Friday, July 17, 2009

About The Charlie’s Hoax, We Should Agree


1) - - - In Why Are KC Johnson & Halkides Hyping The Charlie's Hoax? I said about Jill Hopman’s hoax story concerning Duke lacrosse players’ alleged drunken behavior in a Durham bar the night of Mar. 25, 2006:

After all, it had been so quickly and fully discredited back in March 2006 that not even Mike Nifong had used it against the lacrosse players. (bold in original)
2 - - And that KC Johnson said @ 8:57 PM on the thread of KC Johnson Now:
. . . “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. (bold added) "

“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.” . . . (bold added)
We can agree on those two quotes, right?

And we should all be able to also agree KC knows that in her Chronicle op-ed Hopman said:
. . 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.

Regardless of guilt, there is a degree of gravity that is not met by simply closing facebook profiles to the public. This is not about hazing or underage drinking or even cheating. And this cannot be contained inside the proverbial Duke bubble or under a blanket of silence. …
It would seem a simple matter for us to agree on all of the above.


halides1 said...


When I posted a piece at View-from-Wilmington that discussed the Charlie’s incident, I did so solely because you had expressed skepticism about KC Johnson’s confidential sources in your post, “KC Johnson Now.” It appears to me that you have altered your position slightly; at the end of “Hopman’s Charlie’s shot slamming hoax” you wrote “I don’t find it difficult to believe KC Johnson found two people who said they were in Charlie’s Pub the night of March 25, 2006 and witnessed the events Hopman described. But I find it both hard to believe and very sad that KC Johnson now gives any credence to people parroting the Charlie’s Shot Slamming hoax or to the hoax itself.” I have no problem with altering one’s stance: My own position on what happened at Charlie’s has shifted in subtle ways, due to much intelligent commentary at VfW and JinC. It is worth bearing in mind what John Maynard Keynes said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” Although you and I are not in agreement based on the quote above, I consider the issue I first raised to be settled now.

However, I do want to be clear about one thing. Nothing I have written on this matter or any other DL issue is ever intended to keep a story going to embarrass the DL players or their families in any way. Whatever minor misdeeds one or another player may have committed, RCD and the whole team were paid back one hundredfold by Duke, the MSM, law enforcement, and others. On that, too, I trust that we are all agreed.


Anonymous said...

Can't fully agree with (1) - the story ran in Time, The NY Times, and Newsweek in April. This does not make it in any way *true*, just not "so quickly and fully discredited back in March 2006."

Absence of proof and proof of absence are, of course, not the same thing. You are working with strong, but circumstantial, evidence: the media would have loved to use any story they could corroborate to discredit the players, the media quickly stopped using this story, so therefore the story is discredited.

That last step is very fuzzy, and seemingly not something strong enough to cause the current conflagration 'twixt bloggers. Perhaps if Ms. Hopman gets called to the stand this can all be settled.

Anonymous said...

If someone were to disagree with any of the above, would you post it and engage with the disagreement? Or is that the kind of message that "regulars" would understand to be deleted?

Anonymous said...

It appears that KC's passion for this case grew out of his distain for certain members of academia, the types which tried unsuccessfully to derail his attempts at tenure. That, coupled with his obvious belief in the innocense of Reade, Collin and Dave was the perfect receipe for DIW. There are some facts getting in the way of KC's perfection and though he may try, it is clear that in some areas, KC's political biases have trumped valor. His once small nose bleed has now become a gaping wound.

JWM said...


I'm going to re-republish your comment on the main page.

It's not true I've altered my "position slightly" regarding KC's Charlie's hoax witnesses.

Since KC first said he had two witnesses who "corroborated in no uncertain term Jill Hopman's Charlie's story which he said "could have been correct," I've made clear I think those witnesses couldn't corroborate something that didn't happen.

I've also question how, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary, KC could say Hopman's story "could have been correct."

It's an obvious hoax, don't you agree?

Look for more on the main page soon.