Thursday, May 21, 2009

Roberts: The Art of Deception

[Update II, 10.08pm: An important post from Craig Henry, asking an unanswerable question: apart from the occasional exception--Jason Whitlock--why have the MSM been so lax in calling Roberts to task on what her demonstrable errors of fact in her lacrosse columns says about her credibility? Or even--and I know it's a lot to ask--actually asking her some specific questions on the central thesis of her March 2006 column--that her portrayal of the team's "culture" explained why team members hadn't cooperated with police, even though the captains had cooperated with police and the players' attorneys volunteered to share all their info with local authorities. As Henry says, it seems like upholding the MSM "guild" is more important than revealing the truth.]

[Update, 12.32pm: A further thought on Roberts' motives. The question in evaluating the Roberts statements on her lacrosse columns is whether she is (1) an incredibly sloppy journalist, someone who tosses out wild charges without any evidence to back them up; or (2) willfully deceptive. (Neither explanation does much to help the credibility of the anonymously sourced items in Roberts' A-Rod book.)

Along these lines, it's worth noting that in her most recent appearances, Roberts dropped one of her most preposterous claims: that the "cultural" critique of her March 2006 column was justified because the players had posted "pornographic" photos of Crystal Mangum on the "internet." The photos, of course, weren't public when Roberts initially wrote on the case; and became public only when defense attorneys gave them to the media to established a documented timeline that proved Mangum was lying.

Rather than acknowledge that she made an absurd claim to rationalize her writings, Roberts appears to have just dropped the argument. I guess some slanders are too outrageous even for Selena Roberts.]

Selena Roberts continued yesterday her National Mendacity Tour, this time speaking to WEEI, where she again lied about what she wrote in her infamous March 31, 2006 column on the lacrosse case.

Roberts began by again claiming that she wrote merely about the “culture” and not the “crime”; later in the interview, she all but taunted her hosts to look at her guilt-presuming March 2006 column.

There are only two explanations for this regular refrain from the Mendacity Tour: (1) Roberts does not remember what she wrote in her March 31, 2006 column, and, for reason for reasons unknown (carpal tunnel syndrome?), has been unable in the past several weeks to take the 45 seconds necessary to re-read the column; (2) Roberts is lying about what she wrote.

Roberts has also reinvented the past in another way, positioning herself as an outspoken crusader against Mike Nifong—whose conduct she’s addressed, she said, “a thousand times.” Indeed, she told the WEEI hosts, Nifong was “absolutely” motivated by political concerns.

Yet any listener who went to the web to locate these “thousand times” when Roberts denounced Nifong would need to look long and hard. Indeed, Roberts addressed Nifong twice in print. In her March 31, 2006 column, she presented the authorities (and, at least implicitly, Nifong) as heroic crusaders for justice. In her March 2007 column, written long after the case had collapsed, she compared Nifong to Columbo, the beloved TV detective who bumbled his way to the truth. That’s hardly a comparison that would suggest to most readers that Roberts believed Nifong had actually done anything wrong (unless, of course, Roberts harbors a secret dislike for Peter Falk).

Then, in perhaps the most extraordinary element of the interview, the host asked Roberts about whether she at least felt regret for including Reade Seligmann in her campaign of character assassination. She admitted that she “didn’t write about” the fact that Seligmann was shown on an ATM video at the time of the alleged “crime,” but had no problem with what she did write about the members of the team—including Seligmann. She claimed that quotes from her columns had been taken “out of context,” but refused to say how.

And, in an extraordinary example of chutzpah, this former Times columnist—the same woman who published a column with factual mistakes (that she has refused to correct) and innuendo that presented a false portrayal of events the evening of the party—is, according to Deadspin, mad at the Times for not running a correction that pleased her regarding an article that disputed her pitch-tipping conclusions about A-Rod. Just incredible.


Asheck said...

I find it highly ironic (yet extremely lacking in humor) that Selena Roberts comments on the "culture" being the evil and not the individual actions. I mean, yeah, apparently there is white privilege at a prestigious university.

But the real irony of her statements...I mean, her crime of sensationalizing the Duke case and grossly misreporting A-Rod's life (Especially the leaked survey tests! My god they were to be destroyed!) basically represents the evil culture of media crazed witch hunts.

What I love about the internet most of all is that it offers me a choice. A choice not to listen to garbage like Selena Roberts. Back in the good old days one read the newspaper that was delivered. Today, I can simply ignore her and read interesting and well-researched commentary on life.

KC, Selena Roberts has been skewered EVERYWHERE and mostly from what I've seen on her anonymous sources in her A-Rod book.

Check this out:

From the NY times no less! Her old stomping grounds!

William L. Anderson said...

To make matters worse, I see that Roberts now is presenting herself as a "victim" of those mean, bad Duke "boosters." Yeah, right.

Here is someone who uses her lofty perch as a high-profile writer to attack other people with questionable (at best) methods and outright lies at worst. Of course, SI will "stand behind" her, as the MSM outlets always do, no matter how outrageous the lies and half-truths might be.

But, it is quite interesting to watch her twist in the wind. The only person who lies more than she is Mike Nifong, although Crystal Mangum is up there, too. She staked a lot of her credibility on the Duke case, and now she is joined at the hip with a couple of liars. Oh, the humanity!

skwilli said...

Until your revelation that Roberts is gay in your previous post, I did not know (nor do I care then or now).
Does that fact somehow affect her inability to grasp the fact that the lacrosse team members did not rape the false accuser? Does that fact somehow make her feel all men are rapists that haven't been caught yet? What could explain the intellectual dissonance in her various positions?

Anonymous said...

KC, great work. Thanks for keeping up with the people involved in this case. Selena Roberts shouldn't be allowed to get away with what she has done.
There are other blogs, but no one compares to the quality we find here. It's a pleasure to read.
Many thanks also to the thrilling Diva and to Bill Anderson.

Jamie said...

Pesky falsehoods or idiocies in stuff you've said/written? Annoying fact-checkers always bringing these things up? No problem: claim your remarks are being "taken out of context". If that is disproven, then claim it's all a "witchhunt" (although maybe Selena would want to steer clear of that particular one), or that you're the victim of a "smear campaign".

'Course, then you've got all your isms and phobias: obviously you're a victim of (racism, misogyny, elitism, anti-semitism, islamophobia, and so on).

But the best of them all?

Simply announce that you were never talking about facts, but the "culture". That one's almost bulletproof. Who can prove that the culture is other than what you claim it is? Selena's quite safe. She was talkin' culture.

William L. Anderson said...

She must be referring to some phantom columns of hers and certainly none of the columns she actually wrote on the situation. In the first column, she pretty much claimed that the players were acting like gang members and refusing to "snitch" over who raped Crystal.

This was a column that clearly implied guilt, and it was full of false claims. For her to say anything else is an insult to anyone who can read English.

William L. Anderson said...

I would also add that Roberts is a pathological liar, pure and simple. She and Nifong deserve each other.

William L. Anderson said...

Here are the links to the three columns Roberts wrote in the NY Times. You tell me if these columns match her words. I think not.

Gary Packwood said...

Selena Roberts is a graduate of Auburn University as is Cynthia Tucker, Editor, Atlanta-Constitution who writes...

"Race is still the subtext of the Southern story, still the recurring thread woven throughout its tapestry. If you are looking for a redeemed South of racial progress, you can find it. If you are looking for raw and venomous racism you can find that, too."

More Metanarrative

And both of these fine journalists graduated from the Auburn journalism program which posts the following quote on their web site.

“If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” We [at Auburn] like this slogan from the City News Bureau of Chicago. It illustrates strong commitment to the traditional tenets of journalistic excellence. Great journalism begins with a tireless search for the truth."

Bill O'Riley and Cynthia Tucker cross swords frequently:

I think it is safe to assume that Selena Roberts and Cynthia Tucker exchange notes from time to time.

Anyone have access to Cynthia Tucker's articles on the Duke lacrosse Rape Hoax?

Anonymous said...

You gotta say it's interesting how Selena has decided that obvious, repeated, barefaced lies are the best approach. It means she's decided that dealing honestly with what she wrote may make her look really bad, and that in her world there isn't sufficient interest in truth that she's in much danger of having her bluff called.

Anonymous said...

Roberts is trying to pull a "Nifong," pure and simple. Having been smoked out in her own lies--point blank--she perhaps feels she has nowhere to go but deeper into the abyss. People with incredibly small minds "think" in bizzare ways. Nice to see she has transformed herself into a pathetic spectacle.

f1guyus said...

Problem is there are lots of folks like Ms Roberts and lots of media types who hang on their every word.

Anonymous said...


Where was KC Johnson when
Selena Roberts was reporting
firsthand from Durham?

Johnson's attempts to rewrite
history make the Stalinist
historians look good.

Yes, Selena got the story
right from the beginning.

How would Johnson ever know.

Johnson was not here.


kcjohnson9 said...

To the 1.37:

While the criminal case was ongoing, Selena Roberts was never "reporting firsthand from Durham."

But thank you for providing an example of the reasoned voice of the Durham "street."

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Ms. Roberts did not take seriously the dictum of the school of journalism at her alma mater that she should "have a strong commitment to the tenets of journalistic excellence". To do so would require that one not engage in innuendo, fail to check sources, or change the facts to create the story that she wants to tell rather than the truth.
Ms. Roberts is taking the hit that she so rightly deserves - what will be interesting is if she will be permitted to wallow in the narrative of victimhood as a result of her prevarications.

William L. Anderson said...

Well, given all the lies Roberts has told, I would not be surprised if she claimed that she not only was in Durham but looking in the windows of 610 N. Buchanan while the party was going on.

And everyone knows that Roberts was at the press conference given by the attorneys and the players right after Cooper gave his "innocent" announcement.

Debrah said...

Why does Selena Roberts think we need to know that she is a lesbian?

What does that have to do with her rampant dishonesty and unprofessional behavior?

Anonymous said...

The NYT threw her under the bus with its statistical analysis. For her theory to be true about pitch-tipping, there has to be a staistical correlation. The fact that the NYT (!) concluded that there was no improvement in the batting of either A-Rod's or middle infielder's from other teams discredits the allegation in the book. That was a simple analysis that should have been used before publication to test the credibility of the sourse (assuming such a source exists). Ms. Roberts' reaction is revealing: having the allegation publicly discredited, she simply lashes out at the NYT, never once asking if the story is correct. (As an aside, even in the fawning NYT review of her book, the reviewed notes how much Ms. Roberts loathes A-Rod).

This is the same pattern Ms. Roberts has shown in the lacrosse case. Take a spectacular and unsubstantiated allegation that fits your worldview, run with it, ignore or mock evidence to the contrary, change your story to fit what has emerged in the hopes no one reviews what you wrote, and lash out against folks who points out the inadequacies and discrepancies.

What is really sad is that, because she is never held accountable, she will do it again. And we will continue to get sanctimonious lectures.


Anonymous said...

This has been nothing less than the best and most detailed "outing" of Selena Roberts in all of the media, and I don't mean sexual preferences.

Anonymous said...

Duke Survey...
Just got this in the email. It is of course riddled with social agenda questions but it does actually ask if you think Duke is too politically correct as well. It has some freeform places where you can tell them what you think.

The link you get in the mail has a 6 digit tracking number (which I removed) but you do not need the number to be able to do the survey. It tries to set it so you can't fill it out more than once per computer but it seems to lose track if you restart the browser if you want to do it more than once.

Duke Wants Your Opinion

Please help us strengthen the relationship between the Duke Annual Fund and alumni by taking 15 minutes of your time to fill out a survey that will provide valuable feedback.

We are interested in hearing from you whether your experiences have been, positive, negative or neutral. To facilitate this, we have authorized Think Virtual Fieldwork as a third party to conduct and analyze these survey results. Please be assured that no one from Duke will be contacting you as a result of your answers to this survey. These data will be analyzed in the aggregate only. Your individual answers will never be shared with us.

To complete the survey, please click on the link below:

If clicking on this link does not take you to the survey, please cut and paste it into your browser and press enter to go to the survey. If neither of these works or if you have any other questions about the survey, please email Think Virtual Fieldwork at or call 800-659-4861 for assistance.

Thank you in advance for your time and for sharing your opinions.


Robert S. Shepard
Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development

Anonymous said...

To make matters worse, I see that Roberts now is presenting herself as a "victim" of those mean, bad Duke "boosters." Yeah, right.Didn't some of the gang of 88 claim that they were the real victims?

I would love to hear the lacrosse players' comments on that.

Anonymous said...

guess selena forgot to mention that she LIED about (the hooker/ lax), that deceit.

oops, she did it again.

Anonymous said...

Is Roberts a Communist?

Debrah said...

This is simply nonsensical.

A bold attempt to take the decision away from juries---comprised of people of all races---who sit through a trial and actually hear the evidence.

And one might wonder who is front and center in this latest venture.

The Rev. William Barber, of course.

William L. Anderson said...

When Selena Roberts began her A-Rod tour, I think she believed she was going to be welcomed as a great conquering heroine. Instead, she has been exposed as a liar and someone who likes to make up things as she goes.

She did not plan for this kind of exposure, but what goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember Janet Cooke, the reporter on the Washington Post who won a Pulitzer Prize for a fabricated story? That story, titled "Jimmy's World", ran Sept. 29, 1980. It was about an 8 year old ghetto boy who Janet Cooke alleged was made a heroin addict by his mother's live-in boyfriend. Ms. Cooke supposedly saw the man inject heroin into the little boy's arm. The story sparked an all-out search for the boy by D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, which was fruitless. Janet Cooke refused to reveal her sources.

On April 3, 1981, Janet Cooke won a Pulitzer for Feature Writing.

Two days later, The Post confessed that the story was a complete fabrication, gave back the Pulitzer Prize, and made a public apology. Ms. Cooke resigned.

It turned out that Ms. Cooke also fabricated academic credentials on her resume which got her the job at The Post. (The Post did not verify the facts on her resume and job application.)

Question #!: How does Selena Roberts's mendacity compare with that Janet Cooke?

Question #2: How does the reaction of the Washington Post compare with that of The New York Times and Sports Illustrated? (If Ms. Cooke had not resigned immediately she certainly would have been fired.)

I have my own opinions. Does anybody care to share theirs?

Gus W.

Anonymous said...

Poor, poor Salena. Will someone, anyone, please grant her the status of "victim" she so desparately desires so that she can hide in "victim-land" in hopes that her several employers level of embarrassment doesm't rise to the firing point. Maybe she'll just go away.

"Taken out of context". she says.Ludicrous. Wasn't writing about human beings... just used them as examples of the "culture" she now has discovered that she was actually writing about instead of the specific LAX players . How absurd.

Poor, poor Salena feels she is being attacked because she so touchingly advised us all that she is a lesbian. Who gives a flip.

She actually believes her role as a columnist is to fabricate her stories in order to attract attention to what she perceives to be societal ills. She is a sick puppy.

She says she believes Mikey Nifong is just a real-life character immitating a comical, but inept television detective(Colombo). Hilarious, but 2 points for inventiveness.He is a convicted criminal and disbarred attorney not to mention chronic narcissist.

Salena, get some help, Please. Ask your friends,if you have any, how to rehab your wretched image.

I'll bet your advisors, if you have the courage to ask, would tell you to stop seeking "victim" status, stop making ridiculous excuses and find the closest hole to crawl into for a few years.

You are a pathetic person with a propensity to lie and then to convince yourself that you are being attacked for speaking the truth ( carefully accumulated from your anonymous sources).

Sad. Sick. Seriously flawed.

Debrah said...

Very funny.

Some people on this forum are discussing Selena and Whitlock and branch out into an array of gender issues.

I haven't listened to the podcast mentioned, but I assume it's the one at the bottom of the page that KC already linked.

"You know something? I grew up denied the opportunity to do stuff because I didn't have a penis. And I'm not that much older than you. I love that younger women don't have to think about this stuff. I hate that you never think about this stuff and the tribulations of those that paved your road."****************************


Debrah said...

I don't intend to buy the book, or even read it, but excerpts in this Vogue.Com article are purely tabloid fare from the now-victim-of-homophobia, Selena.

We also are told that she was once a tennis player of note.

Anonymous said...

In answer to the 10.08 PM question the best answer was given to the lacrosse coach at Duke "It's not about the truth" but about the media's agenda to a higher "truth". The MSM is truly a "drive-by" media where they blast out their lies and speed on to the next target , never having to account for their mis- statements. If the media started to correct a small hanger-on like Serena Roberts where would it all end? At the WP or the LAT or the NYT?

Anonymous said...

Was I dreaming or did I see in the NY Crimes yesterday that Guilliani's (I can't spell, the former Mayor of NYC)
son lost his lawsuit against Duke for forcing him off the golf team? Are their implications for the lacrosse law suits?

Debrah said...

This latest from Stuart on the negative aspects of identity politics.

Selena and Sotomayor hold similar views, it would seem.

Anonymous said...

"The story sparked an all-out search for the boy by D.C. Mayor Marion Barry . . ."

Ah, the irony of an adult crack-head looking for a child crack-head who does not exist.

Duke Prof

Debrah said...

Everyone associated with Nifong in any way seems to have legal and ethical problems.

Former Governor Easley, perhaps one of the state's dumbest governors...ever, and the guy who appointed Nifong to fill the vacancy in the Durham DA's office, is being investigated from top to bottom.

His wife is now holding onto her make-work position at N.C. State while two men who had a part in creating it for her have resigned.

Mrs. Easley seems to go by the Nifong book of ethics.

Hold on for dear life until you are pried from the public coffers.

Anonymous said...

"The story sparked an all-out search for the boy by D.C. Mayor Marion Barry . . ."

Was he looking to score a couple of hits?

Debrah said...

" Are (there) implications for the lacrosse law suits?"*************************


Andrew Giuliani is like his mother.

An obnoxious creep.

That case holds no relationship to the lacrosse lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how I can locate Ms. Roberts email address? Thanks.

Debrah said...

TO (12:53 PM)--

If you can't find her email address under any of her publications, try going to the forum I linked in the (11:35 PM) comment and ask someone there.

A few commenters mentioned that they had been in contact with her some time in the past.

You can ask.

Ask someone in the sports department of the NY Times or someone at SI.

Debrah said...

Part of a comment left on harmony boy's blog by "Justice58". This is the mentality of people who would have served on the jury if the lacrosse players had been railroaded into a trial:

"But let me try once again to explain about Harris Johnson. Harris Johnson was angry because he felt outsiders were trying to influence the election in Durham. Imho, they were. I hope you realize the citizens of Durham do have a right to choose whomever they want as DA. At that time, the people of Durham exercised their right to vote and chose Mr. Nifong. Whether you accept it or not, Mr. Nifong won that election fair & square. That’s what democracy is all about."

Anonymous said...

Re: Debrah's comment that "(Giuliani's) case holds no relationship to the lacrosse lawsuits."

I don't know, Debrah.

My recollection of the Times article is that the magistrate judge was finding that several school manuals did not establish a contract, or at least one that Duke's alleged conduct, if true, would have breached.

I don't know the magistrate's reasoning, though. The main thrust of the article was the magistrate's humorous use of golf cliches and references to the movie "Tin Cup" in the proposed order.

Ken Duke

becket03 said...

When I lived in NYC long ago, it became fashionable in some circles to wear a button that said, "Victim of the Press." Perhaps Roberts should alter that slightly, and have one stamped out that reads, "Victim of the Homophobic Press."


Anonymous said...

Selena Roberts may be many things;
Selena Roberts is not a credible journalist.
Selena Roberts disgraces any dignity MSM may, perhaps, currently possess.
Selena Roberts is her own victim.

Such is Selena Roberts.

William L. Anderson said...

If Roberts wishes to attack a "culture," then perhaps she needs to begin with the culture of the typical New York journalist and especially the NY Times. Most people, when confronted with evidence, at least are going to take a look, but the Times just barrels ahead guided only by its ideology.

We are talking about a newspaper that did not bother to check the "facts" that turned out to be fiction in Jayson Blair's reporting. It is not as though people did not advise the editors there that Blair was telling bald-faced lies; when they did (and in Blair's case, that was a lot of the time), the editors simply bowed up their backs and declared, "The Times stands by its story."

Now, that is a culture that needs to be exposed. Likewise, Roberts in her "Don't mess with Duke" column not only gave the reader a false impression of Mike Nifong's so-called investigation, but she pretty much declared whatever he did to be irrelevant to the real story.

And who defined the real story? Why, Selena Roberts, of course.

Debrah said...

I find it rich as well as absurd that JinC should sign off by opening up the floodgates of disagreements he has with Wonderland.

Just think if KC and commenters here had given our critiques of both JinC as well as Liestoppers.

KC and no one inside Wonderland owe an explanation for expressing points-of-view.

Nothing here has even touched the grotesque partisanship of other blogs.

And I won't even get into the commentariate.

How can one explain to milquetoast observers that there is no moral equivalency when comparing methods used on destructive Hoax enablers like Selena Roberts and Wahneema Lubiano.......with what was done to the innocent students who were victimized by them?

To satisfy political impulses, some want to use Procrustean methods to make their equivalencies fit their scenarios.

They do not.

It is certainly within bounds to criticize the KC dah-ling....simply because his work is unmatched.

Even I don't always agree with him; however, most of the time he is right.

There were times, as there still are times, when fire must be used to fight fire.

Tentative engagement regarding the lacrosse case is certain to bring praise and comfort from those who share such sensibilities.

But there are many instances in life that call for an offense that matches the strength of the challenges to be faced.

KC has always provided that strength.

Every day.

His positions have always been supported with intricate research and analyses.

The details offered up about those people who continue to enable the Hoax are not only an interesting element of who those people are, but a necessary one in judging their true character.

There's an age-old question that is often asked during tumultuous times and KC has been the answer:

"Is anyone in charge?"

Debrah said...

I want readers to know something tonight which illuminates more than anything the small-mindedness, the insularity, and the sheer cowardice exhibited by the blogger who has chosen to make his curtain call one rivaled only by OJ house-guest Kato Kahlin.

After the unprofessional maneuver of ambushing KC with such a post, he has also chosen to "bar" my very short and very benign comment on his blog.

I didn't bother making a copy because I simply had not yet understood to what level JinC had descended.

The thrust of my comment was that JinC and his readers imagine themselves on some high ground even as they wallow in such tackiness---although, I didn't even use that word.

Knowing that I was dealing with people who put on the facade of church mice, I kept it "nice" for the cowardly and the hypocritical.

JinC, who purports to have standards and taste much preferred to leave the childish comment from "Duke Mom" ---whose children, by the way, I feel for---on his blog without anything written as a rebuttal.

This example, dear Wonderland readers, is exactly why I almost regurgitate listening to those who talk about religion and ethics and quote passages from the Bible......

.......and then take an exit such as the one we see from JinC.

I ask all of you.......are any of these petty blowhards really concerned mainly with the injustices of the lacrosse case?

Some have always been in it for their own strident and politically conservative reasons.

Very sad and embarrassing to witness.

Gary Packwood said...

Debrah 5/24/09 8:08 PM said...

...I find it rich as well as absurd that JinC should sign off by opening up the floodgates of disagreements he has with Wonderland.
John has a loyal audience who seem to 'nudge' and 'frame' the focus for the Duke lacrosse rape hoax towards being an isolated incident that involves a rogue DA, several key-stone cops and a few odd-ball professors and their friends.

On the other hand, from day #1, I have seen this case as a Worldview template that was being developed and polished on the campus of Duke University for other universities to use in purging their campus' across the country of privileged white males with a swagger.

And it is time now to see just how many other high profile people across the country knew about and were helping develop and polish that Worldview template.

I appreciate knowing more about Selena Roberts and find myself wanting to re-read that SI article tonight and look for a connection back to Selena, the Director of Duke's Woman's Center who was quoted and several others who seem to know so much about that tavern in Durham.

Thanks both to John and KC for helping search for the truth.

Anonymous said...

Cross-posted at the J-in-C blog:

In my opinion, your introductory paragraphs were much too harsh, J-in-C, and my mind can't resolve the conclusions contained therein with your having identified 5 or 6 things that Professor Johnson "maybe coulda shoulda" done a little better out of the hundreds of thousands of words he posted about the case.

And for one of those "maybe coulda shoulda" items, involving the N&O not initially publishing Mangum's assertions about another rape, Professor Johnson has provided a response that (a) I had never considered, and that (b) makes perfect sense given Kim Roberts' greed and the atmosphere around Durham at the time. I think we can all agree that what the N&O did wrong -- beyond a doubt -- was to keep that information from the public after the 60 Minutes interview when Roberts finally boxed herself in with one nationally-televised story.

This looks like a squabble between a generalist and a specialist. J-in-C concentrated heavily on the print media, especially around Durham, and Professor Johnson had a pan-dimensional outlook that included the media, the academy, the legal system, the investigation, etc. To me, it's like anthropologists and primate archaeologists arguing about the significance of the Ida fossil. The good news is that we all benefit.

I hope people on both sides of the political fence can recognize the contributions of these great authors and proponents of justice. I sure do. MOO! Gregory

Debrah said...

"I hope people on both sides of the political fence can recognize the contributions of these great authors and proponents of justice."*********************************

You know, Gregory. I might not have told you this before, but you have fantastic writing skills.

One of the most insensitive things about JinC slamming KC to try to satisfy his own inadequacies was that people like you and so many others are forced to take sides or offer up such a post.......

.......which bleeds with overblown statements of comparisons.

Now that I know the kind of self-indulgent clown I'm dealing with, let me say what most already know:

There is no comparison between the work of KC Johnson and that of JinC.

There never has been and there never will be.

His ambush of KC forces those who are on good terms with him to give him a boost in order to appear "civil and kind".......

.......and even mention him in the same category as KC!


So it's all positive for big John.

"But you know. We know you know."Much better than that.

John's backdoor way of attacking and complaining is the primary reason some at the N&O ignore him, IMO.

The boring and sappy method of always talking about civility and being a "gentleman", while at the same time using the low rent tactic of going after KC as he is closing his blog and running out the back door speaks for itself.

Let me tell you how I operate.....even as hypocrites like JinC wish to stifle those who expose them.

When I have a big problem with the N&O, I talk to Orage Quarles or John Drescher.

Last fall Mr. Quarles invited me to lunch to talk about those things.

I didn't spend day after day irritating anyone with emails and complaining on a blog.

JinC and his insular readers can diss people like me who get things done.....and they can try to diss KC whom they will never match.

But even as readers like you leave articulate and careful comments with the verbal choreography of a seasoned tap dancer, we all know that he has harmed his image irreparably.

And he only has himself to blame.

KC has always been respectful of other blog authors and would never have entertained the thought of such a display.

To be honest, I always felt like I was visiting a very rigid and backward place every time I went there.

And I was right.

Asheck said...

I think we can safely say that JinC's post about DIW was not spectacular. He pointed out a few of Prof. Johnson's comments concerning the local paper. Perhaps Johnson did miss some of it. That's not really the point.

The post in question feels like a personal attack because the poster needed to claim that he is now skeptical of DIW which he should have been in the first place especially considering the fact that both of these websites are running commentaries on media outlets and the necessary restraint one must use when consuming said media. Also, the fact that this blog may or may not have dropped the ball on N&O does not imply that there is little to be gained by reading this blog. And JinC makes that point in the very beginning.

The blog post is overblown and not really worthy of discussion. I don't know why I even responded.

Asheck said...

Also, this wasn't a thread about JinC. Once again, I don't know why I respond.

Debrah said...

TO "Asheck"--

I must concur that the post in question was overblown.

Such a bizarre way to close, eh?

The issue has provided the catalyst that some have craved in order to attack KC for "going off the reservation", if you will.

One or two people from the related blogs want to keep it going as long as they can.

When you read feverish and repetitive complaints about my recent comments and one relentless woman's demand that KC go by her selective rules which her own blog has never followed.....

......let me suggest that readers visit LS and check out the comments left and allowed to stand posted by one called "Truth Detector".

Not one of those who run LS said a thing in protest.

Now the crazed one screams and screams because others will not abide such unprovoked remarks used as "debate".

I'd advise both Liestoppers and JinC to clean up their own backyards.

They will be left with less time to attack someone (KC)---or sit back as their commentariate do the job---who has always treated them with respect.

Now.....none is deserved.

Anonymous said...


Ad hominem attacks are not necessary - calling someone crazed because they happen to take issue with something you have posted or because they have "attacked" KC only detract from points that are well worth considering. KC is a big boy - he doesn't need you (or anyone else for that matter) to defend him - he is more than capable(and has done so numerous times in the past and I am certain will do so in the future as need be).
Unlike DIW liestopper posters do not have their comments cleared -as one must have who posts at DIW or for that matter Jinc. While that makes the discussion at liestoppers more freewheeling, it does not mean that there is one single view or person who controls (for lack of a better word) the content that is posted. Are there some outrageous comments posted - most certainly. Does that mean that everything there should be disregarded or that those who post there are somehow not worthy to have their views given a hearing? No, it does not. I would like to believe that we are all adults who can present views at variance with one another and that those views wil be digested and discussed in a civil manner. Personally, I do not think engaging in epithets does much to further discourse.
I have great admiration for what KC has written and the many postings that you have contributed as well. I have, on occasion, remarked on those - just as you have had kind words towards my attempts at providing a take on the issues from my small corner of the world. But, I have not always agreed with KC or any of a number who have posted here and elsewhere (including you). Does that make what I have had to say any less worthwhile? We should strive to look at issues in such a way that we can arrive at some truth. Unfortunately, we are only humble humans who are captives to a greater or lesser extent of our own experiences - these will influence our own perceptions - sometimes we are aware to what extent that occurs, other times we cannot. Sometimes we are called on it by others - sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly (after all, those who call us up short are humans too with all the usual foibles).
Call it the mother in me - I hate it when people squabble. When my children were young and would argue, as siblings are want to do - I would make them sit, facing each other, and hold each other's hands. They would have to sit until they could be civil towards each other. It never took long because they soon found that looking at each other caused them to begin laughing - first at each other and then at the absurdity of whatever they had been arguing about. It is a shame that the same cannot be done with adults.

On another note, I apologize for forgetting the h at the end of your name - I have a cousin Debra (no H) and so used that spelling without thinking.

Debrah said...

I'm sure I'm not the only one who reads with amazement comments like the one below being held up as a significant issue.

What in the hell is so important about this trivia to some who are supposed to be concerned with a legal case of international magnitude?

I'll answer that right now and I'm not alone in my contention.

The trivia below and a few grown adults who are incapable of setting their personal politics and their egos aside have deliberately begun a fora squabble.

I received an email from someone just this morning who reads the blogs but does not comment who has given this same evaluation.

This childish and tendentious display will not be blamed on the Diva and it certainly will not become an excuse to further attack KC.

The issue below is pure junk.


Chris, I know you can see your answer is equivocal as to the question of whether you can cite a written, dated record that shows KC didn't bar Joan from DIW.

If you can provide what I've asked for, please do so.

I'll promptly update my post and apologize for my mistake.

If you can't provide documentation, please state that.



a Nice NJ Guy said...

Yup, I agree. --- KC ain't perfect.

However, KC's blog and his coauthored book, Until Proven Innocent, are at the top of the heap, in regards to :
... factual accuracy
... incisive analysis
... breadth of coverage
... implications for America's future
. . . . of Justice
. . . . of Academia
. . . . of Equality (vs Race/Gender/Class)

Durham-in-Wonderland has raised the bar ... far, far above the level of most of the MSM.

Anonymous said...

John in Carolina asking Chris Halides for a "written, dated record that shows KC didn't bar Joan from DIW" is weird.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 2.11:

I agree. Shouldn't it be the reverse: i.e., in normal circumstances, the person making an allegation has to provide evidence to prove it, rather than the person about whom the charge is made having to disprove it?

But, hey, I'm the person who supposedly didn't know the definition of "exculpatory," either . . .

Debrah said...

Given the embarrassingly one-sided mini-testimonials over at JinC which are reminsicent of a bar mitzvah for a 13 year-old.......

.......and the way people are patting each other on the back for supporting fabrications that give them cover.......

.......I should like to report that I just received an email from someone who has tried to ask a pointed question instead of praising JinC for his childishness, and the individual was not allowed to have the response published.

You gotta love this brand of open hypocrisy even as a fora "revival" is raising the roof at JinC.

Debrah said...


I know it's alleged that you sometimes equivocate but I need to know whether you can cite a written, dated record that shows that JinC didn't bar most every negative comment about him or those challenging him with strong questions.

If you can provide what I've asked for, please do so.

I'll promptly update my post and apologize if this is a mistake.

If you can't provide documentation, please state that.


The Diva

Chris Halkides said...


Thanks for a little lighthearted diversion. I am most appreciative.


Anonymous said...

I am puzzled by the diatribe that seems to be taking place regarding the blog Jinc. So he questioned some of the conclusions drawn by KC. Does that warrant the name calling and slyly disparaging remarks? So there are those who are saddened to see the closing down of his blog. Are they not entitled to feel that way? I am sure that there are those who regulrarly read and/or respond to DIW who would feel similarly when KC decides that its purpose has come to an end or that he has other interests whose demands require a time commitment that necessitates the closing of the blog.
It seems almost as if there is a vendetta going on. Why should that be? It would seem that on the major issues, all are in agreement. One's politics shouldn't really enter in to it. It would be, I think, a fair assessment to say that DIW tends to lean more left of center politically while JinC tends more to the right and though posters of varying political stripes respond at both sites. Too the extent that that occurs, seems to me, to be a good thing as it forces the sentient to think about the positions that they hold - and isn't that one of the important facets of our freedom of speech?
I realize that exchanges between those of deeply held views can become heated - and that in and of itself is not necessarily bad. However, no matter how heated, civil discourse can still be maintained. If one is questioned about a particular view or interpretation of an event, there is nothing wrong with that and offense should not be taken. If anything, it forces one to go back and review even more closely what one has believed or written - and that is all for the good of all involved.
There are many good people who have contributed much to the discussion of the lax case and the larger issues that the hoax has laid bare. For this rift to occur, which seems to deepen daily due to some of the comments posted here and at other sites, only gives ammunition to those that we have railed against the most - those for whom there can only be one way of thinking - the pc way.
This has always, to my mind, been an issue that transcends politics. Whether one thinks that Obama is the next Lincoln or one sees in Palin the future of the GOP and America is not the issue here and has never been the issue. It would be best for all concerned if we remember that.


kcjohnson9 said...

To the 8.39:

If you look through the 1300 posts on DIW, you'll find that I never once uttered a negative word about JinC until this comment. Indeed, I frequently praised his efforts.

That he elected to close out his blog with a post directed at me containing--to borrow your phrase--"name calling and slyly disparaging remarks" (in addition to at least one outright false statement, which he has refused to provide corroborating information for or retract) was his decision. That he elected to do so without even bothering to check the accuracy of his statements (he has my e-mail, and used it frequently over the course of the case) speaks volumes as to his credibility.

As to his overall role in the case: JinC performed a valuable service, but went out on a very low note. The extent to which that very low note undermined the credibility of his blog as a whole I will leave for others to consider.

Kathmandu2011 said...

To my thinking, none of the attacks from the other blogs have made sense.

It seems to me that there would have to be some underlying resentment to begin with for those from the other blogs to keep the nastiness going.

Chris Halkides said...


John in Carolina at 7:35 PM wrote:

You can imagine how hard they worked to confirm the shotslamming and shouting at Charlie’s story. But no one could. At least not until KC Johnson managed to find two witnesses he says “corroborated--in no uncertain terms--the story in Blythe and Stancill's article.” Has KC ever disclosed that publicly until just now on this thread because he “had no clear grounds for attacking the article." What KC’s claiming about his "witnesses" is very hard to believe.

RD at 9:11 PM replied:

Your latest comment attacking KC's veracity, without anything more than a hunch on your part, is unseemly. IMHO


I would like to hear what you and others make of JinC’s words.


kcjohnson9 said...

A bit further on the 9.39:

In an email dated Mon, Apr 2, 2007 at 8:23 PM (that would be a bit before JinC's latest post, for the record), Ms. Hopman (the person who made the allegation) gave me the names and phone numbers of two people who could corroborate her story; I followed through, they corroborated. She offered to supply me with additional names of people on her softball team to corroborate the story; I did not follow through on that offer.

I also spoke to one person whose judgment I wholly trust who unequivocally denied the story (she said she was in the bar that evening). That person would not have been able to have given an on the record interview on 31 March 2006 to the N&O.

My conclusion: there was nothing I could say one way or the other. While I had my own personal opinion on the veracity of the story, based on the information I had, I certainly couldn't produce a post attacking the article. I do try to corroborate any claims that I make: it's my impression that if I had done an unsubstantiated post attacking Blythe, it would have weakened my criticism of people who actually did engage in journalistic misconduct, like Bob Ashley or Duff Wilson.

Even more puzzlingly, JinC speaks about working hard "to confirm the shotslamming and shouting at Charlie’s story."

I have to admit--I didn't work that hard: I simply emailed the person who made the allegation (Ms. Hopman) in an email dated Sat, Mar 31, 2007 at 7:47 PM.

Since this story seems to be so important to him, it's unclear to me why JinC didn't elect to email Ms. Hopman as well--although, I suppose, based on his conduct in his most recent post, it seems it isn't his practice to send emails to the subject matter of his writings when he has questions about the issue.

[By the way, I would have been happy to have shared this information with JinC had he emailed me about it before his recent post.]

Debrah said...

To Chris--

As has been noted by others, JinC made it a cornerstone of his blog to highlight and critique the Triangle media during the Lacrosse Hoax.

He also has dedicated a lot of time criticizing them---mostly the N&O---for their coverage of everything political.

If you have read any of my comments, past and present, on the N&O blogs you will discover that those things have been high on the Diva agenda as well.

I have often sparred with the N&O and continue to do so when warranted.

KC's focus is much more panoramic and analytical.

His mission was not to descend on the Triangle and let everyone know his opinion on the way reporters tell a story.

I personally do not care for Anne Blythe or much of her work, but it would have undermined KC's extraordinary chronicling of the Hoax if he had jumped on the bandwagon and tried to pick apart Blythe's article with no clear evidence.

The N&O's coverage can be highly criticized, and often.

In light of the big picture, I just don't see that the paper had some hidden agenda with regard to the "shot-slamming" bar episode.

Attempting to give this story some type of bold relief significance reveals some have developed a narrative they wish to hang on KC and will search every cobweb crevice until they find one that doesn't smell.

Anonymous said...

KC(and halides1):

My issue has not been with you - though, as I have stated previously, there are some things that I have viewed differently than you. I have always believed that one has the right to publish on one's blog whatever one wants and further, one also reserves the right not to publish comments - though, if one is putting things out there for people to read there should be the expectation (I should think)that one is hoping for some feedback. For the most part, I have generally found your writings to be civil in tone, well reasoned, and above all thought provoking (the last two always). What I have been upset about is the venom with which some have seen fit to characterize others who post. This has been something which I have found upsetting in the past and in recent weeks have found to
be very disturbing. You say that comments "are moderated with the lightest of touches". I have no reason to believe that that is not the case (if there were much moderation then my frequent key stroke mistakes would be "touched up" and my overwrought sentence structure revised). Couldn't a light touch include lifting some of the venomous adjectives that have been applied by some posters about other posters? All of us are not immune to the urge to resort to our snarky side when aroused on an issue - and, when there is someone for whom we hold a special place (for whatever reason) is viewed as being being "attacked" that is even more the case. (Attend a parent-teacher conference sometime and see how quickly a parent's claws can emerge when that parent's child is criticized - for whatever reason). So, I can understand on one level (emotionally) what is happening but on another level(intellectually) I am at a loss to understand why you would permit (since you have the power to refuse to let a post appear at your site - which you have done to me, for what I am sure are very good reasons, however brilliant, insightful, and articulated I may have thought that my ramblings at the time were.....don't get me wrong, I am not complaining because such a decision saved me from embarassing myself)some of the name egregious comments that have occurred. The bottom line, however, is that it is your blog, and you can do with it whatever you want. I will continue reading, and commenting because there are issues that you raise (besides of course the hoax) - that resonate with me - and I hope that if my musings are posted, that they will generate some feedback so that I can continue to clarify my thinking on issues as well. After all, isn't that the purpose of engaging in discussion both spoken and written?

kcjohnson9 said...

To cks:

Blogger software doesn't allow me to edit individual comments: they must be approved or disapproved in entirety.

DIW is a one-person operation done by someone with a full-time teaching job. My general inclination is to clear comments, unless there's something obviously inaccurate or the comment is off-topic (or unless the commenter has been banned). There also have been more than one occasion over the course of the case in which I've simply hit the wrong button (accept rather than reject--or, as has occurred a few dozen times, reject rather than accept).

I try to cover myself with item 3 on the comments policy, which reads as follows: "(3) If a reader finds an offensive comment, I urge the reader to e-mail me; if the comment is offensive, I will gladly delete it."

In an ideal world, I would have time to carefully evaluate all comments as to whether or not they should be cleared. In the real world, I simply do not have that time, and err on the side of clearing the comment.

Anonymous said...

Dear KC:

Thank you for your note - as an incapably non-electronic person, I asssumed that your ability to "lightly moderate" would give you the ability to reject a comment in part. In that I was mistaken.
While, as you state, one does have the ability to email you to complain about an offensive post, unfortuntately the harm is done (here I am specifically referring to the inappropriate (my take on it) name calling and snarkiness(again my term)once the diatribe is posted for all to read and once something is written, it cannot be taken back. I do not purport to know what can be done. Frankly, I am amazed at what is your prodigious energy - I know how much time and ergy teaching entails - and the fact that you are writing books, articles, doing outside lecturing, attending conferences, and maintaining this blog - makes one wonder how one person could do it all. (I am married to a similarly like-work minded person so I do know that it is possible but it takes the very rare bird to be able to do it all and do it well).
One suggestion - perhaps a general post reminding all who visit and respond to the site that civility is important at DIW?
Thank you again.

kcjohnson9 said...

To cks:

A good suggestion, and one to which I will add to a small post coming up tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

KC - Thank you for doing so. Perhaps then there will be a return to other matters. Do you have any idea when the judge will rule about discovery?

Debrah said...

Here's "cks" in all her civility.

Praising JinC and Joan and so proud of herself that the mean one has been silenced.

Very upstanding woman we have here.

So helpful.

CKS at Liestoppers:

"I have had several back and forths on DIW to which KC has responded. The end result is that there will be something posted by him tomorrow regarding civility in postings. I do find it interesting that one of those who has been so vituperative has been silent as of late....whether that is because postings have not been cleared or whether there has been a decision not to post. While the DIW site states that comments can be lightly moderated, in fact KC admits that it is impossible given his software technology to do anything other than totally clear or to deny the post. I can understand how it can happen that things could be cleared that shouldn't be (after all, mistakes happen) but as I pointed out, once something has been printed it is out there forever (even if later taken down because of the ability of anyone to make a copy of said posting and refer to it later and because, when people are insulted, they tend to remember what has been said about them).
I continue to believe that everyone (myself included, because as my husband and children would be the first to say I can get wrought up very easily and become caustic[and that is applying a mild adjective] in my comments) needs to remember that civility should be the order of the day always. I will also add that I have always found Joan's comments to be the most civil of any that I have read on this site and that JinC set the standard for civility and humbleness in his comments and willingness to admit and correct mistakes."

Anonymous said...


Nowhere did I say or even imply in that posting that the "mean one" has been silenced. Nor did I ever use those words. Do I believe that there has been some incivility, yes I do. Have I been at times guilty less than polite discourse. Yes to that as well. I do not pretend to any perfection and anyone who knows me well knows that I am on the express bus to hell, no stops allowed because I tend toward the caustic unless my better angel is there to intervene.
You may not think Joan or JinC civil...I do. I find KC to be civil in his writings as well though sometimes (as is the human want) to get labored about a topic (for the record so can JinC and Joan). Perhaps you are perfect in this regard, I don't know. What I do know is that my mother use to tell me that there were only two perfect people in the world, my father and me but that she had grave concerns about me....and so I guess that that just leaves my father but as I would tell her in my teenage moments - I had grave concerns about him as well.

kcjohnson9 said...

I think we're well off the topic of Ms. Roberts here, so I'm going to close the thread.

On the issue of civility, one point: I think one item of civility is contacting the subject of a negative post for comment, especially when that negative post raises open-ended factual questions about that person. Alas (unless he managed to lose my email address), JinC doesn't share that definition of civility.