Sunday, October 14, 2007

Faking Comments

She’s shut it down since, but last June Raleigh News & Observer Columnist Ruth Sheehan had a blog, and she posted complaining about all the critical comments she was getting in response to her columns savaging the Duke lacrosse players and demanding their season be cancelled and their coach fired. Sheehan said the worst of the emails were coming from “Duke” people.

Shortly after Sheehan posted her whine, I emailed her and called this comment to her attention:

Hi Ruth,

Do you know John in Carolina?

A Phi Beta Kappa at 12, John became the youngest member of the Apollo 11 crew. It was John who pried open the stuck lunar lander’s door, thus enabling Neil Armstrong to take his historic moon walk.

John later won 9 gold medals at the 1992 Olympics, and went on to believe everything he reads in the N&O.


a friend
You can read more about it all here.

The comment’s a fake, of course, that I wrote to make two points: commenters aren’t necessarily who they say they are; and they don't necessarily believe what they say.

I just copied the following comment from the thread for Ken Larrey’s outstanding Chronicle letter noting significant shortcomings in President Brodhead’s “apology” for Duke’s mistreatment of the students and families most victimized by Nifong/DPD and their enablers at Duke. The commenter self-describes as “staff” :
Let me make this clear for you.

They chose that moment because that is the moment, after the lacrosse event, when the racist loonies went after black students on campus and threatened their safety. It is called a 1:1 correspondence. Lubians (sic) email was a response to what the lacrosse incident caused to happen to black students. And the 88 signers focused on students who were being verbally assaulted on campus RATHER THAN comment on the three boys who were the focus of everybody else. Do you think the faculty should only care about some students but not others? Why are you so interested in pretending these other students do not exist? Why aren't they important to protect?

Is it because...?

Had the lacrosse incident not happened, the apparent racism might have stayed under covers. Hurrah to the 88 who reminded the rest of you that Duke's students were under attack.
Is “staff” really trying to make a case for the 88? Or is “staff” ridiculing the 88 and reminding us of what they and others at Duke actually did?

“Staff’s” presentation of events is so erroneous, it’s laughable. It was white students who were targeted by a hate-filled crowd waving a “Castrate” banner. The “Vigilante” poster contains photos of forty-three Duke students; all of them white.

Black Duke students weren’t sleeping in their cars for fear of their safety while Durham’s DA and its Police spokesperson repeatedly incited the Duke and Durham communities with public statements saying they’d committed “horrific” crimes.

Yes, “Lubians” is a misspelling, but if Professor Lubiano or anyone else points that out, it will only remind us all of her chronically “forthcoming” books. Do you think "staff" thought of that?

Look at those last two sentences:
Had the lacrosse incident not happened, the apparent racism might have stayed under covers. Hurrah to the 88 who reminded the rest of you that Duke's students were under attack.
Duke’s response to the “lacrosse incident,” including the 88’s ad and subsequent statements, has, to borrow the words of President Brodhead, “brought to glaring visibility” Duke’s two-race standard.

I’ll give the Duke faculty Group of 88 and others at Duke an “hurrah” for unintentionally reminding us Duke treated white students in ways it would never treat black students.

Now who is “staff?”

A gifted satirist perhaps?

Or a very sincere Women’s Studies/Cultural Anthropology double major who “really, really” thinks the Group of 88 is “awesome;" and whose name just happens to be “staff?”

I reported and reminded. You decide.


Anonymous said...


I think "Faculty" is even better

Ken said...

I'm sure staff refers to wooden implement of that name. Post as in "dumb as a post" might be more appropriate but perhaps staff hsd trouble spelling it.

Ken said...

and I can't even spell "had" {sigh}

mac said...

Lots of fake comments show up - particularly in blogs where anons are allowed to post without editorial oversight.

DIW had to deal with one such hoaxer, who was vulgar and is probably the source of many of the alleged "hate-emails" Sheehan and others are supposedly receiving.

"Staff" may be that person. It's his M.O.

Anonymous said...

JinC -

I have it on good authority that you were directing the Bay Of Pigs invasion and not on the Apollo missions.

I'll have Pelosi silence Rush immediately!