Saturday, May 05, 2007

INNOCENT: N&O “Reports” Pressler’s book

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
Readers Note: At the bottom of The Raleigh News & Observer’s May 4th “B” section’s first page there’s a story headlined:

Former Duke lacrosse coach tells his story

His book says university buckled
The story begins:
In an upcoming book about the Duke lacrosse scandal, former coach Mike Pressler accuses university officials of caving in to pressure from intense media scrutiny and protesters both within and outside of the school. ….

"It's Not About the Truth: The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives It Shattered" offers Pressler's first extensive comments about the case. He recounts the meetings among parents, team members and university officials that took place between the night of the team party and his forced resignation….
The entire N&O story is here.

I sent the following email to the story’s bylined reporter, Jim Nesbitt. (

If I hear back, I’ll let you know.


Dear Reporter Nesbitt:

I have questions concerning your May 4 story reporting on Don Yeager’s book which details the monumental injustices inflicted on Coach Pressler, his wife and children, the Duke students who played on the 2006 Men’s lacrosse team and their families.

Why did you say so little about those injustices, and nothing whatsoever about the N&O's enormously significant contribution to them?

Fair-minded readers got their first sense of those injustices on March 24, 2006, when they read the N&O’s front-page story which repeatedly told them and news organizations learning about the story for the first time, that the woman making the gang-rape accusations was “the victim.”

N&O reporters and editors have never disclosed why they decided to repeatedly report the accuser was the “victim,” or why they deliberately cast the lacrosse players as her victimizers coached by Mike Pressler.

Surely the Yeager/Pressler book mentions the N&O’s March 24 story and the series of vicious N&O stories that followed it. Those N&O stories falsely framed the students and slimed Coach Pressler. But, Reporter Nesbitt, you make no mention of the N&O's frame-up stories. Why?

Did Pressler and Yeager forget to say anything about "Shut down the team" and "So dump him?"

Or did you and/or your editors just decide none of the N&O's frame-up stories were worth reporting?

You don't mention even one instance of Pressler and Yeager describing the N&O’s biased, racially inflammatory and often false Duke Hoax reporting last spring, or the N&O's thirteen month long cover-up.

Why is that? Your decision or an editors' decision?

Your story says nothing about the N&O’s cover-up for thirteen months of what Crystal Mangum told you in the “anonymous interview.”

The N&O's cover-up included not telling readers Mangum said the second dancer, Kim Roberts, was also raped at the party, but couldn't report it for fear of losing her job.

That claim and other critically important news the N&O deliberately withheld allowed the frame-up to go forward.

Reporter Nesbitt, did Yeager and Pressler really say nothing about the N&O’s framing of the players?

I’ll publish in full your response to my questions at my blog.

Thank you.


John in Carolina


Anonymous said...

Once again, terrific work by John in Carolina. Neff has done excellent reporting, but why won't the N&O own up to its important role in the early stages of the cold-blooded frame?

Mad Hatter said...

Thank you so very much for posing these pertinent questions John. It would be surprising if you received an honest response. Us faithful readers wait with baited breath for an open and honest response.
Until then...

Anonymous said...

Are you still actively seeking the identity of the "Vigilante" Poster ? Or, have we assumed with enough confidence that it was Addison who originated it ? I am sure these posters will be part of a civil law suit.