Headlines in today’s Raleigh News & Observer :
Gas-price wars break out
Competition sent pump prices at some stations in Greenville below $2. Could it happen here?
I'm a history buff who's skeptical of much that mainstream media tells us. I'm rooting hard for America and civilization.
Late Friday afternoon attorney and columnist Michael Gaynor reported in a comment here that Judge W. Osmond Smith III, now presiding in the Duke lacrosse case, had just modified a gag order placed on attorneys and potential witnesses. Gaynor wrote:
Judge Osmond Smith modified Judge Kenneth Titus's gag order, ungagging potential witnesses (including the Duke Three) to speak to the media about the Duke case.Since no media were reporting a gag order modification, JinC readers reasonably asked for confirmation.
Cause for celebration for the Duke case defense, "60 Minutes," the people of Durham County, North Carolina and free speech supporters. Calamity for Mr. Nifong and his dwindling supporters. …
The judge also ordered the lawyers to abide by the rules of professional conduct that govern lawyers in North Carolina. The order replaces one issued by a previous judge that applied the rules -- and specifically the ones regarding statements to the news media -- to witnesses in the case.Congratulations, Michael Gaynor.
Judge Smith said he would make no judgments on the previous statements by lawyers in the case, but now that he was assigned, the lawyers should remember that cases are tried in court.
HOW MANY?Nice catch, N&O.
When one of the defense lawyers said that Nifong gave 50 to 70 interviews about the case, Nifong said he wanted to set the record straight. He checked his schedule and it showed that he actually gave more like 15 to 20 interviews. He said he had many conversations with reporters, some just to say that he would not comment on the case.
But the number 50 came from Nifong himself.
In a March 31 interview with a News & Observer reporter, Nifong was asked "How many interviews do you think you've given?"
"In excess of 50," Nifong said.
Posted by JWM at 9:53 AM
(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
We are ending today a “Walk in Churchill’s Steps” series we began Monday.
Today we are walking up Whitehall from Downing Street toward the New Palace of Westminster, the official name for what is really a group of buildings most often called simply “Parliament.” An easy few minutes walk takes us to the grass covered Parliament Square.
We’ll stand on the sidewalk at the Southwest corner of the Square. Churchill stood there often waiting for the light to change before he crossed the street.
As we look across the street what we see is little changed from Churchill’s time. The part of Parliament closest to us is Westminster Hall, completed in 1097. Sir Thomas More’s trial was held there. In his later years Churchill knew that plans for his funeral called for him to lie in state there.
Turn to you’re right and look at Westminster Abbey. On June 18, 1886 Churchill, then 11, stood close by the Abbey to watch Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee procession.
St. Margaret’s Church is also in your view. If a visitor in the 1930’s had stopped to ask Churchill, “What’s that small church beside the Abbey?” Churchill could have told him a lot about the church. It’s the parish church of Parliament and he and Clementine were married there in September, 1908.
Churchill might have asked the visitor where he was from. If the visitor had said, “North Carolina,” Churchill would likely have told him Sir Walter Raleigh is buried beneath St. Margaret’s alter.
We’ll now end our “walk” at this corner. When you arrived you noticed a Churchill statue right behind us (photo here). It’s sparked some controversy. There are those who say it shows an old, brooding Churchill.
I like the statue very much. To me Churchill looks resolute, defiant and purposeful just as he was when he led the fight for Britain and civilization.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about the statue and our series of “walks.”
There’s not much about DA Mike Nifong that attorney and columnist Michael Gaynor hasn’t exposed and analyzed.
Here’s the start of Gaynor’s most recent column:
When it comes to poisoning the Durham County, North Carolina jury pool, District Attorney Michael B. Nifong knows what to do and he does not want anyone trying to undo his work after he is through.That gets it, doesn’t it?
Posted by JWM at 2:15 PM
You may recall that late one night this past January, there was an unconfirmed report all the miners trapped in the Sago Mine had been found alive. Tragically, the unconfirmed report turned out to be false. All but one of the miners were found dead.
Some newspapers were careful to let their readers know the report was unconfirmed. They ran qualifying headlines.
Other newspapers ignored the lack of confirmation and ran headline stories saying without qualification the men had been found alive. The Raleigh News & Observer was one of those newspapers.
The N&O exec editor for news, Melanie Sill, refused to accept any responsibility for the N&O's error. It was all the AP's fault, the Governor of West Virginia's fault, the mine owners' fault, impossible press deadlines --- you get Sill's point.
When readers reminded Sill that many papers with the same information and deadlines had gotten the story right; and that she should accept responsibly for the N&O's errors, Sill dismissed them as people who "look for any opportunity to bash us." (You can read Sill's explanations and her "conversation" with readers here.)
Sill's "final words" to readers were: ""There are occasions when we fall down on our responsibilities; this isn't one of them."
That prompted me to post on Sill's thread the following comment :
Comment from: John [Visitor] • http://www.johnincarolina.comSill never offered any examples. Maybe she was too busy taking calls from people who "look for any opportunity to bash" the N&O.
01/04/06 at 21:24
You say: "There are occasions when we fall down on our responsibilities; this isn't one of them."
Give us a few examples of what you see as The N&O falling down on its responsibilities?
Posted by JWM at 9:42 AM
Today both the Raleigh News & Observer and the Durham Herald Sun report concerning a phone survey of 300 Durhamites commissioned by attorneys for the three indicted Duke lacrosse players. Durham DA Mike Nifong is upset about the poll which he learned about from his wife, Cy Gurney. She was one of those polled.
There are major differences in the two papers’ reporting. Let's look at a few of them.
The H-S’s headlines :
Nifong assails phone surveyRight in the headlines the N&O tells readers defense attorneys say they polled to gauge the effects of Nifong’s early public comments. But the H-S says nothing about that and instead gives readers Nifong's spin that polling might taint the jury pool.
Duke lacrosse players’ lawyers say poll was to gauge prosecutor’s early public comments.
The defense lawyers said they were only trying to assess how Nifong himself might have influenced a potential jury with his early public comments on the case …So when does the H-S mention the defense attorneys’ concern?
[The] defense says it gave its approval for the survey, "as is their legal right and duty to protect the defendants' right to a fair trial before an impartial jury" as specified by the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law.A news story’s first few paragraphs are usually its most important ones. Look at each paper's first two paragraphs.
"That impartiality could have been substantially threatened by extensive prejudicial comments" made by Nifong, the defense argues.”
The prosecution is dialing up a new issue in the Duke lacrosse rape case.We’re moving right on to the N&O’s first two paragraphs, but keep in mind the H-S’s “admittedly approved by lacrosse rape suspects’ defense attorneys.” We’ll come back to that in a minute.
Specifically, District Attorney Mike Nifong is questioning a survey -- admittedly approved by lacrosse rape suspects' defense attorneys -- which he said, if allowed to go unchecked, might wind up tainting the prospective jury pool for the case.
District Attorney Mike Nifong on Wednesday accused defense lawyers in the Duke University lacrosse rape case of using a telephone poll as a "thinly disguised" attempt to influence jurors.I don't need to highlight the differences, do I?
The defense lawyers said they were only trying to assess how Nifong himself might have influenced a potential jury with his early public comments on the case, in which three men are accused of raping a woman hired to dance at a March lacrosse team party.
In a motion prepared late Wednesday afternoon, attorneys for the three defendants asked a judge to deny Nifong and said they told him in August that they intended to conduct polling. The survey was scientific, the lawyers said, and limited to 300 interviews. (bold added)Why didn't Editor Bob Ashley's paper tell readers the attorneys said they told Nifong about the polling in August? Why say instead the attorneys "admittedly approved" the poll?
Hello, Mrs NifongYou're going to love the poem's title.
New York on the line.
Well, how are you doing?
We hope... doing fine
Posted by JWM at 12:12 PM
(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
Today we continue a “Walk in Churchill’s Steps” series we started on Monday.
We’re now leaving St. James Park and heading toward where Downing Street enters Whitehall. There are a number of ways to get there. It’s less than a five minute walk.
When you stand at Whitehall looking down the single block that’s Downing Street, you’re looking through a gate. In Churchill’s lifetime the street wasn’t gated. He knew it first as a small boy. His father, Lord Randolph, became Chancellor of the Exchequer when Churchill was about 10. The Chancellor's office and home are at 11 Downing Street. Churchill was away at school most of the time his father was Chancellor, he did stay at 11 Downing Street for short periods during holidays.
From the gates at Downing Street you see the Parliament building some few hundred yards up Whitehall.
Walk up Whitehall toward Parliament. It’s a walk Churchill made on countless days.
May 13, 1940, was one of those days. The 10 year old school boy who used to run up Whitehall to play in Parliament Square was on that day the 65 year old Commons Member for Epping about to address the House for the first time as Prime Minister. He would tell the House that he had “nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."
But Churchill really offered much more. He gave courage, defiance, hope and purpose, ending his first speech as PM with:
"But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, 'come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.'"Tomorrow we’ll end our walk in front of Churchill's statue in Parliament Square
If you're a Delta frequent flyer (Delta Rewards) and you have expiring miles you're not planning to use, you can donate them so they'll be put be Delta in a pool that's used to provide tickets at no cost to U.S. military service personnel.
Talk to your Delta agent about it.
It's a great thing to do.
The U.S. military is the world's greatest human rights organization.
Posted by JWM at 3:12 PM
A reader asks:
Why is everyone who disagrees with the "anti-Brodheads" a troll? Why is it that those who disagree can't be credible if their child is not at risk? Why threaten to erase their comments?I think this reader is well-intentioned but the questions are overblown and misstate.
In the early days of the LAX mess, the entire country thought the LAX players were guilty. During that time, Richard Brodhead was one of the very few voices of reason. While the media conducted what can only be described as a high-tech lynching of the entire LAX team, Brodhead went before the television cameras in countless press conferences and submitted to countless newspaper, magazine, and television interviews. He reminded everyone that there was no evidence of any rape other than the allegation of the accuser. ….This reader is speaking civilly and makes a genuine effort, IMHO, to offer a fact-based case although the facts offered are, again IMHO, in some instances wrong.
However, I do not see him getting much credit for his efforts on this website. All I can say is that people have short memories because it was not too long ago that Richard Brodhead was just about the only person in the country who was standing up for the LAX players, other than their lawyers and their own families.
I think it is important to remember that it was the LAX players who created this mess, not Brodhead. I think one of the things going on here is that the families of the LAX players and their supporters feel so guilty about the damage the players have done to the reputation of the university and so angry at how the players have been treated by the justice system and by the media that they just want to lash out at others in order to assuage their own guilt, and at some point along the way, they decided to beat up on Brodhead. This would help to explain some of the overheated rhetoric and, in some cases, downright false accusations about Brodhead that I have seen on this website and some of the other websites that have been following the LAX case.This comment by a third reader is the kind of comment I delete.
Posted by JWM at 1:00 PM
Sometimes there's nothing to do but copy, paste and say "thank you" to bloggers whose work gets the job done and you can't imporve upon it with further commentary.
This is one of those times. Asst. Secretary of Defence Smith's letter to the NY Times needs to be "out there" so people can see it. Betsy's brief comments nail the Times.
Here's Betsy Newmark's post, "What the New York Times won't print"
Powerline has the text of a letter that Assistant Secretary of Defense Dorrance Smith sent to the New York Times to contradict errors that they had in their editorial. Smith's letter exposed all the errors in their piece which had said that, with the transfer of some CIA prisoners to Guantanamo, the US finally had some terrorists there.
The response of the New York Times to the exposure of how wrong they were: they neglected to print the letter. Here's the letter that the NYT didn't see fit to print.
September 7, 2006Perhaps they were just embarrassed about how wrong they'd been in their own editorial that they couldn't let the American people see that they, shock!, actually let their bias lead them into making such a mistake.
Letter To The New York Times
To the Editor:
Your September 7, 2006 editorial, "A Sudden Sense of Urgency," asserts that the recent transfer of 14 CIA prisoners means that "President Bush finally has some real terrorists in Guantánamo Bay." This merits a correction.
Since its inception, terrorists that have been held at Guantánamo Bay have included personal bodyguards of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda recruiters, trainers, and facilitators. One notable individual held at Guantánamo was Mohamed al-Kahtani, believed to be the intended 20th hijacker on September 11th.
That many of these men are terrorists intent on doing America harm is not a simply an assertion made by the U.S. government, but something many detainees themselves have claimed, indeed boasted about. For example, in open commission hearings on March 1, Mr. Al Bahlul boasted five times that he was a member of Al Qaeda involved in an ongoing war against America. In open commission hearings on April 27, Mr. Al Sharbi said, "I’m going to make this easy for you guys: I’m proud of what I did and there isn’t any reason of hiding...I fought against the United States. I took up arms."
It is unfortunate that one of America’s largest newspapers concludes these men are not "real terrorists."
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
Posted by JWM at 10:06 AM
(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
We are continuing today a “walk in Churchill’s footsteps” we started yesterday at The Savoy Hotel from which we walked East, past Charing Cross Station and up to the corner of Trafalgar Square, a very easy walk of less than 10 minutes.
After crossing the square we came to The Admiralty building from which the King summoned Churchill to Buckingham Palace in the early evening hours of May 10, 1940. We had just walked under Admiralty Arch and were starting our way up the Mall to the palace, a distance of a less than a mile.
We stopped at that point and continue now.
As you walk in the direction of the palace look to your left. You’ll see one of London’s loveliest parks, St. James. It has a lake which at its end closest to the Admiralty contains an area called Duke Island because - well, you can guess why.
Churchill loved St. James Park. When he was First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 to 1915 and again from 1939 to 1940, the park was “in his backyard” because the First Lord lived as well as worked at the Admiralty.
During his first tenure as First Lord, Churchill often took his young children to see and feed the ducks, geese, swans and birds that nest in the island area.
During WWII Churchill frequently took his walks in St. James, which is also close to Downing Street. His principal bodyguard, Inspector Walter Thompson, tells a number of stories about those walks, often taken during blackouts. Thompson would beg Churchill not to go out in the blackout but off they went. One evening Churchill almost walked into a tree trunk.
The next day, a desperate Thompson convinced Churchill to let him make an adaptation to Churchill’s walking stick.
Thompson taped a flashlight (he called it “a torch”) to the end of Churchill’s stick. Then he taped a kind of “collar” around the light end of the torch so only a narrow beam shone from it. With the aid of that device, Churchill had no more close encounters with tree trunks in St. James.
Tomorrow, well turn away from Buckingham Palace and walk toward Churchill’s two favorite London destinations: Parliament and 10 Downing Street.
A number of bloggers ( e.g. Liestoppers, KC Johnson, Johnsville and JinC) have called attention to the sharp decline in the accuracy and completeness of the Durham Herald Sun's reporting and analyses of matters relating to the Duke Hoax. They've also called attention to a series of Editor Bob Ashley’s editorials and columns concerning the hoax. Ashley, though, doesn’t call it a hoax. He's more: "Brodhead and Nifong are great; when's the trial?"
It occurred to me you might be interested in learning a little bit more about the Herald Sun, Ashley’s editorship and how the paper’s been doing recently. So I put this post together.
Three years ago, The Durham Herald Sun was a respected community newspaper owned by a local family. Then in late 2004, the H-S was sold to a privately held The Paxton Media Group, based in Paducah, Ky.
Paxton sent Ashley to Durham to run the H-S. On Ashley’s first day, scores of long-time H-S employees were summarily fired and escorted by security guards from the H-S building. They weren’t given reasons for their firings, other than they were no longer needed. They weren’t even allowed to return to their desks to say good-bye to friends and colleagues, some of whom they’d worked with for more than 20 years. Ashley explained that was because of "security reasons."
I called Ashley in mid January 2005, to complain about his treatment of the employees as well as what I saw as a significant drop in the paper’s quality after he took over. I said I was on the verge of doing what thousands of readers had already done: cancel my subscription.
Ashley asked me not to. Give him a chance, he said. Sure, there had been some initial “bumps.” But if I just gave him a chance, I’d see what he would do.
Ashley said in a year the H-S under his editorship would be a much better paper than it had ever been.
I gave him a chance; and watched the paper decline. When my subscription was up, I didn’t renew. I’ve since re-subscribed but mainly to have access to the H-S’s archives.
OK, that’s me. What about other people in Durham? How do they feel?
When Ashley first took over, the H-S had a weekday circulation of about 54 thousand. My best guess is that the H-S weekday circulation is now about 35 thousand or so, and continuing to decline. The decline is occurring in a fast-growing region with a strong and expanding economy.
It isn’t just readers who are abandoning what many people now call “Ashley’s H-S.”
Advertisers are abandoning it, too.
The information below illustrates that. For each of the five weekdays beginning Monday, Sept. 11, I counted the total number of pages in the H-S’s “A” section. Then I estimated the total number of those pages taken up by advertising.
I estimated the ad “pages” because ads were in various sizes from a few inches high and one column wide to a full page. I tried to make my ad “pages” estimates on the generous side. I suspect if Editor Bob Ashley himself were to check the amount of advertising in those “A” sections, he’d find my ad “pages” estimates might be a little high.
Here's what I found for each of the 5 days' "A" section
Sept. 11 -- 6 pages of which .75 was advertising.When a newspaper’s circulation is declining as its region grows and its weekday “A” section advertising averages less than two full pages a day, that paper’s headed for “a crash and burn,” even if its editor was once “Duke of Paducah.”
Sept.12 -- 8 pages of which 2.25 were advertising.
Sept. 13 -- 8 pages of which 1.75 were advertising.
Sept. 14 -- 8 pages of which 1.50 were advertising.
Sept. 15 -- 8 pages of which 3.00 were advertising.
Posted by JWM at 4:42 PM
(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
Today I'd like to respond to a reader comment from last week. In doing that, perhaps I'll help make your next visit to London more memorable.
The commenter responded to a post concerning The Other Club, the social and dining club which Churchill co-founded in 1911; and held membership in until his death. The club met fortnightly in the Pinafore Room of London's Savoy Hotel when Parliament was in session.
The commenter said it was always special to be in the Pinafore Room and think of its Churchillian history.
The commenter got me thinking of a short “Churchill” tour you could all take from the Savoy.
Standing at the main entrance to the hotel you are at the end of a very short dead-end street that exits on to the Strand.
As you walk toward The Strand, you’ll notice on your left the entrance to a theatre (as they spell it there). Fittingly enough it’s The Savoy, once “the home” of the D’Oyle Carte Opera Company, producer of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas of which Churchill was so fond. He often sang G&S songs in his bath. And, of course, he attended many productions at the Savoy.
Since Churchill’s time, the Savoy Theatre has been gutted and rehabbed inside. But the outside structure and the basic interior layout remain essentially the same as in his lifetime.
When you come out onto The Strand, turn left in the direction of Trafalgar Square, which is an easy five-minute walk down The Strand.
Stay on the left side of The Strand as you approach Trafalgar and you’re taking the same walk Churchill often took to head back, say, to the Admiralty or the Charing Cross station where he’d catch a train to Seven Oaks, the station near Chartwell.
You’ll come to Charing Cross in just a few minutes. If at that point you look across to your right, you’ll see Saint Martin-in-the-Fields. Its crypt now serves as a gift shop and café. During WWII, it served as a bomb shelter.
Continue past Charing Cross another few blocks down The Strand and you’ll find yourself on the Southeast side of Trafalgar Square. You can look to the North side and see the National Gallery. Churchill sometimes took his children there.
Directly across from you on the West side of the square is The Admiralty. Through Admiralty Arch you can look up the roadway and see Buckingham Palace. It was from The Admiralty in the early evening hours of May 10, 1940 that Churchill, alone except for his bodyguard Inspector Thompson, rode to the Palace in response to the King’s summons.
I’ve repeatedly said Duke’s President Richard H. Brodhead wants to see three Duke students put on trial for gang-rape.
In a number of posts I’ve cited many reasons why that statement is true. The students have been indicted for multiple felonies including rape. Those indictments, unless overturned, make a trial necessary. Brodhead has refused to say a word of criticism of DA Mike Nifong or the investigative travesties that led to those indictments.
Duke Law Professor James Coleman has called for Nifong to step aside and allow a special prosecutor to take over the case. That would include a review of the indictments by the new prosecutor who could possibly ask for their dismissal. In that case, we wouldn’t see the students put on trial.
So if you want to see the students put on trial you should say nothing critical of DA Nifong; and for heavens sake, you don’t say anything like: “I think Professor Coleman is right. Nifong should step aside.”
You especially shouldn’t criticize Nifong or endorse what Coleman has said if you’re the President of Duke University, because your words would carry great weight with public officials and the general public.
President Brodhead has been under great pressure from many sources to speak out but he's resisted the pressure. That’s because he wants to see those three Duke students put on trial.
When President Brodhead doesn’t want to see Duke students put on trial, he says so. And Brodhead says so in no uncertain terms.
Take, for example, Brodhead’s Aug. 3, 2005 letter to the President of Armenia, in whose country a Duke student, Yektan Turkyilmaz, was scheduled for trial. Saying he was writing as the President of Duke University, Brodhead appealed to the Armemian President:
you have the ability to intervene in this matter and to determine the appropriateness of the actions of your government and the Armenian prosecutors and police. You also have the ability to release Mr. Turkyilmaz. With respect, I urge you to do so.Soon after Brodhead made his appeal, Turkyilmaz was allowed to leave Armenia.
Brodhead was evidently willing and able to speak up in the case of Yektan Turkyilmaz and express concern about the irregular circumstances of his arrest as well he should have.I’ll repeat: President Brodhead wants to see the three Duke students put on trial for gang-rape.
Moreover, President Brodhead was also willing to go further and actually express an opinion as to the proper resolution of the case.
It is truly sad to learn that President Brodhead’s willingness to intervene on behalf of his students when they are faced with injustice is selective and not based on any sort of principle, whether right headed or wrong headed, whatsoever. Thus, in addition to injuring Reade, Collin and David with his silence, President Brodhead insults them as well.
Posted by JWM at 5:34 PM
William Anderson reminds us of what much of Duke campus was like last Spring. He tells us how and why it was that way.
Attorney Mike Gaynor is calling on the accuser to come forward; tell the truth; and end the hoax and the injustices and miseries its spawned. Key graf:
The Duke case should be put out of its misery, so the undeserved misery of the Duke Three and their families and friends can be alleviated, they can move on with their lives, and the people of Durham County can do what they need to do.I hope it happens, Mike, but I'm not holding my breath.
In the lacrosse case, Ashley has failed at performing the basic journalistic task of speaking truth to power–and in an affair where the representatives of "power" desperately need rebuke. But he’s not a very good propagandist, either. His paper’s columns and articles are either comically heavy-handed (as in the editorial praising Chalmers’ alleged openness) or unintentionally helpful to critics of Nifong and Gottlieb. No wonder the Herald-Sun’s circulation figures continue to plunge. Hilarity on the news and editorial pages, whether intended or not, isn’t a good selling point.You may be asking: It there any life left in Ashley’s H-S. Johnsville News offers its answer: “Duke Case: Death Spiral for The Herald-Sun”
The Herald-Sun may be another casualty of the Duke rape hoax. The case has been an acid test for North Carolina journalists. It looks like the acid from this case may peel away the remaining dead flesh from the corpse of The Herald-Sun.When Bob Ashley first took over as H-S editor in December 2004 he said to me: “Give me some time, John. I’ll show you what I can do with this paper.”
Posted by JWM at 1:00 PM
Hold on, folks.
A few minutes ago I posted from a friend saying RSS might be tough to do etc.
Now other friends are stepping up and working with the first friend. JinC may actually have RSS now if you know how to access it.
I'm sure there'll be another announcement about this soon.
I'm lucky to have great friends.
Still, on this matter I feel like the guy in the circus waiting to get shot out of the cannon.
Posted by JWM at 11:42 AM
In the most recent Readers/Commenters post, I responded to a comment saying, "turn on the RSS, please."
I said I'm a tech dummy (BTW - How do radio waves get into our homes when all the doors and windows are shut?) but said a friend would get the RSS turned on.
Friend researched and responded this morning.
Ok, I did some research between calls and Blogger uses a standard called "Atom" which is, apparently, the losing standard. Think Betamax or Diesel engines for cars.I'll keep you posted.
There is a way to change it to RSS but it involves putting special blogger code into your template. Which I am reluctant to do, for obvious reasons.
I will try a few things that are non-destructive and see what I can figure out.
We may need to wrap this into your long-delayed site redesign. Take a look at www.find-the-boots.com and see what you think of the design.
Posted by JWM at 11:21 AM
Readers’ Note: The Anon reader/commenter below is describing exactly what I seek to do here; and how I try to respect you while making the case for things I believe in.
My guess is that most of you reading the comment are going to say something like: “That’s right. And that's why I visit at JinC.”
I also think Anon’s “here’s a suggestion” is very good advice.
anonymous 9:08 PM wrote:
...in their hearts, your audience knows that what I have said is true...
Not really, anonymous. You, along with most of the reporters covering this case are missing one of the important elements of blogging: the hyperlink.
What John in Carolina says Pres. Brodhead says doesn't mean that much in and of itself. He links to accounts and sources. (If Brodhead posted transcripts, he'd link to them.)
John in Carolina's reader can follow those links. We can follow analyses and links provided by other bloggers, notably KC Johnson, on the same and related topics. Thus, we can decide for ourselves (1) whether John in Carolina is a generally trustworthy source and analyst, and (2) whether we agree with his interpretation on any given point.
Readers judge my comments by the same standards.
Now for the bad news. Your contributions also get evaluated this way.
anonymous 9:08 PM, here's a suggestion. Rather than continuing down the nanny-nanny-noo-noo route in John in Carolina's comments section, why don't you start a blog of your own (it's free)? You'll be in complete control of what you post; no deletion threats. Then you can apply this powerful tool (the hyperlink) to your arguments, the way John does for his.
In my opinion, John, KC Johnson, and the other prominent bloggers covering the Duke Hoax have shown themselves to be open to differences of opinion. You'll have no trouble leaving polite comments, offering readers links to your posts. People will click through and see what you have to say.
Then you can lose the victim pose that permeates your last comment, and focus on what you think the issues really are.
My two cents.
Posted by JWM at 3:35 PM
Classes at UNC – Chapel Hill started weeks ago. So I smiled when I read on the Sept. 15 front-page of Carolina’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, the headline :
FACULTY READY TO START WORKTalk about a laid back group!
The Faculty Council will meet today for the first time under new leadership.Or did the story clear things up, I wonder?
FACULTY COUNCIL TO START WORKSo why didn’t they?
FACULTY READY TO START WORKheadline is payback by editors only carrying A averages who know they really deserve A+ averages?
Posted by JWM at 2:51 PM
I have a few questions Duke President Richard H. Brodhead and his top administrators can easily answer.
But it’s the weekend, so I hate to bother them now.
Maybe one of you can help me.
This morning I was researching for a post documenting President Brodhead’s responses to racist slurs and threats that are part of the Duke lacrosse case.
You’ll recall that on Mar. 13/14, the night of the party, a 911 call was made by a woman who claimed racist remarks were shouted at her and a companion as they passed the house where the party was held.
The public only became aware of the tape’s existence in late March when we were told the caller was unknown to police, something we now know to be false.
The caller, Kim Roberts, “the second danser,” had ID'ed herself to police more than a week before the tape became public.
After listening to the tape, President Brodhead on Mar. 29 issued a written statement :
I have now had the opportunity to listen to the tape. It is disgusting. Racism and its hateful language have no place in this community. I am sorry the woman and her friend were subjected to such abuseIn subsequent days and weeks Brodhead continued to speak out and condemn the racist slurs Roberts described.
"From the gallery one onlooker shouted: 'Justice will be served, rapist!' Seligmann largely ignored the taunts, but as he left came the call 'Dead man walking!' and he blanched."What a terrible day it must have been for Seligmann and his family.
Posted by JWM at 12:09 PM