Every so often, a post or comment comes along that even I find extraordinary. Such was the case with a recent post by Nicole Kubon, a self-described “modern day feminist, struggling between the desire for social change and bitterness towards the depraved decadence of our backward culture."
Kubon, who claims to possess a Masters’ Degree in social work from the University of Michigan, posted an item stating, “If you like the Duke Lacrosse Team because they are really good at running around, throwing balls to each other in little nets, and getting high after games, it might be hard to hear that they allgot inordinately drunk and sexually assaulted a stripper they hired for their drunkfest.” [emphasis added]
Not even the false accuser Crystal Mangum ever claimed that she was sexually assaulted by all the people at the party (though she did seem to make one assertion, which she quickly retracted, that 20 people had raped her). And, more generally, I was curious as to what evidence Kubon possessed to substantiate her assertion, and in particular whether she had read the official reports of the North Carolina State Bar and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office.
In reply to an e-mail from me, Kubon asserted that in making her claims, she relied on this March 26, 2006 posting from Brendan Nyhan. Yet this particular Nyhan post was far from his last word on the matter--it certainly didn't reflect his overall views on the lacrosse case--and all the post did was to (correctly) suggest that the story was likely to get a lot of attention and to alert readers to the (error-riddled) Khanna N&O “interview” with Mangum.* In this respect, Kubon is sort of an extreme version of the Group of 88, someone who rushed to judgment about the case and then simply closed her mind to any and all inconvenient data points that emerged thereafter. Even most of the Group of 88, however, are not so fantastically closed-minded. (Houston Baker, Grant Farred, and perhaps Wahneema Lubiano would fall into Kubon territory.) In a follow-up e-mail, Kubon then retracted her claim that she had relied on the March 2006 blog post for her own writings, but refused to supply any additional material on which she based her assertions. She also declined to state whether or not she had read the AG’s report.
Quite oddly, Kubon further informed me that her original post hadn’t proclaimed that all (or even any) of the lacrosse players were guilty. I’m not sure how else anyone would interpret the following line: “They all got inordinately drunk and sexually assaulted a stripper they hired for their drunkfest.” [emphasis added]
Kubon also appeared to be quite angry that commenters had criticized her . . . cavalier . . . use of facts. She promised that, since she “believe[s] that something happened that night,” she will not issue a correction of her post, and that she has no obligation to actually substantiate her claims with facts or evidence.
It is, to put it mildly, rather difficult to come up with a response, other than utter contempt, to a figure who all but gloats about her closed-mindedness while making heinous accusations against people.
*--modified for clarity, and to stress that, given his position as a Duke-based blogger as of 3-26-06, there was nothing, in any way, improper about Nyhan's post.