Sunday, May 24, 2009

KC Johnson Now

CORRECTION: As first published this post gave Chuck Yeager as the author of It's Not About The Truth. The author is in fact Don Yaeger. The post has now been corrected.

I thank UNC-Wilmington professor Chris Halkides who called the error to my attention and I apologize for it.

John
_________________________________________

KC Johnson's made extremely important contributions to the struggle for truth and justice in the Duke lacrosse (DL) case. When the lacrosse players who’d just been declared “innocent” by NC’s attorney general on Apr. 11, 2007 singled KC out for praise, he deserved their tribute.

I owe KC my own thanks. During the first year or so of the case he helped me to understand the DL case much better than I would have without his writings and our phone talks. It’s no exaggeration to say that during that time his DL posts were not only informative, but inspirational. I urged JinC readers to visit KC's Durham-in-Wonderland (DIW) blog daily.

The outstanding work KC’s done will always be to his credit.

But it needs to also be said that KC's ignored very significant matters related to the case which by any reasonable standard he should address. What’s more, he’s written things and offered judgments that are at best highly questionable and, in some instances, absurd.

I want to give you examples of what I’m talking about. I’ve two reasons for doing so.

The first is to inform you. The second is to make clear why I read KC now with a good deal of skepticism, often discounting what he says because it’s biased or factually wrong or petty or some combination of the three.

Here are examples of what I’m talking about.

Nifong As An Anonymous N&O News Source

In Chuck Yeager’s book It’s Not About The Truth N&O news columnist Ruth Sheehan disclosed the anonymous source for her Mar. 27, 2006 “Team’s Silence Is Sickening” column accusing the lacrosse players of stonewalling police investigators was then DA Mike Nifong. [Disclosure: Sheehan subsequently apologized to the players for the column.]

I’ve posted in detail on Sheehan’s disclosure, the N&O’s silence concerning it in its review of Yeager’s book and DL case news stories, and the refusal of N&O publisher Orage Quarles to confirm or deny Nifong was an N&O anonymous source.

Quarles knows journalism ethics (such as they are) encourage and urge news organizations to reveal the names of anonymous sources they’ve relied on who’ve lied to them. Sheehan’s done that as regards her Mar. 27 column while the N&O’s ignored its ethical duty to inform its readers. (See my posts
here, here and here for extensive documentation and commentary.)

To say Sheehan’s disclosure is hugely important is, if anything, an understatement.

What Sheehan’s said provides at least part of the explanation for how, with no credible evidence, the N&O could produce biased, racially inflammatory, and sometimes deliberately fraudulent coverage between Mar. 24 and Mar. 27.

Nifong & the N&O worked together.

Besides serving as a source, it's reasonable to believe, as many journalists I've talked with do, that Nifong, members of his staff and certain DPD officers "assisted" the N&O by, among other things, tipping the N&O when and where the players would show for DNA testing and helping "arrange" the interview with Mangum. That arrangement almost certainly involving an assurance to Mangum it would be what journalists call "a friendly" that would serve her goal at the time of shaking down the players for a big cash settlement.

I'm sure that during the civil suits discovery we'll learn Nifong and others aiding him were an important reason why the N&O’s Mar. 24 to 27 coverage presented in detail the same false story of a drunken party, gang-rape of a “frightened young mother,” and stonewalling by racist DL players who were covering up for three of their teammates who committed the rapes which Nifong began telling in public for the first time on the afternoon of Mar. 27.

Sheehan’s disclosure also raises questions about Nifong’s June 2007 State Bar trial testimony during which he said he only learned of the case late on the afternoon of Mar. 23 [I believe he knew about it days before.]; that he talked briefly with Durham police on Mar.24; and that he then met with DPD investigators on Mar. 27.

Nifong said nothing in his testimony about serving as an anonymous N&O source by at least Mar.26 and very possibly before.

The State Bar's attorneys quite properly didn’t ask him, Sheehan or others about it. The Bar trial’s purpose was to judge Nifong on other matters

But we can be certain of this: if, as seems likely, we get to discovery in the civil rights violations suits in which Nifong is a defendant, the plaintiffs' attorneys will want to learn all they can about Sheehan’s claim Nifong was an N&O news source before he ever started speaking publicly about the DL case on Mar. 27.

Now what about KC’s interest in what Sheehan said about Nifong?

This Q&A is part of a Dec. 2007
email in which KC responded to some of the questions I posted at JinC, including one asking why UPI said nothing about Sheehan’s revelation: :

Q: It’s Not About The Truth goes into considerable detail quoting Ruth Sheehan’s claims that Mike Nifong was the anonymous source for her notorious 3/27/06 “Team’s Silence Is Sickening” column.

According to Sheehan, Nifong’s source information was passed on to her by someone(s) in the N&O’s newsroom when she phoned in on 3/26/06 with a column she’d already written for the next day on another matter.

But, according to Sheehan, the information the newsroom fed her was so strong she dropped the column she’d already written and started to work on “Team’s Silence Is Sickening.”

UPI doesn’t mention any of that. Why not?

A: UPI and It's Not About the Truth are different books with different areas of focus.

INAT is, in large part, Mike Pressler's story; Pressler and Yaeger argue that Sheehan's column played a key role in Brodhead's decision to fire Pressler. It's unsurprising, therefore, they spend a good deal of time on the piece.

Pressler's dismissal is not the central (or a central) story of UPI. It therefore is unsurprising Stuart and I spent less time on the column. We mentioned the column, and mentioned the key line and how it captured the rush-to-judgment mood--as Sheehan herself conceded when she apologized.
As you can see, KC’s answer is mostly red herrings that don’t address my question.

The only part of his answer that does - - “UPI and It's Not About the Truth are different books with different areas of focus” – - is, at best, a very weak rationalization for ignoring such an important matter.

It appears even weaker when you read his June 2007
review of INAT at DIW.

KC's review covers many matters including anecdotes from INAT that reveal Nifong’s personality – Nifong gets angry with a person who interrupts him at lunch; he refuses to shake an intern’s hand because “I don’t shake hands with interns.”

But KC tells DIW readers nothing about Sheehan’s disclosure.

Even if you agree KC and Taylor should have ignored in UPI Sheehan’s disclosure because UPI had a different focus than INAT, can you explain KC’s not mentioning it in his DIW review?

I can’t.

I also can’t recall KC discussing at DIW Nifong serving as an anonymous N&O source.

If he has, please provide the link(s) and I’ll update this post.

UPI claims “The N&O … distinguished itself after its lamentable first few articles in late March[.]” (p. 259, hardcover edition)

That's an absurd statement. It grossly understates what the N&O really did in March. It presents a characterization of the N&O's subsequent DL coverage which gives readers no hint of what the N&O's DL coverage was really like for weeks, and in some cases many months, after Apr. 1.

That DL coverage included some of the N&O's worst. Recall, for example, the "Swagger" (Apr.9) and "Mother, dancer, accuser" (Apr. 16) stories and the Apr. 19 story which began: "They came from a world of hushed golf greens and suburban homes with price tags that cross the million-dollar line."

On Apr. 1 the N&O published under Anne Blythe’s and Jane Stancill’s bylines a story which began:

A woman who wrote about seeing lacrosse players slamming down shots of alcohol and shouting "Duke Lacrosse" at a bar two days after they submitted DNA samples in a rape case said Friday that she is no longer welcome in the popular watering hole and has been kicked off the bar's softball team.

The reaction is one more example of flaring tensions from the investigation into whether a woman was raped at a Duke University lacrosse team party. …
By the time Blythe and Stancill wrote that story, days had passed since the woman first peddled it in a Chronicle op-ed in which she said it “pained” her to write the op-ed because the lacrosse players were her “best friends.”

No one in the bar at the time of the alleged shot slammings and shouts has ever substantiated her charges and Blythe and Stancill offered no substantiation in their story.

People who were at the bar at the time in question and who have spoken publicly have said what the woman claimed was false; and that's why she was barred from the bar and thrown off the softball team.

Blythe & Stancill reported nothing from witnesses who denied what the woman said.

The two reporters & the N&O just went with a smear story they knew would add to the community’s “flaring tensions.”

The story appeared the same weekend Duke had alerted all students in an email of reports of possible violence against them, adding that Duke and Durham police were adding patrols in the campus and surrounding areas.

On Apr. 2 the N&O published Tim Tyson’s horrific screed in which he said “the spirit of the lynch mob” lived at the party. He’d said as much days before on WUNC.

Melanie Sill, the N&O’s executive editor from the time the N&O “broke” the DL story until late Oct. 2007, supervised the Q section where Tyson’s screed appeared. She knew what she would get when Tyson was invited to submit his screed.

It was also on Apr. 2 that the N&O published the anonymous VIGILANTE poster after Duke had expressed concerns that doing so would increase the danger the players were already facing.

There are many, many more N&O news reports and news columns that appeared for months after Apr. 1 that are “distinguished” primarily for their bias against the players, their inaccuracies, their withholding information the N&O had and should have revealed, and their stoking race, class and gender tensions. I’ve posted on many of them, as frequent readers here know.

KC & the N&O’s “good dancer” problem

There’s no doubt that the N&O produced some good DL reporting. Part of that had to do with some talented people at the paper, Joe Neff especially. And part of it had to do with things like revelations during public court hearings and publicly available evidence that other news organizations were reporting or researching which left the N&O with no choice but to report them as well.

But beginning on Mar. 24, 2006 and through Apr. 12, 2007, the day after the player’s were declared innocent, all N&O reporting took place within the context of what I’ve called “the good dancer” problem.

The short of "the good dancer": An older woman was bilked of a lot of her money by a younger guy who wooed her with flowers, gifts and frequent nights out dancing. She didn’t press charges because she remembered fondly all the nice things he did and his good dancing.

Like the older women, N&O readers were being conned and robbed. It the readers' case, it was being conned and robbed of some critical and overarching DL case truth even as they were given some particular stories which were credible.

It should never be forgotten that for thirteen months the N&O withheld critically important information so exculpatory for the players that it would have at least severely damaged the frame-up attempt in its first weeks; and might even have led to its early unraveling.

KC's OK with the N&O’s decision to withhold news exculpatory for the victims

Many of us are very disapproving and even angry at what the N&O did, about which some of its editors, Sill and Linda Williams especially, repeatedly lied to readers.

But KC takes what it’s fair to say is an approving view of the N&O's decision and doesn't think it involved withholding from the public news exculpatory for the those most victimized in the case.

Here, from
the same email I mentioned above, is what KC said about what the N&O’s withholding the news it had which was so exculpatory for the victims:
On the question of Mangum's claim to Khanna that Roberts had been raped and the N&O's decision not to report this, I fear my [previous] answer conflated two issues, which I want to explain:

a) Linda Williams' explanation (that the N&O didn't report the item out of concerns of libel) was absurd.

b) I don't quite agree with the claim that the N&O withheld "exculpatory news." For many months, as I noted, I thought Mangum had repeated to Khanna her assertion to Levicy that Roberts had stolen her money.

Withholding that claim would clearly have been withholding exculpatory news.

The question of reporting the claim of additional rapists, however (which apparently was not made with much strength) [How does KC know the strength with which Mangum made her claim], strikes me as a far closer call, because it would have involved raising new charges against other lacrosse players beyond what the police had done.

If I were in the N&O editors' position, in short, I believe I would have made the same choice--though not, of course, for the reasons that Williams stated.( bold added)
Of course, had the N&O reported Mangum’s claim Roberts was raped, people would naturally have asked why there’d been no mention of that in any news report; or any DNA testing of suspects in the alleged rape of Roberts; and many more such questions.

You have to ask yourself: doesn’t KC know that the way the N&O editors decided to publish that interview is exactly the way Nifong needed and wanted the interview to be published?

Here’s what momtothree said on
this Editors' Blog thread about the N&O’s decision about which KC says he “would have made the same choice:”
By refusing to report on the huge discrepancy between the description of the crime contained in the March 16 search warrant and what the accuser presumably told them in the interview, the paper was pretending to be blind to the implications of that difference, namely that the accuser was an unreliable witness who was now telling a different story[.]

It is simply impossible that the N&O staff did not understand the meaning and implications of this. Either [Crystal Mangum] was telling a wholly different story to the N&O than she had told to the police, or the police were not telling the truth about what her story really was.
I strongly agree with momtothree. She states self-evident truths.

I’m at a loss to explain how KC could agree with the N&O’s decision to withhold news so exculpatory for the players.

What about you?

As for KC’s belief the news the N&O withheld was not “exculpatory news” I offer him and you the following which combines Merriam-Webster’s definitions of
“exculpatory” and “exculpate”:
“tending or serving to clear from alleged fault or guilt”
There's much more I want to say but this post but is already very long and was promised to readers a few days ago.

I'll just end with these few brief items:

I wish KC hadn't made that remark about what he termed Professor Lubiano's "drinking habits." It wasn't fair to her and reflected very poorly on him.

For the same reasons I wish he hadn't ridiculed Miss California, Carrie Prejean, for doing no more than stating when asked her opinion about gay marriage which is the same as that of President Obama whom KC so admires.

I think DIW lost something important when KC barred Joan Foster, one of the people who's been most effective from the first in the fight for DL justice. All Joan did was to civilly and persausively disagree with KC over his ridicule of Prejean.

I hope KC will reconsider his decision or at least give us some explanation.

For days KC has been pounding former NTY columnist Selena Roberts. That's his right. And I hold no brief for Roberts.

Still, I was sorry to see yesterday he'd gone and dug out sale price, tax valuation and other data regarding the home she owns.

When the N&O published the tax value and other data about Reade Seligmann's parents' home, I thought it was a cheap shot, so you know what I think of what KC did.

I continue reading KC because I can still find among the dross some excellent posts a friend says are “like the old KC’s”

I thank you for reading this post.

I wish KC and all of you well.

John

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

I take KC's posts with a grain of salt b/c though he rails against undeserving academics, the fact remains he is a government employee. Moreover, he is a blind supporter of Obama, a huge government, anti-capitalist, tax and spend socialist. Anyone who can be that blind a supporter of this President deserves to be viewed with a jaundiced eye. I still respect the work of KC and Taylor, but I'm not buying all that he is selling.

Anonymous said...

I hope that KC will address your questions fully at DIW (or at JinC). I would agree that there have been digressions of late that have detracted from what has over all been a very high level of discourse. When one is willing to admit that one has been a bit high handed or has made a mistake, one's credibility does not suffer rather it is enhanced as there is no one living who is perfect.
The msm (with very few, notable exceptions) distinguished themselves only in their mendacity, their adherence to a pc mentality and their willingness to be tools of Nifong and his cohorts. THe N&O deserves no pass, neither does the Herald Sun. Both chose to paint a narrative that will never fully be destroyed. Their failure to independently check all facts and sources and to ask real hard questions about what would become the most important story that they would ever cover has contributed in no small part to their circulation problems today. While I decry the death of newspapers, their declining fortunes (as well as those of THe New York Times) are the reult of their failure to remember the reason why journalism used to be such a noble profession.
cks

Anonymous said...

Perfect.

You went out at the top of your game.

But I don't think it will make a difference to KC except he'll try to knock you down.

KC Johnson said...

John,

Many thanks for the kind words about my original work. While you suggest--at least by implication--that there is an "old" and a "new" KC, I am, in fact, one and the same. Just as I was in early 2006, I remain just as vehement a critic of academic groupthink and political mobbing as I am a fervent supporter of Barack Obama and marriage equality (although, then, of course, the Obama campaign was only a hope and not a reality; and only one state, not five as now, treated all citizens as entitled to equality in civil marriage, regardless of sexual orientation).

As I have noted on several occasions, your criticism of my position on the N&O's coverage of the case is also a criticism of the basic position taken by, among others, Joe Cheshire, Jim Cooney, and Wade Smith. As I have noted on several other occasions, you have every right to take a position that amounts to being more royalist than the king, although it is a little odd that your position is so much, much more extreme than that of the representatives of the three central victims in this case. I also think that any evaluation of the N&O, just like an evaluation of the H-S and NYT, has to be an evaluation of the paper's performance in the entire case, and cannot (as so often has occurred with the Group of 88) pretend as if the world stopped circa April 6, 2006.

I am very comfortable with the position I have taken, and I stand by everything I have written--good and bad--about the N&O.

Allow me to respond to a few other items you raised, in two comments below.

KC Johnson said...

Continuing from my comment above.

1.) You attack me for not criticizing a 4-1-06 article by Anne Blythe and Jayne Stancill, and say that "no one in the bar at the time of the alleged shot slammings and shouts has ever substantiated her charges and Blythe and Stancill offered no substantiation in their story."

That statement actually is untrue. I have spoken to four other people who were in the bar that evening. Two corroborated--in no uncertain terms--the story in Blythe and Stancill's article. Two strongly dissented from it. The reason that I never critiqued the article in DIW or UPI was not because of a partiality to the N&O but because I had no clear grounds for attacking the article. My general approach, given that there were so many articles worth criticizing in the case, was not to do posts on an article that could have been correct.

2.) "On Apr. 2 the N&O published Tim Tyson’s horrific screed in which he said 'the spirit of the lynch mob' lived at the party. He’d said as much days before on WUNC."

Thanks for pointing Tyson's column out to me. This information would have been especially useful if I hadn't already criticized the article, on several occasions, in DIW.

3.) "There are many, many more N&O news reports and news columns that appeared for months after Apr. 1 that are “distinguished” primarily for their bias against the players, their inaccuracies, their withholding information the N&O had and should have revealed, and their stoking race, class and gender tensions."

Really? "Many months"? Apart from the columns of Barry Saunders, these evidently were articles that all the defense attorneys in the case must have missed. I guess they--and most observers--were too busy during these "many months after Apr. 1 paying attention to the N&O's scoop after scoop from Joe Neff undermining the Nifong case, piece by piece."

KC Johnson said...

Continued from comment above: 4.) "Of course, had the N&O reported Mangum’s claim Roberts was raped [which the N&O declined to reveal until after the AG declared the players innocent], people would naturally have asked why there’d been no mention of that in any news report; or any DNA testing of suspects in the alleged rape of Roberts; and many more such questions. You have to ask yourself: doesn’t KC know that the way the N&O editors decided to publish that interview is exactly the way Nifong needed and wanted the interview to be published? .. . As for KC’s belief the news the N&O withheld was not “exculpatory news” I offer him and you the following which combines Merriam-Webster’s definitions of “exculpatory” and “exculpate”: “tending or serving to clear from alleged fault or guilt.'"

I am grateful to JinC for pointing me to the definition of exculpatory. I guess that somehow DiW was able to win the ABA's 2007 award for best blog on legal ethics without even knowing what "exculpatory" meant. Who could have guessed it?

As to the substance of JinC's allegations, I couldn't disagree more. For late 2006, I joined with JinC in criticizing the N&O's decision to withhold this information--in part because, relying on rumors mentioned in JinC, I suggested that the undisclosed info had been a claim by Mangum that Roberts had robbed her of her money. As we know, that wasn't the case: the undisclosed info was Mangum's claim that she believed Roberts was raped by three other players.

The idea that it would have been responsible reporting for the N&O to simply float out the idea that a claim existed that the second dancer was raped is hard to believe. With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, JinC suggests that people would have recognized this as exculpatory information. Let me offer my own 20-20 hindsight--a significant section of the Durham and Duke "communities" would have cited this information to demand additional charges against other players, Kim Roberts could very well have played along, and the prospect of such charges from a venal DA with nothing to lose would have hung over the players throughout the summer and fall of 2006.

In short, I believe that on this particular issue the N&O acted with extraordinary responsibility.

5.) "I wish KC hadn't made that remark about what he termed Professor Lubiano's "drinking habits." It wasn't fair to her and reflected very poorly on him."

The incident was actually described by Prof. Lubiano, who discussed, as a scholarly matter, evenings of "food and drink." I'll try to keep in mind in the future that JinC might believe that it reflects poorly on me to mention embarrassing events about her personal life described as of scholarly significance in her own writings by Prof. Lubiano.

KC Johnson said...

And my final comments. Since JinC made a host of allegations against me without the courtesy of an advance email, I have elected to respond to them seriatim in this thread.

6.) "For the same reasons I wish he hadn't ridiculed Miss California, Carrie Prejean, for doing no more than stating when asked her opinion about gay marriage which is the same as that of President Obama whom KC so admires."

I didn't realize that Ms. Prejean supports repeal of DOMA, enactment of a federal civil unions law, and opposed Prop 8. I'm sure that the anti-equality National Organization of Marriage, of which she has served as a spokesperson, will be surprised to discover this information.

I also didn't realize that Pres. Obama had ever equated being asked about his position on marriage equality with being tempted by Satan, as Ms. Prejean did in a recent interview with James Dobson. I'll have to try and follow the marriage equality debate more closely in the future.

7.) "I think DIW lost something important when KC barred Joan Foster, one of the people who's been most effective from the first in the fight for DL justice. All Joan did was to civilly and persausively [sic] disagree with KC over his ridicule of Prejean.

I hope KC will reconsider his decision or at least give us some explanation."

I didn't "bar" Ms. Foster; I closed down the thread. (Ms. Foster, I should note, very rarely commented by DIW; in the year before her comments on Ms. Prejean, Ms. Foster had commented at DIW perhaps a half-dozen times, out of a total of around 5000 comments during the period.) And I'd urge JinC to re-examine Joan Foster's position, which was the bizarre claim that the treatment of a beauty pageant contestant was the equivalent of behavior worse than that exhibited by any Duke professor in the lacrosse case. I stated at the time that this was a patently absurd statement, a trivialization of the case. I stand by that statement.

8.) "For days KC has been pounding former NTY columnist Selena Roberts. That's his right. And I hold no brief for Roberts.

Still, I was sorry to see yesterday he'd gone and dug out sale price, tax valuation and other data regarding the home she owns.

When the N&O published the tax value and other data about Reade Seligmann's parents' home, I thought it was a cheap shot, so you know what I think of what KC did."

I actually didn't "dig out" anything, a commenter did. The commenter also included personal items about Roberts, which I did not clear; and simply folded the rest into an unrelated comment from me. (As JinC knows, blogger software does not allow partial clearing of comments.)

Why did I clear the info that I did? First of all, I usually clear info., unless there's a strong reason not to, especially since this info. was in the public record. In her March 2007 column, Roberts in part criticized the lacrosse players for getting well-paying jobs. The fact that she lives in an expensive house in an overwhelmingly white suburb exposes her to charges of hypocrisy. That said, my comments policy is clear: my clearing a comment does not necessarily indicate that I agree with the comment. I regret that JinC has stooped to a tactic employed against me by several members of the Group of 88 and suggested that I necessarily agree with statements or actions made by commenters. To paraphrase his earlier comment, JinC's doing so wasn't fair to me and reflects poorly on him.

9.) "I wish KC and all of you well."

And I wish JinC well, in the same spirit in which he did so with me.

Anonymous said...

John -

You're post is great.

KC -

You're comments are pathetic.

A Duke Mom

sceptical said...

John, while I agree with some of your criticism of KC Johnson, I find it odd that you would devote your last major blog article to attacking someone who has done so much to uncover the truth about the lacrosse case. In my opinion, you should have made these criticisms earlier and not as your valedictory statement.

I agree with your assessment that the N&O went with the "limited hangout" (my words, not yours). The paper through Joe Neff decided to sacrifice Mike Nifong. However, after skewering him, the N&0 dropped the ball investigating the police malfeasance and misconduct that started the frame-up even before Nifong got involved. The N&O did not investigate how Gottlieb took over the case, the egregious lack of a police investigation of the facts (Jason Bissey had to go to the police instead of the other way around), the question of Duke Police jurisdiction over the case, the role of Patrick Baker and Bill Bell in the matter, and a myriad of other questions. The N&0 investigated Nifong and that was that. Joe Neff was asked why he didn't go further and he replied he was "off the case."

In this sense, I agree with John more than KC-- the N&0 coverage was inflammatory at the beginning but, with the exception of the decision to sacrifice Nifong, it remained inadequate at the end.

I also agree with John that KC has made some inexplicable judgments (although rarely). One John did not mention was KC's praise of Ben Himan for his work with the Special Prosecutors. I have never agreed with this because Himan was as responsible as Nifong or Gottlieb for the frame-up and specifically for the grand jury indictments.

Furthermore, I agree with John that KC can at times be shrill in attacking those who disagree with him. In my opinion, KC's over-use of sarcasm makes his arguments less persuasive. While I disdain the Group of 88 for their political views and questionable ethics, some of KC's attacks have been over the top.

But any criticsm of KC has to be taken in context of the hundreds of thousands of words he has written about the lacrosse case. His power of analysis is impressive, if not always 100% correct. His devotion to the truth and the many hours he has spent blogging on the case are unmatched.
Besides the legal defense team, no one contributed more to the innocence declaration than KC.

So, John, I regret that you did not make your arguments about KC earlier. It leaves a sour taste that such a thoughtful person as yourself would finish the blog with an attack on another "good guy."

There are enough "bad guys" out to focus on instead of one of our own.

Best wishes,
sceptical

Anonymous said...

KC says a lot of over the top stuff.

But so what? He does a lot of good.

Just my opinion

Anonymous said...

John,

You're last was one of your best.

Duke '85

Anonymous said...

As an admirer of John and KC, I think both deserve much credit and very little criticism. Other than Joe Neff, it's difficult to think of another N&O staff member to praise in the lacrosse frame. The newspaper basically got away with casting the entire team in a false light and for inflaming the community.

joan foster said...

John, you were our valiant Field General at the Editors Blog...but a gentleman always...in every circumstance.

We will miss this Blog.

Anonymous said...

John:

I read this blog post with great interest.

Allow me to make a comment.

KC has tried to blend a search for the truth with a mix of political liberalism. Unfortunately the two don't mix well in the DL case.

I also noticed his comments have become more polarizing of late.

His tortured defense of the ill mannered comments he directed at Ms California was embarrassing. It's ironic he would criticize the Group of 88 for the same type of intolerance he exhibits. Your post only highlighted what many were already thinking.

Good luck to you.

Ken
Dallas

Anonymous said...

I agree with A Duke Mom, Duke '85 and Ken.

This was a great post.

Larry said...

I enjoyed the diversity within the postings by John in Carolina. I will miss this blog. KC needs to change the name of his blog as he has diverted his attention from Durham. He is however still in wonderland.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, your introductory paragraphs were much too harsh, J-in-C, and my mind can't resolve the conclusions contained therein with your having identified 5 or 6 things that Professor Johnson "maybe coulda shoulda" done a little better out of the hundreds of thousands of words he posted about the case.

And for one of those "maybe coulda shoulda" items, involving the N&O not initially publishing Mangum's assertions about another rape, Professor Johnson has provided a response that (a) I had never considered, and that (b) makes perfect sense given Kim Roberts' greed and the atmosphere around Durham at the time. I think we can all agree that what the N&O did wrong -- beyond a doubt -- was to keep that information from the public after the 60 Minutes interview when Roberts finally boxed herself in with one nationally-televised story.

This looks like a squabble between a generalist and a specialist. J-in-C concentrated heavily on the print media, especially around Durham, and Professor Johnson had a pan-dimensional outlook that included the media, the academy, the legal system, the investigation, etc. To me, it's like anthropologists and primate archaeologists arguing about the significance of the Ida fossil. The good news is that we all benefit.

I hope people on both sides of the political fence can recognize the contributions of these great authors and proponents of justice. I sure do. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Gregory @ 9:29-

John's introductory comments weren't "too harsh." He said a lot of nice things about KC. Go back and take a look at the post for yourself.

John made some pretty substantial criticisms of KC's work, but he backed them up and was as he always is civil.

KC's response is, in my opinion, very snide and doesn't knock down any of John's major criticisms.

I'd tell anyone who doesn't believe KC can be very petty to read his posts on this thread.

That's just one woman's opinion and I respect yours.

Duke Alum

Anonymous said...

KC comments about Ms California were totally inappropriate. He did the same thing to Tara Levicy. With all the BIG PLAYERS in the game, like Judge Stevens, KC choose to crucify the staff nurse, who was in charge of nothing, to the full extent of his venom. I always believed and wrote often (although rarely published) that his harrassment of the nurse was due to his "frienship" with Nurses Peggy Perfect and personal prejudice towards women. He supported their crucification of Tara and encouraged a group of non professionsl medical folk to harrass her,including stalking her from state to state. Did anyone ever wonder why the Professional Nursing Boards never censured Tara and ignored all the cards and letters from the KC supporters? Cause she did not do the stuff KC accused her of doing and she is a little fish in a huge pond, but the weakest of all the fish.
Ruth Sheehan was a disgrace and KC "excusing her participation" was inexcusable. Carrie Prejean is a twenty one year old girl participating in a beauty contest, yet KC felt compelled to ridicule her in a public post. That is low.

Brenham High 1975 said...

Anon @ 11:04am: With all the BIG PLAYERS in the game, like Judge Stevens, KC choose to crucify the staff nurse, who was in charge of nothing...'In charge of nothing', yet inappropriately & illegally signed a SANE report. And lied about the results of the report on multiple occassions.

There's a reason that Levicy's conduct in this case has cost Duke million$, with more $$ to come.

Anonymous said...

I stopped going to Durham-in-Wonderland about 6 months because of the same kind of stuff John mentions.

But I went there again after reading the KC now post.

The place is worse then when I left but the Diva hasn't changed.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutly NO PROOF that Tara signed an illegal or inappropriate SANE report. In fact, she was asked about the report that she and Dr Manly both signed at a BAR hearing, under oather and not one lawyer accused her of lyning on the report. KC perpetuated this stuff through his blog and non medical professional carry the tale on. That ain't right.

Anonymous said...

Levicy's actions cost Duke Millions? Who would have though? Somehow it looked like Broadhead, Steele, 88 Professors, John Burness and a host of BIG GUYS, including the Key Card information. That little staff nurse is a NOBODY among the SOMEBODIES.

halides1 said...

John,

The fact that you reported incorrectly that Joan was banned from DIW is troubling. I tend toward the view that KC’s closing down the thread was a bit of an overreaction, but an understandable one. The point of the original post was that when a person speaks in an academic setting, questions are always expected (and in the view of UNC Wilmington’s Leadership Lecture series, one of the most interesting portions of the speaker’s visit). We expect even undergraduate students who defend an Honor’s thesis to take spontaneous questions from the general audience, which might include the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker. KC’s point might have been made more effectively without specific examples, but his examples were from both the left and right wings of the political spectrum. Specifically with respect to Miss California, I thought KC’s own comments muddied the waters a bit in his own comments. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that the comment thread got way off track of what was an entirely reasonable point.

I commend you for much fine work on the DL case. Yet, some of your criticisms of KC strike me as small potatoes, and this fact, coupled with two criticisms of a single post (http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2009/04/suggested-panels-for-stone-center.html), make me shake my head with wonder. I hope you reconsider closing down your blog, if for no other reason than to do so now would be to exit on a distinctly sour note.

Chris

JWM said...

Folks,

I want to respond to a few of the things KC’s said in his comments above.

KC misrepresents most of the things I said in the post; and he offers explanations for some of his own work or lack thereof that are highly questionable.

I’ll respond to only a few things he said above because:

1) I don’t have enough time this whole week to respond to all he’s posted here which needs correction or clarification so people unfamiliar with matters won’t be misled;

and 2) because even a fair, factual, source-cited, comprehensive response would not stop KC from making new irresponsible assertions, throwing up red herrings, and engaging in ad hominems.

What I’m doing is for those of you on this thread and I’m sure others elsewhere who are fair people and question what I did and wrote.

I plan another post you’ll find here in a few days that will respond to a few other particular things KC has said.

After that I don’t expect to respond further to KC regarding “KC Johnson Now.”

I’ll reference anyone raising matters concerning “KC Johnson Now” to the post, this thread and the body of my blog work available to all at JinC archives.

Those of you who are regulars here will recall I followed a similar approach when then Chronicle editor David Graham attacked me and others in his column.

It’s an effective approach with fair-minded people because it allows them to “look at the record.”

One of the things I like best about the Internet is it preserves a written record of what was said.

Now to a few of KC’s statements made about - - -

KC says – “You attack me for not criticizing a 4-1-06 article by Anne Blythe and Jayne Stancill, and say that ‘no one in the bar at the time of the alleged shot slammings and shouts has ever substantiated her charges and Blythe and Stancill offered no substantiation in their story.”

MY RESPONSE - - -

Read “KC Johnson Now” and you'll see I never attacked KC “for not criticizing a 4-1-06 article by Anne Blythe and Jayne Stancill.

I cite the article as one example of many examples of biased, inflammatory, etc N&O DL coverage that began on Apr. 1 and continued for months thereafter.

I cited the Blythe-Stancill story in a section of the post which was headed in bold: UPI claims “The N&O … distinguished itself after its lamentable first few articles in late March[.]” (p. 259, hardcover edition) I called the UPI claim “absurd”

KC never addresses that.

Instead, he throws up the red herring that I attacked him for not reporting the story.

There’s more I want to say but I need to go to a meeting now.

I’ll be back on this thread tonight to finish my response to KC and to respond to a comment here by skeptical.

Thank you.

John

Anonymous said...

John,

I admire your work, and KC's work very much, and I thank you both.

I agree with Gregory MOO that much of your disagreement with KC has to do with your different focus and expertise. You have always been more concerned with the integrity of the press, and KC has always been more concerned with the integrity of the academy.

The question of whether the second allegation of rape should have been reported is, it seems to me, a matter for which reasonable minds can differ. We all benefit from a reasoned dialogue.

Regarding the N&O's coverage, it seems to me you both agree the coverage was bad initially, and mixed later. Given the state of the MSM, perhaps more credit should be given to the courage required just to be "mixed" in the press today.

Questions of peripheral matters such as Ms. Prejean are just that, peripheral. It is his blog, and his years of time and effort certainly entitle him to express some opinions. I disagreed with him on this matter, and he allow me (and others) to express our disagreement.

I thought the tone of your posting was unnecessarily harsh, particularly given the more substantive opinions you and KC share.

However, it is your blog, and your years of time and effort certainly entitle you to express your opinions.

Thank you for sharing your valuable insights, and I wish you great success in your future ventures.

-RD

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:12

Re Tara Levicy

When one views evidence with a pre-conceived belief - rape victims do not lie - then one is going to find whatever one can to support that view. This is what Levicy did. Without Levicy, there can be no charge of vaginal rape and anal rape - which is what Mangum maintained occurred. Therefore, she is a seminal part of the hoax.
That the board charged with credentialing of nurses chose fit not to discipline her may have many explanations - any number of which may be unsavory.
Let me give an example of how such things can occur by way of an example.
There was a teacher at a school who also was employed as a coach. As a coach, he was always patting the female athlete on their rear ends, draping his arm around their shoulders and making rather inappropriate comments - though nothing that one could point to as a damning incident that could get him fired. He had his favorites - those who went along with his rear end pats, arm draping and laughed at his risque comments. The administration and sports director were approached but they disregarded those parents who raised a concern. Emboldened, the teacher, who happened to be a technology instructor, began to use his school computer to search the internet for porn sites - he had disabled the filtering system - anumber of teachers began receiving emails from porn sites - they went to the administration horrified that anyone might think that they were engaged in such behavior that would merit them missives of that sort - the administration's response that even the best filters cannot always block all disreputable content and not to worry about it. Said coach/teacher then took to calling up certain girls and showing them internet porn - it was only then, and only after one such girl summoned the courage to say something to her parents that the administration saw fit to take action. But the action that was taken was to allow said person to resign; forbid anyone (students, teachers) to comment about the situation (even though the local news media was camped out on the school's doorstep); discourage the parents from pursuing legal action (it was explained that their daughter would suffer from the publicity and that the school might have to take action against the daughter which might wind up in her permanent record); and no action was taken to withdraw his teaching license. Since the school had never checked out his references (to have done so would have alerted them that this was not the first time that he had engaged in questionable behavior) they did not want that fact revealed. So, what we have is someone who should have had the book thrown against him but did not and he is free to apply somewhere else and given that there are always places that are less than careful in checking references and given that when people write references these days, they are often loathe to commit much of anything in writing, there exists the possibility that this person could go somewhere else and teach again....and possibly engage in the same behavior.
cks

Anonymous said...

Oh Please. Three different Nursing Boards have received numerous cards and letters from KC supporters, complaining about this nurse and NONE have even filed an investigation, let alone taken her license. SBI came out in the end of March stating there was no Lacrosse DNA on the swabs or cloths and some thing the cops ignored their own lab unit to listen to a lowly staff nurse. NEVER. This is all KC's doing in support of his friends,as he exonerated Ruthie Sheehan.

JWM said...

This continues my post begun @ 2:39 PM


In "KC Johnson Now" I said:

“no one in the bar at the time of the alleged shot slammings and shouts has ever substantiated her charges and Blythe and Stancill offered no substantiation in their story.”

To that KC Johnson said:

"That statement actually is untrue. I have spoken to four other people who were in the bar that evening. Two corroborated--in no uncertain terms--the story in Blythe and Stancill's article. Two strongly dissented from it. The reason that I never critiqued the article in DIW or UPI was not because of a partiality to the N&O but because I had no clear grounds for attacking the article."

NY RESPONSE:

I never attacked KC for not criticizing the Blythe-Stancill story.

Now here’s an excerpt of the 3/28 Chronicle op-ed which Blythe & Stancill based their story on which I called a "smear" for being published by the N&O on Apr. 1 with no corroborating witnesses:

From The Chronicle - - -

>>> This past Saturday night, days after the lacrosse story appeared in newspapers, I was at Charlie's having a drink with my local softball team when about 20 lacrosse players arrived.

Some were my close friends at Duke. Some are absolutely amazing athletes that shouldn't be tainted by the unfortunate and extremely sad events of this month. Most should not be guilty by association.

Nevertheless, they ordered round after round of shots, at times slamming the glasses down on tables and cheering "Duke Lacrosse!"

At this point, the bar started buzzing. Comments were flying all over from "How does Duke not have these guys under lockdown?" to "Do they realize what unremorseful drunk snobs they look like?" to "I hate Duke students and this is exactly why."

One of the men on my team, a cop, leaned over to me and said, "See A, B and C? They are police officers."

Ten minutes later, one of the other guys on my team, a photographer for a Raleigh newspaper, leaned over and said, "See X,Y and Z? They are reporters."

The players had no idea who was intensely analyzing them, nor did they really seem to care.

While I drank a Corona, watching them get plastered and stumbling, yelling about Duke lacrosse, the rest of the bar looked on with derision and repulsion.

Needless to say, it was hard to stomach how their actions conveyed a sense that the severity of the situation is lost on them .>>>

Folks, let’s think about a few things.

There were three full days between the publication of the op-ed on Mar. 28 and the N&O's Blythe-Stancill story’s publication on Apr. 1.

But with all those alleged witnesses to allegedly loud and offensive behavior by a group of 20 Duke lacrosse players, the N&O reporters could find no witnesses to corroborate the allegations other than the woman who made them in the first place.

On Mar. 28 the DL story was one of the nation’s biggest.

Between reporters, cameramen, producers, and satellite truck tech people, there were hundreds of people connected with news organizations trying to corroborate that story.

But none of them could find a single person who could confirm what the woman claimed.

They couldn’t find any cops or reporters she claimed were at Charlie’s who’d confirm the allegations which I, like everyone else I know, believe were false.

They couldn't find a single person who'd confirm it.

You can imagine how hard they worked to confirm the shotslamming and shouting at Charlie’s story.

But no one could.

At least not until KC Johnson managed to find two witnesses he says “corroborated--in no uncertain terms--the story in Blythe and Stancill's article.”

Has KC ever disclosed that publicly until just now on this thread because he “had no clear grounds for attacking the article."

What KC’s claiming about his "witnesses" is very hard to believe.

I'll respond further to KC's comments here later this evening.

Thank you for reading.

John

Anonymous said...

John,

Your original post said,

"UPI claims 'The N&O … distinguished itself after its lamentable first few articles in late March[.]” (p. 259, hardcover edition)

That's an absurd statement. It grossly understates what the N&O really did in March. It presents a characterization of the N&O's subsequent DL coverage which gives readers no hint of what the N&O's DL coverage was really like for weeks, and in some cases many months, after Apr. 1.'"

Exhibit 1 for the statement is the Blythe-Stancill story.

For you to now say, "I never attacked KC for not criticizing the Blythe-Stancill story" is asking for some pretty fine parsing of the language. Particularly coming, as it does, just a few paragraphs after you rhetorically ask (with regard to Sheehan's writing), "UPI doesn’t mention any of that. Why not?"

Your latest comment attacking KC's veracity, without anything more than a hunch on your part, is unseemly. IMHO

-RD

halides1 said...

Let's not forget that the N&O's Ruth Sheehan apologized for her "Team's Silence is Sickening" article, a rarity in the DL case, but a good precedent.

Chris

JWM said...

To RD @ 9:11,

I you should know I said:

"UPI claims 'The N&O … distinguished itself after its lamentable first few articles in late March[.]' (p. 259, hardcover edition)"


But you say:

"Exhibit 1 for the statement is the Blythe-Stancill (B-S)
story."

Not true!

The B-S story was actually the 4th I cited in a set of identified stories after which I added that I’d cited many more such stories in previous posts that made clear my disagreement with Taylor & Johnson’s UPI claim:

“The N&O … distinguished itself after its lamentable first few articles in late March[.]”

If you want to attack me for doing that, so be it.

But don’t distort by claiming I attacked KC for not criticizing a story when what I did was cite it as one example of many stories that contradicted his claim:

“The N&O … distinguished itself after its lamentable first few articles in late March[.]”

John

JWM said...

Chris - halidas 1 @ 9:52,

You're right: Sheehan's apology for her "Team's Silence Is Sickening" column shouldn't be forgotten.

For that reason I mention it in posts, including "KC Johnson Now."

But I'm at a loss to explain why she's never apologized for her Apr. 3, 2006 column attacking Coach Pressler and ending with the demand to Duke: "So dump him."

Two days later Duke did.

Do you have anything dated and in writing that says KC didn't bar Joan Foster from DIW.

If you do and will pass it on, I'll give it a look with the intent of correcting "KC Johnson Now" if I can confirm what you send.

I hope you share.

Thank for your previous comment which I thought was considered ever as I disagreed with significant parts of it.

Best,

John

Anonymous said...

-RD 9:11PM

It's painful to see an uninformed poster try to show off. Please stop. You're embarrassing yourself.

Ken
Dallas

halides1 said...

John,

I do not have direct information, one way or another. However, KC closed that thread for comments, and this is the only time I have ever seen him do that. I have occasionally commented on DIW threads that were months old, so I know that he does not close comment threads routinely after a set period of time. Please feel free to post this or not at your discretion.

Chris

JWM said...

Dear Chris,

Thank you for your prompt response.

I hope you understand why I need to confirm or dismiss your statement in your first post that KC didn't bar Joan.

Citation of a written and dated record that KC didn't bar Joan is important, given that on the basis of such documentation I'd update "KC Johnson Now" with a correction if what you provide is verifiable.

As can be seen above, you responded to my request with these two most relevant sentences:

"I do not have direct information, one way or another. However, KC closed that thread for comments, and this is the only time I have ever seen him do that. ..."

Chris, I know you can see your answer is equivocal as to the question of whether you can cite a written, dated record that shows KC didn't bar Joan from DIW.

If you can provide what I've asked for, please do so.

I'll promptly update my post and apologize for my mistake.

If you can't provide documentation, please state that.

Sincerely,

John

Anonymous said...

My apologies John,

You are correct, of course, and my apologies. There was one paragraph (two sentences) between your "That's an absurd statement" paragraph I quoted, and the seven paragrash discussion of Blythe-Stancill article.

And Ken Duke, I'm too old to try to show off, and you are still a putz.

-RD

-RD

JWM said...

sceptical @ 10:51 PM says in part:

"John, while I agree with some of your criticism of KC Johnson, I find it odd that you would devote your last major blog article to attacking someone who has done so much to uncover the truth about the lacrosse case."

"In my opinion, you should have made these criticisms earlier and not as your valedictory statement."

MY RESPONSE TO SCEPTICAL

begins by noting that I did make some of "these criticisms earlier."

Note the links to some of the major points I make in my post are from 2007, for example.

Beginning in 2006 and into 2007 I dialogued with KC on and offline.

I was troubled about some of the things I saw in his work.

For example, that in UPI there's no mention of Anne Blythe, who was co-bylined on the N&O's Mar. 24 & 25 stories.

A search of N&O archives for the period Mar.24 to May 15, 2006 using "Blythe" as Author and "Duke lacrosse" returns 27 "hits."

KC directs sharp criticism to Samiha Khanna for the 3/25 story the N&O said was about a night of "sexual violence."

But he has only praise for Blythe and has taken issue when I've noted his differential treatment of the two reporters.

KC insists Blythe is an
"exceptional" reporter.

I'll say some more tomorrow.

To sum up: I don't find valid sceptical's criticisms of me made here and elsewhere since I posted "KC Johnson Now."

That said, sceptical's been a staunch advocate for justice and often a careful, reflectice and articulate commenter.

John

JWM said...

To RD @ 1:58 AM,

It may be the hour (after 2 AM here) but I'm not sure how to take your comment as regards what can and I said.

Can you clarify.

John

inmyhumbleopinion said...

Hello John,

You requested documentation concerning Joan Foster's banning at DIW.

All I know about Joan Foster's "banning" is what I read at DIW and LS.

@ DIW KC posted:

Blogger KC Johnson said...

To Joan:

My best wishes to you.

I'm sure there will be hundreds of blogs that will give you their space to more fully develop the hypothetical you presented earlier in this thread: that there's no fundamental difference between a professor committing academic misconduct on a scale greater than anything we witnessed in the Duke case and a beauty pageant contestant not being rewarded for opposing marriage rights for her state's gay and lesbian citizens.

Among those hundreds of blogs, however, will not be DIW.

4/27/09 3:05 PM

+++++++++

Joan Foster started a thread @ LS titled

Banned in Wonderland; It's offical!

http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/1565945/1/

She quoted KC's 4/27/09 3:05 PM comment.

RighteousThug asked Joan if she had been banned or was merely being prevented from beating a dead horse

"Is that really the case, or are you simply constrained from beating that dead horse deaderer? ;>)"

~J~ is in Wonderland posted:


I am told that Joan has NOT been banned.

++++++

Since KC clears all comments he does not have to ban anyone. As Chris noted, KC closed the comment thread - I would suspect to avoid having to "not clear" posts from Joan or her supporters. He knows they could repost their "non cleared" comments at LS and call him out for not posting them at DIW.

I had not read your blog until your announced departure, but I can see by the comments here and elsewhere that you will be missed.

Good luck,

imho

Anonymous said...

IMHO,I remember that paragraph from KC very well. Thanks for the post. I was shocked that KC would do that to Joan Foster. I have a lot of respect for KC but don't like his cutting off the debate.

kelly said...

John,
Reading IMHO's comment, I must agree that I received no offical "notice of banning." It was I who used the term and in the strict sense of the word, I regret if I mislead by the use of that word.

But let's review the history. That day, KC would asserts he uses the "lightest of touches" in his commenting and has led us to believe he is a champion for the concept of free discourse...after my first few posts, began adding new ones...but not mine.

I was actually stunned by this. This was a debate...he , in comments, had engaged the topic. And in one post...called me out by name. Yet my responese were not being cleared.

Of course, I had the option to post them at LS and did.

Some hours later...he cleared them and wrote that final post and closed the thread. This is very unusual on DIW. Was it closed because he could not counter the comments he received? That would be intellectually opposite of everything he professes to require of everyone else.

The closure, the post, and the "will not be at DIW." indicated to me the unlikelihood my comments would clear his lightest of touches again.

He may know wrap himself in ambiguity and for the strict sense of the word, I might allow him that.

But look what happened next . He cleared a most vicious comment by his most prolofic poster, Debrah. It not only smeared me...but there was collateral damage to another party that KC knows...someone who admires him greatly.

The meticulous KC allowed that comment to stand for hours, finally ...after emails from LS posters...calling it a mistake.

If not banned, I would certainly hestiotate, wouldn't I , to re-enter such a hostile enviorment?

Debrah relayed an equally vicious email to me the next day.

Now, you may say, KC had no part in this. There was no "banning! Joan was more than welcome! The nasty post was a mistake.

Well, look at the comments from yesterday. Equally ugly Debrah comments were cleared by KC against John...and yes, me again. There seems to be a pattern here.

For a man who says he does not allow ad hominen attacks and cries out against "nastiness" in his posts...he has by clearing Debrah's comments circumvented his own rules and supposed ethics.

So we have "banning" and "spirit of banning." we have"lightest of touches" and "suppression of deabate." We have "no attacks" and Debrah's cleared posts about anyone on KC'a enemies list.

If I misconstrued the "banning"..then I apologize to KC. I'dlike to see him be honorable enough to read his cleared comments, stop pretending his hands are clean...and do the same.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry John,

It was clearly too late for me, also.

I want to again thank you for your very thoughtful commentary over the years. I have followed your blog for a long time and will miss it.

-RD

JWM said...

Folks,

Many people commented Joan was barred from DIW.

If she wasn't, KC could have cleared the matter up with just six words:

"Joan Foster isn't barred from DIW."

Did he ever do it?

If so, where?

If not, why not?

John

Anonymous said...

Sweetmick says: When I realized KC was ultimately giving a pass to Sheehan, Sill, Williams(all 3 just as snarky, dishonest and prejudiced as Roberts), it upset me. Banning Joan is infuriating. She is an ally. That is KC's blind spot. But we had John to carry the torch in exposing just how corrupt the N&O is, and it was a comprehensive masterful performance. KC did heroic, unprecedented work re the Crazy 88 and the Duke hierarchy.We don't have to choose between them. Just be thankful they appeared out of nowhere to lead us, inform us and inspire us.

JWM said...

To RD @ 1:58,

Thank you for clearing that up.

I appreciate your correcting.

I'd like to return your nice words and wish you well also.

Good luck in the future.

John

halides1 said...

John,

You made the assertion that Joan was banned from DIW. I would say that the onus was on you to back that assertion up with evidence, none of which was in your original post. You want to put the burden on KC to respond or me to offer proof. IMHO posted exactly what I would have, and the meaning is plain: The discussion about Miss California is over (not Joan is banned). Moreover, KC did expressly deny banning Joan in the third of his comments, at 8:59 PM, and I am surprised that I need to remind you of this. I am more troubled than I was before.

Chris

Anonymous said...

John,
You pose:
Blogger JWM said...

Folks,

Many people commented Joan was barred from DIW.

If she wasn't, KC could have cleared the matter up with just six words:

"Joan Foster isn't barred from DIW."

Did he ever do it?

If so, where?

If not, why not?

John

11:31 AM

KC posted previously in this same comment thread:

7.) "I think DIW lost something important when KC barred Joan Foster, one of the people who's been most effective from the first in the fight for DL justice. All Joan did was to civilly and persausively [sic] disagree with KC over his ridicule of Prejean.

I hope KC will reconsider his decision or at least give us some explanation."

I didn't "bar" Ms. Foster; I closed down the thread. (Ms. Foster, I should note, very rarely commented by DIW; in the year before her comments on Ms. Prejean, Ms. Foster had commented at DIW perhaps a half-dozen times, out of a total of around 5000 comments during the period.) And I'd urge JinC to re-examine Joan Foster's position, which was the bizarre claim that the treatment of a beauty pageant contestant was the equivalent of behavior worse than that exhibited by any Duke professor in the lacrosse case. I stated at the time that this was a patently absurd statement, a trivialization of the case. I stand by that statement.

JWM said...

To Sweetmick @ 11:59,

Thank you for your comment just now and for your earlier one when I announced I was shutting down JinC. I really enjoyed that one.

You are too generous to me.

The effort to expose and counter the pernicious influence of the N&O on the frame-up attempt and the ongoing cover-up has always been a group effort during which others have taught me a great deal.

Your are one of them.

I often come upon your comments at the Editors' Blog. You were an early and very effective commenter on behalf of truthful journalism and fairness for the players.

You possess a rare capacity to speak directly, powerfully, intelligently, and at one and the same time, concisely and comprehensively.

When we cross over to the other side I plan to look you up and ask how you do it.

If you see this comment, please leave another one here letting me know you have.

Good luck,

John

JWM said...

Folks,

We can all agree KC said on this thread AFTER I published "KC Johnson Now" that he hadn't barred Joan Foster.

But can IMHO, Chris or anyone else show us where KC said BEFORE I published that Joan was not barred?

Often bloggers don't publish a comment after which the commenter will sometimes ask: "Are you barring me from your blog?"

One common response is: "No. I just wouldn't go with that particular comment."

Another is: "I've just closed that thread. Look for another soon and comment there."

KC didn't do any of that even as Joan said publicly she was barred and many others said the same thing.

If Joan wasn't barred, KC could have cleared the matter up with just six words:

"Joan Foster isn't barred from DIW."

Did he ever do it?

If so, where?

If not, why not?

John

JWM said...

To Chris-halidas1 @ 12:18 pm,

I know KC said AFTER I published "KC Johnson Now" that he hadn't barred Joan Foster.

But can you find anything where he said BEFORE I published that he did not bar Joan?

See also my comment at 1:12 pm for further information on this matter including some about blogging which you as a blogger should know.

You say you are "troubled."

I hope you can find verifiable documentation of KC saying BEFORE I published that he hadn't barred Joan.

If you can produce that, I think you'll feel delighted; and I'll update the post with the new documentation.

Absent such documentation, what you've been repeatedly saying here is starting to look like emoting rather than adult discourse.

John

joan foster said...

To Halides1...

First, do not be troubled with John. He is one of the most honorable men we've encountered in this Hoax. He is always careful and always ready to apologize and/or correct.

I am the one who used the word "banned." you may then, be troubled with me. But after having my comments not posted while others were, watching as he called me out by name and STILL would not allow me the courtesy of the reply...then astounded as he posted that comment and shut down the thread...that is truly how I read it.

So you have no fault to find with John. It was my word. I take the responsibility.

But let’s review:

KC made no attempt to contact me at LS to clear up any misunderstanding on my part. The next day I would have a vicious Email from Debrah forwarded to me through Baldo…so many avenues were possible.

Instead his next action was to clear Debra's comment as follows:



“I realize that KC will, no doubt, find humor in my latest concern; however, I find no humor in it at all.

Simply because I have witnessed the cancerous way that some "allies" on other blogs have conducted themselves throughout.

I agree with KC that there was a gross analogy being made on a previous thread.

A few relentless commenters tried to equate the significance of two very different issues.

Because one commenter---who is known to all for beating to death a topic and who has been allowed, with lots of help, to bully her detractors on other blogs---could not take a hint, the comment section was closed.

A few commenters on that blog have even tried to imply, ever so gingerly, that KC is gay and that's why Joan "hit a nerve", explaining his reaction.

This is the brand of ad hominem attack and innuendo many of these people have used on others.

Please continue along these lines and you will know what it feels like when a bulldozer filets a few of your flat behinds.

And some say they will no longer come to Wonderland. Really?

That will be a refreshing modification in behavior, but you low class M-effers have nowhere else to go!

LOL!!!

Perhaps a daily dose of the crazy and overbearing housewife Joan and the phony, dishonest, soupy, and opportunistic redneck Jackie Brown can provide a version of "The View" over there on that overrated and overbearing blog.

If a few of you sons-of-b!tches want a volcano coming toward you, then you wil have one.

I can only imagine the kind of garbage that is discussed on the "private and inaccessible" discussion thread.

And my name is spelled with an "H" you stupid freaks!

4/28/09 10:31 AM””


The meticulous KC left this up for hours until Emails from some LS posters moved him to declare this post an "accident" and remove it. I received no personal apology or word of regret....something I’m sure John, ever the gentleman would have done had a post like that smeared his blog. You do know that KC is well acquainted with Jackie and she was no part of this. She has never said a negative word against him.

Remember too he clears every comment, has that moderator button.

I accepted it as a mistake and I posted an apology FROM ME on LS praising him for "saving three lives." I do not need to post there.

Fast forward please.

Here are more comments cleared yesterday by KC..who does not by his word…allow ad hominem attacks. This is on a thread about Roberts..so off topic as well. These comments are no "mistake." KC does not “ban” perhaps. He has his “Mommy” come and scare any bad guys away with ugliness and viciousness. Once may be an accident; this is clearly a tactic.

Does this “trouble” you as well, Chris? It troubles me deeply….because nothing John or I write demeans KC more than clearing comments like this …making mockery of his policies and more importantly ..his values. His work for the case was brilliant; his legacy is important to more people than just him. He should protect it…maybe by emulating a kind, honorable man like JinC.

joan foster said...

Debrah said...
TO "Asheck"--

I must concur that the post in question was overblown.

Such a bizarre way to close, eh?

The issue has provided the catalyst that some have craved in order to attack KC for "going off the reservation", if you will.

One or two people from the related blogs want to keep it going as long as they can.

When you read feverish and repetitive complaints about my recent comments and one relentless woman's demand that KC go by her selective rules which her own blog has never followed.....

......let me suggest that readers visit LS and check out the comments left and allowed to stand posted by one called "Truth Detector".

Not one of those who run LS said a thing in protest.

Now the crazed one screams and screams because others will not abide such unprovoked remarks used as "debate".

I'd advise both Liestoppers and JinC to clean up their own backyards.

They will be left with less time to attack someone (KC)---or sit back as their commentariate do the job---who has always treated them with respect.

Now.....none is deserved.
5/25/09 6:48 PM
There's more Chris...go read them yourself.

Anonymous said...

I want to clear one thing up. There was absolutely no scene of lacrosse players at "Charlies" yelling "Duke lacrosse" after the false allegations. My daughter was actually at the bar that night with Steph Sparks-Bob Exstrand's sister in law-and 2 lacrosse players-one of whom is my son. The scene was a complete fabrication by a delusional young woman who wanted to get some sort of attention. S. Fogarty

Panacea said...

John, what is the real reason you and Liestoppers are going after Professor KC Johnson?

People wouldn't have been so turned off if you had brought up these issues months ago.

Why didn't you do it then?

JWM said...

To S. Fogarty @ 1:51 pm,

I'm very glad you commented. You've added strength to my statement in "KC Johnson Now" that the N&O had published an uncorroborated smear at a time when the players' safety was at risk.

I hope you know I made very clear in the post and my comment on this thread that no one had ever corroborated the woman's allegations.

When I read KC's claim in his response to the post that he'd found 2 "corroborating" witnesses it was one of the saddest and toughest moments I've had blogging.

My first thought was to delete it. Then I thought KC would only take that and run with it.

I thought about what to do overnight and talked with a few people well-disposed toward justice in the DL case whom I respect greatly.

I settled on the response anyone can read above and which I certainly hope you have.

You'll see what I was doing.

If you can think of other things I can do, please comment here or offline.

Thank you for commenting and for posts you've placed in other places, some of which I've posted at JinC or called to readers attention.

John

joan foster said...

KC: The idea that it would have been responsible reporting for the N&O to simply float out the idea that a claim existed that the second dancer was raped is hard to believe. With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, JinC suggests that people would have recognized this as exculpatory information. Let me offer my own 20-20 hindsight--a significant section of the Durham and Duke "communities" would have cited this information to demand additional charges against other players, Kim Roberts could very well have played along, and the prospect of such charges from a venal DA with nothing to lose would have hung over the players throughout the summer and fall of 2006.

In short, I believe that on this particular issue the N&O acted with extraordinary responsibility."

@@@@@@

I'd like to also take the opportunity to comment on this. Some of us believe the newspaper's job is to report accurately and truthfully. Not to omit key details or "shape" stories. There is this detail about TRUTH.
That is their "responsibility."

The second rape is a key part of the accurate account of what Mangum HERSELF told the N&O that day. Once we begin omitting parts of it...we are inserting our views of what stays and goes. I prefer to make judgments from the WHOLE truth..not someone else's edit.

Period.

It was not up to the N&O to "help" anyone by fixing that story...not the players nor Mangum.

Frankly I find the excuse that the N&O was trying to behave "responsibly" to the players at that moment in time quite "hard to believe." One need only review the body of work of their early reporting. There is, for one example,the matter of the Wanted Poster...that handy guide to the Lacrosse Team published as an armed hate team came to town "to interview" Lacrosse team members.

By shaping Mangum's story, in fact, the N&O added to her credibility. Roberts had just declared her story "a crock." The whole issue of racial solidarity might been diffused if Roberts had been forced to either also claim rape or confront Mangum's lies.

More importantly...in a case where the question of the accuser telling many versions of her story...here was yet another "story." It was a hit to her credibility as, I believe, the N&O understood. How many versions of her story could their sweet victim put out there? This was a huge NEW conflicting detail.

But the bottom line was..it was the accurate true account of what Crystal Mangum said in her only EVER interview. This is what a good newspaper owes to its reader: truth and accuracy.

JWM said...

To Pancea,

Please read the post noting the dates of many of the links and you'll see what you say just isn't true.

Then I hope you'll have the grace to comment again acknowledging your error.

People are of differing opinions regarding what I did.

That's to be expected.

John

Anonymous said...

-RD 11:01AM:

"I want to again thank you for your very thoughtful commentary over the years. I have followed your blog for a long time and will miss it."

A very classy statement. Are you the same guy?

Ken (the Putz)
Dallas

Anonymous said...

John,

I've followed everything since you posted on KC.

I knew he was way off on the N&O but I didn't know he approved of the N&O's withholding the exculpatory evidence from the Mangum interview that they gussied up to make her look like a victim.

Between that and his finding those Charlie's "witnesses" that I think he faked he's off my reading list.

Anonymous said...

Professor Chris Halidas @UNC-Wilmington is off for the whole summer and has a bone in his teeth.

He's running with it. But he doesn't make any sense. Why are you spending so much time answering him?

He's got KC and the Diva. No disrespect meant John. You told us the truth from day one. A lot of us are going to miss you.

Good Luck.

halides1 said...

John and Joan,

I think that the best time and place to discuss further the issues that you raise is on my blog when it returns from hiatus.

Chris

Anonymous said...

ok so Hopman is now
delusional also...
so says the lax parent.

do we see another pattern
here?

joan foster said...

Chris,
I’ll consider your offer. Perhaps that might be a place where KC would have the intellectual honesty to answer this:

http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/1702525/1/ Read especially my last reply to him…the unanswered one.

I’m aware that he is now relying on a diversionary tactic of pretending the only “issue” John and I have raised with him is whether I was “banned.” He is in his comfort zone if he can trivialize the opposing arguments and divert attention from all else. That is unworthy of a man of his intellect. My issues with him are stated above. I am (as labeled with his clearance at his blog) but a “crazy housewife” and John is similarly reduced…so I am puzzled with his reluctance to engage us civilly ON POINT. I ask you to read, Chris… not as a partisan, but as a person of integrity. I have come to believe that as difficult as it may be to speak truth to power, speaking truth to “friends” or even our “heroes” is much more painful. But it is necessary. Because KC has an important legacy of fine work to protect. Wonderland, as operating today, has become a threat to that legacy. To say nothing would make us complicit in undermining all the good he has done and can yet do. Friends don't let friends self-destruct. Or watch silently as those who fawn and flatter them...diminish them. Not with a legacy as important as KC's!

I can sum up my “issues” in three sentences:

1. Topics, not Tactics?...Does KC only despise the tactics used by the 88 when they are employed as weapons in the Gender/Racial metanarrative…but approve of them for use by Gay Marriage advocates or any other agenda that HE embraces? All this time, was his rancor not at the “tactics” we saw used in the Hoax…but the topics of Race-Gender issues?

This, Chris, is why the Miss California “debate” that day was so important. Because it hit at the cornerstone of that blog…KC’s impassioned advocacy for free thinking and open discourse. If Ms. California can be subjected to grade retaliation with KC high-fiving from Wonderland…then how can he point fingers at those who demean “helmeted athletes” or target lacrosse players on their own little turf? He says “civil rights” issue gives him a moral high ground to see that girl destroyed ; Chris, “they” used that same abuse-excuse in the Duke Frame.

Furthermore, I simply could not believe that this man who has been the spokesman for free discourse was ridiculing me by name, then suppressing civil responses, finally shutting down his thread and then, essentially telling me to go away. How would he have handled our debate in his classroom?

2. Location, location, location: Is KC only concerned with retaliation or thought suppression in academia…but not in any “lesser” arena like…a pageant convention hall…or factory workplace …or union hall? That’s what he seems to be saying. He seems to be mocking my empathy for Prejean because her career path is “unworthy”…so therefore her dreams and goals may be stripped from her by some angry middle-aged Gay Celebrity Blogger. That strikes me, Chris, as elitist and cruel. If you believe in freedom of thought, you do not qualify where it applies or allow yourself to decide who YOU THINK deserves to be able to articulate their Faith or personal beliefs. So…in those “lesser places", may people who will not bend to any one aspect of the PC agenda now be “punished” by the powerful and with full consent of Free Thinker Johnson? This is very important too, Chris, to the integrity of his stated mission over there.

to be continued

joan foster said...

3.Civility. I ask you to read John’s piece again. He praises KC…states his areas of disagreement, asks some questions, wraps up with wishing him the best. Is this how KC has treated the "Group Apologist" (using derogatory labeling HE himself criticized in his own last post) Prof. Zimmermann? I have many areas of disagreement with Zimmermann, but ,through civil discourse, I’ve found many areas where we can agree. That used to be the goal of… ”debate.”

I’d like to ask you, Chris, why a man who STATES he does not allow “ad hominem” attacks, continues over and over to allow someone else to make them for him in the comment section of his blog? He possesses a moderators button. He clears every one. A while back, when another “conservative poster" overstepped, KC cleared these two comments:

Quote...Debrah.."An even scarier reality is that people like you, Spooky, and all the many regular commentators who are conservatives 'bathed' inside the atmosphere of Wonderland for a long time now.
Wonder why the myriad conservative blogs could never quite measure up to the Wonderland's 100,000 visitors a week during the peak of the Hoax and its current 15,000 visitors a week....and a following that will endure?
Must be something lacking in the 'smart' department on all those other blogs."

AND THEN..

Debrah..."That presumptuous and longwinded comment should have been deleted.

I don't think many people give an enormous EFF what you're convinced of.

You know nothing about ANYTHING except what KC has researched and written and what the rest of us experience from living in the Triangle.

I'm sure all those shifty verbal gymnastics make you feel "grown up" again, but you are still the strange---(and literally very ugly man)---person who asked me, a total stranger, for a favor once and I was kind enough to get KC to sign a book for you.

I find you to be mentally unstable.

When a stupid piece of shIt tries to demean any woman he has never met and does not know---(I know many of the Gang of 88 better than I know you and have met many of those creeps!)----simply because she grew tired of getting emails from a stranger---especially one particular email that stated you would "like my legs around your head"---(whatever porn flick that must have come from....?????)

......one must understand how much discipline it took not to tell everyone inside Wonderland what a mentally unstable loon you are.

So tread lightly on all the other fora.

I won't just "move on" the way KC does.”

@@@@@
Chris, this is appalling.

My question before I ever enter your blog...do you agree with these types of attacks, yes or no?

He is STILL clearing similar comments….. personal attacks, Chris, not opposing opinion…to this day. There is a pattern now on that blog. Watch for it. Many are, you know.

So, Chris, ask yourself if any of this “troubles” you. If you care about him, ask your friend KC to review his own recent "tactics" and his own Wonderland “handbook”…and, with the civility he claims , and the free thinking he espouses… deal with some real issues that hang over the central theme of his blog these days

And, if he truly is a man of integrity, WHICH I STILL THINK HE IS…we’ll see him clean up his Wonderland, so some of that free thinking and CIVIL exchange just might flourish again in his little fiefdom.

Anonymous said...

OK....I openly admit that I am a "lax parent" of two Duke lacrosse players,one a former member on the womens' team and a son who is now a Senior. I also have an older son who went to Duke and I am a Duke alum. Now you know all my Duke connections which does not preclude me from being delusional.
But I assure you I am not delusional. I can't tell you how much I wish that much of this horror show had been imagined....
Excuse me for saying Hopman was delusional...I should have just called her a pathetic liar. S. Fogarty

joan foster said...

"ok so Hopman is now
delusional also...
so says the lax parent.

do we see another pattern
here?"

Well, if a pattern is similar things happening over and over, I agree.

Let's look at what we know. The first woman called "delusional"...Crystal Mangum..had her mental heath problems confirmed by none other than her own Mother, in an interview with a magazine.(Essence magazine, I believe)

Later the Attorney General of the state of NC would declare her essentially too delusional to stand trial for her crime of false accusation. He recently reiterated his beliefs in her mental incapacities in an interview a few weeks ago.

There was never any evidence to support her allegation, just agenda based wishful thinking. Those LAX players who insisted "nothing hasppened: were proven both truthful and absolutely innocent.

Now we have another "fantastic lie" by another young woman with questionable motives....denied by those proven truthful before. In a city consumed to find any dirt on the LAX team...why were these two new witnesses (now suddenly revealed by KC) ever found before?

I would ask KC why he finds them credible? How he confirmed their credibility?If they can adamantly confirm this story... why they did not have the integrity to step forward publicly and with their own names and reputations revealed...and support their friend at the time?

If you are "fearless" enough to impugn the reputations of others at a most dangerous time, what does it say about you if you do it...only if YOU may be protected from responsibilty?

Unfortunately, since the night Dan Rather exhorted me and millions other that he had a impeccable unbiased source for Bush;s National Guard memos...I simply cannot trust anyone's "impeccable" sources who must be hidden. Old Dan himself, banished back to Texas like whipped cowhand, stands as a symbol to how that all turned out.

Allegation without evidence. Two young women with unverifiable stories. Anonymous rumors.

Truthful kids telling the truth again. The "pattern" requires we believe them.

halides1 said...

Joan,

There is a post on this thread from “Kelly” at 10:38 AM. Are those your comments? I will be happy to address the issues that you raised after I attend to professional matters that must take precedence. These matters are the reason I was obliged to put my blog on hiatus, but I hope to complete them in a month.

Chris

JWM said...

To Ken from Dallas @3:52,

I've counted you as a Regular for a long time.

You added a lot to the blog.

If there was a prize for the person at JinC who said a lot, said it well and usually in just a few words, you'd be a finalist for sure.

Keep checking in because there are some falsehoods still out there which need answering and I'll be doing some of that here in the next week or so.

Thanks for everything.

If you see this please let me know you have.

John

JWM said...

To Chris Halidas @ 10:13 pm,

You say:

"I think that the best time and place to discuss further the issues that you raise is on my blog when it returns from hiatus."

As a matter of courtesy I acknowledge your invitation.

Having read what you've posted here and at DIW, I hope you and others who've read what you've written can understand why I've no inclination to do so.

John

Anonymous said...

I am sure that KC did find two people who confirmed the negative bar story about the lacrosse team. But their confirmation didn't make it true. There have obviously been many people who want and wanted to think the worst of these guys, and many just made things up about them. Even "friends" of mine said to my face, "Well, you know these kids are arrogant." They didn't even know one kid on the team. What these kids are and were is successful, smart, social and popular. They are the kind of people who cause jealousy to rear its ugly head. Unfortuantely, it is the unattractive side of human nature that leads the envious to attempt to knock the successrful off their pedestals. S. Fogarty

halides1 said...

John,

Your decision baffles me. Would you provide your reasons?

Chris

JWM said...

To S. Fogarty @ 12:43,

I'm not sure KC found two "corroborating" witnesses to the events Hopman claimed happened for reasons I first discussed on this thread when he first made the claim.

KC also makes very misleading statements and throws out red herrings.

Reasonable people comparing what I actually said in "KC Johnson Now" with what KC on this thread says I said can see that.

There are also the statements he's made here on the thread and in an email to me many months ago concerning the N&O withholding 13 months some of what Mangum said in the interview.

What kind of scholar or fair person has the standard KC reveals he has?

Joan Foster's subsequent response here is IMO excellent on the question.

I agree with everything you say about the lacrosse players.

Was your daughter a member of the '06 team?

They were a remarkable group for their on the field achievements.

But what I most respect them for is getting it right on the frame-up attempt and speaking publicly in Spring '06 declaring the players' "innocent."

As you know they were the only large group at Duke who did either.

I admire those young women and coach Kimel tremendously for that.

To me it will always be their greatest achievement and a source of pride to all of us who love Duke wisely.

John

Anonymous said...

John:

"If you see this please let me know you have."

Confirmed.

Ken
Dallas

Anonymous said...

John,

Your leaving blogging is a big loss. Do you know there are many at Duke who follow you?

What's left now? KC, the Diva, Halidas?

Can't you find an hour every day to post something? A lot of us are hoping.

Anonymous said...

How unfortunate for Joan Foster, the queen of the banners becomes the banee -poor baby.

My suspicions about the fake woman Debbie confirmed.

I have enjoyed your blog JIC, thanks for all your good work.

And last but not least, marriage is not a right. Anything you have the ask the gooberment for permission to do is not a right, so get over it.

Anonymous said...

"What's left now? KC, the Diva, Halidas"?




Wash your mouth out with soap!

Don't lump Halides with "them"! ;)

halides1 said...

Ken in Dallas (2:19 AM),

You wrote, “KC has tried to blend a search for the truth with a mix of political liberalism. Unfortunately the two don't mix well in the DL case.” Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for the New York Times, Duke chemist Steven Baldwin, and Harvey Silverglate (FIRE) are all liberals, to name three who have come to the defense of the lacrosse players. Because of her seeming scorn for civil liberties, Nancy Grace is disliked on the political left. Although it has some facts to support it, your generalization fails to hold up in at least these cases. Moreover, your comments widen, rather than heal the rift that has developed between liberal and conservative students of this case.

Chris