Saturday, June 16, 2007

INNOCENT: Nifong, “Alleged” & The N&O

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

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
In today’s Raleigh News & Observer under the headline,

Nifong to resign, denies lying,
we read about DA Mike Nifong’s testimony at his State Bar trial for ethics violations and come to this subhead:
Didn't say 'alleged'
That's followed by:
And he said he was surprised that he never used the phrase "alleged victim" in his many public statements: "I can't believe I did that."

Yet, in his testimony Friday, Nifong never used the word "alleged" as he referred to Mangum as "the victim" at least eight times.
The N&O’s lead reporter for the story is Anne Blythe.

Blythe was one of two N&O reporters (Samiha Khanna was the other) who last March 24 “broke” what was then called “the Duke lacrosse rape case” in a front-page story in which the accuser was seven times referred to as “the victim” or in the possessive “victim’s.”

Blythe, Khanna and the N&O never once used “alleged.”
The following day on the N&O’s front-page the same two reporters' bylines appeared above what we now know was a deliberately fraudulent story in which, among other acts, the N&O withheld critically exculpatory news (see this 4/12/07 story published the day AFTER the NC AG declared the players innocent), including that the accuser had said the second dancer was also sexually assaulted at the party, hadn’t reported the attack for fear of losing her job, and was the kind of person who would do anything for money.

In that deliberately fraudulent March 25 story headlined:
Dancer gives details of ordeal

A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence
Blythe and Khanna's story four times called the accuser the "victim" without using alleged. They explained why the accuser was granted anonymity to make what later proved to be false charges she was gang-raped, beaten and strangled by three lacrosse players this way:
"It is The News & Observer's policy not to identify the victims of sex crimes."
As far as I know Blythe, Khanna and the N&O have never apologized to the players, their families and their readers for repeatedly reporting falsely that Crystal Mangum was “the victim.”

And they’ve never retracted the March 25 story which is filled with falsehoods and from which the N&O deliberately withheld exculpatory news that may very well have spared the players and their families terrible ordeals, and spared our community the great damage done to it by the Duke Hoax.

You can read today's N&O's the entire story here.


Anonymous said...

Who will hold the N&O editors and reporters responsible? The excellent reporting of Joe Neff doesn't wipe out the newspaper's role in inflaming the hoax (or cold-blooded frame) in the critical late March 2006 period.

Anonymous said...

"Sooo...." she said skeptically, "stirring up some good ole racial tension makes news and sells papers, doesn't it? " Did anybody, anywhere, care to check out anything? Who was in whose backpocket in all of this? We need a reporter like Carl Bernstein to really do the behind the scenes work. I'm sure there is more to it all. It's the election, stupid.

bill anderson said...


Keep the pressure on them. I think you are doing a marvelous job.

Anonymous said...

Nifong and the Group88 Stalinist don't know what country they are inhabiting.

Anonymous said...


Good point. Keep up the good work. The N&O needs their nose rubbed in this piece of journalistic travesty.

G. Holman King
A proud Duke lacrosse grandparent