Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Herald-Sun Rewrite

We must admit that some people, at Duke and elsewhere, may have been too quick to judge the players guilty. That was wrong and, as Duke President Richard Brodhead and this newspaper pointed out at the time, everyone needed to remember the bedrock concept: innocent until proven guilty.

--Herald-Sun, today

In recent months, there’s been a totalitarian whiff to events in Durham, as we witness attempts to rewrite history. See, for instance, Cathy Davidson’s apologia for the Group of 88, which described the Group’s statement as a response to (non-existent) students who used racist stereotypes to defend of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and Dave Evans sometime between March 29 and April 6.

Today’s Herald-Sun, meanwhile, rewrites the past in another way: “As Duke President Richard Brodhead and this newspaper pointed out at the time, everyone needed to remember the bedrock concept: innocent until proven guilty.” Let’s leave aside the question of exactly where the H-S found a discussion of this “bedrock concept” in Brodhead’s 2399-word April 5 statement canceling the season, and turn to the writings of the H-S itself.

To address the issue, a multiple choice quiz. Of the seven excerpts below, which reflects a different point of view from the other six?

a.) March 28: “When police officers arrived at the house with a search warrant on March 16, none of the players would cooperate with the investigation [sic] . . . There’s no question the student-athletes were probably guilty of all the usual offenses -- underage drinking, loud partying, obnoxious behavior. But the allegations of rape bring the students’ arrogant frat-boy culture to a whole new, sickening level.Get a conscience, not a lawyer,’ read signs waved in front of the house on Sunday. We agree that the alleged crime isn’t the only outrage. It’s also outrageous that not a single person who was in the house felt compelled to step forward and tell the truth about what happened.”

(This same editorial, amazingly, notes that the presumption of innocence is “a precious part of our constitutional rights.” It’s hard to see how the H-S argument reflected that belief.)

b.) March 30: “But few would ever put the lacrosse team in that classy category. If one had to predict a Duke team that was capable of getting into big trouble, you might pick lacrosse. For years, the team has had a reputation for loud, obnoxious partying and belligerent behavior.”

c.) April 7: “The note has had serious consequences, perhaps giving Durham police reason to add conspiracy to commit murder to the list of charges being weighed in the rape investigation.”

d.) April 12: “But even in the wake of compelling DNA evidence, those who would echo team members’ attorneys and declare the case shut would be smart to wait to see what District Attorney Mike Nifong has up his sleeve. Nifong was convinced early on that a crime occurred and he has not ruled out filing charges.”

e.) May 18: “Campus rapes and sexual assaults are fueled by a culture of alcohol abuse and an arrogant, macho attitude among some male students that should be a throwback to a bygone era, but stubbornly persists.”

f.) October 17: “Roberts was separated from the accuser for two periods of at least five to 10 minutes. We still haven’t heard why an assault couldn’t have occurred during those gaps.”

g.) Today: “As . . . this newspaper pointed out at the time, everyone needed to remember the bedrock concept: innocent until proven guilty.”

All those who answered “g” have, unfortunately, eliminated themselves from the H-S target audience.

One revealing point. The editorial’s ostensible purpose was to comment about Friends of Duke’s questions for the Group of 88. Yet even the Herald-Sun—in its latest “there must be a trial” editorial—made no attempt to claim that the Group of 88 didn’t rush to judgment and ignore the presumption of innocence. The sextet at tomorrow night’s leg of the Group’s Rehab Tour clearly has their work cut out for them.


Michael said...

PBS has a story on a guy named Graves that was on death row for 12 years and got a new trial on the 6th appeal. Prosecutor didn't give them exculpatory data on the motivation for the killer's wife. Someone else admitted doing the killing but fingered Graves - his motive was to protect his wife. He recanted after the conviction though but the prosecutor still thinks he's guilty.

Sorry for putting this in here but more stories on wrongful convictions may be a benefit on from the Duke LAX case.

Anonymous said...

All of these “there must be a trial” assertions are no more than the subcontracting of thought.

Anonymous said...

KC, be sure you go to the NYC meeting with Bordhead, March 1st!

Remind him, It's Mikey's fault, not his.

Ha Ha.


Anonymous said...


Is it appropriate, in that environment, to ask Dr. Brodhead about Duke allowing the police in the player's rooms, and advising them not to seek legal counsel?

Anonymous said...

The Herald Sun. Trusted and Essential. LMAO

And so the rewrite of history continues. Are there really journalists and/or editors employed at that "paper" that think no one would bother to check their prior coverage? And why isn't a name signed to this bullspit?

--Lumpy Gravy

Anonymous said...

"...Without getting into all the details of the squabble between the two groups (Gang of 88 and FODU)..."

Obviousman is in the house.

Anonymous said...

A culture of delusion seems to be the norm in Durham. From the NCCU students to the H-S and dozens of Duke professors and students, everyone is willing to convince themselves that their behavior was completely reasonable at all periods during this scandal. The only word for this belief is DELUSIONAL.

Anonymous said...


Is the environment such, that Dr. Brodhead would field questions regarding the police searches of the young men's rooms, and the advise to cooperate without legal counsel?


Anonymous said...

"As Duke President Richard Brodhead and this newspaper pointed out at the time...", we are scoundrels, mealy-mouthed cowards, hypocrites and liars happy at any time to pander to prejudice. Facts are unimportant, for we are people totally without shame. We have no more regard for the intelligence of our readers than has Brodhead for the rights of his own students - and, like Brodhead, when our lies and omissions finally crumble beneath us, we will simply scramble to new lies. This we pledge.

Anonymous said...

The Herald-Sun should be sued for libel. Let Paxton Media defend this journalistic travesty in a court.

Anonymous said...

"there’s been a totalitarian whiff"

Great point KC, but it's more like flatulence in a spacesuit.

Anonymous said...

I think the purpose of this editorial was to ask people not to pre-judge the guilt of Mike Nifong without ever mentioning his name in the editorial. The image of an anonymous person in a jumpsuit is just a smokescreen.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....

Rewriting history is the beginning of the totalitarian sea change. That H-S editorial may mark the beginning of using this case to argue for reform of NC processes rather than to railroad the defendants for retribution sake. The last line of the editorial about the next time you see a defendant in an oragne jumpsuit and chains makes me think this could be the case.

It will be interesting to see if the NC NAACP and others U-turn to that direction on the case too. And of course we know what comes after rewriting history.

Nifong will become a non-person. His picture will be "air brushed" out of all Durham official pictures. He "air brushed" himself out of the swearing in ceremonies as DA, but he will soon be a nonperson in Durham IF this totalitarian seas change is taking place.

Anonymous said...

Posted previously. Off the immediate topic but relevant to behavior of the 88 mob:

'Nyborg quotes Gross and Levitt from their 1994 book, Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science:

"Gross and Levitt wanted, first of all to avoid muddle-headedness in their own quarter, so they set out to '...first define what unites the AL [Academic Left] individuals.' They found that ALs do not '...have a well-defined theoretical position with respect to science ... but a noteworthy uniformity of tone, and that tone is unambiguously hostile ... [toward] some of the uses to which science is put ... toward the system of education ... toward the actual content of scientific knowledge and toward the assumption ... [that] scientific knowledge is reasonably reliable and rests on a sound methodology…' to an extent that '…irrationality is courted and proclaimed with pride' (pp. 2-3; authors' emphasis). The group of ALs, furthermore, typically comprises humanists and social scientists, rarely working physical scientists. ALs can often be identified under the umbrella of post-modernism in fields like literary criticism, social history, cultural studies, cultural constructivism, postmodern philosophy, feminist theory, deep ecology, deconstruction, and so forth." '


A must-read.

Anonymous said...

A must read on the Liestoppers hoax blog: Unraveling the criminal conspiracy by Tony Soprano.

Gary Packwood said...

Rush to Judgement

Here is the link to the US Federal Government site on crime statistics for colleges and universities.

You can compare crime rates on this site.
Campus Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool Website

The Campus Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool Website is brought to you by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U. S. Department of Education.

Anonymous said...

Slowly the powers that be in Durham are getting ready to dump Nifong. I still see the 1 yr anv as a deadline. I can not imagine a 1 yr anv show on all the cable and other media outlets. It would be hugh.

The Group of 88 on Monday night is yet another chance to increase the liablities for Duke and themselves in a lawsuit. These people need to see a lawyer and keep their mouths shut.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

I've heard this before.

A group of civilized people letting the head of state appoint an Austrian corporal 'just for the interim', only for him to grab power because of the 'scandal' of a burning Reichstag which 'of course' has to be the fault of a suspicious racial group which 'as everybody knows' controls the banks, wealth, power, etc., and really needs to pay for their 'past sins'.

And now it's 1945 and everyone's really sorry for what somebody else did but, of course, it's not their fault because 'I was never a Nazi'.

Like I said, I've heard it before.

Anonymous said...

"They" - Durham knows the guys will be convicted in their town, no matter what the evidence. Thats why they want a trial. They refuse to let this go. "Having something up his sleeve is shameful." How Nifong is going to explain himself and his side may be equal to the War of the world. Thank God for KC, the gang and the bloggers or these guys would have been hung.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if the HS has gotten an inside tip and are positioning themselves?

Anonymous said...

Titus and Stephens - a disgrace to the justice system. Allowing themselves to be televised, shows they thought nothing wrong with their ruling. Were they shocked at the criticism that came their way?

Anonymous said...


Great job today of quoting the very words of the Hurled-Scum back to them. These liars have to remember that what they wrote on their editorial pages this past year has not disappeared, not matter how much the editors try to airbrush what they actually said.

The typical American journalism newsroom reflects the academic culture in this country, and we see the results. The worst assaults on truth that we have seen in this case have originated from academe and the news media. Since leftist academics and journalists tend to be joined at the hip, none of us should be surprised or even shocked.

Sickened, yes, at the hypocrisy and outright dishonesty. But not shocked. Still it is a very useful exercise to quote their words back to them.

Of course, over at the N&O, Melanie Sill is still "proud" of the original story that began this parade of lies. The difference is that the Hurled-Scum does not have a Joe Neff on its staff.

Anonymous said...

Stephens and Titus should be investigated by the North Carolina bar. Will they be included in the civil suits?

Anonymous said...

H-S is engaging in damage control just like the group of 88. They realize, at the prodding of their lawyers, that they will probably be sued. About the only thing they can do at this point is try to explain away and "spin" their editorials and slanted stories.

When this case is dropped the H-S, Group of 88, and Brodhead don't want to be on the short end of the stick when the families sue to recoup legal costs. Revenge is a dish best served cold - no hot porrage for you tonight Mikey.

Anonymous said...

It would be hugh.

And series.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me that some of you (Bill A., JLS ... ) anyone of you will attend tomorrow night's meeting. It should be taped and re-broadcast to every rational citizen of this nation as an example of what not to do, what not to think and how not to act.

And to make it extra-special, please someone go with a sign ... "It's Monday night, time to confess!"

Anonymous said...

I wish I could be at the meeting, but Frostburg is a long way from Durham, and I have a full slate of classes to teach. I do hope that the "good guys" will be represented at least in the audience.

Don't forget that the central message of the April 6 advertisement was this: Duke has "tolerated" an atmosphere of racism and sexual violence, and see where it has led? The lacrosse team finally acted out what we just knew would happen because Duke had failed to turn the university into an effective re-education camp."

The "social disaster" could not be anything else, and any attempt by these people to say they meant anything else is a lie. Granted, the G88 has been lying all along, but that does not mean that at least some of us do not see through those lies.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Group-of-88 rehab tour, I was just wondering what their 5 stages of grief might be…

The stages are:

1. Denial - The "This can't be real" stage: "I'm not here. This isn't happening. I wasn’t me that prejudged. It wasn’t me that timed my comments so that they would damage my students, my employer, my community, and myself. Nope. Not me. Nope, nope, nope"

2. Anger - The "Why me?" stage: "How dare you do this to me?! I am a professor at Duke! Although I personally did not attend Duke, how could it be that my students are more intelligent, articulate, and forthright than I am? It’s appalling and at the same time strangely confusing. My brain hurts”

3. Bargaining - The "If I do this, you’ll do that" stage: "If I shut up and go back to my inconsequential research in my self-referential, deconstructionalist department will you give me tenure. I realize I produce no new or relevant knowledge but if I can’t keep my position at Duke I just don’t know who would hire me nor what I would actually *do*.”

4. Depression - The "Defeated" stage: "I can't bear to face going through this. My classes before all this were painfully small but now no one attends. The students now shun and lampoon me. I still hate it that they can run circles around me logically. I would have a hissy fit about it all but I’m just too bummed."

5. Acceptance - The "This is going to happen" stage: "I'm ready, I don't want to struggle anymore. I realize that since all now know me for what I am, my kind of prejudice and political correctness will not be able to metastasize throughout the university corpus as I once had hoped. So, I guess I will return to my empty classroom and finish my current lecture to myself on “Lesbianism in Gerbils: Its impact on race and the hook-up culture during the War of 1812”. I wonder if I will have any interesting insights during the discussion period.

Anonymous said...

There may be some weasel words that allow Brodhead, the HS or the group of 88 to claim they always supported "the presumption of innocence", but one thing is certain. There was no presumption of innocence of the implications of being a white male athlete at Duke. In the minds of many it meant the privilege of racism and sexual violence combined with the arrogance that they were entitled to it.

On this charge there was absolutely no evidence offerred and apparently no evidence required. And while the Coleman report essentially cleared the lacrosse players of such characterizations, the group of 88 is standing by them and apparently is going to restate them at the forum they are having on February 12.

The public attention paid to this case is over more than the obvious miscarriage of justice odious as that is. It is the presumption by the DA, the Duke administration, and members of the Duke faculty that because the players were white male athletes, the charges against them were plausible as it reflected the climate of racial and sexual violence on the Duke campus.

The claims of the accuser, as unlikely as they were, constituted evidence of a crime that needed to be investigated. But there was no evidence for the implication that most Duke students or for that matter any Duke students would want to engage in or in anyway condone the crime that was alleged.

The ideologues that seized upon the accusation of rape to trumpet their claims of racial and sexual privilege and violence created an atmosphere in which spineless administrators and Durham officials felt compelled to demonize the accused players and their teammates.

The students at NCCU that believe that a rape took place do so because they believe the narrative of white violence from privileged white Duke students. If they really fear it, it is tragic since that type of behavior hasn't been a real threat for generations. Government statistics on interracial crime indicate that rapes of black women by white men have become almost unheard of.

This case has become a focus of national attention because the lies told by the accuser have been compounded by the lies told by the group of 88 and their enablers concerning the awfulness of white males in general and white male athletes in particular. Such bigotry should not be encouraged, defended, or rationalized. It should be condemned.

Anonymous said...

2:24pm sez ...

This case has become a focus of national attention because the lies told by the accuser have been compounded by the lies told by the group of 88 and their enablers concerning the awfulness of white males in general and white male athletes in particular. Such bigotry should not be encouraged, defended, or rationalized. It should be condemned.

You do realize that whites make up the majority of the US population, and that if you consult DoJ statistics, white make up the majority of violent crime perps ...

Oh wait. Shit, where's my meds.

Anonymous said...

I don't see even a hint of revisionisn in this editorial.

The message isn't that people should be presumed innocent.

The message is that while it is wrong to "rush to judgement" (sic), it is perfectly understandable why a "substantial group" of people would still have presumed that these specific individuals were guilty of major felonies, based on the previously reported and far less serious conduct of some unnamed players, even if not the ones who were charged.

And the grand lesson from it all is that even if their anonymous orange-jumpsuited defendant "has a prior record ... he might have an alibi" ?!!

How many logical fallacies can you cram into such a tiny statement?

A prior record of what? Is it the defendant's record or someone else's record? Is it a record of conduct like what is being charged, or conduct unlike what is being charged? What on earth does it have to do with the current charge against the current defendant?

And most telling of all, why is the defendant's proof of an "alibi" necessary to forestall the rush to "judgement," when the whole basis of the presumption of innocence is that the burden of proof is on the prosecution?

Nearly a year to gain a little perspective and wisdom, and this editorial squarely defends, and even reaffirms, their year-long support of the presumption of guilt. If this isn't the most irresponsible thing they have ever written about the case, it has to come pretty close.

Anonymous said...

Do all these re-write people- from the 88, to the Herald-Sun, to the News & Observer, to individual bloggers- think their original lynch-mob comments on the case can't just be looked up?

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 5:16 PM

Great point.

It is so curious that highly educated people who are doing something they should not do, take the time to file and cross file all of their smoking guns.

I'm sure there are attorneys who will appreciate that curious behavior very much the months to come.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at the constant expressions of amazement regarding Stoopid 88, media, Broadhead, NAACP, et al. They are operating within their delusional framework and manufacturing their version of reality and will continue to do so. What part of that last statement isn't blindingly obvious by now? Duh.

Anonymous said...

Any comments from Butch or Kerry Sutton about their man defendant Nifong ?

Anonymous said...

Talk of Neff and a Pulitizer is inappropriate. He went against the N$O stance somewhat, but was no Don Q, The person who deserves the Pulitizer is KC, Without him, Bill A and the rest, these boys would already be in jail.

Anonymous said...


Butch "Duh, watchoo say?" Williams, and broad ass Kerry Sutton will sing any tune needed at the time. Both are subpar. Both represent the biggest idiots in Durham.
Since Nifong has been de-fonged, they'll be kissing the ass of the next DA.

Tyler said...

K.C., your coverage of the Duke case has been outstanding. I visit your page every day for the latest news. Thanks for all of your hard work.

Anonymous said...

Afterall, it took decades to prove that the Rosenbergs were, in fact, guilty. And just as guilty as the day they were found that way at trial.

Anonymous said...

Both the previous thread and this one are illustrative of what must be dealt with in this case and the brand of bizarre behavior--in word and deed--of those in Durham who have wanted these rape / sexual assault charges to be true from day one.

The Herald-Sun puts forth an amusing rendition of revisitation. A rewrite that never gets too close to the reality in which they have traduced journalistic principles for the past 10 months with such stances as: "Lots of black men have been falsely accused in the past. What's such a big deal about these lacrosse players?"

It's the "Amos 'n Andy" of area news. Each storyline / editorial is devised to fit the Mike Nifong stance du jour.

Only trouble the man to whom they have hitched their wagon for so long has been proven in front of the entire world to be a class A criminal.


Anonymous said...

12:54 PM

Harkening back to Nifong's earlier remarks about the LAX team, why would the G88 need a lawyer if they haven't done anything wrong? Of course, we could ask Mikey the same thing. Course we know Mikey did lots of things wrong and I don't think his lawyer is good enough to save him.

Anonymous said...

I'll bring my comments to "War Eagle" from the other thread here because this one appears to be "alive" right now.

War Eagle is correct when he says that the 17 NCCU students' attitudes were not formed in a vacuum. They are merely the tip of the iceberg as to what the jury pool in Durham would be if Reade, Collin, and David ever go to trial there.

You can have a perfectly pleasant and normal conversation with anyone who is black and when the lacrosse case is mentioned, it's as if some spell is cast and the responses range from affected and phony professions of a definite belief of guilt.

And I'm talking about highly educated black people who otherwise appear to be reasonable people.

This is almost like a disease.

Black America must evolve. It is not the responsibility of white people or any other group of people to continually abandon reality in order to appease and provide comfort for this disease.

An evolution must occur, lest---rightly or wrongly---the rest of the population on this planet begins to explain such a gross lack of evolution and objectivity as inferior intellect.

Black America: Get on the bus!


Anonymous said...

I have been following this blog for some time, and while I confess that I do not know the exact criteria for awarding a Pulitzer Prize, I would assume that it has something to do with excellence in journalism, in which case I believe KC should be nominated. KC has done an outstanding job of following and reporting on this case.

M. Simon said...


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Jim O said...

Yet another example: Thanks to the blogosphere, the MSM can no longer get away with its lies, especially the ones about itself!

Anonymous said...

Newspapers wonder why the internet is kicking their ass with ease.

The H-S doesn't pass the sniff test. Have they forgotten their purpose?

The Monster said...

When I saw the initials HS, one of the things I thought of was what comes out of the south end of a northbound horse.

I guess I wasn't too far off at that.