Wednesday, January 16, 2008

N&O’s Blythe: Biased From the Beginning

This is a 1, 2, 3 post.

1) Posting and linking to citizen journalists at Liestoppers Forum who are properly disgusted hy the latest in a long series of biased news stories Raleigh News & Observer reporter Anne Blythe has written about the lies of Crytal Mangum and Mike Nifong and events they spawned.

Blythe's latest story concerned now disbarred Mike Nifong's bankruptcyfiling yesterday.

You’ll recall Blythe was one of two reporters whose bylines appeared on the N&O’s Mar.25, 2006 delieberately fraudulent and racially inflammatory story the N&O said was about a night of “sexual violence.” The story generated enormous public support for what we now know was really a criminal frame-up attempt.

2) A repost of INNOCENT: N&O STILL CLAIMS “RACIAL SLURS” posted July 27, 2007, two weeks after the NC Attorney General had declared the players innocent. Even then Blythe peddled a part of the frame-up story about racial slurs despite it having been disproved many months before.

3) AP reporter Aaron Beard’s account of disbarred former Durham DA Mike Nifong’s bankruptcy filing yesterday (Duke Prosecutor Files for Bankruptcy ). Brard’s story is an example of something we don’t see very often in our newspapers: good, honest reporting.

Lets begin - - -

1 - Here from LS Forum is the post quoting the beginning of Blyths's story yesterday:

Mike Nifong, the fallen prosecutor who lost his job and his career over his zealous prosecution of the Duke lacrosse case, filed for bankruptcy protection today in federal court, according to a clerk in the Greensboro bankruptcy court office.

zeal•ous –adjective
full of, characterized by, or due to zeal; ardently active, devoted, or diligent.

Synonyms: enthusiastic, eager, fervid, fervent, intense, passionate, warm.

I don't think so. This is more of the Media Lies.

"Fallen prosecutor?"

How about disgraced prosecutor or rogue prosecutor as the Attorney General of the state alluded?

Message to JinC readers: be sure to scroll down the forum thread which follows this post.


I've just sent the following email to N&O Reporter Anne Blythe, one of two reporters bylined on the Raleigh News & Observer's deliberatly fraudulent March 25, 2006, "anonymous interview" story,
Dancer gives details of ordeal
A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence.
That story reported "the victim's" claims that racial slurs were "barked" at her and the other danser before she was brutally beaten and gang-raped. The N&O also withheld from the story the critically important exculpatory news "the victim" said the second dancer had been sexually assaulted but didn't report it for fear of losing her job.


Dear Reporter Blythe:

Your story today, "Nifong apologizes to lacrosse players," includes this:
Defense lawyers have said the players scattered in the wee hours of the morning after the team party because the second escort service dancer threatened to call police about racial slurs uttered by partygoers.
I'm not aware of the defense attorneys saying any such thing.

Can you show me where they did?

If you can't, will you correct your story?

I'll publish your response in full.

Also, you and the N&O claim you reported in your March 25 story only things "the victim" said that were in "a police report."

You've never ID'ed which police report you used. Your March 25 story reported "the victim" saying things that are in no police report made public so far.

Did you really restrict what you reported Crystal Mangum said to what was in a police report? Or did you not?

If you really did use a police report, make it available. I'll publish that in full. People want to see it.

Thank you for your attention to my queries.


John in Carolina

Folks, I bet it will surprise none of you to learn I never heard back from Blythe. I'm betting I won't hear back from her on this one, either.

Let's go on to #3 and see how a good, honest reporter covered Nifong's bankruptcy filing.

I plan to send Beard a link to this post along with a "well done."

Now here's Beard's story in full. It ends this post.


3) Duke Prosecutor Files for Bankruptcy

The disgraced former prosecutor who led the debunked Duke lacrosse rape case filed for bankruptcy Tuesday, citing more than $180 million in liabilities — the majority from the threat of two pending lawsuits.

Mike Nifong reported $243,898 in assets of real and personal property to U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The filing came the same day he and other defendants were required to respond to a sweeping federal lawsuit filed in October by the three exonerated players whom Nifong had falsely accused of rape.

In the lawsuit, attorneys for Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans accuse Nifong, the city of Durham, police investigators and others of conducting "one of the most chilling episodes of premeditated police, prosecutorial and scientific misconduct in modern American history."

Nifong accused the players of raping a woman hired to perform as a stripper at a lacrosse team party in March 2006, but the case unraveled in the face of the accuser's constantly changing story and a lack of evidence.

The players were cleared after more than a year by state prosecutors who took special care to call them innocent of the allegations.

No DNA from any Duke lacrosse player was found on the accuser, and exculpatory evidence that genetic material from other unidentified males was found on the woman was withheld from the defense for several months.

Nifong, the former Durham County district attorney, was disbarred for more than two dozen violations of the North Carolina State Bar's rules of professional conduct in the case. He later spent a night in jail for lying to a judge.

In his bankruptcy filing, Nifong lists liabilities of $30 million for each of the cleared players as potential damages in that lawsuit. In addition, it lists a potential of $30 million each for three unindicted players who accused Nifong and dozens of others of inflicting emotional distress in a lawsuit last month.

It also lists roughly $300,000 in other debts, including $8,897.71 owed to the North Carolina State Bar for costs tied to his June disbarment trial.

Prosecutors generally have immunity for what they do inside a courtroom, though legal experts have said some of Nifong's actions — from calling the lacrosse players a bunch of "hooligans" to putting himself in charge of the investigation — might leave him vulnerable to a civil case.

Nifong's chief investigator and the president of the DNA laboratory that conducted key testing in the case both filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit Tuesday.

Investigator Linwood Wilson said he was protected by prosecutorial immunity since he was acting under Nifong's direction. The lab, DNA Security Inc., contends that it was Nifong's responsibility to ensure defense attorneys received test results.

A response to the lawsuit from Nifong wasn't found in a search of online federal court records by the evening.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, biased reporting is what anyone who has been paying attention has come to expect.

Jim in San Diego said...


I have just swung by after visiting DiW, Liestoppers, and Students for an Ethical Durham.

A small handful of responsible individuals, using the stunning power of the internet, have truly revolutionized news reporting.

There should be a Pulitzer Prize here somewhere. Group effort?

Jim Peterson