Sunday, May 13, 2007

Times Readers Speak Out

Several Times readers sent in letters published today taking to task the milquetoast performance of Public Editor Byron Calame on the lacrosse case. As one commenter noted, they’re almost impossible to find on the Times website. Here’s a sampling:

In trying to defend The New York Times, you actually expose the serious ideological bias of the Duke rape case reporting.

The reporter Duff Wilson focused in on 33 pages of a 1,850-page report. These 33 pages were written such that an unbiased reporter could conclude that the prosecutor had a substantial case against the Duke lacrosse players. But what about the other 1,817 pages?

Those are the pages upon which the North Carolina attorney general and the American people concluded that the players were innocent. Why focus on 33 pages late to the investigation?

Forgetting about the possible police bias in trying to bolster their case by way of the 33-page report, didn’t the five or six different stories given by the accuser closer in time to the event cause Mr. Wilson to wonder? He should have laid out those contradictions for us all to see. That’s fair reporting!

Fairfax, Va., April 24, 2007

I believe there were generally two oversights in the coverage of the Duke lacrosse case, not only by The Times but by other news organizations as well.

Aside from some grumpy groans from sports columnists, little notice has been taken of the actions and demonstrations by students and staff, representing Duke’s radical feminist groups, racial awareness organizations and so on. These were standard rants by the usual bodies concerned with social justice, and staffed by those driven by exuberant idealism. Their outpourings clearly assumed the accused were guilty. But the media missed an opportunity to report on the cruelties that can be done by such careless people, however nobly motivated.

The behavior of Duke’s president was far worse. Look at his record. His meanspirited rush to protect Duke was simply wrong, and he should be held to account.

Champaign, Ill., April 24, 2007

Even if no one else at The Times has had any decency, you should be the one with a steel backbone, a real conscience, a sense of honor and — yes — a capacity for outrage. Because what was done to these boys by The Times was, and is, an outrage.

Yet you spoon up this “Oh, The Times was mostly in the right after all.” No, it wasn’t, and you should all have the character to shout it from the rooftops, at least as loudly as the paper maligned the Duke students. These boys and their families have been terrorized for a year by the vast official power of the government and the even more vast power of the yellow P.C. press. Yet you prattle about “this overstated summary,” as if it’s nothing more than an inconvenient traffic ticket.

Lilburn, Ga., April 24, 2007


Anonymous said...

At least the Times has a few intelligent readers left. Will no one at the Times hold Duff Wilson accountable?

Anonymous said...

Carolyn asks:

I'm shocked! Shocked! to discover that letters from readers upset by the NY Times' heavily biased reporting are "almost impossible to find on the Times website"!

Anonymous said...

The Times has done nothing but slander the former Duke students. I note that the Times' circulation continues to drop like a stone.

The NY Times behavior in the Duke case exemplifies perfectly the profound decline in objective reporting standards plagues this once prominant newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Answer to Anon at 3:07:


Anonymous said...

The Times coverage is indefensable. As mean spirited as this is, I can only hope for their downward spiral in circulation.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the letters came from readers in VA, IL & GA. I wonder why that is.

Anonymous said...

The New York Times has already made its front-page money on this story. They are not about to do anything to acknowledge their mistakes or the innocence of the true victims of this hoax because that's not how they derive revenue. Duff Wilson tried his damnedest for a "Spewitzer Prize" -- the hottest selling copy. One gram of interest by the NYT in the actual truth would put them all over the Durham DPD, the DA, and all of the other sordid enablers of this criminal abrogation of civil rights. It ain't gonna happen. The only cure is a major civil suit for libel. If I were an attorney, I would be salivating. If the Nifong Hoax served ANY useful purpose, it was to lay bare for ordinary Americans like me the true motives and character of the NYT. Calame's mercurious apology only confirms their self-serving position. The LA Times gets it, the N&O finally gets it, and bloggers like KC have gotten it all along. DON'T READ THE NEW YORK TIMES! Read writers who want to get at the TRUTH.

Anonymous said...

NYU's climb to the top in a short period of time. It's clear where Brodhead and the BOT thinks Duke should be aligned...with the interests of the Gang of 88 and the race, gender, and class warfare affirmative action frauds.

A speech entitled "A Tide is Upon Us," delivered by an Asian university president (National University of Singapore), Dr. Shih Choon-Fong...his description of how NYU rose to become an elite university in the past two decades is of note as Duke hires frauds in AAAs and Women/Gender studies and strives to win the race to the bottm.

One wonders what the recruitment efforts look like to secure some of the racists Duke has in it's faculty?

"............Let me offer an example. In 1988, John Sexton became Dean of the Law School at New York University. NYU Law was then an average school. In about a decade, it rose to the top tier. The New York Times described Sexton as having "engineered the most stunning climb to the top in the recent history of American legal education

A Tide is Upon Us

How did he do it? Through relentless recruitment. He spent long hours in one-on-one sessions with faculty being considered for hire.

When he became NYU president, Sexton's opening shot for global
excellence was Economics. Sexton challenged the department to pursue the very best. His prized catch was Stanford's Thomas Sargent - the best-known living economist that non-economists have never heard of.

Friends and colleagues, if you think that Sexton was coy in courting Sargent, you can't be more wrong. The New York Times describes academic wooing as making other forms of romance simple in comparison. Had it been a romantic courtship, Sexton would have been labeled a stalker. He pursued, he wined and dined, he refused to be spurned.

To get "A-plus" scholars to NYU, existing faculty were persuaded to set aside narrow, individual interests for a collective compact for excellence. Sexton made it clear that if there were any complaints of inequity or demands for similar packages, "the deal was off". With this compact for excellence, the economics department helped NYU to ride the tide into the upper ranks of North American universities................"

Anonymous said...

You don't put something on the FRONT PAGE of a major American paper if your editors or journalists have any doubt about its truth or FALSITY -- unless you don't care. Duff Wilson and the New York Times made a conscious decision to go with that 1/2 baked libel back in August because it was good for circulation. Has ANYONE from the NYT asked ANYONE in Durham just what the HELL the grand jury was actually told? THE NYT DOESN'T CARE!!!

William Jockusch said...

I hope the Times gets sued for big money over this. On a personal level, I simply don't trust the Times anymore. Information there simply cannot be assumed to be accurate.

Anonymous said...

The New York Times - stenographers to the Bush Administration. Should we really expect anything more?

Anonymous said...

"stenographers to the Bush administration"?? Whatever do you mean? And what does the Admin have to do with anything on this site?

Anonymous said...

I abhor litigation, trial lawyers and such.

However this case cries out, indeed demands, litigation. This is what the founders had in mind when they gave citizens the right of redress in the courts.

To not sue lying government functionaries, their factotums and Stalinist enablers as well as yellow journalists would be irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

To 6:17

No, no one has asked anyone "in Durham just what the HELL the grand jury was actually told."

Peculiar thing about the justice system in NC. Grand jurors are not allowed to talk about the proceedings. Two spoke briefly and were threatened with contempt of court citations. No recording is made. There is no court reporter. No transcript of any kind is produced. As Seiligman said, there is no way to review the process.

It appears that the NC justice system is namesaked after a marsupial from down under.

Mike in Nevada

Anonymous said...

Let the board of directors at the New York Times know of your opinion of Times coverage of the lacrosse rape frame:

Board Members

Brenda C. Barnes
Raul E. Cesan
Daniel H. Cohen
Lynn G. Dolnick
Michael Golden
Vice Chairman, The New York Times Company
Publisher, International Herald Tribune
William E. Kennard
James M. Kilts
David E. Liddle
Ellen R. Marram
Thomas Middelhoff
Janet L. Robinson
President and Chief Executive Officer,
The New York Times Company
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.
Chairman, The New York Times Company
Publisher, The New York Times
Doreen A. Toben

Anonymous said...


It is easier to stop reading the newspaper.

mac said...

Cheryl Crow can stop talking
about wasting paper - and using
one square: just stop buying
the Times, and save a whole
lot more trees!

(OF course, anorexic types like
her who poop once in 4 days
can afford to use one square,
the end result being something
akin to the pet snake in the


Save the environment? Save
paper? Save trees? Save your
money! Support online news!
Ditch your subscription to
paperhogs - (like the Times!)

Anonymous said...

The New York Times - stenographers to the Bush Administration.

Are you on drugs?

The New York Times has already made its front-page money on this story.

It is not about money. New York al-Times has been losing money and circulation for years. Only devout extreme hard core marxists read it anymore. It is only about the leftist ideology and Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS). New York al-Times was cheering on Josef Stalin (for which it received Pulitzer prize), Vietkong, Fidel Castro and every anti-US marxist dictator ever existed on earth.

They are actively aligned with the terrorists and they do whatever needed to help the terrorists if it hurts Bush (ie leak secret information illegally). Rosenborg was executed for leaking secret information (in peacetime) to the KGB. I think New York al-Times editors deserve no less than their hero.

Anonymous said...

Exactly right on all counts.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 8:51 pm
"Let the board of directors at the New York Times know of your opinion of Times coverage of the lacrosse rape frame:"

You do that - it will give them comfort that, right or wrong, you are still reading the rag.

Jack said...

Jamil Hussein at 9:58 pm

For what reason does the Times disregard profitability and the laws of economics and push the agenda you describe?

mac said...


One wonders.

But not too long. One only
continues to wonder if one

Bah-bah, NY Times, bah-bah!

Anonymous said...

Re anon's 6:33 comment:

"The only cure is a major civil suit for libel. If I were an attorney, I would be salivating."

There has been a lot of talk about filing libel or slander lawsuits against various people and organizations. However, as each day passes, the chances of that happening become slimmer. N.C. Gen. Statute Sec. 1-54(3) provides that the statute of limitations for libel and slander actions is ONE YEAR. So, any allegedly libelous or slanderous statements that were made more than one year ago would appear to be off limits with regard to an action based solely in libel or slander, at least in North Carolina.

Of course, the usual disclaimer applies: Don't take this as legal advice. I only provide this info as food for thought.

Durham Lawyer

Michael said...

The Wall St Journal has a buyer. It will be interesting to see if someone is interested in buying the NYT.

BTW, the other hoax that the NYT/Boston Globe got caught up in was Rathergate. Jay Leno was relentless on CBS (or See BS) news for quite some time.

It would be great to see the Lacrosse players on Leno one of these days.

Anonymous said...

3 months ago I stopped reading the Times. Mainly I was annoyed.The Duke case was the final straw. Out of a lifelong habit, I resumed this week.

I will stop again. I just do not trust this paper anymore. At all. Its not just the Duke care. Its years and years of this sort of ideology.

For example, what other paper would publish an article (as the Times did last year) basically saying that Jackie Robinson could have done more for Blacks when he played?

This is the paper that wrote a front page story trashing the accuser in the William Kennedy Smith case.

I could go on and on.

Go ahead, take a look at today's front page. A very typical Sunday paper. A very favorable story about Hillary and Bill (it might as well have been written by the Hillary presidential election team). An article focusing on Afghan civilian casualties. An article claiming that religious groups unfairly get govt $ for "pet projects". An article about abortion and unmarried woman in China. Oh, and an article about a jockey. Thats right, a jockey!!

All ideologically motivated. And keep in mind many small paper editors take their cue from the Times.

You would never know the World Trade Center was located in Manhattan. And more terrorists are out there.

If one were to list the numerous reasons why the Times has declined and why its so silly: The Duke case has it all.

Anonymous said...

6:13PM does not know what he/she is talking about. Sargent is an example of the recruiting strategy know as "populating the elephants' graveyard". Hiring folk who won Nobels a while ago is an exercise in professional ennui.

To take a better example of serious recruiting, look at "oh my God" Duke. Fourteen senior hires in two years, including the department chairs of UC-Davis and UCLA, and a number of serious others of a generation in their 40s is a better way to go, in the view of the Economics profession. The involvement of a serious intellectual as Provost (i.e Lange), and the willingness of all present Economics faculty to actually be involved in activities like undergraduate teaching, research supervision, and mentoring, makes Duke a more important site for real work in Economics than NYU. Having spent the past two days celebrating the Duke Economic Department's commencement activities, graduate and undergraduate, I am impressed again at Duke's seriousness and intellectual vigor in my field.
The moves of graduate students to follow the action, and Assistant Professors to move to sites of activity, prove the point.The market has decided.

Anonymous said...

professor: next to princeton, duke looks to be standing still...when the next FED chairman comes from DUKE youll get my attention...tell me the names of top wall street economists from DUKE ?

i do respect the fact that no one from the econ area signed the group of 88, but it would have showed real character to sanction these dummies as they are enemies of free markets, tradional ethics and scientific exploration

show some character, get on the page

Anonymous said...

I wrote a letter to the Times, but I guess it never got printed. No, it was not complimentary of what was going on.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Weintraub,

We would all do well to remember that when we are on-line wringing our collective hands about the Duke response to the case generally--and we are, right up to this very moment--the Economics Department along with Professor Coleman and a few members of the science department and the Engineering School earned our deepest admiration for speaking out on behalf of the Duke LAX players and defendants. Your department was the moral North Star for the entire University, and your position as such seems not only secure but unchallenged, even now. Thank you.

And if you ever want a new president to work for, I hear President Sexton is beloved...and hiring...


Anonymous said...

E. Roy Weintraub, Duke Professor of Economics, has been there over 35 years.

His involvement has included:
o Advisory Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure,
o Academics Priorities Committee
o Faculty Compensation Committee
o President's Advisory Committee on Resources (Chair)
o Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (1993-95)

With that involvement in shaping the faculty and academic program, I would be most interested in his views on how the leading members of the Group of 88 have risen to senior tenured positions. Especially, given the rigid ideology of their teaching and the lamentable paucity of their research.

mac said...

Durham Lawyer 10:41

Can some of these potential cases
(against the 88, NY Times,
Wendy Murphy etc) take place in
other venues?

Are the better venues, with
regard to the statute of

Can any of these cases be filed
but not published in the public
square? (meaning: can a suit be
quietly filed?)


mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

6 months ago I pointed out in a comment that it would be wise to keep an eye on the Statute of Limitations on slander and libel as, in many states, it is only one year.

I am sure a lot of the enablers are doing a lot of counting these days.

Greg Allan said...

Mike in Nevada said...
It appears that the NC justice system is namesaked after a marsupial from down under.

Any chance of somebody US based suing Durham on behalf of our terrorised marsupials. They are innocent too.

mac said...

7:49 am

It would be the sharpest of needles,
the heaviest of bludgeons, the most burning
of acids if the suits should be filed on the day before the statutes were up!

Let's hope.

mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Mac at 6:24 a.m.,

As to filing the cases later somewhere else... Unfortunately, I do not know -- that's why I limited my comment to North Carolina.

As to a secret lawsuit, I don't know any way that one could file a lawsuit in a public court system and have it be secret. The law mandates that the courts be open (to public view). There are some private dispute resolution alternatives that might be kept private, such as private mediation or private arbitration, but it would seem to me that one of the main reasons that a person would file a libel or slander lawsuit is to publicly expose as false the allegedly defamatory material.

Durham Lawyer

mac said...

Durham Lawyer,

Thank you for patiently answering
my naiive question(s.)

Are there other aggrievements
(if that is the proper term)
that persons might file in this
case or these cases - (aside from
libel) - that might be potentially
as impugnative, declarative or
auspicious? In other words,
is there anything else that screams
lounder, means more or can compensate
the formerly-accused parties
to as great a degree as libel?

And would those essentially
have the same constraints of

Just FYI: (I'm not a party to this
case, but I'm as curious as most
of the people posting here,
and share the common view that
it would be nice to see justice
done in some fashion.)

mac said...

BTW, Durham Lawyer
(and thanks again)

Aren't some of the more
egregious commentaries
made more egregious by the
fact that they were made after
the declaration of innocence by
AG Cooper? I assume for some -
(such as Wendy Murphy, Feinstein
and lots of others) - the ticker has
just started ticking.

Perhaps Captain Hook et al hear
the crocodile's tic-toc-tic-toc,
en masse, and are carefully
counting down, but...

What I hear is a melody:
"It's Only Just Begun."

Anonymous said...

For the Durham Lawyer (10:41 PM)who thinks that the N.C. statute of limitations may apply to libel suits against the NY Times:

The NYT is a national publication. The libel, if any, did not occur just in North Carolina (or New York). I would say that an libel action against the Times could be brought in any jurisdiction where the Times is sold -- at least if there were some nexus between the place and the plantiff.

R.R. Hamilton

mac said...

R.R. Hamilton,

As I wondered before:
wasn't the watch re-set
several times, the starting
gun fired repeatedly, with
regard to the libel?

In other words, the statutes
might not apply if the offenders
keep saying the same things.

Anonymous said...

5:59 PM states: "I noticed the letters came from readers in VA, IL & GA. I wonder why that is."

Answer: It probably means that's where those readers live...


Anonymous said...

Mac at 12:39, etc:

Perhaps there are causes of action for intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress. The NC statute of limitations for those is three years.

Also, as to libel actions, you are correct that the clock gets reset each time the alleged libeler / slanderer repeats his or her defamatory comments.

Regarding R.R. Hamilton's comment at 2:18 that "Durham Lawyer...thinks that the N.C. statute of limitations may apply to libel suits against the NY Times":

I was pretty careful, I thought, to limit my comment to just North Carolina Courts. On the other hand, I did not limit my comment to the NT Times, but to "various people and organizations." To reiterate, in my opinion, if someone in NC defames another person in North Carolina, and the the "defamee" wants to file a libel / slander lawsuit in a North Carolina court against the "defamor," he or she would be advised to do so within one year of the date of the alleged defamation.

Durham Lawyer