Monday, April 23, 2012


One of the most important themes of the lacrosse case was the almost complete lack of accountability among anyone not named Mike Nifong. Professors who flagrantly violated the terms of the faculty handbook or student bulletin (much less basic ethics)? Not punished, and in some cases even promoted or offered better jobs. Reporters who appeared to see their job as carrying Mike Nifong’s water (so as to better advance a politically correct agenda) rather than pursuing the truth? Not punished, and in some cases even offered new and more prestigious jobs. “Experts” whose performance revealed their utter lack of expertise, at least if we define expertise as based on facts? Not declared figures without credibility, and instead many continued to be consulted on the very same topics about which they illustrated their ignorance.

The effects of this non-accountability: those who engaged in misconduct (or worse) in the lacrosse case are free to offer repeat performances. Take, for instance, so-called sex crimes expert Wendy Murphy. Fresh from being deemed not merely an expert but an appropriate instructor for a Poynter seminar—even after a Poynter representative was informed of Murphy’s fabrications—Murphy was interviewed by AP education writer Justin Pope, who labeled her a “victims’ advocate who has filed numerous Title IX complaints on behalf of victims.”

The article focused on how universities should respond to allegations of campus sexual assault. Without even mentioning Murphy’s comments about the lacrosse case (the highest profile claim of campus sexual assault in the past decade)—much less her history of fabrications when discussing the issue—Pope quoted Murphy as if her views merited credibility. “Colleges must protect victims, [Murphy] says. That means abandoning the fantasy they can make everybody happy by also offering accused students the full due process rights they'd enjoy in a criminal trial. ‘You can't run a school that way,’Murphy said. ‘If every once in a while a school has to be sued at the cost of being fair to all students, so be it.’”

Set aside the astonishing nature of Murphy’s statement in a society that values (or at least professes to value) due process. Can anyone imagine an AP reporter turning again for expertise to a scientist, or a businessman, or an attorney exposed as a fraud in a high-profile case? And even if in the highly unlikely event that the AP did so, is it imaginable that the reporter would have not mentioned the grave doubt about the credibility of his “expert”?

By the way, AP isn’t the only national news bureau that could be faulted on the no-accountability standard. Late last year, Reuters hired away Duff Wilson from the New York Times to join the organization’s investigative team. Let’s hope Wilson’s bosses steer him clear of criminal justice issues—at least when any amount of skepticism of the prosecutor is warranted. Let’s also hope that Reuters employs better fact-checkers than does the Times.

Another article for the non-accountability file: this piece from the Times, penned by a former national correspondent for the newspaper. How many readers of the article, I wonder, had any idea that one of the (two!) Group of 88 members quoted, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, had views such as these? While it’s not the job of the media to report every view a source might have expressed, when interviewing an extremist on the topic of his or her “expertise,” surely some requirement for context exists. Or, to phrase it differently, if most Times readers knew that Bonilla-Silva had termed our country “gringoland” and the “United States of Amerikkka,” and had conceded that even some of his own students considered his course material to be “anti-white,” would they have paid any attention to his comments in the article?

(Providing such context, it seems to me, should also occur on the rarer occasions when media members interview extremists of the right. Perhaps the best example is Tony Perkins, the head of an SPLC-designated hate group who regularly appears on all three major cable networks without his hosts referencing his extreme statements.)

Finally, a lawsuit update: the cases continue to inch their way through the judicial system. There’s no word on the fate of Duke’s appeal of the Beaty motion-to-dismiss ruling, which Judge Beaty has allowed to indefinitely delay discovery. Duke, meanwhile, is battling attorneys for the unindicted players, in the hopes of blocking any discovery from Duke’s p.r. firms. Given that a central element of the unindicted players’ case is that Duke violated their rights to protect the university’s reputation, this information would seem relevant.

In the Ekstrand case, Duke has demanded a protective order regarding discovery material—the university clearly doesn’t want any more embarrassing Brodhead e-mails to be attached to Ekstrand motions.

And regarding the FERPA matter (the university’s inexplicable decision to turn over FERPA-protected keycard information to the authorities, and then to wait for weeks before informing the students or their parents about what the university has done): ignorance is bliss appears to be the Duke litigation strategy. During the discovery process, Dean Sue Wasiolek spent more than six hours discussing the issue, yet—based on the filings—appeared to claim that she knew little of what occurred. Duke’s comment: Wasiolek is the university’s expert on the matter.

It’s good to know an apparent violation of the federal law to protect student rights generated such concern among Duke’s upper administration.


William L. Anderson said...

Unfortunately, I think this is a commentary on our whole country and the political mentality that now seems to be the governing philosophy.

As for Murphy, she also served on the "Today Show" as an "expert commentator" during the Tonya Craft trial and, yes, she managed to lie about the testimony. Furthermore, she took obviously false testimony from Tonya's ex-husband and portrayed it as being true.

(The ex-husband during the custody hearing after Tonya's acquittal admitted under oath to preparing false documents so he could qualify for a federally-sponsored mortgage. And he has admitted to telling other lies under oath during the criminal trial. Also, his testimony during the trial was 180 degrees different from previous testimony he had given under oath.)

My point is that Murphy not only is a liar, but she seems to gravitate toward people who are pathological liars like Mike Nifong. And why journalists will cite her as an "expert" speaks to the depraved state of the American media today.

Anonymous said...

The school's turn over of the subject FERPA data occurred, the end of March. The lacrosse team members received a warning from the administration office at Duke almost 8 weeks later, admonishing anyone who did not wish for the student data to be turned over to the town of DURHAM, must file legally in Raleigh. My sons legal protest went forward by end of June, beginning of July, 12 weeks+ after the DUKE fabrication.

Anonymous said...

An additional point, until the Nifong disbarment hearings in June of '07, it was not disclosed that the FERPA data had been released by the fabricator, DUKE, and it was officer Gotlieb, not DUKE that disclosed this important fact

Anonymous said...

It is unbelievable that through legal proceedings Duke is able to continue to delay the fact finding(discovery) more than 6 years, with a judge that is clearly biased in Duke's favor. It has been noted, that within days of the alleged incident, a secret meeting took place at President R Broadheads's home, as it was decided by a small group of Trustees, to protect "The Duke Brand" at the expense of the entire lacrosse team, and that's a fact!

Anonymous said...

Got another fund raising letter from Duke. Once again filled it with 88 dirty pennies and sent it back. Doin' my part, guys.

Anonymous said...

More raw sludge slowly oozing out of Durham/Duke. What a nasty cesspool run by ass-clowns.

Anonymous said...

"with a judge that is clearly biased in Duke's favor."

Is there anyone who doesn't think the judge has been biased from the start?

That's a very serious question, because
when the great majority of outside observers perceive that some kind of bias is present (whether it exists or not), then it's time for a judge to recuse himself.

There are a great many examples of judges who have recused themselves on a very flimsy basis, just to avoid even the hint of bias. Judges not only have to be impartial, just as importantly they have to appear before the public as impartial.

(So where's the recusal motion?)

Anonymous said...

I never liked the cops' maxim, "You can beat the rap but you can't beat the ride."
All things considered, though, at the very least, Duke is being hammered in the pocket book.
Even if their insurance company is paying the freight, their premiums must have gone up substantially and will stay up.
An institution which demonstrates a propensity to shoot itself expensively in the foot is not going to get preferred rates.

I expect the new sexual harassment rules will cost them some money, too.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about the individual you mentioned in the context of SPLC, but SPLC is itself a racial shakedown outfit that cannot be credited with any concern with veracity or fairness.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 3.42:

Obviously, I disagree with your characterization, or else I would not have made the reference.

In the event, readers can follow the link & look at the FRC statements, which I suspect would fit anyone's definition of extremist.

Anonymous said...

These comments are pretty darn good. KC, you got some smart, savvy readers out there. You deserve it, since you are doing a great job.

Not much to add, but wrt the mainstream media-- we expect the worst from them at this point and they have delivered on expectations-- no surprises. And, hopefully, it increases traffic to your blog, which is a source of truth and honest evaluation. It doesn't matter that I disagree with you from time to time, you are an honorable and honest man.

Good work! It makes me even more glad I bought and read your book.

Anonymous said...

Through all the lies and coverups by Duke and Durham, you have held true to your principles, K. C. Obviously that is something the administration at Duke does not do and the faculty doesn't even comprehend.
I wish the families of the three INNOCENT LAX players would file suit on the individuals involved. I would love to be called for that jury. Anyone who has ever been fishing in the country knows how the worm squiggles when the hook goes in. That would be justice for those pompous Dukies who call themselves faculty and staff.
Thanks K. C. for a continuously great job.

Anonymous said...

Another update - CGM has yet another new lawyer as Chris Shella petitioned the court to be relased from his duties as the actions of CGM - revealing defense documents and strategy to outside sources (namely Sidney Harr and his Nifong committee compatriots) has made it impossible for him to continue. Interestingly, CGM did not see why he needed to resign,

One really cannot make this stuff up.


Jay Knott said...

I'm surprised to see the co-author of 'Proven Innocent' and this blog using the term 'SPLC-designated hate group'. This is the kind of loose pc thinking which leads to phrases like 'what happened to this woman' and 'culture of crassness', the type of thinking which enabled the 88 to slander the 3 without being liable for lawsuits.

The SPLC throws around the term 'hate group' like confetti.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 9.45:

I'm not sure I understand the criticism.

Whether or not the SPLC "throws around the term 'hate group' like confetti," the organization certainly seemed justified designating the FRC an anti-gay hate group, given that (to take a few examples) the organization's senior researcher said the US government should outlaw "gay behavior" and asserted on another occasion that he "would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them"; and given that the organization has repeatedly (and falsely) linked (both in writing and through statements from organization principals) homosexuality with pedophilia.

I'm not aware of any claims that the SPLC incorrectly cited or fabricated the above quotes. Nor am I aware of any pending lawsuits against the SPLC filed by the FRC or any of the organization's supporters. In general, the truth is a good defense against any slander of libel lawsuits, as the FRC's attorneys doubtless informed them.

Jay Knott said...

KC - I guess it was the term 'designated' in your post which got me. The phrase 'SPLC-designated hate group' sounds as if the SPLC is an official body which can 'designate' things. - a campaign for less immigration - and many other undeserving causes have been mislabeled thus by the SPLC.

The FRC's words are indeed hateful - the SPLC does sometimes tell the truth. But the its legal successes might have more to do with money than truth. And the anti-white prejudice which you exposed at Duke.