Tuesday, December 11, 2007


With this post, the blog goes on hiatus; if and when Durham ever responds to the civil suit filing, I’ll run a postscript. I’ll also assemble a glossary of posts within the next week.

This concluding post discusses the legacies of the case. The lacrosse case functioned as a kind of funhouse mirror: its events magnified patterns evident, but less clearly visible, elsewhere.

Criminal Justice

1.) Procedure matters. Despite the best efforts of the state NAACP, and journalists such as Bob Ashley and Andrew Cohen—who each downplayed or dismissed the significance of Mike Nifong’s procedural violations—it seems to me this lesson is the case’s most clear-cut.

It is inconceivable at any point in the near future that a prosecutor in a case attracting even a small amount of media attention could routinely flout procedural norms without triggering hard questions as to his or her motives. And Nifong’s fate doubtless has caused other prosecutors to be more rigorous in following procedures in their own work. In this respect, Nifong’s long-term contribution to the U.S. criminal justice system might be a positive one.

2.) Experts can have agendas, too. The advent of groups like the Innocence Project or TV programs like CSI have created great public respect for scientific evidence—as opposed to the potentially unreliable elements of human memory. For the most part, this development is a positive one.

Yet experts can shade the truth as well—as Dr. Brian Meehan and SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy so blatantly revealed. Both were, ostensibly, “unbiased” experts. Meehan would testify about highly technical DNA test results. Levicy would provide the findings of a nurse “specially trained” in sexual assault cases.

Instead, both exhibited biases of the worst sort. Levicy, who never encountered a woman who lied about rape, repeatedly changed her story about what Crystal Mangum told her on March 14, 2006; and what Mangum’s exam indicated. Each time, the shift bolstered authorities’ theory of the case. Meehan produced an incomplete report that violated both his own lab’s protocols and North Carolina law, allowing Nifong to keep exculpatory evidence concealed. That Meehan is now out of a job and Levicy is no longer working in North Carolina is small consolation given their dubious conduct.

The Academy

3.) Existence Proof. Anyone following higher education over the past decade would recognize vignettes about the pernicious effects of academic groupthink. The University of Colorado, where research fraud Ward Churchill became a full professor and department chair through touting his “Native American” heritage and publishing extremist essays. Columbia, where Joseph Massad told one of his classes that Israeli agents were responsible for the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics—and where more than 100 professors, including the former provost, publicly attacked Massad’s critics. Most recently, the University of Delaware, which had enacted a required residence hall program proclaiming that non-whites couldn’t be racist and mandating “treatment” for those whose beliefs challenged the preferred approach.

Are these episodes, as defenders of the academic status quo suggest, out-of-the-ordinary developments? The Duke case involved dozens of professors, revealing tenured faculty with “perpetually forthcoming” books or almost comical race/class/gender-oriented research agendas. The Group of 88 and their crusade attracted equally ill-reasoned support from other quarters of the academy—whether the fifteen African-American Studies professors who defended Houston Baker’s racist April 2006 letter or the April 2007 ruminations of Wesleyan’s Claire Potter on how “the dancers were, it is clear, physically if perhaps not sexually assaulted.” And prominent elite universities (Vanderbilt, Cornell, University of Chicago) hired some of the Group’s key members—with tenure (and, in the case of Cornell) a promotion.

The affair is, to borrow a term from mathematicians, an existence proof. Given the documented, public record at one of the nation’s leading universities, it will be more difficult to claim that future abuses at other institutions that attract public attention are isolated examples to be ignored.

4.) Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Mr. Chips is an outdated caricature, but I suspect most parents nonetheless send their children to college expecting that professors will treat their sons or daughters fairly and with dignity.

The lacrosse case, however, featured dozens of professors who were only too willing to advance their personal, pedagogical, or ideological agendas on the backs of their own students. And they continued to do so long after the case to which they had attached their crusade had imploded. For me, the event’s single most haunting quote came from History professor Susan Thorne, one of the Group of 88’s most moderate members. Thorne e-mailed one of her students—who had once looked upon her as a mentor—to say that she not only had abandoned her plans to apologize for signing the Group statement but had decided to publicly announce that she would not apologize. Otherwise, she declared, “my voice won’t count for much in my world.”

The sad thing: Thorne might have been coldhearted, but she correctly analyzed the effects of an individual professor challenging academic groupthink. David Horowitz and other conservative critics of the academy have accused faculty members of bringing their politics into the classroom. But the Duke case suggested that the real problem in academia has nothing to do with professors’ politics. Instead, the concern is the one-sided, extremist pedagogy that too often dominates humanities and (some) social science departments—a pedagogy whose extremism entered public view after March 2006, when its adherents applied its tenets to a case that the public could easily understand.

The Media

5.) Avoid generalities in interpreting the media’s performance. Blogs received much attention throughout this case. Yet media coverage was not a one-size-fits-all story. The case generated some prize-winning or nominated performances from the traditional media: locally, the Chronicle (start to finish the best combination of reporting, news analysis, op-ed pieces, and editorials, culminating in yesterday’s on-the-money column by Kristin Butler); the N&O (breaking story after story about Nifong’s abuses); Aaron Beard at the AP (a remarkable performance for someone who began the case without key local sources); and nationally, ABC’s Law & Justice Unit, CBS’s 60 Minutes, columnists such as Jason Whitlock and Stuart Taylor.

On the other hand, the weak media performances were stunningly bad: the slanted, error-filled Duff Wilson magnum opus and his consistently poor work both before and after; the see-no-evil/hear-no-evil approach of the Herald-Sun’s Bob Ashley; the arrogant moral pronouncements from the TimesSelena Roberts and Harvey Araton; the milquetoast critiques of “public editor” Bryon Calame; the angry, embarrassing commentary of figures such as John Feinstein.

It is difficult to offer an explanation other than the obvious for the records of figures such as Wilson, Feinstein, or Ashley—namely, that this was a story that some in the intelligentsia so much wanted to be true that they blinded themselves to reality.

Academic Administrators

6.) Appease race/class/gender extremists. I suspect that most academic administrators will view the Duke case as a bookend, paired with Larry Summers’ dismissal at Harvard. Summers confronted the “diversity” extremists in his midst—demanding that high-profile African-American Studies professors produce the same level of scholarship as everyone else; terming the Israel divestment effort “anti-Semitic in effect if not intent”; asking (in highly impolitic terms) whether something other than discrimination could possibly explain the gender differentials in science faculty. For such offenses, the Harvard arts and sciences faculty cast a vote of no confidence in him, and he was eventually forced out of his position. The moral: administrators who fail to pay sufficient tribute to the race/class/gender trinity risk their careers.

At Duke, on the other land, Richard Brodhead bent over backwards to accommodate the extremists in his midst—even when they (a) abused their in-class authority as professors; (b) produced a guilt-presuming statement falsely suggesting formal endorsement from five academic departments; and (c) appeared to violate the Faculty Handbook in their statements and actions about Duke students. Only Brodhead knows whether he did so because he (to borrow Steve Baldwin’s phrase) feared “the wrath of the righteous,” or because he genuinely believed in a one-sided approach to the case. Either way, Brodhead not only survived but received rave reviews from the Trustees’ review committee. The moral: administrators who appease even the worst of the race/class/gender extremists will not risk their employment status by doing so.

The reality, of course, in both cases was more complicated: Summers’ pricklish personality alienated many professors; Brodhead’s obvious intelligence, heartfelt (if belated) apology, and strong support from BOT chairman Bob Steel worked in his favor. Nonetheless, college presidents are like all other ambitious people: they don’t enter their jobs to be fired. Savvy administrators will learn the general lessons from the Harvard and Duke affairs. And so anyone who expects administrators to help promote a less rigid and one-sided U.S. academy will be sorely disappointed.


Perhaps, in time, other legacies of the case will emerge. For now, my thanks to everyone who took the time to read the blog.


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Anonymous said...

Inre: Lawsuit

. "So great was the damage done the 47 Duke University students on the men’s lacrosse team that even the unequivocal exoneration after a re-investigation led by two of this State’s most revered respected prosecutors could not repair it..."

Thank you Ms. Potter, Mr. Zimmerman, et al.

Anonymous said...

The folks at Liestoppers are reading the complaint and finding all sorts of interesting stuff (links to actual text of complaint can be found about halfway down first page).

The story is, as predicted, getting both "uglier and Dukier."

I suspect some of the conspiracy details revealed will surprise not only to us readers, but our host Mr. Sunshine as well.

All I can say is "my oh my" and "Yikes!"

Debrah said...

That settles it.

The brilliant, fabulous, and exquisitely endowed with brains (and other things) KC cannot go anywhere.

There's too much at stake.

The Wonderland army is officially on notice.

Let the games begin!

Anonymous said...

Steel's continued support of Brodhead is no longer a mystery.
From the complaint:

411. Upon information and belief, Defendant Robert K. Steel, Chairman of the
Executive Committee of the Duke University Board of Trustees, through the CMT
and/or Duke Police Supervising Defendants understood, agreed, and conspired to
direct the Duke Police officers and investigators
to (1) cease all participation in the
investigation, (2) conceal evidence of their prior role in the investigation and
evidence of their authority to intervene and control the investigation, and (3)
fabricate false and misleading “witness” statements calculated to conceal their
personal observations of Mangum’s bizarre behavior.

Gary Packwood said...

These new lawsuits are a message aimed at Duke from the Duke Methodist Santa in the sky that thou shall set thy cell phone, Gang of 88, Office of Student Affairs and Duke Police Department to vibrate so we can all enjoy the holiday season...in peace.


Anonymous said...

Too bad some of the rancid clowns from among the 88 weren't named in the suit. Then again, Holloway is royalty (as I recall) and Lubiano is from another planet (God only knows which one). In which case, I suppose they have diplomatic immunity.

mac said...

Let Bigas begone. Forever. Nurse Levity is named as a defendant, whatever the outcome. (She's among others, of course, but her name is there.)

Enjoy your T-Bird, Bigas.
Drink up.

John said...


Nine errors - that's it - and the High Court Judge who ruled on it had no complaint with the central thesis.

These snippets are from the BBC, October 11, 2007 -

A High Court judge who ruled on whether climate change film, An Inconvenient Truth, could be shown in schools said it contains nine scientific "errors".

Mr Justice Burton said he had no complaint about Gore's central thesis that climate change was happening and was being driven by emissions from humans.

However, the judge said nine statements in the film were not supported by mainstream scientific consensus.

Go here to read the list of nine errors.


John said...


"Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in."


Anonymous said...

Thumbs up - Michael Flatley winning $11m settlement against a woman who falsely accused him of rape 5 years ago.

Thumbs down for Duke story not making more of the top 2007 story lists.

This lesson can't be swept under the carpet.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the cowards are back, singing the same old song. They've found a new choir loft to sing from:


Of course, what they write hardly qualifies as "truth", but that's not unexpected at this point, is it? Neither will it bowl over anyone with surprise that they allow no comments at all; I guess they're terrified that the "truth" of all their assertions can only hold up as long as it never faces even the slightest challenge.

(I think the last sentence really rather gives away the paucity of what these purported "truth"-tellers have to offer: "The accompanying cartoon by Taylor Jardno depicts KC Johnson whipping a dead horse labeled 'Duke Lacrosse case.'" Well, boy howdy, that settles it, doesn't it? I mean, everyone knows that the accusation "you're beating a dead horse" can only be made by those who are in the right, and has never been made by those who mistake hitting the limits of their own attention span for resolution of an issue! And I bet no one else in the history of editorial cartooning has ever, ever come up with the brilliant idea of depicting someone actually in the act of whipping a dead horse, as a way to portray the message that that person is metaphorically whipping a dead horse!

... seriously, this is the best they have to offer?)

Anonymous said...

Ok KC Hiatus is over. Three more filed today and I bet more follow. This is going to get interesting fast.

Anonymous said...

Re: 'new complaint/ ?lawsuit?' filed by another three Duke laxers:

Employees of Duke University (admin), and Duke Univ Police Dept are mentioned .... as well as Duke Univ Health Systems, Inc (assume this is DUMC) and obvious usual suspects such as City of Durham (?admin), many members of Durham Police Dept, of course Nifong, DNASI lab.

** Does this include Duke G88 members? **

Anonymous said...

In response to todays legal actions, Ashley's editorial in H-S will probably report tomorrow that "Good things are Happening in Durham".

Gary Packwood said...

One Spook 3:02 PM 12/18/2007 said...

...I should have said that Algore promoted a largely false documentary similar to Michael Moore's propaganda in "Fahrenheit 9/11" containing "facts" that even misstated theories of scientists who agree with man made climate change.
...And, I'm with Gregory here ... I don't know much about the causes of climate change. I do know that the accepted narrative of the political left, which garners 99% of the publicity on the subject, has many critics whose voices are not being heard.
...I offered that as an example as Gregory states, "What is horrible to see is the loss of credibility because of the politicizaton. It would be a shame if that same loss of credibility occurred in the fields of medicine, biology, chemistry, genetics, etc."
I really do understand what you are trying to say but I also see the connection between Al Gore, Michael Moore and the Duke Gang of 88 with respect to the legislative process. All are obsessive about embracing the legislative process. They all want to get the people involved in the legislative process.

The political right on the other hand, including our current president and his Dad just seem to flat out ignore the legislative process as they focus all of their energies on the Executive and Judicial branches of government.

When people bash the work of Al Gore, Michael Moore, the G88 and even Broadhead it is the red flag in front of the bull. They just charge.

I would much prefer that we all embrace the legislative process as they are doing with the young people at Duke with their DukeEngage program http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/engage/ and ask people if they want to be engaged in the process.

And I sure as hell don't want to tell people that they can't be engaged in the process in the United States of America only to see them jump screaming into the process and then 'cause a loss of credibility in the fields of medicine, biology, chemistry, genetics, etc." that you mentioned.

But I do understand your point of view. I live in Texas; I read what 'W' has to say everyday and whisper every morning... George, talk to the Democrats occasionally about their vote.

Anonymous said...

Lets hope more players file suits and lets hope 2008 brings libel and slander suits against the media. Nancy Grace, Wendy Murphy, NYT, Washington Post, H-S this ain't over by a long shot.

Debrah said...

Beckett left an excellent post on Potter's blog.

I am amazed that she didn't delete it as she does everything that doesn't parrot her remarks.

She had to be corrected a few times as well for not understanding the fundamentals of the case.

She uses "acquitted" as if there had been a trial. Roy Cooper's word "INNOCENT" comes hard for the puerile Potter and her herd of friends.

And Potter is hilarious when she comes in for a comment....thanking everyone for their amazing posts.......except she doesn't like Beckett's.


Beckett opines:

"Some years ago, the TV show Law & Order stole an old saw (source unknown) about college professors: Ques. "Why are the fights in academia so vicious?" Ans. "Because the stakes are so small."

That led to a plague of overuse of the dialog on the net, because, of course, its truth was widely recognized. For the past two years, though, the Duke case sidelined the witticism, since for once something that college professors said really mattered, i.e., "thanks" for railroading our students. Everybody paid attention, and the stakes were large --- a possible 30 years in prison for three innocent kids.

The college professors (88 of them at least, along with Claire "it's very clear" Potter) ended up with egg decorating their faces, and the case ended favorably for the interests of justice.

And now the earth is back on its axis and all is well with the world. And college professors, as we can see from Prof Potter's recent remarks against Prof Johnson concerning University of Iowa hires, are back to being vicious for very small stakes.


Anonymous said...

The AG's office investigated for three months and mentioned none of this stuff. Was the AG lying about the whole case, including innocent? We will see where this goes. This is really "looking a gift horse in the mouth." Nifong said a lot of stuff too and was unable to prove it. I am anxious to see what Bob can prove.

Anonymous said...

WOW- I read most of the new lawsuit and it reveals an entirely new perspective on the initial events as they relate to how the investigation was handled by the Duke Police (with complete authority) and then hijacked by Gotleib, et. al. Tons of details about CGM's 11 hours at DUMC.

I had always thought that the Duke administration's response was just spineless and geared toward the kneejerk hysteria generated by the 'angry studies' crowd. But, NO!!! They knew it was a hoax from the very start, minimized the involvlement of the Duke police and turned a blind eye to the ultimate miscarriage of justice that went on for the next year.

I had been disappointed in my school. Now I am furious. They need to pay and pay and pay....

KC- you have certainly read these pleadings. Despite your desire to finally let this go- how about your thoughts and in particular what you've learned that fundamentally changes your perception of Duke's complicity in all this.

RL alum medicine '75

Anonymous said...

The allegations contained in the McFadyen-Wilson-Archer civil complaint against Duke, et. al., are stunning, particularly those related to how early in the case Duke administration officials knew the truth about it, while publicly proclaiming ignorance, denying there was anything they could do about it (Duke's own police force, by law, was initially and should have remained in charge of the case!) and pretending that every false claim made about its students which they already knew not to be true ("stonewalling," "conspiracy to murder") might be true.

I'm afraid KC may have to visit Brodhead's "apology" in view of what is alleged that Broadhead actually knew at the time, rather than the ignorance he feigned at the time and in his "apology."

No wonder there was such push to "move on" this fall, if Duke had any idea this lawsuit was coming. In my student days, when "come the Revolution..." was a familiar catch-phrase, it was also noted that "the Revolution eats its young." Apparently, so does Duke. Increasingly apparent.


Debrah said...

Perhaps a new name for Durham should be "Sue City, NC".

Isn't there a Sioux City, Iowa?

They won't mind since the spelling's not the same.


Fired police officer sues city and city manager

By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun
Dec 19, 2007

DURHAM -- Lawyers for the city and a Durham Police Department officer fired over his role in a Raleigh bar fight are battling in federal court over the officer's attempt to get his job back.

Former police officer Scott C. Tanner sued the city and City Manager Patrick Baker on Sept. 24. He alleges that city officials illegally discriminated against him by firing him for offenses less serious than those committed by black and female officers allowed to keep their jobs.

Tanner was one of the key figures in an incident that happened in the summer of 2006 outside Blinco's Sports Restaurant and Bar, 6711 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh.

Raleigh police charged Tanner and another Durham officer, Gary P. Lee, with assaulting a Blinco's cook during an altercation in the bar's parking lot. A Wake County judge later found Tanner guilty of simple assault, but exonerated Lee.

Durham police conducted their own investigation. When it was finished, then-Police Chief Steve Chalmers fired Tanner and Lee.

"These two were involved in what I would determine to be nothing less than a public brawl involving a total stranger, and certainly we feel there was no provocation for that," Chalmers said last year. "It really failed to rise to the level of what we expect our officers to do."

According to Tanner's lawsuit, he appealed the firing to Baker and was rebuffed early this year.

Tanner -- a cancer survivor -- claims that before Chalmers made his decision to fire him, Tanner told Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge about his "first-hand knowledge of how other male officers had committed the offense of 'assault on a female' " and "received either no disciplinary sanction or a brief suspension."

The lawsuit, filed on Tanner's behalf by Raleigh attorney Heydt Philbeck, noted that assault on a female is a more serious charge than the simple-assault count that Tanner faced.

It also denied that Tanner assaulted the cook. The state district judge who convicted the former officer, Debra Sasser, gave him the option of doing community service in return for a prayer for judgment that wouldn't show up on his record. The N.C. Department of Correction's Web site shows Tanner as having a clean record.

The lawsuit alleges that when Baker heard Tanner's appeal late last year, Tanner put the manager "on notice" that firing was "disparate treatment based on race and sex." He also allegedly gave Baker the names, genders and ethnicities of officers who committed more serious offenses without being fired.

In upholding the firing, Baker discriminated against Tanner, the suit contends. Allegedly, the city treats white male officers more harshly than black officers or female officers.

Lawyers for the city have responded that Tanner missed his chance to contest the firing by failing to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before the six-month statute of limitations ran out.

That claim touched off a back-and-forth argument with Philbeck, who maintains that the clock started running on Jan. 12 when Baker ruled against Tanner. The officer did file an EEOC complaint on June 1, but federal officials ruled that he waited too long.

The city dates the firing from Sept. 14, 2006, when Chalmers announced his decision and a captain gave Tanner a formal termination letter.

Philbeck and Tanner, however, contend that under state and local law, only Baker has the authority to fire city employees and cannot delegate his powers in that regard to the police chief or any other city official.

Tanner is seeking reinstatement, back pay, attorneys fees and compensatory damages in excess of $10,000.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! So many new and exciting details in this complaint. Enough info to keep this blog going for months. What do you say KC?

Anonymous said...

"The accompanying cartoon by Taylor Jardno depicts KC Johnson whipping a dead horse labeled 'Duke Lacrosse case.'"

This is funny in two ways:
(1) KC has moved on to other things, it's Potter who's not letting go. Projection seems to be one of here "things".
(2) With this latest lawsuit, that undead horse has just stood back up on its zombie hooves, bared its serrated yellow teeth, and gone charging off in search of some Duke Administration brains to eat. (Unfortunately, it's going to find that the average serving size is quite small.)

Anonymous said...

I don't think KC needs to write another book - the lawyers for McFayden, WIlson & Archer just need to hire a good ghostwriter to rewrite their complaint into narrative form, and they'll have book #4 in the DUke series ready to go.

Is there any precedent for such an action? Lawsuits so juicy that you could sell the movie rights on the pleadings?

Debrah said...

TO Beckett and Rick in Ohio--

I want to compliment both of you for the very pointed and substantive posts you left on Potter's blog last night.

You corrected her but good! LIS!

I read them and they really provided a balance to Potter's insanity and her troubled fixation on trying to rewrite history.

Like the Gritty Gang of 88, that will be impossible. All of their words and actions are known to all.

Predictably, now that morning has come, Potter has deleted Beckett's second follow-up post and both of Rick's.

I'm so repulsed that dishonest people like Potter and her cloned appendages are allowed to spread their insanity at any reputable university.

Anonymous said...

KC--Thank you for your brilliance and for your defense of constitutional rights.These suits will ultimately expose the craven nerd,Brodhead,and his fellow travelers.People have no respect for the little man.
Professor of Ethics

Debrah said...

After Potter wiped away the posts from Beckett and Rick, the ever-present Andrea comes in to do clean-up.

My post will be deleted, of course.

It's fun to watch Potter flail about denying free speech to anyone who disagrees.

She's so 88.



andrea said...
Just a comment about the laxers being "declared innocent." We are all innocent until we go before a jury and are declared otherwise. For those outside of the legal community, it sounded like a big deal from the Atty Gen'l to say that they are innocent. But it was a strategic use of a technicality that actually meant they were not brought before a jury and declared guilty. So...for all those lining up trying to get the TR to correct things, understand that innocence is the state we are each in unless a jury or judge makes a different declaration.
Another way of reading the Atty General's comment is that he declared that he would not make them available to a jury to decide otherwise. Leaves a slightly different gloss on the matter, doesn't it?

9:29 AM EST

debrah said...
No Andrea, it doesn't.

Carrying water for Potter might seem romantic; however, it's most unbecoming.

Potter is a dishonest woman.

To the core.

10:54 AM EST

Debrah said...

Another great post to "TR" Potter from an anonymous before it is deleted:

anonymous said...
What do you have to say about the new events in the LAX case. Yes, I'm a KC junkie, he's been right all along, minus a few small issues. This LAX case is not going quietly away. Eventually, you and your radicals, tenured or otherwise, will have to answer for what you have done. Call it whatever you want, you do know what you have done. The leftist wacko radicals are equally as obnoxious as the right wing wackos. You are both the same. There is no logic or reason in your thinking. But you are always right and anyone who disagrees with you is always wrong. KC admits when he is wrong and he has been wrong on occasion. But there has never been an apology, or any human kindness shown by your kind to the LAX players. Being able to admit that you were wrong and apologize is a sign of character. instead, you are still trying to rewrite history. Good Luck with that.

10:54 AM EST

Debrah said...

Yes, I just went back this second and Potter has already deleted those comments above that I brought over here.

Claire Potter should be held up in society for the hapless free speech rogue that she is.

What a cowardly individual!

Anonymous said...

Deep Pockets at Duke. That's the reason that they haven't started going after the faculty yet.

Just wait until they clean up on Duke and Durham. After all, it takes money to keep these attorney's working.

Then, turn the eyes on the faculty and clean their clocks outta there! They don't have the personal resources to fight with that DUKE has, but their big losses will be in their reputation. ( That is, if any in academia actually care about TRUTH anymore).

This house of cards is COMING DOWN! When it's all said and done...we can restore Duke to the fantastic heritage that is its roots. But first the cancer has to be vigorously removed, followed by a sustained post-op series of examinations to make sure NO vestages of remaining PC malignancy remain.

Anonymous said...

I started a blog of my own. I do not claim to be anywhere near the quality KC has; however, I do find it interesting there are blogs by intellectuals but a lack of college students (who see things from a different perspective).

Also, I do not know what I would do without the daily opinions of Gregory and The Diva.


Debrah said...

TO 1:27 PM--

Good, Kris.

We'll add Random Ramblings to the Wonderland army.


Anonymous said...

A poster on Potter's blog noted: "And I'm still gobsmacked at the idea of you [Potter] being threatened by Johnson's voluptuous virility..."

So am I (gobsmacked, that is). Claire is nothing if not virile.

Anonymous said...

Folks, I wouldn't take the allegations in the McFadyen (etc) Complaint too literally.

These are legal claims upon which the lawsuit is based, and which are technically necessary to prevent dismissal pending discovery. Much of this including the "what they knew and when they knew it" details, may be just good-faith hunches at this point, to be established (we hope) through depositions and other discovery.

I'm glad the case was filed, but we can't jump to conclusions just from its bare accusations. Cripes, if we haven't learned THAT lesson from the whole LAX fiasco, we haven't been paying attention.

So just fasten your seat belts and hope for a real interesting ride. But we ain't there yet, and we shouldn't be spouting off as if all this is fact.

John said...

Just read the e-mails sent to the Group of 88ers posted at --


Sure enough, they are disgusting, and vile, and viscious. No way to tell whether they are fabricated or not, but let's assume they are real.

They are just as insulting and degrading as the e-mails to Pressler and the Duke player's mother quoted in UPI - and in many cases even more vituperative. I deplore them - just as I deplore the position taken by the Group of 88.

But DIW like any blog is in the public domain, and while the regulars may be responsible, any moron racist can access it and decide to write ugly e-mails to the publicly available e-mail addresses of Duke professors.

Just as it doesn't do for people concerned about this matter to minimize or support those clearly racist rantings, it is likewise fallacious IMO to argue that this blog or its author espouses those views, condones such e-mails, or somehow by some wild stretch solicited them.

Anonymous said...

A comment I left on Prof. Potter's blog:

I am also an attorney and a regular of the "Sunshine Band". I would like to thank my fellow attorney, "Maryann", for explaining some legal matters for the laypersons here. I would like to address one more before preceding to my real question.

In "The Truth About KC Johnson", linked by Prof. Potter in this posting, there is a link to "hate mail and death threats" purportedly received by some Duke faculty members. There it is said, "We offer here a compendium of some of these hate e-mails and death threats with the full addresses concealed for legal reasons." My question: What legal reasons? I understand that Prof. Potter is not an attorney and I cannot discern the identity of the author of "The Truth About KC Johnson", but perhaps another attorney could answer this question?

Now, for my question:

When I first heard about this allegation of a rape by Duke lacrosse team members in March of 2006, I was skeptical nearly to the point of disbelief. Within 24 hours, after learning a few more facts, I would've wagered my house that the boys were innocent of the allegations. However, others who are well-, even over-educated, had the opposite gut reaction to mine, and many of the same seem to continue to believe -- or at least have difficulty admitting the facts as found by the highest legal authorities in North Carolina.

My question, I guess, is in two parts: What cause so many professors to be so wrong about this case, and has the result of the case caused any of them to do any introspection, to challenge the premises which led them to false beliefs?


Anonymous said...

4:47 I doubt that the caliber of lawyers involved in these cases would indicate that they file "go fishing" expeditions.

They know what's there.

Anonymous said...

4:47 Right on! Allegations have to be proven and as Nifong found out -proving the allegation is not so easy. Particularly as we all believe in "Innocent until Proven quilty? and refuse to "rush to judgement".

Anonymous said...

DECEMBER 19, 2007
The Dukes of Durham
Parsing the misleading language of "the lacrosse scandal"



redcybra said...

After reading the most recent posts on the Duke LAX Hoax on Professors Zimmerman and Potter's blogs, I experienced some serious MEGO.

The final post on Zimmerman's blog read:

William Bell | December 17, 2007 at 5:17 pm |

Methinks you’re barking up the wrong tree. You haven’t persuaded me that KC was unfair to the so-called Group of 88, but the criticism of Richard Brodhead in the book he wrote with Stuart Taylor is largely tendentious and injudicious — or, as you might say, “prosecutorial.” Addressing that would be a better use of your time.

~ ~ ~

My concern isn’t “fairness” but the quality of the analysis, and in that I think the treatment of Brodhead and the “Group of 88″ is pretty much all of a piece. I’ll give your point some thought, though.

The bolded phrase pretty much sums his attitude up, and brings to mind these definitions of "academic", and the world in which Zimmerman, Potter and the Group of 88 live:

3. theoretical or hypothetical; not practical, realistic, or directly useful: an academic question; an academic discussion of a matter already decided.
4.learned or scholarly but lacking in worldliness, common sense, or practicality.

Z and P go on about the "damage" KC has done and the "attacks" on them and the Group of 88. The impact of the attacks of the 88's ads on the Duke LAX team and subsequent refusal to admit any error is rationalized away or simply not on their radar screens. But so what? In the final analysis, KC has performed a more "practical, realistic, [and] directly useful" service than anything Zimmerman, Potter, or the 88 will ever do in their entire lifetimes.

ps. I wonder if William Bell has seen the new lawsuit, and still thinks that KC's criticism of Brodhead is just "tendentious and injudicious"?

Debrah said...


No feds, so lacrosse probe in doubt

By John Stevenson : The Herald-Sun
Dec 20, 2007

DURHAM -- Although the N.C. Department of Justice isn't yet throwing in the towel, a proposed investigation of the Duke lacrosse scandal may be in jeopardy because of the federal government's recent refusal to participate.

State justice officials had invited their federal counterparts to join such a probe, which could shed light on how Durham authorities handled the lacrosse case. Theoretically, it also might lead to criminal action against former District Attorney Mike Nifong, who initiated false sex-offense charges against three athletes last year.

But the U.S. Department of Justice turned down the state's invitation early this month, saying the "primary interests in this matter" rest with the state rather than the national government.

Now, it appears the proposed investigation may go nowhere.

"It would be difficult to conduct [an] additional investigation into this matter without federal participation because federal authorities have tools that state prosecutors don't have, such as the ability to convene an investigative grand jury and to indict someone for lying to investigators," state spokeswoman Noelle Talley said by e-mail this week.

She said the state Attorney General's Office and the State Bureau of Investigation are still "discussing the impact" of the federal government's refusal to participate in a probe.

Some lawyers contend it would disastrous to conduct no investigation at all, given the fact that Nifong put the lives of three young defendants in limbo for a full year, subjecting them to unsubstantiated felony charges that could have imprisoned them for decades.

All three of the former suspects -- Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans -- were declared innocent in April by state Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Nifong has since resigned from office, lost his law license and spent a night in jail for misconduct.

Durham lawyer Bill Thomas, who represented an un-indicted player in the lacrosse case, said Wednesday that federal participation in an investigation of the scandal would have been ideal.

"I think this was tailor-made for a federal investigative grand jury," said Thomas. "A federal grand jury has tremendous power to get to the truth of a matter quickly. A federal grand jury could bring in witnesses who have been reluctant to tell the truth and get the truth out of them.

"Unfortunately, some people certainly are not going to speak to a state investigator," Thomas added. "There's no mechanism to force them to speak."

Still, it would be well for state authorities to move forward even without federal assistance, according to Thomas.

Attorney Mark Edwards agreed Wednesday.

"It sounds like it's going nowhere," said Edwards. "But the state shouldn't wash its hands of this just because it doesn't have investigative grand juries. They can still go talk to people."

Many of those who need to be interviewed are Durham police officers, and it would be unwise for them to clam up on state authorities, Edwards added.

"What if a police officer refused to answer questions?" he wondered aloud. "What kind of message would that send? Would that officer still be on the police force?"

As for Nifong, even a federal grand jury couldn't make him talk, since he would be able to claim his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, Edwards noted.

But Durham lawyer Fred Battaglia took a different tack Wednesday, suggesting authorities should forget about a criminal investigation.

"I think the state should follow the lead of the U.S. Department of Justice and put this thing to rest," Battaglia said. "It's time for all of us to move forward as a community."

Meanwhile, two federal civil lawsuits involving the lacrosse scandal are on track, accusing Nifong, various police officers, the city and others of conspiring to falsely prosecute the case. The latest of those suits was filed Tuesday.

Debrah said...


Officer back at work after sexual harassment charge

Dec 20, 2007

DURHAM -- A key figure in the bogus Duke lacrosse rape case has been targeted in a sexual harassment investigation stemming from an incident involving another officer, The Herald-Sun has learned.

Sources tell The Herald-Sun that Sgt. Mark Gottlieb has returned to work since being placed on administrative leave after he allegedly made sexually suggestive comments to a female officer.

The alleged sexual harassment occurred in November when Gottlieb, who was once the senior investigator presiding over the now-defunct Duke lacrosse case, allegedly made statements of a sexual nature to a female officer in the presence of several other officers.

He was sent home the same day and placed on administrative leave, sources said.

Reached by telephone Monday, Gottlieb refused to comment and hung up.

A call to District Four, where Gottlieb has been assigned since he was removed from investigative duties and placed in a patrol supervisor role, went unreturned. But a woman answering phones at the station on Wednesday told The Herald-Sun that Gottlieb was working at the station, he was simply not on duty at the time of the call.

Calls to District Four for Gottlieb made since the first week of the month have gone unreturned. On Dec. 6, a woman answering phones there told The Herald-Sun that Gottlieb's squad was on duty, but he wasn't working.

She didn't know, she said, whether he'd called in sick or was off.

Contacted by The Herald-Sun on Wednesday, Chief Jose Lopez said he would not discuss the allegations.

"At this point in time we're conducting an investigation. We're conducting many investigations into various allegations, and I'm not going to say which is about what," Lopez said.

Attempts to reach City Manager Patrick Baker were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Earlier this month, Baker told The Herald-Sun that he could not confirm anything regarding Gottlieb's status as an officer, but that Gottlieb's employment status would change in the near future.

Sources say Gottlieb is being pushed to take a medical leave from the department.

The former investigator's integrity has come into question before.

He is named as one of a long list of defendants in the 155-page lawsuit filed against the city this fall by attorneys for the exonerated Duke lacrosse players. Gottlieb is accused of conspiring to hide DNA evidence and creating a photo lineup that went against department policy because it was loaded only with lacrosse players, and did not include people who would be an incorrect selection as a suspect.

He also is named in a lawsuit filed this week by three unindicted Duke lacrosse players whose suit contends he "undertook to breathe life into the dead rape case by constructing a myth" as the investigation was unraveling.

When a timeline kept by investigators for the purpose of informing City Council of their actions on the case surfaced recently, Gottlieb again came under fire for the document's mention of a March 28, 2006, meeting with the accuser. That meeting was omitted from his previous reports and the reports of his fellow investigator on the case, Ben Himan.

In September of last year, Gottlieb was cleared of any wrongdoing in connection with an incident outside of a Raleigh sports bar that resulted in the firing of officers Scott Tanner and Gary Lee.

Anonymous said...

After reading the racist letters I have a few questions:

If the Great Society, affirmative action, diversity programs, etc were working so well how come we have people who would write emails like those?

The emails suggest each of the aforementioned programs are failing us miserably. We're going on fifty years aren't we?

Also how does one authenticate the message, sender, and receiver? How does one ensure the message wasn't manipulated? Who does one trust?

Regardless, someone without integrity sending something to someone without integrity is hardly noteworthy.

Attempts to make themselves victims are laughable, particularly after reading some of the new charges.

Anonymous said...

To the lawyers out there:

The three indicted players settled with Duke before much of the information contained in the current filing was known. Assuming the earlier team of lawyers didn't have all this information (hard to believe) and assuming Duke didn't divulge it, could that invalidate the earlier settlement? Could the boys sue Duke yet again?

Anonymous said...

"Folks, I wouldn't take the allegations in the McFadyen (etc) Complaint too literally.

These are legal claims upon which the lawsuit is based, and which are technically necessary to prevent dismissal pending discovery. Much of this including the "what they knew and when they knew it" details, may be just good-faith hunches at this point, to be established (we hope) through depositions and other discovery."

I agree to an extent -- we must remember that, as F. Lane Williamson said, "It's the facts that matter, not the allegations." Some of these allegations may turn out to not have factual foundation or not to represent the complete truth of the matter. There are quite a number, however, where the facts to support the allegations are a matter of public record, and it's the way the lawsuit brings them together to show the prima facie case of wrongdoing that is breathtaking.

Anonymous said...

"Just read the e-mails sent to the Group of 88ers..."

I did. And I found myself, in more than one instance, struck by the astonishing similarity in style, syntax, and grammar to a number of posts (and other written items) that have come from some of the group of 88 and/or their supporters. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

How is it that liberals are so offended by labels, but freely apply them to others?
Words escape me…
Claire Potter: “I gave a paper…about
[that big homo J. Edgar Hoover]….”


John said...

NJ, NP --

I don't know - those e-mails are pretty gross - and I think they are noteworthy for what they reveal about the troglodytes out there ...

... leaves me with major concerns about the gene pool.

And in that narrow sense, I think the recipients can truly to be said to be victims of the hateful speech. (I assume for sake of discussion the mails are real.)

But in the same breath, it's important to note that their shameful positions on the LAX case are in no way strengthened by having been on the receiving end of a load of bile.

That's mere bootstrapping - apples and oranges - and self-evidently specious.

AMac said...

Comment submitted to Tenured Radical's post The Radical Provides a Reasoned Response to Past Events on 12/20/07 at 11:52am --

pink 2 wrote at 8:23am –

> I do have a question: what is it that frightens [KC Johnson]--and people like him--so much?

Capt. Alfred Dreyfus was court-martialled in 1894 for passing secrets to the German Embassy in Paris, despite the fact that evidence of Dreyfus’ involvement was wholly lacking from the outset. Relatively quickly, it became clear that a French Army counterintelligence bureau was deeply implicated in the railroading of Dreyfus. Nonetheless, the Army’s officer corps, clerics, and conservatives ferociously defended the propriety of his conviction.

As seen from the closing years of the nineteenth century, the Anti-Dreyfusards might have had points to make about the need to restrict Jewish influence in a predominantly Catholic country, or the urgency of promoting solidarity with the Army High Command in the wake of the humiliating defeat of 1871 (certainly, Emile Zola did not think so!). However, any merits of the Anti-Dreyfusards’ ideas were overshadowed by the means they chose to advance them: namely, their refusal to honestly account for the factual and circumstantial evidence that wholly exonerated Dreyfus.

The Dreyfus Affair deeply affected France in the first decades of the twentieth century. Fortunately, most of French society was able to identify the intolerance and ideological rigidity that drove the Anti-Dreyfusards--and reject them. In 1918, Lt. Col. Dreyfus was inducted into the Legion of Honor, and he retired from the Army with distinction.

The Duke Frame/Hoax highlights some unwelcome parallels between 1894 France and the United States of today.

There are bad actors among the people angered by the treatment of the lacrosse players by Law Enforcement, the Media, and many in the Academy. Prof. Potter is surely correct about that, and Potter and Johnson are both right to condemn the writers of threatening or vile emails.

Still, the Anti-Lacrossard faction should not be so quick to preen. The regular Tenured Radical commentariat might try for a more dispassionate view of the actions of their champions during the Frame/Hoax. Profs. Lubiano, Baker, Davidson, et al. would profit from friendly critiques--it seems that “Solidarity on the Left!” is all they’ve heard from their allies, to date.

Misdeeds (such as the publication of the Listening Statement and the Clarifying Statement) have tarnished your shared causes of “social justice” and the like. An honest accounting might begin to restore some of their luster beyond the left-wing academic circles inhabited by much of Tenured Radical’s audience.

Anonymous said...

no justice, no peace said...

After reading the racist letters I have a few questions:

Also how does one authenticate the message, sender, and receiver? How does one ensure the message wasn't manipulated? Who does one trust?

12/20/07 6:08 AM

I said something similar in a comment on Prof. Potter's blog, a comment which I copied here (12/19/07 9:05 PM, supra). Specifically, "What are the 'legal reasons' for withholding the 'sender addresses' of these purported hate-mails?"

Unsurprisingly, Prof. Potter did not permit this question to appear, but she did post another comment of mine in which I took her side against KC in what seemed to me to be a much more minor matter.


Anonymous said...

10:56 Agree completely - they all look like they were written by the same person and someone trying or is uneducated. Claire needs to give it up and just apologize.

Anonymous said...

RE: The question "What is it that KC Johnson and those like him are afraid of?"

My personal answer is this:

1. I am afraid of the insidious destruction of the basic tenants of our freedom, as spelled out in the US Constitution.

2. I am afraid of biggots who shoot first and ask questions later. It doesn't matter whether you are innocent or guilty, if you are killed by their tongues.

3. I am afraid of people who have the unmitigated timerity to presume to REWRITE history to suit their political point of view. I am NOT afraid of different points of view. I AM afraid of dishonesty.

4. I am afraid of the prevasive spread of the PC propaganda and brainwashing going on in universities and in media.

5. I am afraid of the racist tripe being forced down our throats by the PC crowd, because it threatens to unravel the painfully won gains that we have made in that respect.

6. I am afraid of a police state, where there is one set of laws for one group of people, and another set for a different group of people. Ultimately that kind of illegality will rob both sides of their rights and freedoms.

7. I am afraid when people who have been entrusted for one job ( teaching students) subordinate that to their own selfish, personal agendae. Rather than students being the REASON for the universities, they become the means of faculty and administrative self-aggrandizing.

8. I am afraid when wrong is called right, and right is called wrong.

9. I am afraid when the PC crowd substitute their own personal moral code for a higher code of what is best for ALL.

10. I am afraid when people who have worked hard, make sacrifices, play by the rules and become successful are deemed the "enemy".

I don't know what KC is afraid of... or anybody else.

But I think it is high time that we decide what we are most afraid of. Elmo decided that he was more afraid of being untrue to himself and to honesty and integrity than he was of the DPD. That is why he is being hailed as a hero in the Readers Digest list for 2007.

I think that Potter needs to tell us what SHE is afraid of. That is the big question. What is it about this saga that has her so riled up?

Truth makes people free. Is that her beef? She does not WANT anybody but herself to be free?


Anonymous said...

I agree dsl.

I am afraid to send my own young scholars to Duke.


John said...

Posted at TR, 4:17 pm -

Dear TR:

You state: “…either an acquittal or the dropping of charges through the fair use of scientific evidence should indicate to any casual observer … that the felony in question was doubtless not committed by those accused of it … .” As a lawyer, I want to clarify a point that may seem trivial to a layperson about the difference between legal innocence after a trial, the dropping of charges, and innocence in the normal meaning of the word.

A “not guilty” verdict means the state was unable to satisfy its burden of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" of a charge against a defendant. By no stretch is it innocence in the ordinary meaning of the word. If charges are dropped it means it has been determined there is an insufficient basis to bring a case, because of a lack of or weak evidence or any one of a number of reasons. This is not innocence either.

So it was indeed quite an extraordinary thing for the Attorney General of NC to take a step he did not have to take when he announced the LAX case would not go forward. When he said all charges are dropped, he could have left it at that. But he went on to declare the players, affirmatively, to be "innocent."

The distinction truly matters. It was not, as you said, that the “felony in question was doubtless not committed by those accused of it.” No, it was that there was never any felony at all, none … full stop.

This is why it puzzles me so that none of the Duke professors who were so convinced a felony had occurred, that Duke LAX players had committed it, and signed public statements obviously implying as much (the post hoc statement deconstructions ring hollow to me), have never admitted a mistake or honestly acknowledged their own part in fanning the flames.

Issues of race and gender on campus – and in society generally - are important, no doubt. But it really seems peculiar to me that a person – indeed a professor – who claims to be concerned about these issues, who ostensibly stands upon the values of equity and non-discrimination at the core of that debate, would find their own behavior and its consequences in this matter unworthy of any sincere inquiry.

The Duke professors have tried to explain it away, said it’s not what they meant, or that it was merely irrelevant, trivial and shouldn’t distract us from the larger social issues. Not one has said: “Yes. I presumed they were guilty. And I was outraged by the thought, so I did what I did. But I was wrong, totally wrong, and I regret it.”

Not one.

Anonymous said...

Potter is afraid of criticism.

AMac said...

Comment submitted to Tenured Radical's 12/20/07 post We're Having More Fun Than A Barrel of Crackers; or, What We Do When We Blog on 12/20/07 at 8:24pm --

I commented with some regularity at DiW and occasionally at TR, on the occasion of some of Prof. Potter's more inflammatory posts on the Hoax/Frame (always under the pseudonym used here).

In my case, Prof. Potter is batting about 0.000 as she divines the motivations, feelings, and beliefs of the commenters at Prof. Johnson's blog. (Presumably there a few sentences in her post that I could agree with--but the point remains.)

Like Steven Horwitz, supra, I've been troubled by Johnson's "free-speech" comments policy--contrary to Profs. Horwitz, TR, and Tim Burke, I'd label that the single glaring weakness of DiW. (I didn't burst out with, "The work of the scholars Johnson profiled has been proven defective! All Duke's left-leaning faculty formed a Borg-like 88!" So I don't assume most of Johnson's other readers were thusly brainwashed, either.)

DiW's free-for-all comments policy was, IMO, an experiment--a mostly failed experiment. But the problem with blog comments is that there is no protocol for high-traffic sites that avoids the problems exhibited at DiW while retaining the advantages. One of those was the nearly unrestricted opportunity for those critical of Johnson to present their points of view--I'm not aware of any complaints of such remarks being suppressed.

This blog [Tenured Radical] serves as an example of one drawback of a closely-supervised comments section. Given TR's willingness to delete critical comments that are well-argued and civil, I have no assurance that this contribution will stay up. Of course, such choices are the blogmaster's prerogative; her printing press. This allows those who remain to bask in the delightful sunshine of a free-ranging discussion, while being sheltered from the unwelcome intrusions of unregulated ideas.

To some, that may be a feature. To others, a bug.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:42 12/20.

Yeah, my son will be making his visits in N.C. to Davidson, Wake Forest, Chapel Hill and ... wait, didn't there used to be a pretty good school in Durham? Nah, not any more.

John said...

Posted to TR, 8:30 a.m.

"TR, Andrea, anonymous --

Here's the heart of the matter. When I first heard of this story, I assumed the LAX players had committed a crime, maybe not the precise crime charged but a crime. Nifong's statements were that certain.

My friends and I talked about "I Am Charlotte Simmons" and life imitating art and the caricature of white, drunk, privileged rich boys having their way with young women all without fear of consequence. And now, we said, based on the statements of Nifong, the Duke professors, Nancy Grace, Selena Roberts, and others in that chorus, the chickens were coming home to roost.

Who knows, if I had been a Duke professor, maybe I too would have signed the "listening statement."

And then, like many, I stopped paying attention - work, births, deaths and the other details of my own life required attention.

Then, by accident, I happened to see the Ray Cooper statement on national news, and despite how you parse his words, the effect on me as lawyer of his making the affirmative statement about the players' factual innocence was startling.

Months later, I heard Stuart Taylor on NPR and bought his and Dr. Johnson's book. I had to look hard for it as it did not get a lot of hype. The book forced me to look at my own initial reactions when I first heard of the case ... and I had to come to grips with my own biases that led me to conclude the LAX players must be guilty of something.

I do not think I am the only one, but I had cause to feel chastened and apologetic at that moment.

So when the Duke professors who jumped on this bandwagon, and fanned the flames in service of their pet meta-narrative, take the view that they are above accountability, free of any responsibility, misunderstood, and, astonishingly, even victims themselves, I am disgusted."

John said...

Posted at TR, 11:20 am

I bet TR's friends among the Duke faculty who authored or signed the listening statement are no more or no less prone to hubris, emotional reaction, self-blindness, and denial than anyone else.

That includes you and me TR ...

If I could be persuaded by recent deconstructions of the listening statement that in fact it was not based on or meant to convey a presumption of guilt, I would be the first to say that Dr. Johnson has gone too far.

But didn't the author's original e-mail inviting her colleagues to participate explicitly state the statement was a reaction to the case?

Didn't one signatory pen an e-mail to the mother of a player stating that she had raised a farm animal?

Didn't the statement say "thanks" for making your views known at a time when the most obvious object of possible gratitude was the pot-banging protest featuring "castration" signs and the like?

It just doesn't read as a mere protest against racism on campus. I wish it did. I suppose if you make a lot of assumptions, torture the language a bit, and ignore the context, a case could be made. But applying Occam's razor leads to a different result.

I have friends too TR, and I stick up for them. And when friends screw up, you should stand by them, as you are, but I don't think that means pretending something that clearly happened, didn't.

This Duke matter was a case with perfect facts (and well-funded defendants) to uncover and expose a miasma of corruption and misconduct that disproportionately impacts (yes, I verbalize a noun) the poor and people of color every day.(See Profiles section on the Innocence Project website.)

To me, the saddest thing about it is that the Duke professors (and others, like the NC NAACP) fell upon a perfect cause to champion to make their point about racism and discrimination in society. Sort of a "now you know what it's like, and we're with you" kind of thing.

What did they do? They chose to throw the wholly innocent players under the bus.

Stand by your friends, TR, it's the right thing to do, but don't pretend that "down" is "up" and that "wrong" is "right."

Debrah said...

TO John--

I started to bring a response from the Potter blog over here; however, I think KC is trying to distance himself from those of us who will not adhere to the emollients that are now being applied to this whole fiasco.

Do you think that the academic Body Snatchers will succeed in getting KC back inside their cloying grasp?


If so, I honestly don't know why the Diva has worked so hard to keep this blog interesting.

And make no mistake, no matter how the Hoax enablers flail and toss grenades of race/class/gender--the only outdated weapons they have to defend the 88 squalor--they despise DIW for its success......

......and are trying with abandon to rewrite the story.

I am exceedingly curious as to why you think you can appeal to someone like Potter to be reasonable.

John said...


Potter was clearly intemperate and wrong at the ouset in her choice of words to describe what happened in the LAX case.

And I disagree with her over-generalized characterization of DIW.

But when she made her rather small plea for more measured, reasoned and fact-based discourse the other day, she made a rational point with which I agree.

I have posted here before to take issue with what I believed to be some of the more egregious posts. So, surely you've gleaned by now that I am far more of a Horwitzian than a Horowitzian.

And so, no, I do not think she's of a piece with Piot, Farred, Lubiano, et al.

Her posts seemed to me largely to be a complaint about KC Johnson's tone in his reaction to U. of Iowa departmental hiring practices. It's all too "inside baseball" for me.

But I did think a reply was called for to explain why, at least to me, the basic facts of the LAX case are so provocative.

Anonymous said...

John 12/21 11:26 am -- "To me, the saddest thing about it is that the Duke professors (and others, like the NC NAACP) fell upon a perfect cause to champion to make their point about racism and discrimination in society. Sort of a "now you know what it's like, and we're with you" kind of thing."

John 12/21 4:44 pm -- "But I did think a reply was called for to explain why, at least to me, the basic facts of the LAX case are so provocative."

John, you miss the point, based on your first paragraph. The actions of the hardcore 88 were deliberate, cynical, and manipulative, intended to further their own racist and sexist agenda. As one of them stated, the facts did not matter. This behavior was, and is, inappropriate and unacceptable. Their actions have been shielded in a cloak of political correctness, bought and paid for by Duke money.

The behavior of these folks is much like the Cargo Culters. They see, cannot understand, and mimic to the best of their ability the processes of the academy. They have no substance, only form. They cannot use logic or reason, only write angry ad hominem attacks. They can only call KC names, and cannot answer his arguments or defend their own despicable behavior, understood only by their own group of True Believers.

Get a clue, John, you look like you are trying hard. But these are basically bad guys, many of whom have been honored by Duke University. Many of us are concerned about this, and KC's blog has turned out to be the forum for and vehicle of this concern.

Anonymous said...

"But when [Potter] made her rather small plea for more measured, reasoned and fact-based discourse the other day, she made a rational point with which I agree."

John, I admire your approach, but this is a woman who, to my knowledge, still has not even acknowledged that her very self-assured declaration that the players physically assaulted the dancers was wrong. This, despite receiving multiple polite requests to do so -- despite it specifically being pointed out to her that she was simply being asked to correct her error of fact, not to admit to any error of judgment.

What good is a plea for "fact-based discourse" coming from one who refuses to acknowledge when her own writing deviates from the facts?

mac said...

1:34 pm
You're right: getting an admission from Potter is like getting an acknowledgement from the "Wizard of Is," Bill Clinton, that he lied.

And then, if you ever do get him to admit it, his prompt reply will be:
"So what?"

You could write a book called "When Teenagers Ran the Whitehouse," followed by a sequel, "When Teenagers Run the Academy."

Catching them in a lie just doesn't seem to make any difference. Their behavior never changes.

Anonymous said...

"You could write a book called 'When Teenagers Ran the Whitehouse,' followed by a sequel, 'When Teenagers Run the Academy.'"

Trouble is they're anything but teenagers; they're a bunch of old bags.

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