Monday, June 25, 2007

More Foolishness

Those who made a rush to judgment based upon an unquestioning faith in what a prosecutor had told them were made to look foolish and many still do look foolish.

--Lane Williamson, closing statement

Despite Williamson’s admonition, those intent on making themselves look foolish continue to do so.

In the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Syl Jones frets that “the Duke boys’ activities weren’t exactly cherubic—a fact that’s conveniently overlooked by their conservative cheerleaders . . . All three will probably wind up clerking for Antonin Scalia or better yet, Clarence Thomas, who has his own fabled history of ribaldry.”

Jones appears to have overlooked Reade Seligmann’s April 11 statement about the importance of using his experience to defend the rights of all falsely accused—hardly a path likely to lead to a Scalia clerkship. And the “they’re-no-angels” argument would be a bit more persuasive if Jones could point to people who have actually described the lacrosse players—or, for that matter, any student at Duke—as “angels.”

Jones fumes that the players’ haven’t apologized—ignorant, apparently, of the fact that the captains who hosted the party have repeatedly apologized, both publicly and privately.

By the end of the column, Jones manages to link the conduct of the lacrosse team to . . . “the disgraceful behavior of certain members of the military at Abu Ghraib.” (I have to admit that in all that I've read on the case, Jones is the first commentator to link the lacrosse players to possible war crimes.)

And even if Nifong, Jones concludes, “deserves to be punished, he was right about one thing: Something did happen at that frat boy party at Duke University . . . Too bad Nifong didn’t do his job and home in on exactly what that something was.

Too bad Jones didn’t do the job of an op-ed columnist and explain precisely what the “something” that happened was.


Then there’s the peculiar case of Wesleyan College professor Claire Potter. In April, Potter posted an item—ironically, on the eve of the AG’s declaration of absolute innocence—proclaiming

the dancers were, it is clear, physically if perhaps not sexually assaulted [sic]; and this behavior was said to be part of a pattern of ingrained, anti-social behavior that repeatedly led to people being targeted by team members for violence [sic], either on the streets [sic] or at team parties [sic] (and do we think that women have not been raped at Duke lacrosse team parties? that women under the influence of drugs and alcohol have not been coerced to have sex without their explicit consent? Published accounts suggest otherwise [sic].) According to published reports, the ethical culture of this lacrosse team was so out of touch that many players who were not involved in this incident, and who did not do anything wrong, still refused to speak about what had happened, in the misplaced belief that loyalty to one’s friends is a higher virtue than treating people who aren’t on your team with respect [sic] . . . That these male lacrosse players at a private university, almost all of whom are white, have not been repeatedly identified—in jest or seriously—as the semi-criminal youth gang that they appear to be; and that [the Rutgers women's basketball team is] slandered on national radio, ought to tell us something about selling race and sex in Amerika [spelled as in original] today.

At the time, I posted critically on Potter’s serious allegations—for which she provided no corroborating evidence beyond mention to unspecified “published accounts.”

Potter recently returned to the case, in an even stranger post. “I certainly,” proclaimed she, “thought all the racist and anti-semitic stuff I got from the 'anonymous' commenters in relation to the Duke lacrosse affair, in addition to being offensive, was deeply cowardly. And I continue to think that the historian who turned these people loose on me by posting my email address on his blog, behaved in a highly uncollegial[!], unprofessional and frankly, unethical, way by exposing me to what was not critique or criticism -- it was just crazy abuse, where anonymity became a weapon that he deployed through other people to punish and intimidate someone as an object lesson to others. So did HNN, in fact, where this person is listed as a regular contributer [sic]: they [sic] chided him in a column, and as far as I know he never responded to them [sic]. I know he never explained his actions to me.

I invite readers to again consult my post on the issue, which Potter has described as a “public, personal and vicious verbal assault,” to give a sense of how she defines the concept. I did not post Potter’s e-mail address on the blog, and nowhere in the post did I suggest that people e-mail her. As for the HNN “column” that allegedly chided me to which I did not respond, Potter, of course, provided no link. And I wasn’t aware that a blogger needed to “explain” his or her actions to another blogger.

In her recent post, Potter further claimed that she

did not spread or make false charges about the students under indictment. [She apparently believes that suggesting that members of the lacrosse team were previously guilty of rape, that they were a semi-criminal youth gang,” and that it was “clear” Crystal Mangum was physically assaulted did not constitute making “false charges about the students under indictment.] Actually, I reported on coverage of the case, not the case itself, in the service of making an argument about race and culture that compared how those students were depicted in the press to another case. Frankly, even if I had made false charges against these students, it would have been without material consequence to them because I have no standing in their lives, their community or in the legal case. [No one said that she did.] I was in no way responsible for the situation that brought on the press coverage in the first place, or Duke’s decisions about how to deal with it. [No one said that she was.] But the anonymous people attached to this blogger wrote emails and letters to my colleagues, officers of the university, trustees and to me: as I came to understand, they have also been sending abusive, obscene and racist email to members of the Duke faculty. [How Potter determined that “anonymous” people were “attached” to me is unclear.] Only when I began to investigate their real identities by filing complaints with their servers did they stop. I still don’t know, because of the multiple anonymous comments and the accounts opened under pseudonyms, whether these were many real people, a couple real people, or whether it was just the blogger himself in a fit of paranoid rage and grandiosity. [This from the person who complained that she was subjected to a “public, personal and vicious verbal assault.”] And not inconsequentially, although the blogger claims to be engaged in a campaign for justice that has held up factually in recent decisions in the Duke case, that he deliberately misinterpreted my post and fails to exercise any restraint over the “anonymous” comments to his own site, many of which seem to be from right-wing conspiracy theorists, frankly calls him into question as a scholar as well as a colleague in my view. [Potter did not make clear how quoting own words constituted “misinterpreting” her.] As far as I can tell, he has one identity as a historian and another as the convener of a bizarre, right wing conspiracy group. And the two identities cannot help but overlap because they belong to the same person. [This, again, from the person who complained that she was subjected to a “public, personal and vicious verbal assault.”]

Potter’s argument appears to boil down to: she can say whatever she wants about the case, even when she provides no factual basis for grave accusations, but criticism of what she published is unacceptable. This sort of approach fits in very well with the line of argument from the Group of 88 over the past 15 months: free speech for me, not for thee.

Potter, it turns out, gave a sense of how she “exercises restraint” over her blog in response to a comment from DIW reader AMac. A couple of days ago, he placed the following comment on her blog.


I comment (and occasionally blog) pseudonymously rather than anonymously. I dislike the anon- and pseudon- for some of the reasons you describe. Yet, in my career (outside of academia), I have no safety net. On principle, I also would like to keep some semblance of privacy, even realizing that the application of Moore’s Law to the power of Google (etc.) means that the search engines of tomorrow will pierce these veils with ease.

My stance is similar to that of numerous other commenters on this thread: I’ve made it easy for anyone who wishes to discover my not-so-secret identity. Perhaps that helps with a second piece: I try not to write anything that I wouldn’t say in person and for attribution (when I make a mistake, I apologize).

As to the specifics of the Duke Rape Hoax that you used to illustrated the issue of anonymity in blogging: some few of your readers may recall my disagreement with your position in the comments of the post you alluded to,“>There’s Got To Be A Morning After.

The developments in the case over the past few months have not been kind to your point of view. Further, most readers who make the effort to read the primary source material will find your description of your dealings with a historian-blogger and his “cronies” (can I be a crony of a person I’ve never met?) to be rather, um, bowdlerized.

The next day, Potter deleted the comment. How uncollegial.


Anonymous said...

Ask the lady exactly what it was that happened. Maybe she was there.

Anonymous said...

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeese!!!!!! It's about time the boys attorneys commenced filing some civil law suits to put a cessation to all of this "FOOLISHNESS"???

This man is one of the Foooooools!

Anonymous said...

basically what this proves is that regardless of statements of innocence, this will follow the boys forever.

Whatever Duke paid was not enough.

Anonymous said...

These people are "professional" racists. Their whole schtick is to gain wealth and influence over the uninformed and ignorant. The ends justify the means. Basically, this is their job. I keep getting letters from Vanderbilt requesting money - I keep replying - not a dime until race baiters like Houston Baker are fired.

Anonymous said...

KC , you're only giving these sensationalistic media whores another avenue to broadcast their libel. If that is your goal, good for you. If not, please take caution in how much bandwidth these "fools" can muster.

Steven Horwitz said...

Sigh. It's crap like this from Potter that makes me weary of defending my profession, even though I still think people like her are the exception rather than the rule.

Frankly, for her complete distortion of KC's original post as well as the Hoax itself, she deserves whatever civilized critical wrath of the blogosphere she gets.

"Paranoid rage and grandiosity" indeed.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steven Horwitz said...

Like 5 O'clock Charlie on MASH, 12:00 is oh so predictable. :)

Anonymous said...

Surely this kind of trash makes it all the more important to increase the compensation amounts in any civil law suit??

These misguided fools are using the analogy that if one throws enough CR@@ ,some will stick.

Sue the lot of them!!!!

Anonymous said...

"It's crap like this from Potter that makes me weary of defending my profession, even though I still think people like her are the exception rather than the rule."

Even if she's the exception, the majority of your colleagues see fit to hire such people and give them tenure. That's a systemic problem.

Anonymous said...

KC, it's obvious that you are part of a right wing conpiracy!

Unfortunately, as you well know, in academia it doesn't matter if what you write is right or wrong, it just matters whether it's publishable. It is little wonder that Jean Monet, the father of the European Community, wrote in his biography that whenever he went to a new place, he always wanted to talk to the people who could not afford to be wrong. So he would talk to attorneys (well, not district attorneys), businessmen, and government officials. Needless to say, he didn't bother to talk to academics.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving these fools!! They make me laugh!! HaHa!

I hope they write more foolish columns! I like to laugh at them as I am sure other people do too!

TeeHee.... I am glad they are not doctors because if they were I'd have to call them looney quacks!!

Anonymous said...

KC, thanks for keeping up the good work.
Like Burke said:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing

For the PC croud--just change "men" to people or whatever. Don't bother me. This is a quotation, not a paraphrase.

Anonymous said...

"People of Gender" will suffice. That is my contribution to doublespeak.

Anonymous said...

This is the usual lament for those that realize this case was a fraud; "something happened". I agree...something did attempt by a "dancer" to blackmail these boys for money is what happened. Also...if I were receiving such vile hate mail as it is claimed by Potter, I would display these other words, I don't believe her. This is what happens when you have tenure. I hope she seeks her much needed therapy.

Anonymous said...

Some one or a few some ones, has spoken to the "tenured Radical" about her contribution to the hoax. I hope these boys can sue this one, Gail Dines, AG Rud and the rest of the writers who slandered and libeled these guys.

Anonymous said...

Re Potter. Jeez, and I thought there were snakes in MY profession (law). To KC, Bill A. and Steve H., my sincerest condolences.

wayne fontes said...

As far as I can tell, he has one identity as a historian and another as the convener of a bizarre, right wing conspiracy group.

Hey KC, did the promotion to "convener of a bizarre right wing conspiracy group" come with a pay raise or is it just a title?

Notice how all of the charges coming from enablers are so squishy and impossible to define.

White Male Privilege
Lack of Collegiality
They're No Angels
Right Wing Conspiracy

The sad thing is that Potter has probably been stewing about this for months and this was her best effort.

Anonymous said...

These professors are clearly dumberer than dumb...

and they keep proving it everyday!

Anonymous said...

Apparently, Syl Jones' editor does not believe in fact-checking either. No wonder newspaper subscription is shrinking and going the way of dinosaurs. Way to go, blogs! Go KC!

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate as well as unrealistic to expect unaninimity of agreement on the facts of this case (regardless of their clarity) given the stake, POV, and livelihood so many have on race/class/gender issues. Pscyhologically, it causes too much cognitive dissonance for these folks to come to terms with the real, cold facts here.

As a result, I personally am moving on from paying attention to these whimpering, provincial intellectual cowards. It is pathetic so many of them find employment at our finer schools.

Anonymous said...



I have really been struck in this entire matter by the pattern I see from those who post absurd things. Generally speaking, a majority of the most absurd items posted that state libelous things about the Duke Three and the Lacrosse team in general come from academia, an environment that does not favor dissent from outrageous opinions. The pattern appears to be as follows:

1. Post an insane diatribe bemoaning the role of Caucasian privilege, and draw a parallel, no matter how weak, with the Duke Case, Adolph Hitler, worldwide famine, etc.;

2. Once this is done, the diatribe is then (gasp) criticized as drivel, and the audience then condemns it as such;

3. The academic then posts a response NOT to the merits, or lack thereof, of their original statement, but instead attacking those who criticized the very root of their original statement. In ever case, the academic will make him or herself a victim of “racist” and “sexist” e-mails. When asked to produce these allegedly horrible communications for public view, the academic will then feign that they were “deleted” upon receipt, but rest assured, they really existed in the first place.

Needless to say, the very root of the original statement is conveniently never examined, nor must the academic actually defend writing absurd things.

They aren’t fooling anyone.


Anonymous said...

"Too bad Jones didn’t do the job of an op-ed columnist and explain precisely WHAT [caps supplied] the “something” that happened was."


Yeah, or WHEN it could have possibly happened -- even under the most far-out theory of physics, whereby Reade was in 2 places at once.

Or WHERE it happened, since there is a lack of DNA evidence in the bathroom, particularly in contrast to the brutal, prolonged and bizarre assault described by the whore, which absolutely would have left gobs and blobs and quarts of DNA, if there was ANY truth to the tale.

Or, WHY, if "something happened", it wasn't observed by Kim Roberts (or, to dumb it down for Jones, the "second stripper").

Or, HOW Precious Panties was so brutally assaulted -- not only raped "3 ways" but also beaten, punched, kicked, and strangled "almost to death", by 3 powerful young athletes -- yet she didn't end up in the hospital for 3 weeks. Or even have a scratch, a cut or a swelling on her face,as PHOTOGRAPHED by the cops.

Oh, we're wasting our time. Some ignorant asses just enjoy braying out their bigoted lies, and don't give a damn about facts or evidence.

Anonymous said...

Might Ms. Claire Potter's view of the world and men be a bit skewed by the information she relays about herself?


I think so!


Michael said...

re: 12:36

Then I guess we can add liars to Williamson's description.

redcybra said...

Jeez, when I think of my college days and the history courses I took with professors like John Lynn and Richard Blanke...serious, rational, demanding teachers...and compare them with Claire Potter who teaches Queering the American State: Politics and Sex After 1968 and writes total crap like those articles....I think that there won't be any decent colleges left by the time my kid is ready.

Anonymous said...

These people are frauds.

Anonymous said...

"Needless to say, the very root of the original statement is conveniently never examined, nor must the academic actually defend writing absurd things.

They aren’t fooling anyone."

They're either fooling or satisfying academic search and tenure committees.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for that link, I got a good laugh. Anyone have any idea what "Queer" is if it is not Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transexual? I understand the LGBT acronym, but "LGBTQ"?

Anonymous said...

people of gender--funny
I guess I just don't keep up

Anonymous said...

I really, really dislike Ann Coulter, but her LAX columns have been right on the money....Is hell freezing or what!!??

Anonymous said...

Brad Ross....

The real reason we know Nifong proceeded with intentional malice!

Anonymous said...

This quote sums it up, from an update Potter added to her original post:

"But isn't it interesting how, when you ask a question like this, that the whole point of the post been lost in a renewed, shrill effort to demonstrate 'innocence?'"

Yes, there it is. See, it doesn't matter to Potter whether KC is right about this case. It doesn't matter if Potter had accused the Duke 3 of spying for North Korea. Because KC's Wrong on the Big Issues, and she's Right. Therefore, she can say (and maybe do?) anything and feel absolutely vindicated. The reputations of three men are just trifles in the Big Scheme of Things.

If there's one thread uniting these left-wing radical attacks on the lacrosse players (and maybe all radicals of any stripe), it's that it doesn't matter how many little details or little people you run over along the way, as long as you're doing it to serve the cause.

Anonymous said...

Every age has its phrenologists. This too shall pass.

Anonymous said...

The Internet is forever.

As such the shelf life that initially sustained the fraud will continue forever.

The number that write that something happened and disparage the young me appears to be growing.

Let's see if the legal system works and the falsely accused are able to defend their names.

AMac said...

Just to be clear on my opinion on having Prof. Potter delete the comment that K.C. reproduced in the body of his post: I don't see any "Freedom of the Press" or "censorship" issues arising with Prof. Potter's actions. She's the sole proprietor of her virtual printing press, and her audience seems to be well-pleased with her editorial judgment.

Prior commenting on Hard Leftists' blogs has taught me that these folks often have difficulty with tolerating dissent, no matter how civil, on-subject, and concise a comment may be. Fair enough, but then equally fair that I make a local copy of the words I offer, to use as I see fit. Free speech for me as well as for thee.

To her credit, after her April post, Tenured Radical did engage in dialog in the comments of this post by John in Carolina. Perhaps she will make similar efforts in the future. I hope the opponents of the Hoax/Frame who constitute most of the readership of D-i-W will be civil to her in any communication, via these comments or otherwise.

Chauncey Nartey is not the model.

Anonymous said...

"it doesn't matter how many little details or little people you run over along the way, as long as you're doing it to serve the cause."

Especially if they're "shrill" little people.

Anonymous said...

anonymous @ 1:01:00

You know what they say about a blind squirrel...

Anonymous said...

Potter is not unlike the 88 in her profound fear of having her thinking -indeed her very construction of reality- placed at the front door of the marketplace of ideas. The modern "Ivory Tower" is like a very exclusive country club. The criteria for inclusion is radically leftist groupthink, hatred of all things white, male, heterosexual and conservative, and an odd interpretation of "academic freedom" that angrily opposes any counter-viewpoints. Both Wesleyan and Duke are the leftist/academic version of Augusta National. Despite Paula McClain's chest pounding (AFTER the settlement and releases from liabilty!) and self-righteous "we won't be intimidated" hyperbole, the fact remains that her worst nightmare is to be asked to raise her right hand, swear to tell the truth, and proceed to be cross-examined in a deposition that would be a matter of public record. For the likes of McClain and Potter, it is much more comfy to claim persecuted victim status for merely having their views made public and subjected to real world scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

As I read this post a familiar pattern emerged. So I followed the links and as I expected (surprise!), KC didn't provide her e-mail in his original post, nor does her post come close to accurately describing what he said.

It has become the norm now. Someone writes something that looks very foolish. Some other blog links it as being, well, very foolish.

The original poster claims to have received hatemail from the second poster's readers and does a Meehan on explaining the original post.

So nowadays my default position is that if someone claims to have received hatemail but doesn't produce it I don't believe them. I'm not saying people don't say and write nasty things to others.

I'm saying making that charge is trite and a transparent effort to obfuscate the original issue. If you got repulsive e-mail then publish it. I mean the whole e-mail, with the header and the originating e-mail addy.

Prove it. Otherwise, you're talking trash.

Anonymous said...

It warms my heart to see fools like Claire post bullcrap like this on the internet. The Hatey-Hate of Duke can't be far behind and will soon be opening themselves up for a little legal action. They will not be able to resist after seeing their esteemed college's words published for the education of the unwashed masses.

Publish and Perish.

Steven Horwitz said...

The criteria for inclusion is radically leftist groupthink, hatred of all things white, male, heterosexual and conservative, and an odd interpretation of "academic freedom" that angrily opposes any counter-viewpoints.

How did KC, Bill Anderson and I get in then?

Engaging in a little groupthink of your own? A little hatred of all things leftist?

It does no one any good to imitate the G88's "groupthink" about lax players by engaging in groupthink about academics.

Anonymous said...

Claire Potter, self-described "smarty-pants lesbian," was outed months ago as a disingenuous fool. Evidently nothing has changed.

Eh, it's Wesleyan.

Anonymous said...

1:45, GREAT analogy. Talk about hitting them where it hurts - compare them to The Great White Male Patriarchal Old-Boy Hellspawn Abyss that is Augusta National. Wooo-eee, that will nettle.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Since when does hiring a stripper condemn someone to a lesser strata where due process violations are justified as "only happneing to them?"

Sounds awfully like "the woman was flirting, drinking and asking for it." [translation: she's hardly and angel so don't lose sleep over her being raped in a bar by a bunch of rowdy guys."]

Syl Jones sounds like a throwback to the 30's mentality that I thought we had extinguished: where due process depends on how "worthy" the self-appointed moralists thought you were.

Anonymous said...

All these articles will do is help when the families file lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

This is really getting out of hand. Well, that may be overstated. Things are really getting out of hand with a few complete nut-jobs. Their comments are just unbelievable. Now we have war crimes in the mix? They're implying that the team is some kind of criminal gang and that women are raped at lacrosse parties all the time? What will they come up with next?

These people are completely ignorant of the facts and their comments are reckless and reprehensible. If I were a player on the team I'd be tempted to sue but doing so might give more attention to these absurd statements and cause these people to lash out even more. I'm just sorry Collin, Reade, Dave and all the players and their families have to put up with this.

Michael said...

There's a nice article on NODROP on the front page of LS. I'm happy to see this getting some attention in Durham.

As far as the opinion pieces, it's amazing as to how little fact-checking these folks do when writing their pieces. Their name and reputation are on the line and it seems that they don't care.

cathyf said...

This is kind of an off-topic question, but if I understand the news reports correctly, the three who settled for an undisclosed chunk of the Duke endowment were only the three who were indicted, right? What about the other 43? Don't they have substantial claims against Duke, and the potbangers, and the Group of 88, and other faculty members who abused them in class, etc.?

It seems to me that while the 3 indicted students were most injured by the official actions of the state (the police and Nifong), and as such are going to get the most money out of the NC taxpayers, the 43 unindicted were injured most by the university and the freelance race-baiters. Just as a tactical question of concentrating your resources where they do the most good, it seems to me prudent for the 3 indicted students to settle with Duke early, and use those funds to pursue Nifong and the police, whilest leaving main payback for Duke to the 43 unindicted students whose strongest claims are centered on Duke.

It seems to me that the reports of Duke "moving on" by settling with the indicted 3 are vastly overstated. Or am I just engaging in wishful thinking believing that Duke and the Group of 88 really haven't gotten off basically scot free?

Anonymous said...

One has to marvel at the number of college and university professors who continue to show their bigotry and their sheer ignorance. It gives some credibility to the old saying "Those who can do, those who can't (pretend to) teach." KC, can you comment on this?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what all of Nifong's troubles have done to Crystal? In other words has it helped or hindered her bookings. Have her fees gone up or down?

Anonymous said...

"Or am I just engaging in wishful thinking believing that Duke and the Group of 88 really haven't gotten off basically scot free? "

Duke's got some more money to pay. Plus the next time some jock doesn't like his grade they're going to have a much harder time defending against a grade retaliation suit that they would have a couple of years ago.

As for Brodhead or the G88 ever having their careers impacted by the financial harm they've brought on Duke, given the way academic politics works that seems unlikely. They're far more likely to be rewarded for having been on the "right side" of the "broader issues" than punished for being wrong on a particular case.

Anonymous said...

The column on Potter gave me a good laugh. She represents the most pathetic of the academic enablers that I have come across—and I say this as a former academic!

One of my old professors at Duke had the answer to this kind of nonsense: rescind her BA!

Re 1.02’s comment that Brad Ross proves Nifong’s intentional malice. I think the better proof is that he went after Dave Evans—in my opinion probably because Cheshire was his lawyer and Nifong hated Cheshire. Nifong and the DPD became excited by the prospect that some of Evans’ DNA might be on the fingernail in the trashcan in Evans’ bathroom—while ignoring the fact that Meehan had found the DNA of two non-Lax males in her mouth. (I wonder what she was doing just before the party?)

What strikes about Nifong’s actions me is not that phrase about the banality of evil but the ultimate pettiness of this creep.


Anonymous said...

One must wonder if Ms. Potter understands one of the main definitions of nihilism that describes her philosophy perfectly (an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth). Perhaps someone should send her a vocabulary lesson, not that she would learn from it. Better add narcissism to the lesson too.

Anonymous said...

Stevie H:
A touch defensive there chief? Not sure what your experience is in academia, but from what I know about KC, he endured a brutal tenure/promotion battle that speaks for itself. I have seen how the sausage is made, my friend; and I don't recommend that reasonable folks eat at the academy!

Anonymous said...

Subject: an Episcopal priest re Durham DA, Duke: Learning from Failure

Saturday June 23, 2007

By Tom Ehrich

Now that Durham, NC, District Attorney Mike Nifong has been removed from office for misconduct in handling rape allegations against three Duke University lacrosse players, it is time to learn from this 17-month saga.

I mean not just close the book on a rogue DA, breathe a sigh of relief, and move on, but dig deeply into the broader and deeper meanings of these events.

We all have a stake in this learning. For the Duke case is more than local drama. It is a high-profile look at a growing tendency to treat failure as an occasion for blaming, not for learning.

For example, the interim DA said his staff will have one long conversation about the Nifong era and then move on. I should think they would be discussing this episode every day and using it to raise the bar on interviewing witnesses, collaborating with police, handling evidence and making public statements.

The city has launched a study of its police for ce's role in the case. Whether that will go beyond low-level blaming remains to be seen. It's already being criticized as window-dressing.

The city has more work to do. The allegations of a black woman that she had been raped by three white men didn't ignite racial outcries because a DA was leading citizens over a cliff. Racial tensions erupt regularly in Durham - as in other cities -- and are always simmering in schools, city services and house-buying decisions.

If anything, the Nifong ouster worsens the situation. The message is clear: don't mess with rich white folks who can hire powerful lawyers and do their own exhaustive analysis of DNA evidence. Black citizens could be excused for asking, Is money what it takes to secure justice?

Other than five quickly shelved self-studies, Duke University shows no discernible appetite for learning from these events. On the Sunday after rape allegations were revealed, I watched female students express outrage at the way women are treated at Duke, neighbors express outrage at the way hard-partying Duke undergraduates ruin their neighborhoods, and others express outrage at a jock culture soaked in beer and privilege.

Duke needs to be taking that outrage seriously. It doesn't go away with Nifong's removal. If the women were correct in describing a high incidence of sexual assault by male students, then Duke has a huge ethical issue, not to mention exposure to crippling lawsuits.

Moving drunken students out of the tony neighborhood where the notorious lacrosse team party occurred doesn't address the problem of out-of-control drinking or the growing perception of Duke as a party school.

Duke loyalists are piling on the 88 faculty members who took out a newspaper ad after the rape allegations surfaced condemning such behavior. Even if the allegations were baseless, their deep concern for a university apparently losing its way should be seen as a wakeup call. The hapless DA didn't stir their frustration. Teaching Duke students did.

Duke should be leading the way in a national reassessment of student life, campus ethics, entitlement and privilege, academic freedom, gender relations, alcohol usage by underage students, exposure to liability for failure to provide a safe environment, and the role of over-involved parents.

Finally, the three exonerated students need to learn from this episode. They have had a sobering look inside the criminal justice system, which should give them sympathy for the many who are unfairly accused.

They have also seen how classmates perceived them as arrogant. These perceptions preceded March 2006 and need to be taken seriously, if they are to be successful citizens and professionals.

Steven Horwitz said...

145: Academia is not nirvana. But it's also not the total playground of types like Potter or the worst of the G88. There *are* reasonable people, left, right and libertarian, in academia and those whose views are not on the conventional left can survive and even thrive.

Maybe I am a bit defensive, but the gratuitous bashing of academics here, much of it with no basis in fact or experience, might justify that defensiveness.

I just wish people would go after the G88 and Potter et. al. specifically and on the issue of what they've actually said/done with respect to this case, rather than using this as a convenient stalking horse for their (often right-wing) anti-intellectualism and hatred of academia in general.

Sorry, we're all not guilty of the crimes of our colleagues.

Steven Horwitz said...

Then again, maybe we deserve it.

Potter just deleted three or four comments at her blog challenging her reading of her interaction with KC. None of them were uncivil and all called on her to examine the facts as any good academic should.


Anonymous said...

Another thing that has struck me about the Lax case is the readiness of what I call the Holy Hypocrites to jump on the bandwagon and criticize the Laxers. Ehrich is a less extreme version of this phenomenon; I particularly object to the ministrations of the Rev Curtis Gatewood and the Rev Jesse Jackson.

Then there was the initial sermon assigning culpability of the Rev. Sam Wells, from our very own Duke Chapel. I speak as an alum, and one who has been so appalled by the actions of clergy at Duke such as Wells and Vetter that I have decided to donate a collection of artifacts from the Holy Land that was intended for my alma mater to some other worthy source.


Brian Carnell said...

Of course...they were wealthy and at a party...what did they think was going to happen? They were pretty much asking for this. The least they could have done was just closed their eyes and tried to enjoy it. Now, instead of just dwelling on it they should get over it and try to put it out of their minds.

Anonymous said...

Well, I perused Dr. Potters blog interested in her lament in the closing of Antioch College. While I thought her comments on education to be somewhat detached from reality, I don’t feel myself enough of an expert to comment on the higher educational system.
What I did notice was her reference to white males and the allusion that they were privileged. Cool, I am privileged, that is until I look at my ancestors and see a line of blue-collar workers for generations. I also had the pleasure of working blue-collar for 20 years. Hardly privileged stock.

This kind of reminds me of when I went to college. I had some woman up there telling me because I was white and male I was dominating others who were minorities. When I pointed out by her criteria I was the one being dominated in my house by my Japanese wife she then had the gall to tell me that I was in fact dominating her due to the fact that I married her. When I pointed out that it was my wife that had asked me out, that was irrelevant. I was in fact in the process of dominating her culturally and physically because I married her. My sin apparently was marrying a woman whose ethnic origin differed from my own.

I’m still waiting for my dominance to assert itself in my family life, but I don’t see that happening.
I am also waiting for my “privileged white male” status to kick in.

Alas, I feel both of these will be a long time in coming.

Anonymous said...

Professor Potter's rage (and poor grammar) is truly amazing. I believe that here "uncollegial" comment is a lame attempt to smack down Prof. Johnson.

It's reassuring to know that her stupidity is now a part of the permanent cyber-record. Hopefully, at least a few parents shopping for a college to send their kids will avoid Wesleyan.

Anonymous said...

Where were all of those "reasonable people" in academia when Mike Nifong was pissing all over the constitutional rights of the Duke three? While I grant that not every faculty member at elitist universities is a leftist idealogue, I respectfully submit that leftist idealogues dominate and dictate faculty culture. For you to suggest otherwise is a bad faith denial.
As for your speculative assumption that I have no basis in fact or experience to express my views on this matter: think again. I have the very institution in question.
And as for your curious comments re "anti-intellectualism" and "hatred of academia", I would simply point out that if you are looking for true anti-intellectualism (ie, the failure to acknowledge factual truth and instead adopt "beliefs"), then you need look no further than the Group of 88 and their enablers. BTY, do you really think that if KC had launched this blog BEFORE his tenure battle, he would have won?

Anonymous said...

At one time I had high regard for college professors. What a fool I was...

The list of colleges where I would send my children seems to be getting smaller every day...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

And with the advent of the "Fairness Doctrine" we will see the likes of Potter silencing her critics with government sponsored censors and collecting money for more of her ilk. These types are terrified of the blogs and talk radio because they CANNOT control them through threats, lies, and fines. Name calling is all they have left because they are never armed with a fact.

Steven Horwitz said...

The answer to where the "rest of" academia was is that they were doing their jobs. Most faculty have no desire to be public intellectuals and to get involved in stuff like the Hoax, even when their own students are in jeopardy. They are doing their research and teaching their courses and living their lives. This is especially true outside the social sciences and humanities. In those other areas you are less likely to find G88 types and more likely to find the "sane" folks. And note that by "sane" I do not mean "conservative."

It is certainly true that the hard left is more influential in the social sciences and humanities. It is also true that there are more faculty there interested in being public intellectuals in the way that the G88 imagine themselves.

The problem, in my book, is that there aren't enough folks in the social sciences and humanities who *both* buck the intellectual mainstream *and* wish to be public intellectuals. There are plenty of folks who are not of the hard left, but the vast majority of them, even in the social sciences and humanities, are more interested in doing their jobs than speaking out on any issue. The consequence of them doing their jobs is that the microphone gets monopolized by one set of very shrill voices.

All of that said, I will repeat what I've said before: the behavior of the G88 was loathsome, particularly their refusal to admit their mistake and apologize. I can understand a mistaken rush to judgment at some level, but refusing to admit your mistake and apologize is unforgivable.

Anonymous said...

The reasons some of us in humanities do not make public comments is because it is not worth it. The militants on the left are so angry all he time about anything patriotic, religious, traditional, etc., that it is easier to stay silent. During this debate, one of the worst in my department stated "I'm so ashamed of being white." Half of the room praised the comment. Rather than take their abuse, I just kept my mouth shut. I am certainly NOT ashamed of who I am.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

3:49 If you have not tried it, don't knock it.

Anonymous said...

This is a quote from one of KC Johnson's colleagues at Brooklyn College, which was in the Chronocle of Higher Education. You can google his name and it comes right up.

Mr. Johnson's "his mocking contempt for those who disagree with him ... had sown so much anger and indignation among his colleagues that most were not even on speaking terms with him. ... There were even moments when I wondered if he had lost touch with reality."

Anonymous said...

Since I am not a Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell, I'm better off with my mouth shut around my collegues. Many years ago I made a comment defending a white student, and I was called an "Uncle Tom" - and that was by whites. I am a happy person -- I don't need them.

Anonymous said...

"The answer to where the 'rest of' academia was is that they were doing thier jobs".

Uh huh...they were hiding under their desks! "No desire to be public intellectuals and to get involved in stuff like the Hoax, even when their own students are in jeopardy"?

What about fairness? What about respect for your students? What about academic integrity?

The likes of the 88 had no difficulty suspending "doing their jobs" to become "public intellectuals". They weren't "doing their research and teaching their courses and the living their lives". Instead, they aggressively stepped outside their academic roles and slandered the lacrosse team. No rest for the dedicated, leftist, academic weary!
Your "doing your job" thesis is difficult for me! If your fellow "reasonable faculty" were truly doing their jobs, they would have spoken out forcefully against the rush to judgment you now condemn.
You can't, in all seriousness, contend that the "rest of" the faculty were so busy "doing their jobs" that they failed to read the NY Times, watch CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, 60 Minutes, ABC, CBS, NBC, Court TV, or hell, even TeleTubbies!

P.S. Kudos for at least commenting with your real name. Email me at and we can chat off-blog. I would enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Woo hoo! KC, you ole "convener of a bizarre, right wing conspiracy group" you!!

May I take you to the local pub for a few beers? You must be thirsty after all that "paranoid rage and grandiosity". ;>)

GaryB said...

Mr. Johnson's "his mocking contempt for those who disagree with him ...

I don't know the details of KC's tenure spat other than he spit back and won. But, I have Prof. friends who have deeply threatened existing faculty simply because they were competent and energetic. I'd regard it as a personal insult to be accepted for tenure by the G88 for example.

KC seems to have done pretty well since -- I heard he early on recognized, documented and thereby participated in a historical legal case that exposed how deep rooted and Orwellian PC still is and illustrating that it is due process perhaps more than the vote that gives us our liberty.

It was historical in itself not only in aiding the cause of justice but also in being somewhat of a turning point of blogs vs. mainstream press for getting the story right. All while applying and getting a Fulbright. Probably a keeper in hindsight.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 4.12:

This same colleague also wrote, as the article pointed out, about other members of the department: "I'm convinced, in fact, that some of our colleagues are flat-out crazy--or so childlike in their emotional makeup as to pass for crazy. ... [one] lives on some other planet; [another] has decided that all the terrible things done to her over the years (regular promotions, a chair, awards) give her license to lie and cheat as she pleases; [another] is well meaning and earnest but a doofus; [another] has no self-censoring ability. ... [another,] as you've figured out, has no gift for dealing with people and doesn't like to commit himself. ... Even fruitcakes like [several colleagues] think that we were damn lucky to get you."

You can read the whole article here.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Duke is getting the message, don't mess with rich white students. Rich white students don't have the team of 88, and Al, and Jesse, and all the bleeding heart libs. Duke fear this, or you will end up in court , and future DAs and DPD, you are on notice. We have drawn a line in the sand. Don't mess with INNOCENT white kids.

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous 4:12 --

Do you know that KC johnson is aligned with the radical right wing group Campus Watch, that pays students to spy on faculty adn tape their classes secretly? Go here

Anonymous said...

KC, Even without your reponse, I would not have believed 4:12 as true. I think that forever you will have accusers, but also those who have your back.
Many of us DO have your back.

Anonymous said...

I was amused by Prof. Potter's scrubbing of any mildly disagreeing comments, so I posted this at 3:22 p.m. today:

"Your June 14th post, now closed to comments said this, without a taste of irony: 'If you can't imagine saying such a thing to someone's face, or don't want to engage your own critics publicly, you probably shouldn't put something up on the web.'

I'll tune in for awhile to see if any dissent is tolerated here at all, or if any 'disagreeable' posts (including this one) are simply erased."

As of now it is still up. I'll let you know when I notice it is gone.

Anonymous said...

I heard that KC lives on two rooms with a mattress on the floor and does nothing but this blog. Is that true?

Also that the reason people at Brooklyn College didn't want him is he is crazy and abusive.

Anonymous said...

Poof, my comment is gone from Prof. Potter's blog.

Anonymous said...

To TE at 2:57

I don't even want to get started. You write so much bs that I think it would probably puff you up to think anyone ever cares what you say.

Just a couple of comments--
If someone thinks you as arrongant, what do you propose to do? I think you are arrogant.

Why should Duke address the fact that as you put it "over-involved" parents. How does that hurt students? Are you a friend of Dean Sue?

And then you make the comment that even if the comments by the 88 were "baseless"--so you don't think they were baseless?

Do us a favor, go sell your snake oil some place else.

Anonymous said...


Who did you hear from that? You must be one of the 88.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 4.49:

I list my CV on my website; the link is here. It seems to include one or two pieces of scholarship besides this blog. Brooklyn also has a teaching load of 4-3.

As for the issues in my tenure fight, I invite you to look at the Chronicle of Higher Education article linked above in the thread.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:34 said:

"Do you know that KC johnson is aligned with the radical right wing group Campus Watch, that pays students to spy on faculty adn tape their classes secretly? Go here"

I never heard of them before, but good for him and them. What should university profs fear from a little light shone on their speeches? Are their clases confidential? The link you provided had a list of articles by Prof. Johnson, the last dated April, 2006.

Besides, "aligned with"???? That sounds like the old John Birch Society language seeking to expose communist sympathizers.

Anonymous said...

I think Johnson's life would totally fall apart if he ever let this Duke thing go and stopped harassing people. I mean, the legal system has done what it is supposed to do, so give it a rest and stop acting like these poor boys need you so much. They got fancy lawyers who did a good job.

Get a life.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow my last comment was the "88th". Woooooo!

becket03 said...

One can hope that Larry Summers' demise at Harvard signals the highwater mark for leftist hegemony in American institutions of higher learning, and that a slow decline is already underway. Boomers are still in control, and I would argue that it's their generation that's largely responsible for the current state of affairs. As they creep closer to their retirement years (faster! faster!), and their influence wanes, more moderate younger colleagues, who I believe do enjoy greater numbers among X'ers and Y'ers, may make it safe to be white, heterosexual and pro-American again in the faculty lounge.

Leftist allegiances on campus today are more about fashion than truth, and that fashion is a generational thing, ushered in when boomers were teens in the 60s, and to be ushered out as they take to their walkers and shuffle off into the sunset.


Anonymous said...

5:07 Get informed

The Duke 3 and their lawyers have praised kc many times.

Get off this blog if it bothers you. Maybe this IS your life.

kc provides a public service. do your homework, see how many "hits" he has a day.

you seem to be turning green.

Anonymous said...

Your posting reminds me of the way you were handled by colleagues in your Brooklyn College tenure struggle. How you manage to lie down with dogs yet not get up with fleas amazes me.
What's more, you clearly hope to persuade these dogs (of academia and op-eds) to use their presumed potential for reason and rational discourse, but they vigorously disappoint. That's rather Quixotic!
Tom ex Carolina

Anonymous said...

Ops- I should have first read the preceding responses which speak to my point!
Tom ex Carolina

Anonymous said...

I looked at the CHE article KC suggested. I got a nice laugh from this colleague's criticism of him:

"Colleagues should not have to endure comments asserting that his opinions are more valid because he has read every word in a 400-page dissertation."

How insolent to suggest authority from actually reading an applicant's writing when one's opponent has not!

BTW when Potter reopened her 6/14 essay to comments, I suggested she might want to take a refresher course in libel and slander. My post was gone within an hour.

Anonymous said...

Whatever these academic types think and say in the long run is irrelevant, except where real slander is concerned. I wish the families had the energy to go after them, but understand it's enough to get the actual villains, which seems to be happening.They must go on with their lives and leave these mean spirited, dishonest people in the past. None of them are necessary for life.
The best news is,the kids these teachers meet are pretty savy and don't need them beyond a requred course. They will leave their schools,go out into the world and forget most of what they say.

Anonymous said...

anonymous at 1:45 PM said...
Potter is not unlike the 88 in her profound fear of having her thinking -indeed her very construction of reality- placed at the front door of the marketplace of ideas. The modern "Ivory Tower" is like a very exclusive country club. The criteria for inclusion is radically leftist groupthink, hatred of all things white, male, heterosexual and conservative, and an odd interpretation of "academic freedom" that angrily opposes any counter-viewpoints.

This is linked just above Prof. Potter's article in the URL above-cited. Reprinted here in full, unedited:

More Wespeaks...

The "rights" of homophobes

By Martha Jane Kaufman and Jean Pockrus

No one has a "right" to be homophobic. This idea is ridiculous when you consider the fact that we live in a generally homophobic society. Everyone is entitled to freedom of expression, but we absolutely cannot tolerate expressions of hate that compromise the safe spaces in which individuals and groups freely express their identities. Jeff Pike wrote, "Putting up straight pride banners would not be tolerated"—arguing by extension that gays are being granted "special rights." But we live in a heteronormative world, where expressing your identity as queer is often risky and dangerous. Unfortunately queers have to assert our presence through banners among other things in order to carve out a safe space for expression of our identity. Being gay is not a "right." it's a full-fledged form of existence, and for many, of resistance.

Kaufman is a member of the class of 2008 and Pockrus is a member of the class of 2009.

Anonymous said...

KC, you wrote that "Jones appears to have overlooked Reade Seligmann’s April 11 statement about the importance of using his experience to defend the rights of all falsely accused—hardly a path likely to lead to a Scalia clerkship."

Implicit in that statement is the opinion that Justice Scalia has no regard for the rights of the falsely accused. May I ask what the basis for that opinion is?

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz at 2:03 said...
[quoting 1:45] "The criteria for inclusion is radically leftist groupthink, hatred of all things white, male, heterosexual and conservative, and an odd interpretation of "academic freedom" that angrily opposes any counter-viewpoints."

How did KC, Bill Anderson and I get in then?

Prof. Horwitz, everytime you open your mouth, you make the case of people like 1:45. KC is backing Obama; I don't know who Prof. Anderson is backing, but YOU don't strike me as a GOP stalwart. The reason some of you moderate Leftists can get in is that you have superior credentials -- and besides the radicals have to let a FEW of you moderate Leftists in just so they can say they have "political diversity".

At least in the "soft sciences", on most U.S. campuses, "political diversity" extends from Obama supporters on the Far Right to the more mainstream Marxist-Leninists and finally to the nihilistic-deconstructionists on the "Left".

Anonymous said...

4:34 Inre: Campus Watch...looks pretty reasonable to me, I think I may donate. Thanks for the heads-up.

What's not to like about Campus Watch?

Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America, with an aim to improving them. The project mainly addresses five problems: analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students. Campus Watch fully respects the freedom of speech of those it debates while insisting on its own freedom to comment on their words and deeds.

The Problems in Middle East Studies
Analytical errors: University-based Middle East specialists have been consistently wrong in their analyses, as Martin Kramer showed in his Ivory Towers on Sand1. Some examples:

Portraying militant Islam as a benign movement and suggesting that anyone who thought otherwise is either ignorant or prejudiced. John Esposito of Georgetown University stated that Islamist movements "are not necessarily anti-Western, anti-American, or anti-democratic" and called on that Americans "to transcend their narrow, ethnocentric conceptualization of democracy" to include militant Islamic forms of governance.

- Dismissing Al-Qaeda as insignificant. "Focusing on Osama bin Laden," wrote Esposito in 1998, "risk[s] catapulting one of the many sources of terrorism to center stage, distorting ... the significance of a single individual."

- Dismissing autocratic Arab regimes as weak, precarious, or temporary. Rashid Khaildi, Columbia University's Edward Said Chair of Middle East studies, "unequivocally" but wrongly predicted in 1985 that this current reign of despots in the Middle East "will not, indeed cannot, continue for another decade."

- Predicting the Palestinians would establish a democracy, ushering in a transformation of the Middle East. Georgetown's Hisham Sharabi declared in 1983, "The Palestinians, despite their dispossession and dispersion, exercise today probably one of the few functioning democracies in the Third World."

- Ibrahim Abu-Lughod of Northwestern University predicted in 1988: "Under a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, which surely will be democratic and secular, Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews will be bonded in a political order not yet experienced in the Middle East."

- Extremism: Many U.S. scholars of the Middle East lack any appreciation of their country's national interests and often use their positions of authority to disparage these interests. Typical statements include:

- Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University: "People near and dear to me, whether they live in downtown Manhattan, in Kandahar, in Ramallah, in Jerusalem, or in Baghdad, are at the mercy of US foreign policies."

- Following Saddam's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Khalidi argued not for its liberation but called on his colleagues to combat what he called a pro-war "idiots' consensus."

- Intolerance: The Middle East studies professorate is almost monolithically leftist due to a systematic exclusion of those with conservative or even moderately liberal views. The result is that Middle East studies lack intellectual diversity.

There are also attempts to bar alternative speakers on the Middle East from campus events - for example, in January 2003, when the Centre for International and Security Studies at York University disinvited Daniel Pipes and the York University Faculty Association tried to block his public talk on the campus.

Apologetics: Middle East studies tend to evade, ignore, or apologize for topics that do not fit their politicized agenda:

- Internal repression in Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and the Palestinian Authority.
- Palestinian Authority support for suicide bombing against Israeli civilians.
- The long-term goals of Islamist movements.
- The suffering caused by insurgencies in Algeria and Turkey.

The Syrian occupation of Lebanon.
The anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic incitement that pervades state-run media through most of the region. As an example of this evasion, out of the Middle East Studies Association's four-day conference in November 2002 where more than 550 papers were presented, exactly one dealt with Al-Qaeda and one with "fundamentalism." "Militant Islam" was not the subject of a single paper.

Anonymous said...

Claire Potter Political Indoctrination Warning: Code Red

I loved this snippet from her article:

"you are not required to be political in this course, any more than you are required to be political in a government class. You also do not need to demonstrate your objectivity by being apolitical: I certainly won't."

Which, of course brings us to the gameshow Jeopardy:

"I'll take "Radical Marxist Professors for $500, Alex."

"OK, contestant, here's your question: What political philosophy does Claire Potter drag into her classroom and try to cram down your throat every day?".....tick....tick...tick...

Anonymous said...

Read away

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for the Campus Watch heads-up

Duke and Campus Watch

Unknown said...

I shall leave it to the lawyers to give an in-depth analysis of the legal issues in suing the Gang of 88 and fools like Claire Potter or their employers for defamation. But to answer a few questions raised or implied so far.

First, I believe that Duke settled with the three indicted players and Mr. Dowd. In those cases, Duke got a release from the parties involved in the settlement. That seems to leave the rest of the team perfectly free to sue Duke.

Second, if people keep saying that "something happened" AFTER the AG's pronouncement and the Bar hearing, those people are indeed guilty of defamamation. Even if the LAX 3 are public figures, such statements now seem to reek of "malice" and a "reckless disregard for the truth."

Third, despite the foregoing, no one is going to pay a lawyer to sue a bunch of academics for defamation. Academics are generally judgment proof enough that the person suing will never get back a fraction of the legal fees spent. Despite some of the clearly decent academics on this site, I am unwilling to subsidize the whole crew so that the worst of them become worthy of suit.

Fourth, the deep pockets here belong to the universities that employ these academic scum. If a lawyer can dream up a solid theory of vicarious liability against the universities, watch the fun begin. I for one would love to see it happen, but I am dubious that it is feasible practically.

Fifth, perhaps Duke, but certainly not Weslyean, will settle nuisance suits just to prevent discovery.

Anonymous said...

In deleting Amac's comment, Claire Potter seems to be following the lead of John in Carolina, who routinely deletes comments that are unfavorable to the LAX players.

Anonymous said...

anonymous professor at 4:03 PM said...
The reasons some of us in humanities do not make public comments is because it is not worth it. The militants on the left are so angry all he time about anything patriotic, religious, traditional, etc., that it is easier to stay silent. During this debate, one of the worst in my department stated "I'm so ashamed of being white." Half of the room praised the comment. Rather than take their abuse, I just kept my mouth shut. I am certainly NOT ashamed of who I am.

Had I been there I would've suggested to my self-hating white colleague that s/he kill her/himself, as it would be a win-win-win situation all around.

But then that's because I was the kind of college student that when a professor said, "Americans are anti-intellectual", I shot back, "That's because intellectuals are anti-American." Try chutzpah sometime, professor, if for no other reason than the entertainment value of seeing the look in their eyes as they clutch their chests and gasp like trout on a dock. Plus, they'll be a bit slower to say stupid things in front of you again.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Ferkrissakes, I'm sick of people trying to battle the non-Angel argument.

The "They're no Angel's" Argument has nothing to do with real non-existant claims by an accused's defenders.

The "They're no angel's" argument is designed to paint the accused -- any accused (not just limited here) -- as guilty of something and therefore guilty of anything and everything dreamed up by a lynch mob and to justify any arbitrary smear.

Trouble is, nobody's an angel. Heck, I imagine even Gabriel, Michael and the rest of God's Super Fly Posse have days where they're certified jackasses.

But that's not the point. Evidence (and lack of) be damned. I even bet KC once yelled at someone behind the wheel of his car. I say shoot him.

Because "whatever he did was bad enough."

Anonymous said...


I would appreciate it very much if you would provide links to the repeated public apologies offered by the captains of the LAX team for their crude behavior and the crude behavior of their teammates last year. I have been wracking my brain all day and simply do not remember any apology other than a single sentence included in a statement issued way back at the beginning of the case and a passing reference by Dave Evans in one of his television interviews. However, these statements represent less than 4% of the total number of words uttered by the LAX captains in connection with the case and must therefore be treated as insincere pro forma apologies for which the players should receive no credit under the landmark guidelines developed by you for the purpose of blowing off President Brodhead's statements in defense of the due process rights of the players. In any event, I would very much like to read the numerous other public apologies issued by the LAX captains if you would only be so kind as to provide the appropriate links.

Anonymous said...

to Hamilton at 6:43

I can hardly wait for school to start so I can try that!

Actually, I'll probably just smile to myself thinking about saying that. Maybe I can muster the nerve.

Thanks for giving me a smile.

Anonymous said...

rhamilton aka 5:58
i am 1:45, not "people like"
what you said to stevie is important: the political spectrum at most elitist universities is decidedly skewed towards the left. what passes for "conservative" at duke, for example (i went there, worked there, taught there, was a varsity athlete there, and grew up two blocks from 610 buchanan) is david gergen "left of center"...what passes for "moderate" is hillary clinton/barney frank...what passes for "liberal" is fidel castro when he isn't treating ted turner to martinis...the truth at duke is that a "moderate" in the real world...ex: joe lieberman, rudy gulianni would be deemed a blood sucking, neo-fascist pig by the duke faculty pc storm troopers. as painful as it is to say, that is the truth about duke.

Anonymous said...

To the professor again,

If you don't have, like me, a pre-existing reputation for not suffering fools gladly, then maybe a less deathly, but more humorous tact would suffice:

The next time some moron in the faculty lounge says, "I'm ashamed of being white", say to them, "Then get out in the sun more often."

Anonymous said...

i don't know where the right wing comes from in Sly's essai. I have been here since the beginning and was a liberal Democrate. More moderate in light of the Democratic parties involvement in not attending to Nifong ASAP.

Anonymous said...

well here is something interesting. I pointed out that hte article by potter selectively quoted above ought to be linked so that everyone could see that the quote was out of context and KC "Truth" Johnson deleted my comment. Ha ha.

A Student

Steven Horwitz said...

To Hamilton and others:

I'm not a lefty - at least not by conventional terms. Neither is Bill Anderson. We're not even moderate lefties, which is a fair description of KC I think. My politics are libertarian, which hardly ingratiates me to G88 types and others.

There *are* conservatives and libertarians in the social sciences and humanities, but not nearly as much as I would like (and as I think students deserve, in terms of intellectual diversity). Many of them are in economics, my discipline, but they are elsewhere as well. And they are often at lower profile schools. Academia is *not* a closed shop for people not on the conventional left. If you're a good teacher and a good scholar, there are jobs at plenty of schools, though admittedly not always at the top ones.

To parents out there concerned about these issues, I would say ask lots of questions when you are college shopping with your kids. And I would also say that, in general, teaching-oriented schools, esp. the non-elite liberal arts colleges, are generally better places to go to avoid the worst of the G88 types. Places with more student-faculty interaction make it harder for faculty to be contemptuous of their students, esp. residential schools in small towns where everyone has to get along outside of the classroom as well.

Plus, "political correctness" is bad pedagogy. Students see right through it, and at places where teaching counts first and foremost, student feedback matters a lot. Ask KC who surely benefited greatly in his tenure case from having so many students kick up such a fuss in his favor. That won't happen at the Dukes of the world where teaching is an afterthought.

Steven Horwitz said...

And for at 4:19.

I'd be more willing to engage in serious conversation with you if you weren't insulting me with the diminutive of my name.

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz at 7:41 PM said...

To Hamilton and others:

I'm not a lefty - at least not by conventional terms.... My politics are libertarian...

Ok, so you're pro-choice on abortion, anti-war in Iraq, pro-legalizing drugs, anti-restrictions on immigration ... but you're not a lefty by conventional terms. :)

Sort of the way I'm not a righty by Texas terms.

(btw, I know I forgot to mention that you're for low-taxes, which is enough to put you "on the Right" in the faculty lounge, no matter what other positions you hold. And I, too, get irked by people taking liberties with the name my parents gave me. But my point stands.)

For your own safety, I urge you stay in the Economics Building where reality is not (yet) viewed as a oppressive privileged white, heteronormative male construct.

Anonymous said...

The Minneapolis Red Star-Tribune is another fishwrap in the tradition of the NYT.

None of them serve a useful purpose and haven't for years.

I noticed somewhere along the way that there is no longer a call for buggy whips (except, perhaps, as a novelty).

It's only a matter of time before "news"papers fall into the novelty category as well.

Whatever will become of all the stupid people that are employed by these worthless enterprises?

Steven Horwitz said...

Sorry Hamilton but I've been out of the Econ building for six years. Though I do go back next year.

You're quite right in your first list, but you forgot that I'm against gun control and anti-discrimination laws, that I think low-wage "sweatshops" are not something we should outlaw, that I think a good deal of the environmentalist agenda would impoverish the third world, and that minimum wage laws are a bad idea as well.

Yeah, all my colleagues are on board with that.

Anonymous said...


No doubt the team is evil. I can't decide whether it's the under-age drinking or the hiring of strippers that was such an anomaly. Fraternities don't do this stuff. These boys should have attended the Mapplethorp exhibit - the centerpiece was that now deceased transgendered bald lesbian with the bullwhip handle inserted up her trophy case. The faculty attendees were oohing and aaahing at the raw pain and oppression this person was expressing. Many parallels can be drawn between this person's anguish and the fear faculty feel every day of their lives working in an institution where the struggle against terror is an every day experience. I know this for a fact because more than one faculty members asked me if I knew where they could purchase a bull whip.

Anonymous said...

It's funny what the smears against the lacrosse players and the smears against KC in this thread have in common: they both rely on gross generalizations and don't contain any cites to support their claims.

It's all about "have you heard" and "rumor has it." With the liberal attitudes pervasive in academia, it's awfully tempting for these smear tacticians to rely on "what everybody knows."

I mean, they even resort to the incredibly cogent "get a life" argument. Like teenagers would. Because, you know, it's not at all odd for academics to call other academics nerds when they're beaten in a debate.

Anonymous said...

Also, when the "get a life" line fails, they go toddler: "He's so mean to me!" (uncollegial, dismissive, mocking, etc.)

Anonymous said...

steve (non-diminutive sp?),
i don't really care how you characterize your personal politics. i draw conclusions based on the substance of arguments. they are declarations of interest. "libertarian" is a cop out. it is an excuse for believing everything and nothing at the same time. take a position and defend it. as for my wrong-headed references to you as "stevie", i apologize. ciao.

Steven Horwitz said...

Libertarian is an "excuse for believing everything and nothing at the same time?" How do you figure?

Seems to me a pretty consistent line of political/social/economic thought for two centuries would suggest otherwise. Read some of my work and tell me how it's a cop out.

And for those who care, I am one of those profs who puts his CV and his course syllabi online:

Anonymous said...

To 6:45:

I guess KC and you are both referring primarily to this statement (or summary thereof):

You say that's insufficient, given the criticism Brodhead has gotten for his lukewarm talk about presumption of innocence. A few observations, however:

1) A University President not strongly defending the due process of his students under investigation and then indictment is a bit worse than teenagers and young twenty-something's holding an obnoxious party. Maybe that's just me, but I think most would agree.

2) We're not criticizing Brodhead's apologies for mishandling the incident--in fact, I don't think he's apologized at all or acknowledged that he badly messed this up. Brodhead's statements WERE his errors. They were the problem. So comparing Brodhead's actual transgressions with the students' apologies for other transgressions is simply apples and oranges.

3) Brodhead had much greater freedom to talk than the lacrosse players did when this story broke. If the students had apologized very profusely--on Nancy Grace, say--while under investigation and then indictment, wouldn't that be taken by some as a tacit admission of guilt? I mean, with the Group of 88, who make stuff up, who knows what they'd make of a profuse apology? And after the charges were dropped--well, let's just say what has happened over the last 18 months has made the party, well, a little less significant.

Anonymous said...

to rrhamilton 7:18

I think I can do that!

Anonymous said...

5:53 The Scalia comment bothered me too. How about it KC? Scalia has a record of disregarding the rights of the falsely accused?

Anonymous said...

6:45 inre; might also be instructive to know when they were one may place the apology in the context of the times.

A non-apology, apology over a year after events unfolded, and after Nifong was disbarred is hardly the stuff of which leaders are made of...

Another reason to fire Brodhead...

Anonymous said...

8:46 Steve, inre: "And for those who care, I am one of those profs who puts his CV and his course syllabi online:..."

Well God Bless you for not only posting your publications, but linking them as well. Try to do that with most any of the Gang of 88 publications and you'll find they must not be very proud of their work. One wonders if the policy to not post is a departmental mandate. Regardles your approach is refreshing and should be mandated.

One wonders if your time at George Mason saved you from your time at Michigan...

For the longest time I've thought you to be another that is on the academic elevator with most everyone passing terrible bad gas and nodding in agreement about how fresh the air is in the cabin. I'm not certain that you are aware how fresh the air is outside, but I think maybe you are.

Anonymous said...

How's about Mangum being "cherubic". She took money to take her clothes off in front of a bunch of 18-23 year olds.

Anonymous said...

Complaining about her email being posted on the blog is as silly as all her other comments. Just go to the website, search on her name, and voila, her email is there for everyone to see.

Doesn't this show as plain as day how jaundiced her view is. And BTW, she is listed as chair of American studies at Wesleyan. Wonder how she got that position!

Anonymous said...

"3) Brodhead had much greater freedom to talk than the lacrosse players did when this story broke. If the students had apologized very profusely--on Nancy Grace, say--while under investigation and then indictment, wouldn't that be taken by some as a tacit admission of guilt? I mean, with the Group of 88, who make stuff up, who knows what they'd make of a profuse apology? And after the charges were dropped--well, let's just say what has happened over the last 18 months has made the party, well, a little less significant."

Jiminy Christmas! They apologized every BUT on Nancy Grace.

And by doing so, they established their Guilt Through Lack of Angelness (guilty of something makes you guilty of anything in a dishonest accusers fantasyland). Quoth parallel universe Nancy as she thoughtfully strokes her goatee right after hearing them apologize on her show, "You're apologizing for everything else, why don't you come clean and apologize for raping her, why can't you b@st@rds be honest with us?!?”

I'm still convinced that the potbangers, 88 and Nifong will NEVER acknowledge, especially to themselves, that the Duke 3 are innocent, even if CGM were to come out and say that she lied like a rug.

Anonymous said...

Potter === Group of 89!

Steven Horwitz said...

No Justice:

Lovely analogy. :) Actually, I know what the air smells like both in and out of the elevator. The problem is that folks tend to treat "academia" as one monolith rather than recognizing that faculty behavior varies by type/size of school.

Look at places where faculty really have to interact with students closely and regularly and you'll find faculty more grounded in reality and more respectful of their students. As places like Duke and Dartmouth move from a more liberal arts model to true research universities, and in so doing hire more perceived "superstars" on the "cutting edge" of Whatever Studies, G88 type behavior will become more prevalent there.

The worst of PC are at "climbing" big-name schools and at mediocre state schools. The former hire smart and often well-published, but radical faculty who have no reason to care about their students (G88), while the latter hire mediocrities who have all the 88's faults but much less ability.

And, for the record, I would not trade my time at Michigan for anything. I had a largely positive experience there in the early 80s. There were times it was intellectually rough being a libertarian but it made me a better person, a better scholar, and much more empathetic to my own students who disagree with me. Plus, Ann Arbor is a helluva place to live.

Anonymous said...

To Bill,

If the LAX captains have apologized everywhere but on Nancy Grace, it should be very easy for you and KC to provide the appropriate links. I am looking forward to reviewing the many public apologies made by the captains, and I have no doubt that they will add up to far more than 4% of the total number of words the captains have uttered about the case and will therefore pass the KC Johnson sincerity test with flying colors.

AMac said...

At the moment, the comment holding the deletion-prone #11 spot at the Tenured-Radical post that K.C. cites is signed by one of the Heroes of the Hoax.


Anonymous said... (9:42 PM EST, 6/25/07)

Perhaps you [Prof. Potter] should go back and read your original post on the Duke Lacrosse/Rutgers comparisons... to claim that you "did not spread or make false charges about the students under indictment." and was actually "report(ing) on coverage of the case, not the case itself, in the service of making an argument about race and culture that compared how those students were depicted in the press to another case."

Well... you sound just like the Group of 88 at Duke who claim that the full page ad they placed in the Duke Chronicle in the days following the false rape charges -- did not presume guilt -- they were merely trying to point out the overall issues with underaged drinking, etc... a lot of people misunderstood them too. You'd fit right in.

Beth Brewer
Durham, NC

AMac said...

Anon 11:03pm, re: apologies --

Here is a link to comments to a March D-i-W post to get you started. Hope this helps.


Anonymous said... (Mar 27, 2007 12:51:00 AM)

...You all now are trying to denigrate Father Vetter because he is not a moral relativist like you all are and like you have raised your children to be. He is a priest and if you check the Bible, there are a lot of moral absolutes, not relative postitions on what is right or wrong. Drunkeness, lewdness, foul language, rape, fornication, sodomy, sadism, voyeurism, etc are all condemned in the BIBLE and you all are crazier than I thought if you think a priest is going to act like that stuff is ok and is going to comfort the people perpetuating that sort of thing without an act of contrition. But I shouldn't be surprised; you all support the doers of evil and therefore you are not knowledgeable about the ways of the LORD and his followers.


KC Johnson said... (Mar 27, 2007 1:01:00 AM)

To the 12.51:

The captains apologized for holding the party in meetings with the Athletic Department (March 24), President Brodhead (March 28), and a public statement (March 28). Dave Evans apologized for it in his 60 Minutes interview.

Ryan McFadyen apologized for his e-mail in a May 3 meeting between Brodhead and the lacrosse team.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Horwitz,

I agree with what you say about the differences in universities, but where the elites go the mediocrities will follow. Look at Harvard -- they drove out a Clinton administration official for noting that boys and girls might be different.

I do have to argue with you on this, though: And, for the record, I would not trade my time at Michigan for anything... blah, blah, blah ... Ann Arbor is a helluva place to live.

Try Austin in the 1970s, when "safe-sex" meant a padded headboard. :)

kcjohnson9 said...

Scalia's concurrence in Marsh v. Kansas would not be consistent with the opinions Seligmann expressed in his April 11 remarks; and, indeed, generated criticism from figures associated with the Innocence Project.

To the 11.03pm:

I'm unaware of anyone saying--for instance--that the lacrosse players have apologized as much as they declared their innocence. The claim that they have not apologized is, however, false.

Brodhead, on the other hand, said in his FODU letter that he had stressed two themes (presumption of innocence, seriousness of allegations) with equal strength. I was simply judging Brodhead by his own standards.

To the 7.39:

I deleted no such comment.

Anonymous said...

Ut-oh, I better read about Marsh v. Kansas so I can defend most law students' favorite writer.

Anonymous said...

What I really hate about this case is how politicized it still is. It's one of the reasons I often feel frustrated reading responses to this blog. It just seems too many people feel there are sides. If you support the accused, you must lean right. If you support the accuser, you must lean left. That's just bullshit! It's about real people and facts. And there are fools on both "sides." Race and politics had very little to do with what actually happened the night of that party. Some college kids got ripped off by some shady, troubled characters and people got angry. Then, they worried about getting in trouble for making noise. That's all that happened that night. It was only after race and politics got applied that it became the tragic fiasco it became. Someone assigned the lacrosse players to one side and the prostitutes to another. I doubt the entire lacrosse team and those who associate with them lean "right" politically. I doubt Crystal Mangum has ever voted. I doubt she has any political views at all. Continuing to apply "sides" to this just continues the fiasco. People like Ms. Potter certainly are fools for deciding anyone who recognizes the facts of this situation to be a "right" wing extremist. But those who want to use this situation as evidence that everything is rotten over towards the "left" are fools as well.

Anonymous said...

KC suggests that Scalia's concurrence in Marsh v. Kansas shows why Seligmann wouldn't be a clerk for Scalia.

In Marsh v. Kansas the Court found -- and no dissenter disputed -- that, "The Kansas Supreme Court agreed, and held that the Kansas death penalty statute, §21-4624(e), is facially unconstitutional. The court concluded that the statute's weighing equation violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. [citation omitted]"

Scalia joined the majority opinion in Marsh v. Kansas and wrote separately only to debate Justice Stevens, who claimed that the Court should not grant writs of certiorari [that is, Supreme Court review] when a state court strikes down a state statute based on the state court's misconstruction of federal law or the Constitution.

Scalia is, as usual, right and Stevens is, as usual, wrong.

JUSTICE STEVENS' dissent gives several reasons why this case, and any criminal case in which the State is the petitioner, does not deserve our attention. "'[N]o rule of law,'" he says, "'commanded the Court to grant certiorari.' " But that is true, of course, of almost our entire docket; it is in the very nature of certiorari jurisdiction. Also self-evident, since the jurisdiction of the Kansas Supreme Court ends at the borders of that State, is the fact that"'[n]o other State would have been required to follow the [Kansas] precedent if it had been permitted to stand.'". But if this signaled the impropriety of granting certiorari, we would never review state-court determinations of federal law, even though they patently contradict (as the determination below does) the holdings of other state courts and Federal Courts of Appeals.... [citations omitted]

When state courts erroneously invalidate actions taken by the people of a State (through initiative or through normal operation of the political branches of their state government) on state-law grounds, it is generally none of our business; and our displacing of those judgments would indeed be an intrusion upon state autonomy. But when state courts erroneously invalidate such actions because they believe federal law requires it-and especially when they do so because they believe the Federal Constitution requires it-review by this Court, far from undermining state autonomy, is the only possible way to vindicate it. When a federal constitutional interdict against the duly expressed will of the people of a State is erroneously pronounced by a State's highest court, no authority in the State-not even a referendum agreed to by all its citizens-can undo the error. Thus, a general presumption against such review displays not respect for the States, but a complacent willingness to allow judges to strip the people of the power to govern themselves. When we correct a state court's federal errors, we return power to the State, and to its people. [emphasis omitted]

Once again, Scalia pounds Stevens, bringing the score to Scalia 157 - Stevens 14. (Roughly.)

R.R. Hamilton

henwy said...

Tossed my own comment up on her blog. I thought it was more than civil, but I figure it'll get scrubbed with the rest.

Steven Horwitz said...

I left her a note too:

Let me just add my "amen" to the prior two comments. I'm also a faculty member at selective liberal arts college like Wesleyan. It's clear from your blog and your professional work that one of the things you try to do in your teaching is to shake your students out of their unreflective priors about American history and American society. I'm confident that one of the things you see yourself doing in the classroom is asking them to question what they think they know, be open to new perspectives, and to recognize and acknowledge when they have been wrong about how the world works or in their stereotypes about individuals and groups.

Given that, I simply cannot understand how you refuse to be open to seeing the errors of both your facts and interpretation of what happened that night at Duke, and why you cannot apologize for what were clearly false allegations you made about the lacrosse players. I cannot believe you would tolerate such close-minded clinging to outdated "facts" and lack of self-reflection in your students. I also can't believe you'd tolerate such a blaming of the victim from your students either.

As faculty, I think we have an obligation to role model the sorts of intellectual virtues (open-mindedness, willingness to revise our opinions, apologizing when we have been wrong) we hope to see in our students. I hope that you will reconsider your reluctance to do so in this case.

Steven Horwitz
Canton NY

Anonymous said...

re: Seligmann not clerking for Scalia based on Scalia's concurrence in Marsh v. Kansas

I don't know if he would or not but, I sure would.

The details of the case are horrible. Marsh brutally killed a young mother and burned her residence while her toddler was in the home. The toddler was severly burned and suffered for 6 days before dying. Marsh was found guilty. He did not deny it.

The case that went to the Supremes was never about his guilt, rather it was about getting the death penalty. Marsh wanted his life.

The question for the Supremes was the validity of the sentencing system under which a death sentence results automatically if the jury finds that the aggravating and mitigating factors are "in equipoise," neither outweighing the other. It puts the burden on the defendant.

This case was a great deal about the pro and anti death penalty views. The pros won 5-4

This brings a small parallel of Nifong's "trial." Nifong was found at guilty and then Williamson went over the mitigating and aggravating factors. (Just like this hearing, in the Mrash case, there were 2 separate phases. One to determine guilt or innocence and a 2nd for the penalty.) Unlike Marsh, Nifong said he would not "fight" the verdict or punishment.

Seligmann never expressed dismay that mitigating and aggravating factors were going to be considered during the penalty phase. I mean maybe Nifong spent his vacations working in India with the poor (fat chance), but it had to be considered. Of course Nifong, was found wanting.

mac said...

KC re 4:29 and the link you provided:

Now it's clear about the "collegiality" issue
that Potter referred to, and your
deft counterpunch: during your tenure fight
they tried to spear you with on your
alleged lack of "collegiality,"
and Potter was infantile enough to
bring that into the discussion.

Maybe someone didn't warm her bottle before she was fed.

Anonymous said...

Well, that was just a FASCNATING little read, Mr. Sly Jones piece there, now wasn't it? I did a little tracking, and is anyone would care to share thier joy of the theatre with Mr. Jones, feel free to contact him at

Anonymous said...


As usual, you are dodging the question. In your post, you state that the captains of the LAX team "have repeatedly apologized, both publicly and privately" for their crude behavior last year. The clear implication is that the captains of the team have repeatedly apologized in public and have also repeatedly apologized in private, that this constitutes proof of their extraordinary character, and that they deserve all kinds of accolades for these apologies. However, like many of your statements, this one is very disingenuous. The truth is that the captains of the team inserted a one-sentence apology into their original press release and Dave Evans made a passing reference in one television interview to the fact that he obviously wishes that they had not held the party. To me, one sentence in a press release and a passing comment in a television interview do not rise to the level of repeated public apologies for which they deserve all kinds of credit. In addition, you clearly do not want to hold the LAX players to the same standard you used when judging President Brodhead's statements about due process. In a number of posts last year, you made a big production out of the fact that President Brodhead's statements in defense of due process represented less than 4 percent of his total statements in regard to the LAX case and that the statements should therefore be treated as merely pro forma statements for which he should receive no credit. However, in talking about the LAX players, you take the position that a one-sentence apology and a single passing reference in a television interview constitute repeated public apologies for which the players deserve lots of credit. What utter garbage and hypocracy.

Anonymous said...

An unusually high number of trolls on this thread attacking KC personally, strange, could it be?

Anonymous said...

Powerline, a great blog in the same city, has been exposing the Minneapolis Star-Tribune as the hack lefty rag that it is for years. It seems every city has one.

Content matters, the public aren't captive audiences anymore thanks to the internet, they won't be around in another decade.

The MSM can't die fast enough.

Laika's Last Woof said...

"It's crap like this from Potter that makes me weary of defending my profession ..."
Tenure is the enemy of accountability.
It is a desperate tragedy of injustice that the Lacrosse coach was forced to resign while the Group of 88 continue to malign the innocent from behind the safe walls of tenured academia.

Anonymous said...

dr. potter, I don't think you realize what you did when you posted incorrect (and, frankly, libelous)information about the Duke lacrosse case on your blog.

There is a very large group of people who have been following this case for well over a year, since the original story made little sense. (Why would members of a team allow three of their peers to attack a stripper.) I attended a university on an athletic scholarship and the guys in my sport would never have allowed that to happen. it defies common sense--you can't have 45 guys at a great university on athletic scholarshisps all be that stupid and morally lacking.

We all knew that the "group of 88" had a politically correct agenda from the start and that they would get their comeuppence when the truth came out. That they refuse to admit that they
were wrong is baffling. It makes them look much more foolish than they would have if they had said: "oops, my bad" and gone along their merry ways.

K.C. Johnson has consistently been proven correct in this affair. He has generally printed quotes, in context, that allow people to show their own foolishness.

Most of the replies to your poston your blog have been polite and factually correct. Even if you have received twice that many "vile" e-mails, the information in the others is spot on and you should pay attention.

Your post had erroneous information, as did your follow-up post. You should basically take a look at what you've written and admit that. You do look foolish in your reply.


John White, MD, OD

1:36 AM EST