Saturday, May 03, 2014

Media & Cohan

Stuart and I had a piece yesterday in Real Clear Politics, examining how the failure of (much of) the mainstream media--both in reviewers and interviewers--to critically examine the extreme arguments of author William D. Cohan reveals a new round in the media's rush to judgment about the case. You can read the piece here.


Roger McEniry said...

Your piece is complete and total evisceration. No reply is possible from Mr. Cohan. Point finale.

Local Education said...

Does anyone know where can I go to review the sales of this book? Thanksut

Anonymous said...

Can anyone direct me to a site where I can review sales (poorly I hope) of this book? Thanks

Anonymous said...

KCJ - Thank you (and ST) for preparing such a superb summary. Well done!

Anonymous said...

"The question that lingers is: When will they ever learn?"

It's not a lack of knowledge. They're just liars.

Anonymous said...

One of the one-star reviewers at Amazon has noticed the frequency with which the words "Cohan paints" and "gripping" appear not only in positive reviews of POS, but in other positive reviews of Cohan's earlier books.


Rick said...

I sense, and understand, your frustration that the media still gives credence to something that could not have possibly happened, despite all evidence. It certainly doesn't help that the current administration claims that one out of every five women who have attended a university in the US has been sexually assaulted, does it?

Imagine, if you can, that one out of every five women that you know who have attended college has been sexually assaulted. The next time you're near a college campus, count the number of young women you see. Now imagine that every fifth girl you count has been sexually assaulted.

Hard to believe, isn't it? And yet, our vice-president says it is so.

So why do you find it amazing and outrageous that people still believe Mangum was raped?

It's enough to make you want to vote Republican, isn't it?

Jim In San Diego said...


Would there be any value to emailing the Real Clear Politics analysis to:

(a) The producers of each of Cohan's FUTURE media appearances?

(b) Those 8-9 major media reviewers who have written as if they are brain dead to the inaccurate history?

(c) The hosts of the media appearances already completed? (Sort of like "letters to the editor")?

Despite all evidence, I just have trouble processing the appetite for craven pandering among so large an audience of educated, articulate people.

It would take little effort, so could well be worth the possibility someone might take notice.

I would, however, suggest we add an introductory paragraph to establish our platform, which might (or might not) attract the attention of someone. My first draft:

"The greatest problem with Cohan's book, and speaking tour, is that they promote injustice. They promote injustice towards three innocent young men.

Even worse, they promote injustice towards Blacks and other minorities, who have long suffered disproportionately from prosecutorial misconduct like that of disgraced DA Mike Nifong.

Cohan does this by suggesting that "something happened", when it did not; by insinuating Nifong had a case, when he did not; by suggesting there was some sort of conspiracy between North Carolina attorney General Roy Cooper (who declared the young men were innocent) and others, when there was not."

I do not care the effort seems a wasted one. I think it should be done. I will help do it. Ask me.

There are other things that can be done, and others who care enough to try.


Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

And we (Americans) take umbrage about the way Putin runs Russia!?!

Big Al

Anonymous said...

Is Big Al a Communist?

KC Johnson said...

To Jim:

I do believe the wider dissemination of the RCP piece, the better.

To Rick:

As someone who accepts the science behind climate change, opposes a reflexively nationalist foreign policy, and is repulsed by a party whose platform advocates a constitutional amendment to annul the marriages of hundreds of thousands of citizens, I respectfully decline your invitation for a party switch.

That said, I've been extremely critical of the administration's approach to sexual assault, most recently this week at MTC:

On partisanship & the reviews: the worst review was Caitlin Flanagan's in the NYT, but the second worst was the WSJ's, and the best was in the liberal N&O.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson, I'm a conservative who does not care to what party you attach. I'm sort of glad I can point to a Democrat in public circles that I can say I admire. More than that, please continue your good work in the Cohan parallel universe evisceration arena and FIRE. Same goes for Jim and other of your excellent commenters.

P.S. It just has to occasionally depress the $#** out of you and Mr. Taylor to see your many year's of work being essentially ignored or not responded to.

skwilli said...

There is no doubt that the politically correct media plan on "winning" through simple repetition and perseverance. That they use individuals with such a lack of detail and intelligence to try to achieve this goal is confusing. Even a moderately intelligent (my hand goes up!) reader of this blog could debate any of these bozos with devastating effect. That they avoid KC, someone with many times over their intelligence and attention to detail, is no wonder. They wouldn't stand a chance. But I feel they could still win, just by staying in the game longer than any of the rest of us will. Even with an empty goal, they will still have trouble actually scoring any goals.

skwilli said...

And KC. You obviously haven't studied the science of climate change nearly enough. But never mind, even without a similar DIW effort by someone like you, it will fall apart in our own lifetimes. But both of us will have paid dearly anyway. A waste of monies "donated" by both of us to various political Slush Funds and no discernible change in the Earth's temperature...

Hershel Parker said...

Thank you, KC.

Rick said...

KC - Fair enough, and thank you for your response. I'm a conservative, generally vote Republican, and as I previously mentioned, I'm a retired Air Force officer (and pilot) who served 33 years, 28 years commissioned and five years enlisted prior to that. I deployed for every contingency the US participated in during my career, and hated every one, as did the vast majority of the men and women I served with, for obvious reasons. No one is more affected by war than the people who are forced to participate in it. I buried five close friends who died in the line of duty.

I really don’t think any of the contingencies during my career were any more reflexively nationalistic than Korea or Vietnam, which were in my professional opinion also completely unnecessary, accomplished nothing, and as you well know were initiated by Democrats. However, both parties share the blame for the fiascoes these wars became and the problems these wars are still are causing in the world today. This also goes for Iraq and Afghanistan.

You won’t find too many military officers who think war is a viable solution to any problem except the absolute worst-case scenario. You also won’t find too many officers who consistently vote Democrat. I have theories on this but that’s for another time and blog.

I also served with numerous gays over the years, am still friends with a lot of them, drink with them at the local VFW, have met their significant others and their kids, and have never had a problem at all with them on or off duty. This was way more common than the press would lead you to believe, and in my (again professional) opinion was pretty much the norm. The situations I did observe and hear about concerning gays in the military were along the same lines as heterosexuals who were disciplined for overt adultery, public displays of affection, etc. If you flaunted sexual regulations or allowed sexual situations to get in the way of your job, you got whacked. If you were discreet, you were generally left alone. No one cared, unless you forced them too.

As for global warming, or climate change, or whatever it is being called today, well, we’ll see. North America was once covered in glaciers. I think at one point it was also a tropical swamp, although I’m not sure on that. I’ll let the Democrats worry about that. I’m too busy worrying that North Korea or the Ukraine may lead to nuclear conflagration.

Having said all this, men in the US military are not sexual predators. Women in the US military are not sexual assault victims. There were not 26,000 sexual assaults in the military in 2012. I take this personally.

Young men on US campuses are not sexual predators. One in five women on US campuses are not victims of sexual assault. I have a son in college. I take this personally.

All of these accusations by the Obama administration are, in a word, “fantastic lies.”
This administration in particular and the Democratic Party in general have an ideological agenda that includes vilifying males by portraying them as sexual predators. I’m not sure why, but I have my theories, all of which include solidifying their hold on power. And they are willing to lie as much as they can get away. The media isn’t going to challenge them. We have to.

Thanks again for the space to rant, and thanks for the work you've done here. History will remember you for it.

Anonymous said...

Nicely done.

Duke Prof