This blog began in an attempt to analyze the twin scandals of spring 2006: the transparent signs of Mike Nifong’s prosecutorial misconduct; and the decision of Duke faculty activists—personified by the Group of 88—to set aside the academy’s traditional fidelity to due process and instead advance their personal, pedagogical, of ideological agendas on the backs of their own students.
Gradually, the blog expanded to include coverage of the media, the Duke administration, the intersection between politics and the law, the role of the police, and the dubious record of the SANE nurse.
The blog provided live coverage from
The blog also summarized and analyzed:
- all major defense motions;
- all depositions in the Nifong ethics proceeding;
- all filings by the Bar and Nifong in the ethics proceeding;
The blog provided the most comprehensive analysis of the activities of:
- the lead police officer on the case, Sgt. Mark Gottlieb;
- the original judge assigned to the case, Ron Stephens;
- lineup procedures elsewhere in North Carolina.
The blog’s media analysis included the only overviews of coverage by:
- sports reporters and columnists
- cable news commentator Wendy Murphy
- cable news commentator Georgia Goslee
- cable news host Nancy Grace.
On the media front, the blog also featured regular critiques of the pro-Nifong coverage on the New York Times (ranging from columnists Selena Roberts and Harvey Araton to reporter Duff Wilson and public editor Byron Calame) and the Durham Herald-Sun (including the work of editor Bob Ashley and reporter John Stevenson).
The blog provided extensive coverage and analysis of the Duke faculty’s rush to judgment, including:
- an analysis of the pedagogical interests of the Group of 88;
- the shifting rationales of Group member Cathy Davidson;
- a profile of the spring 2007 “clarifying” faculty;
- a spring 2007 class that assigned a book claiming the rape occurred.
In a 13-part series, the blog profiled some of the Group of 88 members, explaining the connection between their scholarship and their guilt-presuming approach to the case.
The blog also explored the administration’s:
- tortured rationales for the Group of 88 statement;
- selective support for Duke students’ due process rights;
- failed “Campus Culture Initiative,” an attempt to implement the Group of 88’s agenda through administrative fiat.
The blog was the first to report several case-related items, including:
- Mike Nifong loaning his campaign nearly $30,000 at about the same time he took over the lacrosse case, six weeks before the May 2006 primary;
- The full details of Collin Finnerty’s alibi;
- The first publication of Crystal Mangum’s March 16, 2006 police photo, which showed that she had no bruises, despite police claims;
- The revelation that Nifong citizens’ committee co-chair Victoria Peterson had advocated burning down the lacrosse captains’ house;
- The refusal of the state NAACP’s case monitor and legal redress committee chair to challenge in any way Nifong’s procedural irregularities;
- Group of 88 member Grant Farred publicly asserting that unnamed lacrosse players committed perjury;
- Uncovering that despite the statement’s claims, five academic departments had, in fact, not endorsed the Group of 88’s ad;
- Duke’s suppression of a lacrosse team-led October 2006 voter registration drive.
Between August 28, 2006, and December 11, 2007, when the blog went on hiatus,
These visitors came from all 50 states and from 134 countries (Fiji, Anguilla, Cuba, Saint Kitts & Nevitts, Grenada, Guatemala, Bolivia, Paraguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Northern Mariana Islands, Lebanon, Yemen, Qatar, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Mali, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Cambodia, Pakistan, Laos, Malawi, Dominican Republic, Luxembourg, Moldova, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Kuwait, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Djibouti, Honduras, Iceland, Malta, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Slovenia, Zambia, Vanuatu, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Netherlands Antilles, Ecuador, Argentina, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Croatia, Montenegro, Uganda, Kenya, Bahrain, Pakistan, Palau, Taiwan, Cambodia, Nepal, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Jamaica, Bahamas, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Iceland, Ireland, Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, India, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Japan, South Africa, Aruba, Dominica, Venezuela, Morocco, Lithuania, Cote D’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, and Gambia).
[Updated, March 6:] The blog had 1,173 posts, totaling 923,723 words. It attracted just over 100,000 comments.