Thursday, March 27, 2008

N&O hyped potbanger rally; didn't mention CASTRATE

On the right hand side of main page is a photo of a large “CASTRATE” banner around which Trinity Park “pot bangers” including some Duke faculty and students, Durham “activists,” and other hate-filled people rallied on March 26, 2006 at a house on N. Buchanan Blvd. They were threatening members of the Duke Men's lacrosse team and seeking to inflame public opinion against them.

Those who rallied around the “CASTRATE” banner believed with all the certainty of a lynch mob that a brutal gang-rape occurred just days before inside the house. They were demanding "swift, stern justice.”

The following day The Raleigh News & Observer reported on the event: “Rally calls for action at Duke.”

The N&O’s report described the crowd in sympathetic and supportive terms. It withheld any mention of the the CASTRATE” banner or an equally threatening one: GIVE THEM EQUEAL MEASURE. The N&O’s only mentioned any kind of signs once:

Attendees at the event Sunday criticized Duke for being too lenient on team members. Some protesters carried signs including one that read, "All rapes deserve outrage."
In subsequent stories referencing the “pot bangers” rally and similar hate-filled events in which threats were made against the players, the N&O continued to offer sympathetic and approving descriptions.

See, for example, this story by reporter Anne Blythe, who also co-reported the N&O’s biased and racially inflammatory March 24 and 25 stories telling readers Crystal Mangum was “the victim” and framing the Duke lacrosse team as her victimizers who included three brutal white rapists and their white teammates who were covering up for them.

With today being the 2nd Anniversary of the N&O’s report of the pot bangers hate fest, I decided to leave an email on the thread of a post at the N&O’s Editors’ Blog. It’s sent to executive editor for news John Drescher who two years ago was the N&O’s managing editor.


Dear Editor Drescher:

You praise people you call good news sources. Well, please be a good news source yourself for N&O readers and answer some questions many of us have been asking for quite a while.

As you know, on March 26, 2006 what has come to be called “the pot bangers” rally was held in Trinity Park in front of the house where the N&O reported “the victim” had been brutally gang-raped.

The rally crowd gathered around a large “CASTRATE” banner. has a photo on its main page and Joseph Neff mentioned the banner in his April 14, 2007 story, “Quest to convict hid a lack of evidence."

However, in the N&O's March 27, 2006 story reporting the “pot bangers” rally, there’s no mention of the “CASTRATE” banner.

In subsequent stories I looked at in which the N&O references the rally, I could find no mention of the “CASTRATE” banner.

Both of us know that lynchings often included castration of the victims, particularly if rape had been alleged.

We also know that people every bit as hate-filled as those that rallied on Sunday, 3/26/06, around the “CASTRATE” banner talk of castrating gay men.

I hope you agree, Editor Drescher, that it’s fair to say if groups targeting gays or blacks had rallied around a “CASTRATE” banner, the N&O would have reported prominently on such despicable actions.

You’d be right to do that so the community would know such people were in our midst and could plan to counter such despicable actions

But about the equally despicable actions of the Trinity Park “pot bangers” who targeted white, male Duke students with a "CASTRATE" banner, the N&O reported nothing for thirteen months.

Why? Why did the N&O wait until the players were declared innocent by the attorney general before reporting on the CASTRATE banner?

And why, as far as I can determine, have you never reported on the equally threatening GIVE THEM EQUAL MEASURE banner the “potbangers” hoisted?

I’ll print your response in full at JinC. If you decide to respond at the Editors’ Blog, I’ll comment and link to it.

Thank you.


John in Carolina


Anonymous said...


The longer they deny the shame, the worse it will get.

They are ghouls


Anonymous said...

I remember hearing or reading that crazy Victoria woman shouted, "Burn the house down" at the rally. I don't know if I remember correctly or if it was verified but I don't mind that it's not routinely reported as part of the story. That would be one crazy saying something stupid. The banner, as you rightly point out was part of the rally. Something every person there saw and by their participation endorsed. It should be part of every story about the event. It was an important part of the story. Fortunately, even if the press tries to hide it, it is a well known fact.

Anonymous said...

Would the lacrosse team as a whole have a good class-action case against the N&O under the false light torts?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you... John!

They have always avoid the truth with the exception of articles carrying credit for Neff.

The truth is not that difficult to report.

Post your comments also at:
What's the future of The N&O?


ps: I suck at links here, somebody help me!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The failure of N&O editors to respond to John's thoughtful questions tells you all that you need to know. Their failure to correct and apologize is shameful and their silence is deafening.

Anonymous said...

Someone once observed: "it is foolish to argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

mac said...

It's hard to imagine how a person as capable, comptetent and fair as Joe Neff works for such an organization.

The contrast is huge.