Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Taylor/KC on GMA Today

I missed Stuart Taylor & KC Johnson’s appearance on Good Morning America today but thanks to a lead from Macd at Liestoppers forum I viewed the interview tape here (it’s in the upper right hand corner).

If you missed the interview live, I hope you view the tape.

Here are three interview quotes followed by my comments in italics.

KC on why he got interested in the case:

“I had no connection to Duke. I didn’t even know Duke had a lacrosse team. But even before there were indictments – well before there were indictments – 88 professors at Duke came out with a public statement saying unequivocally something happened to the accuser; and thanking protestors who had carried a “CASTRATE” banner.

This was such an extraordinary betrayal of what professors are supposed to do. They’re supposed to stand up for due process. They’re supposed to stand up for the dispassionate evaluation of evidence.

And what we had here were professors who were exploiting their own students' difficulties for their own agenda.”

KC’s bang on. He could have added that to date Duke’s President, Richard H. Brodhead, has said nothing critical of the 88 professors.

For that matter, Brodhead’s never said anything critical of those who rallied under the “CASTRATE” banner or of others who a few days later circulated copies of the infamous “Vigilante” poster targeting white Duke students. That was done within sight of Brodhead’s office windows.

As a summary question, the interviewer asked: “What is the lesson here?"

KC responded:

“This was the highest profile case of prosecutorial misconduct to unfold before our eyes in American history.

Groups that we think of as defenders of due process and opponents of this kind of behavior – liberals in the media, leftists in the academy, civil rights organizations – especially in North Carolina – not only didn’t protest against Mike Nifong’s behavior, they gleefully embraced it."

I reacted to KC's statement with a “yes” and a “no.”

Yes, it’s depressing that so many of the people who identify with such groups and most of the groups which fall within those categories embraced Nifong and what he was doing. It’s also a wake-up call for any of us wishing to preserve democracy in America.

But no, I don’t think of the groups KC mentions as defenders of due process and opponents of the kind of prosecutorial conduct Nifong manifested; at least not when such prosecutorial conduct fits their agendas. And an awful lot of American’s don’t, either.

Who really expected the liberal media to give the Duke lacrosse players fair treatment?

The thing that really surprised fair-minded people when they began to learn the truth was not that the players hadn't gotten fair treatment from most of the media, but just how far almost all the liberal media had gone in distorting the truth, attacking the players and encouraging Nifong and the DPD investigative travesty. That's another wake-up call.

As for what we call “civil rights organizations” - the NAACP, Jesse Jackson’s PUSH and the like – they're really special interest advocacy groups. Did anyone expect them to look out for the civil rights of white males?

Stuart Taylor at the very end of the interview referring to David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, said:

We got to know these kids and their families very well. They are wonderful kids.

I doubt Brodhead, Nifong and the Group of 88 know that even now.


Again, in you missed Taylor and Johnson this morning you can catch them here (upper right hand corner).

Also, on the same page you can read the first chapter of Until Proven Innocent.


Insufficiently Sensitive said...

"Who really expected the liberal media to give the Duke lacrosse players fair treatment?"

Let's rethink the weary phrase 'liberal media'. It was probably accurate forty years ago - its takedown of Lyndon Johnson could be thought to come from a less Southern perspective than his swashbuckling my-way-or-the-highway. Say from the more moderate Northeastern branch of the Democrats.

But forty years has seen the surrender of the academy and the media to a considerably more 'activist' cadre, to whom civil rights means more a spoils system rather than Constitutional principles, and who wish that American foreign policy should promote transnational progressivism instead of our particular national interests.

The New York Times in particular has eagerly worked hardest to outdo their earlier triumph of advocacy over facts, as embodied by the still proudly displayed Pulitzer prize of Walter Duranty.

That's no longer a liberal media - it's grown up, and is more acidly leftist. Unless my perceptions of this have been colored too strongly by the media's unanimous hate-Bush stance.