Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Herald-Sun--Unsurprisingly--Defends the Status Quo

In a development that would surprise only those who have spent the last two years living under a rock, the Bob Ashley-led Herald-Sun editorial board has criticized the lawsuit filed by the unindicted players.

Ashley & Co. condescendingly note that members of the team "went through some pretty tough times"—a development that would puzzle those who only read the Herald-Sun, which has never mentioned any such events before yesterday's editorial. The editorial also bizarrely asserts that the players were "probably criticized and ostracized by some on campus." Probably? Does Ashley doubt the claim?

The H-S legal/editorial team, however, reasons that the lawsuit "almost seems to trivialize the concept of damages."

It's worth evaluating Ashley by his own standards. In a summer 2007 interview, he described the paper's editorial performance in the following manner: "We were opinionated, but we were fair."

That record included the following March 28, 2006 editorial (which Ashley defended in an interview with the Chronicle):

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].

Ashley, in short, doesn't seem to be someone particularly well-qualified to evaluate fairness.

[Update, 9.30am ET]: As a reminder that the best paper in Durham isn't the H-S, Kristin Butler pens yet another must-read column. Her conclusion on the suit:

Don't expect admins to acknowledge that is was their unique combination of ignorance, arrogance and denial that brought us to this point.

But the inconvenient and unavoidable truth now seems to be that in his haste to avoid the perception "that a well-connected institution was improperly attempting to influence the judicial process" back in March 2006, Brodhead created many more problems than he solved.


In their apologia for the Group of 88's statement, the "clarifying" faculty decried—without providing any evidence—an atmosphere that allowed "sexual violence to be so prevalent on campus."

In a stunning piece for City Journal, Heather McDonald deconstructs the assumptions behind this claim. Since the late 1980s, ideologues have claimed that between 20 and 25 percent of college women will be victims of sexual assault. That figure, McDonald notes, would imply "a crime wave of unprecedented proportions"—ten times the rate of all violent crimes in violence-ridden Detroit.

The lack of any evidence to corroborate their assertions, McDonald observes, doesn't deter ideologues like the "clarifying" faculty. Instead, it means "that the abuse of coeds is worse than anyone had ever imagined. It means that consultants and counselors need more funding to persuade student rape victims to break the silence of their suffering."

And, of course, more faculty who think like the Group of 88.


Stuart McGeady said...

The incomparably bold and brave Kristin Butler in today's Duke Chronicle.

Anonymous said...

The Herald Sun and Bob Ashley are a joke. You might want to check out Barry Saunder's latest in the N&O.
What has been interesting about these op/eds is that they don't supply any arguments disputing the allegations made in the lawsuits. As a matter of a fact, I am not convinced the writers have even read them. It is just the players are whiners and greedy. Frankly, I can't believe the N&O allows Saunders to write the things he does. He simply hates "white,rich" men. It shouldn't matter if these young men are "popular" and whether they had "underage drinking and noise violations", it is about whether Duke/Durham are quilty. It would be very interesting to hear Saunder's take on this case had the young men involved had been African American. Somehow I think he would be singing an entirely different tune.
Duke/Durham should be held accountable for their actions if found guilty - no matter how much Saunders and others dislike the plaintiffs.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that Ms. MacDonald cites your landmark book in her article, Prof. Sadly, with no authority beyond hysterical ipse dixits, it is likely that radical feminists will resort to personal attacks on Ms. MacDonald and screech and moan that “there MUST be a rape crisis!”

As Ms. MacDonald points out, the radical feminist mantra that disparages college men in general by asserting that a sizable percentage of them are rapists is premised on a discredited study finding that a fifth to a quarter of all college women will be raped or will be the targets of attempted rape by the end of their college years. Not only is this conclusion absurd on its face, but it was based on a study where the vast majority of the women who were supposedly raped admitted that even they didn’t think they’d been raped. One wonders how the purported assailants could have known they were committing rape if their “victims” didn’t even realize it. I know: rape must be a "secret" crime!

As Ms. MacDonald points out, if there were a “rape crisis” along the magnitude proffered by radical feminists, our college campuses would resemble proverbial Dodge City in terms of lawlessness and there would be cries to banish males from campus. Does this reflect reality? The question scarcely survives its statement.

Debrah said...

Another foolish and diseased column from Durham resident Saunders

Debrah said...

Thomas Sowell's bad times at the Times.

Anonymous said...

The Herald Sun is proof positive that brain death is not fatal in Durham.

mac said...

Ashley has never been "fair" in this whole ordeal. Maybe if you compare him to a leader (or a cheerleader, since no one can accuse Ashley of being a "leader",) who is interrupted in his solemn duty: to hang a couple of innocent young men - (after castration, of course) - and who later says, after being thwarted:

"I think I was fair. None of the boys got hung, did they? They still have all their parts. What are they complaining about?"

Same goes for Saunders, who is too stupid to recognize any historical similarities to the lynchmob of past days. And add to them the 88, who are rightly called the "Klan of 88."

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

I find this redistributional view of damages very interesting. Like the idea that you should tax the income of the more productive at a higher rate than the less productive, it seems that damages according to the Herald-Sun should also be linked to income, ie progressive.

There have been some moves to make penalties in the law related to income. For example this has been done in Europe concerning speeding tickets and a Swiss driver was fined 6 figures in the last few years. Still this progressive damages view is unusual.

BTW, many of these guys are in fact college students still and as I have point out time and time again, have no little income or assets. When you are over 21, having rich parents does not make you rich.

Anonymous said...

I wish to thank Barry Saunders and those of G-88's mentality for stripping me of the tolerance my parents instilled in me from a young age. Their vitriol has made me realize, that as a middle-age white male, it's okay for me to be as racist as they.

I was brought up believing everyone was supposed to be equal and we would eliminate bigotry through perseverance. But alas, it's not to be.

Through their demonstrable hatefulness for white people, they are telling me and all other whites, it's fine to reply in kind. I didn't march for their civil rights in the 60's to become a second class citizen to them.

I know KC will take this post down and I don't blame him, I just want them to know what they have created through their narrow mindedness. And the sad thing about this; I'm sure I'm not alone in this thought.

W. R. Chambers said...

There are lots of lousy editorials every day. Many are annoying and pompous even when they express a point of view the reader agrees with. We could do without them.

But citizens can not do without accurate reporting. No level of government - of democratic governmnet - will work in the absence of accurate reporting. Much of the misery surrounding the Nifong case was caused by lousy, lazy, hysterical, drumbeating reporting, particularly at the H-S.
Such reporting is a kind of public health hazard, which is one reason why Durham is ailing now.

Anonymous said...

"you should tax the income of the more productive at a higher rate than the less productive, it seems that damages according to the Herald-Sun should also be linked to income, ie progressive."

Everything before the comma in your quote above describes the core of socialism. Everything after the comma is about the Herald-Sun. It's not at all surprising the two are tied together in the same sentence!

On a different note, 90% of what Barry S writes matches his initials: BS. If the N&O fired him(fat chance), it would be addition by subtraction.

Debrah said...

TO 4:26 PM--

Why don't some of you send complaints to the N&O publisher Orage Quarles III--(oquarles@newsobserver.com)?

He might not fire anyone; however, there is no question that he watches readership closely.

Every time I send an email criticizing a columnist or whatever, I forward a copy to Quarles.

He's a real Lefty and I guess he can't help that, but he's a fair man and he's overridden the editorial staff on my behalf on a few occasions.

There just isn't the necessary volume of complaints for him to put a damper on what the editorial page allows.

If there were, they wouldn't keep elevating the Gang of 88 as they love to do.

My complaint to Quarles is that Saunders is allowed to write just about any kind of trash he wishes, but the editorial page--letters, etc.....--are edited down to only what they want to print.

A few months ago, I sent a letter praising an editorial about an honoring ceremony of a fallen soldier in Iraq.

The woman who is on the N&O editorial staff--Brigetta--didn't want to run it.

Why? Who knows? I suppose anything positive with regard to Iraq they want to stifle.

As a result, I called her up and told her that if her behavior continued I was going to personally contact McClatchy and let them know that she is inhibiting free speech on the editorial page.

I then said---"You guys were abominable during the lacrosse case! You almost destroyed any credibility you have! Do you recall when you would not print my scathing rebuttals to Tyson and Gurganus? !!! But you keep printing their bile!"

Then, the Diva screamed--"Joe Neff saved your newspaper!"

"I'm going to take this up with Orage Quarles! Maybe he can do something about you!"

The next day my little short letter was printed.

You see, you have to let them know that they will be forced to allow every point-of-view.

More of you should send letters to both the H-S and the N&O.

It does make a difference.

Anonymous said...

It never ceases to amaze me how the so-called unbiased press and academia that is "so concerned about human rights" should again and again demonstrate how they utterly lack anything approaching a moral core. The lax players were victims of a college administration who were to anxious to cave to political correctness and NAACP posturing as well as a police department and district attorney's office who sought to show the electorate that "white northern boys" can't think that they have a real right to live here in the South because Durham still believes (or a certain portion of it) that they are fighting the last battle of the Civil War and this time they don't plan to surrender as did Lee at Appomattox. How else to explain the pusillanimous statements from Duke officials and the BOT; the columns that appear in the local paper (the Chronicle excepted); as well as the national press (THe New York Times); and the utterings from the Durham police and city officials that demonstrate that Durham really is in a world of its own.

Debrah said...

I'm glad KC covered the Heather McDonald article.

Talk about comprehensive!

Ultra-feminists and agenda-hacks like Tara Levicy wish to promote a scenario akin to the Jodie Foster film from the '90s in which she was gang-raped in the pool room of a bar after having been drinking there one night.

Can't recall the name of the film at this moment; however, that's the type of scenario they love: "A girl from the wrong side of the tracks....loose.....cheap....but working to make a living the best that she can.....only to be raped and beaten and treated like an object by drunken brutes."

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Sander's column as other have said about previous such columns is just more evidence how these guys were slimed by this, whether they have ever had a ticket or not.

And really all these Durmite are the ones crying. It was ok for them to sick the cops on Duke students, Duke lacrosse players particularly, etc, but now that it is time to pay the piper, they object. And the best objection they can come up with is these guys families already have some money.

anon 4:26 I was not surprised that people who agree with the gang of 88 would favor "progressive" damage payments. And yes I did notice it, as I wrote it.

Anonymous said...

I no longer waste my time reading Saunders. I do wonder, however, if his continued attacks might toll the statute of limitations on possible causes of actions against the N&O.

I can't help but hope, someone, at sometime files suit against the media.

Anonymous said...

Re: “Ashley & Co. condescendingly note that members of the team "went through some pretty tough times"…

(Hmmm, the sensational subject of ‘National News’ stories, just your everyday ‘pretty rough’ times for Duke students? One could say ‘Pretty Ugly’ times too!)
-Duke Invites Seligmann, Finnerty to Return-ABC News and ABC11 Eyewitness News

Article discusses the Duke Letter
Revealing excerpts:

[circumstances warrant that we strike this balance differently] …. [unwarranted harm to your educational progress.] … [the circumstances in this case have changed substantially,]…["We have decided that the ‘RIGHT and FAIR’ thing to do is to welcome back Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty to resume their studies at Duke…]


Anonymous said...

Well, there was a shooting in Durham at the La Luna nightclub over the weekend.

This is what a social disaster looks like. There may have been underage drinking, there certainly was assault. And noise. Don't forget the noise. Something happened.

I've been waiting for some sign that that the G88 was going to reach out to the local community with offers to do potbanging, burn the nightclub down, lecture on parenting, etc.

I am wringing my hands in dismay over their silence. I am so angry I could just clench my tiny fists.

Anonymous said...

If rape is such a problem on campus
why can't young women have their own dorms again with security and privacy? I certainly wouldn't want to live in the chaos created by progressive housing on campus.There is a lsck of common sense in this.

Anonymous said...

Bob Ashley and the Hurled Scum don't meet the journalistic standards of a high school newspaper. On second thought they don't even meet the standards of the local neighborhood bargain trader rag. They simply refuse to report the truth and engage in the same pandering, revisionist history as the Group of 88 on a revival tour. Honest self reflection for Bob Ashley is non-existant.

I still maintain that the chickens will not come home to roost until the 4th estate is confronted by the undying light of the truth. I'm hopeful that the next round of legal actions are aimed at the MSM - NYTs,Washington Post, Fox and of course the insignificant yet deserving Bob Ashley and the Hurled Scum.

Perhaps it is very hard to prove libel and slander as the legal threshold is quite high. However, a series of legal actions would force the mainstream media to face their own lurid story as it relates to this case.

Anonymous said...

Barry Sanders is small potatoes compaired to a blog site called Us Verus Them. They have a piece up called Gold Digging Lax Playes Sue Duke. This will make you crazy.

Anonymous said...

Some newspapers are fit only to

line the bottom of bird cages.

-Spiro T. Agnew

Christy said...

The Butler article notes that Duke has hired Jamie Gorelick for the case. She was a memeber of the 9/11 Commission which incensed a lot of people. Ashcroft insisted that the "single greatest structural cause for September 11 was the wall that segregated criminal investigators and intelligence agents" and that Gorelick, as Deputy Secretary in the Justice department under Clinton, built that wall through a March 1995 memo. FWIW, The Commission rejected the idea that Gorelick, one of their own, created the wall between the FBI and the intelligence community.

Jim in San Diego said...

Evidence is beginning to accumulate that the ringleader of Duke's craven response to the hoax is Mr. Robert Steel, Chairman of the BOT.

Readers are invited to visit "Liestoppers", and read in particular the last couple of dozen readers' comments under the blog essay by Joan Foster concerning Mr. Steel's behavior and words.

Witnesses exist.

No one should feel that there is nothing shocking left to learn. There appears to be much more to come.

Very Nifong. We may need a new verb: "I was Steeled".

This revelation is a great victory for all of blogdom.

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

No race-class-gender stories to cover for MSM:
Lax: Duke enjoys quiet after media storm

Anonymous said...

"An opinion with no evidence is agenda."

Barry Saunders is Mr. Agenda. Has he ever provided evidence for one of his opinions? I knew he would strike again. He will circle around Duke's shame for years to come, occasionally swooping in to feed.

One of the great hypocrisies is how "columnists" like Saunders can write race-baiting trash with impunity; yet, the phrase "water buffalo" or "tarred and feathered" is attacked with real threats of expulsion.

I think Saunders has the right to write anything he wants that is not defamatory, dangerous or treasonous. We, of course, have the right to criticize him.

The politically correct, however, do things differently. In abridging the rights of non-minorities to speak their minds, they telegraph the message that minorities are so weak that they need protection from words. That's a pretty degrading view of other human beings.

mac said...

Now the FBI is going to investigate Roger Clemons for lying to Congress...

How about making bootlicker-Brodhead and Bobby Steel testify in front of Congress - so that someone from the Incestuous Department might investigate them, too?

Maybe someone should start a rumor that Brodhead is taking steroids - (or estrogen, in the form of HRT) in order to give him that extra little wriggle to his walk.