- “police reports”: Since Cohan has spent much of the past two weeks complaining about how he didn’t obtain access to the criminal investigation file (unlike other journalists), it’s hard to imagine what new material Cohan is even talking about here.
- “medical reports”: Surely Cohan is not reviving his easily disproved claim that no one before him (not Joe Neff or 60 Minutes or ABC’s Law & Justice Unit or Duff Wilson or even me) had brought to light the report of former SANE-nurse-in-training Tara Levicy? It’s true that there has been no disclosure of Mangum’s psychological medical reports—but Cohan outright denies seeing them. So if not the Levicy report and not the Mangum files, to what other “medical reports” could he be referring?
- “reports that Duke had done”: These documents have been publicly available since the time the reports were completed, in 2006 or (in the case of the Campus Culture Initiative) 2007. They were widely reported on; I did 22 posts on the CCI alone, and Stuart and I extensively commented on the Coleman Committee report, the Bowen/Chambers report, and the CCI report in UPI.
- “email traffic”: It’s true that Cohan uncovered seven, largely innocuous, e-mails among Duke administrators, which show the first couple of hours that most of them had heard about the case. But the only remotely fresh item in the e-mails (which cover a mere two pages in the book) Cohan quickly rushes over—Dean Sue’s admission that from the start she, Burness, and Moneta knew that the captains had been “fully cooperative.”
- “including an email where one of the players, Matt Zash, said [after the party] that he ‘didn’t split dark wood’”: That would be the e-mail whose existence, correctly attributed to Zash, I blogged about on 13 June 2007.
Cohan, on the other hand, seems to have a different definition of journalism—in that, once the protagonist gives the writer a “scoop,” the writer doesn’t even try to interview anyone who tangled with the source in court, lest talking to them destroy the “scoop.” Readers will look long and hard in the Cohan book for attempts to interview the defense attorneys, the State Bar prosecutors, the criminal contempt trial prosecutor, the senior prosecutors in the AG’s office who oversaw the case, members of the State Bar’s disciplinary hearing tribunal, or the judge who presided over the case. Why ruin a good story?
Q: What did you make of the reactions of Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, who wrote their own book exonerating the players, and each wrote a very negative review?