"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
This is a great blog story with a surprise happy ending.
Back on Dec. 5, 2006 Duke's Dick Brodhead, the University's President, had still not said a single public word critical of Mike Nifong.
Brodhead would only do that a few weeks later after DNA expert Brian Meehan had admitted in open court he'd conspired with Nifong to hide exculpatory DNA evidence. At that point Brodhead calculated it was best for him to join those who'd been criticizing Nifong for the past nine months.
On Dec. 5, with both Brodhead's refusal to criticize Nifong and his whinny "It was a very confusing time" excuse in mind, I published " What McClancy Told the N&O."
I'd like you to read it. Then I'll share with you a happy ending to the McClancy post.
Dec. 5, 2006 - "What McClancy Told the N&O"
On April 2 the Raleigh News & Observer published its infamous “Vigilante” poster photo containing the names and face photos of 43 white Duke lacrosse players. We did not know then the DNA results would be negative; and we were many weeks away from learning about the rigged identification procedure in which, as Duke Law professor James Coleman said, “there could be no wrong answers.”
So on April 3 when N&O reader John McClancy left a comment at 17:43 on this post thread at the N&O’s Editors’ Blog he knew nothing about the DNA results or the identification travesty.
With that in mind, let’s look at some what McClancy said Apr. 3 to the N&O’s executive editor for news, Melanie Sill:
Instead of focusing on the facts, your paper trades in classic yellow journalist, pandering to sensationalism to sell newspapers regardless of the cost of another’s reputation or safety.Duke University’s President, Richard H. Brodhead, has said last March and April were a “very confusing” time.
The only thing that is clear is that the woman had sex. It has not been established who she had sex with or under what conditions, or that it even occurred at the party at all.
Yet the News and Observer, both through your columnists and bias (sic) reporting, continues to inflame the community. The players are castigated and defamed merely for exercising their constitutional rights to follow their attorneys’ wise council.
As a journalist, would you treat exercising the first amendment with the same contempt?
Refusing to comment, especially to a reporter, is not an admission of guilt or even of knowledge of a crime: it is simply good sense! Or do you really expect them to trust the balanced reporting of the News and Observer? […]
After Duke wisely removed the players’ photographs from the website for their own safety, the News and Observer published them so that anyone not getting to the website in time would still have names and faces.
Most, if not all, of these young men may not have been involved in any way, but the News and Observer has lead the way in making them all targets in an emotionally charged and racially divided community.
It may be that this woman’s story is the absolute truth. Even so, the perpetrators deserve their day in court. And those who may be completely innocent deserve to be able to go on with their lives without fear of becoming the victim of a reprisal because of your need to sell newspapers.
N&O reader John McClancy doesn't sound very confused, does he?
I hope McClancy sees this.
What a wonderful piece of citizen journalism! If President Brodhead had spoken last spring with as much common sense, insistence on fairness for his students and respect for their students constitutional rights, the witch hunt and attempted frame-up would not have gone as far as they did.
I wanted McClancy to know that justice seekers appreciated his wise and decent words.
But I heard nothing from him and the post dropped out of my active memory.
Then last evening into my "IN" box came:
JWM,"All's Well That Ends Well"
Well, I finally have seen it. Thanks for the kudos.
But geez, who knew?
For the first two weeks, Nifong pulled one the screwdest political move I had ever seen. If he had shut up then, he would have been governor for sure. As it is....
It was wonderful hearing from you, Mr. McClancy.
And have you ever thought of a career change and perhaps serving as .......?