action against them and attacks on their character. We reject all of these."

Perhaps you interpret that sentence as suggesting that "many of the clarifying faculty regret that the players interpreted the ad as an attack on them." I doubt that most people would so interpret.

As to the claim that the clarifiers "also believe that the issues raised in the "listening statement" ad are important and are worth raising": Group author Lubiano described the ad, in writing at the time, as a response to the "lacrosse team incident," not a general commentary on racism or sexism (or the faculty's lack of respect for due process). Perhaps Lubiano was speaking in code. But again, to most people with a basic understanding of English, her wording was very clear.

As to the two clarifiers who private apologized only to publicly (and without warning to the lacrosse families to whom they had apologized) retract their apologies: it's hard to see how I twisted their words. And, indeed, one of them (Susan Thorne) admitted that with her signature to the clarifying letter, she went back on her promise to publicly apologize.

Anonymous said...

Yes, catchers are more violent than pitchers - that is obvious.
KC - I am disappointed in you, calling the great Professor Coleman - Coleman now. That puts you in the catagory of the poster who think they must demean someone who disagrees with them. You are better than that.

Anonymous said...

No prophecy... is of private interpretation. 2 Pe 1:20

Neither is any committee report, including Coleman's.

It was a public document intended to report and make recommendations on public (university) matters and could be expected to be read by the public from many perspectives and utilized in many ways. In contrast to the widely-disseminated media perspective on the Duke lacrosse team at the time the report was released, "a stunning vindication" of their normalcy (relative to the rest of the student body) is hardly an unfair characterization of it, whatever the authors' intentions.

To agree with the facts of that report, as Stuart and KC have done repeatedly, while disagreeing with the authors' conclusions is hardly "word twisting." Ralph Phelan@10/11 2:40 PM is right: it's actually pretty common in real scholarship. And in government. And pretty much everywhere except in that wonderland that remains Durham.

Not only did Stuard and KC understand the report, they correctly assessed its impact on the public's perception (which the report changed, let us not forget) of the Duke lacrosse team at the time of its release.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the bum Haynie link (if anyone's interested). It's here:

Anonymous said...

To 5:54: In light of the stunt that Coleman pulled in his letter to the Chronicle, your characterization of Johnson as "dishonest", and your defense of Coleman as honorable is just knee-slapping funny! Oh, the irony!

And regarding your "airtight" analysis, you left out one itty bitty fact: for 16 months, Coleman appeared to agree with Johnson and Taylor's characterization of the report! Please don't let me confuse you with the facts and Coleman's own words, but maybe you can take 48 minutes and 22 seconds to hear Coleman implicitly agree with Taylor's "vindication" theory. Just do a Google search for Tom Ashbrook's "On Point" radio show on WBUR in Boston. Go to "archives". Click on "September". Go to the 9/19/07 (just three weeks before Coleman's hit job in the Chronicle) show re the Duke lacrosse case. I'll save you some time...the exchange between Taylor and Coleman is in the 22:30 - 29:00 minute portion of the show. In a very polite, respectful, and fact-based manner, Taylor ate Coleman's lunch. Enjoy! BTW, I'm pretty sure that was actually Coleman speaking, unless you have some inside scoop that it was actually a KC operative impersonating Coleman. Who knows, stranger things have happened.

Moreover, if you can stomach it, you may want to listen on and hear Coleman hold court on how he really feels about the is really "special". Unfortunately Coleman saw nothing "special" about the players (you will note a distinct tone of contempt in Coleman's voice as he advances his "special" thesis) and the "drumbeat" of international scorn to which they were subjected for many months.

Another issue that hasn't garnered much attention in this discussion: why didn't Coleman (and all his pals in the Innocence Project/Center for Actual Innocence) raise hell in the media when the DNA results from the state lab (published in April 2006) came back negative as to each lacrosse player, thereby showing conclusively that the accuser could not have been gang raped anally, vaginally, and orally (without the use of condoms). I don't recall Coleman taking to the airwaves to say that the players HAD to be innocent of the charges as described by the accuser and Nifong. Do you think Coleman would have been so passive on this crucial, dispositive issue if the defendants had been black? I don't think so.

Imagine if Coleman had mustered the courage (and rallied the Innocence Project troops) to call for the dismissal of the rape charges immediately after the DNA rsults were reported. Further imagine that the troops so rallied took to the airwaves and op-ed pages to launch a coordinated attack on Nifong's obvious prosecutorial misconduct. Don't you think the case might have gone away? Don't you think the lacrosse defendants would have been spared the prospect of facing a hostile jury in Durham when the rest of their lives were at stake?

Oh, wait...silly me! What a dumb thought. I forgot that President Brodhead had proclaimed that the players had to prove their innocence rather than having the prosecutor prove their guilt. And silly me for forgetting that our faithful leader did not want the University (or anyone on it's behalf) "interfering" with Nifong's role as the local minister of justice. How noble!

One last thought 5:54; if you and the rest of the moveon.duke crowd think that committed alums and outside commentors will simply "go away" because you and the likes of Coleman say we must, then you are seriously mistaken. Of all of the faculty/admin folks who have called for everyone to "just move on", I can't recall a single one who has a Duke degree (I do).

Anonymous said...

5:54: Re you last post, I pray that you do not teach at Duke, but I fear that you might. Your inability to grasp the points that KC is advancing makes me wince!

KC Johnson said...

To the 4.16:

I've always called him "Coleman." Just as I've always called Joe Cheshire "Cheshire" and not Attorney Cheshire and Jim Cooney "Cooney."

Referring to people by their last name is common practice. Since I haven't changed how I referred to Coleman, it's hard to argue it's a sign of disrespect.

Anonymous said...

KC: Do your colleagues or students in Israel have any knowledge/interest in this case? I'm wondering if they look at this case, scratch their heads and marvel at the wonderland that is Durham - AND Duke.

Anonymous said...

To Ralph Phelan and Inman,
If you've never been in a fencing venue when a saber team enters the premises, you've never REALLY seen testosterone in action!

(a fencing mom)

AMac said...

Anon 5:54 (posting 10/11:07 at 1:21pm and 3:20pm) --

First, thanks. Instead of a drive-by comment, you have marshalled your evidence, presented it clearly, and identified and linked to your source material. This is the way that debates are supposed to be conducted.

Second, your defenses of the actions of the Listeners and Clarifiers raise more questions than they answer about the motives and character of these faculty members. Others on this thread have already addressed these issues. If the best defense of the Group of 88 is that some of its opponents paint with a broad brush...

Finally, I'd urge any reader who cares about the core issues that Anon 5:54 raises to do the obvious thing and follow the links back, and read the documents in question. Both KC and Anon 5:54 have graciously provided URLs, so it's no great effort.

For me, on re-reading the Coleman Report and considering the state of the Hoax/Frame at the time it was issued, there can be no doubt: it was a stunning vindication of the lacrosse players. Alcohol aside.

Anonymous said...

KC - Thank you for your reply and explanation. I apologize for assuming you had changed your approach.

Anonymous said...

For those who think this case will settle for much less than the $30 million mooted (but not requested in the suit):

Federal jury awards teacher record $18M against L.A. County Sheriff

Granted, that man spent some ten months in jail, but the actions of the DPD were worse ...

Food for thought ...

Debrah said...

KC does not need to spend more time explaining to the fora flamer how he and Stuart have very clearly presented the facts as they took place....most of which we all witnessed.

My feeling is that more than a few disgruntled Duke employees and certainly one or two spouses and/or professors close to the 88--if not a member--show up here to vent.

Any objective reader knows that KC and Stuart reported the facts as they were revealed.

Now, even a few of those main players who were a part of the fact-finding want to change their story.

Some of these people at Duke are so unproductive and stagnant that meeting up with someone like KC, who can juggle at least ten balls at once, scares them.

Debrah said...

It's both frightening and irritating when you read some of these disgruntled flamers.

Even after all that the entire country--and the world--knows to be factual, some are now trying to rewrite the story to fit what they wish had happened.

Without some really dedicated people like KC who constantly illuminate this deliberate second chapter of the Hoax--the one inside Duke University--it will be just another day on the road to the complete destruction of academic standards.

RRHamilton said...

I haven't said much about the Coleman letter. With ever greater calls for an outside investigation of Duke faculty coming now, the Coleman letter looks like a diversion to me -- an attempt to change the subject back to the players' conduct, and get attention off the subject of the faculty's conduct.

I write today to make one observation that no one else has made: Has anyone considered that Coleman's letter doesn't say what everyone thinks it says? I mean, read it with the same kind of care that we used to have to read Clinton's statements -- you know, the ones where it sounded like he said one thing whereas in fact he was saying the exact opposite? Or where he sounded precise whereas he was really being very vague? I think you could "parse" the recent Coleman letter and find that it is in fact a statement of high praise for Stuart and KC. Remember, like Coleman, Clinton was a law professor, too.

Anonymous said...

AMAC - The alcohol issue can not be put aside. It helped drive some stupid decisions made by the team and captains. Peeing off the Porch makes me laugh but not if I lived next door. Right after this incident, one of the team was caught driving drunk and a Medical student died in a car from Alcohol Overdose. Better they learn now that alcohol can ruin lives.

Anonymous said...


Why in the world do you waste your time responding to the "trolls" (agents) representing Broadhead and/or the discredited 88 lightweights?

They are like pre-school children who act up crying for your attention. The more you focus on them, the more they expect.

Just let them play in the sandbox along with the rest of the youngsters.

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson said...
To the 4.16:

I've always called him "Coleman." Just as I've always called Joe Cheshire "Cheshire" and not Attorney Cheshire and Jim Cooney "Cooney."

Referring to people by their last name is common practice. Since I haven't changed how I referred to Coleman, it's hard to argue it's a sign of disrespect.

10/11/07 4:53 PM

In the movie Paper Chase there's a scene in a house where we overhear one end of a phone conversation: "New York law firms don't want to hire New Yorkers, they want to hire Southerners .... They want Southerners because they don't have to teach them manners."

Anonymous said...

It appears to me that Professor Coleman saw a need to strengthen his PC cred for important political or cocktail party reasons. This comes from a man who showed great strength in the early portion of the Hoax. How unfortunate.

Is it a not-well-thought-out attack to support his main thesis that the Gang of 88 are really swell folk? That's what I think it is, even though it does not really support his main thesis.

Coleman's apparent argument looks like this:

1. K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor were wrong in calling the Coleman Committee a "stunning vindication" of the students.

2. Therefore, Johnson and Taylor must also be wrong about how bad the Gang of 88 were.

As you can see, it is the slimmest of arguments. That is especially true since, taken in the context of those horrible first couple months of the Hoax, the Coleman Committee report WAS a "stunning vindication" of the boys compared to the nasty things everyone else was saying, including, but not limited to: Nancy Grace, Samiha Khanna, Ruth Sheehan, Wendy Murphy, NCCU students, the Herald-Sun, potbangers and some Duke faculty.

It was a not-well-thought-out attack because a well-thought-out attack would be seamless and consistent. As can be seen above and on the Duke Chronicle blog site, Professor Coleman only came up with the argument when he saw the need to attack Taylor and Johnson.

Making the argument this late, months after it may have had any legitimacy or relevance just shows how little ammunition Coleman has to rebut the proof that the Gang of 88 were heinous actors in this Hoax.

The worst part of the attack is the disingenuous way in which it attempts to bash the players. By claiming their report was not a "stunning vindication" of the boys, Coleman and his no-name co-author are, in an underhanded way, saying the boys were worse than other college students in some nebulous way. How sad that these learned people have to resort to bashing innocent and much-maligned students to make their political (or is it cocktail party) points. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

To 5:54,

May I point out that no one responded to President Brodhead's apology more graciously than KC Johnson.

Prof. Coleman's harsh letter to the Chronicle at this late date was odd, and KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor needed to make that point. The number of times Prof. Coleman could have objected and did not and his cordial relations with Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson up until that letter are important facts that contribute to a better understanding the situation.


AF said...

Some, who are so totally jealous of KC, have tried to portray KC in a negative light. Who in their right mind can argue that KC spins things to make his own argument? Proof required for such rash statements.

Moveon.Duke. Love it. How apropos for such a left leaning institution. Their new cheer:
Lean to the left
Not to the right
Bang those pots
And castrate the right.

traveler said...

TO 4:24 anonymous Duke Grad. I like your comments and documentation. Any chance you have the time to set up a blog and continue this along for another year or so? I am in KC D-I-W withdrawal already.

"5:54" writes "By the way, I am pretty sure that more of the 88 would have apologized for the pain the ad caused the players if it weren't for KC."

The Gang of 88 apologize? When Houstan Baker's "farm animals" fly maybe?

Anonymous said...

5:54 ... I read and then re-read your argument but I remain unconvinced. Since you recognize Nifong's guilt and then claim Johnson has a "bloodlust against the faculty" you appear to have a biased opinion based on a personal interest.

Equating K C to Nancy Grace is simply outrageous.

Anonymous said...

Boil this case down to its essence. The lacrosse hoax persisted because Nifong had the support of uninformed and illogical people.

Some were in academia, many at Duke. Safe in their perches, they made pronouncements, hastily and in error.

Other people chose to defend Nifong on the internet. They got their rumps kicked as the case wore on. Some were very clever people, but their biases were their undoing.

Here's the sad part: those biased, clever people generally put up stronger arguments - and were better competition - than the Duke faculty members who have gone on the public record. They also were more informed, often with their evidence organized in meticulous record-keeping databases.

That unhappy conclusion is that Duke University shelters and pays many staffers who would be slaughtered in online debate. They are sloppy, unprepared, and offer weak arguments or non-sequitors. Those few bold enough to dabble on the lacrosse blogs or sites are clearly outclassed. Used to being revered and unchallenged in a groupthink cloister has left them evolutionarily unprepared for modern discussion ways -- or just debate itself. And it shows.

Watching KC deliver his counterpunches makes the unkind in me laugh; it causes the humanitarian in me holler for the ref to stop the fight.

Cec Moon said...

Any person offering an "apology" using the words "if" or "may" shows little remorse or knowledge of the actual harm done.

W. R. Chambers said...

Why is that almost all criticisms of KC and Stuart contain no evidence to support the writer's conclusions, have an angry tone and are annonymous?

For more than 480 days KC has put his name and reputation on the line every day. He and the process he started deserve to be treated with respect. Annonymous ad hominen attacks reflect badly on those who make them and prevent any meaningful exchange of ideas. There is no shortage of people willing to listen reasoned argument, but there isn't much of an audience for personal attacks. This blog is not like a political campaign.

One Spook said...

To me, the results of the Coleman Report are a classic demonstration of "Perception versus Reality".

In the late 80's, "Rolling Stone" magazine created a brilliant ad with that very title. It was directed at corporate ad buyers and a friend of mine who was then an ad buyer for a major US corporation sent it to me.

RS was trying to show the reality of their readership in order to attract a wider market for their advertising. Several photographs were shown side-by-side, one listed under "Perception" showed a 60s hippie couple beside a VW bus. Next to it, listed under "Reality" was a well-dressed yuppie couple standing next to a BMW together with a statement of the average age, income, and occupational data of Rolling Stone readers, based on objective independant market survey data.

In the Duke case, much of what was written and spoken about the "jock culture," male groups, athletic teams, etc. etc. etc. was based on perceptions accepted as truth by a lot of folks who have never played a sport or been on an athletic team in their lives.

Even in the midst of all of these perceptions and vile comments being directed at the lacrosse players, the Coleman Committee's charge was based on perceptions including "inappropriate social conduct and criminal violations"; classroom behaviors;... and [to]take into consideration information from members of the Duke community or from any other knowledgeable source about the conduct of [the lacrosse team] or respect for others ..."

The reality of the lacrosse team's "behavior" represented, by any measure, a stunning vindication of the team and the Coleman Committee members damn well know that.

Reality is of no interest to the Group of 88 idealogues who foisted their perceptions upon a willing community, media, and university administration who acted like lemmings --- "spring loaded" to accept those perceptions and dive off the cliff behind the 88.

I'm going to guess that "Reality TV," one of the great oxymorons of our time, is popular with the 88. While they corkscrew their "bodies" in profound angst at poor, suffering people wallowing in strife and starvation while stranded on a desert island, the 88 forget that just five feet away from the actors are overweight camera and sound boom operators munching on giant ham and beef sandwiches drooling mayonaise on their chins ...

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Nifong is gone, the players have been declared innocent, Durham will pay, Duke has already paid handsomely, and Brodhead has finally apologized (not at all handsomely) bravo.

This blog has been great, although not perfect. KC, you insisted on the facts, even if your language was ever a tad understated for my tastes. You knew how to keep this ugly saga straight no matter who tried to tangle and deny and obfuscate. You reminded readers again and again what had been said and done, and what had not been said and done; you held person after person to account, hardly ever faltering...and even if you did (as I think)expect too little of Brodhead and too much of Coleman, still - Bravo!

One mark of how successful you were is how truly desperate your detractors sound. Still, that any of them can even attempt to defend the actions of the 88 is a wonder, and a true testimony to human stubbornness.

While you are away in Israel they will be furiously rebuilding the parapets of Castle Metanarrative, and word may come of a dark study or two, perhaps even a wondrous book, that explains you and blogs like this as the most dire threats to scholarly independence the world has ever seen: possibly almost as big a threat as Yao Ming is to American Empire. The sad thing is we won't get a chance to read any of it, for it will be perpetually forthcoming.

no justice, no peace said...

It has come to my attention that Robert Thompson has resigned as Dean of the Trinity School of the Arts and Sciences. He was also the Chair of the failed CCI initiative.

The times are a changin'.

It will be quite interesting to see who replaces him.

Will they hire somone who has published more than a rock? Read by someone outside ones immediate family.

It would also be instructive to fully understand his influence on the hiring of the existing faculty.

He's been in charge for over ten years.

haskell said...

Traveler at 3:12 makes the excellent point that the Coleman committee was on a witch hunt from the start. His post bears reading again.

"1. The Charge to the Committee
On April 5, 2006, you jointly charged the Ad Hoc Committee as follows:
[T]o look into the behavior of members of the lacrosse team over the past five years, and specifically the record of both charges of inappropriate social conduct and criminal violations and of official Duke, community and team responses to that conduct and those violations."

Ralph Phelan said...

TexasMom said

"If you've never been in a fencing venue when a saber team enters the premises, you've never REALLY seen testosterone in action!"

Don't tell us, tell Paul Haagen. He's the one we're mocking.

Ralph Phelan said...

Debrah said:

"Without some really dedicated people like KC who constantly illuminate this deliberate second chapter of the Hoax--the one inside Duke University--it will be just another day on the road to the complete destruction of academic standards."

As I've commented elsewhere, I find it interesting that a lot of the good sense and energy for reform is coming from faculty at non-"elite" schools.

I could speculate that the blind application of funding and organizational models that worked well for top-rank science departments to the liberal arts is part of what created the groundwork for the current mess.

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous 10/11/07 5:57 PM
The alcohol issue can not be put aside.

But it must be put in context.

As I say above, "Nice guys with a drinking problem" was a relative vindication, and for practical purposes a huge one.

Ralph Phelan said...

W. R. Chambers said...
"This blog is not like a political campaign."

The entire Duke Lacrosse Burning has been a group of intersecting political campaigns, from Nifong's releection at the smallest scale to Gramsci's plan for an incrememntal socialist revolution at the broadest.

KC's documentation of the politics as they unfold is a scholarly act, but to the extent it affects that unfolding it is also a political one, and so will inevitably draw a political response.

Anonymous said...


I agree there is a difference between words and intent. The G88's intentions were clear from the get go. The G88 back-tracked only when they were called on the carpet. The 88 then claimed their statement had not to do with "the Lacrosse Incident" but with broader issues. Yet Waahhneeema's spam e-mail specifically targeted the Lacrosse Incident as the statement's response.

Worse, you claim the G88 have been holed into a non-respnse mode. Do you expect anyone to believe that? A more plausible theory would be that their attornies have told them not to speak out.

The G88 banked on their malicious intent that something happened and offered a dialogue until the facts became too much of a reality for them to deal with. Now, they cry foul because they havn't a leg to stand on.

ginger said...

Different people may draw different conclusions based on the same fact pattern.

I subscribe to the school that the Coleman report was a stunning vindication ....given the context and atmosphere. I think it is fair to say that most unbiased readers would have the same conclusion.

If Coleman's conclusion was at odds with the fact pattern he presented he had his chance he state that at the time of the report. Though most writers like to think their prose is so convincing that readers will draw the obvious conclusion.

What he's attempting now is called revisionist history. At best.

His anti-evidence statement reminds me of a juror who I sat with during a drug trial. There was overwhelming evidence provided by the state: clear and convincing video, physical evidence, testimony, money was all there. The defense presented alternative theories as to how the drug money ended up in the house, that the witnesses weren't reliable, etc. 11 of us read it the same way. One lady on the jury saw the same evidence but was UNABLE to draw a rational conclusion because she liked the guy. "He couldn't do that to his mama," was her reason for dismissing the evidence.

Clearly, Coleman is under some pressure to "turn." Given his posiition one would hope he had greater courage. More feckless "leaders" are not needed.

W. R. Chambers said...

ralph phelan is certainly right that DIW has drawn political responses. To the extent those responses are personal attacks and other unfounded allegations, which so often work in political campaigns, I don't think they will work, ie be at all persuasive, to the thousands of people from around the world who read DIW. While 5:54's long post with cites was very useful, it is the exception. Why all the heated political responses? They remind me of the ironically named Listening Statement, two words that normally asked to claim the reader's attention simultaneously.

The strained use - to be polite about it - of forthcomong leaves one with no choice but to scratch one's head and wonder why. But In the grand scheme of things it isn't very important to the world beyond Duke. Maybe academic freedom at Duke is a particulary individual matter.

It seems to me that a few Duke professors are very angry and feel they have been personally attacked. Rather than participate in the discussion and respond on the merits, it seems they have become defensive and retreated. Maybe their choice would be understandble if am explanation were offered.

There are some things at Duke that need to be sorted out. I hope there is a moritorium. I hope the professors and their annonymous supporters stop criticizing KC and Stuart and stop making public statements about the lacrosse case which in any event should be renamed the Nifong case. By the same token I hope DIW, which is drawing to a close, will focus on the most unfortunate lawsuit against Durham. By unfortunate i only mean that is unforunate a lawsuit is necessary. The defendants with power to fix the gruesome deformities exposed by the Duke case should publically announce their willingness to do so. The plaintiffs should announce their preference for not punishing the innocent taxpayers of Durham. (It's quite easy to be an armchair quarterback while sitting in a coffee shop in North Haven, CT!)

Thanks again to KC and to the others who contributed to DIW.

Anonymous said...

Is 5:54 a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Is 5:54 a Communist?

No, but 5/1 is.

Anonymous said...

Dear KC,

It’s Friday afternoon, and I appreciate the unintended humor I saw in your comments section today. I thought the threat of a Duke lawsuit against you was a particularly nice new strategy! BUT you realize you can only blame yourself for having brought this new offensive on by, if I may use a football analogy, running a “fake punt” and gaining a first down.

Look at it from their perspective for a moment; they thought they were through with you. Oct 1st was here! As the most visible and effective critic of the Duke G88 disaster, having you gone would allow the “healing to begin”. D@mn KC, you keep pulling off the scab and revealing the underlying infection! How’s a good infection ever to get a foothold?.

Personally, I am thrilled with their offensive. I am hoping it will make you mad enough to keep writing. And if you need free legal help, I will bet there are enough lawyers who regularly read and enjoy your blog who would contribute pro bono to your defense (and enjoy every minute of it)!

Not the mayor

Jay said...

Haynie is just another surfer on the tidal wave of racial victim agitprop. He has no concern for the truth, probably wouldn't recognize it if he saw it. He has contempt for things as banal as truth and justice. No, this is an-ends-justify-the-means, by-any-means-necessary, race-baiter and professional victim. Within our sickened academy he knows he's safe from criticism of even the mildest sort. His anger directed at KC is the anger of one forced to face the criticisms of people over whom he has no coercive power. I look forward to his "forthcoming" book.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers - Pro Bono - Lets not get carried away.

Anonymous said...

No, 5:54 is speaking the truth. And KC will, of course, ignore it. I think he likes to twist people's words.