Saturday, August 11, 2007

Herald-Sun: You Want Our Opinions

Without a doubt the case’s least distinguished performance of any editorial page in the country came from the Herald-Sun.

This is, after all, the editorial page that told us:

When police officers arrived at the house with a search warrant on March 16, none of the players would cooperate with the investigation [sic] . . . The allegations of rape bring the students’ arrogant frat-boy culture to a whole new, sickening level.Get a conscience, not a lawyer,’ read [potbangers’] signs waved in front of the house on Sunday. We agree that the alleged crime isn’t the only outrage. It’s also outrageous that not a single person who was in the house felt compelled to step forward and tell the truth about what happened [sic].
(March 28)

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

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

It would be better for the players to have an opportunity to prove their innocence at trial.
(November 9)

Defending the March 28 editorial, Editor Bob Ashley told the Chronicle’s Adam Eaglin, “We were reflecting the circumstances and situation as it was known at the time, and I don’t have any regret in doing that. I don’t think we need to apologize for that conclusion.”

In general, he described the paper’s editorial coverage—which combined a presumption of guilt with silence as the highest-profile case of prosecutorial misconduct in modern American history unfolded before his eyes—as “opinionated but . . . fair.”

So, after this record, what is the latest move for the H-S? Expanding its coverage, to include decisions to endorse local candidates. Just in time, presumably, to champion Diane Catotti and Victoria Peterson running for City Council on the “Something Happened” ticket.

People who followed last year’s DA’s race might well have believed that the H-S did endorse candidates—since, for months, the paper listed Mike Nifong as running “unopposed,” wholly ignoring the Lewis Cheek line on the ballot. But officially, the H-S was “neutral” in the race.

Editor Ashley explains that “we intend to spend a good bit of time on our choices, just as we know many of you will. We’ll interview each candidate, review their records, rely on our own knowledge and that of others to make the most reasoned judgment we can.”

After the Herald-Sun’s performance in the lacrosse case, who in their right mind would take advice from the editorial page on how to vote?


Anonymous said...

Good ol' H-S, they're gonna make the most reasoned judgment they can: believe it. In the Duke case also, why...they just done the level best they could.
Maybe it's sad, but there it is.

Anonymous said...

Since Billy-Bob Ashley became the new editor of the Herald-Sun a few years ago a new flavor of musak permeates the elevators....and into each and every cubicle and crevice of the building.

A kind of 24/7 indoctrination plan into the Paxton brand for all employees.

(Note: Since Billy-Bob-Ashley-body-double Don Knotts...(is he still alive?)....wasn't available for a studio voice-over, the original Little Ricky version does the trick.

It has also been reported that the lady at the front desk now answers the phone on the third ring.



Anonymous said...

With this kind of inflammatory report, no wonder the Durham community was so enraged. The HS threw a match on a gasoline pudle.

Anonymous said...

Some people are just without quality or integrity, not to mention intelligence. Others operate out of ignorance, using emotional resonance, rather than reason, to reach conclusions and seeking not facts but the comfort of hearing only the ramblings of other misguided and misinformed idealogs.

Unfortunately, this is not a few and a culture that enables this sort of nonsense has taken root and grown quite pervasive, especially in certain circles.

Anonymous said...

Peterson’s head must surely be spinning, so many choices: “Something Happened” ticket, “Homophobes United In Victory” ticket, “New Black Panthers for Durm” ticket, “Duke Screwed With The DNA” ticket or the recently popular “Julia is ‘my sister’” ticket. (OK, the last one will likely just be a campaign button and a readily available video clip.)

We laugh, but when the NBP shows up in Durham (quid pro quo) to march in the streets armed with megaphones and machetes in support of the perennial candidate Peterson, it may not be so funny.

Anonymous said...

Who is "Kirkus"?

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll play. Is "Kirkus" a communist?

But seriously 3:14, would you kindly check and make sure you have posted your comment at the right blog. It's early (or late depending on your local), you may just be lost.

Anonymous said...

In the 4/25/07 Chronicle story, Bob Ashley is quoted as saying "Human beings in this business make mistakes all the time." Apparently what Ashley really meant is "I make mistakes all the time."

Anonymous said...

No one in their right mind would look to a newspaper to help them in voting. They are all unbelievably biased.

Anonymous said...

How dare Ashley exclaim that his group was merely responding to what was known at the time. He was running a newspaper. He was the newspaper's editor. He knew what he knew and why and how he knew it. How did he know what he knew, and why did he know what he knew? As it turned out, he was running a gossip rag. As it turned out, he didn't know anything. It is just the way the main stream media seems to do business these days. It doesn't seem to matter what the situation . . . the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the corruption in New Orleans, the terrible murders happening across this country. The media pull out accepted metanarratives, dust them off, and foist them on the public at large as the "truth" a la Jayson Blair once of the New York Times. The media are too much this way for the good of the country. It isn't just "something happened" in Durham. Duke and Durham have become one of the more obvious "dog and pony shows" of journalistic ignorance . . . a kind of shallowness reflecting American society's inability to understand what is happening. It is more fools playing fools.

Anonymous said...


Very well said. I wholeheartedly agree that the H-S is a gossip rag. Many educators have blamed reading failures on students who do not have the opportunity to read a paper or the desire to do so. If this is the case, they only need go to the public library, locate the fiction section, and then find the H-S. Why would an honest reporter (if one exists) continue to work at a paper with such an unsavory reputation? It is akin to a Pulitzer winner working for Larry Flynt at Hustler.
Can the H-S be saved? Maybe, maybe not. The H-S, like Duke, needs a house cleaning at the top. Call in Handi-Maid!

mac said...

The problem with Ashley, the 88 and others is that they did what serial killers do to victims: they ignore their humanity.

No, I'm not saying they're serial killers (the guy who killed Captain Crunch was!) but their inability to see someone - (in this case, three young students) - as nothing more than a set of categories, and not as a person, is a co-requirement for both bigotry and serialized crime.

It's interesting: we use the term "88," but it's obvious that there is tremendous variation in the personalitites involved, and that they aren't faceless androids. What we've done - (as we've looked at their records and their actions) - is to humanize them far more than they allowed for the young men, to put faces on the persons involved. We've taken more time to look at their humanity -(such as it is) - and their academic records than any of them did with regard to the accused.

Ashley and company don't look at people: they look at preconceptions; they'd reduced Dave, Reid and Colin to race, gender and economic status; the young men were not permitted to be human. The DUMC Nurse, Nifong, the dee pee dee, the 88, the local clergy and the media all did the same: they assuaged whatever guilt they might've had about harming the young men by reducting them to stick-figures and dehumanizing them.

That's the way violent serial offenders look at things, too.

Anonymous said...

To 3.14 & 3.33: Try Googling Kirkus and you'll see Kirkus Reviews is a professional review service.

Anonymous said...

If the regular "news" pages are the guild hall for journeymen meme pushers, the editorial pages are home to the masters of the craft.

My local rag is every bit as bad on the editorial page as the H-S and has few, if any hopes of ever getting better. Why would I say that? I inadvertently saw the last "help wanted" ad they placed for a new editorial page writer. They explicitly said they were looking for little clones that wouldn't rock the boat; at least that's how I interpreted the claim they were looking for someone to "work for a progressive editorial board."

The fiction they try to foist on the public is that there is "discussion, debate and majority decision" that goes into every editorial or candidate recommendation. The reality is that the discussion and debate are about how to blame Bush or the GOP for all of the world's ills and the "majority decision" always favors the Dem candidate or the tax increase. I usually just look at the editorial headline and oppose whatever they seem to be pushing.

So, I suppose they do have some influence with me, it's just 180 degrees off of what they're hoping. And before you ask, it's a one paper town. Believe me, if there was a local alternative to the right of Pravda around here, I'd subscribe.

mac said...

Kaz 7:45 am

Our local newspaper now has a conservative editor -(I don't get along with him on a personal level, but he's conservative.) He's also fair, publishing a wide range of viewpoints, unlike some of his predecessors who'd leaned left.

It's interesting that a conservative would be a voice that allowed for open discussion, and leftists don't generally do the same.

Anonymous said...

I didn't even realize the H-S still existed. Relax folks, give Ashley just a little longer and he'll successfully "edit" the H-S out-of-business. Really, with caliber of folks presently reporting, writing, and editing the H-S, it will be long gone before the end of the upcoming academic year. These people are truly venal morons.

mac said...

Interesting that Ashley wrote about what Nifong had "up his sleeve."



I am wondering what Ashley has up his sleeve?

mac said...

The Something Happened Ticket of Catotti and Peterson:

This is the "SH-T happened" ticket?

mac said...

Maybe the SH-Ticket will offer government subsidies to HS?

See the parallel? Something Happened: Hurled Scum.

Shit Happens.

Anonymous said...

Is Ashley a Communist?

Anonymous said...

When Victoria Peterson takes office, will she be able to maintain her chicken business or will it be considered a conflict of interest?

Anonymous said...

The Herald Sun's grotesque coverage of the corrupt prosecution of totally innocent athletes at Duke will be copied, bound and handed out in journalism and ethics classes for years as abusive and false reporting that contributed to a contemporary American witch hunt. Everyone lying and cheating and scheming lived right under their noses, were known to them and their cohorts and neighbors, and the reporters had every opportunity to cover the hard truth about this dreadful hoax perpetrated by Durham professionals in every corner. The hoax itself said reams bout Durham and its most troubling challenges and problems, but the Herald Sun preferred to add logs to the fire burning the effigies of "white male privilege."
As the parent of a Duke student, who worries about my son's safety in Durham, I can only state that opening a Herald Sun during the long months of their sham reporting and editorial distortions and lies made me physically ill.
In my opinion, the 12,000 students and graduate students at Duke are lost to the Herald Sun as readers. I cannot understand why the editors have not been fired after such a disgraceful performance.

Anonymous said...

Great Kirkus review.

The book will, no doubt, will be sitting atop the NYTimes best-seller list.... Duff Wilson flails about in his cubicle.


Anonymous said...

Under Ashley and company, the H-S has turned into a joint.

What a difference it would have made if Bob Wilson, the former editorial page editor, had been there handling the day-to-day coverage.

I just loved him...even though we disagreed occasionally. he always had a balance of opinions. If someone like Orin Starn had been allowed to write the kind of long and windy 1000-word diatribe against the lacrosse team, then Bob Wilson would have allowed someone else--I certainly would have submitted a rebuttal--to present the other side.

I know from personal experience how Ashley played this out and it is disgusting.

My hope is that this NCCU-one-sided-libelous-Weekly Reader rag goes out of business.


mac said...

I wonder what kind of liability the SH=HS has in this case?

Anonymous said...

Correction to the 9:33AM--

The book will, no doubt, be sitting.....


Anonymous said...

TO "mac"--

This is what has really surprised me. Jim Cooney ripped the H-S when they has the final press conference, but he said that newspapers were so huge that suing them was a futile exercise.

I just don't get that one.


mac said...


Sorry to hear that Cooney doesn't believe the HS=SH can be sued, along with so many others.

He's probably right, in the sense of journalistic malpractice: there are too many practioners of journalistic malpractice to single out any one of them.

Let me give you an example:
a physician uses a procedure that is routine - such as injecting corticosteroids into a tendon or ligament. There is plenty of evidence that this is "bad practice," but so many of them do it, when the tendon (or ligament) ruptures, he's not able to be held accountable. Thus bad practices, done on a large scale, are somewhat inured (i.e. habituated bad practice.)

Same goes for the HS=SH, perhaps;
maybe that's what Cooney meant.

Gary Packwood said...

Defending the March 28 editorial, Editor Bob Ashley told the Chronicle’s Adam Eaglin, “We were reflecting the circumstances and situation as it was known at the time, and I don't have any regret in doing that. I don't think we need to apologize for that conclusion.”
Many in Durham were pushing the 'frat boy' culture angle early on - including Kim - which suggests to me they had all been told to expect a Duke 'frat' to collapse.

The lacrosse team is not a frat.

Which 'frat' was the target early on in the hoax and how did the lacrosse team become ...the circumstances and situation as it was known at the time?

I continue to feel that this is a four act play with act two... missing.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "mac"....the everybody else does it excuse.


mac said...

Yeah, you're right. Sadly, "everybody does it" works in medicine. And apparently in law, too, when it comes to cases like this.

Don't worry, though: lawschools and journalism schools will be talking about this for years to come. This case could be used for an entire semester - (or longer) -in any course on ethics.

Anonymous said...

Libels laws are such that it is very difficult for a newspaper to be successfully sued. First, I suspect that a judge would have ruled the lacrosse players to be "public figures," which would have then called "Times Malice" rules into play. (The SCOTUS laid down those rules in 1964, and then added to them in subsequent decisions.)

Second, once they are labeled "public figures," then the plaintiffs would have to demonstrate in court that either the Hurled-Scum KNEW the information was false or published with "reckless disregard for the truth."

All they would have to do would be to replay Nifong's public statements, and that would be all that was needed. Now, the refusal of Boob Ashley and his minions to take even the slightest critical look at this case speaks volumes for his actions, but nonetheless, I doubt that a lawsuit would be successful.

Furthermore, it would be expensive and time-consuming, and I doubt that any of the families would want to drag out this business any more than necessary.

That being said, the Hurled-Scum was a disgrace, and Boob Ashley has demonstrated himself to be a total journalistic clown. (Even his hair resembles a clown's hairstyle. No insult meant to the blogger who calls her self "Clowns.")

Anonymous said...

Prof. Anderson,

I hate to be disagreeable (or pedantic), and I could be wrong, but I think the "public figures" standards come from the Gertz case, not Times vs. Sullivan, which was about public officials.

Other than that, I think your posting is generally correct.

mac said...


Bob Ashley has murdered and tortured hundreds of puppies, kittens and parakeets, and slaughtered millions of baby goldfish, all while playing Crazy 8s in his back yard while his pet iguana was licking his ice cream cone.

Oh, what's that? How do I know?

The allegations of animal abuse bring the newspaper's arrogant fat-boy culture to a whole new, sickening level.

We agree that the crime isn't the only outrage. It's also outrageous that not a single person at HS=SH felt compelled to step forward and tell the truth about what happened.

What was he doing between March 16 and November 9? Ashley was obviously separated from his brain for several periods of at least 5-10 months. We still haven't heard why this couldn't have occured during those gaps. It would be better for him to have an opportunity to prove his innocence at trial.

Anonymous said...

Ashley's theme song. He only likes the show tunes with a proven record. That way, no one will know that he knows **** about music. Clever, eh?


BTW, on days when Ashley, Landfried, and Childress are sitting around making editorial decisons about the really big stories, they like to have the stupendous up-in-lights Yanni version pumped in.



Anonymous said...


Ashley has the same thing up his sleeve that he has in his head..........NOTHING, absolutely nothing!

Anonymous said...


Worse than that---he's a lib!

Anonymous said...

How about a different perspective...

Perhaps the HS editorial staff and ownership have made a concious decision to segment the market into those who can think critically and those who can't. Perhaps they decided to disregard critical thinkers and are targeting those who can't. With that as their chosen target market, the nature and substance of their reporting would then have been "colored" in a particular way to appeal to their market. After all, owner stakeholders would want a profit and absent anything illegal (or, perhaps, unethical or immoral) probably couldn't care less about the editorial content. Its fundamentally the same thing as selling pornography. However offensive it is to many (or even most) people, there is still a huge market that makes a lot of people rich.

My bet is that incompetence (although still a factor) is less a factor than concious decision making.

To illustrate this, I put the word colored in quotation marks. I specifically decided to do that because of the subliminal content underlying the word. Without quotes, the emphasis is less. Moreover, I could have used another word such as "slanted" or "biased." Such is the beauty and potential of language.

But, then again, perhaps I give to much credit to the ability of the HS editorial staff.

Anonymous said...

On the H-S editorial page today.

More hard-hitting news analysis:

Week's end

How hot was it this week? It was so hot that we have it on very good authority that one of the region's preeminent global warming cynics almost had a change of heart. Temperatures, which soared into the 100s on three consecutives days, can make even the toughest skeptic second guess himself.

But all kidding aside, it really has been one excruciatingly warm week, and you know that's true when weathermen start talking about a cold front coming through, starting today, with temperatures only reaching into the low 90s.

The one good thing about the week's record-busting temperatures is that it has allowed the locals to engage in one of the South's favorite pastimes: talking about the weather while sipping on tall glasses of iced-tea. For those recently transplanted northerners in our midst, yes, we are indeed talking about that southern delicacy we like to call sweet tea.


Anonymous said...

Truly amazing that our former US Senator could sue the pants of insurance companies and fatten his bank account so he could build a Kennedy-esque compound in Chapel Hill but a rag like the Horrid Scum can't be successfully sued because you have to prove intent.
When is someone going to go after Precious. Is she the Teflon Ho? Mentally ill caused a lot of anguish to the LAX families--all of them--and cost many of them hundreds of thousands of dollars. Does intent have to be proved here too? Does being a nut case allow one to make all kinds of false allegations with no repercussions?
I sort of get the feeling that there's a little Scooter Libby type selective prosecution going on here. Can't get Bush. Can't get Cheney. Go after a subordinate. Don't try to go after Sandy Burger who did commit a crime. Why is it that a Burger and a Lunatic get off Scott free but three college kids having a party with entertainment that they shouldn't have had (but it was still legal to have) have their lives turned upside down for 13 months? Justice? Fairness? Integrity? Nope. Lunacy--here we go again.
Has Durrrm seceded from the Union yet? Is there anything we can do to help them?

Suggestion for NASA: The next time you guys want astronaut educators for a mission, might I suggest the administration at Duke. A nice Mission to Mars might be nice. Please forget to plan for any return though. They will be well-suited for the life on Mars. Take the Horrid Scum staff up too. They can write articles together. The Klan of 88--nope, save them for a mission to determine whether Pluto is really a planet or not. Mars is much too close to have them. At any rate, Houston we have a problem (in Durrrm and at Duke)>

mac said...

"Southern delicacy?"
Sweet tea?

From the use of language, he might've meant "southern celibacy." I mean, is this a Tennessee Williams wannabee writing this stuff?

Let's do the same thing: mix up a whole lot of discordant images:

"It was so hot hereabouts, even local no-necked monsters drink their juleps and enjoy the southern sunsets, hoping that global warming doesn't melt them into hot wax on those hot tin southern roofs. You can be sure that even the toughest skeptic can second guess himself and think about moving back north."

Anonymous said...

Rhamilton is correct, and I did not make myself clear. The 1964 Times v. Sullivan decision was applied to "public officials." It later was given to most public employees, and then extended to public figures in the Walker decision in 1967.

Gertz was in 1974, and it was considered a small giveback. Ironically, I am in the middle of writing a paper about libel and libel law and will send it to a journal on Monday. (It is a revision and is pretty much guaranteed acceptance.)

My paper looks at the politics of the court and the politics of the particular situations where people were claiming libel, and then applies it to the present situation. In fact, in my rewrite, I will be leading with Cooney's statement about not suing "someone who buys ink by the barrel."

I apologize for not making things more clear in my earlier post.

However, I DO think I made it clear that I think Boob Ashley is a disgrace and a clown.

Anonymous said...

TO "mac"--

I'm bringing our little trivia-fest over here.

I see someone like Russell Crowe when I think of KC. He's got more character and depth. Someone like Brad Pitt doesn't cut it.


BTW, there are a few films from the past that I never tire of watching...or at least I keep them on in the background when they are playing on cable:

Godfather I and II



I can watch all three of those again and again and never tire.

The haunting theme song from Gladiator was the initial attraction. It's kind of "Enya new age".

I started to use this one as KC's theme, but thought it might be too hyperbolic...and also this music makes me cry. Really. LOL!

Even though the lacrosse case is certainly not on the same level as the saving of Rome, the triumph over pure evil is the analogy.

In the final scene when Lucilla says of Russell Crowe's character, Maximus....He was a soldier of Rome. Honor him......and the Gladiator theme comes up, I just start weeping.

I love this music:



Anonymous said...

You know, I see a life imitates art moment here.

In "Gone With the Wind", the character called Ashley is a weak spined dreamer who yearns for the past when he once had power over people. Now, he's reduced to selling wood products in order to make a pitiful living.

Margaret Mitchell wouldn't be amused.

Anonymous said...

Brad Pitt has never been arrested, tried and convicted of throwing a phone at a person.

Anonymous said...

Very good catch, Carolyn!

Ashley Wilkes was such a eunuch, he didn't even pick up on the fact that Scarlett was trying to jump his bones.


Anonymous said...

TO 12;33PM--

Russell Crowe can throw anything he wants.



Anonymous said...

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm sure looking forward to my chance to prove my innocence.

So, the unsurprising fact is that the Herald Sun is a ninth-rate newspaper that wouldn't be able to give itself away were it not for the populace of Durham, which is unimaginably delusional, agenda-driven, and unintelligent. This whole thing isn't about race. It's about people with no character and even less intelligence doing exactly what those type of people do, intelligent people of incredible character standing up and calling their bluff, and the formerly mention people putting their hands over their ear and screaming "lalala, nanana, bababa...I can't hear're not saying're a racist....SOMETHING happened....WHITE PRIVILEGE....PROVE YOUR real thoughts are "forthcoming"......"

What a joke. Racism and sexism ARE alive and well in this country, but a new group has taken the stage. You might be surprised when you meet them, but just skim the postings of this blog. Their identity is unmistakable.

Anonymous said...

Brad Pitt is a mediocre actor, while Crowe is a genius actor. Geniuses occasionally throw phones, and then turn over millions to the phonee.

Anonymous said...

Nicola Tesla

By borrowing the name of a genius, are you implying that you share similar attributes?

Anonymous said...


1 more thing--Tesla's given name was Nikola, not Nicola

Anonymous said...

I wish everyone would stop eating themselves up about the HS. It is a rag piece of crap written for only one audience: blacks in Durham. Even the liberal white "elite intellectuals" of Durham read the Chapel Hill or Raleigh papers. HS has its niche and it's "all race all the time." Not gonna change, and why should it? The advertising is still carrying it because all the advertisers and readers are black.
Don't read it. Only a few thousand blacks in Durham do, and even that is declining. And remember, Duke replaced HS with the Raleigh News & Observer as the official student/faculty complimentary paper for this year, dumping the historic relationship it had with the HS. The N&O is now distributed free on campus, officially.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Bob Ashley needs to have his paper read while an untalented interpretative dancer flails about. While I don’t think this would improve his creditability it at least would make for a humorous you tube video.

Anonymous said...

kc pointed out thaat some players
and families relied on faith
many groups HS-faculty-and commentors on all sides
might have done better to do so
a prayer that i have found helpful throughout this follows
Lord make me a channel of thy peace
that where there is hatred I may bring love
that where there is wrong I may bring the spirit of forgiveness that where there is discord I may bring harmony
whre there is error I may bring truth
whre there is doubt I may bring faith
whre there is despair,I may bring hope-where there are shadows I may bring light-where there is sadness I may bring joy
Grant that I may seek to comfort than be comforted-to understand than to be understood
to love than to be loved
for it is by self forgetting that one finds-it is by forgiving that one is forgiven
it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life

Anonymous said...

I get nervous when people start waxing religious.

Don't know why.


Anonymous said...

Dedrah, I agree. People should always be waning religious.

Anonymous said...

TO 2:02PM--



mac said...

Debrah 1:52,

I don't know, Debrah: if the 88, Nifong, Nurse Tara, Bob Ashley and others had shown love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness gentleness and self-control, we would not be writing about their work.

As for 1:40's words: regard the words for their own merit, not on preconceptions of who might've authored them...(it wasn't me, and I don't judge them either way for their author.) They're good words. Take out the holy-sounding "Lord" (which is off-putting to most people) and try applying part of what is said to the 88 et al before attempting any self-administration: don't they make sense?

"Where there is error I may bring truth?"
"Where there is hatred I bring love?"
"Where there is despair I bring hope?"

You know that I have never attempted to force my opinions on you, and you also must know that I am a Christian (though sometimes the evidence is sorely lacking.)
Judge me as you will.


mac said...


Anonymous said...

To dear "mac"--

I judge you as being a very engaging and righteous dude.....who always gives me something_to_talk_about.


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



Anonymous said...

To "mac" @2:45PM--

Channeling six degrees from Kevin Bacon and the SNL church lady......

Could it be......Satan? !!!!!!!


mac said...

Mr. Ashley is capably setting the course for his own humiliation.
Humility is when someone willingly humbles themself: humiliation is when someone else gets to do the honor.

If anyone wants to feel what humiliation feels like, put yourself in the shoes of three young men who committed no crime but were treated as criminals anyway.

Anonymous said...

To Bill Anderson: Before you send out that paper make sure you double-check the law regarding "public figures." I know in my jurisdiction a person is not a public figure unless they have intentionally insinuated themselves into the public discourse. Reade, Dave and Collin were "framed" into their public figure status.

A Friend

mac said...

I wonder if there actually are worthy candidates in the City of Durrhh? If you were to use the example of Sodom in Genesis 18:16-...

"What if there are fifty" capable persons to run for office in Durrhhh?

"What about forty-five?"

"What if forty are found there?"




Personally, if I lived in Durrhh, I wouldn't wait for two angels to lead me and my family out of the city.

Anonymous said...

It is becoming quite obvious that justice has not been served because nobody has been adequately punished.

Anonymous said...

"A Friend" is correct. The Hurled-Scum's defense in a libel trial would be:

1. The players, by being NCAA athletes, were "public figures;"
2. Nifong was leading these poor people astray.

I agree with you that the players were not public figures in any legal sense of the word, but I can guarantee you that in a libel suit, that would be one of the first things the paper's attorneys would claim. For that matter, I think that the NY Times' use of Gottlieb's made-from-memory report was "reckless disregard for the truth." There is NO way the NY Slimes would have accepted such a report as Gospel Truth in other circumstances, and it was plainly obvious the report was a lie.

Anonymous said...


Despite your previous injunction barring me from ever communicating with you again, I must say that you are beginning to un-nerve me. Gladiator and The Godfather series are also favorites that I too watch over and over. Two others that fall in that class are The Last of the Mohicans and Out of Africa. Notably, The Last of the Mohicans musical score was of a similar genre to that of Gladiator.

Topher said...

Continuing a topic from yesterday's thread...

Roy Cooper presents a Mike Easley film:
"Falsely Accused: The Duke Lacrosse Story"

It's shocking! It's depressing! It's 100% true.

Dustin Hoffman as Mike Nifong
Pam Grier as Crystal Mangum
The three boys from Home Improvement (now adults) will play the accused

James Cromwell as Richard Brodhead
Whoopi Goldberg as Wahneema Lubiano (not intending to slander any quality black actors with this despicable role)
Extras for potbanging scene recruited from The Evergreen State College

Defense attorneys played by Robert DeNiro, Martin Sheen and John Travolta (as Brad Bannon)
Extras for defense attorneys' offices played by the cast of Law & Order

Jack Nicholson as Michael Gottlieb
Dan Aykroyd as Linwood Wilson
Ed Harris as Brian Meehan

Halle Berry as Kim Roberts
Katherine Heigl as Tara Levicy
Don Cheadle as cab-driver Elmostafa
Jodie Foster as Beth Brewer

I was going to nominate our generation's cinematic hero Denzel Washington as KC Johnson, but in a move to make the actors look something like their roles KC can be played by Johnny Depp.
Denzel Washington can play Ed Bradley.

Patrick Stewart as Bill Anderson
Roman Polanski as Polanski
Deep Throat as Gregory (who else can MOO?)
Julia Roberts as Debrah
George Clooney as Thomas Inman
Al Pacino as Topher (shameless self-plug)

Alec Baldwin as Duff Wilson
Michael Moore as Nancy Grace
Dennis Franz as Bob Ashley

The guy who played Perry Mason as Lane Williamson
Ryan McFayden played by Fred Savage

Cameo appearance by Mike Krzyzewski
Duke football team played by the cast of Remember The Titans

Directed by Roy Cooper
Executive producer: Mike Easley

Coming to a judicial district near you. Sponsored by the NAACP, New York Times Editorial Board, Durham Herald-Sun, Duke University Association of Feckless Administrators

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

It should be noted that the News & Observer has always endorsed political candidates, but they also have a good columnist, Rob Christiansen, who seems to cover them in a balanced way.

For instance, even though the N&O is giddy for John and Elizabeth Edwards, Christiansen always writes about their hypocrisy when covering politics.

With the H-S, there is no balance; however, I agree with a previous poster that the paper is all but irrelevant these days except for the marginal group it chooses to serve.


Anonymous said...

To 5:50pm

Thanks Debrah for the Wiki link, that really puts the H-S in perspective. With only a 39K daily readership, this pathetic fish wrapper is nothing more than a daily neighbor shopper type rag. It's pretty obvious Ashley was just trying to boost his declining Sat and Sunday readership and didn't give a crap about the truth. In the future, the H-S should stick to garden club events and garage sale announcements. Whats so sad is that KC and the Defense had to devote so much time refuting this stupid little paper and it's moronic editor.

Anonymous said...

To "inman"--Have to agree. Last of the Mohicans is stellar. Hard to believe that Daniel Day-Lewis can play such divergent roles...if you recall his other films.

Mohicans was filmed in the glorious mountains of NC. The waterfall scene was breathtaking.

I also forgot to include Goodfellas.

(Now I'll stop before KC pulls my mike!)


Anonymous said...

TO Topher--

Quite good, really. LIS!

I would make a few changes; however, since none of us knows the other on this forum--except Spook has seen my pics--that was excellent. I agree with many choices.

I still want Russell Crowe for KC.


Gary Packwood said...

Debrah 11:05 said...

...On the H-S editorial page today.
...More hard-hitting news analysis:
...The one good thing about the week's record-busting temperatures is that it has allowed the locals to engage in one of the South's favorite pastimes: talking about the weather while sipping on tall glasses of iced-tea. For those recently transplanted northerners in our midst, yes, we are indeed talking about that southern delicacy we like to call sweet tea.
Older AABlack folks over here in Houston with French names ...just 'sniff and frown' at the suggestion that North Carolina is part of the old South...and they don't talk about sweet tea.

Their great great grandparents were free and pirates of sorts around the shipping business in Louisiana.

Perhaps the AABlack folks in Durham see the H-S as their key to acceptance into the southern traditions.

mac said...


You forgot me: I can be played by Kermit!

Anonymous said...


I must confess. I am appreciative of the notion that Walter Mathau or Bruce Willis or George Clooney would be appropriate representations of my character. But I must demur.

And I'll do it with a story. In the 80's and 90's, I lived in the "Fan District" in Richmond VA. The "Fan" was a circa 1900, turn-of-the-century Georgetown-like neighborhood with row townhouses that had almost become a ghetto but, through regentrification in the 60's and 70's, had become somewhat chic. It got its name from the way that the roads fanned out. Anyway, it was bordered on the north and south by poor neighborhoods, the kind of neighborhoods where kids had to dog-paddle their way to the educational and economic waters' surface. But these kids went to the Magnet Elementary School right down the street from where I lived. And I bet a lot of these kids, white and black, kids from the lower rungs of the economic spectrum, have been successful. I saw a lot of involved parents. The Fan District Elementary School served a quite diverse group of people and I'm sure that was a positve, as well.

But back to the story, the school also had basketball courts. I often went to the courts late in the afternoon to get a workout and played basketball with mostly guys from those poorer neighborhoods north and south. This was "street basketball." Yes, and there were a lot of Black guys, mostly younger than me, who played and there was a lot of banter: "hey, cuz...," and attitude and words that suprised me like "that n-----, he got game..." Well, you get the picture.

Anyway, I played with these guys, often several times a week and slowly got used to the culture. And it was a culture, one that they had, to a certain extent, created to serve their own purpose, their own notion of how they fit in the world.

Slowly, I got used to the culture and they got used to me. One day, I knew that I had been accepted. I was walking toward the basketball court and one of the guys called out to everyone else and said: " comes DeVito..."

Laughs all around and from that day forth, I was DeVito to that crowd.

So, I will self-nominate ... Danny DeVito.

Anonymous said...

Pam Grier as Crystal Mangum?

I love Ms. Grier, but she's easily in her 60s now. And Grier is pretty, Precious not.

The perfect person to play Mangum is Lil' Kim.

And Cromwell is a terrible choice for Brodhead. Cromwell's best performance to date is Dudley Smith in "L.A. Confidential"--and Dudley, while sleazy, was tough as nails.

The actor to portray Brodhead needs to be good at depicting:

@ sleaziness
@ fecklessness
@ abmaphidness
@ ruthlessness

Perfect actor for this: Kevin Spacey, or Joe Mantegna

Anonymous said...

12:29 Pm

Oh Ashly, you are so imaginative and perceptive and learned in yo' description of one of my main character's character, but otherwise you don't know . . . . .
Is you a . . . . ah can hardly say it a . . . Yankee. If you is, is you Catholic, under the age of 23, and do you play lacrosse? If you is, I don't want to see you in Durham 'cuse we don't allow people like you to talk about the likes of Ashley like that . . . you hear. And don't come ridin' in here on no motorcycle either wit yo fish wrapped in no H-S lookin' newspaper. Muh novel is true and nothin' but the truth unlike some folks writin'.



Anonymous said...

I nominate Crystal to play herself.

But with the proviso that any and all earnings go toward establishing a foundation to fund the defense of those accused of rape.

Anonymous said...

"The guy who played Perry Mason as Lane Williamson."

That guy would be Raymond Burr, and he's not available to play Williamson or anybody else, because Burr's been dead for years.

Topher said...

Ok, ok -

Russel Crowe will play KC Johnson. Johnny Depp will play Brad Bannon.

Inman penciled in by Dannvy DeVito. Wilford Brimley will play Lane Williamson.

The staff of the Duke Chronicle will be portrayed by the Yale Daily News writers as played on "Gilmore Girls."

Lil' Kim is a great choice for Precious. Ving Rhames will be her "driver."

Daniel Day-Lewis can play Stuart Taylor.

Kevin Spacey will play Brodhead with Joe Mantegna as Joe Alleva.

Charles Bronson will play the policeman who thought Precious was lying.

You know, it's damn time-consuming coming up with a list of key players - there are SO many of them.

Anonymous said...

Wait, who the heck is going to play Houston Baker?

James Earl Jones.

Yep. Perfect.

Anonymous said...

Jones is too old to play Baker.

Baker should play himself. He's a natural ham, and therefore a director's best friend.

Anonymous said...

Mike Nifong:
Robert Duvall ala "The Apostle"

Anonymous said...

The role of Brodhead should perhaps be played by someone who could perform like Peter Sellers in 'Being There'

Anonymous said...

The role of KC could be played by Wally Cox, other than the fact that Mr. Cox is deceased and could probably type with more than two fingers.

Mayor Bill Bell could be played by the late Steppin Fetchit, if we could get Mr. Fetchit to tone down his natural assertiveness.

The role of Nifong would have to be CGI, and the proper model would be Golum from LotR.

Debrah would have to be played by Nicole Kidman because of her dazzling beauty.

The commentor who cannot be named should be played by Bill Murray at his smarmy, condescending best.

Anonymous said...


I thought James Earl Jones persona from Field of Dreamscould be superimposed on the current situation. Than the age thing wouldn't matter.

Plus, Baker would want to write a gosh durn letter in the middle of filming, just off of which to piss people. (Thank you Jeffm for the instruction and the Churchill reference.)

Anonymous said...

Robert Duvall is a must for Nifong.

Anonymous said...

Are you sick? Who the hell is Wally Cox? KC has Irish looks kinda like the Kennedys.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with most everyone today (sigh). To me, the liability of the Herald-Sun is beyond obvious, and the probability of a large damages verdict huge, IF THE CASE IS BROUGHT IN FEDERAL COURT.

The complaint against the Herald-Sun would be a "pendent" state claim, which piggy-backs onto the federal question claims against the DPD and others for violation of Section 1983.

The standard of proof against a newspaper in North Carolina is whether it's coverage was substantially fair, complete and accurate.


In my opinion, the boys are not public figures because lacrosse is not that newsworthy of a sport, and their appearances in the media were to rebut the character assassination caused by Nifong, Mangum and, of course, the Herald-Sun, among others.

I would not want to be the newspaper's attorney trying to argue to a federal judge that Reade's appearance on 60 Minutes made him a public figure, when the Herald-Sun was, in part, the reason Reade had to appear on 60 Minutes.


I used to paper the bottom of my parrot's cage with the Herald-Sun, but then my bird started lying and omitting important facts. The last straw was when he tried to bait the dog against me.


Anyone caught wrapping dead fish in Herald-Suns will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Even dead fish have rights and should be afforded a modicum of dignity.

"Goldfish lead a remarkably fulfilling intellectual life. When they get together at symposia at WalMart or PetSmart, they mostly present on the subject of K.C. Johnson, except for Howard Goldfish. He still goes on and on about Stephen Hawking, blah, blah, quarks, blah, blah, blah, wormholes...." MOO! Gregory

Gary Packwood said...

You don't know Wally Cox?


Friend of Marlon Brando and was Mr. Peepers of the sitcom by the same name in the 1950's.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead must be played by the William H. Macy as he played Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo.

Either that or Jason Alexander as George Costanza.

Both are sadly pathetic, as is Brodhead.

Neither are leaders, nor is Brodhead.

Both are led by the nose, as is Brodhead.

Macy and Alexander are actors, Brodhead is not. He should be fired.

Anonymous said...

Wally Cox . . . who's Marlon Brando?

Anonymous said...

Do Grant and Wahneema shop @ the same clothier?

They're so Mao!!!

"Attention Mao-Mart shoppers, there's a red-light special in isle 5, next to the peoples’ tools of re-education!!! And don't forget next week is report a capitalist week, you'll receive an extra 'peoples' vote' when you turn in any relative!"

mac said...

After re-reading Grant Farred's diatribe, that Duke students who register to vote in Durham are engaged in an attempt to "defeat the law," I wonder even more about Ashley's sanity. He apparently - (or tacitly) - agrees with Farred.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What have I started? I asked a simple question of Inman and Debrah about who they would have play each other in the movie....and this has been one awesome post since then! These are incredible picks for actors and actresses. My biggest problem is with Nifong himself. Duvall has way too much gravitas. Although compared to the City of Durham government figures and the DPD, Nifong WAS the smartest guy in the room, he is still a rube. He is a small town traffic court public defender type who accidentally found himself prosecuting cases. The power went to his tiny head. His greedy wife enabled his ego. So when the LAX hit, he was still playing big fish/little pond, and was too stupid and unwordly to see he had been thrown into a big ocean with sharks everywhere. I don't know who could play this pale excuse of a man without projecting too much character onto him. Although Nifong was at the center of the hoax, he presents such a shallow psyche that I am having trouble forming his screen self. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Nifong --

(1) Sylvester Stallone (I can imagine the theme to Rocky introducing Nifong to the screen as he paces quickly toward the Courthouse with a jackboot-clad Gottlieb stompling along beside him) or
(2) Morgan Freeman (for those interested in an interesting plot twist) or
(3) Mel Gibson, or better yet,
(4) Patrick McGoohan -- ("Longshanks") -- God, what a sneer of contempt he could levy

And Debrah -- played by Kelly McGillis (with just a hint of the darkness of Witness) or Melanie Griffith with a Victoria's Secret scene ala Working Girl.

Finally, KC can be played by a combined Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart, both of whom are resurrected as one being, responsive only to the nano wavelength of the electro-magnetic aura of KC's persona, to fill the void of proper thespian weight of even the greatest modern actors.

BAA. (Bestowing Accolade and Acclamation)

(Hat tip to gregory.)

Anonymous said...

For what it is worth, my subcription to the Herald Sun runs out Aug 13. I have not renewed.
The N&O started landing on my lawn a few weeks ago. It is pretty good. Better than the H&S in many ways. Still the N&O is a newspaper written by folks who sometimes just can't beat back their political views to exploit or to cover up.
I find myself (at age 65) using the Internet more and more for news from far and wide. When some event is occuring, I almost always go to the local papers where the event is. Forget cable news of any political stripe.

Anonymous said...

Ha! "Rocky" theme! I love it!
And you know who keeps appearing to me as Debrah? Maureen Dowd....

Anonymous said...

Off Topic -- I just re-read an old Baltimore Sun article which stated (right after the disbarment) that the LAX families were lobbying the federal DOJ to open a civil rights violations suit. Any updates or thoughts?

Anonymous said...


Maureen Dowd....absolutely perfect!

And Nifong's disease could be known as "Dowd's Syndrome."

Anonymous said...

OK, Maureen Dowd it is!

As for "Dowd's Syndrome..." as Debrah would say, ROTFLMTO

Anonymous said...

"My biggest problem is with Nifong himself. Duvall has way too much gravitas."

Leslie Nielsen