Monday, July 27, 2009

UNC-Wilmington Prof Halkides “Taking a break”

This evening UNC- Wilmington professor Chris Halkides posted "Taking a break":

I am suspending blogging for an indefinite period.

During that time I do not plan to clear comments.

Thanks to all for their interest.

Why this “break?” Why so soon?

Just three weeks ago today professor Halkides announced his return from what he called “hiatus” in a post he titled: "John in Carolina's post, 'KC Johnson Now.'"

Excerpts from professor Halkides' post in italics and parenthesis follow, with my comments in plain:

In his post “KC Johnson Now” John has given a clinic in how not to blog. …

He questioned KC Johnson’s truthfulness twice but disclosed no evidence to support his innuendo.

Folks, as you can all can see by reading
KC Johnson Now and its thread, I did not question KC's truthfulness.

What I questioned was
KC's judgment which led him to conclude an obvious hoax by Jill Hopman “could have been correct.”

I continue to question KC’s judgment which led him to give credence to Hopman’s hoax, just as I question the judgment of all those who give credence to Crystal Mangum’s and Tara Levicy’s hoaxes.

Moreover, by accusing KC Johnson of making up sources, John has cast a shadow over on any work that Professor Johnson has done that involves confidentiality, this despite the fact that both John and Joan Foster claim to admire Johnson’s contributions to the DL case. )

Nowhere have I said KC made up sources. Halkides' statement is nothing more than a false charge KC Johnson made up and whick Johnson and Halkides have repeated.

You can all see that by reading my posts and what the two professors have said.

I wish both professors and their supporters would stop making that false charge.

When called on some of these matters, [JinC] either ignored them or brushed them aside.

In doing these things he has made it a little bit harder for those of us who want blogging to be held to as high a standard as traditional journalism. ...

“Traditional journalism?”

Is that what Halkides calls what the N&O did when trashing the lacrosse team, helping frame three of its members, and now still participating in a cover-up of what it did?

By "traditional journalism" is Halkides thinking of Dan Rather and CBS's Texas Air NG story based on forged documents from CBS's "unimpeachable" anonymous source who turned out to be a Democratic party activist and hater of President Bush?

I wrote this post because [JinC] failed to live up to the standards of civility and adherence to the truth that he evidently expects of himself and others. )

Folks, the Irish have the right term for what professor Halkides is doing here: “pub blathering.”

I'll say more tomorrow about Halkides' "break."

Right now it's your turn.

What do you think caused this sudden "break" so soon after "hiatus?"

And please read
KC Johnson Now if you haven't already done so.


Update 7/28/09 @ 6:59 PM:

In response to my question last evening about why he was taking a break from blogging, professsor Halkides
this morning explained at his blog and on the thread of this post this afternoon:

"I need to concentrate on some professional responsibilities right now, including working on a grant proposal and trying to identify an unknown compound.

We can all wish Halkides well with his grant proposal and scientific research.


Anonymous said...

"Why this “break?” Why so soon?"

Seems somewhat lacking in self-reflection regarding your own statements regarding departure.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:25,

John was responding to lies told about him by KC and Chris.

That's a big difference.

Think about it.

Duke '85

Anonymous said...


Very nice post.

Ignore the blatherers.

joan foster said...

John, I think we should all respect Chris' wishes and actions here. This whole matter has gotten very contentious.Many hard things have been said...and I said my share.

I wrote a personal email some time ago to Kc trying to put this behind us and was soundly rebuffed.I remember how that felt.
Whatever Chris' reasons, let's show him kindness and respect.

Like Chris, sometimes we just need to get back to what is real.We need to say stop, let me off.

I wish Chris the very best.

One Spook said...

Joan Foster writes @ 5:30 AM:

"Like Chris, sometimes we just need to get back to what is real. We need to say stop, let me off."

Exactly ... well said, Joan!

Chris and others, including you, who have different views on the veracity of the Charlie's Pub incident have had more than enough opportunity to air their views. The discussion has run its course; reasonable people can agree to disagree. There is nothing either nefarious or wrong with Chris ending his blogging on the matter.

And, at the end of all of this discussion, we are about at the point where we began, namely:

1. You conclude that Ms Hopman's account is a "hoax." You completely discount the two eyewitnesses who corroborated her account, in writing, to KC Johnson, calling them and Hopman "false witnesses."

2. Johnson first heard the view that you embrace; that the incident did not happen as Ms Hopman described in her Oped and letter. He then wrote to two eyewitnesses who both replied in writing and corroborated Hopman's account.

To Johnson then, the matter is in dispute and since he was not present, he could not take a position either way; he could only conclude that the matter was in dispute.

Johnson makes no conclusion. While you continually excoriate his "judgment which led him to conclude an obvious hoax by Jill Hopman “could have been correct.”, if you read his conclusion carefully, you will see that he just as easily could say that the first version of the events that he heard “could have been correct.”

Johnson has never made any conclusion at any time that one version was correct and the other was not correct, and for you to even imply that, is misleading.

3. Other observers embrace yet a third version of the events; that some toast by some people present in the bar that evening was presented, but that Ms Hopman's account of those events is greatly exaggerated. This version is supported by the second account presented in the original Newsweek report of the event which that report claims came from "a source close to the families" that allowed that "three players presented a single regretful toast."

Chris carefully presented item 3. above, but he made no conclusion either.

For you to compare what you call Hopman's "hoax" to Mangum's hoax or Rather's and CBS's hoax is really quite bizarre.

There was not one single witness who could corroborate any of Mangun's many versions of the events and a mountain of eyewitness and other evidence that disputed it in the lacrosse hoax, and there was not a single witness who corroborated the fake letter that CBS and Rather contended was true, and there was a mountain of technical evidence that disputed it.

I can assure you that if there were two witnesses who corroborated any of Mangum's versions of the events in the lacrosse hoax, there is no possibility that the prosecution would have not gone forward.

JWM said...

Anon @ 11:25 pm,

Halkides embraced KC Johnson's claim Hopman's hoax story "could have been correct."

In doing that, he made prima facie false statements and created some "collateral damage" which shouldn't pass without comment.

So you bet I've come back to blogging to expose those falsehoods and try to undo some of the damage which I don't believe Halkides really intended.

I'll also be posting further concerning the work of KC Johnson.

Duke '85 @ 11:32 pm,

There sure is a big difference.

And then there are the instances of KC saying absurd things about what "20 or so" Duke lacrosse players "could" have been doing in Charlie's the night of Mar. 25, 2006 and much else he's said that work against the interests of all those seeking truth and justice in the Duke lacrosse case.

Anon @ 11:45 pm,

Thanks. I try to ignore the blatherers but sometimes you have to speak up or people will believe the blathering they hear and they won't know important things that aren't be said; or if they're being said, aren't being said by enough people.

Joan @ 5:30 am,

Halkides has published a number of statements that are prima facie false; and he's published comments of others that are also prima facie false.

When I've finished refuting them, I hope I never again need to respond to anything professor Halkides publishes.


One Spook said...

To JWM (John) @ 10:11 AM:

You have an opinion regarding the events of the Charlie's Pub incident.

Your opinion is that you have concluded that Ms Hopman's version of the incident is a hoax.

Your conclusion is an opinion and not a fact.

Neither KC Johnson or Chris Halkides have concluded that any version of the event is a hoax. They have both asserted that versions of the events remain in dispute.

Johnson and Halkides have neither agreed nor disagreed with your conclusion, but they certainly disagree that your opinion is a fact.

Your opinion that what Johnson and Halkides have published is "false" is likewise not a fact.

Regardless of how much you write or how often you accuse others of their views, and absent any additional evidence to the contrary, you cannot truthfully state that your opinion of the events is the truth or that it is a fact.

Accordingly, your continued pursuit of your position is futile, and that is precisely what several of your longtime supporters have told you.

One Spook

JWM said...

One Spoke,

On the thread of this post

KC Johnson said on 8/16/07 @ 12:15 PM:

… The "Duke lacrosse" chant story, which allegedly occurred on the 25th or 26th, is vehemently disputed.

The person who made the claim, Jill Hopman, stood by her story to me and seemed credible; an equally credible 20(non-lacrosse player) source who was in the bar that night strongly denied it.

I wasn't there, so I've never either used the story or challenged Hopman.

But even assuming Hopman's story to be true, this wasn't a "team" event. There were only three Duke lacrosse players (all 21 or over) at the bar that night. (bold added) …

A question:

If, as KC said in ’07, there were “only three Duke lacrosse players (all 21 or over) at the bar that night,” how could he say after I posted "KC Johnson Now" that Hopman’s account of what he calls “the incident” “could have been correct?”


Anonymous said...

Ask and ye shall receive - from VFW:

"No, my students and I are just fine. I see that John in Carolina was also wondering about why I am taking a break. I need to concentrate on some professional responsibilities right now, including working on a grant proposal and trying to identify an unknown compound.


sceptical said...


KC Johnson has essentially taken an agnostic position about the Charlie's episode-- he has sources he considered reliable who told him different accounts of the evening.

Without further evidence, I do not think you are correct to question his motivations. You base your opinions on conjecture and reasoning rather than any new facts.

So I tend to agree with "One Spook" in his 11:19 a.m. post.


JWM said...


As you can see further up the thread @ 12:23 PM, KC himself said in Aug. '07:

"There were only three Duke lacrosse players (all over 21) at the bar that night."

If that's the case, why does he now say Hopman's story "could have been correct?"

I'm not engaging in "conjecture." I'm relying on an overwhelming body of information.

Wasn't it just yesterday you were saying Hopman's story was a lie?


sceptical said...


I do believe that by exaggerating what was 2 or 3 lacrosse players at Charlie's that night, Hopman's op-ed in the Chronicle and her other accounts amounted to a lie.

However, I think you are blowing up KC Johnson's "could have been correct" statement out of context and out of proportion. He had a source which corroborated Hopman and in this sense Hopman's story "could have been correct" if you believe the credibility of that source (which I don't). His other source denied the incident took place. So Johnson has been taking the agnostic position that there are conflicting reports.

Why you can and ought to challenge the evidence and conclusions of Johnson or Halkides, you should stop attacking them personally, or their motivations.


Anonymous said...

Dear JinC:

I have always felt that your blog has always been an example of how discourse can be conducted in a civil manner. Therefore, I am surprised that you have not updated this particular posting regarding Chis Halkides decision to take another hiatus in his blog. As he noted on his site, he is in the midst of preparing a grant proposal. I can well understand that the work involved with that plus one's course load as a science professor (not to mention any family concerns that one might have) could lead one to decide to suspend posting for awhile. Since you raised the question in your posting as to why he was not, I think it is only right to provide an update since he posted on his site (which really, one would not need to do) why the hiatus is occurring.

JWM said...

To sceptical @ 3:51 PM,

I have not “blow[n] up KC Johnson’s ‘could have been correct’ statement our of context and out of proportion.”

I’ve repeatedly referenced and linked back to the context in which KC made the claim – the thread of “KC Johnson Now.”

I don’t know what you mean by “blowing up [KC’s] ‘could have been correct’ statement … out of proportion.”

I have said his statement has made things more difficult for those seeking through the suits and other means to put before the public as true an account of what happened in Durham in Spring ‘06 as is possible now and going forward.

I’ve said I wished KC had never made that statement.

And I’ve said I’m sure attorneys in the civil suits for defendants alleged to have trashed the lacrosse players have “clipped and saved” KC’s statement for future use.

If by “attacking … motivations” you mean the kind of thing you’ve done by offering Hopman’s feminism as the explanation for what you call her “lie,” I’ve done no such thing with regard to Johnson and Halkides.

In fact, I can’t recall questioning their motivations at all.

A personal attack is substituting abusive remarks for evidence when attacking another person's claim.

I've not done that.

When responding to both Johnson and Halkides I’ve repeatedly cited and linked to the posts that make clear each made false statements about me.

People who read my posts will see that.


sceptical said...

You wrote: "I don’t plan to say more about Hopman’s motivations because there are many more important related matters to consider regarding the Charlie's hoax, with the motivations of Johnson and Halkides being two of them."

This sounds to me like questioning the motivations of KC Johnson and Chris Halkides.


JWM said...

To cks @ 4:13 PM,

You're right.

I've updated the post accordingly.

Thanks for the prompt.


inmyhumbleopinion said...

John wrote:
If by “attacking … motivations” you mean the kind of thing you’ve done by offering Hopman’s feminism as the explanation for what you call her “lie,” I’ve done no such thing with regard to Johnson and Halkides.

In fact, I can’t recall questioning their motivations at all.

John, what were you doing here in the thread titled " Why Are KC Johnson & Halkides Hyping the Charlie's Hoax? "

John wrote:
I decided yesterday for reasons you can easily guess at and which I'll soon discuss in detail, that the time had come to set the record straight on the Charlie's Hoax and KC Johnson's false "witnesses."

I also hope many of you will consider and discuss why KC brought up his false "witnesses" in the first place; and why he and Halkides decided to promulgate the falsehood that the Charlie's events as described be Jill Hopman might really have happened.

I have the same feeling typing this now as I had when I first challenged the N&O for promulgating what the paper knew was the "wall of solidarity" falsehood which almost immediately morphed into the "wall of solidarity" falsehood.

I'm eager to hear what you think.

One Spook said...

John asks "One Spoke" a question @ 12:23 PM:

A question:

If, as KC said in ’07, there were “only three Duke lacrosse players (all 21 or over) at the bar that night,” how could he say after I posted "KC Johnson Now" that Hopman’s account of what he calls “the incident” “could have been correct?"

I'll answer for "One Spoke."

With this modification that Johnson provides also, "But even assuming Hopman's story to be true, this wasn't a "team" event. There were only three Duke lacrosse players (all 21 or over) at the bar that night. (bold added) … it is obvious that Johnson doesn't believe Hopman's story in its entirety.

Yet, with corroborating witnesses who confirmed Ms Hopman's story, he has no choice but to say that "it could have been correct" (but not in its entirety).

Similarly, he could also say that the other version "could have been correct" as well, but not in its entirety.

But none of this points to any of your other embellishments of Johnson's views in this event that you believe somehow makes him anti-player, perfidious to the cause of justice for them, or that his views provide fodder for the defense attorneys for the players various suits.

Those to me are preposterous claims, John, and I cannot begin to understand why you or anyone else would even think that, let alone write it.

Johnson has been cited by the players and their families for his many contributions to their cause. How on earth can you or anyone else believe anything to the contrary?

One Spook
for "One Spoke"

Anonymous said...


There isn't 1 in a 1000 who would have stood up to the falsehoods and outright lies that have been slung your way.

I know you've not posted my earlier comments.

Is it because you didn't want anything to interfere with letting KC and his band have their say?

That way you could use what they said to make your points?

Like letting KC keep telling his false tale about your "attacking" him for not writing about Blythe.

That seems to be your strategy.

Every time KC tells that false story, you post what he said.

And it's been damn effective with smart people.

Anonymous said...


I think many posters have missed the point here.

How could two witnesses "corroberate" Jill Hopman's story?

Isn't that really the elephant in the room?


joan foster said...

Anon 12:51: Let me add this.

John makes his points without the use of ridicule and insults.

When others need to answer him and gratuitously add ridicule and insult, the comparison rebounds to John's best interest. John has a unassailable three year history of integrity and civility.

That's what my internal polling is saying with intensity.

Before the Wonderlanders can point fingers, I'll concede that I use sarcasm.

John does not.

Anyone who wishes can read with what civility he presented his few issues with KC.

Here's a thought ...take John's words and contrast them with the insults KC gratuitously cleared over and over about John from Debrah. Debrah's words only exist with KC's hosting therefore they have Wonderland's seal of approval. Or reread KC's own constant arrogant sarcasm in every answer to John.

(Notice how KC is not calling One Spook..."the commentator who calls himself One Spook." Pseudonyms only annoy him when he doesn't like you I guess.)

KC has labeled what John wrote about him (please review) an "attack." Debrah's bile or ludicrous schoolgirl swooning over KC..on the other hand, is KC's idea of acceptable commentary.

What if John had addressed KC as KC allows his most prolific ON HIS BLOG commentator to address John?

Oh my.

KC says only his words are his opinions. That works only so far..especially when your resident attack troll is so useful in repeatedly saying ugly things about...your MUTUAL targets. Reasonable people can decide how honest KC is being with others or himself on that topic.

KC also has a tactic of creating a "summary" of an opposing argument and then using HIS summary over and over to dismiss that argument.
Are these "summaries" honest? HMMM. We might just have an upcoming parlor game here. Based just on words and summaries.

John is giving us a tutorial here, slowly, carefully and most effectively. I hope he doesn't mind us giving away the secret.

JWM said...

To imho @ 8:23 PM,

You're right. I did ask why KC Johnson and Halkides' hyped Hopman's hoax story. I stand corrected on that point.

On the matter of "attacking ... motivations" or more correctly "ascribing motivations" I've not done that with the Hopman hoax story.

However, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary, I continue to wonder how KC could have talked to his two "confidential witnesses" who "corroborated in no uncertain terms" Hopman's story; then months later said there were just 3 Duke lacrosse players in Charlie's that night; and then said after I published "KC Johnson Now" that Hopman's story "could have been correct"

Among those wondering I feel sure are the lacrosse players and their families.

KC owes them and the rest of us an explanation.

One Spook @ 11:03 PM,

See my response to IMHO above and a response to you I'm preparing for the main page.

You say a number of things in your comment which are demonstrably false.

By tomorrow I'll move your comment to the main page and respond.

To Anon @ 12:51 PM,

One of the things I like best about the Internet is there's usually a written record of what's been said.

It' served me well as far as fair-minded, intelligent, fact-driven readers go.

They can read and see for themselves I didn't say what KC Johnson says I said and they don't wonder why I questioned his judgment.

BTW - I've been surprised by the amount of offline support I'm getting from people who don't want to be publicly ID'ed but tell me to stay at it.

Thanks for your comment.

To Ken from Dallas @ 8:19 AM,

You say:

"How could two witnesses 'corroborate' Jill Hopman's story?

"Isn't that really the elephant in the room?"

It's certainly one of the elephants.

Another has to do with whether KC ever talked to the three Duke lacrosse players he says were in Charlie's that night before concluding what Hopman said "could have been correct."

To Joan,

Some bloggers believe they can escape responsibility for what appears on their comment threads.

In fact, each of us has a publisher's responsibility for what appears on them.


halides1 said...


I am glad you reminded us of the two corroborating witnesses. No one has attempted to impeach their credibility the way some, including you, have attempted to impeach Ms. Hopman's. I would like to know how one can label Hopman's story a hoax without giving a convincing explanation of their statements, and that has not happened yet.


Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

About your Charlie's science research:

How did Johnson determine his "witnesses" were in Charlie's that night?

Or are you just taking what your friend says on faith?

Let us in on your secret.

Anonymous said...

Johnson has no problem finding Selena Roberts less than credible despite her use of anonymous sources.In the comments on DIW Johnson makes light of posters that also post anonymously. Should a non- anonymous source be treated with as much or more credibility than an anonymous one?