Readers Note: If you’re not familiar with the McClatchy News Co.’s Raleigh News & Observer’s Mar. 2006 role in launching the vicious witch hunt and the public part of a criminal frame-up attempt targeting members of the Duke Men’s lacrosse team, please read The Raleigh N&O without its mask (Post 2).
That post provides background to the email below which I’m sending to the N&O’s public editor, Ted Vaden.
For your reference and that of JinC readers the N&O on Mar. 25, 2006 on its front page, above the fold headlined:
Dancer gives details of ordealThe story began:
A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence
The woman who says she was raped last week by three members of the Duke University lacrosse team thought she would be dancing for five men at a bachelor party, she said Friday. But when she arrived that night, she found herself surrounded by more than 40.Readers immediately challenged the story on grounds it was inaccurate, grossly unfair to the lacrosse players and as racially inflammatory as anything that ran back in the days of Josephus Daniels.
Just moments after she and another exotic dancer started to perform, she said, men in the house started barking racial slurs.
The two women, both black, stopped dancing.
"We started to cry," she said. "We were so scared." ...
You responded to readers in your Arp. 2, 2006 column. Here’s part of what you told us:
But let's talk more about the anonymous interview. Williams said editors and the reporter discussed the fairness issue at length before interviewing the woman and publishing the story. The governing decision, she said, was to print only information from the interview that conformed with the police reports. "We limited for publication the statements from the woman that were in line with what she said in the police report," Williams said. (all emphases in this post added) …In her Arp. 3 post at the Editors’ Blog, the executive editor for news Melanie Sill assured readers:
In my view, the interview is at odds with The N&O's own policy on anonymous sources, which discourages their use except when the information can be obtained no other way.
In this case, as Williams pointed out, the story used only information from the interview that corroborated the public record, so it didn't add new facts. The added matter was the emotional content -- the crying mother of two -- that gave a human dimension to the police reports.
We took care in editing the [Mar. 25] story not to introduce new accusations -- the basics were the same as in police reports, which had already been made public.Police reports are public records that often include unverified and contradictory statements.
That said, what police report or police reports were you, Williams and Sill referring to that included the racially charged “men in the house started barking racial slurs” accusation.
What such police report had "already been made public?"
In the more than two and a half years since you published claiming false accuser Crystal Mangum’s “barking racial slurs” charge was in a “police report,” no such police report has surfaced.
No one besides Mangum in the house during the time Mangum claimed they occurred says they did.
No defense attorney has said such a police report exists to support the N&O’s story.
After a thorough examination of the entire case file, the NC attorney general’s office found no such police report.
Subsequent to the N&O’s Mar. 25 story, the now disbarred former DA Mike Nifong played the race card, but in that and all his other lying he never cited any such police report as you claim the N&O used for a story as discredited and dishonorable as Rather's and 60 Minutes' Texas Air National Guard lies about President Bush.
I can’t find any place where current executive editor John Drescher, who, as you know, was managing editor during Spring 2006 has said there is such a police report.
Most telling of all, I can’t find any instance where you, Williams or Sill have cited such a police report as so many N&O readers and others have been asking you to do now for over two and a half years.
I’ll wait a few more days out of courtesy, but absent any response from you by this Thursday citing the public record police report the N&O relied on for its “barking racial slurs” report, I’ll call “FALSE” on you, Williams and Sill.
As always, I’ll publish your response, if any, in full at JinC.
John in Carolina