In the legal world, it is difficult to imagine a more complete exoneration than that received by the Duke lacrosse players.
Sadly, facts matter in the courtroom more than they do in a newspaper. As the Duke men’s lacrosse team completed its season with a one-goal loss in the national championship game, many leading sports commentators used the occasion to get in one final swipe at the team. Maybe the players were innocent, the storyline went, but the team was filled with bad guys whose personal character should be interpreted solely on the basis of their attending a spring break party with strippers.
Clucked the Baltimore Sun’s Roch Kubato, “The players who attended the infamous party last year might not have done everything they were accused of, but what they were doing was wrong. Very, very wrong.” (Two of the accused players, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, briefly attended a party they played no role in organizing and perhaps drank some beer. That’s “very, very wrong?”) Sports columns in the San Jose Mercury News, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and New York Times made the same argument, almost as if they were written by the same person. So much for the power of the independent press.
It turns out that not one of the journalists who penned these columns ever interviewed a single current or former Duke lacrosse player. Nor did they seem to know the most basic facts about the case or its context.
Some sports reporters, it’s worth noting, covered the story professionally. The AP’s Aaron Beard has done extraordinary work on the lacrosse case for months. In early May 2006, Jason Whitlock wrote one of the first major columns challenging the pro-Nifong media consensus. At the Final Four, cnnsi’s Kevin Armstrong and Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel thoughtfully explored how the case personally affected some of the lacrosse players.
But for the most part, last week’s performance confirmed the worst stereotypes of sports columnists: that they are paid to have strongly expressed opinions, regardless of the quality of the argument they offer, or even their own consistency. When the issue is whether Joe Torre should rebuke Alex Rodriguez for his dalliance with a figure the New York tabloids have termed the buxom blonde, perhaps this standard is acceptable. When facts and research are required, however, the result is, at best, shoddy work.
Take the most famous sportswriter to comment on the case, John Feinstein—someone who, in a never-ending cascade of increasingly panned books and appearances on radio talk shows, has become one of those brands you can’t avoid no matter how much might want to.
They can just say, “We know you had this party. We know it got out of hand. None of you is man enough to come forward and say what happened. You were witnesses to a crime. We’re shutting down the program and you’re all gone.”
Prompted by Kornheiser, Feinstein conceded that his negative characterization of the players was not a result of their drinking or the captains inviting strippers. “That happens—but that happens on every school in
So what justified Feinstein’s condemnation of the players' character? The fact that none of the players had gone to police and incriminated their teammates for the “crime.”
You know, I don’t want to hear any ifs, and, or buts. These kids have acted disgracefully, just by the fact that not one of them—I don’t want to hear about the code, among buddies and among teams. A crime was committed. There were witnesses to the crime. They need to come forward and say what they saw . . .
They won’t, and that’s why I’m saying the hell with them—strip their scholarships.
Since Feinstein had elected to speak without determining the facts, he didn’t know (as had been reported two days before his interview) that the three captains had “come forward and said what happened,” and had even told police they would take a polygraph test. Moreover, as the
Feinstein, then, wanted the university to give its students an ultimatum: falsely implicate their teammates in a crime that never occurred or lose the financial wherewithal to attend college.
Much like the Duke faculty who condemned the lacrosse players to advance the professors’ ideological and curricular agendas, Feinstein had a personal angle to the case: he wanted to settle a score with people at Duke. In 1998, he had lobbied aggressively for Duke to name a longtime friend, Tom Mickle, as its new athletic director. The search committee rejected his advice and selected Joe Alleva. Those at Duke with whom I have spoken—some strong defenders of how the university handled the lacrosse case, others who were deeply disappointed by the school’s tepid response—were unanimous on one point: Alleva was easily superior to Feinstein’s candidate, who was merely one of many people considered for the job. But Feinstein took rejection badly. Had Duke hired his preferred choice for A.D., he sniffed a column last May, “this never would have gotten to this point.”
Blinded by this personal animus, Feinstein managed to get virtually every key element about the lacrosse case wrong:
- The only “crime” committed was underage drinking, in which the lacrosse players joined three-quarters of the nation’s college students and which both he and Kornheiser admitted last March was nothing unusual on college campuses.
- As Feinstein described the lacrosse team as “immature, idiotic, [and] out-of-control,” a faculty committee’s investigation showed that the players—like many students at Duke—drank too much, but otherwise were unusually good students, with strong records of community service and treating staff well, and no record of sexist or racist behavior.
- Despite his insinuation that the “rich, privileged, lawyered-up and white” lacrosse players had engaged in racist acts, we now know that one, and only one, of the team’s 47 players responded to a racial taunt from the second dancer, as the party was breaking up, with a racial slur of his own.
After the dismissal of charges and Duke’s run to the championship game, did Feinstein acknowledge his own rush to judgment? No. Explain or understand the facts of case? No. Admit that personal biases clouded his interpretation? No. Instead, in radio interviews and several newspaper columns over the past month, he lectured morality from some lofty moral high ground known only to him.
Discussing the three falsely accused players in an interview a few weeks ago, he asserted,
I don’t think I’ve been proven wrong, because . . . I said, I think they’re probably guilty of everything but rape.
Were they guilty of sexual assault and kidnapping, the other two charges that they faced? Of having personal characters that resembled Hitler’s, as commentator Wendy Murphy had suggested? Of racist slurs, even though none of them were even on the premises when the racially charged argument occurred between the second dancer and one lacrosse player? Feinstein didn’t say—but obviously all of those offenses would fall under a definition of “everything but rape.”
Following up on his radio screed, Feinstein took to the pages of the Washington Post to declare, “No one at Duke has admitted to a single mistake yet. Until they do so, they don’t deserve forgiveness.”
This was yet another Feinstein factual error: the team captains had apologized, publicly and repeatedly, for holding the party. The same man who last year blasted the Duke administration for not immediately terminating the lacrosse program and later wrote “whether Duke plays lacrosse next year really doesn’t matter” then criticized Duke for not resuming the season after the first round on DNA tests came back negative last April.
The lesson of the case, Feinstein informed Post readers, “isn’t about over-zealous prosecutors or media running amok. It’s a lesson about a society in which no one ever admits they’re wrong (see G.W. Bush and R. Cheney as exhibits 1 and 1A), especially allegedly smart people. Smart people make mistakes too. Mistakes are forgivable—but only after you admit them.”
It’s more than ironic to see repeated character assaults on the players and demands that Duke fire several administrators coming from a sportswriter who has not admitted—much less owned up to—his own serious misjudgments about the case.Do they give Pulitzers for hypocrisy? If so, consider Feinstein a shoo-in.
The term "stripper" has been devalued by this case.
I am a professional striptease artist, and I'm proud of my occupation. Crystal Gail Mangum is about as much a stripper as Wahneema Lubiano is a professor.
I just don't think it's fair that Mangum is referred to as a stripper, when what she really is, is a low-class sex worker.
Send Professor Johnson's post to Donald Graham, the chief executive officer of The Washington Post Co. Include a polite letter. You could also write the ombudsman, but you'll likely get a response from Mr. Graham.
Meanwhile, in the most ethical congress in history.
Through it all, much of the Congressional Black Caucus has stood by Jefferson and against the Democratic leadership. And yesterday, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), a veteran Congressional Black Caucus member, said the caucus would be "as supportive of our colleague as possible, in terms of saying a person in America is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty."
Finestein is a disgrace - even worse than the Duffer. Is there any chance of civil suit against JOhn? A friend wrote from DC - the circulation at the Post is Down, Down, Down. As a loyal reader for most of my adult life, I ended my affiliation with the Post over a year ago. Any talk of the Graham's sellinf the paper. Understand they just bought a big mansion by Central Park in NYC,
"The lesson of the case, Feinstein informed Post readers, “isn’t about over-zealous prosecutors or media running amok. It’s a lesson about a society in which no one ever admits they’re wrong"
He's right of course - and while at it he's demonstrating real journalistic detachment -lol
Obviously a bitter, self hating guy. We have all seen this type.
"Is there any chance of civil suit against JOhn?"
Always sue. That should replace "In God We Trust" on the US currency. Why is everyone's immediately instinct always to sue? THere are other ways to resolve things. Why do Americans always think of justice primarily in terms of courts of law? They are for adjudicating laww, not ethics.
Bring on the civil lawsuits. It's the only way to expose the corruption in the city of Durham, the Durham police department, the district attorney's office, et al.
And name one other way to resolve things in this grave miscarriage of justice.
That's simply a devastating post, KC. Bravo.
Your readers might be interested to know that John Feinstein was upbraided by the Post's ombudsman just a few weeks ago after it was revealed that he had participated in a betting pool involving an event he was covering for the paper. Here's the link:
Feinstein's wagering took place repeatedly, over the course of the last 15 years. His defense? After a manifestly ludicrous denial, he then argued that everybody does it.
Notice also Feinstein's chief complaint in this latest column -- that readers emailed him to point out his error. For a grade-A example of journalistic arrogance and sanctimony, look no further. Here's Feinstein's rule: Accountablility for thee but not for me.
why oh why do you persist in trying to white wash the sorry team record? you know as well as i do that the report did not just say the team had a history of alcohol problems; the coleman report also said that the team had more criminal and duke disciplinary charges againist its members than any sports team at duke and that 36 had been in trouble since 2003. The professional sportswriters may not have interviewed every lacrosse player but they can at least read and they have read coleman's report and unlike you these men have acknowledged what that statistic means. what it means is that you had kids that had more problems with the criminal code and the duke disciplinary code as a group compared with their peers and it indicates it had been happening for some time and their leader, the coach, did not run a good ship. Professional sportswriters also have taken math and understand that 3 out of 36-40 people cooperating by talking to police is "not complete team cooperation" unlike you. The last time i checked, 3 out of 36 or 40 was around 10% talking and cooperating versus around 90% that were not. However, perhaps you have invented a new math that only people drinking blue koolaid are aware of. for the rest of the world, we intrepret this to mean the majority of the team did not cooperate.
and last but not least, the ag's actual statement that was filed is a standard form and it has a box on it and it is checked insufficient evidence to proceed and underneath it someone from Cooper's office has typed the "we believe the individuals to be innocent"...in a different typeface. That is because it is unprecedented for a prosecutor to declare innocence in the Us and technically only a judge or jury can do so and Cooper knows it and so do the professional sportswriters and they are voicing their opinion of what is bought justice all way round. put it another way, they did not swallow the blue koolaid.
you are the ones who look stupid and gullible not the sportswriters, who have a healthy degree of skepticism and they know bs from a pr firm when they see it.
"you are the ones who look stupid and gullible..."
And you, 1:59, are the one who writes dumb and dumber. For god's sake, either learn punctuation or quit typing in your mom's basement.
carolyn, you are reduced to writing about punctuation because you cannot refute one thing i have said in my post above.
i write small case letters on purpose as it is a style choice like ee cummings.
1:59's abysmal writing skills remind me of the guy who used to come on KC's blog periodically and claim Nifong was just about to drop a bomb and blow the case wide open, detonating the Duke 3 into a 30 year sentence.
If it is the same guy, I find it amusing that he's now reduced to dredging up the lacrosse related "36" incidents of "trouble." We know that most of the "trouble" was at the level of public urination, an act which, metaphorically speaking of course, bears a strong resemblance to 1:59's literary talent.
Please, EVERYONE, urge your congressman or woman to sponsor a bill which would temporarily raise the drinking age to 150 years old from 12pm on March 13th to 1am on March 14th so that we might all revel in the crime of underage drinking.
"Guilty of EVERYTHING but rape"?
What exactly does "everything" include? Did the lacrosse players routinely J-walked up and down 9th Street on their way from George's to Cosmic? Did the lacrosse players frame Roger Rabbit?
This guy is an idiot!
1:59 Certainly, reminds us why we are here. To fight injustice. I do agree that complaining about spelling, punctuation and the like does show a lack of ideas. As we have no spell check or editors, I look at this as "conversation" rather than writing,
The team's past disciplinary record is IRRELEVANT when it comes to the charges a lying stripper levied against them.
The only person who would waste time being upset about it at this point is someone who rushed to judgment (and who turned out to be very WRONG INDEED in the end, professor).
Anonymous @ 1:59 a.m. wrote:
Professional sportswriters also have taken math
LOL, you've got to be kidding. Its a well-known fact that numerical illiteracy is rampant among journalists. In fact, most students major in journalism to avoid taking math.
No numbers please - we're journalists
A content analysis of the Vancouver Sun newspaper and a math quiz administered to journalism students at the University of B.C. revealed that both working reporters and journalism students have waded in – and they are drowning in the numbers. They have difficulty performing simple mathematical calculations, they struggle to contextualize data and they disengage their critical faculties when it comes to numbers. It is not that the math that they must use is rocket-science — in fact most involves no more than elementary or high school math — it is simply that they refuse to ask, "Does this make sense?"
Even professional journalism organizations like the Poynter Institute have acknowledged that innumeracy is a rampant problem in their profession.
1:59:00 AM said:
and last but not least, the ag's actual statement that was filed is a standard form and it has a box on it and it is checked insufficient evidence to proceed and underneath it someone from Cooper's office has typed the "we believe the individuals to be innocent"...in a different typeface. That is because it is unprecedented for a prosecutor to declare innocence in the Us and technically only a judge or jury can do so and Cooper knows it and so do the professional sportswriters and they are voicing their opinion of what is bought justice all way round. put it another way, they did not swallow the blue koolaid.
Here is what the standard form, which requires reasons to be filled in, actually says:
The undersigned prosecutor enters a dismissal to the above charge(s) and assigns the following reasons:
~snip (the box checked was 2.)~
2. There is insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution for the following reasons:
The re-investigation of this matter indicates that this individual is innocent of the charges brought against him and in the interest of justice these charges are dismissed.
Name Of Prosecutor (Type Or Print)
James J. Coman and Mary D. Winstead.
One wonders if other parts of 1:59:00 AM's post are equally accurate?
Let's leave the determination of innocence and guilt to Nancy Grace.
Journalists are like squid. When confronted they emit a cloud of ink obscuring everything.
Good work, K.C. I remember reading some years ago in Sports Illustrated that sportswriters will portray athletes either as heroes or bums. Thus, since in their minds the LAX players cannot be heroes, then they MUST be bums.
Of course, we also can apply the stereotype of the jockwriter here. I remember a Tank McNamara cartoon of 30 years ago in which tank asks a sports writer why he got into his trade. Was it the excitement and love of the game? Was it the thrill of victory and agony of defeat?
No, the sportswriter replied, it was "simple incompetence." To which Tank replies, "You, too?"
Among the crimes that the commenter at 1:59 was referring to:
Suspicion of throwing water
possession of fireworks
attempted theft of a banner
theft of a pizza
The list induces more giggles than horror. More importantly the "extended social violence" committed by the lax players against the Trinity Park neighborhood was found to be primarily the result of fraternity houses. From the Coleman report:
Captain Sarvis said lacrosse players did not represent a special or unique problem in District 2; in fact, none of the houses rented by lacrosse players was among the worst of those whose loud parties attracted hundreds of disorderly Duke students on weekends. Although lacrosse players rented a large house at 1206 W. Markham, Captain Sarvis said it was not among the top 10 houses about which neighbors complained the most. 22 Nor did lacrosse players as a group stand out as the worst student offenders. Captain Sarvis said the fraternity-affiliated houses presented a greater challenge to police than any of the houses rented by athletes. 23 The committee senses that since the March 13th incident, some Trinity Park/Trinity Heights residents' legitimate frustrations with Duke students have been inappropriately attributed to lacrosse players.
No matter how much 1:59 dwells on it he can't make a case that the lacrosse team deserved anything that was done to them. I realize the enablers have been humiliated but to continue to long for something to tar a group of college students with only makes them look worse (if possible).
12:24: Do you really think Graham gives a hoot about truth? The Washington Puss is no different than the NYT.
[The professional sportswriters may not have interviewed every lacrosse player]
Did Feinstein interview any players at all?
[but they can at least read and they have read coleman's report and unlike you these men have acknowledged]
Did Feinstein read Coleman's report? Given that
[It turns out that not one of the journalists who penned these columns ever interviewed a single current or former Duke lacrosse player. Nor did they seem to know the most basic facts about the case or its context.]
one could conclude that they just pulled their opinions from the office water cooler.
"Mistakes are forgiveable - but only
after you admit them."
1:59 - like Feinstein - has a problem
with language. Not just his
poor writing, but his comprehension
of events. Some Sports Writers apparently avoid English Lit classes, too - (at least the classes which require the student to gain
a level of discernment.)
This guy - and guys like him - are
the classic dredge-artists, and from
his writing skills, I'd have to say that
he must be a low-level sportswriter
somewhere - (maybe the Bugtussle
Gazette) - where he pines for the
opportunity to become another Feinstein,
his idol: once all his arguments
are refuted, one-at-a-time, he
comes back with his first one,
the one that was demolished first.
"Mistakes are forgivable - but only
after you admit them."
[you are the ones who look stupid and gullible not the sportswriters, who have a healthy degree of skepticism and they know bs from a pr firm when they see it.]
ABC news listed KC Johnson as one of their consultants on the case. I don't think that Mr. Feinstein received the same honor. Perhaps the quality of Mr. Feinstein's work is not up to snuff.
Have you been on ABC News as a consultant on this case given your vast knowledge about what happened? Why or why not?
KC says... "coming from a sportswriter who has not admitted—much less owned up to—his own serious misjudgments about the case."
I think KC's use of the phrase "serious misjudgments" is incorrect. I think "serious fabrications" or "outright lies" better capture John Feinstein's writing and statements in this matter. There was way too much exculpatory evidence in the public domain at the time his articles were published or at the time he made his statements to catagorize them as "serious misjudgements". It is hard to argue that Feinstein's fabrications and lies were not intentional, so I think it is incorrect for KC to characterize Feinstein's actions as merely "serious misjudgements", it is clear from Feinsteins context, and the timeline of who-should-have-known-what-and-when that Feinstein was much more malicious in his actions.
[That is because it is unprecedented for a prosecutor to declare innocence in the Us and technically only a judge or jury can do so]
Last I checked a jury cannot declare "innocence," only "not guilty"
I was reading comments this morning by Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), a senior member of the Black Caucus of Congress, who said in regards to Rep. William Jefferson's indictment on racketeering and bribery charges, that it (the Black Caucus) would be "as supportive of our colleague as possible, in terms of saying a person in America is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty." I am anxious for the NCNAACP, Irving Joyner, the Potbangers, those of the 88, the Duke Administration, Nifong & Co, and the Durham townspeople, to name but a few of the throng who so quickly formed their Duke 3 lynching party, to weigh in on the notion of innocence.
Presumption of innocence - meaning
that the person IS innocent until
proven otherwise - is different
than proven not guilty.
Once a trial begins, it's a
That's why is was so important for
the AG to say the word "innocent."
And A.G. Cooper CAN use the word
legitimately - 1:59 - because the
presumption remains intact, and
that's because there was no factual
evidence that any crime occured
that night. Did 1:59 not read
Maybe 1:59 is still in High School?
Someone mentioned Nancy Grace--which led me to the fantasy that Nancy would make a great husband for Feinstein, who obviously needs basic moral guidance. They are both 9th circle of hell material for the remake of Dante's Inferno.
Could be a "Bride of Feinstein?"
KC, this entry leaves me puzzled. Sports reporters get the same PC indoctrination in college as everybody else in the humanities. What else did you expect?
This bit also puzzles me: "the players—like many students at Duke—drank too much, but otherwise were unusually good students, with strong records of community service and treating staff well, and no record of sexist or racist behavior."
Where, exactly, is the "record of sexist or racist behavior" kept? No such thing exists. There is no crime involved in purportedly sexist or racist behavior. It would be nice, KC, if you'd back off the PC, too.
This muck is so deep and so stupid. I'll repeat... KC is an associate of one of the worst PC monsters in academia... Ralph Luker. Luker makes his living screaming "racist" and "bigot" at anybody who disagrees with him.
If you want to see the stupidity of this in full highlight, read the dumbass commentary of Tribune and Sun-Times reporters about the fights and contretemps of the Cubs over the past week. For God's sake, the Cubs are baseball players, not postmodern deconstructionists. Lou Piniella is a baseball manager. Baseball players and managers are supposed to be gold old boys who fight, cuss and kick dirt.
I repeat, sports writers get the same idiotic PC indoctrination as every other humanities major.
Thank you KC for continuing to shed light on some details. Your book will a must read for parents sending kids off to college and for the kids to read before they go.
You above any form of media did the best job covering this story because you work for yourself and don't need to pander to anyone to buy a paper.
I've been relieved to know the boys are safe now whatever else happens to those who tried hard to do harm.
Your presence proves the truth does win in the end.
Lots of people take the same
PC classes, but aren't indoctrinated;
having to take PC classes isn't
gonna offer any cover to
sportswriters: it only proves that
they can be as easily fooled and
gullible as any other poor student.
As far as "no record of sexist or
racist behavior?" You can count
on someone making a record of
something like that. Not
officially, of course, but you can
bet that any such indiscretion
would be marked, recorded, stashed
away for later use...
(Welcome to 1984, Winston!)
In fact, they did do such a search
for prior bad behaviors.
KC, I think you may have overextended your web on this one. Lets all come back down to earth for a minute here. This whole thing is being blown way out of proportion.
I've got to disagree with you.
First, to get into the journalism biz, you've got to have some experience. That means working on the student newspaper in college. PC is enforced with a vengeance on these papers. You won't work if you don't tow the line. So, a journalism student is even more likely to be completely indoctrinated with PC. I think that this has become so overwhelming that only those who are actually PC ideologues even bother to enroll.
Yes, you are right... the busybodies are hiding in the bushes, in the offices and in the locker rooms... waiting to strike. There's not doubt about that. Anything that you say about race or sex will be used against you. The workplace is becoming a nightmare as a result of this. What I'm saying is... why in the hell is KC Johnson giving this any credence?
to the 1:59 post, be reminded that the Durham Police had a stated policy of targeting Duke students thus every infraction was ticketed.
Hope your local police step it up on you and your neighbors regarding stop signs, etc. Your stats won't look so great either
college beer drinking is a very different from the felony charges fong spread around
Sports columnists are mostly frustrated OpEd wannabes. All we are seeing here is old worn out boorish J-school leftism that has snuck into the sports media. So much for objectivity.
I'm simply shocked that Jorgen Jansen, a member of the Swedish Parliament, did not comdemn Nifong and call for an investigation.
Also, the Israeli Times-Picayune didn't even have the exoneration as their cover story.
Furthermore, our so-called "allies" in Kuwait and Qatar didn't have a single news story about the fascinating run to the championship game in 2007.
Finally, Jessie Barfield, Kevin Maas, Pete Incaviliac, Greg Minton and Pasqual Perez didn't say a word about it... and that hurts the most, because they themselves are athletes in the spotlight.
Do not underestimate how Feinstein was using the LAX team as a weapon to settle a personal score with Duke. If anything, KC understates how vindictive Feinstein is -- he rolls out of bed each day thinking up new ways to get Alleva fired, and has done so for nine years. There were stories when Alleva was hired that Feinstein threatened to withdraw his support for Duke ina public manner if it chose Alleva (Duke chose to go with Coach K vice Feinstein -- go figure!). For Feinstein, this is very, very personal. He is no different than the Gang of 88, using this incident to advance a personal agenda, and the truth is of marginal relevance in attaining his goals. When the allegations withered away, so was his ability to use it to attack all that which is Duke. No one at Duke takes him very seriously anymore.
I am not anti-sports. In fact, I am keenly interested, follow many of them at the school and professional level, and participate in a couple. Sports are worthwhile to society, both as a healthy outlet for participants and as a means of entertainment for those that choose to watch. It is sports reporting that I find so trivial despite all the attention that is paid to it.
That said, the large number of sportswriters in print and TV that have presented illogical and inaccurate reports of this case are an indication that sports "journalists" should return to the by-gone era when they focused on the action on the field and leave the social commentary about off the field activities to others. In an ideal world, that would be someone other than other "journalists" because most of them are just as wretched in reporting anything as the sports reporters.
It's not that sports reporters are better at presenting the actual on the field action -- for the most part, they do a mediocre job with everything they report on. Rather it is that sports reporting really isn't all that important in the big scheme of things, so the small minds that have chosen an occupation that calls for them to report on them are perfectly suited to the task.
It is very interesting to me that as society has become coarser (in language, dress, morals), there is at the same time a new standard of behaviour for athletes and public figures, called, for lack of a better word, political correctness.
How many years have men [and women] hired strippers and indulged in underage drinking at parties?
We hear the most vile so called music on the radio, and yet the lax boys were evidently expected to behave like 4th grade girls scouts on a field trip with their parents.
I just don't understand the hyporcrisy of reporters such as John Feinstein and the professors.
That'd be funny, if it weren't
for the fact that people of
Feinstein's ilk have commented
on the case, repeatedly - and
they've opined with characteristic
inacurracy and evident malice.
Feinstein couldn't care less about lacrosse or the lacrosse case, which is why he really hasn't kept up with all the very complicated facts about Nifong, DPD, Mangum, etc. All he wants to do is dump on the Duke administration because they don't hire his candidates for AD or football coach, and the lacrosse case is simply a convenient excuse for him to do so.
The irony is that lately Feinstein has been criticizing Brodhead and saying that he needs to to fire the administrators left over from the Keohane regime because of their performance during the lacrosse case, when in fact Feinstein supported everything they did.
Yet now Broadhead's minions should be fired, but no one should dare criticize Feinstein!
to Jun 5, 2007 1:59:00 AM
i write small case letters on purpose as it is a style choice like ee cummings.
Lets see. You capitalize the beginning of some sentences but not others.....you capitalize the U in US, but not the S. You have no writing style. As for the 3 of 36 to 40 nonsense, thats what was discussed in this column. What about the DPD's public policy of being harder on Dukies then the locals? This I'm sure accounts for some of their history of trouble. What about an entire team ready to get up and go down to give DNA and stand for photo's for the case.
My guess is that you are an 88er trying to look local. You have selectively chosen facts to fit your case and not looked at the whole picture. As for the document that the AG filed to drop the charges, first off he (the AG) can ammend most any of these documents any way he needs to for the furtherance of justice and second, it must have been a pretty sad case file to provoke the AG to make such statements.
That'd be funny, if it weren't
for the fact that people of
Feinstein's ilk have commented
on the case, repeatedly - and
they've opined with characteristic
inacurracy and evident malice."
Well fine, dedicate your life to a pathetic attempt to destroy the lives of people whose free speech you vehemently disagree with about a well-publicized criminal prosecution in Durham that ended up in a full exoneration.
You sure do get great mileage on one issue! If not for the plight of these three boys, you'd be looking for something to do. A certain blogger definitely thanks God every day for their plight!
Ah, don't worry about 1:59:
he has "prowess envy" like
I think you misinterpreted
my post. Do you think
I indicated a disagreement
with the total exonerration
of the students?
The fact remains that there are
still issues to be resolved.
Justice has only been served
in the 1st course of a 7-course
meal. Of course I'm interested.
"At the bar of world opinion, I charge the English middle classes with mass murder, wholesale robbery, and all the other crimes in the calendar."
-Friedrich Engels, in a letter to Karl Marx, Nov. 14, 1844, Marx-Engels Gesant-Ausgabe (Moscow, 1927-35), 1 part iii (1929)
Please explain to me how Feinstein, Nancy Grace, MSM, the Gang of 88, the pot bangers, the administrators, the NAACP, and other muddled-thinking abettors differ in opinion from that put forth by Engels. They don't. Most are too dense to realize it - real useful idiots.
In all fairness to the “media” and the myriad entities that word covers, it is necessary to understand the role they play, the purpose served by the very existence of the “media outlets”. It would help everyone’s blood pressure to remember that this is all about entertainment, not information. The media companies want you to tune in, to read, and to listen. The quality of the content, as defined by facts, research and balance, is irrelevant. “Quality content”, in the modern media world, is defined as that which will draw an audience, for the sponsors. Pure and simple. The premise that underlies the hiring of Katie Couric for the Evening News is the basis for producing “That Seventies Show” or “Desperate Housewives”. Based on the responses on this board every time Professor Johnson calls out the media for bias, or ignorance, or worse: Mission Accomplished!
So, instead of getting into a lather over John Feinstein and his resentment toward Duke about passing over his buddy for AD, or the NY Times for ignoring the “facts” of the lacrosse case, or others for not hearing Roy Cooper’s exoneration of the players, remember where they are coming from, it’s their job to keep you all tuned in.
And one other important point that never seems to get mentioned – there is a considerable reservoir of animosity towards Duke University in North Carolina, and nationwide, considerable. What I thought had been a playful rivalry between the kids from Chapel Hill and Duke during basketball season is, apparently, much deeper and wider. That resentment is shared by public officials and law enforcement in Durham County, the African American community, many journalists around the country. Perhaps the most astounding example of this anti-Duke sentiment is the utter disdain that Duke’s faculty has expressed toward their own students, toward white people and athletes. The terrible injustice brought against the players by the DA and Durham Police not withstanding, many people just do not like Duke, and they find it hard to cut a break to the school or any one associated with the place. It may not be fair, it IS not fair, but it is, in part, the result of an image that Duke itself has cultivated over the years.
Usually I'm a bit embarrassed by the abbreviation of my undergraduate degree. But today it looks like spelling it out would be worse.
Btw, I think 1:59 AM is a she, not a he.
BJ, Univ. of Texas at Austin, 1981
"and last but not least, the ag's actual statement that was filed is a standard form and it has a box on it and it is checked insufficient evidence to proceed and underneath it someone from Cooper's office has typed the 'we believe the individuals to be innocent'...in a different typeface. That is because it is unprecedented for a prosecutor to declare innocence in the Us and technically only a judge or jury can do so and Cooper knows it and so do the professional sportswriters and they are voicing their opinion of what is bought justice all way round. put it another way, they did not swallow the blue koolaid."
Do you have anything to back up the statement that Mr. Cooper somehow cannot declare these defendants factually innocent? Do you base this on the argument there is no box to check on the form? I am a little unclear on exactly which technicalities must be observed to be "exonerated" or found "innocent" in the "technical" or "legal" sense of the words.
Really, the evidence exonerates a defendant--not the available boxes--and based on the evidence, Mr. Cooper probably felt himself bound by his oath of office, his sense of ethics, and his understanding of the stunning violations committed against these men to make clear to the world THE EVIDENCE EXONERATED THESE DEFENDANTS. THEY WERE FACTUALLY INNOCENT OF THE CHARGES. There really is no "technicality" that can change that.
But I am happy to play this little game with you if you can back up your statements with some citations--case law, statutes, law review articles...what do you have?
In defense of K.C.'s post, the idea that the team had "no record of sexist or racist behavior" is an explicit finding of the Coleman committee report:
"The committee has not heard evidence that the cohesiveness of this group is either racist or sexist."
"Their reported conduct has not involved fighting, sexual assault or harassment, or racist behavior."
Again, referring to incidents involving the DPD, "all but two of the incidents involved typical alcohol related misconduct. None of the misconduct involved fighting, sexual assault or harassment, or racial slurs."
So K.C. is not just pulling this idea out of his hat.
As for 1:59, Obviously those who want to believe that the lacrosse team deserved everything that happened to them are not going to be convinced by logic or facts. It's easier for them to pretend that commenters on this blog and elsewhere have painted the team as saints (a few have; most have been much more realistic, noting that team members, like many other college students, have had issues with drinking and with rowdy [but not violent] behavior) and thus dismiss everything said in defense of the lax team as based on a false premise.
If 1:59 reads the Coleman report as closely as he/she assumes the sportswriters have, he/she will discover that the disproportionate "criminal" behavior of the lax team involved primarily drinking, violation of open container laws, noise violations, and public urination. Much of the "disproportionality" of the team's conduct may result from their having been caught by dorm assistants playing drinking games, so that several players were charged at once.
As the parent of a Duke graduate and a Duke student, I can assure readers that these games are very, very common, among athletes and non-athletes, males and females, so perhaps what most distinguished the lax players was their apparent lack of foresight in avoiding getting caught.
This behavior isn't commendable, for sure, and at its worst it's quite inconsiderate of neighbors (in dorms or in Trinity Park--although the Coleman report also found that the lacrosse houses were only one source, and not the main one, of neighborhood complaints about noise and rowdiness), but it's also clearly not so atypical or socially destructive that it suggests a fundamental character flaw in the players or an irredeemable program. And it's not even close to "everything but rape," in Feinstein's words.
To be sure, there are some issues raised by the Coleman report that bear further consideration:
--What can Duke, and other universities, do to discourage excessive drinking by students?
--Do athletes (whether on scholarship or not) have a special obligation to their universities to behave better than other students, even during vacations? If so, what is an appropriate response when they don't meet this obligation?
But these are big questions, dealing with problems that go far beyond the Duke lacrosse team and requiring examination and proposed solutions that go far beyond the Duke lacrosse team. They need to be considered independently of the false rape charges and the community's response to those charges.
To take the all or nothing position--the team members were not choir boys, therefore everything that happened to them was "fair"--is just simplistic and stupid.
"Really, the evidence exonerates a defendant--not the available boxes--and based on the evidence,"
Make that "Really, the evidence, not the available boxes, exonerates a defendants..." Reads a little funny the other way.
Oh nevermind--I need a proofreader. But I stand by the challenge.
Great use of audio technology today that I have never thought about.
Next month I will be conducting a workshop for new young health care managers about the history of the Medicare program.
With this technology I think I can write an introduction to the workshop for the 'learners' to read and HEAR the day before the workshop.
A little e-mailed introduction to the thinking of FDR, JFK and LBJ with little audio clips.
Suppose Feinstein and I will become obsolete as technology continues to march forward?
Thanks for the idea, KC.
The AG said, to sum it up:
"Innocent: the charges should never
have been brought; no evidence substantiates any charge in this case." (my words, but a fair summary.)
Repeating myself (sorry):
why can't someone compel the Grand
Jury - (the one that allowed the
charges to proceed) - to testify
on the matter?
Maybe instead of lawsuits,
he can be fired?
What's good for the "I-Man"
is good for the Feiner!
This issue of underage drinking, and the violations the lacrosse players may have incurred, is being blown out of proportion, in my opinion. My recently graduated son has (or perhaps “had”) two such violations on his record at college, both freshman year, each the result of unfortunate timing and association, not drunk or rowdy behavior. He told me about them right after each occurred, and in conversation with an assistant dean of students, the relative innocence of the affairs were confirmed. A second son found himself dragged into the Charlottesville police station when one of his buddies, drunk and rowdy, fell against a parked car on the Corner (guilt by association). Don’t think Durham cops are the only ones targeting college kids and applying a double standard – Charlottesville cops will nail any UVa student, for any reason. In both cases, my boys were guilty of underage drinking, true, but, to my satisfaction, innocent of uncivil, rowdy, or drunken behavior. My guess is this may be more representative of the type of “violations” attributed to the Duke lacrosse players, which many would like to take out of context.
Yup: college kids are singled-out
in lots of places. It's called
"kick 'em when they're vulnerable."
Once the students get to higher
levels of society, they're
basically untouchable - (assuming
that they reach "higher levels,"
and don't end up teaching
Not a justification, but an observation.
As to the 35 "incidents " it is absurd to characterise them as criminal.To ue third grade math 35 "incidents" committed by an average of 56 players over four years equals .15 "incidents per player per year or .625 over four years!To call that bad behavior is absurd.I don"t know how Feinstein Got through Duke while failing third grade math.
The question is: why are grand jury proceedings not recorded in North Carolina? Talk about a no-brainer...
Great post, KC...Feinstein will sink to the lowest depths in order to get another shot in at Duke and the players...
Hopefully, with Imus unavailable, John Feinstein will not sell more than a handful of books...
Anonymous @ 9:53 am -
"I don"t know how Feinstein Got through Duke while failing third grade math."
At a school like Duke, as with many other colleges, the most difficult challenge is getting in, not getting through.
You have a point.
In the meantime, an alternative:
Give the Grand Jury 7 times to
get their story straight about
what the DPD did to sell their
concoction, just like the DPD
did for CGM!
Then put a wanted poster
-(with pictures) - of the
people who presented the evidence
to the Grand Jury, and invite
radicals to threaten the Investigators
openly in a court of law, aided
and abetted by a certain judge.
Come on re: college students "being targets of the PD".
At its most basic level, is what the PD is targeting criminal behavior?
Isn't it inherently true that a fun college party scene wrecks havoc on neighborhoods (typically poorer neighborhoods where students rent housing) brings down the quality of life in a community in ways that a nice, middle-class neighborhood would never tolerate, and would expect its police force to eradicate?
With regards to students being targetted more than locals... in my experience (including my own actions), I've found drunken college students to be hellraisers, loud and drunk and active late into the night, much moreso than the locals in the community where I went to college. They may surely commit crimes themselves at the same rate, but college students have a way of trying to let the world know when they are wasted.
When I was a student...
I remember being pulled over
for having an expired inspection
sticker. I had the slip,
but the local lawman kept
pointing to my sticker (which
was color-coded back them, as well
as dated.) I kept insisting that
my inspection was up-to-date,
and he kept insisting that I was
Then one of his more alert fellow
officers whispered something into
his ear, and he said:
"Uh, sorry; whoever put your
inspection sticker on, put
it on upside down."
They had been, up to that point,
ready to do battle.
I admit, I didn't perceive the
upside-down sticker either!
anonymous @ 10:17 am
There is an element of truth to what you say about the behavior of college kids, and local residents certainly have a right to safety, security (although most would agree, college kids are not a physical threat to the locals) and tranquility.
My point, and most people with experience in this area may concur, is that police often, usually, do not act with discretion, with proportionality, in dealing with college students when out and about town. Never mind that law enforcement often acts without proportionality in dealing with the general public, in college towns it is often much worse.
Personally, I think that Cooper's suggestion on apologies should apply to 1:59 as well.
Interesting point... I think it boils down to the law enforcement community cracking down on the same type of "quality of life" crimes (which, again, hardly ever involve threatening the lives of the locals) that destory the quality of life in a community.
Look, certain people don't have much of a choice where to live. Unfortunately for some, they end up living on the same block as a few fraternities, or just off-campus student apartments. I remember my college days, and although we did our best to keep the noise level down, and pollution, there still was nothing good about having us as neighbors.
College students are loud, particularly when they have people over, often for large-scale, loud parties where people throw garbage, cups, pizza boxes, etc., around, which inherently lowers the quality of life in a community.
Then, when the party breaks up (often because neighbors called the cops), the hundreds of kids at a party spill out onto the streets on their way home, or to the next party. Kids "fall into" cars parked on the street, vomit in public, walk around with plastic cups full of beer, chant, scream, fight, break things, etc.
Hard to compare college life and the mayhem it entails to being a local citizen.
8:47's sarcasm misses its target entirely. 8:47 feigns shock and disappointment about all the people and all the papers all over the world who displayed no interest, made no public statement, regarding the frame by Nifong and the DPD. This of course has zero relevance to what is under discussion, which is the poor (as in "immoral") judgment of Feinstein and other sportswriters to choose of their own free will to write about the case, but to blatantly misrepresent key aspects of the case. Does 8:47 think that we are too stupid to detect the difference?
You're comments are a good generalization of fraternity life. I think to a large degree frats try to emulate the way they are portrayed in the media, i.e. "Animal House". Funny movies, but there's underage drinking, car theft, joy riding, etc.
If Mr. Feinstien was making the point that fraternities in general were out of hand, I'd have no problem with his article, but he seems to be focusing on a run of the mill group that actually seems tamer than a lot of the other frats.
I commiserate with those that live near an obnoxious house. But I keep on hearing that there were rarely compliants from the lacrosse house neighbors (this is subjective, as it's just what I've gleaned from blogs; I don't trust the Durham media anymore.
To the anonymous poster defending the "sports writers" and castigating typical collegiate behavior. Grow up. I was a graduate of one of the more difficult and challenging Universities in the US, the US Air Force Academy. I partied. I drank. I worked hard. I studied hard. I did things as a student I didn't repeat as a adult. They were fun then. You will find the GPA of the Lacrosse athletes (much like Crew athletes who row competitively) are much higher than the overall campus as a general rule. They are more driven. They are competitive. They strive to achieve. They are not afraid of hard work and all that it entails. They are typically very good young men and good citizens. Envy does not look attractive on you.
Regarding Grand Jury secrecy:
Generally the prosecutor and grand jurors are barred from revealing testimony. However, GJ witnesses can describe their testimony in public, or even give a verbatim recital. Also, in some jurisidictions the GJ testimony is available to defense counsel.
I don't "envy" them. I played football and was in a frat in college.
No way I'd want to be their neighbor. Not because they are particularly bad dudes, but because frats and "team houses" are about the worst neighbors in the world.
If they act like normal college students living off-campus and having parties, the cops would (justifiably) be called almost every weekend, particularly if you were trying to sleep and worked on the weekends.
Thats a fact, and to deny it is to be completely clueless, or disingenuous.
to anonymous @ 10:42am
My two sons' fraternity houses had been either on campus or contiguous to the campus, not within a residential neighborhood, although there is no doubt some houses that are. People that live in close proximity to such residences often do have a choice, as these frat houses had been there for many years, usually owned by the college or the national chapter. Neighborhoods that are predominately student neighborhoods, where the houses are occupied largely by juniors and seniors living off campus, have, likewise been so constituted for many, many years. It's like moving in next to an airport or power plant - you do so knowing what you are getting in to. If one does find themselves in such a situation, they are certainly should not be subjected to vandalism, or other mistreatment, but that is not the point I intended. My objection to law enforcement’s treatment of college students is when they are out and about in the town, coming and going like any other citizen or resident. When they are singled out under these circumstances, there is a high degree of probability that they are not treated like others.
Then I don't follow your point. I don't think students are targetted more when they go into the community. What, are you insinuating that there is something akin to DWBACS, or "Driving While Being A College Student"? Thats a little bit of a stretch I think.
10:17 and Jack--
Agreed, college students can be loud and inconsiderate of neighbors. In Durham, the Trinity Park neighborhood where the residents have most actively complained about this behavior is not, in fact, one of the poorer neighborhoods but one of the nicer neighborhoods in Durham.
Undoubtedly some of the apparently disproportionate DPD response to Duke students results from both the unhappiness of citizens in this neighborhood who are willing to complain and the relative ease (and lack of danger for police) of dealing with these incidents as opposed to, say, trying to control gang violence or stop drug dealing.
It's also pretty clear, though, that there is some particular dislike or resentment of Duke students. See the Duke Chronicle stories on this issue for more information.
The year my daughter was a Duke senior (2003-2004), there was a lot of concern about large, noisy parties with underage drinking in Trinity Park. The University and representatives of the community asked students to behave responsibly and be good neighbors.
My daughter and her friends, who lived in a small apartment building in Trinity Park, tried to comply. They had a small party (25-30 people) on a weekend night, and they were careful to make sure that no one who came was underage. They alerted the neighbors in advance and asked them to get in touch if the party became too loud or bothersome. No one did.
Around midnight, a police patrol car came by as some people were calling to each other in front of the building on their way in or out (I don't remember which). They charged my daughter (because she was a tenant--she was not outside or making noise at the time) with a violation of the county noise ordinance, though they had not actually measured the noise and no one had complained to them.
Though my daughter wanted to fight the charge, it was clearly more sensible for her to take the option of paying a fine and doing community service, after which the record of the charge was erased. And if she had any question about that, the morning she spent in court waiting for her turn, listening to the judge repeatedly comment in every case involving a Duke student about "spoiled bratty Duke kids" convinced her that fighting the charge might have landed her in jail. Luckily, this heads-up also prepared her to hold her tongue when receiving her own lecture about being a "spoiled, bratty Duke kid."
Was the party noisier than my daughter thought? Maybe. Was this the most important thing the police could have been doing to protect the citizens of Durham, given that none of them had complained? Somehow I doubt it.
When kids like the Duke 3 are innocent of the charges against them, that is one thing.
But lets be honest here: there is a debate here about whether or not students should be punished if they are committing crimes or violations? Isn't that inappropriate? Of course laws need to be enforced.
Bill O'Reilly calls this justifying bad behavior with bad behavior!
Who let the Trolls out??
rrhamilton: The problem in North Carolina is that no record is made of grand jury proceedings, so there is no way to confirm what was presented to the jury as evidence. People's memories are not the best way to recall something as complicated as evidentiary material.
Criticism is most assuredly not "attempt[ing] to destroy the lives" of people engaging in free speech (which does, after all, involve the corollary that others have free speech also to respond).
I have no patience whatsoever for idiotic comments along the line of "you guys must have nothing better to do" than discuss whatever problem the commenter doesn't want to hear about. I recall not too long ago reading someone, probably a spanked spammer, ranting and raving on Usenet about how antispammers should get lives and fight world hunger or something *important*. People take up causes and in so doing make contributions to society and we are all better for it. That you are not interested in, say, animal rescue, and demand that they should be doing something about the Darfur genocide is of no significance (as well as raising the question "and what the hell are you doing?").
I can assure you that I am not looking for something to do, but rather am looking for time to do it all in, even though I check in on this blog and some others at times. Others may check in more often but I would be very skeptical that many of them are in need of something to while away their time either. This horrible travesty of justice has caught our attention. The "full exoneration" of which you speak came after agonizing struggle.
As for Professor Johnson, his productivity is a matter of record. Were he not writing this blog he would be doing something else of great worth. It would be most interesting to know the productivity and the contributions of those who make sneering "dedicate-your-life"-type remarks, although I strongly suspect I already know the answer to that.
Kudos to Ms. Gaitskill.
Mangum is a prostitute. It was obvious from the start, and proven by the statements of her "chauffeur" (who was among the 5 men who copulated with her, anally or vaginally, during the 48 hours before the lacrosse party), and later corroborated by the DNA evidence that Nifong lied his ass off to hide.
What a laugh, to see Mangum repeatedly described in the press as an "exotic dancer". As if there is anything "exotic" about (or as if there is some "exotic" skill required for) lurching drunkenly into a room and crawling around on all fours for a few minutes, then retreating into a bathroom.
Feinstein is just another jock-sniffer, who lives to inhale the aroma of other men's testicles, in bitter disappointment that he has none -- as proven by his writing in this case.
There are some circumstances where local cops can act with discretion. My son was a senior at Carolina in the spring of 2005 when the basketball team won the national championship. His fraternity house was just a block or two off Franklin Street, adjacent to the campus. His house was in a cul-de-sac with 5 other frat houses, on University owned land (this gave them the extra comfort of being subject to UNC police, as well as Chapel Hill cops!). On the morning of the championship game, campus police, accompanied by CHPD, came by and searched the houses for what they called “incendiary materials”: scraps of wood, old couches, anything that might be used for a bonfire. That afternoon, a Chapel Hill police officer knocked on the door and told the boys they would be parked at the end of the block should they need any assistance. They said they had no intention of disrupting anybody’s evening, only that they were there if needed. The celebrations later that evening, with 10’s of thousands packed into the Franklin Street block, were without incident - everyone was (reasonably) well behaved, and had a great time. Even the bonfires were well controlled. No police harassment, no unfortunate incidents. According to my son, the returning alumni were more rowdy than the kids. So, there can be peaceful co-existence in these college towns.
Sounds like you are upset that the boys weren't falsely prsecuted for rape - so you want them prosecuted for peeing in public and stealing a pizza. Good luck with that.
Suggestion: More Anger Management, less Anger Studies.
BTW, where's your venom for CG (lying to authorities about rape and NO apologies); Nifong (you know the whole story); Durham PD (where does one begin???); some faculty (race mongering, grade retaliation, and NO aoplogies); and Brodhead (abandoned the team; then, calls for cultural initiatives in the wake of false allegations and calls for NOTHING in the wake of racist, mongering, and verbal assualts to students from his faculty - and NO apology). Compared to the above, the Laxer's (who did cooperate and did apologize) have behaved more like saints than chiorboys. You are trying to defend the indefensible; however, you make the contrasts of the two "sides" even easier to see.
Frats are the worst neighbors? How about drug dealers that move in? Or immigrants that put five or six families in a house? Or those that turn a home into a marijuana growing plant?
You are absolutely right. Drug dealers, etc., are probably worse neighbors.
I think perhaps you confused my statement about frats being "the worst neighbors" with a literal statement that it is impossible to think of worse possible neighbors one could have in a poor community (or any community).
The fact remains: frats and all off-campus housing where kids have parties make awful neighbors.
You don't have to be a college student for that to happen. I've been pulled over for not having my stickers displayed twice. One time I gave him my registration and he said that it was expired. I said that it wasn't; he had read the wrong date. The stickers were attached to the registration so he took them and put them on the plates and that was it.
I like to clean my plates before putting on the stickers so that they don't fall off and sometimes I forget to do that.
Around our place at the beginning of the month, the police are usually at busy intersections looking for cars that don't have up-to-date inspection stickers or updated registration stickers. It appears to me to be a strictly revenue enhancement thing.
Regarding targetting Duke students: bagging folks that are easy to bag, even though they may be innocent makes your work metrics look good. Doing the tougher police work requires more effort to clear cases and involves potential danger.
[The fact remains: frats and all off-campus housing where kids have parties make awful neighbors.]
One should always avoid sweeping generalizations.
The burden of proof is on you to substantiate your assertion and that would require a considerable amount of effort.
I may be moving into such a community in the future or at least maintain two residences.
Rudy Giuliani receives (much justified) praise for cracking down on the same type of "quality-of-life" crimes that you are accusing the DPD (and police in American generally) of cracking down on college students for.
People walking the streets drunk, doing property damage, loitering and littering, noise, etc.
Yes, laws need to be enforced. But priorities also need to be set, and resources need to be allocated wisely. If a college student is caught breaking the law, even in a minor way (open container, noise violation), that student can certainly be cited or charged.
But the student should not be
hauled off to jail for such an offense, when non-students are cited and let go for offenses involving concealed weapons or illegal drugs [as reported by the Chronicle and, I think, discussed in an earlier K.C. post]. This is both unfair to the student and a waste of law enforcement resources.
And the police should not be going out of their way to find opportunities to make such charges when Durham's rate of violent, serious crime is growing.
The burden of proof is on you to prove that the sky is blue.
College students per se aren't necessarily horrible neighbors, particularly grad students.
But to argue against the point that it sucks living next to wild parties is a waste of time, no? And the word "wild" doesn't need any elaboration... lets just say that it doesn't typically involve a book club meeting or wine and cheese.
If you haven't been to frat parties or sports team parties, then you won't know what I'm talking about.
Our wish for truth !
Over the past year and some months, this blog is the one place shining the "Light of Truth" on the Duke Lacrosse incident. Even when found wrong, KC, corrects, and then is "truthful" again. The best case scenerio, would be the bringing of civil action against the whole lot of "un-truthers", for lack of a better word, where a
preponderance of the evidence would be the deciding factor. Could you imagine what little evidence there is against the 3 men, as opposed to the truth on their side. Alas, this is a pipe dream as any good lawyer for the "un-truthers" will advise to "pay quickly" rather than face the evidence. Anyone who is a rational thinker who looks at the whole picture and cannot see the "rail-road" job done to the three, has their mind clouded by some agenda that refuses to accept the truth, a woman who cried "wolf", and got caught.
Law enforcement will always choose the path of least resistance, always.
anonymous @ 12:04 pm
One should be cautious about the credit given to Rudy Giuliani for the reduction in crime in New York City during his tenure. Rudy was mayor during a period where crime statistics declined precipitously nationwide, from Boston to New York, even in Atlanta and Miami. The murder rate was waaay down – how did the police affect that? Assaults were down, burglaries, car thefts were down. Police? That there is a direct correlation between dropping crime stats and law enforcement efforts is tenuous, at best. Even the FBI, in reviewing the past decade of a vastly improved crime picture, both urban and suburban, was hard pressed to explain why. Rudy got a lot of publicity for getting the bums, err, homeless, from washing windshields at intersections on the west side of Manhattan, but that is window dressing.
Anon 1:59 cracks me up, he writes, "Professional sportswriters also have taken math and understand that 3 out of 36-40 people cooperating by talking to police is "not complete team cooperation" unlike you. The last time i checked, 3 out of 36 or 40 was around 10% talking and cooperating versus around 90% that were not. However, perhaps you have invented a new math that only people drinking blue koolaid are aware of. for the rest of the world, we intrepret this to mean the majority of the team did not cooperate."
You now chastise the team for not cooperating with the corrupt DA and police department who indicted 3 innocent guys. People like you who think it reflects badly on the players for getting lawyers and not making statements when it became apparent a frame-up was in progress are the same ones who urged the players to prove their innocence.
Are you stupid enough to argue that the players should have cooperated with a corrupt DA about to be disbarred and a police department about to have the fact that they indicted 3 innocent guys investigated?
Get a clue idiot, this is America, people don't have to prove their innocence. And please continue to bad mouth the lacrosse players for being cited for underage drinking and urinating in the bushes.
Talk about looking stupid.....EE Cummings received multiple degrees from Harvard, has had hundreds of poems and several novels published, and was one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. I'm sure the two of you have a lot in common.
Well, at least you use similar punctuation.
KC, I read you everyday and never comment, but this was your best column yet.
Good points, all. I'm just trying to say that Rudy's credit for improving life in New York was largely based upon "cleaning up the streets", through quality-of-life crimes enforcement is similar to a city or town police department cracking down on a campus where the students were known to be rowdy (which typically is every college campus in the country).
Therefore, in my opinion, to argue that college students are "targets" is irrational. They just live in a hot-bed of minor/misdemeanor criminal activity that usually hurts no one, but that directly affects the quality of life in the surrounding areas.
The difference between drunk and
disorderly students and drunk and
disorderly vagrants, homeless etc.
is that the students usually make
something of their lives.
The others are usually on their
Hmmm, KC, why have you overlooked Chauncey Nartey's behavior and Duke's reaction in this affair?
For the next three days, I'm doing a trip with Brooklyn College students in Boston, so posting will be less frequent during day--haven't ignored Nartey issue, though.
"Quality of life" is a phrase usually heard coming from a politician when attempting to steal taxpayer money for a dubious project. Interesting that it was used here.
""Quality of life" is a phrase usually heard coming from a politician when attempting to steal taxpayer money for a dubious project. Interesting that it was used here."
Kind of irrelevant to the overall conversation, no?
Cute attempt at trying to make "tax-raising Dems" look bad though and/or avoid the conversation's point, totally cute.
My experience with "quiet" college neighbors was that:
1. They were growing crops of boca chica butt weed in their back yards and had little interest in drawing attention to their agri-business; or,
2. They would be offended if not invited to attend the party.
People who buy next to churches should expect cars in front on their homes on Sunday mornings.
People who buy homes within the noise cone of airports should expect some noise.
People who buy homes in college neighborhoods should not be surprised by college kids having parties.
The concept of "coming to the nuisance" is not accepted in a Court of law.
In other words, you can move next to a frat house and still complain that they are keeping you awake at 5 a.m. and that their game of keg tossing spilled over into your backyard, or that a pledge is vomiting on your porch. You can complain if your car is flipped over after the team wins the national championship in basketball or football.
"The concept of "coming to the nuisance" is not accepted in a Court of law.
In other words, you can move next to a frat house and still complain that they are keeping you awake at 5 a.m. and that their game of keg tossing spilled over into your backyard, or that a pledge is vomiting on your porch. You can complain if your car is flipped over after the team wins the national championship in basketball or football."
This is obvious. Otherwise, a factory could just pollute the $h** out of a huge, wide area of either fertile land or land suited for residential development, and say no one has a right to complain because -- even though they don't own the adjacent land -- the people who seek to develop it would nonetheless be "coming to an already-existing nuisance".
This is far different than an airport or train tracks. Those are necessary in our society, and the property values are lower as a result. Criminal behavior, even of the minor/misdemeanor variety that lowers the quality of life, is not necessary in the same sense.
Yes, you can and should complain about all those things. You should not, however, be surprised at any of them.
You have to wonder - did all these sportswriters go to Brigham Young or something? They never took a drink underage when they were in college? Feinstein never drank underage at Duke? That's hard to believe. I bet if you could track down some of his college pals they'd have a few interesting stories.
The constant condemnation over this spring break party makes all these writers sound like the late Jerry Falwell who was someone they probably had total disdain for. If this party bothers them, they'd really have a fit if they saw what goes on during spring break at Lauderdale, Daytona, Palm Springs and other notorious spring break destinations.
The only thing I can get upset about regarding this party and not be a total hypocrite is the racial slur. It's mitigated by the fact that it was said in response to a racial slur and during an angry argument but it shouldn't have been said. The only person responsible for it is the person who said it - unless you believe in guilt by association. For anyone who is still worked up over it they might want to consider what Devon Sherwood said to ABC News about it -"If it's true, everybody's human," he said.
"Everybody makes mistakes," he said. "No one's Jesus. Like no one's going to be perfect all the time. So you just forgive. Don't necessarily forget, but you forgive and you work to correct the mistake."
Sounds like good advice.
As far any of the sports writers most of them didn't have to worry about underage drinking in college. For many people between the ages of 40 and 55, the drinking age was 18 largely the result of Vietnam and the draft - if you are old enough to die, you are old enough to drink. Then Reagan stepped in, at the urging of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and tied federal highway dollars to a 21 year old drinking age. More lack (?) of perspective.
eeeeeeeeeeeee! cummings, my goodness! Was his photo in the line of photograps toooooooooooooo? I think he is the one whose DNA may be the father of the baby, but it must be tested. There are those who would lie about that or at least not tell the truth . . . at least maybe about the baby, and then, there are the hundreds freed from prison because of DNA testing having been put in prison by truth tellers?
Oh! I miswrote photograpes! Sorry! I just want to tell the truth like spotspeople, -er writers.
[The burden of proof is on you to prove that the sky is blue.]
The burden of proof is on the person that makes an assertion. I don't recall making the assertion that the sky is blue.
[But to argue against the point that it sucks living next to wild parties is a waste of time, no? And the word "wild" doesn't need any elaboration... lets just say that it doesn't typically involve a book club meeting or wine and cheese.]
Strawman. Please read your original post. You made a sweeping generalization and only now limited it to a subset of the previous universe.
hiring strippers, unauthorized displays of youthfulness
Honestly, I wouldn't hire someone who hadn't broken a few rules and laws in college nor who hadn't attended at least one party with a stripper. Moreover, I'd be highly suspect if I learned someone never tried illegal drugs. This of course has to be combined with evidence of high achievement so that the rule bending was evidence of a creative and/or adventurous mind and not mental illness.
Then again, I work in research, so straight laced "follow the rules" PC types just don't generate the results I need, but perhaps I'd think differently if I were running a retail business "more fries with that" and didn't want hands in the til.
But, sheesh, the faux morally outraged crowd must be some boring bunch -- would you really want to work or socialize with them?
I hope that you won't mind, but I posted an excerpt of today's blog (with a link to Durham-in-Wonderland) in the user forum of a Boston-area football website called coldhardfootballfacts.com. CHFF has a special place for the factless, opinionated hacks who masquerade as journalists and commentators known as "Pigskin Detention." A lot of sports writers on the Duke rape hoax case deserve to be in detention too.
Finally, let me say, "Thank You" for all of your great work on this.
On CHFF I am known as CharlieOnTheMTA.
I am incredibly comfortable making the broad generalization that fraternities, sororities and off-campus housing where kids throw parties makes for awful neighbors.
I myself was in a frat and it was a football frat. I'm sure we were terrible to live next door to, as were all the other frats at my college. I'm sure that all other colleges with off-campus fraternities and houses where parties are thrown follow the same trend. At least the various colleges I've visted my friends at all were like that.
Not sure where you are going to find exemplary frat neighbors, but I'm sure someone will now offer a link to a fraternity's website that shows how they do some sort of community service or something, as if it is relevant to the point about how much it sucks to live next door to one.
All you need are houses where the distances between houses are sufficient to ameliorate the noise and other problems related to the close proximity of a lot of people.
Michael... you wrote:
"All you need are houses where the distances between houses are sufficient to ameliorate the noise and other problems related to the close proximity of a lot of people."
Well, I'd certainly argue that those who are the ones causing the trouble and/or lowering the quality of life in the area by their proximity to other housing, should be the ones who off and move to a place where the houses are further apart.
Not needed if that's already the existing environment. As I said before, it's dangerous to make sweeping generalizations as you bear the burden of proof and one only needs on counterexample to disprove your thesis.
Perhaps you're tilting at windmills just to be annoying.
Michael, you wrote:
"Not needed if that's already the existing environment. As I said before, it's dangerous to make sweeping generalizations as you bear the burden of proof and one only needs on counterexample to disprove your thesis.
Perhaps you're tilting at windmills just to be annoying."
Okay, so adjust my original statement to say "frats are terrible neighbors, that is, of course, unless they are located in an area where the houses are so far apart, that their activities do not affect those living in adjacent properties".
Holy Mary, does that satisfy you? How dare I make such a broad generalization without having thought of the less-common mansion-frats in the South?!?!?
Wow, John Feinstein. This blog is devistating.
Bit off topic, but worth noting that the US is about the only non-Islamic country where it's illegal for an 18 year-old to drink wine or beer in a private residence. In Britain, a recent proposal to raise the legal age to 15 (from 5!!)found little support. Puts the demonization of the lacrosse "under-age" beer drinkers in perspective.
Let the young drink at home, says minister
By Nicole Martin (Daily Telegraph)
Last Updated: 2:57am BST 28/04/2007
A health minister said yesterday that parents should not ban their children from drinking alcohol at home.
Caroline Flint said there was no evidence that a glass of wine with a family meal led to binge drinking among children under the age of 15.
She was speaking after a charity said parents who gave alcohol to their children should face prosecution.
Alcohol Concern published research claiming that girls aged 11 to 13 drank 83 per cent more alcohol than six years ago.
However, Miss Flint said: "There are young people between 11 and 15 who may occasionally try some alcohol, but there's no evidence that that leads to binge drinking."
Asked if she approved of a glass of wine for a 12-year-old, she said: "I don't think that in itself is harmful. What we need to think about is where children, with or without parental knowledge, may be getting access to drink."
Currently, parents can give children over the age of five alcohol at home, but Alcohol Concern said the legal age should be raised to 15.
Here's a thought experiment for 1:59 (I apologize for asking them to do something they have such trouble with, but c'est la vie...)
Suppose that three innocent young men were on trial for a murder that they did not commit. Suppose that in fact, the purported "victim" turned out to be very much alive and well. As we all know (I'm spelling things out here for 1:59's benefit) the crime of "murder" can only take place when the "victim" is, in fact, dead. If the "victim" turns out to be alive, this logically means the victim is not dead. And if the victim is not dead, this logically means no one can have committed the crime of murder against that person.
Would 1:59 concede that, in such circumstances, the Attorney General for the state would indeed be justified in declaring the accused individuals innocent? Or does 1:59 think that once charges have been brought, no matter how factually baseless those charges are then shown to be, no matter how blatantly corrupt the process that led to the charges are then shown to be, nothing can be done except to bring those charges to trial?
Feinstein is an example of the worst of writing. But if you go to LieStoppers and read today's stunning article by 'Momtothree' (on how race was first introduced into the scandal) you will see an example of the best.
Her writing is simply stunning.
what an arrogant asshole.
***Would 1:59 concede that, in such circumstances, the Attorney General for the state would indeed be justified in declaring the accused individuals innocent? Or does 1:59 think that once charges have been brought, no matter how factually baseless those charges are then shown to be, no matter how blatantly corrupt the process that led to the charges are then shown to be, nothing can be done except to bring those charges to trial?***
I see no indication that 1:59 has adopted Justice Scalia's theory on exonerations in murder cases ("We are not a trial Court, are we?" after hearing conclusive DNA evidence existed that exonerated a man on death row, during his final appeal).
Rudy was mayor during a period where crime statistics declined precipitously nationwide, from Boston to New York, even in Atlanta and Miami.
I think if you check the statistics for Baltimore and Detroit (among other locales), you will discover that the decline in crime rates was not universal in the years after 1993. The beginnings of urban repacification in Baltimore were, interestingly enough, contemporary with the departure of Mayor Kurt ("it's out of our control") Shmoke at the end of 1999.
Also, the decline in the homocide rate was a good deal steeper in New York City than in the nation at large: a 67% decline v. a 44% decline.
Ln(.33)/ln(.56) = 1.9x as steep.
KC is an associate of one of the worst PC monsters in academia... Ralph Luker. Luker makes his living screaming "racist" and "bigot" at anybody who disagrees with him.
Dr. Luker collects a pension from TIAA-CREF. I think he is also on a stipend with regard to an editorial project he is currently superintending. That is how he makes his living.
Dr. Luker frequently manifests personal defects in these fora, but these are not attributable to his abstact social thought.
He is one of the odd minority of academic historians who have been publicly critical of the Organization of American Historians and the state of professional standards in American History generally; Dr. Johnson is another. An excess of PC is not his problem.
I can't imagine that anyone would read one of Feinstein's books if they knew how opinionated he was regarding the Mangum/Nifong hoax, while being totally ignorant of the facts of the case.
It makes you wonder what kind of garbage is in his books.
I can only imagine what Feinstein and his ilk had to say about the "Butcher of Brentwood", the murderous OJ Simpson. Oh, that's right, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity, i.e. the jury was insane, not to mention deaf, dumb, and blind.
And I'm sure they're quick to defend the former filanderer-in-chief doing his cigar afficionado workouts in the Oval Office - after all, what he did privately was his own business!
Then of course there's Congressman William Jefferson, caught with $90,000 in bribe money in his freezer, among other things. Way to betray the public trust, Mr. J!
None of the aforementioned 3 did anything remotely as bad as the Duke lacrosse team, in the world according to Feinstein (at least one can infer that based on his anti-lax rantings).
Gimme a friggin' break, Feinstein - you dimwitted moron!!!!
to art deco:
The fact is the decline was nation wide, not necessarily urban, and most assuredly not the result of any one public official in any particular jurisdiction. While I am unable to cite the specific documents, the Justice Department, the FBI and other law enforcement organizations that studied the phenomenon found it to be just that: phenomenal. It supports a notion I have long held: the local police departments of America have very little direct bearing on incidence of criminal activity. In the large cities, their presence on the street may give people a sense of security, and perhaps cuts down on the purse snatchings. If the Federal law enforcement agencies are unable to directly attribute lower crime stats to beefed up policing, if a government entity in the business of increasing its own budget and pervasiveness in American society can not take credit, no need to give it to them.
Anon 5:39, very good point. Of course, Feinstein could draw on the tragic history of the Jews as justification for saying anything he wanted. He could claim he returned the arab woman's slurs because of the Holocaust, or Nasser's sealing off of the Red Sea, or the conspiracy to refuse to pitch to Hank Greenberg...whatever.
The LAX players' problem is no tragic history on which to blame any and all of their deficiencies. Everybody else seems to have one.
No body, no murder, no crime,
BUT SOMETHING HAPPENED, we can be
sure of that. So sayeth the 1:59s.
1:59 is likely one of the wailing
dancers of UBUNTU, chubby-but-not-
cherubic. Either that, or
it's/she's a high-school dropout.
She also likely holds the
record, as it sounds like her
entire diatribe was spritzed in a
In the large cities, their presence on the street may give people a sense of security, and perhaps cuts down on the purse snatchings.
Let's abolish the New York City Police Department, and see what happens.
I think that better economic conditions have a direct effect on the reduction in crime. When times get tougher, I generally see bank robbery stats go up in my neck of the woods.
I don't agree with the Bush/Cheney parallels. I don't believe for one second that Bush and Cheney believed that the Iraq war would turn out any different than it is right now. I believe that they knew that Iraq would be a complete mess and they just lied to everyone about it. They like about WMD's and uranium and anything else they could think of to get the country into war in Iraq and companies like Halliburton and the oil giants to the black. Maybe somebody'll clue in when Cheney spends his first year out of office doing a "consulting" gig for Halliburton at a cool $250M for a year.
Feinstein is just an idiot who is too proud to admit when his idiocy is prevalent.
Since the players are obviously innocent and have been declared innocent by the Attorney General of North Carolina, Jerlayn has finally lowered the boom at TalkLeft and ended any discussion that calls this obvious innocence into question.
This appears to have resulted in some dissatisfied TL posters trolling around and looking for greener pastures. Their goal is twofold. To hash and re-hash and re-re-hash issues that are long dead and to imply that the players are guilty at every turn. Just ignore them.
Mac, you're so hot! Almost as hot as KC.
On second thought, you're hotter.
I just love your ascerbic wit and wisdom. No wonder Debrah is thrilled by your essence!
Feinstein just needs to be grilled by Bill O'Reilly. Then he'll beg for forgiveness, for being such a gross human piece of debris on society.
Why are so many sports "writers" so envious of the Duke lacrosse players? I would like to know.
Actually I know this sounds strange but the trolls helped convince me of the boy’s innocence way back in April of last year. I couldn’t come up with the scenario in which a rape occurred with the evidence that was in public domain. I stated to read what the guilty crowd was writing, and found their argument to be dishonest and pointless. Therefore if the best the other side could come-up was intellectual crap then they must be innocent.
Now, you take these amusing "professors" such as Grant Farred and Lee Baker of the infamous Faculty88. Both of these people look, act, talk, and carry themselves like former purple Prince followers. They have the ratty look of overdone chemicals and relaxers as they try to be hip dudes.
If I didn't love Tim Meadows so much, formerly of SNL, I'd say that both Farred and Baker are Meadows' rejects from his "Ladies Man" segment.
Neither of these people carries himself like a professional. Just lax dudes playing around in the academic world which allowed them in by Affirmative Action and quotas needed at elite universities. They really belong at NCCU.
Dumb! And dumber!
Please do not invoke "working class" (my ass) Bill O'Reilly.
The guy has no credibility. He told people not to dissent during the buildup to the Iraq War, then decided that it was okay to criticize the Iraq War, after it went to sh**.
Also, he commits the most egregious offense a reporter can make: everything is always about him, whether it be the so-called "MSM" attacking him, Rosie O'Donnell attacking him, and "self-proclaimed media watchdogs" like Media Matters, etc. He spends WAAAAY to much time on himself.
Also, he wrote what will probably go down as the WORST book ever written, "Those Who Trespass", which was a pathetic example of everything being about him (the main guy is a conservative talk show host).
Please don't invoke that idiot. He is a more mild-mannered Rush Limpballs.
Ram it up a dark place.
You're so amusing, aren't you?
But, yes, Mac is kind of "hot".
Just caught a snippet of local news....after watching a nail-biting Sopranos on HBO........
......and the candidates up for Durham's police chief are an array of simpletons. Just hideous.
Same old. Same old.
Historically, sports writers and the editor of the obituary page were the bottom of the social hierarchy at a newspaper. The obits were where the newbies started. The sports writers were just guys who liked sports. They got access to any sport they wanted. They cared nothing about the rest of paper. They were doing what they loved by covering a baseball double-header. The "journalists" looked down their noses at them.
Over the past few decades, the profitability at most papers has eroded. Readership continues to fall. Staff headcount continues to be slashed in round after round of layoffs. The most read sections of today's newspapers are Sports and Obituaries.
Times being what they are, journalists who view themselves as future Pulitzer Prize Winners are taking those formerly disdained positions reporting the outcomes of the local high school swim meets. "Serious journalists" like Finestein and Selena and Duff are busy turning sports writing into "insightful commentary on the great social issues of the day".
All they really reveal is a window on the bias of their meta-narratives.
Great post. Well done.
To his credit, Tony Kornheiser, has bugged Feinstein about this, and has joked that John himself never admits any mistakes. So at least his friends are calling him on his B.S..
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