Friday, August 05, 2011

Rob Taylor Cracks the Case

At this stage, nothing about the lacrosse case should in any way surprise me—but then someone like Rob Taylor comes along. Taylor, who runs a crime-related blog out of Greenville, South Carolina, was invited by Frontpage to participate in a forum on the Casey Anthony trial. The panel’s other members: Alan Dershowitz, Bill Anderson, and Ben Shapiro, a Harvard Law grad and Los Angeles lawyer.

After a reference to Nancy Grace’s appalling coverage of the Anthony trial, the forum moderator mentioned Grace’s even more appalling treatment of the lacrosse case. But Taylor would have none of it.

The accused in that case [emphasis added],” he huffed, “aren’t innocent. Innocent people don’t gangbang hookers, they don’t stiff hookers and they don’t hurl racial slurs at them.” Dave Evans, Reade Seligmann, and Collin Finnerty—“the accused in that case”— were guilty, Taylor wildly continued, of “criminality and immoral behavior . . . three guys stiffed a hooker and got burned . . . My point here is that though they weren’t guilty of rape they were not innocent. They hired two hookers (not strippers), didn’t get the color they wanted and when an argument ensued started calling them the ‘n’ word. Justice prevailed – but they brought this on themselves when they hired and fought with two drug addled hookers.” The falsely accused players, Taylor concluded, are “degenerates whose degeneracy led them to be the victims of other degenerates.”

(The FrontPage moderator vehemently rebuked Taylor for his comments, though the magazine nonetheless printed Taylor’s wild assertions.)

I concluded that, perhaps, Taylor had obtained secret and heretofore-unrevealed evidence about what transpired at the party, since I couldn’t imagine that someone at this stage would be so willfully inaccurate in a public forum. So I wrote to Taylor, identified my background and connection to the case, and asked him for the evidence upon which he based his opinions. I pointed out that the known evidence contradicted Taylor’s version of events in at least five ways:

(1) That despite Taylor’s assertion that “though they weren’t guilty of rape they were not innocent. They hired two hookers,” Seligmann and Finnerty played no role in the planning of the party, much less the decision to hire the strippers;

(2) That despite Taylor’s assertion that the allegedly “innocent people” had elected to “gangbang hookers,” there was no evidence, including the negative DNA tests, of any sexual contact of any kind between Crystal Mangum and Seligmann, Finnerty, or Evans (or to any lacrosse player);

(3) That despite Taylor’s assertion that “though they weren’t guilty of rape they were not innocent. They hired two hookers (not strippers), didn’t get the color they wanted and when an argument ensued started calling them the ‘n’ word,” unimpeachable electronic data confirmed that neither Seligmman nor Finnerty were even present at the house when one player hurled a racial epithet at the second dancer, Kim Roberts;

(4) That despite Taylor’s description of Roberts as one of “two drug addled hookers,” no evidence exists that Roberts was a hooker, or that she was “drug addled” or in any way incapacitated; and

(5) That despite Taylor’s assertion that “they hired two hookers,” no evidence exists that the player who hired the strippers (who was, of course, not one of the falsely accused players, despite Taylor’s claim to the contrary) actually intended to hire not strippers but hookers.

It’s difficult to paraphrase Taylor’s response, so I’ll print it below, with the profanity as in the original:

Are you kidding? I have $500 for you (if you're married) and you go tell your wife now that you want to hire strippers from an escort service. [As none of the people at the party were married, I’m not sure what point Taylor is attempting to make here—ed.] Then go to a strip club with real strippers and ask them to insert something in themselves without having the bouncer beat you half to death.

This is what my comments were about - common fucking sense. These kids hired hookers. That's who you hire from escort services and there are no "strippers" who work frat houses [Taylor appears unaware of the nearly two dozen Duke parties in the 2005-6 academic year that hired escorts—ed.]. You know that. You're pretending not to because it's convenient.

I didn't say this or that individual did a specific act - I said if you hire drugged out hookers and they know where you live you should remain on good terms with them. You're little boyfriends are lucky that Mangum - who as it turned out was an insane murderer - didn't kill one of them and you and I both know she was probably planning that before she killed her old man. They put themselves in danger just like people who buy weed in Prospect park do. In your rush to defend them you pretend they weren't doing anything wrong or that they themselves weren't committing crimes. Like underage drinking or HIRING ESCORTS. They were not guilty of rape - but they weren't innocent. That word should means something in our society but it doesn't because degenerates like yourself are so eager to deflect judgement from society they work to promote the illusion that morality is subjective.

Now for your question when Anderson mentioned the case I went to other crime blogs and read the archived police and witness statements. Then I used common sense. I'm from jersey - I met strippers and I currently have a couple of tipsters who work in the sex industry. I know the deal. You can Google and find the same sites I went to.

Now let me lay a real truth on you. You teach at some college that's a step above Essex County Community. I have a Masters from Wesleyan University.Neither of these things matter[emphasis in original] and the fact that you're an academic with time to run a blog about old cases is not as impressive as you would think. I get paid to do this - I make a living writing on the web etc. I don't get paid to debate with random weirdos on the web (except in that Frontpage piece). I don't know who you think you are, but the sense of entitlement that drives you to think I need to answer to you is the similar to the one that makes idiots think hookers don't have ways of getting even with them. Contemplate this.

I get it. You want to promote the book you slapped your name on which is no doubt about this case. [I actually have published six books; and have done no promotional work for the lacrosse book in more than three years—ed.] But before you insert yourself into this moment on the web I can tell you that it's my policy to ignore and/or mock people who are condescending in their emails. Also I publish them along with their contact info. [My contact info. is already public, on both the blog and my personal website—ed.] Now if you want to rethink what you wrote and contact me in a more respectful manner I might trade a cordial email with you. But right now I'm going to tell you I'm working, and you need to get a real job hippy because it's the middle of the goddamn day and you're trolling me via email.

If you don't like what I said leave a comment at Frontpage. Who are you think I'd want to engage you personally? I moved out of NYC (The Bronx - where real men live) because I don't like New Yorkers. Not interested in talking to any now. [Though I work in New York, I’m actually a resident of Maine. I presume Taylor doesn’t like Mainers, either—ed.]

Sifting through this extraordinarily angry and defensive response, it would be easy (and not altogether inaccurate) to dismiss Taylor as full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. That said, a few items stand out:

(1) Taylor consumed quite a few words (618, to be exact) to say what could have been said in one sentence (i.e., “I can say whatever I want about the case, and refuse to provide any documentation for my remarks.”)

(2) Why? One theory: Taylor recognized that he needed to walk back the most obviously false (and almost certainly defamatory) item of his Frontpage screed—his assertion that the three falsely accused players (1) hired “hookers”; (2) participated in a “gangbang” with one of these “hookers”; and (3) hurled a racial slur at both Roberts and Mangum.

Yet Taylor’s denial—“I didn't say this or that individual did a specific act”—is absurd. He clearly referred to “the accused,” the “three guys,” who “though they weren’t guilty of rape . . . were not innocent.” Rather than retract his demonstrably false statements about Seligmann, Finnerty, and Evans, Taylor simply asserted that he didn’t say what he said—even though there’s a permanent record of his remarks.

Indeed, by admitting that he had researched the case, including police reports, before penning his incendiary remarks, Taylor has sacrificed any claim of ignorance about the case. Instead, he all but admitted that he defamed the three falsely accused players—“the accused”—with actual malice.

(3) Even if only 1 percent of the American public shares both Taylor’s ignorance and his indifference to facts, that would total more than 3 million people—suggesting the massive, and likely permanent, nature of the harm caused to the falsely accused players by the misconduct of Nifong, the DPD, and DNA Security.


Quasimodo said...

"suggesting the massive, and likely permanent, nature of the harm caused to the falsely accused players by the misconduct of Nifong, the DPD, and DNA Security."

More proof, if any were needed, that the slanders heaped on the players during the case (and never recanted or apologized for by Duke, Durham, or most of the media) have still not been adequately refuted in the public mind; and likely won't be, until the public is able to learn all the facts behind the false prosecution.

Skates said...

Simply unbeleivble!!! No not really
I have followed this case to long. Great post great job K.C. Pleae keep it coming. Our legal system is devastatingly slow. I need closure for myself and these three young men. Help. My fathers a retired lawyer and he has given up on the system. These young men will be in their forties when all this is wrapped up. God Bless them!

Bumper said...

It's always nice when a person like Mr. Taylor, who has nothing to add to the conversation, proves it.

SULax88 said...

So we have now added to the title of "Blog Hooligans" the appleation of "Random Wierdos"?

Really,KC, where do they find these guys.



William L. Anderson said...

When I took part in this whole debate, I did not know who the others would be, although it did not take long to recognize Alan Dershowitz's name, and I enjoyed his comments.

Ben Shapiro has become pretty well known among conservatives, as he was writing columns while still in college, and his comments were measured, as one might expect from a practicing attorney. I did not know anything about Taylor, and now that K.C. has further taken the guy apart, I don't WANT to know anything more from him. (Maybe Sidney Harr can pick up Taylor as a fellow contributor.)

If the guy actually is making money from his mad rants, then it proves P.T. Barnum's point that "a sucker is born every minute." He reminds me of a foul-mouthed Nasty Nancy Graceless, but the two are cut from the same cloth.

coniston said...

"I didn't say this or that individual did a specific act - I said if you hire drugged out hookers and they know where you live you should remain on good terms with them. You're little boyfriends are lucky that Mangum - who as it turned out was an insane murderer - didn't kill one of them and you and I both know she was probably planning that before she killed her old man."

This is not a rational argument. Unable to put coherent thoughts together, he rants in a scatter-shot manner. I don't think he is reachable by a calm presentation of facts. When claims are made about ignorant America this reply could be admitted as evidence.

Perhaps this is just a case of bad spell check and poor proofreading but in both small community colleges and at Wesleyan "you're" in this case should be "your" little boyfriends....

Anonymous said...

A graduate of Wesleyan Mr. Taylor may well be, but from reading his rant it is obvious that spelling, good grammar, and polite discourse were never a part of his education, let alone the ability to read critically.


Gary Packwood said...

The followers of Rob Taylor are those groups of citizens who usually don't turn ugly towards a university unless the issue involves students parking on side streets or the bigger issue of universities not paying property taxes.

But they are a force to be reckoned with when they become fearful of home grown conspiracies and strangers (aka - carpetbaggers) and their strange ways.

And the Gang of 88 and Nifong knew that Oh-So-Well!

The next time a group of university faculty and staff wants to shut-down fraternities or NCAA sanctioned sports teams on campus look no further than Rob Taylor type groupies and measure their level of fear and hate.

It should be the responsibility of the university leadership to bring these people to campus for a whole host of different reasons to continually reduce their level of fear and anxiety.

Deal with these people now as neighbors or deal with them during a highly organized 'Castrate March' seen across the world thanks to world wide news organizations.

The Rob Taylors of the world are always watching and looking for opportunities to spew-forth their Oh-So-Very practiced narratives.

Barbar Seville said...

Are you sure he isn't really Houston Baker in disguise?

If not, don't be surprised to see him named as the next Distinguished Professor of Angry Studies at Vanderbilt.

Tim G said...

Until a can of legal woop-a** laid upon characters like this, they will continue as they pai not price for their comments.

jim2 said...

I am not a lawyer, so I must ask.

Would Taylor's public comments provide sufficient bases for successful slander/libel suits by the three indicted individuals?

Michael said...

> Now let me lay a real truth on you. You teach at some college that's
> a step above Essex County Community. I have a Masters from Wesleyan
> University.

I guess he didn't look up your credentials.

Rob Taylor is the controversial webmaster of Red Alerts and Greenville
Dragnet and is godfather of the Conservative Pagan movement. After
leaving the academic world where he received a degree in Comparative
Religion and a Master of Liberal Arts from Wesleyan University, he
began his career as a web content developer and political activist. He
gained notoriety for his coverage of crime in the Neo-pagan and occult
communities and resisting the pressure to be politically correct.

Anonymous said...

This has been said in different ways many times. The ad hominem attack is the resort of an individual who can not deal with truths with which he has been presented.

Anonymous said...

Wesleyan must be awfully proud of having conferred a degree on this wing-nut ass-clown.

gak said...

I must ask the same as Jim2 above, at what point do these ramblings become slander/libel? Is there a lawyer who can answer that?

Anonymous said...

I didn't think it was possible to graduate from high school by writing that badly, much less gain admission to Wesleyan.

Anonymous said...

His blogging doesn't look any better than his emails.

Who is it that's paying this guy to blog? (Assuming he's actually telling the truth about that).

Anonymous said...

Is Taylor a Communist?

John said...

I read the transcript on the FP link and I have to say I am speechless. His diatribe made absolutely no sense, and he was rightly grilled by every other party.

The other panelists bring up the Duke case to highlight a very interesting phenomena; the media driven creation of a false narrative and its long lasting effects on criminal investigations. Taylor’s diatribe illustrates that sensationalistic hate-mongering, ala Nancy Grace, can have a long lasting effect on how these stories are perceived even after the truth is revealed. In the case of the Casey Anthony trial, this media-driven narrative exists independent of the defendant’s actual innocence or guilt. Casey Anthony may or may not have killed her daughter, but to a large extent the criminal proceeding was subsumed by a public rush to judgment and quest for vengeance.

In any case, I find it odd that people such as Taylor can concoct such a long and varied series of lies regarding the Duke defendants. Despite the fact that the other woman refuted Magnum’s accusations, the DA’s own criminal wrongdoing, and the AG’s finding of complete innocence, the meme created by Nancy Grace and company still runs strong.

Taylor also seems to be quite misogynistic. He obsessively describes the strippers as "hookers," and anything related to hiring strippers as prostitution. His extremely derogatory tone towards them due to their profession suggests a strongly puritanical set of beliefs; as if only criminal, immoral folk would associate in such as way.

Anonymous said...

You're little boyfriends are lucky that Mangum.

(i)As noticed above it should be your.
(ii) Is this meant to be a homophobic slur?

Chris Halkides said...

In a backhanded sort of way, we should be glad for the Rob Taylor's of the world. Quasimodo is right; they illustrate that the initial rush to judgment was never fully counteracted by the exoneration.

DocRambo said...

This fellow used 618 words, and really said nothing. With his dysfunctional writing, one could put forward a case of impairment-psychological or pharmaceutical, or both. K.C. keep up the good work, and let A__H__es like this know they can't get away with it. It would also be good to forward the exchange to the lawyers involved, it seems that the idiot has made a case against himself.

Anonymous said...

If this is correct then hookers are committing a lot of violent crimes while they are getting even with everyone. I will treat my hookers better. Thank you for the advice. He already has Precious declared as "insane" and with his knowledge of hookers, he will surely be called as an expert witness for the defense. To bad he did not work for Durham NC during the case.

He sounds like an authority on how to treat drugged out hookers. Maybe it should be his next book and made part of the college curriculum.

Pierce Harlan said...

I am laughing out loud!

If he was so terribly opposed to learning the most fundamental facts about the case, at the very least he should have checked out the reviews for your book before he made a global ass of himself.

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Taylor:

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Mr. Taylor....DUUUUUDDDEEE....chill, skippy. Take a pill or hire a hooker. That vein in the middle of your forehead is gonna blow.

skwilli said...

Missed a few weeks of the blog and all Heck breaks loose! Take him down, KC, take him down. (I mean further than you already have.) Research must not be his forte!

Anonymous said...

Taylor is a flesh-and-blood internet troll, and one of the few people who can -- merely through the simple act of self-indentification -- defame an entire state. This Jersey guy also needs to queue up for apologies to the lacrosse players. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Kenny Powers if he never played baseball.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I've got to catch up on the DiW reading after losing touch in the post Nifong days. Returned after being pinged about Nifong's replacement via the N&O series and of course had to find KC's take on this.....glad to see KC and friends are still seeking justice from the social justice system.

Anonymous said...

Wesleyan U. must be so proud.