Saturday, February 16, 2008

Times Sports Editor: "Regret" Coverage

From a recent Times Q&A session with sports editor Tom Jolly (scroll down to the 22nd entry):

Q. When the Duke Lacrosse "rape" case first erupted, the New York Times sports section was one of the leading cheerleaders for the conviction and slandering of the Duke team as a whole and the three charged players. When the charges imploded, the players exonerated, and Michael Nifong disbarred, the sports section and "pundits" remained steadfastly silent. Since you are the chief editor, one must assume that you led and approved of all the reporting (and non-reporting) and the commentary (however incorrect and one-sided). Question: As the editor of the sports section how do you justify your behavior in toto?

— Rex Avery

A. Dear Mr. Avery: First, let me clarify that our reporters remained involved in the coverage of the Duke case throughout. [Indeed they did: Duff Wilson remained involved throughout, and the central conclusion of his major article in the news section was deemed false by no less than the AG's report.] The placement of the articles moved into the national section of the paper once it became a court case, as is generally the case with such stories, including the rape cases against Kobe Bryant and Mike Tyson. We've written stories about the team since it was reinstated and covered its run to the title game last season.

As far as our coverage of the case itself, if the essence of your question is whether I feel good about it, the answer is that I very much regret my failure to recognize that we were dealing with a rogue prosecutor and that the university had compounded his bravado by overreacting to the initial reports about the case. I don't recall another instance of a university canceling the season of a team that was a contender for a national championship. Nor do I recall a similar example of a prosecutor launching such an aggressively wrongheaded investigation.

But the bottom line is that I'd do some things differently, and that knowledge gained by hindsight has informed our approach to other stories since then.

Jolly, unfortunately, did not say what he would have done differently, and the effect of his statement was somewhat minimized by his response to a previous question in the thread, about the departure of the worst of the guilt-presuming sports columnists, Selena Roberts: "Selena's voice is unique and finding a suitable replacement won't be easy, but we will."

Nonetheless, Jolly's statement is by far the clearest acknowledgment of regret for the paper's poor performance from anyone affiliated with the Times.


Debrah said...

I'm not thrilled with this NYTimes milquetoast regret; however, it is something.

No one ever wants to answer questions about this case with specifics.

It's a good thing they have Nifong as an excuse. That way the subject of their own misdeeds can be glossed over as with this Q&A.

Here's one of the biggest creeps ever to breathe fresh air.....and he's going to Hollywood!

If I read or hear about Tyson's whipped-up, syrupy Southern, gravy-fed, and exaggerated melodrama one more time, I'm going to heave.

This worthless creep has been living off this issue all his life.

His "preacher Daddy" must have instilled the same brand of phony, hyperbolic "savior" mentality in his son....the self-congratulating rotund Timmy.

Tyson was outside the house on Buchanan Blvd. with the potbangers and his grotesque and deliberately inciteful words--written and uttered--run through this saga with the same hatred and the same racist motives as he writes about in his syrupy, predictable, suck-up book.

Tyson is a racist in the mold of Sharpton, Jackson, and Duke's Gang of 88.

These people wouldn't be so repulsive if they'd tell the whole story......and if they'd not exhibit the same racist behavior they so decry.

The fact that Timothy Tyson is "going Hollywood" really is ruefully grotesque.


Congratulations are in order for Tim Tyson. The author and Duke and UNC professor is going Hollywood. We're not talking about Tyson's attitude, but rather his 2004 book, "Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story," which will be made into a movie.

The book, about a racially motivated murder that took place in Oxford in 1970 when Tyson was 10, will be directed by Jeb Stuart, who is best known for his work on the 1993 theater adaptation of "The Fugitive." That film starred Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones.

The book centers on the murder of Henry Marrow, who was shot to death in broad daylight after allegedly making flirtatious remarks to the wife of Robert Teel, who along with son Larry, were charged with the murder. Both were cleared by an all-white jury.

Tyson's book, and now the film, will serve as a reminder of racial injustices, and just as important, how far we have come.

Anonymous said...

I wrote to Tim Tyson in 2007 and we exchanged no less than 10 emails. He is a racist and a Group of 88 member/apologist. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Not great, but better than the non-apology from the G88.

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

KC - Where is Selena going and was she helped out the door?

Anonymous said...

I liked Tim Tyson's book the first time I read it, when it was called "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Anonymous said...

I, too exchanged email with Tyson. What a racist windbag!

He is so sanctimonious that I could puke. He was front and center at the lacrosse house "candlelight vigil" and wrote some of the most inflammatory articles that ever appeared in the N&O. I put him in a class with Houston Baker.

The man has NEVER issued any apology for his role in fanning the flames of racism in Durham and I have to wonder if Tyson's "preacher Daddy" ever taught him to say "I'm sorry."

Anonymous said...

Don't know if she was helped out the door but I just read an article about Clemens by Selena Roberts on

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 2/16/08::4:16 PM said...

...I liked Tim Tyson's book the first time I read it, when it was called "To Kill a Mockingbird."


Time to do a new and improved Hollywood version for the various protected groups within the younger generation.

It won't sell well to the usual movie going public but perhaps professor will use the movie in class for the next thirty years.

An affirmation action ...action from Hollywood to spiff up their own CV.

Anonymous said...

The NYT regrets their coverage, which would seem to indicate they think they made errors in their reporting, many of which have been documented here on DIW. Now I know I haven't been following this store much lately but just where did the NYT publish corrections of their regretful coverage? First correct, then regret!

becket03 said...

Jolly took a shot at Duke as well as Nifong. He didn't have to do that, and I'm sure it'll be duly noted and puzzled over in Brodhead's office.

As for his remarks about Selena Roberts, I take them as typical window dressing. The inside story of how her departure went down cannot be gleaned from those words.

Roberts' new position at Sports Illustrated might be considered an upward move if she's now a prominently featured columnist there. If she's not; if she's just doing features every couple of months, the NYT gig is more presitigious, and one may justifiably assume she may have been forced out. Since she was so egregiously unfair and wrong on the Duke case, and if my assumption is correct and she was forced out, ipso facto, the Duke coverage is the reason.


bill anderson said...

I went to high school with Tom Jolly, and last year sent him a scathing email (no reply). The reason that the Times slanted its coverage the way that it did was for one reason: The leadership of that paper wanted those charges to be true.

This newspaper is so beholden to political correctness that it ignores the obvious. One reason that the editors of that paper ignored the outright lies by Jayson Blair a few years ago was because he was their PC Poster Child, and they were going to wear their blinders come hell or high water.

There is no excuse for what happened, none. Most of us immediately saw through this case and recognized early on that Nifong was lying, yet the Times proceeded to prop up the lies all in the name of Political Correctness.

By the way, this will happen again and again because the leadership of the Times refuses to recognize that the political philosophy that underlies the paper is bankrupt. I can assure the readers that in the near future, the Times will promote another hoax and then another and another. It is inevitable.

mac said...

Finding a "suitable replacement" for Salmonella Roberts won't be hard. Just look under any rock in Central Park, as soon as the thaw comes.

However, finding a competent replacement might be a bit harder. They might try someone like Kristin Butler, Salmonella's alter-ego, someone who can actually think as well as write.

af said...

When you use CV you do mean Communist Vitae, correct?
This is the same type of propaganda spewed forth by the Communists 40 years ago to demonstrate their point. Exaggerate a story (whether it's yours or not) and spin it to your point of view.
I don't know a lot about "Professor" Tyson but judging from the title, he's obviously not an English professor. Must be a stalwart in the Anger Studies Department.
Will they hire the other potbangers as extras in the flim remake of Mockingbird? Maybe they should shoot it in Wilmington. Maybe Boardhead can play Atticus (or his Tyson equivalent).
What a wonderful life. Is he gunning for a Gore like Nobel?

Debrah said...

H-S letter:

Clueless Nifong crew

I read with much interest the recent announcement of the candidacy for the office of district attorney by Tracey Cline, a member of former district attorney Mike Nifong's staff. Does she or the other remaining members of Nifong's staff not get it, or are they simply suffering from selective memories?

A certain segment of the citizens of this jurisdiction, commonly referred to as taxpayers, want no part of any continuation of the contemptible and embarrassing Nifong regime. Cline and her workmates can slip and slide and deny involvement, but facts are facts. They were there and very clearly on board when Nifong was on his roll with the national media and a certain segment of this county's voters.

Documents pertinent to the lacrosse investigation and multiple statements taken under oath from police officers clearly indicate that Cline was involved and running with the ball early on in this disgraceful fiasco. How much more embarrassment and negative media attention should this community be subjected to?

How much is this remaining cast of characters going to cost the taxpayers before we put our foot down and throw them out at the polls? Thirty million dollars?

February 17, 2008

Debrah said...

Read these two statements in a H-S news brief today:

Shaun Harper will talk about how black men succeed in college....


Harper said he is seeking to reframe the discussion among educators about black men and college.

I will submit to anyone that this kind of mindset and objective undermines everything that getting an education is all about.

In the year 2008 when such largesse and such slippery lowered standards for admission are the rule of the day, there is still a huge drive to set a certain segment of students apart.

For what purpose?

These strategies increase the likelihood that students will fail.

They are characterized as different and in need of constant assistance in every aspect of their lives.

Inevitably, this mindset established by the academy will follow these students into the world of work where special programs are not set up to shield from life's experiences.

What happens then?

How do black men succeed in college?

The same way everyone else does.

Commitment to hard work and study. The financial aid is always there. The bending of admission standards is always there.

You succeed by building on this enormous largesse and doing your part.

Not participating in constant discussion like this one at Duke how more can be done to soften the load.



The Herald-Sun
Feb 17, 2008

Pa. scholar will speak at Duke

DURHAM -- Shaun Harper will talk about how black men succeed in college during a speech at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Duke University.

The speech, free and open the public in the Bryan Center's Von Canon Rooms, is this year's Samuel DuBois Cook Society Lecture. It honors the legacy of Duke's first African-American professor who became a Duke trustee and president of Dillard University.

Harper, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, received the 2005 Emerging Scholar Award and the 2006 Annuit Coeptis Award for early career achievement, both from the American College Personnel Association.

He is currently working on the National Black Male College Achievement Study, which involves interviews with African-American men at 42 college campuses across the country. Harper said he is seeking to reframe the discussion among educators about black men and college.

Duke's vice president for student affairs, Larry Moneta, said Harper is highly respected in the field of higher education administration.

"His work on the status of black men is breakthrough and will influence teaching and mentoring of young men, of all races, for years to come," Moneta said.

Debrah said...

TO Mac--

Kirstin Butler would be an excellent replacement for Selena.

What a great idea.

She should think seriously about applying for the job.


Debrah said...

The Diva just installed this Obama widget inside The Diva World.

It's a "Baracktannica" , a play on different variations of his name.

You can submit your own and the Diva sent in "OBAMADIVA"--a diva who supports Obama. I hope they use it!

There is a previous column written by a guy who is by all accounts not prone to histrionics; however, he says he became so emotional after one of Obama's speeches that it stayed with him for days.

Take notice that Hillary is doing a 180 on the delegate issue from where she stood in years past.

Now that it is clear that Obama will win if all votes are counted, she's all for superdelegates.

Obama must win and rid us of the Clintons!

Debrah said...

KC is a Baracktorate
A Ph.D. in Obamalogy


Debrah said...

The reason that the Times slanted its coverage the way that it did was for one reason: The leadership of that paper wanted those charges to be true.

Of course this is true.

I can still hear Stuart saying....."They loved it"....when he and KC were on Good Morning America. It's so shockingly accurate.

Debrah said...

The NYTimes seems to have gotten worse after the departure of Howell Raines--(Jayson Blair's constant apologist)--if that's possible.

AF said...

Just catching up from the Glossary posting and have a few comments:
1) All 46 of the LAX players need to file suit against Precious. If the poor little messed up thing ever clears up and writes a book, she shouldn't realize a cent of profit. The only money she should see from a book/movie deal should be from the inside of Dorothea Dix. She knew what she was doing when she signed on to go to 610. No doubt she was laying the foundation by showing up drunk and high. She's looney but cagey. She just didn't count on the guys holding out for the truth--she thought she'd make a few MORE quick bucks in hush money. Little did she know that she tried to hold up guys with principles. Sure they were wrong to hire strippers. They couldn't have been too wrong though--Duke hired a whole troupe of them and paid them to ply their trade on stage. What gives there?????
2) Ironic that Tracey Clying is being harassed by racist phone calls and she claims she is innocent of the NTO. Hey Trace--can you just imagine how those INNOCENT LAX players felt for all those months. And you sat there closed-mouthed when it came to the NTO's. Only now are you in denial? What gives there?????
3) Kelly Tilghman's comment was meant as a compliment to Tiger. They are friends as I understand it. Maybe it was a poor choice of words but how else would you describe the group that will dethrone Tiger? What gives there?????
4) William Chafe is so appropriately named. Listening to his rants is like a good case of the swampies!! What gives there?
5) The Duke family endowments are a case in point of throwing good money after bad. Until the house is cleaned (perhaps a better choice of words here is exterminated), it's good money after bad. Or is this money to be used to hire the "strappers" as perfessors in the Angry Studies Departments????? What gives there?????
6) WahWah Lubeyouupnow and her postings. Finally she has published. What gives there??????
7) To those detractors who have the ignorant audacity to question the academic integrity of PROFESSOR KC JOHNSON--though DIW is on hiatus, the good Professor is still performing his academic duties. He has taught us to research, analyze, question, and THINK. No doubt he has done more to advance academia with DIW than the totality of the 88 through their careers. What gives here???? Only insight, consideration, conscientiousness, academic freedom and fairness, and honesty. The 88 would do well to study the lessons taught by the good Professor. If the alums at Duke had good sense, they would pursue KC for the Boardroom at Duke rather than having a Boardhead at the helm of Dook. Cut the Steel, clean out the Boardhead, restore dignity to the campus. You can't help Duhm's image. Fortunately, there are good people who live and work there. Unfortunately for them, they, too, must endure incompetence and arrogance.

Anonymous said...

The NYT's coverage of the Duke case, while revolting and vile, certainly was not the worst of this nefarious rag.

Their illegal subsidy for the attack of General Patraeus ("Gen. Batrayed Us!) was nauseating. Their attack on our vets and troops is so deceitful that it is incredible that the Grey Lady has any credibility at all. For many of us, she doesn't

Pinch Sulzberg decided to expose our entire intelligence program when the White House pleaded with him not to. The list of offenses against America goes on and on.

It is with great delight that I note that the stock price of the NYT has fallen from $49 to less than $15. This week they announced the laying off of another 100 newsstaff. Perhaps "We The People" are finally waking up to what a corrupting influence this rag has had on America with their lopsided and specious reporting and editorializing.

Mike in Nevada

don t. said...

I suppose it is fortunate that someone still keeps us up to date on what is happening at the NYT. I personally have not read the rag in about 2 years.


W. R. Chambers said...

Jolly's response would have been more useful to readers if he had explained why "we failed to recognize that we were dealing with a rogue prosecutor and that the university had compounded his bravado by overreacting to the initial reports about the case."

He implies that the NYT assumed that Nifong and Duke were trustworthy. He writes: "I don't recall another instance of a university canceling the season of a team that was a contender for a national championship. Nor do I recall a similar example of a prosecutor launching such an aggressively wrongheaded investigation." That suggests that the Times reflexively accepted press releases and press conferences from Duke and Nifong as inherently credible. If so, it is fair to ask what was the difference between the Times' reporter and a stenographer?

Nor does Jolly explain what he learned or what changes he's made.

Without those facts, readers are left to wonder whether and how the NYT is different from a tabloid.

Anonymous said...

"It is with great delight that I note that the stock price of the NYT has fallen from $49 to less than $15. This week they announced the laying off of another 100 newsstaff."

Thanks for that wonderful news, Mr. Mike in Nevada!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, my! Everyone is contrite except Duke and the DukeGroup88 who know the truth of the matter. Nifong's dishonesty didn't occur without the glaring dihonesty of political correctness locked and loaded and already in play at Duke. These academics at Duke are anathama to any concepts of fair play and correctness. The leopard klan there hasn't changed its spots . . . no, not at Duke.

Anonymous said...

Jolly's psuedo-apology was hidden away in an obscure rarely-viewed backwater, journalistically speaking.

This is in contrast to the blatant front page propagandizing when the Times was libeling the innocent students at the beginning of the Duke hoax.

Jolly's comments do NOT constitute a real apology by this despicable newspaper.

Ed Sodaro MD

Anonymous said...

For the six months ended 9-25, subscriptions at the Times are down 4.51%, to 1 million readers for the daily. Sunday is down 7.59%to 1.5 million readers. "For you the blind who once could see, the bell tolls for thee".

Anonymous said...

The only reason why the NYT attempted to reason away their nauseating, race baiting, racists slant on the Duke case is because they are going out of business. It is about time rubbish is put in he garbage where it belongs to make way for truth, reason and fair unbiased reporting. Good bye NYT, you will not be missed.

Anonymous said...

Oh, great, another "mistakes were made" pseudo-apology.

Debrah said...

On another issue, the Tyson book that is being turned into a movie is something that should be addressed by the public.....

....and certainly anyone who was moved by the injustices deliberately perpetrated against the lacrosse players.

Think about this:

Timothy Tyson is someone who has lived off a single incident which took place in his hometown a lifetime ago.

He gives talks about it, he writes articles, columns, and a book about it.

His total "scholarship" is comprised of the constant "somebody done somebody wrong when I was little boy" schtick.

He and his family apparently developed a "bacon 'n grits" circuit off this issue--his father being a "preacher man".

This guy goes around talking about the same old subject as if all the progress, largesse, entitlement programs, affirmative action, and special admissions and subsidies during the last half of the 20th century--and NOW!--never took place.

When he speaks in front of black audiences, he does a kind of Hillary Clinton "solidarity dialect".....although Tyson's Southern drawl is authentic........talkin' 'bout that "plantation" with a wink and a nod....."you know what I'm talkin' about".

Then the audience erupts with "Yes, Lord!"....."You got that right!"......"Tell it, brotha!".

Then rotund Timmy is in blissful grievance heaven.

Now, the same man who makes a living off "civil rights" and reliving an episode of a prejudiced justice system takes part and openly assists in an injustice perpetrated on three innocent young men in the Spring of 2006.

He's not repentant at all.

If any of you are serious about making a perpetrator pay in some small way, IMO, a public campaign should be organized against his little film.

I don't expect the film to be a huge commercial success, but the public should be constantly reminded just what kind of man is behind the little worn-out book.

I've already sent a letter to the H-S slamming their praise of Tyson "going Hollywood".

More of you should begin to participate in this.

Debrah said...

Here's an excerpt from an N&O Anne Blythe article--who, btw, is a sorry reporter--almost exactly a year ago. February 21, 2007.

This article basically glosses over the extremely different reaction and coverage of the other rape that took place at a Duke black fraternity house.

I was searching for Timothy Tyson's inciteful op-ed that the N&O editors loved and gave a very prominent place...along with one by Allan Gurganus in the Spring of 2006, but it seems they have removed it from their website. Perhaps I can find it somewhere else.

In any case, take a look at some of Tyson's remarks as late as 2/21/07:

Fewer words this time

A wait-and-see attitude seems to be prevailing in the more recent case.

Police, who charged a 21-year-old Durham resident on Monday with second-degree rape, have released few details. Duke administrators have been quiet about the case, and there hasn't been a peep out of the District Attorney's Office.

Tim Tyson, one of the professors who was at a Buchanan Street vigil, said recently that his intent was not to attack the lacrosse players but to draw attention to the larger issues of sexual violence, classism and racism that the case seemed to embody.

"I wasn't confident at that time that I knew what happened," Tyson said. "It still seems clear to me that something ugly happened in that house. ... I don't think people should be used as things. If there only had been an ugly incident and no allegations of rape, I still would be disappointed with the students."

Debrah said...

The N&O gave Tyson more in-depth coverage of his new venture.

I missed reading this in the print edition.

Warning: Do not follow this link after having eaten.

Debrah said...

As Kitty Diva can attest, I'm getting more and more pi$$ed off as I think of someone as gutter-ready as Timothy Tyson getting a film deal like this one.

At the most, a little movie-of-the-week is the appropriate venue for his dated and embellished tale.

KC and Stuart have a current true story which they have researched and masterfully written.

UPI is the definitive book on the Lacrosse Hoax which happened just a few years ago.

Tyson's tale of injustice, which has been told a million times by better than he, is non-existent in today's world.

However, the Lacrosse Hoax is the modern-day version of civil rights violated in a most horrific way.

Why is there no Hollywood producer knocking down the door to make a big movie about this one?

Anonymous said...

Injustice anywhere is a threat to

justice everywhere

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Debrah said...

Well....the NYTimes does have Maureen Dowd.

Like her or not, she's wicked and witty.

Her latest column on the Obama-Hillary race is hilarious.

Poor Hillary is biting the dust. No matter what she and Bill throw at Obama, they still lose!

I'm waiting for Hillary to steal a few lines from Christopher Walken's SNL performances:

"Right now I've got a fever. And the only prescription is.......MORE COWBELL!"

Anonymous said...

I love how the NYT apology is laced with the revisionist history sanitized for the protection of the dyed in the wool racist left. This was the case of a rogue prosecutor and a weak-kneed university administrator? Really? That's all this case was about? Those were the only two people at fault in this case? Am I allowed to ask who struck the match on this powder keg, or is that question off limits because it would hold a black person accountable for her actions?

I guess their version is how the racist left can re-write the story of how a black female lied to get three white males in trouble, and dad-gummit, they are going to find some white people to blame for it! File under "Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations."

Small wonder then why the Crystal Gail Mangums of the world continue to languish is poverty and subsistence on the labors of other people while still others beg, borrow and steal to get into this country just to take an honest job.

Debrah said...

The Diva letter in the H-S today.

(Hat tip to the anonymous poster who offered up the "To Kill a Mockingbird" quip.)

Tyson's well-worn topic

I'm afraid any accolades thrown Timothy Tyson's way are a bit overplayed. However, Hollywood is indeed the place to indulge dramatic license.

Many of us enjoyed the worn-out topic of Tyson's book when it was written the first time around. It was called "To Kill A Mockingbird." It's time he found a new gig or expanded the story for the 21st century to include "whose blood done signed whose name".

Tyson's atrocious and inciteful behavior -- in word and deed -- during the lacrosse hoax is what many remember too well. He assisted Mike Nifong in stirring up the community with lies and tall tales, and it was clear that he loved it.

Does Tyson even understand the message of his own book?

The Diva
February 20, 2008

Debrah said...

From the N&O's Bull's Eye chat blog:

Meanwhile, public meeting enthusiast Victoria Peterson was spotted at the Biscuitville restaurant on Club Boulevard early Wednesday, according to our own woman-about-town, contributor Sheri Farmer. Peterson is running for a seat on the Board of County Commissioners, and was handing out pledge cards, like the one pictured here.


Anonymous said...

The NYTimes has become a fraud. It isn't just the Jayson Blair episode. They are responsible for the World Trade building fiasco. The first attempt to blow the building up was just played like so much else this group does not understand or know anything about. These people have just jumped off a bridge. They just don't seem to be dealing with a full deck. Now the NYTimes is trying to tell all about McCain's sexuality in the same way they did not explain Blair's sexuality. I am tempted to say as the Duke of Wellington said, "Publish and be damned." These people are pitiful.

mac said...

If there's any rationale for the New York Times to be sued by the remaining players, it's the lying crap they just published about John McCain: they just cannot be bothered by the truth, and just because Jolly says they're sorry, it doesn't mean anything - except that they're sorry bastards.

Wouldn't matter if they printed it about Obama or Hillary or GoodLuckabee, it's typical, and it shows why they ought to be dismantled in a court of law, their parts disassembled and their memory a fast-fading vapor, like a bad dream that vanishes with the morning light.

Anonymous said...

Would love to see some lawsuits for defamation of character just like the stars do against the rags that slander them. Glad to hear the stock is going south, I hope it winds up in Durham.
After all this time,it is still infuriating to know how vile they were with these three innocent young men. I believe nothing they print.