At his Durham-in-Wonderland blog KC Johnson recently invited questions concerning Until Proven Innocent which he co-authored with Stuart Taylor.
I’ve posted on a number of UPI reviews (see here and here, for instances).
I’ve joined those reviewers in praising UPI as an important book that details a shocking attempted frame-up of three innocent young men by a DA and certain police officers who were enabled by the actions and inactions of Duke University, much of media, most importantly the Raleigh News & Observer, and “activists” and “rights” groups pursuing narrow agendas in disregard of facts and due process.
I do have questions about UPI. Many of them concern what I consider the weakest area of the book: its account of the role much of media played in helping launch the witch hunt and sustaining the attempted frame-up and the cover-up of it which continues to this day.
So I’ve left the following questions and comment at DiW.
Thank you for inviting questions about UPI, a fine book I’ve recommended at JinC and given as gifts.
Raleigh N&O reporter Anne Blythe was bylined on the 3/24/06 story which “broke” the Hoax story and the 3/25/06 “anonymous” interview story.
Blythe also reported on a number of other very important Hoax stories including the now discredited one about many lax players drinking and boasting in a bar just a few days after the story broke. She;s continued to cover the Hoax up to the present.
But Blythe isn’t mentioned in UPI. Why not?
At DiW in the Sources section you say:
The discussion of the March 25 N&O story quoted Duke Law professor Paul Haagen’s recollections of his interview for that article. The book stated that Samiha Khanna interviewed Haagen, and Haagen recalled her asking leading questions; in fact, another N&O reporter interviewed Haagen, and said that she asked fair questions of Haagen, who did not subsequently complain to her. We apologize for the error.Who was the reporter Haagen says he recalls “asking leading questions?”
Does Haagen still stand by the “helmet sports” violence quote the N&O attributed to him and with which it ended the 3/25/06 story?
The N&O knew from day one of Mangum’s history as a “dancer” and her criminal background which contradicted claims made in the 3/24/06 story. It had reported on all of that in June 2002.
Yet the first mention of any of that I can find in the N&O is a 4/14/06 story by Samiha Khanna, Joe Neff and Ben Niolet which is about another matter and buries the information about the June 2002events in a few paragraphs at the end of the story.
Those paragraphs don’t mention that Mangum stole the car from outside the club where she was lap dancing.
Do you know why that wasn’t mentioned or why the reporters never interviewed Durham County Deputy Carroll who gave chase and who Mangum attempted to run down?
Why did the N&O withhold for thirteen months the critically important exculpatory news it had on 3/24/06 when Mangum told the N&O the second dancer was also raped at the party but couldn’t report it for fear of losing her job. Also, that the second dancer would do anything for money.
Did any of the folks you worked with at the N&O on the book provide what you consider a satisfactory explanation for why the N&O withheld the exculpatory news until the day after Cooper had declared the players innocent?
When did Ben Niolet and Joe Neff first learn about the exculpatory news?
Did they ever tell you how they felt reporting on the story once they learned what the N&O was withholding?
It’s Not About The Truth goes into considerable detail quoting Ruth Sheehan’s claims that Mike Nifong was the anonymous source for her notorious 3/27/06 “Team’s Silence Is Sickening” column.
According to Sheehan, Nifong’s source information was passed on to her by someone(s) in the N&O’s newsroom when she phoned in on 3/26/06 with a column she’d already written for the next day on another matter.
But, according to Sheehan, the information the newsroom fed her was so strong she dropped the column she’d already written and started to work on “Team’s Silence Is Sickening.”
UPI doesn’t mention any of that. Why not?
Did you learn anything from the N&O reporters and editors about Nifong serving as an anonymous source for the N&O?
Were you ever able to learn who made the decision to withhold from those early stories the news the N&O had of the players cooperation with police and instead promulgate what the N&O knew was the “wall of solidarity” ( later “wall of silence”) falsehood?
There are many more questions I’m sure others and well as myself would like to ask you and Stuart.
But I’m going to end here so this doesn’t get too long.
Thank you for the opportunity to ask questions; and thank you again for all the outstanding work you’ve done pursuing truth and justice in the Hoax case.