A refusal to apologize appears to be in the air this week in
Much like the Group of 88, Ashley has expressed bafflement as to why his paper’s transparently pro-Nifong coverage was cited by the defense as one of four factors in the change of venue motion. In an interview with Editor and Publisher, Ashley reinvented the past by fantastically claiming that not only did the H-S offer fair and balanced coverage from the start, but it actively upheld the defendants' presumption of innocence.
Ashley neglected to explain how articles like his post-60 Minutes "roundtable" (which contained only commenters sympathetic to the case going to trial) fit into this agenda. Nor is it clear how the H-S upheld a presumption of innocence in its post-election editorial asserting that since “an upcoming trial . . . is sure to draw major media attention, it would be better for the players to have an opportunity to prove their innocence at trial.”
While the E&P article projected a tone of skepticism about Ashley's claims, it failed to point out any of the myriad examples of the H-S editor's embarrassing performance over the past several months.
According to Ashley, “we have tried to report the facts as they’ve been produced, the facts as they have been publicly available. And when the defense attorneys have produced evidence available to their clients, we have reported that.”
That’s news to the H-S’ dwindling circulation base (down nearly 10 percent since the case started, a fact oddly unmentioned by E&P): at several points in the case, Ashley and his reporters went out of their way not to report evidence casting doubt on Nifong’s actions. Months passed before the paper interviewed Jim Coleman about his prescient calls for Nifong to step aside in favor of a special prosecutor. To my knowledge, the paper has never mentioned General Order 4077, the
To E&P, the editor spoke of the difficulty of getting “breaking news” on the story. (The N&O’s Joe Neff has seemed to succeed here; perhaps he was just lucky.) “Are there bits here and there, given hindsight, we would have liked to have reported sooner? Yes,” Ashley mused. “I wished we had sources and had ferreted them out, but it wasn’t there.”
There’s little evidence that either Ashley or his reporters have worked very hard on such matters. In an October appearance at Duke, the editor suggested that the paper might do more with the viciously anti-Duke attitudes of some residents of the Trinity Park neighborhood and the troubling actions of the Durham Police Department. In the 10 weeks since he made his remarks, the H-S hasn’t carried even one story on either issue.
Tilting both news and editorial coverage in such a one-sided direction carries severe risks: if the paper’s side turns out to have no evidence and to have engaged in massive prosecutorial misconduct, it’s unlikely that the paper’s sources will provide much valuable information.
To my knowledge, the Herald-Sun “broke” three lacrosse case stories, each of which came from obvious prosecution leaks and seemed designed to rebut troubling developments for Mike Nifong.
Two of these “scoops” proved inaccurate.
The first inaccurate tale was John Stevenson’s borderline fraudulent recapitulation of the DNA “evidence,” which he (along with pro-prosecution NAACP “case monitor” Irving Joyner) presented in the summer as a major breakthrough for Nifong. In his article, Stevenson suggested that the true facts regarding DNA had been concealed—a correct supposition, as we know now. But, he claimed, the defense, not Nifong, had done the concealing. The story that changed the case, in short, was right there under Stevenson’s nose. And he managed to present it in a pro-Nifong fashion—no easy task.
Several weeks later, Stevenson (whose puff pieces regularly were reprinted on the Nifong campaign website) continued to do Nifong’s dirty work. On November 2, he cited an affidavit from Platinum Club owner Victor Olatoye disputing 60 Minutes’ account that the accuser was dancing, in a most limber fashion, only days after the alleged attack. A critical swing in public opinion for Nifong, it seemed. The next day, however, the H-S had to retract the story after Olatoye admitted he was wrong.
The “accurate” H-S scoop, meanwhile, came in a September story by Ray Gronberg designed to minimize damaging information from the N&O and the Duke Chronicle about Sgt. Mark Gottlieb’s record of disproportionately arresting Duke students for alcohol-related offenses. But the “scoop” unintentionally made things worse for Nifong: the Durham PD went on record admitting that Gottlieb was carrying out an official departmental policy.
Nor could the piece be characterized as an example of good journalism: Gronberg admitted in the article he had never looked at the case files of the students Gottlieb had arrested. He blamed the oversight on “
Ashley conceded the problem of not knowing about the Nifong-Meehan DNA conspiracy. But, he added, “We have reported the facts as they have become known and it has been an unfolding story we could only report as it unfolds.”
It is unclear how that philosophy would explain the single worst “news” article on the case in recent months. In early November, Stevenson suggested that a
E&P reporter Joe Strupp got a first-hand taste of H-S editorial policy in analyzing the editorial on Nifong’s recusal. The editorial, Strupp correctly noted, “made it appear as if [the recusal] was a courageous move by Nifong rather than a forced removal prompted by his own poor actions.” Moreover, the editorial “stopped short of openly criticizing Nifong, or pointing out that recent revelations indicate the lacrosse player’s guilt is much less-apparent than it was months ago. Instead, the paper urges readers to remember that the suspects could still face jail.”
Massive prosecutorial misconduct, including the possibility of a D.A. abusing his authority to frame innocent people, is not a theme that has interested H-S editorial writers over the past seven months. Strupp notes that Ashley himself doesn’t write H-S editorials. But the editor set the tone that all subsequent editorials have followed in a July column, where he cited the work of Andrew Cohen to suggest that the case needed to go to trial, regardless of Nifong’s misconduct or Reade Seligmann’s demonstrable innocence.
In the interview, Ashley came as close as he has at any point in the case to admitting a motive for his paper’s bias. The paper, paraphrased E&P, needs “to maintain its relationships in the city and continue to report after larger media outlets leave.” In other words: Duke students don’t subscribe to the H-S. But Nifong enablers do. If the paper had to avoid the truth so as not to alienate its customer base, so be it.
E&P yesterday published a letter responding to Ashley's claims:
I suppose I shouldn't have expected anything other than defense of the rightness of their ways, but as I was reading the words of the local paper's editor, it seemed that all of Nifong's supporters are trying to shield one another, and one of their arguing points is that some charges are still pending against the accused, and the DA still believes in the case. If Nifong actually does still believe in his case, at least we know that one reason for his past behavior was extreme stupidity. The same can be said for that birdbrained editor. It's incredible that someone this gullible and naive is in charge of newspaper stories. The credibility of that newspaper must be approximately zero by now. And I don't think those guys learned anything at all from their blunders. It sure doesn't sound like it. They seem every bit as dumb today as they've shown themselves to be for the past year.
Not exactly the philosophy that will win the H-S too many Pulitzers, I’m afraid.
KC: From the last thread. I was thinking along the same lines, these people are really dense:
Okay. Let's hit the easily viewed, shallow counter-attack points one at a time:
1. Hollaway states to Cash Michael that some unidentified lacrosse player, or someone else, or this guy named Fred, or something said to somebody, who then made a phone call, who then reported to Mr. X, who then passed it on to Ms. Hollaway, that someone at the party made a racist remark. We all know that the other dancer totally destroyed this little fairy tale, but bear with me.
2. The Group of 87 comes out with a letter that they aren't into lynching their own students, they are just misunderstood. They just oppose those nasty racists in their group, gosh, they are under every rock, you see. This little mantra is the race-hustlers version of "puppys are nice." It's generic, and it assumes everyone can agree with it. The fact that it's not a view any rational person holds has not crossed their minds. The idea that racists roam the Duke campus in droves is, as KC points out, a ludicrous position. I hear Brown has a serious racist problem too. Get real.
3. The NAACP suddenly turns into a law and order outfit, and begs all of us to accept that maybe three students' civil rights were violated, but golly, let's allow "justice" to take its course. No, pray be silent, protesting the events will do no one any good. Sure glad MLK isn't alive to see this one. Rosa Parks, just sit in the back of that bus, that's the law. The shallowness of their position given the history of the Civil Rights movement, and its refusal to accept different standards for people based upon race, is outrageous.
Getting the pattern? This coven of the weak-minded is actually launching a counter-offensive now that the facts are turning against them, and public perception with it. The reason is simple - The media, even their most trusted media outlets, are not giving voice to their arguments and views. The hypocricy of their position has become too evident for even the LA Times to support. The players got railroaded, and the accuser is a lier.
Now they are trying to recast themselves in a different light, but they use the same tired language to do it. It's not working. They have no moral high ground from which to speak.
It would be better if all of these groups did the following - Apologize.
I, for one, am not holding my breath.
The first inaccurate tale was John Stevenson’s borderline fraudulent recapitulation of the DNA “evidence,” which he (along with pro-prosecution NAACP “case monitor” Irving Joyner) presented in the summer as a major breakthrough for Nifong. In his article, Stevenson suggested that the true facts regarding DNA had been concealed—a correct supposition, as we know now.
Classic KC. Have you considered writing a book? LOL.
Except for Neff and, on occasion, Niolet, the Raleigh paper has been an embarrassment to California-based McClatchy. The Paxton Media-owned Durham paper doesn't even rise to the level of embarrassment for its Kentucky proprietors. The March 24 and March 25 editions of the Raleigh paper will be used as examples to future journalists of how not to cover a controversial story. And what about the poster published in the Raleigh paper of 40-something lacrosse players — the so-called vigilante poster? Who wrote and printed the poster and did the Raleigh paper libel the lacrosse players. At some point, D-i-W should consider posting the March 24 and 25 stories to allow new readers to decide for themselves.
Just when it looks like the case is closing out, here comes the Willmington Journal with their "eye" piece. Bill A.and KC - What do you think of the piece? Looks like Cash to me.
I'm remined of our "agent" who wanted something done about this counter attack last night.
I think you got it right. Foundering on the rocks.
Nothing has to be done. The attack will spend itself with no result. The troops are tired. Their morale down. The old war cries no longer rouse them.
The Wilmington Journal is a pathetic joke.
The W-Journal piece is written in Cash's style, so I assume it was penned by him.
Yes, it's quite a hatchet job. The photos of the party are widely available--if that party represented "perverted" behavior, then perhaps Michaels is aiming for a visiting professor of journalism position at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.
Wasn't there a Bar hearing today? Where is Kemp when you need him?
This "mother of all media blitzes" seems to have spent itself already. It's like they're caught in quiclsand and the more they thrash around the quicker they sink. They've lost the battle in the courts, the blogs and the mainstream media. They seem to be a humourless bunch to start with but these must be pretty dark days in the ivory tower.
Ashley and the Herald-Sun are going down with the SS Nifong. They're still desperately trying to bail water out but they're sinking fast.
Cash and the Wilmington Journal appear to be attempting a scorched earth retreat. I expect them to try anything.
Can someone provide a link to the W-J "eye" piece?
Thanks in advance.
link to WJ "Eye" piece
truly a piece of wretched journalism. Objectivity went out the window with this article.
12:40 thanks, just read it. What a hack job.
No one pays any attention to the Wilmington Journal. It should be ignored.
I respect the rump and Ashley for not apologizing--shows some degree of integrity.
How do we attach their bank accounts?
Hey Karla, what's your access code?
Here's the link to Cash's anonymous polemic; a real beauty
In case youre wondering, he signs off the article with..
North Carolina’s African-American community, and anyone else who believes true justice comes from the gavel of a judge, not the demands of a mob; or slick, race-baiting defense attorneys.
If during the summer "Stevenson suggested that the true facts regarding DNA had been concealed" perhaps Nifong had inferred to him that something was being held back. Stevenson incorrectly concluded that it implicated the boys rather than exonerated them.
If and when a case is made against Nifong for withholding evidence, could Stevenson then be subpoenaed to testify as to his discussions with Nifong regarding the withheld DNA. If Stevenson refused to testify could he then be held in contempt and forced to do jail time? WOW!
The money quote:
"After all, as a Democrat, just like Mike Nifong, you need the Black vote for any future political aspirations."
So soon after MLK day too.
The whole WJ article implies the black vote is for sale and the minimum price is the further prosecution of 3 of the white boys at the perverted party.
re: Prof Johnson you got the money quote, "The paper, paraphrased E&P, needs “to maintain its relationships in the city and continue to report after larger media outlets leave.” As you said, the guy just admitted he is bowing to his racists readership.
re: Esquire MD, Excellent post you really nailed what the rump Gang of 88 are trying to do.
I was very happy to cancel my subscription to the H/S on the day after the election.
Similar to someone's experience with the NYT when I called the H/S I was asked:
"May I ask why you're cancelling your subscription?"
"Sure, because the reporting stinks."
"Any particular reporting?"
"No, all of it -- from the so-called news reports to the editorials that contain lies. - Please pass my comments along to Mr. Ashley"
This case has enlighted me ... I will never read news as I have in the past ... nor will I believe prosecutors as I have in the past.
Whoever wrote that editorial is a real bottom-feeder. Makes the paper look ridiculous.
The editorial has some valid points.
Why was a search warrent never issued on Nikki's residence and she was never charged with stealing the money?
How come the other two dancers at the party, Angel and Tammy, were never questioned?
And what I would really like to know is where the panties came from that were in the rape kit? According to sgt Sheldon the accused at the Kroger's was wearing a "see-through red outfit, with no under garments and one white high-heeled shoe".?????
Evidence of the NC Democrat party's need to pander to the black community for votes is seen in last weeks 'official apology' for an 1898 racial incident in Wilmington. (reported in current Wilmington Journal)
Actions like this (109 years later) demonstrate why nothing is a 'slam dunk' with politics in this state.
I ment to write accuser not accused.(Must of been a Freudian slip)
This would seems to be a case of mutually reinforcing reasonable doubt. Considering the probability that most civil and criminal retaliation will likely take place in Durham (please correct me if this is not likely), it seems like each guilty party is tossing doubt and mitigation in the laps of other guilty parties. I hope that Colin,
Reade and David will sufficiently freed of legal matter or their own in order to watch the cowards turn on eachother.
Stevenson's "magic towel" story first had been given in April. After Stevenson's piece, the NY Times ran with it and embellished the magic even more. This was a towel that could make DNA disappear!
The prospects for THAT happening were so ridiculous that I guess only the NY Times and Hurled-Scum could believe in The Towel. Until Cash came along....
The Hurled-Scum's policy of re-writing the news continues. In its story on the NAACP news conference, we have the NAACP praising the AG, but saying nothing about a gag order.
I must admit that reading this paper reminds me of reading the newsletters and fund-raising letters sent out by different interest groups. Or maybe the old editions of Pravda.
You get the feeling reading the Wilmington editorial and watching the actions of the local NAACP that the only thing wrong with segregation was who got to be on top. The contemptuous use of the term "boys" to refer to the lacrosse players is a startling echo of the Jim Crow past.
It reminds me of the end of Orwell's book "Animal Farm". The animals are standing around outside the old farmer's house that the pigs have taken over as their own. Looking in they observe that the pigs have begun to look like people.
The Wilmington editorial sounds a bit like the old segregationist press in its racial tone. The colors have changed but the attitude is the same.
To MW: given a few months, she will be the accused.
If I were a prospective Duke parent (which I was), I would consider not sending my child just due to the pernicious influence and rabble rousing by the Haj Sun.
"The African-American community wants truth by the law, not trial by the media. Keep the lid on your findings until the appropriate time."
Lenin's big lie...
What about the American community desire for the truth. What does he mean "by the law"? A fuzzy convenient truth or the actual truth? Trial by media? Disturbing and revisionist, given what has transpired. Appropriate time? One wonders what the editrorial board recommends if the new prosecutor fails (in the newpapers eyes) on any of the points mentioned.
The editorial reads like a threat...
6:59 Irony of ironies. Check out the movie "Twelve Angry Men". The gender/race baiting Gang of 88 have become the middle-aged white male bigots...
The differences, of course, were that it was a movie with actors, and they changed their minds...
Because so few people here (not including myself) have seen communism/stalinism first hand we are destined to have it here. It may take 5 years or 50 and papers like the Hurled Scum will be its' enablers.
For example secret wiretapping policies by Bush, which I support as necessary in the War on Terror, will be taken over by Stalinist lefties over the next few years and will be used against us.
Cincinnatus will have gone home but his heirs cannot be trusted
KC -- I won't defend the Herald-Sun here, but I wouldn't read anything into the circulation drop. Everyone's circulation is dropping, and the Herald-Sun has other issues (a well-publicized change in ownership and ensuing layoffs of popular staffers) pushing it down. It wouldn't surprise me if N&O circulation was also down in the past 12 months, though I'm sure their Web traffic has picked up. That's the nature of the business these days.
Remember -- not everything at Duke or in Durham is about this case.
That said, it wouldn't surprise me if the lacrosse coverage was the last straw for a number of people.
"And what I would really like to know is where the panties came from that were in the rape kit?"
They were found walking down the street under their own power...
KC, your article at the JWP Center is a nice read.
I think this is the beginning of the push back.
I actually had a civil discussion on this board about race and IQ and what it means for colleges. The usual shreiking moonbats were not very much in evidence.
eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
When this sad, sordid, tale is over, the Durham Herald Sun will be little more than a small market newspaper with a very focused target market - say, like the Wilmington Journal. On its very best day it will be a fringe publication.
In fact, if circulation numbers continue to fall the DHS might very well disappear.
The Duke87 is suppose to be educated and not stupid. They mde huge micalculation when they decided to jump on a mob's band wagon, so far the majority of the sexist and racist mob has run int the shadows, appearing only briefly to throw rocks and mud while claiming their motives were misunderstood.
oops, wait! the Duke87 is claiming the same thing!
Fair minded people can understand the frustration of the black community on this story, because surely the shoe has been on the other foot more often than not. The difference is the black community doesn't have highly placed alums at 60 minutes who can come down and throw the sunshine onto this case and expose the injustice. The black community lacks "high-priced" defense attorneys who can fight tooth and nail to see that every bit of exculpatory evidence is turned over. It has got to be frustrating for them to see it work this way.
However, the real failure on their part is not seeing the big picture: the shoe will undoubtedly be back on their foot soon, and if they had any bit of vision or foresight, they would use the Dook LAX injustice to push for reform in the system (that will serve ALL residents). The iron is as hot as it will ever get in that regard. That, pardon the expression, would be justice for things yet to be done in the future.
Their inability to put aside their blind allegiance to this liar is a tragic flaw of the race industry. They just can't admit fault, under any circumstances (see O.J., Ray Nagin pre-Katrina, Ray Nagin-Katrina, Ray Nagin post-Katrina, the SAT "is a culturally biased test" nonsense, affirmative action,...). I am certain that there are folks at this very moment re-writing the history. When this sad affair gets retold to future generations of Durhmanians, it will sound something like "Three rich white boys gang-raped a struggling young black girl and then used their power and influence into intimidating her to retract her story."
P.S. If his writing is any indiciation, I have concluded that they call him Cash because he lacks the credibility to pass a check.
Ashley is just a busted out old nag bootlicking his way into deeper obscurity at a formerly decent newspaper now basically a shopper for the lumpenproletariat.
Why have expectations for the old race scum and bid rigging rats and other bottom feeders who run the banana republic of Durham?
I admire all the idealism on display, but believe me, these people have no shame and will never change the hardwiring that made them the venal vermim they show themselves to be. sic semper tyrannis
KC, the Good Gray Times won a Pulitzer for Duranty's equally biased coverage of Comrade Stalin's workers paradise. The Times has not returned it, and the prize committee has not revoked Duranty's award. Perhaps there is still hope for the H/S to receive a Pulitzer. Maybe the Pultizer committee can change the criteria from reporting to creative writing.
"Sensational accounts of the alleged rape ran in local papers. On the day of the arrests, the Jackson County Sentinel, published in Scottsboro, went to press with a headline that read: 'All Negroes Positively Identified by Girls and One White Boy Who Was Held Prisoner with Pistol and Knives While Nine Black Fiends Committed Revolting Crime.' Sentinel editor Ashley reported that the two girls were in 'a terrible condition mentally and physically after their unspeakable experience at the hands of the black brutes.'"
Whoops! Transcription error! That was supposed to read "Sentinel editor P.W. Campbell reported..."
That was a passage about prejudicial newspaper coverage in the racially-charged immediate aftermath of allegations of terrible sex crimes. It has no relevance to how the Herald-Sun covered the early stages of the rape hoax.
One of the many great ironies of this case is that had Mr. Nifong NOT been so loose and dramatic in his media comments, this case might not be on our radar screens even now. He fairly screamed out to the world to take a good look at this horrible, racist crime the privileged, WHITE LAX players committed. His public, almost manic, get them at any costs behavior, is NOT the most typical form of prosecutorial misconduct. Hence the heightened scrutiny is NOT just due to sympathetic Duke alums and an excellent defense team, but to the extremes of Mr. Nifong. And, of course, a further irony is that extreme conduct necessary to win the job is likely now to end his career.
Agreed, I would expect all fair minded people to take advantage of this opportunity to really shine the bright light on all prosecutorial misconduct and the lack of protections for defendants. It would be the intelligent, mature response, but we are all human and still tribal sometimes against our own best interests.
I can barely believe all this is going on under the public's nose. Durham-in-Wonderland hits the nail on the head.
What I'm wondering is if it's true that Bob Ashley was the "Bob" that inspired the nickname "Baghdad Bob" back in '03 ?
I recently read the latest attempt at justifying their inherent racism by the local NAACP, claiming they now want only due process and law and order.
But the reality is, the NAACP is INHERENTLY RACIST. One need consider only their name.
They aren't the National Association for the Protection of Human Rights, or the National Association for Justice for All, they are the National Association for the ADVANCEMENT of Colored People.
Now I personally have nothing whatever against anyone, I hope everyone in the world advances, but I think it's time we realized that organizations such as the NAACP which unashamedly push a totally racist agenda have no more place in our society, and certainly no more moral authority in a legal matter, than their fellow racist organizations such as the skinheads and the KKK.
As long as people keep buying into the racial divide crap, no matter which side spews it, things won't get better. Like the KKK, it's time for the NAACP to simply be shunned by all fair minded people.
the US News Media no longer knows how to place things in context.they don't investigate,do research or check facts.instead they allow themselves to be used as an extension of someone else's office or personal agenda.whoever provides them with the best story(already done no need to exert effort)is their source.look at Plame-gate and NYT's Judy Miller and her pro-Bush WMD fairytales.
6:59 The" boys" are generally the team and accused - they call the ones (non existant) who turned "Men". I hace learned to recognize these subtles from the coverage of the case.
Nifong had no trouble filing charges for false claims - where is the robbery charge? Correct me if I am wrong - did the team not sign affidevits about the party early on?
I want the black community to have all the blessings of living in America/ I was not surprised at who came out of those houses in New Orleans or that the Convention Center was turned into a ghetto. Nor was I surprised that the Denver Airport did not turn into a ghetto. I have no idea how to get these people to take care of themselves.
anon 12:18pm --
> I have no idea how to get these people to take care of themselves.
Challenge individuals and institutions to treat "these people" like other Americans, and hold "them" to the same standards that "we" are held to. White-race consciousness is hardly superior to black-race consciousness.
It's difficult for people on the bottom rungs to make a decent life no matter what the complexion. So some empathy and a hand up, when it's possible.
Well there will be other folks in the fore front of this new civil rights movement.
I have been talking seiously about justice system corruption since the OJ Trial.
Duke Meets OJ
I hate to bust your chops on a off topic subjects so let me give you the short version:
Saddam had outsourced his nuclear weapons program to Libya. The war busted that open and ended it. A. Q. Kahn with Iraq and atomic are good search terms.
The paper, paraphrased E&P, needs “to maintain its relationships in the city and continue to report after larger media outlets leave.”
I don't think this refers to the need to maintain the subscription base of pro-Nifong readers, but rather to the idea that the newspaper wants to continue to have sources in or cooperation from the D.A.'s office regarding other cases.
I suspect that a first year journalism student at UNC, our mortal enemy, would have provided more balanced coverage than the Herald. I wonder if the N&O had trouble with this story. They havbe always been more liberal than the Herald, but have always shown more integrity IMHO.
Post a Comment