Monday, June 02, 2008

Reflections on the Motions to Dismiss

The several hundred pages of briefs filed last Friday contained four items of note. Two were genuine surprises—even at a stage in the process when only the most jaded person could be surprised about the case. Two more were expected legal arguments—but nonetheless spoke volumes about the atmosphere in Durham and at Duke.

The surprises:

1.) Duke attorneys obliquely revived the “something happened” argument.

When a judge evaluates a motion to dismiss, factual claims of the plaintiffs (in this case, the lacrosse players) must be accepted as true. Duke’s attorneys therefore had no legal rationale for challenging the factual claims of the players. They certainly had no legal rationale for challenging the factual conclusions of the Attorney General’s report.

Yet twice in the Duke Hospital brief, attorneys Jamie Gorelick and Dan McLamb did just that. First, they flatly asserted that former SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy “did not” give “false and misleading” information to the police. Yet the Attorney General’s report made clear that Levicy did not base her conclusions on any objective medical evidence. When, then, Levicy told police that Mangum’s medical exam corroborated the accuser’s myriad stories, or when Levicy told police that Mangum’s medical exam indicated the accuser experienced “blunt force trauma,” how was that information not “false and misleading”? Duke doesn’t say. Are Gorelick and McLamb suggesting that Mangum did experience blunt force trauma, or that her exam was consistent with a claim of sexual assault?

Then, of course, the Duke Duo followed up with a Nifongesque description of Mangum as “the victim”—not the alleged victim, not the accuser, but “the victim.”

Beyond the lack of any legal rationale for these items, it’s hard to see any public relations benefit for Duke to suggest that maybe—just maybe—Levicy was right all along, and maybe—just maybe—Mangum was a “victim.”

The inclusion of these gratuitous clauses suggests a degree of bitterness among the Duke attorneys that’s surprising for lawyers of this caliber.

2.) Gottlieb implicated Levicy as the key figure in initiating the case.

Up until Friday, representatives of Duke and those of Durham officials had tended to corroborate each others’ arguments. (That both could blame everything on Mike Nifong helped this pattern along.) It therefore was stunning to see Gottlieb’s brief choose not to blame everything on Nifong but also to target Levicy so unequivocally.

On no fewer than four occasions, Gottlieb asserted that he and the Durham investigators based their decision to proceed with the case (in the period before Nifong even became involved) on the statements of the discredited former SANE nurse-in-training. Those statements—as everyone except, it seems, for Gorelick and McLamb now concede—were at the very least inaccurate.

The Gottlieb brief also presents the court with a dilemma, since it so directly and repeatedly contradicts the assertions and arguments in the Duke Hospital brief. If the defendants can’t even get their story straight, can the court really grant a motion to dismiss?

The expected, if nonetheless startling, items:

1.) The Durham Police Department continues to believe that its basic approach to the lacrosse case was acceptable.

One depressing vignette of the case was the fate of the Whichard Committee. For a short period last summer, it appeared as if the Durham political and even media elite planned to come to grips with how the Police Department so badly botched this case, with the hope of suggesting reforms to ensure that, in the future, the city didn’t prosecute innocent people.

Then, after one session, the committee was suspended, and never heard from again.

As the briefs from current and former police officers make clear, things are back to usual at the DPD. The City of Durham professes to see nothing wrong with the decision to seek a non-testimonial order solely on the basis of group identity, without providing a scintilla of evidence that every subject of the NTO was even present in Durham that evening. Imagine the local reaction if the city had tried this with a group more politically popular in Durham.

The City of Durham professes to see nothing wrong with its official Police Department spokesperson uttering demonstrably false statements—and making seemingly slanderous editorial comments—about Durham residents. Imagine the local reaction if the city had tried this with a group more politically popular in Durham.

And the Gottlieb brief—contradicted by nothing in the Durham filings, or any action of the DPD—deems it absurd to term the ex-sergeant’s behavior “malicious,” or “reckless[ly] indifferen[t] to the rights of others,” or “prejudicial or injurious” to the lacrosse players. Imagine the local reaction if Gottlieb’s behavior had been directed at a group more politically popular in Durham.

2.) Duke has codes of conduct for both its students and its professors, but believes that it has no legal obligation to enforce either standard when it might be politically incorrect to do so.

Yes, the Duke motion to dismiss admits, Duke professors might be required to treat all students with respect as fellow members of the academic community, and not to harass them on basis of race, class, or gender; and yes, Duke professors might have (without foundation) publicly ridiculed the lacrosse players’ “arrogant sexual prowess,” or suggested that one of them advocated genocide against Native Americans, or sent out a mass e-mail hinting at a secret witness that would implicate many of them in making racial slurs.

Should Duke be legally liable for its failure to enforce its own policies against those professors? No: the institution’s “policies must be balanced against principles of academic freedom.”

Imagine if Grant Farred, Peter Wood, and Karla Holloway (the trio who made the remarks above) had directed their unsubstantiated character assassinations against Duke students of preferred race, gender, or sexual orientation. Does anyone believe that Duke would have cited “principles of academic freedom” to defend such remarks? (The Group of 88 would have swung back into action, perhaps with another “shut up and teach” forum.)

And yes, the Duke brief admits, Duke’s student bulletin prohibits harassment of any type, including on basis of race or gender; and yes, Duke students might have distributed “wanted” posters around campus with the lacrosse players’ photos on them, and publicly accosted the players as they tried to walk around campus.

Should Duke be legally liable for its failure to enforce its own anti-harassment policies against those students? No: the lacrosse players never “suffered any physical injury” as a result of the harassment.

Imagine if roving mobs of Duke students had directed their efforts against undergraduates of the preferred race, gender, or sexual orientation. Does anyone believe that Duke would have elected not to enforce its anti-harassment policies against the offenders, or suggested that it had no legal liability to act because the harassed students never “suffered any physical injury”? (The Group of 88 would have demanded campus-wide “sensitivity training” and an administrative purge in around five seconds.)

That a double standard exists in the contemporary academy would surprise no one familiar with the work of FIRE, the academic free speech organization that has made a national reputation exposing such dubious academic conduct. It is, nonetheless, startling (and quite rare) to see a University publicly present its double standard in such stark terms.

Given that some Duke parents spend upwards of $200,000 for four years of tuition, it would be refreshing, if only in the interests of full disclosure, for Duke to amend its recruitment items to inform parents that while the University might seem to promise that students won’t be harassed, and that professors will treat them with respect, when a politically correct crusade comes along, all bets are off.


Anonymous said...

this is a mirror of how duke acted towards the players and coach

if they believed this was legally defendable then why did they SETTLE ?

what a waste of money that might have gone to some third world student ?

no this appears to be the academic legal basis for the way duke and other superbly aggorant universities can be...

academic freedom doesnt trump the law...but the response seesm to suggest that duke believes it is "ABOVE THE LAW"

why wouldnt any big corporation love to have pamela bernard as a general counsul with such hairbrained arguments

crazy eddie might have used these legal arguments as well as any drug was academic freedom dummy

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

Professor Johnson, Durham and the DPD should not be changing policies because the tried to prosecute innocent people. That happens from when some evidence happens to point innocent people.

What Durham and the DPD need to do is look at their policies to see how they broke down so that they were trying to prosecute people when no crime had taken place. They also should be looking at their admitted selective prosecution of one group of people, Duke students, for such things as noise and alcohol violation. This selective prosecution is part of what created the atmosphere that led to the attempt to prosecute when no crime had happened.

Anonymous said...

Two observations
1- Something happened: There is evidence that Mangum had sex with at least 5 non lacrosse team men. This could have caused the injury's.
2- Gottlieb has set himself up as a non deep pocket to cooperate with attacking the real deep pocket. Also Gottlieb has a clear hate for Duke: it is no surprise that he attacked them.

bill anderson said...

The journey that Duke University began when it brought in Stanley Fish in the mid-1980s and decided to be "cutting edge" in "post-modern scholarship" now is complete. What we have seen in Duke's response is the ultimate post-modern legal statement.

Once upon a time, the people at Duke would have been ashamed of such actions by faculty members and administrators, but no more. Now, Duke proudly declares that its rules are to be applied unequally according to race, sex, sexual orientation, and the like. Those people who do not fall into the preferred category need not think that they are to be protected by anything.

To paraphrase the "shut up and teach" nonsense from the Angry Studies group, Duke's motto to certain students is "pay your tuition, fees, and dorming expenses, and shut up."

Anonymous said...

Bitterness? Oh, goody. Don't you just love a grudge match?

Poor Jamie Gorelick. Imagine what she really thinks of that Republican goon Robert Steele. And Brodhead? Ye gods.

But, it's a big gig.

Also a big loser. Oh boy, is Jamie's case ever a loser! Jamie's bad attitude is probably pretty genuine.

In her past, at the Justice Dept she would have just had the FBI round up all the plaintiffs and burn them alive. Halcyon days.

A bitterness component can be quite an edge for the party that remains cool. A lawyer, who is definitely one of the good ones, told me that nothing improves a person's legal picture like the other side making mistakes. Losing cool is a mistake.

And. our very own pet skinhead cop, Gottlieb, has begun what I think could become a major theme, going forward (as they say). "Levicy misled me - it's all her fault."

Soon, I believe, the penny will drop in Durham and they will see that once more Gottlieb leads the way because if it's all Levicy's fault then its all Duke's fault and that way, with that great big lovely endowment, lies salvation. The exquisite citizens and taxpayers of Durham need not endure the slings and arrows of responsibility: Lord Bountiful will pay. There is enough non-accountability for everybody.

Duke will readily cooperate in this not entirely empty legal theory because they have been playing Lord Bountiful for as long as there has been a Duke. Duke, patronizing and as cold as charity; Durham, snarling with ingratitude, will move forward, still locked together, toward the sunlit uplands of 'something happened'.

Or not. Heaven knows that I don't (know).

The show will continue, it seems, for a while yet. It's hard to imagine having better seats.

Thank you Dr Johnson.

Debrah said...

This is all so outrageous, but Duke is counting on the media for assistance.

And why not?

The local media are very happy to help Duke and Brodhead rewrite the story.

No honest accounts of how NCCU's student body conducted itself. Only splenetic criticism of Kristin Butler for her column in which she told the truth.

No printing of the account of Timothy Tyson being sliced and diced and shown to be a coward and a liar just days ago.

Just a printed version of his self-serving answers in which he continues to libel the lacrosse players by giving false accounts of what happened in the Spring of 2006.

Yes, Duke's attorneys really believe that their strategy will work for them.

Most of the public will only get the sanitized version of events.......unless we put up a relentless fight and demand that they cover the entire story.

Debrah said...

A Diva email to the N&O editor John Drescher with a copy sent to publisher Quarles:

John, this disturbs me.

Last night I was skimming my print version of Sunday's N&O and saw that the sterilized set of exchanges between Tyson and Zane was printed in the paper.

Nothing was mentioned of Tyson's lies and the fabrications and how he was virtually "outed" for them.

These are not "Debrah's feelings". These are facts which were proven on Zane's blog. Please review the 26 comments from a previous post there to see Tyson's performance under the fire of truth.

Is there some kind of sickness at the N&O which will not allow the facts of this case and the behavior of those for which Duke University has already had to pay millions from being presented to the average reader?

The paper allows the version of the offenders to be spotlighted in print....while the reality of this issue is confined to the blogs where most of your readers never frequent.

Here's my comment on Zane's blog about this:

06/02/08 at 09:53

It should be noted with a great deal of alarm that Zane's follow-up Q&A with Tim Tyson was printed in the Sunday edition of the paper.

Nothing else.

Just the one-dimensional exchange.

Nothing was there for readers to see that everything Tyson said was obliterated by not only KC Johnson, but multiple other commenters.

Tyson continued to libel the lacrosse players with versions of a tale that has long been proven false.

He even libeled jurors in the Hunt case and gave false accounts of what occurred. Commenters who are attorneys proved that.

Now....why would Zane and Tyson try to coordinate a flimsy set of exchanges in which attention was diverted away from this issue onto the Hunt case?

Both didn't even know how many times KC Johnson had discussed the Hunt case----which, btw, has not a thing to do with the Duke Lacrosse Hoax.

The cover-up campaign continues from many N&O employees.

The fact that the comments showing Tyson offered purely false information instead of real answers were not shown to readers in the Sunday paper is a huge example of aiding and abetting this cover-up.

More work will be required to put a halt to the "biased media".

Anonymous said...

The questionable wording of the dismissal request is designed to give a judge "predisposed" to dismissal cover after the charges are dismissed. I predict that they will be. Hope I'm wrong, but powerful politicians are engaged now and we have seen how much they care about legal rights when their narrative is challenged.

Anonymous said...

Duke's administration appears to be as selective regarding racism/race mongering, etc. as do long-time associates of Barack Obama. Hmmm....Selective reasoning by Duke, professors, or anyone else is just as stinky. I guess the facts must be "balanced" by other considerations (?).

W. R. Chambers said...

Universities are, or they should be, special places. Kingman Brewster, Jr., President of Yale during a period vastly more dangerous than the period of the Duke lacrosse / Mike Nifong cases, said this:

"Universities should be safe havens where ruthless examination of realities will not be distorted by the aim to please or inhibited by the risk of displeasure."

But when defending against the risk of civil liability in a court of law, universities can not afford to bring their ideals into the courtroom. They are no longer special places. They are commercial enterprises forced, apparently, to use the language and techniques of legal pleading and argument. In doing so, universities appear ordinary and disappointing. At least that is what, it seems to me, is happening in the Duke litigation. As a defendant Duke is less a great university and more a large corporation. The Duke in the courtroom is not an accurate representation of the Duke in Durham. I doubt whether any lawyers representing Duke could safely bring the ideals Duke actually holds dear into the courtroom without creating a financial risk.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 8:15 said,

"Poor Jamie Gorelick. Imagine what she really thinks of that Republican goon Robert Steele. And Brodhead? Ye gods."

"But, it's a big gig. "

I do not know if Steel is a registered Republican or Democrat, but I would suspect a Democrat. In actual fact, people like Steel, involved in the "BIG GAME" don't give a flip about party affiliation. They contribute to both parties.

Given Steel's history and recent connections, I imagine that he his a BIG Obama supporter and is playing for a Secretary position- Commerce or Treasury- in an Obama administration. The lawsuits are far more important to Steel than you can possibly imagine and he will do ALMOST ANYTHING not to lose. Or at least, not to be exposed.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... at what point does the expensive set of credentials that a university education represents begin to degrade ? Anybody consider that the Duke "brand" may now suffer from a long term taint ? Has the student body slowed down and considered that they are the paying customers of the business entity politely referred to as the university education ? That tolerating substandard behaviors by their employees they assent to the degradation of their own identities ?

Anonymous said...

As I wrote many months ago, the central issue of the hoax was then and remains now the actions and testimony of Tara Levicy.

What is inescapable, and KC points this out, is that there remains a finding of fact re: what she said and did.

In other words, the hoax was predicated first and foremost on medical malpractice, and it occured at the Duke University hospital.

Even if Duke is found to be not liable for everything else that happened after that point, they will remain the ultimate responsible party for what happened in the hospital.

This case is no different in this regard to any other medical malpractice case, for Duke or any other university hospital.

They cannot and will not be able to walk away from Tara Levicy. The two are inexorably bound together.

Thus, Duke will settle, and it will be huge.

Just sayin'.


Gary Packwood said...

KC said...
...The Gottlieb brief also presents the court with a dilemma, since it so directly and repeatedly contradicts the assertions and arguments in the Duke Hospital brief. If the defendants can't even get their story straight, can the court really grant a motion to dismiss?
At some point someone will need to explain why the Duke Hospital Behavioral Medicine people were not consulted with respect to Magnum's behavior. She was an admitted patient within the hospital for many hours yet apparently no one asked for a psychiatric consult.

Was the Duke University Hospital SANE unit a little 'island in the sky' that played by a set of rules that only the SANE personnel knew about?

Gottlieb must be wondering why he never asked if Magnum had been examined by a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist!

One clinical psychologist could have brought this hoax to a crashing end right there in Duke Medial Center...if only someone had asked for a consult.


Jim in San Diego said...

(w.r. chambers: "Duke cannot bring its true ideals into the courtroom")

If Duke had true ideals, and if Duke had followed them, Duke would not be in a courtroom, now.

Jim Peterson

miramar said...

One of the most troubling aspects of Duke Hospital’s actions is that they let Nifong get away with an egregious lie without calling him on it. On 29 March 2006, Nifong told WRAL: "My reading of the report of the emergency room nurse would indicate that some type of sexual assault did in fact take place."

It wasn’t until June 15 that the N&O revealed that Nifong did not receive the report until April 5, or exactly one week later. Since Duke Hospital must have been aware of Nifong’s comment, it is unconscionable that they did not put out a brief press release indicating that the report had not yet been released, and that it would be prepared by the attending physician rather than by a nurse.

There is no question that this simple act would have revealed Nifong’s dishonestly very early on and would have made it far more difficult for him to continue his vendetta against the players. By the time the June 15 article came out, there was no way to stop the case from going forward.

Debrah said...

"Given that some Duke parents spend upwards of $200,000 for four years of tuition, it would be refreshing, if only in the interests of full disclosure, for Duke to amend its recruitment items to inform parents that while the University might seem to promise that students won’t be harassed, and that professors will treat them with respect, when a politically correct crusade comes along, all bets are off."

This case is insane!

It's draining!

It's like a piece of death that has descended into a nightmare of an afterlife!

I need resolution!

I need a release!

I need to be satisfied!

This is madness!

Anonymous said...

Excellent point, GP, and one not brought up previously!

Texas Mom

Duke parent 2004 said...

In this post KC refers to FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. One of FIRE’s co-founders, Alan Kors, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, offers a powerful essay in the May issue of The New Criterion, “On the Sadness of Higher Education,” which the Wall Street Journal has made available at

Here is an example of what Kors has to say:

"Being careful, on the whole, to keep the natural and physical sciences, mathematics, and a variegated Column A of departments (sometimes psychology, sometimes philosophy, sometimes linguistics), and the professional schools that relate symbiotically to practical America relatively free of political agendas—though even in these cases, the barriers to crude politicization may break down—the careerist administrators have kept largely intact those disciplines where added value might be measured. From diverse motives of ideological sympathies and acute awareness of who can blackball their next career moves, they have given over the humanities, the soft social sciences and the entire university in loco parentis to the zealots of oppression studies and coercive identity politics. In the latter case, it truly has been a conspiracy, with networking and common plans. In the former case—the professoriate and the curriculum—it is generally, with striking politicized exceptions, a soft tyranny of groupthink, unconscious bias and self-inflated sense of a mission of demystification. Most of the professors I meet are kind, indeed sweet, and certainly mean no harm. It is profoundly sad to see what they have become."

And he concludes on this sad note:

"A model of higher education that offered a prestigious degree, high admissions standards, a superb and rigorous education, a faculty that was truly and usefully intellectually pluralistic, and a climate of individual rights and responsibilities (joined with rights of voluntary association) would, I believe, sweep the field. No one can afford to build a great university to offer that model, however. For obvious structural and institutional reasons, no one is going to "seize" a major university for such an experiment, though the vision of what could be accomplished by one great alternate model is mesmerizing. Until then, we only can work to protect the innocent, expose what the media are willing to expose, and await a generational shift in administrators and the professoriate. Such a shift, alas, not only is not on the horizon, but also recedes ever further from view given the bigotry against intellectual difference and pluralism, the incentives for conformity, the disincentives for courage and independence of mind, and the willingness, indeed eagerness, of society to subsidize those who have contempt for the very culture and values that make both that subsidy and that tolerance of derision and condescension possible."

Despite his sadness, Kors refuses to surrender. His final two sentences: "The academic world that I entered is gone. I teach for my students, whom I love, and I fight for intellectual pluralism, for legal equality and for fairness simply because it is my duty to bear witness to the values I cherish, with no expectation of success."

By the way, it was Kors who with that other founder of FIRE, Harvey Silverglate, ten years ago published the blockbuster The Shadow University: The Betrayal Of Liberty On America's Campuses, which in its dissection of the “water buffalo” incident at the University of Pennsylvania brought fame, if not fortune, to Duke’s inimitable Larry Moneta.

Debrah said...

This I just received from Drescher in reply to the Diva email:


Zane's piece on Tyson a few weeks ago didn't mention his role in the march outside the players' house. Several readers pointed that out (a fair point), so Zane decided to blog about it, and we printed their exchange in Sunday's Q. I thought it was a good way to address an omission in Zane's original story.

I don't supervise the editorial pages but I suspect Steve Ford would welcome a piece from you or KC on Tyson's comments.




Fine, but John knows I wasn't talking about the editorial pages. I want the N&O to cover the other side as they cover the Duke Hoax enablers.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Was the Duke University Hospital SANE unit a little 'island in the sky' that played by a set of rules that only the SANE personnel knew about?

As a matter of fact, it might well have been. The mindset that 'women don't lie about rape' would more likely be an axiom there than any other part of Duke Hospital. And the very idea of a psychiatric examination! Why, that would be the sort of intrusive questioning that women's rights folks have fought for three decades to banish from investigations of sexual impropriety.

CGM was a VICTIM the minute she appeared at the SANE nurse's bailiwick, and that's that.

bill anderson said...

Duke is especially vulnerable on the medical side. Had the case gone to criminal court, the defense was going to bring Dr. Ann Burgess, the African-American nurse who started the SANE program, as an expert witness. I know that Burgess was going to blow Levicy's credentials out of the water.

(Now, none of this would have mattered to a Durham jury, but others with some intelligence would have taken note.) I would not be surprised if Burgess or someone with high-level credentials is an expert witness for the plaintiffs. Believe me, DUMC has no defense against Levicy, none.

I am really shocked that Duke would give us the Levicy-did-nothing-wrong defense and "something happened." This really is disgusting, as Duke has chosen to be as dishonest as possible.

Anonymous said...

Why should it be a surprise that the lawyers for Duke would want to continue to insist that something "must have happened"? To do otherwise would call into question not just their veracity but also their intelligence. It is also of little surprise that there would be a break in the ranks of those who perpetrated the hoax. Give Gottleib some credit - he can see that he has a way out of this by blaming Levicy in the "but for her insistence the case would never have materialized". Levicy had better have a good lawyer as she is going to be set up to be the fall guy. While I would like to believe that Duke Medical Center should have to dig deep in its pockets for what seems to be malpractice and/or failure to follow hospital procedures the fact is that their (Duke Medical Center) has probably determined as their end strategy to let Levicy take the hit. I almost feel sorry for her but then I remember that but for her insistence and changing story, this case would never have materialized because Crystal Mangum would have been committed to the psych ward as someone who was obviously mentally unstable.

KC is correct that Duke should
come clean with a full disclosure to the parents of its students about its policies. However, pigs will fly before that occurs. If a rape had occurred and it was either a black on black or a white on white assault the mighty Group of 88 wold have said nothing. For them, the Mangum hoax was nothing more than a chance to perpetrate a political correctness on those areas (primarily white male athletics) where they had been unsuccessful. THe publicity which they got for their efforts also allowed them the opportunity to get their fifteen minutes of fame which (I am sure they hoped) would further along their rather pathetic careers. After all, the fighting in academia (anyone involved in academia knows this as a fact) is fiercest of all because so there is so little worth fighting over.
I hope that the plaintiffs press on for discovery even as the defendants drag their heels. It will make for a sad,but nonetheless orovoking, reading.

Michael said...

Debra mentioned that she was irritated with reharmonizer's comment that he thought that Neal was a better writer than KC.

Here's a little snippet from


Several of the team members talk about the effect of the ad in an article in the Duke Chronicle I’ve linked to several times. The three indicted players were interviewed on 60 Minutes. There are videos, interviews, statements, and articles all over the web that represent them sympathetically. I’m glad that they can be seen for who they are and not as stereotypes or criminals. I would be delighted to discuss the effects of the “listening” ad with any of the “boys,” their families, or anyone else who was on the scene and personally effected.

Michael in NH | December 29, 2007 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

Personally effected?

~ ~ ~

As opposed to vicariously effected. I remembered a better Chronicle article about the experience of the lacrosse team, though: “Living a Nightmare.”

Grammar Police said...

Should it not be personally [b]a[/b]ffected

jim2 said...

I think there may be another insight to be gained from the following:

***Should Duke be legally liable for its failure to enforce its own policies against those professors? No: the institution’s “policies must be balanced against principles of academic freedom.”***

I think Duke is offering what amounts to a legal theory that Duke is the equivalent of an unimpeachible authority (beyond even expert witness) on the balancing of "academic freedom" against anything else, and that the Courts should give Duke absolute deference in such matters, including past decisions in this case.

Could this work?

Debrah said...

Well....what a day.

I've been out since early morning and just a few minutes ago had an idea that perhaps someone on the "Bull's Eye" N&O blog might want to take up the issue of Tim Tyson's evasions and continued fabrications--nauseating as they are.

Zane isn't going to do any real reporting of truth.

So.....I phoned a guy named Rob Waters who is listed as the N&O's Durham editor.....thinking he might want to take up the issue of Tyson's continuing behavior and fabrications.

I told him that there is certainly a story in all this when a grown man can go after young students at the university where he receives a salary......

.......while touting a book he has written about "justice".

Waters wasn't very interested at all and made light of these issues. He then asked me if I had read Tyson's book, saying...."It's a hell of a book."

By that time the Diva knew that she had a typical Durham nut case on the other end of the phone.

I then asked him of he had a son.

He didn't reply to that.

He just went into this off-the-wall monologue about "all the background noise related to this case"......."some people will never let this die".....and "want to beat it to death...."

I hadn't even brought up KC when he said, "You know, people like KC Johnson and all the blogs....."

I then interrupted him and said VERY loudly,"I'm sorry. I have wasted your time. I didn't know that you were one of those 'suck-up' Durham people who follow the line. I made a mistake and thought that you might want to cover this issue from all sides for once."

I then hung up as he was taking a breath to reply.

We can talk about this forever, but NONE of us will ever comprehend the magnitude of media bias regarding this case.

If there had just been one newspaper which had covered the Hoax professionally and honestly, it might have never gotten wings.

Debrah said...

Check out this disgusting letter in today's H-S.

They print this with zeal, but didn't print the letter I sent defending Kristin Butler's which I detailed Mangum's petri dish of undergarments.

You know, it's times like these that I wish I had a relative somewhere like Rupert Murdoch or Donald Trump...or even David Geffen.......

.......and they had grand affection for the Diva in every way.

I would call them at this very moment and have them buy up every Triangle newspaper just for fun.

Then I would go in and clean them out and bring in some honest journalists who might have an interest in the facts of this case.

How much fun it would be to show people like Ashley and company---along with many at the N&O---the door.

H-S letter:

It took more than one to tango at lacrosse party

John Edwards was right when he said there are two Americas. There's the America where snotty, privileged athletes who can afford to rent big houses in residential neighborhoods, hire strippers to entertain them while they engage in underage drinking, disrupt the neighborhood and God knows what else. And there is the America where an unfortunate woman has to work her way through school by entertaining a bunch of losers by taking off her clothes while they get drunk and egg her on.

I don't blame her for getting high beforehand. Duke University and those athletes are just as responsible for that unfortunate event as that poor woman. It takes two to tango.

Bob Vasile
June 3, 2008

af said...

K. C.
Please understand what Jamie Gore-lick is saying in her petition: Crystal "Precious" Mangum IS a victim. She is a victim of her own greed and stupidity.
She saw an opportunity to make a quick buck on a group of rich white boys who were dumb enough to hire her and her partner in crime.
She was also stupid enough to cry rape a second time. I doubt seriously that she believed that anyone would find out about her first trip through Wonderland much less have the audacity to question her version of the "TrutH". Sadly, she probably believes her version of the "TrutH" or, at the very least, cannot separate fact from fantasy.
Alas, Jamie Gore-lick still can't get over Al in 2000.

Anonymous said...

I wish that it were possible to personally address Bob Vasile on his missive to the H&S. On the minor point of the size of the house - if that house counts as a big one then most of the residents of Durham must be living in something less than a tar paper shack - the very much less than desirable areas of the northern city in which I reside have homes larger than the one to which he refers.
Secondly, he is right that there are two Americas - there is the one that consists of people who work at their job in order to make money to purchase those things that they either desire or need and then there are those (aka Crystal Mangum) who try to game the system in order to have those things which they feel they are owed because of some real or perceived discrimination.
One never deserves to be the victim of a hoax and yet Mr. Vasile obviously believes that by his statement that it takes two to tango. Would he also believe that real vitims of crimes - such as the UNC student body president who was so viciously murdered deserved what happened to her because it takes two to tango? I would hope not.
What his letter does is to indicate even more so why it is the case needs to go to trial - the denizens of Durham who subscribe to Mr. Vasile's line of thinking will have to be hit where it hurts (their pocketbooks) before they will realize just what a travesty this whole affair was.
C. Schildknecht

Debrah said...

Michael @ 11:28PM--

Very funny.

Thanks for highlighting that.

Again, when Zimmerman (re:harmonizer) posted such a remark, I had to read it three times to make sure he hadn't inadvertently left out a word, or made some other mistake in typing.

I have totally changed my opinion of him after reading that.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the letter in H-S from Bob Vasile, I hope the players' attorneys are taking note of this and other letters when the defendants say that no real damage occurred to the players or their reputations... two years plus later... and people are still writing and getting published "something happened" theory letters

Anonymous said...

Referring to Jamie Gorelick and Dan McLamb Professor Johnson writes: "lawyers of this caliber". May I suggest you view this from 180 degrees - how do such legal and moral whores serve in white house administrations and on the 9/11 commission, for god's sake? How many more are there? Certainly Steele is one on the repub side.
Perhaps one should consider voting for smaller government instead of a larger one.

Debrah said...

I thought readers might have an interest in checking out Durham's Bob Vasile who wrote that disgusting letter and sent it to the H-S.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Debrah said...

A riveting performance by Bob Vasile.

Anonymous said...

Much of KC Johnson's wonderful work merely highlights the almost unbelieved miracle of North Carolina's attorney general in declaring the lacrosse team "innocent." Could anyone imagine in the light of the racist behavior of the DukeGroup88 and the Duke administration that these young men would have been or could have been declared innocent. Look at what is still happening with this dishonest group of academics and legal mongers and apologists and the way they represent the academy and their profession. They understand nothing and do everything to purge themselves of their own responsibility to be adults. They are dishonest on the face of it all, and dishonest to the core. It is as if somehow in the mounthings of their dishonest mantra of their own racial privilege and their "something happened" that somehow they can make manifest something of the nothingness of what was for the lacrosse team in reality a very horrible experience.

Anonymous said...

I used to think that these people suffered from a form of mental illness in refusing to acknowledge reality. I have come to the conclusion that what is occuring in not just any ordinary form of madness it is instead a form of evil that seems to infest this community. I wonder if there are enough trained exorcists to make a difference?

Anonymous said...


I read your account (12:52 PM) of your unfortunate conversation with Rob Waters of the N&O. I'd like to make a few suggestions as a former newspaperman, including a year or two fairly high on the food chain.

First, regarding his general complaint about "why won't this just go away?", I would not force him to relive the history of the case. Instead I would tell him that this can all go away as soon as there is a full accounting at Duke for the university's actions in the Hoax. I would compare Duke's refusal to take the initiative with the legal community's affirmative handling of Nifong. By taking it upon itself to investigate (and ultimately punish) Nifong, the legal community has cleansed itself of the taint that still stains Duke.

I would remind him of the "Truth and Reconciliation" commissions that investigated crimes under South African apartheid. I would tell him that Duke seeks reconciliation while refusing to seek the truth. I would remind him that when the Hoax was at its height, Duke formed a "Campus Culture Initiative" dominated by professors who had promoted the Hoax -- and remind him that the anti-student recommendations of the CCI failed only because the Hoax unraveled. Then I would say that in light of the actions of the faculty in the Hoax, Duke seems to need a Faculty Culture Initiative. The FCI could investigate the actions of Duke in the Hoax and make recommendations to prevent such a tragedy in the future. Since such a commission would require some outside members, perhaps Mr. Waters would be interested in volunteering for a seat on the FCI?

Finally, when Mr. Waters told me that Tyson had written "a hell of a book", I would have asked him, "How do you know a word he writes is true?" When he asked what I meant, I would refer him to his own newspaper website where Tyson was caught telling two out-and-out lies to J. Peder Zane before scurrying back behind the blue wall of silence. If Tyson's going to write lies to the N&O, what would make Mr. Waters think Tyson won't lie to book readers?

Overall, Debrah, I would treat Mr. Waters as a potential ally. He has nothing to fear (and perhaps something to gain) from an investigation of Duke's role in the Hoax. I would do all that I could to encourage him in that direction. Is it too late for you to mend fences? Even with that incredible Diva charm? :)


Debrah said...

I would urge readers to continue to check out this little website periodically.

It's a great inside view of how many in the black community of Durham have tried to justify the treatment Reade, Collin, and David received without any evidence of their guilt.

All the while spouting self-righteous platitudes about "civil rights".

This is yet another example of how nuts use religion.......thinking that will ameliorate the stench.

Debrah said...


That's a very nice alternative plan and, as usual, you regale readers with the intricacies of the issue.......

.......however, please be advised that I'm not flexible on this subject.

Trying to reason with Waters and others just like him at the N&O would be like pleading with a grown man to please stop beating up and bruising his wife.....because it's "just not nice"......maybe he could just "hit her once and a while"......and sometimes just "slap her on the back instead of bruising up her face".

In such a case as the Lacrosse Hoax, it's very clear that the guys did nothing of which they were accused. Any professional in the newspaper business who kept up with the case knew that from the start.

The fact that Waters just wants to sweep it under the rug and the fact that he had glowing praise for Tyson, indicated to me right away that he is a happy kool-aid drinker and at the N&O, behavior like that is rewarded.....

....especially when the subject is race.

And RRH, unfortunately, Diva charm was nowhere to be found in my exchange with Waters.

There are no fences to mend. I torched them.

Anonymous said...

Readers here who trust and believe in a legal system that weighs evidence, not the relative economic position of the parties might want to read Sen. Obama's, on the record comments, regarding Chief Justice Roberts.

Debrah said...

Hillary Clinton her husband Billy Jeff remind me so much of Mike Nifong.

Remember that right up until the end during his disbarment hearings, he just kept tethered to his loony idea that "something happened".

Hillary Clinton is the same. She cannot accept reality and just let go of the loony idea that anyone was going to elect her president.

It's as if some people want something to be true so very much that they display a kind of mental illness.

Debrah said...

From the N&O Bull's Eye blog:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Charlie Nelms: A church-going man

Being the new guy in town, Charlie Nelms over at N.C. Central University has spent the last year or so meeting folks in his community.

And where better to get a clear lay of the land than church?

"I go to all kinds of churches," Nelms said today in a visit to the News & Observer's editorial board. "Pentacostal, catholic, presbyterian, black, white. You learn a lot about people from going to their churches."

Nelms has been one busy guy since arriving in Durham late last summer to take over the chancellorship. He inherited a campus in flux — growing like crazy but struggling to keep students enrolled and get them to graduation day.


In his meeting with the News & Observer today, Nelms emphasized several of the points he has banged away at repeatedly since he got here: better graduation rates, higher expectations of students, and a change in recruitment strategy.

Since Day 1, Nelms has said NCCU's collective expectations are too low: students don't expect enough of themselves and professors don't demand enough achievement.

"North Carolina Central University should be a greater place of choice, where people will choose to come," he said. "There isn't any reason why our students shouldn't come with a better set of skills."

One way to improve graduation rates, Nelms said, is to recruit more community college students, who will transfer in with two years of schooling under their belts.

"You meet the needs of the students, I improve my graduation rates, and we add to the number of baccalaureate degrees here in North Carolina," he said.


It's good to know that Nelms is trying to increase graduation rates.

Perhaps this explains how Mangum obtained a degree so easily.

JAMES said...

The bottom line in Durham or just about anywhere a "white male" can never be harmed by anyone's actions.
Any other race, gender, or sexual orientation is being persecuted by reason of gender, race or sexual orientation if they are wronged.
White men must just go on being proud of our heritage but not to loudly and can't say anything about anything about discrimination in any way shape or form.

Joey7777 said...

Debrah : It does at least sound like Charlie Nelms, to his credit, is trying to raise the NCCU standards (which right now can't be too high if Mangum graduated).

Anonymous said...

I thought KC might get a kick out of this, from the Duke Chronicle comments:

Originally posted by

$ $

$ $ Who is your PIMP, R * R * H ?? $ $

$ $ $ $ K * C * J O H N S O N $ $ $

? $ ?

$ $

I must have stuck him in a sensitive spot, eh? Do you think "Pimp" may be Prof. Tyson?


Anonymous said...

Debrah - thanks for the link to the rev-elution site. Just another reason why the case needs to go forward.

Gayle Miller said...

1. Crystal Magnum LIED blatantly about being raped.

2. Even when solid exculpatory evidence was presented to the prosecutor, it was ignored.

3. A lynch mob atmosphere existed practically from Day One of this case and a number of people were eagerly scratching for their share of the 15 minutes of fame in a nationally known case with questionable bases.

All of this is simple fact. Any spin applied is both shameful and useless. How CAN these people continue to delude themselves? It is, however, a mind boggling fact of life at least in the case of the Duke LaCrosse persecution of an entire lacrosse team and 4 members of that team who were specifically targeted.

There really is - and never has been - any credible defense for the actions of far too many members of Durham/Duke's legal and academic communities.

Ultimately, everyone will be judged by Someone who sees through any evasions and/or lies, including self-deception of which, it seems, nearly everyone in this case is guilty, to see the heart and soul of the person who has committed such grave injustice upon their fellow man.