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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Duke Case: Wednesday Linkfest

updated:

More on the demise of the date-rape drug theory:

A date-rape drug test reportedly involving a hair sample of the alleged Duke lacrosse victim has turned up negative, one of the defense attorneys said Wednesday.

According to Kirk Osborn, he and fellow defense lawyers learned the result from Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong at a meeting last week with Judge Osmond Smith about the case, in which three lacrosse players are under indictment on charges of sexually assaulting an exotic dancer at an off-campus party in March.
Attorney: Date-rape drug test negative in lacrosse case [heraldsun.com, Aug. 30, 2006]

The battlelines are being drawn in the Durham district attorney election.
In the face of groups created to campaign against Nifong in November's election, two Durham residents--Kim Brummell and Victoria Peterson--are voicing support for the controversial DA. The two women founded "Citizens for Mike Nifong" in an effort to keep Nifong in office.
Citizens show support for Nifong [dukechronicle.com, Aug. 30, 2006]
Two Duke University juniors on opposite sides of the political spectrum two years ago during the presidential race are walking lock step down the campaign trail this fall.

Juniors Emily Wygod and Christiane Regelbrugge are so outraged by District Attorney Mike Nifong's handling of the lacrosse rape case that they launched a voter registration drive on campus this week.
District attorney's race may attract Duke vote [NewsObserver.com, Aug. 29, 2006]
Duke case stirs friends, foes of DA [charlotte.com, Aug. 29, 2006]

Hard not to be a Coach D. fan already-
Danowski, one of eight Division I lacrosse coaches with at least 200 career wins, sounds unconcerned about the pressure of running a program that's sure to have every step - or misstep - carefully reviewed. He said he expects the players will be on their best behaviour.

He's also made an effort to call and introduce himself to the three team members with the most uncertain futures of all - Seligmann, Finnerty and Evans. Evans graduated the day before he was charged in May, while Seligmann and Finnerty - who would have been juniors on next year's team - are on a leave of absence from the university.

To Danowski, the roles of father, teacher and disciplinarian are all facets of coaching.
Danowski ready to rebuild Duke lacrosse [SLAM, Canada, Aug 29, 2006]

Michael Gaynor and Cash Michaels are discussing the case.

The search for a Duke case hero [Michael Gaynor | renewamerica.us, Aug. 30, 2006]
Let "60 Minutes" know you want it to do the right thing [Michael Gaynor | renewamerica.us, Aug. 29, 2006]

It was no contest.
Wendy Murphy... Her comments have earned her the first nomination for Miss Hag of the Hoax.
Hag of the Hoax [LieStoppers, Aug. 30, 2006]

It's hard to call a stand up guy, Elmo.
...yesterday's determination that cab driver Moezeldin Elmostafa was not guilty of a 2003 misdemeanor charge (aiding a shoplifter to whom he gave a cab ride after her crime) also does little to increase confidence in Mike Nifong's ethical core.
The Peculiarities of the Elmostafa Case [Durham-In-Wonderland, Aug. 30, 2006]

Obi-Wan Kenobi works for the defense.
Y'see, Joe Cheshire sent Stuart Taylor, Jr. a piece of news that, if true and temporally relevant should, well, vaporize the Evil Darth Nifong. According to Joe, according to Stu, it seems that Crystal did undergo toxicology screening after all! And guess what? Correct! It was...NEGATIVE!
Pssst? BOOM! [Crystal Mess, Aug. 30, 2006]

Terrorists are Pirates version 2.0

Getting back to the big picture for a second.

"The Dread Pirate Bin Ladin" argues that "thinking of terrorists as pirates can help win the war on terror."

What is needed now is a framework for an international crime of terrorism. The framework should be incorporated into the U.N. Convention on Terrorism and should call for including the crime in domestic criminal law and perhaps the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. This framework must recognize the unique threat that terrorists pose to nation-states, yet not grant them the legitimacy accorded to belligerent states. It must provide the foundation for a law that criminalizes not only terrorist acts but membership in a terrorist organization. It must define methods of punishment.

Coming up with such a framework would perhaps seem impossible, except that one already exists. Dusty and anachronistic, perhaps, but viable all the same. More than 2,000 years ago, Marcus Tullius Cicero defined pirates in Roman law as hostis humani generis, "enemies of the human race." From that day until now, pirates have held a unique status in the law as international criminals subject to universal jurisdiction—meaning that they may be captured wherever they are found, by any person who finds them. The ongoing war against pirates is the only known example of state vs. nonstate conflict until the advent of the war on terror, and its history is long and notable. More important, there are enormous potential benefits of applying this legal definition to contemporary terrorism.
State sponsored terrorism can also be neatly compared to privateering:
The rise and fall of state-sponsored piracy bears chilling similarity to current state-sponsored terrorism. Many nations, including Libya, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan, have sponsored terrorist organizations to wage war against the United States or other Western powers. In each case, the motivations have been virtually identical to those of [Queen] Elizabeth: harass the enemy, deplete its resources, terrify its citizens, frustrate its government, and remain above the fray.
After hearing George Bush again talking about terrorist "safe-havens" this legal approach sounds like a great idea.

source:
The Dread Pirate Bin Laden [Douglas R. Burgess Jr. |legalaffairs.org]

courtesy:
Schneier on Security

Duke Case: The Horsemen of the Hoax

When Durham Police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb turned in his 33 pages of typed notes and 3 pages of handwritten notes regarding the Duke lacrosse rape investigation he crossed a line. He apparently began a cover-up that will end badly for himself and everyone else who is involved in perpetuating the fraudulent rape prosecution of three Duke lacrosse players.

Has Gottlieb now begun riding with the horsemen of the hoax? The horsemen of the hoax are:

Conspiracy
: is an agreement between two or more natural persons to break the law at some time in the future.

Perjury: is the act of lying or making verifiably false statements on a material matter under oath or affirmation in a court of law or in any of various sworn statements in writing.

Obstruction of justice: refers to the crime of offering interference of any sort to the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other (usually government) officials....Obstruction charges can also be laid if a person alters or destroys physical evidence, even if they were under no compulsion at any time to produce such evidence.

Witness tampering: harming or otherwise threatening a witness, hoping to influence their testimony or with evidence production.

Martha Stewart, Bill Clinton, and Lewis Libby all know about the horsemen. The horsemen are what brought each one of them down.

Martha Stewart was convicted on four counts of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice. Her initial crime of insider trading to avoid a loss of $45,673 fell by the wayside.

Bill Clinton was impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, arising from the Lewinsky scandal. He was also cited in April 1996 for contempt of court by federal district judge Susan Webber Wright for giving "intentionally false statements" in sworn testimony during his deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment civil lawsuit. Clinton was fined $90,000 and the matter was referred to the Arkansas Supreme Court and, ultimately, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Later, in January, 2001, Clinton agreed to surrender his law license and to give up his bar membership allowing him to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lewis Libby, former advisor to Dick Cheney, resigned from his position in the White House, immediately after he was indicted on criminal felony charges by a grand jury. He was charged with: one count of obstruction of justice; two counts of perjury; and two counts of making false statements.

There is also the mother of all criminal cover ups - the Watergate scandal. That one brought down the Nixon administration. Let's just say there was an army of horsemen loose in Washington in the early '70's. That is when the phrase, "it's not the crime, it's the cover up," got started.

Clinton and Stewart are two extremely intelligent people who were lured into criminal behaviour because they wanted to cover up some relatively minor transgression. Libby's case is still pending.

Mike Nifong is currently on the fast track for joining the convicted liars club. Who else will decide to risk everything and join him?

Any Sgt. Gottlieb transgression up to the point of turning in his report would probably be difficult to prove. In fact, it might simply be considered a case of conducting a slipshod investigation and being unduly influenced by DA Mike Nifong. Or it could constitute police misconduct, still nothing criminal so far.

Yesterday's, Stuart Taylor Jr. article for Slate.com shed some more light on Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and his possible motives:

This memo was concocted from memory, nearly four months after the underlying witness interviews, by Durham police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, the lead investigator. Gottlieb says he took no contemporaneous notes, an inexplicable and indefensible police practice. Gottlieb had drawn fire before the alleged Duke rape—perhaps unbeknownst to the Times—as a Dukie-basher who reveled in throwing kids into jail for petty drinking infractions, noise violations, and the like, sometimes with violent criminals as cellmates.
More thoughts about Sgt. Gottlieb's report or memo (the term script seems more appropriate):

Mr. Taylor again:
Gottlieb's memo is contradicted on critical points by the contemporaneous notes of other police officers, as well as by hospital records seeming to show that the accuser did not have the injuries Gottlieb claims to have observed. The Times blandly mentions these contradictions while avoiding the obvious inference that the Gottlieb memo is thus unworthy of belief.

...contrary evidence of dubious credibility, such as the Gottlieb memo.
Liestoppers:
For all the tales Sergeant Gottlieb spins in his recently drafted notes, none of them appear to alter the fundamental time and space problem...the most disturbing portion of Gottlieb’s notes is the descriptions of the suspects.
KC Johnson:
...we have Gottlieb's notes saying one thing, and notes of another police officer saying something quite different.
The problem with this Duke hoax is that it's only as strong as its weakest link. Everyone involved including Gottlieb, Nifong, other investigators, and any prosecution witnesses that plan on propping up the fraudulent prosecution are at the mercy of the alleged victim, Crystal Gail Mangum.

There's a saying attorneys have, it's basically, "let your client perpetrate their own fraud," don't aid them. When you aid the fraud you become part of it. Cop's probably have their own saying regarding letting liars hang themselves.

Likewise, the New York Times reporters Duff Wilson and Johnathan D. Glater should have let the cumulative evidence sink the Gottlieb script, but they used it as a life raft for Nifong's prosecution. Journalists like CSI types should just gather and weigh the evidence and not vote for it.

If Ms. Mangum finally comes clean and tells the truth that there was no gang rape, then everyone involved in the perpetrating the hoax will suffer. Who would want to bet their name, career, or freedom on that not happening? After days of extensive cross examination on the witness stand Ms. Mangum will be poked and prodded by the media for years after this injustice is finally ended. How many different stories will she tell on the witness stand and for the rest of her life?

Ms. Mangum's lies, contradictions, and credibility problems did not give Mike Nifong and the Durham PD pause before. If they didn't pause then maybe everyone working with Mike Nifong should take a long pause now to consider what they might be getting themselves into.

Don't ride with the horsemen.

sources:
Witness for the Prosecution? [Slate.com, Aug. 29, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Duke Case: Innocence & One Degree of Involvement

Mike McCusker who writes the Crystal Mess blog describes his brief meeting with Phil Seligmann, the father of Reade Seligmann, at a youth lacrosse tournament in New Jersey on May 20th:

I was starting to walk away when I heard "...and I had to stand there with my SON, and walk past that angry mob, shouting, "Rapist!" "Dead man walking!" "You'll get yours, Rapist!" I don't know why I did it, but I stopped, stone still, really LOOKED at the man for the first time, and asked, "Excuse me, but what is your name?" He looked back at me with the focused peer of a night sentry seeking to ascertain friend or foe, met my eyes with confident self-assurance, extended his hand and said firmly, "My name is Phil Seligmann. Nice to meet you. What is your name?" The other man shortly bade goodbye and we chatted, then, Phil and me, for quite a while. As the game in front of us ended and I had to marshall up my fourth grade troops for their contest, he extended his hand again. We shook, each pulling the other into the warm hug of mutual fatherly understanding. I asked him to convey to Reade that there are millions of people across the country, like me, all of whom who can see, hear, read, and...know. His eyes misted just a bit as he embraced me more firmly and whispered in my ear, "Thank you. THANK you. You have no idea how much that means to me and my family."

source:
"Persecution," by Stephen Miller [Crystal Mess, Aug. 29, 2006]

related:
Persecution [Stephen Miller | DukeChronicle, Aug. 28, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

Duke Case: NY Times Still Sucks & Tox Report Negative for Date Rape Drug

Stuart Taylor Jr. of Slate.com drives another stake through the heart of the New York Times article, or rather "friend of the Nifong brief" supporting the Duke rape prosecution. Taylor said:

...the New York Times and the story is the alleged gang rape of a black woman by three white Duke lacrosse players—a claim shown by mounting evidence to be almost certainly fraudulent—you tone down your rhetoric while doing your utmost to prop up a case that's been almost wholly driven by prosecutorial and police misconduct.

And by bad journalism. Worse, perhaps, than the other recent Times embarrassments. The Times still seems bent on advancing its race-sex-class ideological agenda, even at the cost of ruining the lives of three young men who it has reason to know are very probably innocent. This at a time when many other true believers in the rape charge, such as feminist law professor Susan Estrich, have at last seen through the prosecution's fog of lies and distortions.

Mr. Taylor also drops a new bombshell. He says, Joe Cheshire (attorney for David Evans) said the defense was informed last week that there was a toxicology report and it was negative for any date rape drug. The sound you hear is another prosecution lie crashing and burning.
The article also mentions police speculation that the lacrosse players might have slipped the accuser a date-rape drug to incapacitate her. And Joseph Cheshire, Evans' lawyer, noted in a recent e-mail exchange with me that the prosecution "has suggested to the media numerous times in the past that the accuser had been given such a drug." Another deception? "A toxicology report that the defense was informed of last week was negative for any date rape drug in the accuser's system," Chesire tells me.
This final end to the date rape drug canard is not one bit surprising. If Nifong had evidence of a date rape drug it would have been leaked to the press as fast as a roach runs from daylight.

Every day and in every way, the lies that are the basis for this hoax are exposed.

source:
Witness for the Prosecution? [Slate.com, Aug. 29, 2006]

LATER:
John in Carolina comments on the Taylor article:
What most impressed me about Taylor's article is the directness and meticulousness with which he exposes and labels the Times for just what its been on the Duke Hoax story: an enabler of the injustices committed by Nifong, Gottlieb and very likely others.

Taylor has left the Times no place to hide.
KC Johnson's take on the date rape drug revelation:
Taylor also breaks new ground in the story. Though never making the claim outright, the Times article was cleverly crafted to suggest the possibility of date rape--the very same tactic that Nifong has employed almost from the start.

LieStoppers does another detailed "Hoax within a Hoax" analysis of the date rape drug hoax. It's hard to keep track of all Nifong's lies. The Nifong lies or "Hoax within a Hoax" series has been running all summer. It also looks like it's been renewed for the Fall season. Liestoppers said:
To one unfamiliar with the comings and goings of this hoax (like say, a reporter at the New York Times)....the date rape drug theory was advanced by the District Attorney himself in April and has fueled speculation on television and the internet for the past 4 months. We were told time and again that the presence of a date rape drug would not only show the rape was premeditated, but would also account for all the inconsistencies in the accuser’s story.
more sources:
Duke lacrosse: Taylor leaves Times no place to hide [John In Carolina, Aug. 29, 2006]
Welcome Slate Readers [Durham-in-Wonderland, Aug. 29, 2006]
Yet Another Hoax Within A Hoax [LieStoppers, Aug. 29, 2006]

related:
Files From Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers [NYTimes.com, Aug. 25, 2006]

Duke Case: Cabbie escapes Nifongery

Moezeldin Elmostafa (center)So the Durham cab driver who has surfaced as an alibi witness in the Duke lacrosse rape hoax today was found not guilty of a 3-year-old shoplifting charge. That's the good news.

Moezeldin Elmostafa, 37, aka Moez Mostafa, has provided an alibi for Reade Seligmann, one of three Duke lacrosse players indicted in the rape case. Mr. Elmostafa gave Seligmann and his friend Robert Wellington a ride shortly after the two strippers stopped performing at the Duke lacrosse party.

The defense lawyers in the lacrosse case have said Mr. Elmostafa was charged because he is a favorable witness for Seligmann. We'll get to this ugly witness intimidation in a second.

After Mike Nifong and the Durham Police learned of Elmostafa's potential role as an alibi witness in the rape case, they found an unserved warrant naming him in a 2003 shoplifting case at a Hecht’s department store at Northgate Mall in Durham.

Elmostafa was then charged in May with aiding and abetting misdemeanor larceny in the 2003 shoplifting case. He was accused of helping a lady steal five purses worth about $250 from a Durham department store, according to court documents.

A security officer for the store testified today in district court that he saw a woman steal five handbags worth about $250 from the store and then jump into Elmostafa’s cab, which sped away.

The security officer also testified that the cab pulled away even before the woman had closed to the door. A store surveillance tape, played in court, appeared to show that the door closed first.

Elmostafa denied the charge and said he helped store security locate the woman after he picked her up from the store and drove her home. The woman later pleaded guilty to larceny.

Elmostafa's lawyer, Tom Loflin put one of the lacrosse investigators on the witness stand and produced typed notes from the lacrosse case that showed District Attorney Mike Nifong wanted to be informed when Elmostafa was arrested.

Assistant District Attorney Ashley Cannon told the judge the shoplifting case has nothing to do with the rape case.

Also note the above photo from the News & Observer. It shows Mr. Elmostafa (center) as he listens to testimony during his bench trial in District Court today as Durham police investigators Benjamin Himan (at left) and Richard Clayton look on. Why were two lacrosse investigators at the trial when only one reportedly testified? Is it just the photo angle or do these two cops actually appear to be breathing on Mr. Elmostafa?

Mike Nifong took a personal interest in Mr. Elmostafa and this minor 2003 larceny incident. The case was taken all the way to trial even with a video showing Mr. Elmostafa was just doing his cab driver job. It is clear that justice is being twisted into something ugly in Durham by Mike Nifong and the Durham PD.

sources:
Cab driver in lacrosse case acquitted [NewsObserver.com, Aug. 29, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Witness Acquitted On 2003 Shoplifting Charge [wral.com, Aug. 29, 2006]

Duke Case: Pressing On and Petering Out

updated:

Jon Pessah at ESPN provides some background and perspective on people caught up in the Duke mess:

[Matt] Zash used to think he'd follow many of his former teammates to Wall Street, but now he's decided to become a college coach. He's talked about a job with Pressler, who recently signed on at Bryant University, a Division II school in Rhode Island, but doesn't know if the timing is right. Bryant doesn't offer a graduate degree in education, and Zash wants to get a master's. Still, if Pressler can't find anyone else, Zash will go...

Zash still can't grasp how it got so out of hand. Did he and his teammates party hard? Yes. Did they drink before they were 21? Yes, like so many others did before football games and at the big drinkfest on the last day of spring classes. Did they make stupid mistakes? Yes. Does that make them capable of gang rape? How, he wonders every day, can anyone at Duke think the answer to that is yes? ...

All of which saddens Zash. He wants to remember Duke for what he thought it was, not for what he and the others feel it's become. He wants things to return to normal, but he's no longer sure what normal is. "I never thought anything like this could ever happen at Duke," he says. "I never thought we could be treated this way. How can I look at Duke the same way?"

How can anyone?
Peter J. Boyer at The New Yorker cranks out another Duke story. It is more about Brodhead, Duke, the Duke faculty, and the fallout from the case than about the actual case.

More about people like Peter Wood, Orin Starn, Stanley Fish, Phillip Griffiths, John F. Burness, and Elizabeth Chin.
Peter Wood and Orin Starn were among those who believed that the lacrosse scandal represented a rare opportunity for Duke.
Sorry, Mr. Boyer our interest in Wood and Starn has completely petered out. What about the gross injustice and the framing of three innocent young men? Any chance you will use this rare opportunity to show some journalistic cojones regarding that matter?

But, any story that keeps the pot stirred about this injustice has to be counted as a positive.

sources:
Months later, unanswered questions haunt Duke [Jon Pessah | espn.com, Aug. 28, 2006]
Big Men on Campus [Peter J. Boyer | NewYorker.com, Aug. 28, 2006

LATER:

After re-reading the Boyer New Yorker article with a coffee refreshed brain it clearly comes across as well written homage to Richard H. Brodhead. Evans, Seligmann, and Finnerty are just mentioned in passing as characters in this great drama that engulfed President Brodhead.
Brodhead remained so thoroughly the literature professor as to embody the type—shy, prone to a slight stammer, but speaking in long, elegantly formed passages, filled with literary allusion...

academic heavyweight...

When I asked Brodhead how his experience at Duke has informed his thinking about the place of big-time athletics in the university, he cited Homer...

Brodhead, who had been trying to maintain a balance between avoiding prejudgment and satisfying the mounting pressure for action...

Less than a week later, Brodhead convened a press conference, and announced that he was reinstating the lacrosse program. "I am, I know, taking a risk," Brodhead said, in lifting the suspension of the team...

Brodhead reflected on all that had happened as we chatted in his office in July, and said that it brought to mind Shakespeare’s "Othello"...
Oh the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that landed on poor Richard Brodhead. Brodhead is not a hero in this tragedy he's a vacillating, wimpy Shakespearean fraud.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Duke Case: 60 Minutes of Pleasure, Months of Wait - Part II

Michael Gaynor reaffirms his earlier report that the 60 Minutes season opening story about the Duke case will break new ground:

The final editing for a season opening presentation on September 24 in an ongoing matter probably will not be done until hours, if not minutes, before broadcast, of course.

I will not be baited into revealing sources or breaking confidences, but there is more comfort that I can provide to the concerned.

First, the idea of a blockbuster expose is not only to be fresh instead of stale, but to break news. A report that the Duke case is disputed and not about to go to trial is NOT newsworthy. CBS would not invest the time, effort and money it is investing in the expose to have "60 Minutes" open its next season with that...

Second, investigation leads to exoneration of the Duke Three and excoriation of their accuser and their prosecutor. CBS has been investigating conscientiously. The facts support the defense and discredit the accuser and the prosecutor.

Cash Michaels added this about 60 Minutes doing the Duke story:
The tension-filled case that has gripped the nation now enters several new phases that are guaranteed to bring even tougher scrutiny of how Durham authorities have handled one of the highest profiled criminal investigations in their history.

This week, a spokesman for the CBS News program “60 Minutes,” citing policy, refused to confirm strong rumors that the investigative television news magazine was working on Duke case expose’ for its season premiere Sept. 24.

However sources have told The Carolinian/Wilmington Journal newspapers that that they are aware of people who have already been interviewed for the broadcast.
The real key to the success of a news show like 60 Minutes is not octogenarian "correspondents" like Mike Wallace, but the producers and assistant producers who grab a story and run with it. Expecting someone like 65 year-old Ed Bradley to pull an all nighter going over 1850+ pages of Duke case discovery information is probably not going to happen.

TJN said a couple of weeks ago when Mr. Gaynor first reported that 60 Minutes was going to do a story:
Here's hoping that 60 Minutes sends in a flame thrower who brings the high heat to the big show.
That comment applies to the production staff. It was the rogue, Peabody Award-winning, 60 Minutes producer, Mary Mapes, that tried to bring down George Bush with forged documents in 2004. She was subsequently fired. There's high heat and then there are beanballs. Mike Nifong has certainly earned a beanball between the eyes, but we'll settle for three hard strikes from 60 Minutes.

When the Duke story airs it will be interesting to see which producer(s) put it together.

60 Minutes II correspondent Charlie Rose, a Duke University and Duke law school graduate would also have a passing interest in what they do with this story.

sources:
Will "60 Minutes" do a "180" about exposing the Duke rape hoax? [Michael Gaynor | RenewAmerica.us, Aug. 28, 2006]
SHOULD BLACKS TRUST D. A. MIKE NIFONG? [Cash Michaels, Wilmington Journal, Aug. 25, 2006]

Monday linkfest:

A very nice pointed response to the journalist jackassery committed by the NY Times.

Times Open Letter [KC Johnson | Durham-In-Wonderland, Aug. 28, 2006]

Joe Neff adds more about information about Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and his "pristine white document that fell out of the sky four months later..."

Cop says nurse found trauma in Duke case [Joe Neff | NewsObserver.com, Aug. 27, 2006]

Duke lacrosse: A Nifong campaign disaster [John In Carolina, Aug. 28, 2006]
How To Succeed In Law Enforcement* [Crystal Mess, Aug. 28, 2006]
No Need to Keep Rape Accuser's Name Secret [freerepublic.com, Aug. 28, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Duke Case: The NY Times and Journalistic Jackassery

Searching for anyone with even a modestly articulate good word to say about the recent The NY Times journalistic jackassery is not easy. However, the diligent Herald-Sun was up to the task.

It now looks like everyone wants to be "fair and balanced." So, if you're going to quote blogs that are saying negative things about The NY Times "editorial" then you need to quote blogs with a positive reaction.

The Herald-Sun provided a couple of pithy pro-NY Times/Nifong quotes in their Friday story about the "no camera ruling" and the NY Times article. Who exactly were these erudite Duke case followers?

One potty rant is from The "litter box mouth" Cat Lady Speaks at Reverse Paranoia:

**** this. The New York Times piece on today’s front page is excellent. After perusing the almost-2,000 pages of evidence collected by the prosecution, the piece proves what will come as no surprise to anyone with a brain: the defense team these Good Old Boys bought has been ruthless in their exaggeration of this case’s supposed flimsiness.
The Herald Sun is quoting "The Cat Lady," wow! The Cat Lady, looks like she has never said a word about the Duke case before now. The Johnsville News should be so lucky.

Note to TJN editor, for next time: to get noticed by main stream media write a profanity laced rant about a subject that you have some vague interest in and support some journalistic jackassery of The New York Times.

The Durham Herald Sun also quotes novelist and rape survivor Marcella Chester of abyss2hope:
One said the article "puts a dent in the sinister agenda of the prosecution's naysayers."
Finally, someone who has been supporting the prosecution since day one and in desperate need of a pick-me up.

KC Johnscon dryly observed
: "No doubt all the pro-Times bloggers are experiencing internet connectivity issues, and are unable to post any items."

For the fairness and balance, here are the two sources for the negative NY Times quotes The Herald Sun used-

Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics.com:
One accused Nifong of leaking the documents to The Times "in hopes of countering the public perception that the whole thing is a sham and a textbook example of prosecutorial abuse."
and Nicholas Stix at webcommentary.com:
With DA Mike Nifong on the ropes, the New York Times is seeking to rig the rape prosecution

It looks like the Herald Sun was peeking at Devils in the Details, by Dylan Matthews at Slate.com to help it find even two pro NY Times/Nifong blog sources. That's how we found the Ms. Chester quote after exhausting the blog search engines. Matthews first looked at the blogs looking at The New York Times looking at Duke:
Bloggers pore over the latest evidence in the Duke University rape case.


sources:

Lacrosse judge bars pre-trial cameras [HeraldSun.com, Aug. 25, 2006]
Devils in the Details [ Dylan Matthews | Slate.com, Aug. 25, 2006]

addendum:

TJN also found a couple pro NY Times/Nifong remarks on the "Why is Gottlieb lying?" thread at CourtTV.com.
from ChickyGirl: To say that Gottlieb is lying with absolutely no proof is simply incredible.

This last article has leveled the playing field here, IMO, and set off a lot of manic and desperate posts.

Nifong, the police, and the victim are not the criminals here committing crimes such as malfeasence just to get the Dukies.

There is no giant conspiracy to get the Dukies. There is no motive to do this.

The Dukies are not worth it...

from fskatemd: Chickygirl,

I agree with you--the LAX supporters seem so upset about this article--they are acting very desperate and frightened. Frightened because this is not the slamdunk easy dismissal case that they were lead to believe by the defense. Their worldview--ie, the defense only tells the absolute truth, the "boys" are innocent and the women and Nifong caused this problem, there is no evidence whatsoever of a crime occuring--all these suppostitions are under attack in that article. And to really raise their blood pressure, it is not an article in the johnston news or the Durham Herald or the liestoppers blog but it is in the NEW YORK TIMES. Even the producers of 60 minutes read the Times...
What bothers TJN most about that last remark is the fact "skatemd" seems to be refering to The Johnsville News, but he screws our blog name up and calls us the "johnston news."

Ouch, that hurts. Why do the Nifong supporters never want to delve into the specifics of this hoax or get their facts straight?

If we had nickel for everyone who thought this blog was the "Johnston News" or "The Johnsonville News" we could buy all these pro-Nifong weiners a couple cases of Johnsonville Premium Cooked Bratwurst.

Duke Case: Poor Reviews for NY Times Article

updated:

Reaction to The NY Times "drive-by-shooting" article by Duff Wilson and Jonathan D. Glater about the Duke lacrosse case has been swift and energetic.

The story has been minutely parsed, hacked, shredded, dissected, disassembled, and found to be pitifully weak spin for the prosecution.

Still looking for a positive pointed review of the journalistic hackery.

William L. Anderson at lewrockwell.com:

The first thing to remember is that the Times is desperate for this story to be "true," and if the facts don't warrant its truth, the Times will use other methods....The dishonesty here is breathtaking...

it also tells us that when an agent of the state lies, and uses the prosecutorial apparatus in a dishonest and abusive way, the agent can find refuge in the New York Times if the desired outcome can validate the Times’ politically-correct view of the world.
LieStoppers:
a brief summary of the unforgivable flaws and omissions in Duff Wilson’s article:

Timeline...Kim Roberts Statements and Alleged Role in the Assault...The Accuser’s Story...Incomplete Explanations of DNA Evidence...Contradictions in Gottlieb’s Notes...Investigator Knowledge of Contents of the Medical Report...Evidence of Anal Trauma...Suspect Descriptions...Conclusion

The New York Times has published an article that is lengthy but chooses to ignore many of the basic facts of the case.
KC Johnson at Durham-In-Wonderland:
There are three serious problems with the Times piece...Bias...Questions for Nifong...Gottlieb and the Missed Headline

The main source for the Times duo is the late-arriving report of Sgt. Mark Gottlieb. The Times reveals that Gottlieb possesses extraordinary memory skills: his report was typed months after the events it described, with, apparently, virtually no contemporary notes.
Crystal Mess:
While the headline of this disgraceful piece of "investigative journalism" proclaims that Files From Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers, Duff, aided and abetted by Jonathan D. Glater, exhausts the equivilent of seventeen pieces of 8.5"x11" dead tree, excreted from my desk top printer, fashioning an answer to, indeed, a justifcation of, D.A. Michael B. Nifong's, um, election to proceed with what "[d]efense lawyers...Duke alumni and a group of bloggers" would color the "flimsiest" of rape allegations.

Incredibly, however, Duff & Glater prop up their transparently desired conclusion ...

Despite the incorrect, contrary conclusion spun by Duff and Glater, nothing "exposed" by them in this puff piece may be said to remotely approach "evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

Tucker Carlson and Dan Abrams discussed the NY Times article on Carlson's show Friday. NewsBusters.org described it:
Interviewed by Tucker Carlson, Abrams, who until taking over as head of MSNBC had his own justice-oriented show on the network, came out guns ablazin'.

"I thought it was shameful. I think it was an editorial on the front page of what is supposed to be the news division of the newspaper."

Michael Gaynor at renewamerica.com:
...it surely seems to have been written to buttress the floundering prosecution as much as possible...Why is The Times trying to help Mr. Nifong now? Could it be because the lessons of the Duke case discredit the political correctness crowd and at least part of the agenda of The Times?

Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics.com writes:
So, District Attorney Mike Nifong leaked all 1,850 pages of evidence in the Duke Lacrosse rape case to the New York Times in hopes of countering the public perception that the whole thing is a sham and a textbook example of prosecutorial abuse. Duff Wilson and Jonathan Glater only partly oblige, producing a lengthy and detailed account that, while certainly promoting aspects of the case that are favorable to the prosecution, still contains a whole lot of question marks and red flags about the accuser's story and, most importantly, about the way this case has been prosecuted.
Betsy's Page:
...What I missed the first time around is that these two widely different descriptions of the men came from the same conversation. How does that happen? Being more experienced doesn't explain how these different descriptions could have been heard by two policeman at the same time. Just try to mix and match the descriptions from each officer's notes and figure out what she could have said that could have led two policemen to write down what they did...
Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute blog:
The NY Times gains access to the prosecutor's file in the Duke lacrosse case. The Times acknowledges the possibility that we are looking at fraud by the Durham police and DA...
Nicholas Stix at webcommentary.com:
With DA Mike Nifong on the ropes, the New York Times is seeking to rig the rape prosecution against three Duke lacrosse players, by weaving evidence out of whole towels.
Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft.com wrote:
My first question is just how did the New York Times get the entire discovery file? After that, I wonder about the accuracy of some of the police reports....

Much of the article reads like a prosecution motion....

Yet, even the Times has to agree, there's no definitive evidence a rape occurred.
TalkLeft forum comment:
It's obvious the DA or DPD provided the information the NYT - and they are rewarded with a very favorable story

Large Points missed or minimized by the NYT:

(1) They intimate the Towel near Evan's room fits into the woman's story - they NEGLECT to mention DNA is comingled with Evans - and it doesn't match the AV or ANYONE at the party...

(14) The Fact the after other detectives ran IDs and Lineups and failed to produce ONE suspect - GOTTLIEB, again, comes to the rescue...
Another TalkLeft forum comment:
Wow, that is indeed troubling. Gottlieb, the same cop who guided the bogus line up, took forever to write his report and, when finally produced, mirrors the Nifong story. I want to be fair, but this sounds an awful lot like a coordinated framing to me.
Comments from FreeRepublic.com:
"How about answers and no details?" ...

Typical NYT spin on a story that is DOA if it ever goes to court...

NY Slimes trying to put the best face on things....

It is a fascinating attempt by the NY Times to reconcile all of the conflicts and deficiencies in the case...
Dr. Melissa Clouthier:
Duff Wilson and Jonathan Glater, authors of this editorial, I mean article...

which ostensibly covers revealing details about the Duke Rape debacle, represent the worst sort of journalists. They write a startling headline on the front page, and reveal themselves to be no more factual or unbiased than the breathless neighborhood gossip. Why, oh why, did I even bother reading it? I should know better by now.

Where to start? The piece was so irritating I didn't even want to blog on it--which is why I waited 'til tonight.
More thoughts regarding the Sgt. Gottlieb script changes at - CourtTV.com - 3 Pages of Notes??:
It strains credulity that, in a case as important as this, the lead investigator only produced 3 hand-written pages of notes, according to the NYT article.

With all the search warrants, evidence, witnesses, and investigations, I find it hard to believe a police officer would not commit more information to paper. Does he have a photographic memory, did he purposefully not put anything in writing, or did he not produce all of his notes??

The defense attorneys specifically moved that all police notes be preserved (see Kirk Osborn's website)

While the type-written report is important, contemporaneous notes are a lot more credible. There is something fishy about the paucity of Gottlieb's notes submitted in the discovery.
sources:
Desperate Times [William L. Anderson | lewrockwell.com, Aug. 25, 2006]
Enough from Duff [LieStoppers, Aug. 24, 2006]
More Bad Times
[KC Johnson | Durham-In-Wonderland, Aug. 25, 2006]
Mmmmmmm...DUFF!
[CrystalMess, Aug. 25, 2006]
Abrams: 'Shameful' Times Report on Duke Rape Case 'Editorial on Front Page' [newsbusters.org, Aug. 25, 2006]
The New York Times is trying to save Mike Nifong [Michael Gaynor | renewamerica.com, Aug. 25, 2006]
The Duke Lacrosse Files [Tom Bevan | RealClearPolitics.com, Aug. 25, 2006]
Rereading the Duke rape story in the NYT [Betsy's Page, Aug. 25, 2006]
The Times On The Duke Debacle [JustOneMinute, Aug. 24, 2006]
N.Y. Times to Duke Three: Drop Dead [Nicholas Stix | webcommentary.com, Aug. 25, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Case: NYT Reviews Evidence [Jeralyn Merritt | TalkLeft.com, Aug. 25, 2006]
Problems with the New York Times article [forums.talkleft.com, Aug. 25, 2006]
New York Times Article - 25 Aug 2006 [forums.talkleft.com, Aug. 25, 2006]
Files From Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers [FreeRepublic.com, Aug. 25, 2006]
Duke Rape Details Are Duds [Dr. Melissa Clouthier, Aug. 25, 2006]
3 Pages of Notes?? [boards.courttv.com, Aug. 25, 2006]

related:

New York Times [CrystalMess, Aug. 26, 2006]
Duke lacrosse: The blogs are on Times [John In Carolina, Aug. 25, 2006]
Creative Police Work
[LieStoppers.com, Aug. 26, 2006]
The Adventures of Baldo [LieStoppers.com, Aug. 25, 2006]
Report: Police Notes Bolster Prosecution Of Duke Lacrosse Case [wral.com, Aug. 25, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

addendum:

The New York Times responded by posting this correction:
Correction: Aug. 26, 2006

A front-page article yesterday about evidence in the case of three Duke University lacrosse players charged with rape misattributed a criticism of the method used to identify possible suspects. Lawyers for the defendant Reade Seligmann — not for the defendant David Evans — said the process was "a multiple-choice test with no wrong answers, a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey identification."

LATER:
Okay, TJN does subscribe to the Sunday edition of The New York Times, don't hold it against us. But, for the last couple of Friday's the newspaper delivery person has been throwing the Friday edition on the doorstep? So this afternoon we get the automated telephone sales pitch: The NY Times will give us a free 3 day weekend offer (Fri, Sat, & Sun) upgrade for eight weeks if we call and sign-up for the weekend upgrade. Not very good timing.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Duke Case: The Gottlieb Script Finally Arrives

The New York Times uses Durham Police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb's late arriving 36 page report to say that Mike Nifong now has support for going to trial. They put their biased story on the top left of the front page.

But an examination of the entire 1,850 pages of evidence gathered by the prosecution in the four months after the accusation yields a more ambiguous picture. It shows that while there are big weaknesses in Mr. Nifong’s case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury.

Crucial to that portrait of the case are Sergeant Gottlieb’s 33 pages of typed notes and 3 pages of handwritten notes, which have not previously been revealed. His file was delivered to the defense on July 17, making it the last of three batches of investigators’ notes, medical reports, statements and other evidence shared with the defense under North Carolina’s pretrial discovery rules....

The sergeant’s notes are drawing intense scrutiny from defense lawyers both because they appear to strengthen Mr. Nifong’s case and because they were not turned over by the prosecution until after the defense had made much of the gaps in the earlier evidence.

Joseph B. Cheshire, a lawyer for David Evans, one of the defendants, called Sergeant Gottlieb’s report a "make-up document." He said Sergeant Gottlieb had told defense lawyers that he took few handwritten notes, relying instead on his memory and other officers’ notes to write entries in his chronological report of the investigation.

Mr. Cheshire said the sergeant’s report was "transparently written to try to make up for holes in the prosecution’s case." He added, "It smacks of almost desperation."

Sergeant Gottlieb did not return phone calls yesterday seeking comment.
On Wednesday, regarding the stagecraft Nifong and company would have to produce to carry this hoax to trial, The Johnsville News said:
...that is why Ms. Mangum was recently observed leaving the Durham Police Department's headquarters with her two children. She is probably already working with Nifong's assistant producer/chief choreographer DPD Sgt. Mark Gottlieb as they begin going over their scripts and planning the tricky footwork for the big show.
Yes, we are psychic. Gottlieb was working on his script changes. It took him until mid-July to do his major re-write. In Hollywood, writers don't usually get a billing on the marquee, but in this case Gottlieb has earned his way on to the show poster.

Gottlieb's got a lock on this one: The Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay is the Academy Award for the best script not based upon previously published material.

source:
Files From Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers [NYTimes.com, Aug. 25, 2006]

Later:
Robert Johnson over at Durham-In-Wonder land offers a quick first take on the NY Times article. Regarding the Gottlieb report he says:
2.) The Gottlieb notes. The framing of the Times story--which lead off with the notes and rely on them heavily--suggests that the authors of the piece treated these notes as reliable. Yet, as the piece itself repeatedly observes, these notes (produced three months after the first indictments and the very last items turned over in discovery) contradict significant contemporaneous items in the file--the SANE nurse in training's recollections of the accuser; his fellow officer's contemporaneous recollections of the accuser's initial descriptions.

Gottlieb's notes, according to the Times, were typed, with little or no hand-written material.

The Times' conclusion: should the notes be treated with suspicion? No: The notes show that there is a "more ambiguous picture" than the defense suggested; "it shows that while there are big weaknesses in Mr. Nifong’s case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury."

Goittlieb's notes, of course, didn't exist when Nifong took the case even to the grand jury....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Who Robbed Crystal Gail Mangum? - Part 3: The Art of the Heist

updated:

Astute Duke case observer and message board maven "momtothree" stops over at the LieStopper blog and goes over the twists and turns of who robbed Crystal Gail Mangum. She comes to a very interesting conclusion.

Do thieves start fires to cover up burglaries? Do con artists stage commotions to distract their marks? Do embezzlers try to cover their tracks? Would one sex worker steal from other unknown sex worker who came to work late, intoxicated, acted totally unprofessional, and may have hustled her?

TJN posed these questions back in April:

Who robbed Crystal Gail Mangum?

How did Kim Roberts get the job of being chauffeur for an apparently intoxicated, unprofessional loser who may have hustled her?

Did any of Ms. Mangum's money get lost during the time she was in the car (with Ms. Roberts)?
Did the convicted embezzler Kim Roberts sling the first racial insult for a reason?

momtothree writes:
...Most observers conclude that the AV is holding both a purse and a make up bag in the picture of the AV on the back steps time stamped at 12:30 am. A second later, at 12:31, she has fallen on the steps.

The next question to consider is what, if anything, Kim might have done....

This part of the story has really not been questioned very much, except as to whether there were actual racial slurs that were used at this point, but there are some definite oddities here. First off, what caused the new commotion at the end? Bissey (the next door neighbor) says that things had been calm for quite some time.
All we can say is follow the money. This case is more about money than about rape.

source:
Our Collective Voice [momtothree | LieStoppers, Aug. 24, 2006]

related:
Duke Case: Poof...the Grubby Thievery Disappears [TJN, Aug. 15, 2006]
Who Robbed Crystal Gail Mangum [TJN, April 25, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Rape: Money at Center of Dispute [TJN, April 26, 2006]
Kim Roberts/Pittman Police Statement [TJN, June 12, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

Later:
Welcome Back to The Jenny Jones Show [CrystalMess, Aug. 24, 2006]

Thursday Linkfest:
Duke lacrosse: The Raleigh N&O gets rather Kinko [JohnInCarolina, Aug. 24, 2006]
Dissembling [Durhan-In-Wonderland, Aug. 23, 2006]

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Duke Case: Amazing Stagecraft Needed for Hoax Performance

The Duke Rape Hoax: It will make you laugh, it will make you cryMike Nifong will need to become a world class playwright and theater director in very short order if he wants to continue the prosecution of this Duke rape hoax. He will need to use some amazing stagecraft and write some equally incredible dialogue in order to create even a partially plausible gang-rape scene in his fictional tragedy.

Mike Nifong will need to collaborate closely with his star actress, Crystal Gail Mangum, in order to fit the role of a beat-up, strangled, gang-rape victim to the temperamental lying sex worker.

Mike and Crystal will need to spend a lot of time together as they work on orchestrating the movement of their very large cast consisting of two dancers, three perpetrators, dozens of Duke lacrosse players, and numerous extras (drivers, cops, doctors, nurses, security guard, etc.). They will need to work very smart in order to keep Ms. Mangum from bumping into the truth.

Perhaps that is why Ms. Mangum was recently observed leaving the Durham Police Department's headquarters with her two children. She is probably already working with Nifong's assistant producer/chief choreographer DPD Sgt. Mark Gottlieb as they begin going over their scripts and planning the tricky footwork for the big show.

Tricky is an understatement. The footwork and overall stagecraft Mike Nifong and his staff will need to create is overwhelming constrained by the actual reality that there was no rape. Time-stamp photographs, witnesses, cell phone records, ATM photos, medical reports, prior statements, and the stage itself are all hard facts that block out the critical gang-rape scene they're trying to create.

Never in the history of legal drama will so much fiction need to be invented out of so little time and so many tightly woven irrefutable facts. If you are a fan of the theater you will have to watch this trial show just to see what kind of spectacle Mike Nifong comes up with.

We already know the Mr. Nifong has a bent for theatrics from when he demonstrated for Dan Abrams of MSNBC back in April the choke hold used on Ms. Mangum by one of her assailants:

NIFONG: ...let me point out that the evidence that she would present with respect to that particular situation is that she was grabbed from behind. So that in essence, somebody had an arm around her like this, which she then had to struggle with in order to be able to breathe, and it was in the course of that struggle that the fingernails—the artificial fingernails broke off.

Now as you can see from my arm, if I were wearing a shirt, a long-sleeved shirt or a Jacket of some sort, even if there were enough force used to press down, to break my skin through the clothing, there might not be any way that anything from my arm could get on to those fingernails. So again, whether or not there would be any evidence would depend on exactly the situation. Were the fingernails actually in contact with the skin or were they in contact with clothing?
If Nifong never figured out Ms. Mangum was lying to him back in March and April, he'll certainly have to play the fool again as they work together on creating a case from scratch. Pun intended. Ms. Mangum will need a lot of rehearsals. What does Mike Nifong say to her when she forgets her lines?

Back to the stage itself. A small bathroom in a small house is the focal point for this hoax performance.

Who will take the jury to the alleged crime scene at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. first? Will it be the defense or the prosecution? The Duke lacrosse house is very small by all accounts and based on the exterior photos. It will be fascinating to watch the jury, the judge, all the lawyers, etc. all get bused down to 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. and then try to squeeze into the house and then into the bathroom where the alleged crime occurred.

Sadly, the main stream media so far has failed to furnish us with any interior photos or even a floor plan for the alleged crime scene at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. It's something we've been hoping to see for months, but apparently it's not in the cards. Maybe a hard charging assistant producer at 60 Minutes can get us inside the so called crime scene (hint, hint).

How exactly will Nifong isolate his star actress and three larger than average, male Duke lacrosse players in a small bathroom and create a four person 30-minute rape scrum with no blood or semen? It will be something to behold. He then has to get Ms. Mangum quickly put back together, made whole, and out the backdoor as she makes an intoxicated exit, stage North, in Kim Roberts' car.

Speaking of Kim Roberts, there is another temperamental lying actress Mike Nifong will have to deal with. She's already publicly flubbed her lines. Now Nifong will have to re-write her part and decide if she's a bit player, a lead, another victim, or a perpetrator herself. Dicey work indeed. Who knows which Ms. Roberts/Pittman will show up for the performance.

The Duke Rape Hoax Performance presented by Mike Nifong and starring Crystal Gail Mangum will have a short run - one performance, with no full public dress rehearsals. Do you think anyone will have stage fright?

source:
'The Abrams Report' (with video) [MSNBC, April 7, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

Wednesday Linkfest:

RN-VC Picks Up Steam
[LieStoppers, Aug. 23, 2006]
Newcomers' support of Duke is true blue [heraldsun.com, Aug. 22, 2006]
Duke Students Focusing On School Year, Not Lacrosse Scandal [nbc17.com, Aug. 22, 2006]
Duke lacrosse: At Friends of Duke University [JohnInCarolina, Aug. 22, 2006]
Duke students should protest gagging Duke case witnesses [renewamerica.us, Aug. 22, 2006]
Duke case heroes and villains [renewamerica.us, Aug. 21, 2006]

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Duke Case Tipping Point: When does the Main Stream Media call this case a Hoax?

Care to make a guess? When does someone in the main stream media (MSM) like the New York Times, or Newsweek, for example, finally use the word "Hoax" in a headline to describe the Duke case?

One more requirement, the word hoax must be used without a qualifier or question mark, in other words, saying something like "Duke Case a Hoax?" does not qualify. Saying something like, "The Duke Rape Hoax," is a winner.

The Johnsville News using some fancy guesswork will go out and set the over/under date for that big announcement and then let you put yourself on record.

But first, a few things to consider:

Will a MSM declaration of a hoax have to wait until sometime after all the formalities of a trial are digested?

Will someone in the MSM have the guts to step forward before a trial and label it as a hoax on a story headline? Many cable news pundits like Dan Abrams, Greta Van Susteren, Bill O'Reilly, Joe Scarborough, and Tucker Carlson, from what we know, have stopped just short of calling it a hoax.

These cable pundits are essentially saying the case has no merit and should be dropped, unless Nifong has one hell of a smoking gun (which he does not). It's still a fair jump from that position to calling it a hoax. So we wait.

Would someone in MSM finally use hoax in a headline, once all the evidence is formally put forward at trial, but before the verdict? Our bet would be, no. If the case goes to trial there will be no MSM declaration of a hoax until after the innocent verdict is rendered. Who, would want to risk getting blindsided by some twisted run-away jury, reverse OJ verdict.

The Johnsville News first called this case a hoax in a story on June 16th - Duke Lacrosse Scandal: The Innocence Equation, and first used the word in a headline on July 7th - Duke Case: The Politically Correct Hoax or "Po-Ho".

Michael J. Gaynor on June 28th wrote one of the first hoax headlines: From Duke Rape Case to Duke Rape Hoax.

But, Sensible Mom was way out front on this one back on April 10th - Duke Rape Hoax.

Other factors effecting a hoax headline: does the Durham November election offer a possible fast track to getting a quicker hoax brand stamped on this case?

Any wildcards like a 60 Minutes story in September offer an early tipping point? Will Oz (Judge W. Osmond Smith) wipe out the prosecution's case with a ruling or two favorable to the defense? Now that Judge Smith is on board will the pace to a jury trial accelerate? (Note: We won't call Judge Smith "Oz" anymore unless he screws up)

Does it help any to look back at the last great big rape hoax, the Tawana Brawley case, to get an idea?

Brian Mahoney said this regarding the Tawana Brawley scandal
:

Ironically the book, Outrage: The Story Behind the Tawana Brawley Hoax, was written by six reporters who covered the story for The New York Times. It covers a great deal of the grand jury testimony and its findings. The special grand jury convened to look into the matter in 1988 heard testimony from 180 witnesses but not Ms. Brawley, and based its conclusions on the testimony from medical and scientific experts as well as eyewitnesses. The grand jury concluded that the story Tawana Brawley's advisors (for no one has ever heard Tawana's version of the events) told the press and the police was false: "Based on all the evidence that has been presented to the grand jury, we conclude that Tawana Brawley was not the victim of a forcible sexual assault by multiple assailants over a four-day period," the grand jury stated. "There is no evidence that any sexual assault occurred."

The Tawana Brawley hoax started in November 1987 and the above mentioned book was published in 1990.

One more consideration, will the MSM just decide to never call this case a hoax? Instead, will they wimp out and try to use the bogus, but less judgemental word "scandal" to describe the mess. This probably depends on how much evil doing Mike Nifong gets away with before the legal system itself or MSM says enough.

As you can see handicapping this hoax question is not easy.

However, The Johnsville News will step forward and draw a line in the sand. The goal, if you are making book on an over/under, would be to get a nice 50-50% split on the date portion of this poll.

Poll Question: Will the Main Stream Media use the word "Hoax" to describe the Duke case before May 25, 2007?


Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com

addendum:
The 53-47 split ended up being between yes and no/never. It will be interesting to see if the case collapses quickly or if it drags on for months. It seems like a house of cards.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Duke Case: Life on the Run

A News & Observer story today tries to pick up the trail of Crystal Gail Mangum, the Duke rape accuser. Ms. Mangum is hiding from everyone, including her own family, and won't even let her parents see their grandchildren.

When will the Durham County Department of Social Services or state DSS step-in and check on the welfare of her children? Hopefully, someone in Durham is keeping an eye on this potentially dangerous situation. Ms. Mangum has a history of mental instability. No more casualties in this case please.

N.C. Central University (NCCU) confirmed that Ms. Mangum is enrolled for the fall semester.

The woman was recently observed leaving the Durham Police Department's headquarters with her two children....

Since making the allegations, the woman has been depressed, lost weight and has stopped communicating with her family, her father said.

The 62-year-old retired truck driver says he hasn't seen his daughter since June, when he happened to spot her sitting in a friend's car at a traffic light on Fayetteville Street.

"She said she was doing fine," he said. "I asked where [her] kids were, and she said they were out of town. ... Then the light changed."

The accuser's father and mother said they are desperate to see their grandchildren, ages 7 and 6.
source:
NCCU classes set for accuser [NewsObserver.com, August 19, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

Duke Case: The Cowards - Nifong & Brodhead

Robert Wellington, a Duke lacrosse parent, wrote an essay calling for both Durham district attorney, Mike Nifong, and Duke President Richard Brodhead to do the right thing - end the travesty. A tale of two men:

Both men have reacted to the Duke Lacrosse circumstances with one overriding impetus: their personal survival. Neither looked more than one move ahead when they condemned the Duke team, its coach, and its players. Both followed an agenda laid out long before, in one case by those unhappy with the status quo and in the other by the almighty god to those in public office, the politics of reelection. Neither looked at the facts as they related to the circumstances and players in the Duke Lacrosse travesty; neither cared much for seeking the truth...

In the end it appears that the only crimes committed were by these two men...

Both want to be seen as leaders of men, yet both lack the courage to be honest...

This is a case of honesty, both legally and socially. I call upon these men to do what is right and I pray that they will find the wisdom to know what that is and the courage to do it. Justice will be meted out eventually. The opportunity can be theirs or left to their inheritors. It is time for them to choose.

source:
A tale of two men [Durhan-In-Wonderland, Aug. 19, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

Friday, August 18, 2006

Duke Case gets Judge W. Osmond Smith III

Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith IIISuperior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III has been tossed the Duke Lacrosse hot potato. Let's hope he doesn't drop it on the ground.

So Judge Smith doesn't like his first name and prefers Osmond? What is he trying to hide? Good lord, there goes the local North Carolina media again, dropping the damn ball. What the heck does the "W" stand for please? Can someone in Durham please start investigating these mysteries.

News & Observer reported
:

The lawyers and prosecutor in the Duke University lacrosse rape case have agreed to have Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III appointed to handle the trial.

Smith is the senior resident Superior Court judge for the judicial district that includes Person and Caswell counties. Durham's senior resident judge formally nominated Smith and asked the state's chief justice to declare the case "exceptional" and appoint Smith to handle the case.

The effort is rare for criminal cases in the state and apparently unique in Durham..
WRAL.com reported:
State Chief Justice Sarah Parker has signed off on an agreement that will allow a judge to preside over all proceedings in the Duke lacrosse rape case.

Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith will be assigned to the case, which is expected to go to trial in the spring...
sources:
Sides agree on judge for Duke lacrosse case [newsobserver.com, Aug. 18, 2006]
Judge Assigned To Handle Duke Lacrosse Rape Case [WRAL.com, Aug. 18, 2006]

related:
WRAL: Aug. 17 Recommendation for Exceptional Case Status - letter dated Aug. 17th from Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson, Jr. to Chief Justice Sarah E. Parker..."we would like to recommmend for your consideration Judge Osmond Smith"...

comment: This case if it does go to trial will be one that "goes to the mattresses."

wral.com reported:
The trial of three Duke University lacrosse athletes accused of raping an exotic dancer could last longer than any other trial in Durham County, according to a Durham County judge...
Duke Lacrosse Trial Could Be Longest In Durham History [wral.com, Aug. 17, 2006]

later:
Lawyer Kirk Osborn, representing Seligmann, said Friday that he was "really excited the case has been declared exceptional, and delighted we got Judge Smith. He's a very bright and competent judge who can focus on this case. We all greatly respect Osmond Smith."

Osborn said he would press to have a key evidentiary motion heard by Smith as soon as possible...
Smith tapped as judge for rape trial [heraldsun.com, Aug. 18, 2006]

Duke Case: Got "weak, anonymous bullies"

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. - Martin Luther King Jr.
The main stream media, journalists, reporters et al in North Carolina have so far certainly not distinguished themselves in covering this Duke rape hoax. Robert Johnson nicely described it this way:
—most have seemed content to follow the lead of the Herald-Sun’s Bob Ashley or the N&O’s Dennis Rogers, whose recent column explained why he, as a journalist, shouldn’t be expected to know anything about the case or to undertake any independent inquiry into matters. Know nothing, have no desire to learn, and then get paid for writing about your lack of knowledge: sounds like a pretty good job to have!
But, make no mistake, many of these North Carolinian media types are secretly hoping Nifong can somehow pull a rabbit out of his evil hat and crucify the three young Duke lacrosse players.

That would make their day, giving them the fire and brimstone to shower down on the piss ant bloggers, New York cable news pundits, and anyone else who looked cross-eyed at their coverage of the case.

Professional journalists working in North Carolina do not like hearing that nobody bloggers are saying they're doing a lousy job covering the Duke rape hoax. They do not like the harsh, judgemental, and condescending tone coming out of blogs.

They look at many blogs (like The Johnsville News) and internet message boards that focus on stories like the Duke case as weak, anonymous bullies, who spew error riddled trash at a story hoping something will stick.

Here are snippets of feedback from one professional main stream journalist in North Carolina evaluating the coverage by this blog of the Duke case:
...you are in no position to be criticizing the reportage of others . . . WHO USE A BYLINE

...You're being a bully. A weak, anonymous bully.

...you need to watch your tone.

...it does get my dander up when someone who truly has no idea what it's like takes such a judgemental tone

Again, think what you want. Be judgemental, we encourage it, just stop expressing it so condescendingly...don't lecture us...

As journalists, we have to be objective, see the gray and investigate using TOOLS, not just cutting and pasting from other's news accounts that happen to agree with you.

You're not just pointing out reporting problems...you're being nasty about it in the process. So yes, watch your tone.
Okay. Yes. Let's just assume this criticism is all correct. The Johnsville News is a weak anonymous bully blog that uses a judgemental and condescending tone. It's very tempting to make that the new tag line under the blog title.
The Johnsville News
"the weak, anonymous, bully blog that uses a judgemental and condescending tone"
But, in this particular Duke case that mild name calling doesn't hurt one bit. No problem with that label being hung on this blog. Individually, blogs are weak, no one gives a damn about any one blog unless you have one in the Technorati - Top Favorited Blogs.

However, an injustice like this Duke rape hoax brings out a good number of bloggers who feel something has gone very wrong with the system in North Carolina. Not just the legal system, but with the local main stream media outlets that are supposed to serve as journalistic watchdogs.

The question is who wakes up the watchdog when he's fallen asleep. These days it can only be the blogs. Remember how effective letters to the editor were back in the good old days.

One blog isn't enough. However, a number of blogs have a better chance of being heard and conveying the message - a Greek chorus effect.

Every blog plays a different role and adds a different voice to the chorus. A blend of different voices works best and adds the most value to a particular issue.

We would argue that every blog chorus in order to be effective needs at least one weak, anonymous bully.

William L. Anderson also had some thoughts recently on what blogs have brought to the Duke case:
Fast forward to the Duke affair. As I pointed out earlier in this piece, the N&O and other mainstream newspapers and broadcasters worked exclusively with Nifong and the authorities, giving sympathetic coverage to the accuser and painting the lacrosse players as hooligans hiding behind their lawyers. After three players were arrested for this "crime," however, things began to change, thanks to bloggers and the Internet...

Thus, if you wish to see the timelines, pictures of Reade Seligmann standing at a bank teller at the same time Nifong claims he was committing rape, or find information about the accuser’s past, or see the mainstream journalists being dissected story by story, the blogs have it all. There is no doubt that these powerful informational entities have forced the N&O (not to mention Newsweek and other media outlets) change the direction of their coverage...

As I have stated before, I have no doubt that in the pre-Internet and pre-blog age, Nifong would not be on the defensive, as most people who followed the story would be convinced that the players were guilty. After all, people reason, an indictment itself is near-proof of guilt. Instead, we see a D.A. on the defensive and his core group of supporters dwindling.
If you were falsely accused of a terrible crime and had your reputation dragged through the mud, wouldn't you hope that a few people got upset and perhaps even outraged enough to write blogs about it. Especially if the main stream media was ignoring or even enflaming the situation. Right.

So here are a couple of good questions to ask yourself:

Would you stop someone from writing a weak anonymous bully blog to get the word out about the gross injustice you had suffered? Would you set a limit on how many weak anonymous bully blogs could support your cause?

So, The Johnsville News is pleased and proud to be a very small, weak, anonymous bully blog doing whatever minuscule bit of good it can to see that three innocent young men keep their freedom and have their good names restored. That is the bottom line and no we will not watch our tone.

source:
Blogs and the Mainstream Press [William L. Anderson | lewrockwell.com, Aug. 12, 2006]

Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Duke Case: Fire Starting 101

The right to free speech does not give one the right to yell fire in a crowded theater.

The right to a fair trial does not give a district attorney the right to yell "racial crime" and incite a lynch mob when he wants a big kick-off to his re-election campaign.

Mike Mifong orchestrated the release of the 911 call made by Kim Roberts in order to incite a mob of vigilantes and throw fuel on a racial fire. Nifong and the Durham police then lied when they were asked if they knew who made the call.

Once the racial fire was started Mike Nifong mounted center stage to announce that he was personally going to prosecute the Duke case. It was a perfect launch platform for a re-election campaign in a tight race where Nifong needed the Black vote in order to keep his job.

LieStoppers calls this evil Nifong ploy the "Hoax within a Hoax."

By releasing these tapes and subsequently feigning that the call was from an unrelated, unknown pair of women equally subjected to racial harassment by the same group of hooligans on the same evening, the DA and his accomplices from the DPD created an atmosphere of division and hatred within Durham. It was upon this pedestal that the vote-pandering Nifong rode to primary victory less than two months later. It must be noted that this confusion was not created by an eager journalist who acquired and made public these tapes. The tapes sat available at Durham PD for two weeks until the day following Mr. Nifong's announcement that he would personally prosecute the case, when DPD issued a news release of the tapes together with a public appeal from DPD for information from the public about the identification of the 911 caller.

[...]

March 29-30
To add fuel to the racial fire Nifong would pour the following gasoline-like comments over the next few days:

"The circumstances of the rape indicated a deep racial motivation for some of the things that were done," District Attorney Mike Nifong said. "It makes a crime that is by its nature one of the most offensive and invasive even more so." NBC 17 March 29

"The racial slurs involved are relevant to show the mindset … involved in this particular attack," Nifong told Syler. "And, obviously, it made what is already an extremely reprehensible act even more reprehensible." - CBS March 30

Enabling Mr. Nifong’s Hoax, we find an accomplice in DPD, spokeswoman Kammie Michael, who declines to answer whether the call was made by the second dancer, and who then issues a public plea for help in identifying this “unknown” caller. What public interest could possibly have been served by the release of the 911 calls and the charade of “We don't know who she is and would like to talk to her." NY Times March 30

Sorry, but I can't get this song out of my head:
Has anyone here seen our old friend the Department of Justice?
Can you tell me where they've gone?

source:
A Hoax Within A Hoax [LieStoppers, Aug. 15, 2006]


Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]

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