Correction Note: As first published, this post mistated the title of the profile discussed and the name of the N&O staffer who wrote it . The errors have now been corrected thanks to an Anon who pointed them out on this post's thread.
I thanked the Anon there and do so here as well.
I am sorry for my errors.
Readers Note: This past Sunday the Raleigh News & Observer, whose racially inflammatory and deliberately fraudulent news reporting was essential to launching the Duke witch hunt and frame-up attempt, published a two-page profile of Duke professor Tim Tyson whose book, Blood Done Sign My Name, is being made into a movie and a play.
Among those who inflamed community sentiment against the Duke students and supported the now disbarred Mike Nifong’s transparent frame-up attempt, Tyson was one of the loudest and most virulent.
But the N&O’s flattering profile made no mention of that.
Instead, it went on at great length describing Tyson as someone who strives for racial harmony and equality.
I’ve just sent the following emails to J. Peder Zane, who wrote the Tyson profile titled “Minister of History” and public editor Ted Vaden.
Dear Mr. Zane:
I blog as John In Carolina and have posted often on the Duke Hoax, the frame-up attempt and its ongoing cover-up.
We have spoken a few times when I phoned to commend you on a book review or essay.
I’ve viewed you as a graceful, thoughtful and trustworthy writer, including times when I didn’t agree with what you’d written.
But after reading your profile this Sunday of Duke’s professor Tim Tyson, I doubt I’ll again trust something published under your byline.
In your lengthy, flattering profile you present Tyson as someone seeking to help us face our history of slavery and other race-based crimes so that we can begin to heal and live more harmoniously in circumstances where what matters is our character, not our skin color.
You called that Tyson’s “gospel.”
But for all your reporting on Tyson’s boyhood influences, reaction to Emmitt Till’s murder, research and writing about the Wilmington Riots, teaching, and his book writing and movie-making activities, you told readers nothing about Tyson’s prominent role in promoting the Duke witch hunt.
Nor did you say anything about his support for Mike Nifong’s transparent attempt to frame three white Duke students for gang rape and other felonies of which attorney general Roy Cooper later declared them innocent.
Tyson’s many reckless and prejudicial statements helped inflame those in our community who waved CASTRATE and GIVE THEM EQUAL MEASURE banners, who produced and distributed Wanted and Vigilante posters, and who cheered the New Black Panthers shouting death threats at Reade Seligmann at the Durham County Courthouse.
Why didn't you provide readers a sample of the N&O op-ed Tyson wrote Apr. 2, 2006, the same day the N&O published a Vigilante poster photo after Duke said doing so would add to the danger the 43 white students pictured on it?
From Tyson’s op-ed:
Rape is one of the deepest and most vicious ways that human beings deny their common humanity. Racism is another. These crimes are intertwined deeply in our history, and that history came off its leash once more on Buchanan Boulevard on March 13, as a few Duke students did great harm to our community.Tim Tyson's as much a racial healer as are David Duke and Houston Baker.
The spirit of the lynch mob lived in that house on Buchanan Boulevard, regardless of the truth of the most serious charges.
The ghastly spectacle takes its place in a history where African- American men were burned at the stake for "reckless eyeballing" -- that is, looking at a white woman -- and white men kept black concubines and mistresses and raped black women at will.
Tyson really is, as his op-ed demonstrates, a reckless race-agitator with self-promotion skills that place him in the same category as John Edwards and Al Sharpton.
I’m sending a copy of this email to Ted Vaden who often tells readers they should trust what they read in the N&O.
If you care to respond, I’ll publish what you send me in full at my blog.
John in Carolina
Awhile back you wrote about newspapers losing public trust because they make small errors such as getting a date or address wrong. You spoke of the “drip, drip, drip” of public confidence.
I don’t think people are losing trust in newspapers because of small, inadvertent mistakes of the type all of us make, as long as they're acknowledged and corrected.
What’s so damaging to reader trust is the gush, gush, gush of deliberate news manipulation.
One example of that can be found in Sunday’s N&O’s two-page puff piece profile of Tim Tyson. He’s presented as a racial healer.
No doubt many readers will be fooled by the piece. However, those who remember Tyson’s role in inflaming the Duke hoax and supporting Nifong’s race-baiting and frame up attempt won’t.
What will they make of J. Peder Zane's failure to mention any of that?
Gush, gush, gush.