Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday Roundup

Liestoppers yesterday broke the news that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has endorsed calls for a Justice Department inquiry into Mike Nifong’s misconduct. In a letter to a constituent, the Illinois senator wrote, “This independent inquiry is needed, and I will be following its progress closely.”

Compare Obama’s approach to the case with that of his two main rivals for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Clinton has remained wholly silent on the issue—even though one of her constituents (Collin Finnerty) is one of the three people who suffered at Nifong’s hands. Moreover, as those who recall the workings of Kenneth Starr are fully aware, Clinton has a good personal reason to be sensitive to the workings of a prosecutor run amok.

Then there’s John Edwards. Amidst a high-profile case of prosecutorial misconduct that effectively defined North Carolina justice for the nation, Edwards first remained silent, then hired as his chief blogger Amanda Marcotte, and then declined to fire Marcotte even after her indefensible remarks about the case went public. (Marcotte eventually resigned from the campaign.)

It’s not difficult to see which of the three candidates has been on the right side of the case.


Speaking of the Justice Department, other North Carolina district attorneys are using the current scandal of Alberto Gonzales’ dismissal of U.S. attorneys to beat back a proposal in the North Carolina legislature dubbed by some the “Nifong bill.”

The bill is actually far too mild: it gives the governor authority to suspend a district attorney if and only if the Bar both moved to have a disciplinary hearing and asked the governor to suspend the D.A.

Such a scenario, it would seem, rarely if ever would occur: most D.A.’s would have enough respect for the law to request a leave of absence if they were charged by the bar with multiple ethics violations, breaking three state laws, and violating the U.S. Constitution. The state does need, it would seem, some more flexible check on what is now the all-but-unlimited authority of local chief prosecutors.

Nonetheless, North Carolina DA’s, who were slow to move against Nifong (though, on December 29, they did so), strongly protested the measure. In an interview with Herald-Sun reporter Ray Gronberg, Orange County (Chapel Hill) DA Jim Woodall said, We really have to be on guard that it’s never used as a political or tactical tool to dissuade a district attorney from taking a difficult case or taking a position in a case that’s unpopular. It really seems to open the door for both political or tactical maneuvers to chill a DA or remove a DA from office because somebody doesn’t agree with something they’re doing that’s very proper.”

Such cautions are well-taken. Yet the DA's position would be considerably stronger if they recommended an alternative. The state should have had some mechanism in place to remove Nifong once it became clear—by early May, certainly—that he was prosecuting the case in a highly unethical manner.


Yesterday’s posting of the police photo of the accuser, taken on March 16, 2006, gave the lie to the claims by the accuser’s father, Travis Mangum, that his daughter had swollen eyes following the “attack.”

It’s worth raising the photo in another case of journalistic malpractice—the August 25 Wilson/Glater article in the New York Times. Upon, they claimed, reviewing the entire discovery file then available (more than 1800 pages), Wilson and Glater wrote,

But in addition to the nurse’s oral description of injuries consistent with the allegation, Sergeant Gottlieb writes that the accuser appeared to be in extreme pain when he interviewed her two and a half days after the incident, and that signs of bruises emerged then as well . . . During that [March 16] interview, the woman, who is dark skinned, said bruises were beginning to show from the attack. A female officer took photographs and confirmed that “she had the onset of new bruises present,” Sergeant Gottlieb wrote. (The female officer’s report does not mention bruises.)

Did Wilson and Glater believe that the photo suggested the onset of new bruises? If not, why did they repeat Gottlieb’s claim as if it could be true? Or, perhaps, did they actually fail to review the entire discovery file, as they had claimed?


Speaking of the Times, the paper’s ideology-infused journalistic standards remains on display, with Selena Roberts—fresh from her appearance at Orin Starn’s Friday anti-lacrosse hate-fest—returning to the Duke case after a months-long absence. When last heard from, Roberts was mysteriously describing a search warrant as a “court document,” falsely stating that none of the players had cooperated with police, and comparing the team to gangsters or drug-runners.

Did she use her column to offer a mea culpa? Absolutely not. The sexual-assault case involving Duke lacrosse players may soon be over, but that won’t end the race and class divides that long existed within the radius of Duke.” In other words: Roberts claims that she was right all along.

In her March 31 column, Roberts all but stated that a rape occurred, and seemed to be demanding that the players be charged with obstruction of justice. Now, she says, the rape allegation was irrelevant to the broader cultural issue: the
irrefutable culture of misogyny, racial animus and athlete entitlement that went unrestrained that night.

Roberts concludes her column by urging Duke to implement the recommendations of the Campus Culture Initiative. CCI leaders Peter Wood, Karla Holloway, and Anne Allison no doubt are heartened by the endorsement from their ideological comrade.


Reporter Julia Lewis noted that James Coman and Mary Winstead have not spoken to the media, but have met with defense attorneys. They also have interviewed several members of the lacrosse team.

Nifong, of course, did none of these things. While he was eager to meet with the media in his pre-primary publicity barrage, he had no eagerness to actually obtain evidence that the people he was targeting might be innocent.

UNC law professor Joseph Kennedy, a Nifong critic, praised the behavior of the special prosecutors: “In a high-profile investigation like this, they assume the very first action on the case will be seriously scrutinized.”

Kennedy added that it was perfectly appropriate for the prosecutors to have repeated meetings with the accuser to discuss the events of the evening. “Given some of the questions raised about the accuser’s story, they’re probably trying to resolve any sort of ambiguity or contradictions. And secondly, make an overall determination if the person would come across credible in the courtroom.” Nifong, of course, never met with the accuser to discuss the case, and didn’t send anyone from his office to meet with her until December 21, when the accuser told a tale that contradicted each of her previous myriad, mutually contradictory, stories.

Of course, as ABC’s Law & Justice Unit has reported, the accuser has decided to perform as “The Uncooperative Miss M,” refusing to answer prosecutors’ detailed questions about the evening’s events.


A good cartoon of Nifong's difficulties before the Bar. And this well-written post summarizes the Nifong response to the Bar as "the dog ate my legal obligations."


The Chronicle continues its common-sense approach to the Campus Culture Initiative report with another first-rate editorial, this time on the CCI academic proposals. The editorial board praises some of the worthy suggestions of the CCI, particularly the call for increased faculty-student interaction.

Yet, quite appropriately, Chronicle editors criticize the mandated “U.S. diversity” course, a/k/a the “Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative.” The paper concludes: “At best, then, this recommendation will be superfluous, codifying something that students already do on their own. At worst, it will be interpreted as little more than a public relations play-damage control in response to last year’s events. Either way, students are likely to chafe against any such changes. Students don’t want, nor do they need, to be force-fed diversity and difference.” Such thinking, of course, is anathema to the Group.

In another academic story, the paper notes that President Brodhead has committed to creating a new dean’s position. The position is designed, according to reporter Iza Wojciechowska, to “better integrate the multiple aspects of undergraduate life-including student affairs and academics-and will act as the University's principal spokesperson on undergraduate education.”

Sounds like a great idea, right? The chair of the search committee for the new position, however, is Peter Burian, chair of classical studies. Burian was last heard from signing on to William Chafe’s latest embarrassment, the February 23 Chronicle op-ed that begged people to act as if no new facts had emerged in the case since April 6. The article used the Group’s favorite tactic of anonymous quotes from alleged students to make the faculty member’s point, although in this case, Chafe was caught recycling alleged student quotes that he had previously had described differently.

Will Burian bring the Chafe mindset to the search committee? His willingness to affiliate with the Chafe op-ed does not offer encouragement.


With the lacrosse case imploding, Group of 88 member miriam cooke (she does not capitalize her name) appears to have found a new protest cause--Palestinian terrorists. Sami al-Arian was a former University of South Florida professor who pled guilty to conspiring to aid Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization. (He entered the plea deal after a trial on more serious charges ended in a hung jury.)

Given that al-Arian admitted his crime, most people would consider him guilty. Not, apparently, cooke. Here she is with members of a group called "Fight Imperialism Stand Together," holding a sign reading, "No More Persecution."

It's good to see that cooke has moved from one mainstream cause to another.


Finally, a great column in Friday's New York Post from John Podhoretz, noting one of the great ironies of this case. Even as Nifong's career implodes, and the accuser is seen nationally as a liar, and the city of Durham has exposed itself to massive civil liability, "some of the most disgraceful actors in this case will go unpunished."

Podhoretz speaks, of course, of the Group of 88, and campus allies such as Peter Wood and Orin Starn--professors who exploited the case to advance their personal, ideological, or pedagogical agendas on the backs of their own students. As he astutely notes, "It is not too much to say that many of the adults at Duke, who should be stewards for their students, actually wanted the false rape story to be true because it fulfilled their ideological predilections."

Brodhead, Podhoretz notes, might not survive this affair--everything, of course, depends on the reaction of Duke alumni, and particularly of donors. But "for those 88 professors - what consequences will they experience?" Podhortez concludes:

Consequences? Don't make me laugh.

The tenured ones will continue to enjoy their aristocratic installment in Durham. The untenured will be supported in their efforts to find similar perches elsewhere by the rest of the Gang of 88, because that's how academic politics works.

How about even the loss of even a single night of sleep?

Oh, no. Not these folks. They're fighting the white patriarchy. They're on the side of the dispossessed and oppressed. They're giving voice to the voiceless. They're giving hope to the hopeless.

They're fools at best and monsters at worst - and neither fools nor monsters are much troubled by attacks of conscience.


Anonymous said...

"In law, defamation is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may harm the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government or nation. Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against criticism."

The above definition of defamation was taken from Wikpedia. In addition, I suspect the LAX players will fall into the category of involuntary public figures, which adds the requirement that the defamation in question also be made with malice (i.e knowingly making false statements with reckless regard for the truth).

KC, you and others seems to have an excellent grasp on statements (written or spoken) made by many in this case. I am now curious as to which we all believe may now fit the above definition. Remember, opinions do not count in court of law. Clearly the wanted poster and vigilante poster fall into this category in my opinion.


Anonymous said...

The 40-something lacrosse players who weren't even falsely accused certainly do not fit the category of involuntary public figures. That would be a ridiculous stretch of the definition. They were clearly libeled in the posters. One newspaper, the N&O, published one of the posters.

Anonymous said...

Was Burian's appointment as head of the search committee for the new Dean's post another Brodhead masterstroke? I presumes so. The question isn't "can Brodhead survive at Duke?" but "will Duke survive Brodhead?" This case is exposing how much power the noisy politically correct faculty have and how timorous and weak the alumni are.

Anonymous said...

Nyfung to Jail. Do not pass go. Forget the 200. No get out of jail free card. What a maroone.

Anonymous said...

This is a semi-serious, semi-flippant question. Is the escort service from which the strippers were hired still in business? I would think that sending out strippers who were of a different race from what the customer requested, one of whom was reportedly too intoxicated to give a good performance, would be bad enough -- but having one of the strippers falsely accuse the customer's guests of rape would be a deal breaker.

Anonymous said...

Once again, stating the Restatement (Second) of Torts definition of "libel" and/or "slander" and/or "defamation" is truly a killer good time... but reality dictates that, regardless of how vile Nifong and the G88 are... its just not realistic in America.

Although it would be nice to "shake down" some of these people and make them suffer monetarily, as these families have... its most likely NOT going to happen.

Yes, I understand how the facts seem to fit so perfectly with the defition of the torts... but nonetheless, it doesn't really work in real life.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Can anyone come up with a good term for the wall of contempt Duke University has built between itself and its students?

Obviously, Peter Burian's appointment has just added another brick to it.

Anonymous said...

KC, It is a pleasure to read your work!

David said...

While the billable hours continue to pile up....

The Innocence Project has now exonerated 197 men, and although none were specifically framed by Mr. Nifong, they were summarily railroaded by members of the same club.

To grasp their mindset, the following is instructive:

“Waller was the 12th Dallas County man proven innocent by DNA testing in the last five years, a pattern the Innocence Project has called “alarming and completely unprecedented.” A hearing is expected soon in the case of James Giles, who would become the 13th Dallas man to be proven innocent by DNA testing."

More -

Anonymous said...

One day the NYT's Selena Roberts may get some story's facts right, but that won’t wash away the stains of race and class hatred that foamed out of her every time the Duke case came into her radius.

What a bind such folks are in! Since, in the past, they've repeatedly claimed the LAX charges crystallize everything they rail against, how do they acknowledge now that these charges stink to high heaven without undermining everything they've ever said?

Does Roberts admit these charges (and her reporting) were BS, but insist that her larger point is still true?

Does she adamantly deny that the charges and her reporting were BS, and insist that the larger point is still true?

Problems either way. The former course requires admitting you were an idiot, and the latter, when it blows up, risks making you look like an even bigger idiot than you do now.

Probably best just to refer darkly to the charges going away; maybe you can imply that that's very suspicious, while movin' on to that nice, fat larger issue.

Anonymous said...

The Salena Roberts column truly is disgraceful, and it speaks volumes about the attitude of the NY Times. Now, here is a paper that presented falsehoods, propped up an obvious work of fiction by Mark Gottlieb, and then continued to enable perhaps the most dishonest prosecutor in the country -- and given the dishonesty of prosecutors in the USA, that speaks volumes for Nifong and the NY Times.

Now we have the Times (and Roberts, the last time I checked, still works for the Newspaper of Walter Duranty and Jayson Blair) declaring that the LAX team had a "misogyny bash" last year. Thus, even if the charges are dropped, the players still are guilty, in the eyes of the NY Times.

By the way, look for more of the same from other journalists. People of that trade are loathe to admit they were wrong, so we are sure to see stuff like "money trumps justice" or "this does not prove anything" or "they bought their way out" and other such nonsense. And, rest assured, if the NY Times has an editorial on it (as opposed to the "editorials" that passed for news copy), it will say the same thing.

This tells me that the blogosphere is needed more than ever.

AMac said...

Selena "Duranty" Roberts' Closing a Case Will Not Mean Closure at Duke is behind the TimesSelect wall. Pay for your poison.

Anonymous said...

In many jurisdictions defamation actions must be brought within one year. Dates on some of the most outrageous acts are getting pretty close.

On the other hand the culprits including G88 have so much blood on their hands that defamation may be least of their probs.

Plus an argument could be made for extending defamation period analagous to doctrine of continuous representation.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the NC statute of limitations for defamation?

Anonymous said...

From the story regarding the proposed new Dean position:

"It has to be somebody who has a faculty appointment, who knows and loves the world of teaching, who knows and loves the world of students through teaching and who has a deep concern for the welfare of students outside their teaching [emphasis added]," Brodhead said.

So Brodhead is hereby declaring all members of the G88, Wood, Starn, et. al. ineligible to fill the position, right?

Anonymous said...

12:10 AM --

Why should the LAX players be considered "public figures" for the purposes of the defamation law.

They might be public figures now because of the defamation that has been heaped upon them for over a year, but how were they public figures a year ago when the defamation started? Who outside their groups of family, friends, and acquaintances (that everyone has) knew of Seligmann, Finnerty, Evans or any of the other LAX players before March 13, 2006?

For that definition to have any meaning or validity, a person would have to be a public figure before defamation makes them a public figure. Otherwise, devious people could say "let's defame Person X so he becomes a public figure, which will make it more difficult for us to be charged with defamation."

Then, again, we are talking about the law here, and the law should never be confused with justice.

Anonymous said...

"Sami al-Arian ... pled guilty to conspiring to aid Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization. (He entered the plea deal after a trial on more serious charges ended in a hung jury.)

Given that al-Arian admitted his crime, most people would consider him guilty."

I suspect that most of the regular readers of this board would not consider him guilty if they examined the published reports.

See this article on the trial
for information.

The confession appears to be an attempt to get himself out of the grasp of a different prosecutor run amok. Not so very unlike the memes floating around that suggested the Lacrosse athletes plead to a misdemeanor.

By all means the group of 88 should be slammed - but it should be on legimate items.

Anonymous said...

"President Brodhead has committed to creating a new dean’s position." etc.

Are you going to pen a segment or three focused on Brodhead's behavior throughout this farce? He deserves your scrutiny beyond simple statements of actions he has, or has not, taken. Put another way, I think you have been much too nice regarding his contributions to injustice, not to mention his pathetic PC attempts to address damage done to faculty-student relations and the public image of Duke.

DesertBunny said...

As a politician Obama is very attractive: he's young, he's handsome, he's articulate, he's composed in public and seems genuinely friendly. He's also politically astute if his comments about the Lacrosse case are an indication.

But he's a politician and it behooves me to be highly skeptical of any politician because in one way or another they want to run your life or some aspect of it whether you approve or not. And of course, they have the legal power to do it. Men with guns will come after you if you refuse to obey them.

The only thing that is consensual about our governments is our right to vote for our masters: we can choose not to vote and not fear punishment. But the really important aspect of government, the funding of it, we have no choice. We either pay them what they want or they throw us in jail or confiscate our homes and businesses or both. We cannot take our business elsewhere if we don't like what they do because they preside over a legal monopoly.

Taxation is a form of theft(extortion) if we care to be honest with ourselves. Theft is a crime and corrupts human relationships. Legalizing it doesn't make it right and virtuous. It simply obscures the truth. What ought to be consensual relationships among political equals are in fact coercive relationships between ruler and ruled.

The same question can be asked of the taxpayer as was asked of the black slave: Who owns this man's(or woman's) life, this man or the State? This man or "the people",the majority? This man or the politicians? This man or the white man?

Who does your life belong to ?

Anonymous said...

While Obama should get credit for his call for an inquiry into Nifong, I am not ready to view him as a champion for justice until I hear his position on punishment for the false accusser, CGM. I have heard interviews with Obama's wife where she has sounded like a disciple of the G88 with her victimology on full display. My guess is Obama will talk about CGM as also being a victim of Nifong and all the usual screed that exonerates her from any criminal responsibility.

It seems Obama has been smart enough to realize that defending the LAX boys will get him some credit from moderate white voters, something he needs after the recent church scandal, but until he specifically calls for punishment of CGM, a black woman, and a change in policies/laws for equal punishment for false accuser as those they accuse, I will view him as just another political opportunist.


Anonymous said...

"Can anyone come up with a good term for the wall of contempt Duke University has built between itself and its students?"

Yes. There already is a term. It is "Nifonged". Duke nifonged their students. The students got nifonged because the Duke administration and "leadership" cave to the PC left agenda. That doesn't mean there aren't good faculty or administrators at Duke, it just means that the bad apples are spoilers.

The Catch 22 in this case (for the left) is that doing the right thing (right=correct) means admitting that their PC left agenda is wrong. Admission such as that is not in their character make up.

How many far left leaning libs do you know that would admit being wrong? I know none.

Anonymous said...

Where was Obama last year? Now the truth is known so it is much easier to be on the winning side. Still, better than Hillary or Edwards.

Anonymous said...

re "punishing" the G88

The real issue, Mr Podhoretz, is how most of these mental midgets got their jobs in the first place.

Sure, Obama can safely go after Nifong--but do you think this self-described diversity pimp will attack the underlying causes of the hoax: affirmative action and female privilege?

Tabula Rasa

Anonymous said...

A few points:

1. Obama’s statement on Nifong I find significant since he is African American and it runs counter to the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton position of blaming the establishment and being a “victim.”

2. I am deeply troubled by the silence of John Edwards and Hillary Clinton on this subject and I believe they both need to answer for that.

3. John Podhoretz’s column appears to be one of the most honest and straightforward opinions on this subject. Brodhead has allowed these 88 teachers to break the rules and do it without any reprimand or punishment. Brodhead and his administration along with the support of the Trustees are allowing for actions that will lead to the decline of Duke’s ability to remain as an elite institution.

Anonymous said...

Libertewoods @ 9:45:
Watch it friend! Don't you know the AA Thought Police will get you for saying Obama is "articulate?" I have adopted the position of never saying ANYTHING about any AA person unless it's protected by anonymity.....

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting to see what Mike Pressler does when these charges are dropped against the players. Once an honored member of the Duke community, Brodhead sold him out in a heartbeat to placate the gang of 88.

Sounds like a classic case to discuss in Law School.....Wrongful Termination 101.

Anonymous said... @ 9.31--

I concur and have said so here before. Brodhead is one of the chief villains of the story, and has gotten off comparatively lightly, including on this site. Time some pressure was brought to bear to force him out, although knowing Duke, he'd probably be replaced by one of the Gang of 88, if not worse. Brodhead has consistently done the wrong thing or failed to do the right thing in this matter. THe effects have been devastating, given his pivotal position. The thing he seems to fear the most (like many university presidents in this country) are the tenured radicals and political correct faculty. Students, alumni, benefactors... everyone else seems to be trumped by loud, shrill, ideologically-strident professors. Their supposed to be counter-balanced by alumni. Where are they? Why does Brodhead ignore them? So much for the Duke spirit...

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Just when I think the Gang of 88 can't sicken me worse with their hypocrisy, miriam cooke supports a terrorist by holding up her sign saying 'No More Persecution'.

The hypocrisy, the vileness, the smugness of that gesture is too evil for words. But if words had to be spoken, John Podhoretz says it best: "They're fools at best and monsters at worst - and neither fools nor monsters are much troubled by attacks of conscience."

Anonymous said...

The 9:03 poster is correct. The players were not public figures by the legal definition of that term. Bring on the lawsuits.

Fat Man said...

Selena Robert's performance shows how far a once great institution (the NYTimes) has fallen into ruin. It is now clear that their moto should be: "All The News That Fits Our Agenda, and If Does Not Fit, It Is Not News".

Jamie said... all the recent accolades awarded by this blog, did I miss the deathless "white innocence means black guilt" quote? Wasn't that beauty Karla Holloway's little gem?

One can analyze, argue and agonize over the "merits" of these charges forever, try everything under the sun to address the reasons why this disgusting pig of a case remains unburied, but didn't those five words explain it all?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone read Orin Starn's excrement in the N&O this morning? What a sorry transparent attempt to sound "normal" after the things he has written about the lacrosse team.

This wirey little anthropologist---wow! that major sure is in demand in the real world---is now sending in op-ed pieces trying to rehabilitate himself and mitigate the total fool he has been thusfar.

The local papers are hurrying to help Duke--Brodhead and the Gang of 88--rehabilitate itself.

No explanations. No apologies. Just BS.


Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 1:29 said...
...Is the escort service from which the strippers were hired still in business? I would think that sending out strippers who were of a different race from what the customer requested, one of whom was reportedly too intoxicated to give a good performance, would be bad enough --

I believe you are asking a very important question.
There can't be that many customers who pay those kinds of dollars for entertainment.
If, God forbid, I was running the joint, customer service for paying customers who wanted a dancer would need to be damn near perfect. What they wanted is what they would get! And I would probably be there myself to see that all went well. Those a big bucks and you can be certain that I would be collecting such a large amount of money...and NOT the girls.
I will always wonder if those girls were sent to the wrong house and there was another party of people - a bachelor party - who were waiting for them to show up.


Anonymous said...

Listen to Selena Roberts latest

".. Inside Lacrosse magazine, which cited sources saying the kidnapping and sexual-assault charges against three Duke players would be dismissed within days. As the flapping carrier pigeon of froth, Fox News picked up the story."

Compare Fox News' coverage of the story with that of the New York Times and Duff Wilson. Which was the most accurate, the most dispassionate, and the most fair and balanced?

There was no poorer news story in this matter than the August NYT piece that proclaimed there was a "body of evidence" that warranted pressing the charges and taking it to trial. It was a slipshod, politically driven attempt to give credibility to a case that was already in freefall, and a total failure, at that.

Fox was superior by a wide margin. The New York Times is in no position to criticize Fox, or any other news orgainization in this case.

Anonymous said...

LieStoppers "broke the news" that Obama sent what amounts to a form letter. Don't get your PJs in a twist, KC. Letters from cranks obsessed by their navels are why mechanical signature machines were invented. As to the "hate-fest" on Friday -- clearly, you haven't the faintest idea what went on there, so what, exactly, are you basing this particular fantasy on?

Earth to KC: you are a nut.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the rape charges were dropped (for want of evidence, I presume) but not the other charnges? Surely, if there was insufficient evidence to convict on the rape charges, then the sexual harrassment and kidnapping charges should have been dropped as well. Dropping just some of the charges but not others smells of politics.

This raises the broader issue (of the kind that rarely seems to get raised on this site, oddly): the politicisation of criminal justice in the USA. Compared to other countries I know (UK, Canada), the American legal system seems highly politicised. The election of court officials is another example of this. The recent mess with the Federal attorney-general is just one more manifestation, as is the politics of the Supreme Court. Now it appears that bogus criminal charges are still pending against the three accused in the Duke LAX case SIMPLY to allow the judicial/political machinery of the state to look good in the eyes of various vested interests.

I will watch with much interest what happens if/when Nifong is found to have breached the state bar's ethics code. I suspect the compromised politico-judicial apparatus of the state will then seek a political settlement. When it comes to criminal justice, this country is little better than a banana republic.

Anonymous said...

miriam cooke is pictured standing next to Dante Strobino. The same Dante Strobino who after helping to organize the 610 Buchanon protest was more than happy to jump head first into the Guilford College fiasco. You would think that someone who feels it necessary to cover their tracks from one rush to judgment would show more caution. Not Donte, he'd protest the opening of a non organic fruit stand. I guess the fact one of the G88 was standing next to one of the triangle's most active protesto's was just a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

TO 2:46PM---

If you are of the opinion that the antics and the maneuvers exhibited by the Duke Gang of 88 do not constitute a "hate fest".....

.....then, like those 88 pieces of scum, you live in a most ghetto-ized world.


Anonymous said...

This only came down to a max of $30.00 a head-maybe less-don't know the actual number of people at the house. Chump Change. I can't imagine the Escort Services cares a wit about customer satisfaction. Obviously, no one is getting their money back. Didn't one guy say "Its only $20.00?"

Anonymous said...

It gets worse. More Selena:

"There is a tendency to conflate the alleged crime at the Duke lacrosse team kegger on March 13, 2006, with the irrefutable culture of misogyny, racial animus and athlete entitlement that went unrestrained that night."

A "tendency to conflate"? No kidding? And just who might have tended to "conflate"

A better way to describe it is; exploiting the allegations by attaching one's own political agenda to them. And she was one of the worst at it - along with the potbangers, the Idiot88, and much of the media, including everyone at her newspaper

Now she talks as if it was a mere "tendency to conflate" by others, distancing herself.

She began this sorry affair with an over the top condemnation of the Duke 3. She was shown to be wrong about that, so she disappeared for months. Finally, she returns with a defiant piece that sanctimoniously insists its the larger issues that really mattered anyway, all while slipping in a little mealy-mouthed CYA.

Anonymous said...

Tahe NYTimes staff must have a great time congradulating each other on their articles. I s any one noticing that the circulation is falling - Americans vote with their feet - many are walking away from the Times, Washington Post and most papers. Is it not amazing that a fun paper like the NYPost is rising?.

AMac said...

Selena Roberts can be enjoyed online courtesy of The San Diego Times-Union.

Orin Starn writes about Tiger and Obama in The N&O. The race-driven professor states, "And new DNA research only confirms that race itself is a fiction."

We should all be able to take such liberties with the facts in our areas of professional specialization. In Starn's case, it helps explain the caliber of his commentary concerning the Hoax.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:46 said:

...As to the "hate-fest" on Friday -- clearly, you haven't the faintest idea what went on there, so what, exactly, are you basing this particular fantasy on? Earth to KC: you are a nut.

Oh geez, don't tell me it was another one of those no recording device, no picture, news blackout types of programs they are so fond of having at Duke. And I suppose everyone who has written about it refuses comment because publication is forthcoming?

BTW did anyone actually attend the program about race, gender, class and er, uh, golf and ask any meaningful questions of the panel?

Anonymous said...

From Selena Roberts'March 25 New York Times story: "Duke officials didn't ignore the unearthing. Even as the case changed before them, they rightly underwent a self-inspection of their campus pathology and athletic society. Among the findings: too much student drinking, too many cliques, too much athlete isolationism."

Poor Selena, overemphasizing student problems, overlooks the real pathologies in this hoax: the sicknesses found in the main stream media and in the criminal justice system and in an agenda-driven segment of the faculty. It would take talent and self-examination for her to write the real stories that grew out of this hoax.

Anonymous said...

"Now, she says, the rape allegation was irrelevant to the broader cultural issue: the “irrefutable culture of misogyny, racial animus and athlete entitlement that went unrestrained that night.”

So basically she is now saying that they may not have raped anyone, but since they are rich white atheletes they deserve to be punished anyway. All because they hired a stripper who happened to be black.

People might find it in poor taste, but there is nothing illegal about hiring a stripper. It was this woman's choice to be a stripper, no one forced her into it. I know plenty of single mothers that work 2 or 3 jobs to provide for their kids without stripping. She chose a job where she thought she could make more money taking her clothes off then she could working a standard job. That is her choice and she was free to choose something else.

Unfortunately too many people share the view that since someone was screwed over in the past, it is ok to screw over someone else now to make up for it. These people should read Thomas Sowell's "The Quest for Cosmic Justice" and see how damaging this philosophy actually is. Unfortunately they are set into their beliefs and nothing will change them.

Anonymous said...

This evening's NPR news program had a segment on the CCI, which made several mentions of the desire to change a campus culture of excessive partying and cultural insensitivity to matters of race and gender. The fallout from the party was addressed in a manner which implied that the party was typical and the allegations against student athletes were still credible. Nowhere in the segment did the Adam Hochberg (spelling?) address the serious questions some people have about the composition of the CCI committee or its findings, the behavior of members of the CCI committee relative to students. Hochberg just noted that some students had differing opinions about CCI.

The New York Times is not alone - the media is not going to address the problems in Durham, just sweep them under the rug. That's precisely what NPR is doing. If we want change to come, we need to keep supporting bloggers like KC, Liestoppers, etc. and keep shining sunlight on the sorry state of higher education as practiced by the G-88 and the Duke administration. And the sorry state of reporting on this disgraceful situation as practiced by what purports to be a responsible media. Keep up the good work.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 8:55 said...
...Unfortunately too many people share the view that since someone was screwed over in the past, it is ok to screw over someone else now to make up for it. These people should read Thomas Sowell's "The Quest for Cosmic Justice" and see how damaging this philosophy actually is. Unfortunately they are set into their beliefs and nothing will change them.

I can remember my undergraduate professor of European History helping all of us in the class understand similar attitudes in Germany just prior to WW II.

He also taught us that there are strange situations where people who commit high crimes tend to file and cross reference their smoking guns. In fact, if the German High Command had not filed and cross referenced their smoking guns there would have been no Nuremberg trials.

For our current situation, the high command on and off campus have left a stunning collection of smoking guns that are neatly filed and cross referenced for this round of attorneys and the next round of attorneys to study.

When the State of NC makes it announcement soon I think we need to prepare ourselves for the State to make full use of Emerson's old advise that ....when skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.

I for one am not going away when that decision comes down from the State of NC. I will be right here waiting for the next round of proper debate about what really happened in Durham.

The people who are 'set in their beliefs' need to hear and see over and over what the high command in Durham has filed and cross referenced. They need to see and hear that reality is often the antithesis of one's beliefs.

We just don't throw away our young high energy college athletes in the USA because of some imagined concept created by the Loopy Left.

Succisa Virescit


Anonymous said...

The Gang of 88 are scumbags.

However, anyone who makes blanket statements about "liberal academia" needs to be careful not to "throw the baby out with the bath water" and impugn professors who are (1) apolitical/non-liberal, (2) of any political persuasion but do not interject their personal politics into their work.

Moreover, it seems that a lot of the people who rightly criticize liberal academia also intend to, by association, demean the hard work of liberal students--i.e. if you do well in school and you're a liberal, it's only because the professor agrees with you.

Nevermind that many engineering or hard science students will never even know the political persuation of more than one or two of their professors or vice versa. (Exactly zero of the G88 were engineering professors, although they took some humanities requirements for sure.)

Until/unless they can fundamentally change the structure of academia, how exactly do Students for Academic Freedom and similar groups hope to deal with the very real problem of professors like those in the Gang of 88, though?

If grading retaliation like that which occurred is a recurring thing, should they say during interviews that their GPA should be higher (and if they were, College Republican membership?) It's basically a twisted form of affirmative action and could lead to God knows how many people magically "becoming Republicans."

I'll delve further into "Modest Proposal" territory for a moment: Should liberal students have asterisks on their diplomas or something, since any of their honors were only done by agreeing with "liberal academia?"

Anonymous said...

On another note, until/unless the fundamental structure of the media can be changed (and it slowly is, with bloggers, Fox News, talk radio, etc.) what else, exactly, do opponents of the liberal media expect to do about it?

To again venture into "Modest Proposal" territory, should a Democrat/liberal/whatever who wins by smaller than a certain margin have an "asterisk" by their seat or concede their seat altogether, since according to many they only won because the media misinformed the voters?

Evan Thomas from Newsweek actually tried to quantify this margin after the 2004 election--he said that Kerry/Edwards had a 15% advantage and effectively lost 58-40% (he later took back what he said and made it a 5% margin.) If we follow the 15% rule, does that mean that Clinton, Carter, etc. never deserved to be President? That Republicans "hold" many, many more Congressional and gubernatorial seats than they do? etc.

Anonymous said...

3:01 PM --

In case you're still monitoring, and since no one else has provided you the answer to your question about why the rape charge was dropped, but not the sexual assault and kidnapping charges, please allow me to respond.

Politics had nothing to do with it.

Back on December 21st, the DA's chief investigator, Linwood Wilson finally got around to interviewing Crystal for the first time. Even though Crystal had told several versions of her story already, she, incredibly, 9 months after the incident, chose to tell Wilson yet another version that contradicted many of statements she had made previously. This version has been explained by some as an attempt to cover holes that had developed in previous versions based on evidence that had come out over the intervening months between April and December.

Quite simply, by December 21st, Crystal could not longer say for certain that she was penetrated vaginally by the penis of any of the accused, which is the necessary requirement to be charged with rape. That being the case, Nifong decided to withdraw the rape charge against the LAX 3, and concentrate on the other 2 charges, which carry essentially the same penalties if convicted, but do not have an absolute standard (such as vaginal penetration by a penis) associated with them.

Of course, the LAX 3 are as equally innocent of the sexual assault and kidnapping charges as they are of rape. The decision for the state of NC to continue keeping these other equally bogus charges active? Now that's political.

Anonymous said...

Roberts latest editorial in the NY Times had a cynical comment about a rival news organization. She wrote:

"As the flapping carrier pigeon of froth, Fox News picked up the story."

Memo to Ms. Roberts:

Since you were a journalism major at that "elite" football factory in Alabama known as Auburn University, you are undoutedly too stupid to be able to read a financial statement. If you could, you'd know that Pinch Sulzberger is running your POS rag into the dirt. The way it's going, Fox News is going to be around a lot longer than the New York Times. Newspaper of record deficits is a lot more accurate description of the Times these days.

Anonymous said...

If the charges are dropped in the next few days, the "flapping carrier of froth" scooped Duff Wilson, Roberts, and the rest of the losers at the New York Times again.