Friday, February 29, 2008

3rd Request re: N&O misrepresentation in suit story

Readers Note: If you are not already familiar with these posts - N&O correction requests re: lawsuit story and Why the N&O fears the 38 suit - I encourage you to read them for background to the post which follows.


Bob Waters, Editor
Durham Bureau
Raleigh News & Observer

Dear Editor Walters:

I'm sending this second email because the matter dealt with in my first email (copy below star line) is important.

Given the documentation I provided, its indisputable what the N&O published and what Mr. Bork actually said as can be clearly seen and heard on the video tape.

I again ask for a correction and an explanation to readers, the players and their families, and Mr. Bork of why the N&O attributed to him something so at variance with what he said while leaving out of your story what he did say.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


John in Carolina

Dear Editor Waters:

Thank you for a prompt response.

I plan to ask Bork about what he may have said to reporter Barrett after the press conference.

I'll be sure to report at JinC in full what you say happened and what, if anything, Bork says.

You did not say anything about the most important part of my email.

That part is:

The N&O reported:

The players chose not to appear at the news conference, said Bob Bork Jr., the group's hired publicist, because they don't want to attract attention.
But Bork said no such thing.

In this post at Bork provided the text of what he'd actually said as follows:
None of the 38 players who are filing this lawsuit are here today. They considered participating, but many have jobs and some are still students and lacrosse team members at Duke. One is in Army Ranger school preparing to deploy to Iraq.

Know this -- the players are united behind this lawsuit. At the same time that they are understandably concerned about retribution and negative, maybe even slanderous media coverage. Who can blame them after what they endured for 13 months in 2006 and 2007. They are walking a fine line between trying to live normal lives in the wake of an unspeakable trauma and at the same time trying to get answers to questions that remain unaddressed by their university.

They need to have peace to heal, but there can be no healing without accountability.
It will be very easy for you to check what Bork actually said against what the N&O reported because the news conference video with fine audio quality is available and in the first minute or two you'll be able to view and hear exactly what Bork said.

You can access the video here.

People will wonder how the N&O could take what Bork actually said and report what the N&O told readers.


Anonymous said...

And now, people will also know that Duke claims the web site is unfair. boo hoo

Anonymous said...

You got him by the short and curlies John. He is squealing but will not respond. So it is with cowards.

Anonymous said...

Thanks John

The N&O appears to be making it up as they go, not worried about their credibility.

On that Motion filed today, it's a joke. They mainly note Rule 3.6(b) of the NC rules. Then they identify content (really whining about it) on the website and the media appearance of Henkelman.

My summary is that they're hoping the court will re-write the rule to cover the acts they are whining about. The information is either from public records or a plaintiff. As I recall, in the criminal case the court decided that restricting parties besides the attorneys was a bit broad and we had 60 Minutes after that ruling which stated the Rules do not apply to clients or the public.

Next they tell us;
"When a complaint contains such incendiary language, an attorney should not be permitted to hide behind the language of the complaint and make a statement to the press that strings together paragraphs that are highly prejudicial."

So now it looks like they want to reclassify the public record so it is a violation of the rule.

Not only are they redirecting blame ("misdirected... blame Nifong...), the chickens running and searching for cover by asking for new rules to hide behind.


Anonymous said...

Who will hold the N&O accountable?

Danvers said... - Footnote 6:

///For example, as one reporter from the News & Observer noted, “[t]he latest Duke
lacrosse suit got off to a big start Thursday with publicists, lawyers of national renown, a
media blitz at the National Press Club, and a lawsuit with its own website.” Anne Blythe
and Barbara Barrett, 38-Player Lacrosse Suit Gets Fanfare, News & Observer, Feb. 22,

That same reporter observed that the

****“[Plaintiffs’ counsel]
Cooper . . . issued what amounted to an opening argument.” ****Id. (emphasis added)

Indeed, a basic internet
search revealed countless online news articles and blog postings quoting or referencing
Mr. Cooper or Mr. Bork in the course of discussing the litigation. (Ex. 10.)///

John, you wondered why the N&O's article on the '38' Press conference was so different from the rest of the media. I submit that the above is the reason. The phrase highlighted *** above is clearly legalese; probably written by Dukes Attorney.

The N&O are continuing to assist Duke Admin, by giving them 'fodder' for this latest filing.

It is stated in the deposition that Duke Defendants counsel Gorelik phoned Cooper before the presser....., so there was plenty of time to set this up! JMO

Anonymous said...

Blythe was the co-byline on the late March 2006 inflammatory coverage in the N&O (with Khanna). Isn't it beyond outrageous that she is allowed to write stories now about the lawsuit after she did so much to enable Nifong's frame of the lacrosse players?