Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Duke Now Quiz # 4

(This is one of a series of quizes testing your knowledge of Duke now.)

On June 15, 2006 the Raleigh N&O published a story examining statements then DA Mike Nifong had made. Here’s the story’s money graf :

A comparison of his words with documents that Nifong gave defense lawyers show that Nifong made what appear to be misstatements about condom use, a purported struggle and a 911 call made by a second dancer, among other things.
A blogger posted in response to the story. The post included the following:
It's good to see the News and Observer pointing these things out.

I'm still waiting for them to reveal what they have been keeping secret from the public since the beginning of the story. I blogged about this earlier, but it still fries me. The newspaper interviewed the alleged victim on March 25 [ the interview was on Mar. 24; the N&O published on it Mar. 25 - JinC] and published a story told all from her point of view, while, of course, allowing her to remain anonymous. However, as the public editor of the News and Observer has admitted in print, there were things that she said in that interview that were at odds with the public record.
But let's talk more about the anonymous interview. Williams said editors and the reporter discussed the fairness issue at length before interviewing the woman and publishing the story.

The governing decision, she said, was to print only information from the interview that conformed with the police reports. "We limited for publication the statements from the woman that were in line with what she said in the police report," Williams said. Other information from the interview has not been published.
What was that "other information?"

Now that there has been so much suspicion cast on the woman's story, doesn't the N & O owe it to the readers it purposely kept in the dark to reveal things that she might have said that were not in line with the police report?

She apparently contradicted herself several times talking to the police about whether she was raped, molested, or not raped at all; how much alcohol she had drunk; how much sexual activity she'd engaged in prior to the Duke party; and how many guys might have been involved.

If she also contradicted herself in talking to the newspaper, then why should the paper keep that from readers? As long as we're talking about legal ethics for the prosecutor, let's talk about media ethics for the News and Observer.
Quiz Question:

The extract you just read is from a post, More evidence of the District Attorney's prevarication in the Duke lacrosse case , published June 15, 2006. The blogger who posted is also:

1) a distinguished Duke professor who’s areas of specialty include abusive practices by law enforcement officials and media ethics

2) a Chronicle editor

3) a Raleigh high school teacher

Once you’ve made you choice, read on.

If you chose either 1 or 2, you may be a nice person but you don’t understand what Duke was like in June 2006 and is like now.

With the exception of Professor James Coleman, I can’t name a single Duke professor specializing in the study of either abuses by law enforcement officials or media ethics or both who spoke out by June 2006 as the blogger quoted here did.

In fact, I can’t think of any Duke professor who did, again Coleman excepted.

If there is one or more professors who did, please let me know.

I also can’t name a single Chronicle editor who spoke out as the blogger did.

If you know of one, please let me know.

The blogger and Raleigh high school teacher who did speak out is Betsy Newmark, a Duke Mom with one daughter an alum and another currently a Junior.

Betsy’s been nominated for a blog award for which readers vote. You can learn more about it all here.

I hope you give Betsy's Page a look and consider voting for it.

Now about Betsy’s June 2006 question: What was that "other information?"

For thirteen months beginning on March 25, 2006 the N&O by turns refused to provide any answer to it or provided false answers to the many thousands of people asking it.

Finally, on April 12, 2007, the day after North Carolina’s Attorney General Roy Cooper declared David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann innocent, the N&O disclosed the “other information.”

It was that Crystal Mangum told the N&O on March 24, 2006 that the second dancer at the party had also been raped but didn’t report it for fear of losing her job. Mangum also, according to the N&O, said the second dancer would do anything for money.

You can read the N&O's April 12 story here.


Anonymous said...

Proud to say I had already voted for Betsy's Page a few days ago. Didn't know about the blog response you mention here but had visited and enjoyed her site on other matters. She was leading the vote the first time I voted. Now she's in second place but I voted again.