Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Chronicle Disappoints Again

Chronicle readers concerned by the recent decline in the quality of its news reporting have another reason to be concerned: its Jan 9 "3 unindicted laxers sue University" story.

I’ve just sent University Editor Chelsea Allison, who was bylined on the story, the following email which I’ve also left in modified form on the story’s thread at TC’s website.

Dear Editor Allison:

Concerning your Jan. 9 story: "3 unindicted laxers sue University"

You say:

[The complaint filing] includes a comprehensive timeline of the case's progress, which began in April 2006 after Crystal Mangum alleged that she had been sexually assaulted at a party hosted by members of the team, who had hired her as an exotic dancer.
The case “began” on the night of Mar 13/14 in response to Crystal Mangum’s lies.

The complaint filing details events from that time forward.

You say:
The complaint also details a multidimensioned conspiracy between the Duke and Durham police departments, which the suit alleges had developed a "zero-tolerance" policy for Duke students.
You do not mention the most important point concerning the “zero-tolerance” policy alleged in the complaint.

As alleged in the complaint, “the zero-tolerance” policy to which Duke agreed called for Duke students to be treated differently and more harshly by police than all other citizens resident in Durham or visiting the city would be treated in very similar or identical circumstances.

That's not supposed to happen in America.

You provided readers just one presumably objective expert’s comments on the complaint. While that expert, School of Law Professor James Coleman, was quoted extensively, he admitted he’d not actually read the complaint filing.

Between Dec. 18 when the complaint was filed and Jan. 9 when your story ran, could you not have obtained comments from one or more law professors at Duke or nearby law schools who’d read the complaint?

The full text of the complaint filing along with attachments is available at a number of places on the Net. Here, for instance, at

Why didn't you provide Chronicle readers with a link or URL to the filing.

I hope you agree my comments and questions are fact-based and reasonable.

I’ll publish your response in full on the main page of my blog.


John in Carolina


Ralph Phelan said...

"Between Dec. 18 when the complaint was filed and Jan. 9 when your story ran, could you not have obtained comments from one or more law professors at Duke or nearby law schools who’d read the complaint?"

That would require work, like cracking a phone book instead of just flipping their rolodex to one of their "usual sources."

Anonymous said...


The news item represents a thrown together piece of work. It was sloppy and inaccurate.

Its a shame, really. The complaint provides a world of information that any aspiring journalist could cut his teeth on.

I would challenge the Chronicle to set higher standards for themselves.


Anonymous said...

The Chronicle’s fallen so far and so fast.

Do any Duke people who served on The Chronicle have any ideas how that happened?

It reads now like it's written by John Burness and approved by Bob Steel and the Group of 88.

Duke '79

Debrah said...

TO Ralph--

In a related topic--one from the Gang of 88 ilk--the butt-ugly Potter tops the falsehoods, libel, and slander she has leveled against KC.

Here, she and her appendages are peeling the skin off Ann Coulter's dead father.

Those people are shameful beyond measure.

black sojourner said...

Respect for the departed is a hallmark of civilized people and societies. I have just posted this message to "tenured radical". I would hope that she would have the decency to remove the attack on Anne Coulter, as it is very much below the belt.

Debrah said...

TO black sojourner--

I quite agree, and kudos to you for posting that comment.

I'm always amazed how low some of these "sensitive liberals" can go.

Take a look at the photos on this page for the puerile and odious Potter.

A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Ralph Phelan said...

"The Chronicle Disappoints Again"

You should follow this up with an article "Sun Rises in East".

Ralph Phelan said...

Whoops, thought you were talking about the N&O. It is indeed a disappointment that I could make such a mistake.

It sure looks like there's been a purge at the Chronicle.

I suppose you could say they're increased their professionalism, as they're now as bad as the MSM.