Monday, November 02, 2009

News & Notes

Few journalists performed as poorly in the lacrosse case as Samiha Khanna. Virtually every statement in her N&O interview with false accuser Crystal Mangum turned out to be wrong. Khanna seemed not to have even bothered to do a basic reporting task—checking her interviewee’s name in the N&O database—which would have uncovered not only Mangum’s criminal conviction but would have proved that Mangum had lied to Khanna in claiming that she was a newcomer to the world of exotic dancing.

Perhaps most problematically, Khanna conceded that she was approaching the case through a far-left ideological prism: "I think Tim Tyson taught readers Sunday about a history not many were aware had occurred. Durham is a place of many new residents, people who may not have the institutional knowledge of the university's history in the community. We are trying to explore these notions as we follow up on the story in the coming weeks. In response to your specific question about Mr. Tyson’s piece—I haven’t seen an equivalent piece in other publications. Many people have spoken out about a history of sex crimes on college campuses, but not issues of race and gender on the Duke campus specifically. These are keys to thorough follow-up stories that we are working to document." [emphases added] Liestoppers correctly termed Khanna’s reporting on the case “irresponsible and willfully misleading.”

Khanna was downsized from the N&O in 2008 and spent nearly a year outside the journalism industry (as a “public relations specialist”). That’s no surprise: with the financial difficulties that journalism is currently experiencing, good reporters are having trouble getting jobs—to say nothing of figures such as Khanna.

Incredibly, however, she’s back working as a reporter—though at an entity where the sort of ideological bias she demonstrated in the lacrosse case is a job requirement. Khanna is now a beat reporter for The Independent, which formed a critical element of the Nifong base of “true believers.” Khanna’s brand of “journalism” is exactly what people expect from the Indy.

-----------------

Jesse Jackson managed to insert himself back into case-related news last week. In an interview with the Greensboro newspaper, Jackson gave his take on the case:

“The good news is those boys’ parents paid to get the proper legal representation and get them vindicated. So often, young black youth and youth who are poor, don’t have legal protection. That’s why you have 2.3 million Americans in prison.”

That’s a very different interpretation than Jackson originally offered. First, of course, Jackson stated that his organization’s donors would pay Mangum’s college tuition, even if (as ultimately occurred) it was proved that Mangum had lied. Second, he published a column riddled with false assertions: that “this was the first time [Crystal Mangum] had been hired to dance for a party”; that “the one African American on the team wasn’t there”; that “we know that the two women were abused”; that “the Duke players are maintaining a code of silence”; that “it shouldn’t take the brutalizing of a mother of two” to “lead colleges across the country to hold searching discussions about racial and sexual stereotypes, exposing the myths that entrap so many.”

And a year after writing those words, the Rev. Jackson maintained, “I didn’t make a mistake.”

Of course he didn’t. And now he’s on the scene to preach “the good news.”

--------------------

A couple of follow-up items from the comment thread regarding other experiences with the Duke fundraising arm:

I’ve had a similar experience to that of “ES Class of 1990.” For 3 years now I’ve responded to solicitations from Duke by saying that the funds I would otherwise give are “on hold” until the civil suits are resolved, because I believe the university should not be spending donor money on legal fees supporting the defense of various administrators who were not acting in the best interest of the institution and who made serious (and entirely avoidable) mistakes in judgment. This year, the student who placed the call had “talking points” about how the annual fund could not be spent on legal fees. (As if the annual fund couldn’t be spent on other things that could then free up funds from other accounts to pay legal fees!) In any event, Duke annual giving is prepared to encounter resistance from alumni who are questioning whether the institution is deserving of their largess given the current state of leadership.

Another:

The telephone exchanges I’ve had with Duke students dialing for dollars, once or twice annually, have been nearly identical to the one reported by ES Class of 1990.

Generally, the talking points for cheerful, optimistic, true blue Dukies seem to be along the line: The lacrosse affair was a long time ago, it was an unfortunate isolated incident not indicative of what’s great about our wonderful university, President Brodhead made an eloquent apology (have you seen the video?), and all that’s behind us now.

I usually ask about the status of the ongoing lawsuits, and why have several members of the Group of 88 professors been rewarded with positions of leadership and increased responsibility.

That’s where the conversations abruptly end.

51 comments:

skwilli said...

Apparently, certain people cannot make mistakes, which must be nice. I am not so fortunate.

Anonymous said...

Is Khanna a radical feminist anti-capitalist who opposes white supremacy and imperialism, with a central commitment to creating a sustainable human presence on the planet?

No Justice, No Peace said...

"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." --James Madison

One could make the case that the Duke admin, Klan of 88 faculty, employees, city officials and abettors were sudden. They most certainly encouraged violence based upon their inaction with the New Black Panthers, vigils, pot-banging, grade retaliation, and comments to the media.

Their egregious behavior that is made more relevant in the context of Madison's quote.

Abby Alger / Duke T'09 said...

I'm enjoying these fundraising stories, and find them quite unsurprising.

Duke must be hungry for cash. When they were hitting up seniors for "gifts" this spring, the appeals went from rah-rah-Duke ("give because you love our school!") to passive-aggressive threats ("give us money or our News & World Report ranking will fall and you know you would hate that").

I'd personally love to see a group of alumni and parents who are withholding their gifts in the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse case. How much do you think we're all worth?

f1guyus said...

I'm going to be charitable and say that Samiha Khanna and others of her ilk in mediaworld are lazy and incompetent. Lot of that going around.

Panacea said...

When Tim Tyson's name is mentioned it's just another reminder that "honesty is not a required trait in academia."

Anyone that has visited this website clearly can see that Tim Tyson was breed from a family of fabricators.

And to think that Duke gleefully employees the likes of Tyson and the group of 88 is very disturbing. How many other universities support the personal agenda of one of their professors?

Even the former BOT chairman of Duke Bob Steel
believes race-hustling is a good business.

Anonymous said...

Is Khanna a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the 10:28 AM commentor for beating the 9:36 PM commentor to the observation about Khanna. I hope my sarcasm detector was adjusted properly when I made that conclusion . . . .

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 9:36 PM, who said, "Is Khanna a Communist?"

No one says "Communist" anymore. Especially Communists.

You're behind the times.

Gary Packwood said...

Is Khanna a Capitalist?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Dang, I thought Khanna was a journalist. Now it all makes sense...she doesn't give a fig for the truth, only for her causes.

Cat's Eye Private Investigations said...

It's unfortunate that Khanna had to make that sort of a mistake...

Panacea said...

It's a shame that people like Samiha Khanna can't be held responsible for their recklessness.
To think that she and the N&O were all set to use Tim Tyson's tall tales as a source of reporting on the lacrosse case. That idea didn't work out too well, to say the least. But truth is, the N&O always allows Tyson to put forth anything he chooses as truth.
And not to be forgotten is that Khanna's boss at the time, Linda Williams, is still firmly in place over there.

Anonymous said...

Khanna is a Stalinist...

haskell said...

The latest from Wonderland:
Sex Toy Parties at Duke
You cannot make this stuff up

Anonymous said...

Raleigh News and Observer writer Anne Blyth reports that Duke University researchers are soliciting female students at Duke to participate in a "tupperware-like" get together to examine sex toys and to discuss sexual activity using the sex toys. Apparently, the study is designed to determine whether or not masterbation can be an alternative to heterosexual sex on the Duke campus.

Of course, Duke spokesperson's defend this "research" as appropriate.

Does anyone at Duke care how the university's image continues to spiral downward? Are Chairman Bobby Steele and President Richard Brodhead proud of this "cutting edge" research? I'd like to see this "research" project discussed by Brodhead with alumni or with corporate moguls from whom he is attempting to elicit contributions.

No Justice, No Peace said...

Critics challenge validity of Balch Springs mayor's doctorate

"Carrie Gordon is mayor of Balch Springs and a Dallas city planner. But it's another title she uses – doctor – that has some critics complaining.

Gordon holds a doctorate in administration and management from Columbia Pacific University, a nonaccredited, now-defunct correspondence school that the state of Texas does not recognize.

When she ran for mayor of Balch Springs this year, Gordon used the title of "doctor" extensively – including more than 20 times on her campaign Web site, on campaign signs and T-shirts, and in campaign filings. She's listed on the Balch Springs City Council's Web site as doctor..."

As a practical matter the degrees of separation from a Columbia Pacific University degree and some conferred at Duke aren't really that vast.

Of course there is the tuition gap...

Anonymous said...

KC, re: your news and notes, note how Holloway and ethics has become an association that denies the realities of her patently unethical behavior during the lacrosse event ( refuse to call it a scandal). Appointment to the Hastings Center? Really? But of course Duke thinks this is newsworthy.

http://news.duke.edu/2009/10/holloway.html

halides1 said...

Ms. Khanna has just written a story on misconduct within the Durham police department (http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A405512). A second article in the Independent Weekly examines Chapel Hill.

Chris

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Anonymous said...

Jackson thinks 2.3 million people are in prison cause they can't afford good lawyers. Um, sorry Jesse they are in prison cause they are GUILTY. Young black males make up a huge disproportiate amount of violent crime. Stop making it sound like it is some error on the part of society that puts them there

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