It’s New Year’s Eve: time for newspapers to look back at 2007.
Editor Bob Ashley’s Durham Herald Sun’s lead editorial today begins:
As the clock ticks toward midnight, we can look back on 2007 with some satisfaction and a few frustrations.And what’s the first reflection Ashley offers?
All in all, it was a pretty good year in Durham. Here are some reflections on 2007 as it slips into history:
The economy plays a major role in how any city or region feels about itself.We can all agree with that, can’t we?
The editorial rambles after that about job growth, crime, schools, etc. before getting to something it calls the “Nifong case.”
The lacrosse case turned into the "Nifong case," with former prosecutor Mike Nifong losing his job and his law license over his mishandling of the now-infamous false rape charge. The three charged players were declared innocent by the state's attorney general, Roy Cooper. But while many in Durham would like to see the case finally fade away, lawsuits filed by the players against the Police Department and others will insure that it will continue to make headlines in 2008.. . .The entire H-S editorial is here.
My, hasn't the H-S come a long way from the days of “the Duke lacrosse rape scandal” when a Duke student sitting with an open beer can was engaged in "criminal" activity?
And Nifong only “mishandle[ed] … the now-infamous false rape charge?”
Nifong worked for almost a year with certain Durham police officers, their supervisors and very likely certain Durham city officials and members of the DA office to manufacture evidence, lie to the public, and intimidate witnesses – all in an effort to frame three innocent Duke students for gang rape and other felonies.
Those engaged in the series of travesties and almost certainly criminal conspiracies to frame the players were aided by some at Duke University – let's hope unwittingly as to what the real intent of “the investigation “ was.
But Ashley and the H-S can only speak of Nifong and his “mishandling” of the case.
That tells you how Ashley and the current Durham Herald Sun “serve the community.”
How far do you think those who engaged first, in the trashing and endangering of the entire lacrosse team, and then in the attempt to frame three of its members, would have gotten if the Herald Sun had reported the Duke Hoax story with fairness, intelligence and courage?
What would be happening to the ongoing cover-up of the frame-up attempt if the Herald Sun was now reporting it the same way?
What might have happened if Durham had a newspaper whose editorials were vigorous and written “without fear or favor?”
We should ask ourselves those questions today as we look to the past and to Durham’s future.