Friday, October 19, 2007

Piot, McCarthy, Starn & Nixon

Readers Note: If you're not familiar with Duke Professor Charles Piot's ad hominems directed at Brooklyn College Professor Robert KC Johnson, please read Where's Piot's "KC - Shut Up?


Professor Charles Piot
Duke University

Dear Professor Piot:

This email is in two parts: the first is a copy of an email I previously sent you to which you’ve not responded; the second demonstrates why it’s necessary you release the videotape of your Feb. 12 ad hominem delivered at a public forum on Duke’s West Campus and targeting Brooklyn College Professor Robert KC Johnson.

Part One: Email previously sent to Professor Piot.

Dear Professor Piot:

I first contacted you on February 13 of this year concerning a paper you read the previous night in the West Union Building on West Campus. Taping of your reading was not permitted and you didn't distribute print copies of your paper. I asked where I could link to your paper.

In an email response you explained: "I've promised my piece for publication in an academic journal, with the proviso that it not be published elsewhere beforehand. I'll certainly let you know when it comes out."

Your paper has now been published in Transforming Anthropology. It differs in significant respects from what I reported in posts last February based on notes taken during your reading.

For example, as you surely recall, you ended your Feb. 12 reading with: "KC - shut up and go back to teaching." I posted concerning it in PIOT HURT HIMSELF and sent you a link.

However, the Transforming Anthropology version of your paper omits your "KC - shut up and go back to teaching" statement.

Forum attendees were not permitted to tape your reading but there was, as you know, a videotape made by Duke AV people of it at the behest of the forum organizers.

I understand the videotape is now in the possession of the Department of African and African American Studies which has so far not made the tape available to the public despite requests that it do so.

I am requesting that you now make that tape publicly available at an internet site.

You accuse bloggers, especially KC, of McCarthyism.

Yet KC linked to your Transforming Anthropology article as part of his response to you. I'm sure he would have linked to the videotape of your paper reading had it been available.

But he can't.

You’ve given KC no chance to respond to the paper you read Feb. 12 which was the most vicious, and possibly slanderous, ad hominem I've ever heard one academic deliver against another in public.

You've done that by acting much like Senator McCarthy himself. Recall he made that speech in Wheeling, WV attacking "Communists in the State Department" but never produced the actual speech, and instead began offering versions of it.

Professor Piot, fairness demands you make the videotape available to KC and the rest of us.

I look forward to your response, which I’ll publish in full at JinC.

Here’s a link to a post which includes this email as well as background concerning it:


John in Carolina

Part Two: Why Piot’s Tape Must Be Made Public

Professor Piot, if the request above hasn't persuaded you to release the tape, please consider the following:

For more than a year I’ve posted and corresponded concerning a false claim made by your colleague, Professor Orin Starn.

Professor Starn was the first person I contacted regarding his false claim. I asked him to correct it and apologize to the person whose statement Starn had misrepresented: Duke’s men’s basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Starn denied he’d misrepresented what Coach K had said. So I demonstrated for Starn and everyone else just what Starn had to do to misrepresent Coach K’s actual statement.

I did that by first linking to Coach K’s actual statement. Then I deliberately manipulated Coach K's words – rearranging some, eliminating others, etc - in order to create the bogus statement which Starn falsely claimed Coach K had made. Then I linked to Starn's false claim.

Everyone could see for him/herself what had happened.

That was fair and essential for people seeking to determine what Coach K actually said and what Professor Starn did.

But I couldn't have done it without access to the documents containing what each man said.

Please read Starn's Distortion & Duke's Standards. It contains links to the relevent documents and much more including an email from Starn in which he denies doing what he demonstrably did.

I'm confident KC Johnson will quickly refute many of the statements you made last Feb. 12.

But by your Nixonian refusal to release the tape, you've created a situation in which you were able to attack KC and but he has had no chance to view and hear your attack so he can respond.

That's not fair and it ought not to be happening at Duke.


John in Carolina


Anonymous said...

I hope, for Professor Piot's sake, that the paper, "KC's World", published in "Transforming Anthropology" is not a "Representative Publication" of his work.

If it is, his reputation has been diminished.

Anonymous said...

There are rumors swirling around Duke that one or more professors have or will soon file law suits amd formal Duke grievances aginst R. Weintraub for releasing confidential information that he gained access to when he was a dean. Have you or any JiC readers heard anything about this?