The Durham Herald Sun and reporter John Stevenson are still having trouble reporting accurately and fairly concerning events which can be traced back to the lies Crystal Mangum, Mike Nifong and others began telling in March, 2006.
An H-S story today under Stevenson’s byline, "Ex-Duke coach plans slander suit," reports former Duke Men’s lacrosse coach Mike Pressler’s plans to file a slander suit against Duke University because of remarks made by senior vice-president John Burness.
The H-S's story contains significant errors and bias against the lacrosse team that would shame a decent newspaper.
The entire story is here.
I’ve just sent H-S editor Bob Ashley the following electronic letter:
Dear Editor Ashley:
In "Ex-Duke coach plans slander suit" (Jan. 18) you tell readers(emphasis added):
Another comment appeared in a June Associated Press article. In that story, Burness said a coaching change at Duke was essential because of controversy surrounding the now-ended lacrosse sex-offense scandal.Since there never was a sex offence, we can't have a “sex-offense scandal” even if the H-S’s reported in the past we did.
Pressler coached men's lacrosse at Duke from 1990 until ousted in April 2006, a month after the sex scandal began to percolate.
The sex-offense case involved three lacrosse players who were falsely accused by a stripper of molesting them during an off-campus party on North Buchanan Boulevard.
And since there was no "sex scandal," there was no "sex scandal" which could begin to "percolate."
Surely you know that.
Yet in the space of three short paragraphs you report on "the now-ended lacrosse sex-offense scandal," "the sex scandal," and "The sex-offence case."
There are many people at Duke and in Durham who wanted Mangum's and Nifong's lies to be true. I don't doubt some of those people work at the Herald Sun.
That may well explain the H-S's scandalous reporting nine months after the Attorney General told us there was no sex scandal and the players were innocent.
Do you have another explanation?
While you do not quote Duke senior vice president John Burness' June 2007 statement which is at issue in the pending slander suit, you attributed the following to him: "Burness said a coaching change at Duke was essential because of controversy surrounding the now-ended lacrosse sex-offense scandal.
But in June 2007 Burness didn't use a phrase anything like "lacrosse sex-offense scandal," did he?
To be fair to Burness, the lacrosse team and your readers you could have said this: "Burness said a coaching change at Duke was essential because of controversy surrounding the lacrosse program."
Why didn't you?
You report the players were "accused by a stripper of molesting them during an off-campus party..."
Has Crystal Mangum made a new bizarre claim or is "them" an instance of a reporting and/or editing error?
I look forward to your response which I'll publish in full at my blog.
To close on a positive note: Ray Gronberg's reporting is outstanding.
John in Carolina