Friday, February 15, 2008

Duke Hoax & Unintended Help

Yesterday a commenter on this Chronicle thread, who self-IDs as “Truth Teller,” made personal attacks on some fine citizen journalists.

As you’ll see below, I responded to Truth Teller, who then responded to me.

Truth Teller’s response was helpful, albeit unintentionally so. Nevertheless, I thanked Truth Teller as you’ll see in the comment which ends this post.

Let’s begin - - -

To Truth Teller:

I hope you work through your propensity for avoiding facts and instead making personal attacks which reflect only on you.

Please answer the following questions which deal with important events.

1) Why did President Brodhead refuse to meet with the lacrosse parents on Mar. 25, 2006 and for many months thereafter?

2) On Mar. 29, 2006 Brodhead, on behalf of Duke University, issued a full, written and unconditional apology to the woman then referred to as "the first caller" and "her friend."

The Durham Police had known since Mar. 14 "the first caller" was Kim Roberts and "her friend" was the false accuser Crystal Mangum. But at the time of Brodhead's statement, the police were telling the public they didn't know who the caller was.

Here's Brodhead's statement, after which I'll ask you three short questions:

"Statement by President Richard H. Brodhead on 911 Tape"

Yesterday evening, Director of Athletics Joe Alleva and I met with members of the news media to discuss the situation involving the Duke men's lacrosse team. My statement announcing the suspension of the team's games is available with additional information on a special website off the Duke home page.

At the news conference I was asked about the 911 tape involving a racial slur, which only became known late yesterday. I have now had the opportunity to listen to the tape. It is disgusting. Racism and its hateful language have no place in this community. I am sorry the woman and her friend were subjected to such abuse

When Brodhead made the apology, did he know, as the police and Mike Nifong knew, who "the woman and her friend" were?

Brodhead's never answered that question. Do you know why he hasn't?

Can you think of any reason why Brodhead wouldn't want to answer it?

3) On May 18, 2006 Reade Seligmann was the victim both outside the Durham County Courthouse and within the courtroom of racists who shouted threats at him, including death threats.

Brodhead never said a word critical of the racists nor did he express any concern and comfort to his student and Seligmann's family.

Do you know why Brodhead remained silent?

Is it fair to say if Seligmann had been black and the racists had been white, instead of the other way around, Brodhead would've been prompt and loud in his condemnation of the racists, and in his expressions of support for Seligmann and his family?

I look forward to your answers.

John in Carolina

Now Truth Teller’s response ---

Hi John,

You are about the last guy in the world entitled to demand explanations from others about their actions in connection with the LAX case as you yourself have consistently refused to explain your actions in deleting from your website comments critical of the LAX players and Coach Pressler which seek to hold them accountable for their roles in creating the LAX mess.

If you really had the courage of your convictions, you would allow people to post comments critical of the LAX players and Coach Pressler and you would then simply post a response showing why in your view the comments were wrong.

Instead, you just delete the comments, which tells me that you recognize that the comments have an element of truth which you do not wish to publicize to the rest of the world, and you then refuse to explain your actions in deleting them.

Nevertheless, you demand explanations from others and seem to expect them to respond to your demands.

Are you really so dense that you do not understand the hypocrisy of your position? ... (The rest of Truth Teller's comment is a personal attack on another commenter. JinC )

Folks, I was tempted to tell Truth Teller that on the main page and the comment threads at JinC there are a great many statements critical of the players and Coach Pressler. Just the day before I’d published statements Professor Tim Tyson and Athletic Director Joe Alleva made in Spring 2006 sharply critical of the lacrosse players.

But instead I left the following on the thread.

To Truth Teller:

I said you have "a propensity for avoiding facts and instead making personal attacks."

Your comment @ 1:46 PM confirms what I said.

Thank you.

John in Carolina


Anonymous said...

What could Truth Teller possibly have to say that is bad about the falsely accused? The press, investigators, Nifong and the public couldn't find much to say bad about those young men. Dave made a stupid judgement call and with the other captains hire a stripper for spring break. It wasn't anything unusual at Duke as the Basketball team and other teams both male and female hired strippers for their parties. It was something that was not out of the ordinary. Reade and Colin showed up at the party not expecting anything but to have a few beers with their teammates. They showed up as team players going to a team party. Nothing unusual there. They also both left the party and were disgusted by the strippers. The pictures show young men who seemed bored, not excited about the entertainment. So what is it Reade and Colin in particular did that was so bad. It has already been proven they did not say any racial slurs as they were long gone by the time things got heated, they were not drunk, they have never recieved tickets or citations for peeing in the bushes. So lets be specific if Truth Teller is going to judge and accuse. Specifically what did Reade, Colin and Dave do that is so horrible. Dave immediately and sincerely apologized for hosting the party and hiring a stripper. He admitted a bad judgement call. All 3 young men showed courage, strenght of character and integrity far beyond their years. I think Truth Teller is just angry he couldn't find any dirt on these young men and that they will move foward in their lives and leave the cesspool of Duke and Durham behind. He is just like those people who where hoping against all hope that Crystal's lies were true. Those people are the true scourges of humanity, rejoicing in the worst of others. So Truth Teller until you can tell the truth I suggest you change your name to Can't Handle the Truth

Anonymous said...

I am convinced TruthTeller is one of the prominent members of the 88. Don’t let his handle fool you --this TruthTeller is no ‘truth’ teller!

Anonymous said...

I clicked over and read the referenced comment thread, must admit I enjoyed it.

Whoever the poor soul is that has spent so much time and effort attacking JiC is so pathetic I feel a little guilty laughing but seriously how can you not?

My suspicion is that if this individual was subjected to the repeated attacks they have launched at you, they would run and hide. That you stand up for your priciples, in the face of such abuse, is a concept totally alien to this ... splarkler vessel.

RedMountain said...

I found that comment thread interesting as well. Seems like many are trying to influence the 'new guy' at Duke with their opinions of the LAX case. Some are telling him he works for a bunch of evil and vile creatures that cater to a group of PC lunatics that wanted to hang the Dule Lacrosse team. Others seem to be saying it is time to 'move on'. My personal opinion is that both positions represent the extreme views on the subject. My advice to him would be not to take a position on this case at all other than to say that this will be sorted out in the courts. Burness made many mistakes, most related to his mouth moving before his brain kicked in.

If any are hoping that the new guy is going to be critical of the people that just hired him in relation to a case where possibly millions of dollars are at stake that Duke may have to fork out, are living in a dream world. It will not happen.

Danvers said...

John, There is a belated response from TT to your last post on the Chronicle:


Good job of stonewalling. You are so pompous in the way you demand explanations from President Brodhead regarding his actions but steadfastly refuse to provide any explanations as to your own actions. A real hypocrite. "

Please don't let him have the last word

Anonymous said...

Dear John,

Did you know that Brodhead and Lange are celebrating angry studies? They are sponsoring a big celebration on Monday of a newly renovated building that's being given to Angry Studies and Cultural Anthropology.

The 88 are never going to apologize and never going to be punished. They're being rewarded.

The ad was in the Duke Chronicle on Friday and spoken about online in Duke Today.

What do you think? How can this happen?

Anonymous said...

Some times an apology is not enough.