Saturday, June 17, 2006

Duke lacrosse notes - Jun. 17, 2006

(Readers’ Note: Here you'll find in sketch form material concerning the DL case. Look elsewhere at JinC for more fully developed posts.

I hope you make comments on the threads. JinC readers have been a great source of DL info and commentary.

Look for some redundency here because there’s always the chance someone from the Antarctic or in the Antarctic will drop by for a first time visit. John

I need to learn more about Friends of Duke University blog. So far FDU's
links tab is the main reason I go there.(Full disclosure. FDU has linked to me)

But if you go to FDU, you'll quickly see many people go there for other reasons, including the opportuntiy FDU provides with its comment boards.

Getting back to the links, it looks like FDU updates them at least twice daily.

The links take you to “places” where posts, op-eds, news reports, etc are mostly the sort that the “why aren't they in jail and where’s Rev. Sharpton” crowd might skip over.

But not always. FDU linked today to the N&O’s awful editorial that included this:

Certainly the defense is campaigning to swing public opinion in their clients' favor, and can be counted upon to highlight anything in the record that will help achieve that. As long as the accuser holds to her account, the authorities must not let the defense intimidate them.(bold added)
I posted on the N&O editorial here.

I expect other bloggers may also have posted on it or will. If you see any, please leave a comment here. I'll put the information in a main page post.

I've said MSM is underreporting Duke Law Professor James Coleman’s statements calling for Nifong’s replacement as prosecutor of the DL case.

Can you recall the last time a Duke Law professor spoke this way about a Durham DA:
"Nifong can no longer personally restore public confidence in the prosecution of this case.

Someone with professional detachment and unquestioned integrity must review the case and determine whether the evidence against the three students warrants further prosecution?"
But look at the kind of coverage liberal/leftist MSM have given Coleman's statements.

The N&O, for example, reported Coleman's statements in the "B" section with a one column head.

But open beer cans in 18 year old hands and rowdy kids peeing on the lawns gets page one, above the fold, headline treatment from the N&O.

Today at The Editor’s Blog a thoughtful N&O reader asks an even better question than I've been asking about media underreporting (scroll to about the 45th comment) :
"How often does the former chief counsel to the US House Ethics Committee publicly state no confidence in a prosecutor?"
Great question for the professors at North Carolina’s five law schools – Campbell U., NC Central, Duke, UNC–Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest.

Why aren't at least some of the professors at those law schools telling us whether or not they agree with Coleman?What else do the professors at NC's law schools think about the DL case?

We're not hearing very much except for Coleman. The other profs can't all be vacationing, can they?

Is the problem that no reporters are calling?

Can anyone answer that question?

Moving on.

We hear a lot about the defense attorneys cherry picking.

I'll end tonight with two cherry picking questions:

1) If attorneys cite medical records the DA made available to them; and the attorneys don't leave out other medical records the DA gave them that contradict what the attorneys cite, how can the attorneys be accused of cherry picking?

2) If you’re a Durham DA teaming with an accuser who’s told many different stories about an alleged gang-rape; and you and the accuser settle on one of the stories to tell in court, are you cherry picking?

More notes tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, I hope you ask your friends some cherry picking questions. The whole cuntry should be chewing on them.

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Duke lacrosse: McClatchy's N&O still with Nifong

An old Raleigh Q&A goes:

Do you know why there are so many mistakes in News & Observer editorials?

Because the editors only read the N&O.
Today the McClatchy Company's N&O's lead editorial (“Rape case gaps?”) tells readers there are reports of “discrepancies between some of [Durham DA] Nifong's statements and information contained in various court filings”, something the public’s known and been discussing for weeks while the N&O’s been silent.

The N&O opines:
It may well be that Nifong, in his many public statements describing the alleged March 14 assault, went beyond what some key evidence tends to show. That could be a sign of overzealousness, which for prosecutors spells trouble.
What about the innocent and public confidence in justice? Don't they always suffer as a result of DA overzealousness?

The N&O says nothing about the innocent in Durham or the public’s confidence in Nifong’s justice.

Folks, how can any editor fail to mention them?

The editorial also fails to mention evidence no one is disputing: the Nifong/Durham Police photo ID set up had only photos of Duke lacrosse players. No fillers were used.

As Duke Law Professor James Coleman notes:
According to the police account of the identification, however, the police officer who presided over the proceedings told the alleged victim at the outset that he wanted her to look at people the police had reason to believe attended the party.

Thus, the police not only failed to include people they knew were not suspects among the photographs shown the woman, they told the witness in effect that there would be no such "fillers" among the photographs she would see.

This strongly suggests that the purpose of the identification process was to give the alleged victim an opportunity to pick three members of the lacrosse team who could be charged. Any three students would do; there could be no wrong choice.
If your interested in justice, can you ignore what Coleman’s talking about?

The N&O did.

Coleman believes:
Nifong can no longer personally restore public confidence in the prosecution of this case.

Someone with professional detachment and unquestioned integrity must review the case and determine whether the evidence against the three students warrants further prosecution.

That would serve the best interest of the alleged victim, the three defendants and public.
The N&O disagrees. It has confidence in Nifong but worries he might be intimidated by the defense team:
Certainly the defense is campaigning to swing public opinion in their clients' favor, and can be counted upon to highlight anything in the record that will help achieve that. As long as the accuser holds to her account, the authorities must not let the defense intimidate them.(bold added)
But the accuser has offered many accounts. So the N&O is, in fact, urging Nifong to press the case so long as the accuser holds to at least one of her accounts.

What the N&O is urging Nifong to do directly contradicts the North Carolina State Bar’s Rule 3.8 – Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor – which says in part:
"A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate; the prosecutor's duty is to seek justice, not merely to convict. This responsibility carries with it specific obligations to see that the defendant is accorded procedural justice and that guilt is decided upon the basis of sufficient evidence.”
An accuser’s account isn’t “sufficient evidence,” especially when it's one of many she's told.

Even editors who read only the N&O should know that.

Hat Tip: K. C. Johnson
Post URLs:'rul_adv.asp?type=V'&LIST=title&type=V

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Churchill Series – Jun. 16, 2006

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

The Conservatives swept the 1924 General Election. Shortly thereafter Churchill was invited to meet with Stanley Baldwin, who would serve as Prime Minister in the new government.

The invitation surprised Churchill who knew it could only mean Baldwin was planning to offer him a post in the new government. Since he had only recently been a member of the Liberal Party, had run in the election as an independent candidate (although with tacit Conservative support), and had not even yet rejoined the Conservative Party, Churchill thought whatever post he’d be offered would be a minor one.

Many of Churchill’s friends urged him to accept whatever post he was offered, however minor it might be. They reasoned it could only help revive his political career, then at a low point.

When they met, Baldwin asked Churchill if he’d be willing to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer, then as now the second most important Cabinet post.

Churchill later recorded he told Baldwin:

This fulfills my ambition. I still have my father’s robe as Chancellor. I shall be proud to serve you in this splendid Office.
But Churchill added that he only spoke that way because it was “a formal and important conversation.” What he'd really wanted to say was:
Will a bloody duck swim?
Among the many congratulatory letters Churchill received was one from George Lambert, a former Liberal Party chairman who had served with Churchill in the Admiralty from 1911 to 1915:
Winston dear boy, I have got a fair instinct for politics. I think I shall live to see you as Prime Minister.
Lambert, who entered Parliament in 1891, lived to see his prediction fulfilled. In July 1940, two months after Churchill assumed the premiership, Lambert called his leadership “incomparably the most brilliant that I can remember, save perhaps that of Mr. Gladstone."
All material for this post can be found on pages 464-65 in Martin Gilbert’s Churchill: A Life, except Lambert’s July, 1940 assessment which can be found on page 696 in Gilbert’s Finest Hour: 1939-1941.

Duke lacrosse notes - Jun. 16, 2006

(Readers’ Note: This note series contians information and opinions on many aspects of the DL case. I'll cover many topics with a few sentences. For more fully developed posts, look elsewhere at this blog.

I hope you use the note series the same way on its comment threads. JinC readers have been a great source of DL info and commentary.

While I'll be briefer here than in standard JinC posts, there’s always the chance some fine person just back from the Antarctic or in the Antarctic will drop in for a first time visit. So some material redundant to you will be here because it'll help our new Antarctic friend. John

Just a few items tonight.

Most of you care about fair treatment for the DL players and want “the system,” including the law, Duke and media, to come as close to doing what’s right as is possible.

In that case, do you know K. C. Johnson, professor of history at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center?

If not, you’ll want to meet him. He feels just as you do.

A good place to meet Johnson or renew your acquaintance is at his National Review article, “Missing the Point: Conservatives and the Duke case.”

Johnson begins:

In the future, recent events in Durham might serve as a case-study in law schools on the seemingly endless number of ways in which a prosecutor can violate state procedures in a single case.

But for now, it is worth exploring why, in a matter that confirms their critiques of issues ranging from feminism to the professoriate’s ideological one-sidedness, conservative intellectuals and activists have proven reluctant to take the side of the Duke lacrosse players.
I’m following up on some of what Johnson says with reference to the failure of a prominent Tar Heel Conservative, John Hood, to speak out on the players' behalf. Hood is President of The John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank and policy center.

By speaking out for the players Johnson doesn't mean supporting their partying. He's thinking Constitutional rights and fair treatment from media and Duke. I'm with him on all of that just as most of you are.

Look for more about Hood and DL soon. In the meantime, I hope you read Johnson's NRO article.

I’m working to convince a prominent NC attorney to blog regularly concerning the DL case.

It doesn’t look like she'll say “Yes,” but keep your fingers crossed. She’s first-rate in everything she does.

If that doesn’t work, I’d like to find perhaps a law school professor.

Any names? I’ve already got a call in to UNC’s Ken Broun.

When I finish this I’m emailing his colleague, Eric Muller, who already blogs at but hasn’t posted much concerning the DL case.

Now the Raleigh N&O.

I said in yesterday’s notes that the N&O is underreporting on Professor Coleman’s letter.

You don’t believe me?

Consider the following:

On Mar. 25 the N&O gave front page, above the fold, across the page headline treatment to the accuser’s anonymous interview. The N&O's public editor later said the N&O’s story didn’t break any news in the interview. Everything that was reported, the public editor said, was already in the police records and publicly available.

Really? Then how does the N&O justify page one, five column headline treatment for such a story and then turn around and report in the “B” section with a one column head Professor Coleman’s demand that Durham DA Nifong step aside because he’s too compromised?

When was the last time a Duke Law professor said a Durham DA needed to step aside and turn a very important case over to an outside prosecutor?

That’s a page one, above the fold headline story. Something like that in such a prominent case hasn’t happened in decades. Or maybe ever.

More N&O underreporting:

There’s been no N&O follow up to Coleman’s statement. Why?

Shouldn’t the N&O be asking other North Carolina law school profs what they think of Coleman’s statement? And how about retired judges? What are their thoughts?

More tomorrow.
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More on those Gaza deaths

Tuesday, June 10, I posted “Gaza: What Reuters and the NY Times didn’t tell you.”

What they didn’t tell you was considerable evidence indicated the deaths of a Palestinian family on a Gaza beach were not caused by Israeli artillery fire, but by the explosion of a buried Palestinian mine.

Betsy Newmark advances the story:

Charles Krauthammer is exactly right in his column today about who is to blame for the deaths of the Palestinian family on the Gaza beach. The Israelis have shown pretty conclusively that they are not responsible for the shelling that took the family's lives.

And the Palestinians have been following their usual practice of shooting artillery shells at Israeli civilians while hiding their artillery among Palestinian civilians so that they can score a propaganda coup if the Israelis fight back and civilians get killed.
But Krauthammer says, put that question aside and ask why Palestinians in Gaza are shelling Israelis. That is the real question.
Whether the rocket bases are near civilian beaches or in remote areas, why are the Gazans launching any rockets at Israel in the first place -- about 1,000 in the past year?

To get Israel to remove its settlers, end the occupation and let the Palestinians achieve dignity and independence?

But Israel did exactly that in Gaza last year. It completely evacuated Gaza, dismantled all its military installations, removed its soldiers, destroyed all Israeli settlements and expelled all 7,000 Israeli settlers. Israel then declared the line that separates Israel from Gaza to be an international frontier. Gaza became the first independent Palestinian territory ever.

And what have the Palestinians done with this independence? […]

They have used their freedom to launch rockets at civilians in nearby Israeli towns.
There’s a lot more of Krauthammer before Betsy concludes:
The Palestinians are close to an open civil war between the forces of Hamas and Fatah. They can't govern themselves and it is becoming clear that it is not Israel's fault that their government is rife with corruption and incompetence. Their only answer is to try to kill Israelis. As the Israelis have pulled back from Palestinian territory the myth of the Palestinians is exposed for the lie it always was. The reason they don't prosper has little to do with Israel and a lot to do with their own preference for victimhood and death rather than good governance and concern for their own people.
Krauthammer and Newmark's commentary bring to mind something I first heard years ago: "The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

It's sad those words are still true.

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Back later. This for now

Family duties call so I won't be posting again until late tonight.

Meanwhile this: Raleigh News & Observer news columnist Ruth Sheehan, who wrote columns savaging the Duke lacrosse players for exercising their Constitutional right on advice of their counsels and demanding Duke fire coach Mike Pressler is receiving quite a few critical emails. Copies people have sent me are reasonable, fact-based and civil.

But instead of responding to them Sheehan's taken up the old scam of posting a few criticisms we could all agree are over the line and then saying in effect: "Do you see what my critics are like. Poor me."

Her whining following her attacks on the players, the coach, and the exercise of Constitutional rights led me to leave comments at a pair of posts where she played her scam.

I thought you might enjoy at least one of them so here it is:

Comment from: John [Visitor] ·
06/16/06 at 08:42


While the 2 eamils you've cited here are ones fine citizens would write, you keep resorting to the "Poor me! I get emails from my critics" scam.

Some bloggers and journalists use critical emails as a means to gain sympathy for themselves and avoid serious discussion. I think you do some of that.

It's fairer to readers to write responsible commentary in response to critics who raise important issues as the 2 critics do here.

And while the 2 emails here are fine ones whose statements I endorse, you know anyone can send emails and say they're this or that.

It’s so easy to fake a persona in an email. Here, let's do a fun example.

Hi Ruth,

Do you know John in Carolina?

A Phi Beta Kappa at 12, John became the youngest member of the Apollo 11 crew. It was John who pried open the stuck lunar lander’s door thus enabling Neil Armstrong to take his historic moon walk.

John later won 9 gold medals at the 1992 Olympics, and went on to believe everything he reads in the N&O.


a friend

McClatchy pays big money so its journalists can get training for their own "moon walks" from the one-way world of "we journalists will tell you" into the interactive blogosphere.

Don’t those trainers tell you about some Dems pretending they’re GOPers and emailing outrageous things to embarrass the GOP? Don’t they tell you some GOPers do the same in reverse?

If they don’t, surely you can do what a lot of us have done: figure it out for yourself.

I hope someday we solve the problem of physically threatening and undeservedly critical email.

But we all get it; and many of us get much, much worse than anything you’ve posted.

I may get some pretty bad emails just for writing this comment.

I hope you agree bloggers and journalists need to remind ourselves and our readers that in many cases we can’t be sure who’s sending us what.

I hope you no longer expect to savage people and not have others call you on it.

In closing, I wish things were different about email just as I wish there had never been that party the night of Mar. 13/14 at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd and all that’s followed.



Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Churchill Series – Jun. 15, 2006

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Readers’ Note: I’m a poor speller but when you find in a post something like “civilisation” below, it’s usually because that’s the British spelling Churchill or someone else used. John

In November, 1924 Churchill agreed to become Chancellor of the Exchequer in the new government Stanley Baldwin would head. Shortly thereafter, in a letter to a Conservative Party leader, he wrote :

[The] existing capitalist system in the foundation of civilization and the only means by which great modern populations can be supplied with vital necessities.
Churchill soon expanded on that. His biographer, Martin Gilbert, writes:
[On] December 14, he set down for his officials at the Treasury his philosophy of wealth, based upon a combination of the taxation of unearned income and the encouragement of profits and productivity.
Gilbert then quotes from the new Chancellor’s statement to the Treasury officials:
The creation of new wealth is beneficial to the whole community. The process of squatting on old wealth though valuable is a far less lively agent. The great bulk of the wealth of the world is created and consumed every year.

We shall never shake ourselves clear from the debts of the past, and break into a definitely larger period, except by the energetic creation of new wealth.

A premium on effort is the aim, and a penalty on inertia may well be its companion.
Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life. (pgs. 465-468)

I'm supporting Louis Cheek for Durham District Attorney


I picked this comment off a thread at the Editor's Blog.

I will say a lot more soon about Durham County Commission Louis Cheek.

But take a look at this for now which comes from a commenter who's always been informed and thoughtful.


Comment from: ME [Visitor]
06/15/06 at 16:07

To the registered and unregistered voters of Durham County and students of Duke University.

It is now your turn. Mr. Cheek may be a viable and more than capable alternative to DA Nifong’s repulsive system of justice and unique use of prosecutorial discretion.

Get out and sign those Cheek petitions!

If you are not a registered voter, learn the qualifications to become a registered voter at the following website, register to vote immediately and then sign those Cheek petitions:

Duke University students go to this site to learn just how simple it is to become a North Carolina registered voter (the deadline to register to vote in the next general election appears to be early October):

Duke lacrosse notes – Jun. 15, 2006

(Readers’ Note: This is intended to be the first in a series of blog notes.

I'll continue publishing posts on the DL case but the notes series will give me a chance to quickly share information and opinions on more aspects of the DL case.

I hope you use the series posts the same way on the comment threads. JinC readers have been a great source of DL info and commentary.

I’m going to be more brief here than in standard JinC posts. Still, there’s always the chance some fine person just back from the Antarctic or in the Antarctic will drop in for the first time.

So they’ll be some material that will be redundant to you but may help our new Antarctic friend.

Now here goes.

To ME, joan, and others who’ve spoken up on my behalf re: N&O exec news editor Melanie Sill’s threats to ban me from McClatchy’s Editor’s Blog: Thank you all very, very much. I deeply appreciate your support and the issues you’ve raised.

I’m hopeful that soon all will come right.

I hope you all visit the Editor’s Blog to read Sill’s post, “Duke lacrosse comments.”

Right now there are 42 comments on the thread, some from Sill. A post I put up today, “Duke lacrosse: MeClatchy’s N&O is unbelievable” shines a light on some of what Sill is telling readers.

I plan to post soon on what Sill told readers today about the N&O publishing a photo of the infamous “vigilante poster.” Most of the post will deal with what Sill didn’t tell readers.

In the meantime, do you think Melanie or any of the others on McClatchy’s N&O news team will tell readers why the N&O refused to publish any of the Danish cartoons or the Daily Tar Heel’s Mohammed cartoon but went ahead and published the “vigilante poster?”

About 40 comments down on the thread there’s a post from ME concerning attorney and Durham County Commissioner Louis Cheek’s possible write in campaign for Durahm DA in November.

I’ve copied ME's comment and later tonight I’ll put it up here as a post.

Look for it tomorrow. It contains information about how individuals can help Cheek.

On 3/27 , just 3 days after the N&O broke the DL story, one of its news columnists, Ruth Sheehan, wrote a vicious column attacking the students who played on the lacrosse team for doing no more that following advice of counsel regarding the exercise of their constitutional rights.

One thing that made Sheehan’s column so repugnant to many readers is her frequent pleading in her columns for the rights and treatment of her family and friends, including her own children.

Another is that her husband is an attorney and former statewide officer holder who often argues on behalf of his clients for the same rights the Duke students were exercising.

But none of that stopped Sheehan from savaging the students.

Now, joan, at about the 40th comment, delivers a fitting satire on the column. You don’t want to miss it.

You may want to read Sheehan’s column first so you can really appreciate joan's highlighting what Sheehan did. Here’s a link to Sheehan’s column,"Team's silence is sickening."

BTW – I made a face copy of joan’s comment because some comments at the Editor’s Blog are removed and others just disappear. You might want to make a face copy as well.

The N&O is getting some praise today for pointing out some of DA Nifong’s – what should we call them? – irregularities.

I think the N&O is late, maybe last, to that part of the DL story. The N&O also underplayed it by putting the story in the “B” section. This from a paper that put a story about college kids drinking underage and peeing on lawns (not acceptable behavior and deserving of punishment) smack on its Sunday front page above the fold and across every column.

I’ve also been underwhelmed by the N&O’s response to Professor Coleman’s letter and comments.

More about that tomorrow.

See you then.


Duke lacrosse: McClatchy’s N&O is unbelievable

The McClatchy news organization’s Raleigh News & Observer broke the Duke lacrosse story with a Mar. 24 report in which it seven times described the accuser as either “the victim” or used the possessive “the victim’s.”

The N&O never qualified any of its seven "victim" descriptions with the customary "alleged" or "reported."

The N&O's decision to seven times describe the accuser as a victim in that first story helped frame the Duke lacrosse players in the public mind as her victimizers. By doing that, the N&O was not only grossly unfair to the lacrosse players, it misled its readers.

Many of those readers have criticized the N&O for its unfairness to the players and misleading them.

Yesterday, at The Editor's Blog, Melanie Sill, the N&O’s executive editor for news, received a reader comment which included this (scroll down on thread):

”[The] N&O should feel under some obligation to make up for its initial take on this story--the initial articles, for instance, electing to designate the woman making the charges as the "victim" rather than the "alleged victim" or the "accuser." (The March 24 article is a good example.)

This word choice essentially accepted one of Nifong's basic assertions--that a rape occurred.
The reader followed up with another comment which included a question:
On the victim point, perhaps I can ask a question: does the N&O have a general policy on this issue (i.e., everyone who files a criminal report that the police investigates is labeled from the start a "victim") or was a specific decision made in this case to describe the dancer as a "victim" before charges were filed?
Sill responded:
Comment from: Melanie Sill [Member]
06/14/06 at 12:22

Yes it's fairly routine for us to use the word "victim" in crime reports in describing the person who made the report. Sometimes it's amended "reported victim" or simply more descriptive. People report crimes, but police and law enforcment officials bring charges. […]

After reading Sill’s response, I called an editor at the Durham Herald Sun. What is the H-S’s policy on using “victim” without qualification in a case like Duke lacrosse?
We’ve tried to stay away from “victim.” We’ve mostly used “accuser;” sometimes “dancer;” that kind of thing.
I asked if the editor was sure the H-S didn’t at least sometimes use just “victim”
I can’t say for certain it didn’t happen. But if it did, it got by us. If you can find where we did, we’ll make a correction.

We don't want to use "victim" in this kind of circumstance. It's not fair to the other person or persons.
I have Times Select so this morning I went to the NY Times archives and read five Duke lacrosse articles, each of more than one thousand words.

None of the five articles used the term “victim.” Instead, terms such as “woman,” “dancer,” and most often, “accuser” were used.

In his recent letter to the N&O, Duke Law Professor James E. Coleman Jr. referred to the accuser five times as "victim," but in each case preceded it with "alleged."

But at McClatchy’s Raleigh News & Observer:
Yes it's fairly routine for us to use the word "victim" in crime reports in describing the person who made the report.
And the N&O says it’s the Duke Men's lacrosse team that’s "swaggered for years?"

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Here's a pundit making sense

Pundit Clarence Page has some words for the Congressional Black Caucus. They're words we should all hear:

Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus have raised the bloody shirt of racism in defense of their embattled colleague Rep. William Jefferson. I appreciate their sense of loyalty to a friend, but Jefferson hasn't given them much to work with.

Jefferson's friends say he deserves the presumption of innocence. Indeed, under our constitutional system of justice, as I once heard an embattled Chicago politician quoted, "Every man is innocent until his case has been through appeal."
But, the Court of Public Opinion in which all politics operate is quite another matter.

There is, for example, the embarrassing little question of the $90,000 in alleged bribery money that the FBI found in the Louisiana Democrat's freezer. […]

But, as Democratic leaders took the initial steps toward stripping Jefferson of his committee post last week, his fellow Congressional Black Caucus members issued a statement defending the right of the Louisiana sharecropper's son to be presumed innocent, at least until he is indicted.

Caucus Chairman Melvin Watt, a North Carolina Democrat, raised the specter of black voters wondering with great suspicion why "a black member of Congress" is the first to be stripped so swiftly of his committee post. "It's about to blow up in your face," he warned party leaders.

In other words, Watt and others want Jefferson to be treated the same as Republicans recently have treated their leaders.

Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay temporarily resigned his post only after his indictment late last year on criminal charges of conspiracy. Pressured by fellow Republicans, he later announced that he would not try to return to the job and would resign Congress on June 9. […]

The donkeys hope to turn (the corruption theme) against the elephants this year. The scandals surrounding DeLay and other congressional friends of Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff have helped. The scandal surrounding Jefferson does not help.

If Jefferson had any sense of personal honor or true loyalty to his friends, I think he would voluntarily step aside pending the completion of the investigation against him.

At a time when voters are looking for alternatives to the corruption that we see boiling through Congress, it sends a weak message for Jefferson's Democratic defenders to say that they're no worse than their rival party. Voters aren't looking for "no worse." We want better.

When House Republicans rewrote their ethics rules last November so DeLay would not have to resign if indicted, I chastised Republicans with President John F. Kennedy's declaration that sometimes loyalty to party demands too much. As a black voter looking at the small-but-mighty rally around William Jefferson, I can only conclude that sometimes loyalty to race demands too much, too.
I don’t know if the Congressional Black Caucus will take to heart Page's words.

But I hope the rest of us do, and apply them to both parties and public office holders regardless of race.

Remember when not too long ago Republican House Speaker Hastert and Democratic Minority Leader Pelosi stood side-by-side endorsing a joint statement condemning the FBI’s warranted search of Jefferson’s House office?

Remember how outraged they were and how quickly that had come together and agreed on their statement which was also supported by just about every member of the two parties’ leadership teams?

How did you feel as you listened to them?

I felt disgusted.

After years of the two parties not being able to work together they were now reaching out to each other. But it wasn’t to help assure our national security or seek agreement on illegal immigration legislation that most American’s could endorse.

No, it was to protect one of their own.

I don’t want to say too much more for now. I want to think some more about what I’ll do with my congressional vote come November.

Do you have any thoughts?

No, no, wait a minute!! Of course you have thoughts.

What I meant to ask was: “Do you have any thoughts about Page’s column and my comments that you want to share here at JinC?”

Now that’s better.

Simple is often best

Combine 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen atoms and you have water. Simple and wonderful.

President Reagan said his Cold War plan was "We win; they lose." What could be simpler or better?

Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee gets real simple in a post concerning media bias. He focuses on the absence of just one word in some news accounts of former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell's sentencing for racketeering and tax evasion.

Take a look at Bob's post. See if you can guess the word before you find it at the end of his post.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Churchill Series - Jun. 14, 2006

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

On October 12, 1941, Elizabeth Layton, one of Churchill's secretaries, wrote her parents. Excerpts from her letter:

Presently, after having dictated something he found I'd put "Somehow I think it right (which was what I thought he'd said). So, fairly patient, he said "no, no, I said now the time is right" (with accents like that).

So I did it again. Gave it back. There was a roar of rage. "God's teeth, girl, can’t you even do it right the second time. I said ripe, ripe, ripe - P P P."

I should, perhaps, have realized, but he hadn't mentioned that "right" was wrong. However, he forgave me and was very amiable for the rest of the day.
Churchill biographer Martin Gilbert says:
All those who worked for Churchill at closest quarters saw his sternest moods, born of fearsome problems. They also saw the character that lay beneath those moods. "I can't help feeling rather fond of him," Elizabeth Layton wrote, "he is a loveable person, in spite of his impatience."
Martin Gilbert, Finest Hour: 1939 - 1941. (pgs. 1214-1215)

About Soros: A great question

Betsy Newmark posts with a question:

"Will every mention of his name now be preceded by the words 'convicted felon?'"
She continues :
It would seem appropriate for a man found guilty of insider trading.

George Soros's bid to overturn an insider-trading conviction was rejected by France's highest appeals court, ending the billionaire's fight to erase a legal stain on his 40-year investing career.

The Court of Cassation, the tribunal of last resort in France, ended its review of a March 2005 judgment that Soros broke insider-trading laws when he bought Societe Generale SA shares in 1988 with the knowledge that the bank might be a takeover target. The Hungary-born financier has been fighting the case for 17 years.
Fighting the case for 17 years?

Goodness, that's almost as long as Sen. Kerry's carried in his briefcase the "magic hat" he says a CIA agent - no wait - it was a Navy Seal - gave him as he ferried the fellow on a secret mission into Cambodia at Christmas.

Or was it Formosa at Easter?

Anyway, one of them or some other place and time I'm sure.

Now to answer Betsy's question :
Will every mention of his name now be preceded by the words "convicted felon?"
Yes, if Soros leaves the America-bashing left and becomes a conservative.

Great question, Betsy. The croissants are on me.

Duke lacrosse witch hunt numbers

At about 3:30 p. m. eastern today, June 14, a Google search using the heading “Duke Witch Hunt” produced 764,000 hits.

Using the heading “Duke Lacrosse Witch Hunt” produced 46,600 hits.

Using the heading “Raleigh News & Observer Witch Hunt” produced 30,400 hits.

I eye-balled the first 20 of the “Duke Witch Hunt” hits. They deal with the lacrosse witch hunt.

Together, the first two numbers suggest the public is catching on to what’s what.

It will be interesting to see how the “Raleigh News & Observer Witch Hunt” number grows.

The N&O broke the Duke lacrosse story on Mar. 24 with a report in which it called the accuser “the victim” or used the possessive “ victim’s” a total of 7 times.

In none of those 7 instances did the N&O use the customary qualifying “alleged” before "victim" or "victim's."

The N&O followed its Mar. 24 story with one the next day which featured an interview with the anonymous accuser. The N&O's Mar. 25 story was on page one with headlines spread across five columns. The headlines give you an idea of the story's "balance."

A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence
I don't know why in that first story the N&O decided to tell readers 7 times the accuser was the victim.

And I don't know why the N&O decided to headline her allegations without any qualification as though they were facts.

I do know the N&O’s public editor, Ted Vaden, tells me he's not going to answer those questions. He said in a phone conversation he didn't have time.

Well, let's keep our eyes on those "Witch Hunt" numbers.

Maybe as the N&O's "Witch Hunt" numbers grow, someone at the N&O or its owner, the McClatchy Company, will decide it to tell readers why the N&O decided to cast the accuser as the victim while framing the Duke lacrosse players as the victimizers.

The Constitution is pretty clear about presumption of innocence.

Why isn't the N&O and McClatchy?
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A Duke lacrosse letter everyone should read

James E. Coleman Jr. is a Professor at Duke University's Law School. He recently chaired the faculty committe which examined Duke's Men's lacrosse program.

Yesterday, June 13, the Raleigh News & Observer published a letter he wrote to the editor. It's extraordinary. I hope you to read it, and pass it on to others. It follows in full.

Special prosecutor should take over Duke case
Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong should ask the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor for the rape case against three Duke lacrosse players and then remove himself and his office from further involvement. This is the only way to restore some degree of public confidence in the handling of the case. Up to now, virtually everything that Nifong has done has undermined public confidence in the case.

The circumstances under which the alleged victim identified the three defendants is typical. An assumption has been that Nifong and the Durham police merely botched the procedures under which the alleged victim identified the three members of the lacrosse team whom she claims raped her. According to the police account of the identification, however, the police officer who presided over the proceedings told the alleged victim at the outset that he wanted her to look at people the police had reason to believe attended the party. Thus, the police not only failed to include people they knew were not suspects among the photographs shown the woman, they told the witness in effect that there would be no such "fillers" among the photographs she would see.

This strongly suggests that the purpose of the identification process was to give the alleged victim an opportunity to pick three members of the lacrosse team who could be charged. Any three students would do; there could be no wrong choice. The prosecutor would not care if the pre-trial identification was subsequently thrown out by the court. The accuser would identify them at trial by pointing to the three defendants seated in front of her as the three men who assaulted her. The prosecutor would argue that she had an independent basis (independent of the identifications thrown out) for doing so.

Whatever the truth is, Nifong can no longer personally restore public confidence in the prosecution of this case. Someone with professional detachment and unquestioned integrity must review the case and determine whether the evidence against the three students warrants further prosecution. That would serve the best interest of the alleged victim, the three defendants and public.

James E. Coleman Jr.
Duke Law School

(The writer, a law professor, recently led Duke's study of the men's lacrosse program. The length limit on letters was waived.
A thank you to all of you who sent links to Professor Coleman's letter.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Churchill Series - Jun. 13, 2006

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Reader's Note: I always source the series posts. The source of today's post is the top of my head but I'm confident of what I'll say. John

As generally used now, the term Blitz refers not just to London but to German bombing throughout the United Kingdom from early September, 1940 to mid-May, 1941. Estimates are that about 43,000 were killed and about 150,000 injured as a result of the bombing.

Many, including Hitler, expected the British people to break under the horrific ordeal of the Blitz. But, of course, they didn't.

Churchill's stirring, defiant leadership helped the people sustain their morale and their own defiance of the Nazis. Humor helped too.

Shortly after the raids began people took to telling each other jokes and stories that even then they called "Blitz humor."

As you would expect Churchill loved Blitz humor. Here are two examples, both concerning incidents in London.

During one night's raid, buildings on both sides of a barber shop were destroyed but the shop was undamaged. The next morning a sign appeared in its window: "Close shaves our specialty."

The side and a large part of the roof of a police station were blown off. The Bobbies got a big tarpaulin and hung it on what remained of their station after painting on it: "We're now more open than before. So be good."

I hope you come back tomorrow.

Talking with JinC regulars – 6 -13- 06

(One of a series of posts in the original web log tradition: notes and "thinking out loud." These posts will be most easily understood by regular visitors and are written with them especially in mind. But others are welcome.)

Hard to believe almost 2 weeks have gone by since the last Talking with ...

Regarding the CrimeStoppers' flyers/posters and the "vigilante poster" and the action by attorney Charns on behalf of an unindicted lacrosse players, I'll post tonight or tomorrow on an interview I had with Major Lee Russ of the Durham Police Department.

Main points of the interview: Yes, it was Cpl. Addison who put out a CrimeStoppers flyer with text as you've read here. According to Russ, text was amended a number of times at his direction. Russ sent me copies. I'll share with you. The DPD never had anything to do with the "vigilante poster" containing face-photos of 43 Duke lacrosse players. DPD doesn't know who circulated them but DPD would be interested to know who did. No investigation will be launched by DPD concerning flyers. Of course, that may not be the last word.

Will Charns press his action? I'm betting he will.

No, I haven't been over to the Editor's Blog. But I hope to be back there soon.

Meanwhile, I'm posting with questions I'm asking about N&O Duke lacrosse coverage. Yesterday's "Duke lacrosse: look at the first newspaper report" is an example.

I plan to have another one up tomorrow looking at the second N&O story on Mar. 25 which really kicked off the Duke lacrosse hysteria and witch hunt.

You know I said last week a write in campaign for Durham DA was needed. Lewis Cheek? I like him. More about that later this week.

I wish at least one of the law professors in NC was blogging regularly on the Dlc. I plan to contact a few to see if they will. I'll let you know what they say.

Has anyone obtained a copy of Professor Coleman's statement saying Nifong should be replaced on the Dlc? If yes, can you get a copy to me.

I could contact Coleman but if someone already has it .....

Coleman's statement deserves much more attention from MSM than it's getting.

Imagine a professor of surgery at a leading medical school publicly saying a nationally known surgeon shouldn't perform operations on three famous patients, and asking that the surgeon take steps to have her or himself replaced. It would be huge, wouldn't it?

If you see or hear anything from the net or cables please let me know. I'm going to post on Coleman's statement very soon.

I continue to think a lot of the best material at JinC is on the comment threads.

Thanks to all of you who are linking my posts at other sites.

One fun reaction to that. One of you linked at Court TV my post saying I had a lot of respect for Judge Stephens who's presided at, I believe, all the Duke lacrosse court proceedings.

Well, a lot of folks at Court TV have other views. It's been interesting to read their comments about me, my post and Stephens.

Some have been very critical of what I said but it's been civil. Others jump in and say something nice about me.

All in a days blogging.


Gaza: What Reuters and the NY Times didn’t tell you

Here’s everything Reuters and the NY Times are telling readers at (3:30 p.m. eastern, Jun. 13) about today's press conference Israel's Defense Minister Amir Peretz held concerning the explosion last week that killed seven Palestinian civilians ("Israel Denies Role in Deadly Gaza Beach Blast")

Israel on Tuesday denied responsibility for an explosion on a Gaza beach last week that killed seven Palestinian civilians and led militant group Hamas to call off a 16-month truce.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz told reporters the explosion was not caused by the Israeli Defense Forces but did not provide an explanation for what might have caused the blast, which killed several members of the same family.

Major General Meir Califi, who headed the army's investigation into Friday's incident, said Israel's shelling of Gaza had stopped by the time the beach explosion occurred.

"The chances that artillery fire hit that area at that time are nil,'' Califi told a news conference.

Hamas, which heads the Palestinian Authority after winning elections earlier this year, has blamed Israel for the explosion, which came on a day of heavy shelling of Gaza.

Israel frequently fires artillery rounds into the coastal strip in response to Palestinian rockets fired at Israel.

There has been a surge in violence between Israel and the Palestinians since the beach explosion, the immediate aftermath of which was caught on film and showed an 8-year-old girl desperately searching for her dead father.

An investigator from international rights group Human Rights Watch told reporters in Gaza earlier that evidence pointed to Israel having fired the shell, but he had to leave the door open to the possibility that the explosion was caused by something else.
Now look at excerpts from The Jerusalem Post’s report of the same news conference ("Peretz: Friday's Gaza beach shelling 'not our doing'") (The AP contributed to the JPost’s story)
The IDF probe investigating the deaths of seven Palestinian civilians, caused by an explosion on a beach in Gaza on Friday evening, concluded that chances were slim that the accident was caused by IDF shelling. […]

According to the findings, expected to be formally released on Tuesday, shrapnel taken from two wounded Palestinians who were evacuated to Israeli hospitals showed that the explosives were not made in Israel, IDF officials said.

Moreover, the investigation noted the absence of a large enough crater at the site of the explosion, as would be expected if an IDF shell had landed there.

The third observation casting doubt on the possibility that IDF shelling was the cause of the Palestinian deaths was that the IDF had accounted for five of the six shells that it fired in the area before the explosion and the shell that was unaccounted for was fired more than 10 minutes before the blast that killed the Palestinians.

On Saturday evening Gaza Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi insisted that the sites that were shelled by the IDF were the places from where Kassam rockets were launched. He noted those places were frequently targeted by the IDF, and were known to be dangerous places.

The leading theory currently entertained, suggested that an explosive charge, buried by Palestinians on the Gaza beach to prevent Israeli infiltration, was behind the explosion.

Throughout the whole investigation, army officials complained about the lack of Palestinian cooperation. […]
Reuters and the NY Times left out quite a lot, didn’t they?

What was that stuff we used to hear from the Times about “all the news?” Just certain news is more like it.

Hat Tip: Mike Williams
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Duke lacrosse: Friends of Duke University

I just learned about a blog, Friends of Duke University. Here's what it says about itself:

This is a discussion board for the friends of the Duke University. At the moment, our focus is on the Duke Lacrosse Scandal. Our board is not affiliated with any organization; and we are not accountable to anyone on the contents of this site.

All posts will be moderated. The moderator has the right to remove comments deemed inappropriate. Above all, your posts should reflect love and respect for the Duke University. You do not need to register; you may post as "Anonymous".
Friends of Duke University (FDU) currently has a number of interesting and informative discussions going.

From reading comments it's clear that "love and respect" for Duke does not preclude reasoned, measured criticism of some individuals or university actions. For example, a number of people commented on President Brodhead's failure to sufficiently guard the players' rights.

FDU looks to be much more than a message board. There's a links section, for instance, which leads you to some great material. (Full disclosure. FDU linked to some of my posts.)

You don't want to miss "When the law is an ass," "Duke Rape Case: DA Mike Nifong Suffering 'Death by a Thousand Cuts'" and "The Duke Rape Case Travesty" among other outstanding articles.

Some of you no doubt have read Joan Foster's comments here, including one she wrote to Raleigh N&O columnist Ruth Sheehan in response to a pair of columns Sheehan wrote savaging the Duke lacrosse players and their coach, Mike Pressler. Joan placed the comment here on the "Duke lacrosse mother speaks out: A repost" thread.

Now, it's also at FDU. You will find it here. (Scroll down. It's the third item)

Joan's comment is really a gift to Sheehan if Sheehan has the maturity to realize it.

If you haven't read Joan's comment, that would be a good place to start at FDU.

I'll be interested to read your reactions.
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Monday, June 12, 2006

The Churchill Series - Jun. 12, 2006

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Sunday, September 6, 1941

The Prime Minister journeys to Buckinghamshire. He enters a gated, fenced and guarded area in the center of which is a Victorian mansion surrounded by a number of small, recently constructed buildings.

Before the war the mansion and its grounds were known as Bletchley Park, but now the government owns them and the place is called Station X.

The place holds secrets. Even John Martin, one of Churchill's principal aides who accompanies him on the visit, doesn't know it is here at Station X that a most unusual group including mathematicians, chess players, crossword specialists, linguists fluent in languages ancient and modern, debutantes, and an actress has broken German codes. Their success has enabled Churchill and a select few to read in almost real time many of the enemy's communications.

Years after the war the world learned about Station X, the heart of the Enigma Project.

On that Sunday as Churchill tours Station X he meets many people we would call "unusual.” Some stare silently as you approach and introduce yourself. They're mentally calculating extraordinarily complex math problems and can't allow an interruption. Another was once so engrossed in explaining a theory to a colleague that he reached without looking for tobacco to fill his pipe. Instead, he picked up and packed in his pipe some of his lunch: tuna salad.

Some ways through the tour, Churchill turns and says to the officer who'd recruited many of the staff: "I know I told you to leave no stone unturned to get staff, but I didn't expect you to take me literally."

Later in the day Churchill addresses the staffers and expresses his appreciation for their work.

He's very sincere in that. As the principal consumer of their intelligence, Churchill knows better than anyone the enormously important contribution the codebreakers are making to the war America will enter three months and one day following his visit to Station X.
Michael Smith's Station X: Decoding Nazi Secrets (pgs. 106-107) contains all of the material found in this post except that concerning John Martin. That reference is found in Martin Gilbert, Finest Hour: 1939-1941. (pg. 1189)

Duke lacrosse: Questions for McClatchy’s Editor

After almost 4 weeks of refusing to take questions about the Raleigh News & Observer’s much criticized Duke lacrosse coverage, the N&O’s exec editor for news, Melanie Sill, has agreed to take some questions at McClatchy's Editor's Blog.

That said, for a while at least, I won’t be commenting or questioning at the Editor’s Blog. That’s because Sill’s repeatedly threatened to ban me from the Editor’s Blog but has never given me specific examples of why, even though I ask for them.

I need to resolve that matter before I again comment or question.

Meanwhile, if I were asking Duke lacrosse questions at the Editor’s Blog, I’d start with questions about the very first story that any newspaper wrote on the Duke lacrosse story.

That would be the N&O’s Mar. 24 story linked in this post: “Duke lacrosse: Look at the first newspaper report”

Sill often boasts “we broke” the Duke lacrosse story; and she’s right.

But what she doesn’t talk about is why the N&O kept referring in its Mar. 24 story to the accuser as “the victim.”

The N&O hasn’t told readers how it decided the Duke lacrosse accuser was the victim. Or how it so quickly decided to its own satisfaction that the Duke lacrosse players were the victimizers and should be framed as such?

In that first Duke lacrosse story the N&O referred to the accuser as “the victim” or used the possessive “the victim’s” a total of 7 times.

What made the N&O so sure the accuser was “the victim?” What made the N&O's reporters and editors so determined to frame the players as victimizers?

Where was the evidence for all of that?

Then there’s the whole matter of the N&O’s publication on Apr. 2 of the infamous “vigilante poster” photo.

The N&O want ahead and published the photo after it had been told that doing so would only make it more likely the players pictured on the poster would be targeted by hate groups, something that came to pass.

I hope Sill tells readers how the N&O got a copy of the “vigilante poster?” Who produced it? Why did the N&O publish the photo after refusing to publish the Danish cartoons or the Tar Heel's Mohammad cartoon characterization or anything else it thought might bring angry Muslims into its newsroom?

We can all understand the N&O looking out for the safety of its own people. But if the N&O does that, why didn't it also look out for the safety of college students who were part of the Duke lacrosse team?

Why set them up as hate group targets, a threat that will follow them for years?

I’m sure, folks, you can think of many more questions.

I hope you ask them of Sill and N&O's public editor, Ted Vaden.

In a few days I’ll be back talking about questions to the N&O.

Meanwhile, I’ll be visiting over there and reading what you say here.
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Duke lacrosse: Look at the first newspaper report

Melanie Sill, the Raleigh News & Observer’s executive editor for news, has done a lot of cluck-clucking about how The N&O “broke the story” we’ve all come to call the Duke lacrosse case. And she's right about that.

Now let’s take a look at how, on Mar 24, the N&O broke the story under the headlines:

DNA tests ordered for Duke athletes
Lacrosse team reports to lab in rape inquiry
The N&O began:
Durham police had 46 members of the Duke University lacrosse team DNA-tested Thursday in the suspected gang-rape of a woman at an off-campus party last week.

Police think at least three of the men could be responsible for the sexual assault, beating, robbery and near-strangulation of one of two women who had an appointment to dance at the party March 13, according to a search warrant.
As the story moves along, you notice statements like:
A search warrant returned Thursday details the attack the victim described to police.
But the search warrant didn’t detail “the attack the victim described.”

The search warrant only contained details the accuser gave police about an alleged attack.

Why didn't the N&O tell readers that? And “victim?” Where did that come from, you ask?

The N&O explained:
It is The News & Observer's policy not to identify victims of reported sex crimes.
The N&O didn’t say how it knows someone reporting a sex crime is a victim; or whether it just goes ahead and grants victim status and anonymity to anyone reporting what the person says was a sex crime.

But regardless of how The N&O decides such things, the effect of its granting victim status to the accuser was to frame the Duke lacrosse players as the victimizers.

The N&O did that before its readers were even halfway through the very first story they’d read on the Duke lacrosse case.

The N&O went on to say such things as:
” The victim was pulled into a bathroom, and three men held her down, sexually assaulting and sodomizing her, the warrant says. She was kicked, hit, strangled and beaten, she told police.”


“They also looked for artificial fingernails painted with red polish, apparently lost in the victim's struggle.
The N&O worked very hard to get “victim” fixed in readers’ minds.

All told the N&O referred in its story to the accuser as “the victim” or used the possessive “victim’s” a total of 7 times.

Why did The N&O work so hard to present the accuser as a victim? What did the N&O know that justified doing that?

The N&O’s public editor, Ted Vaden,told me in a phone conversation he wouldn't answer that question because: “Frankly, John, there isn’t time to answer every question someone asks, and I’m not going to answer that one.”

If Vaden had answered my question I'd have gone on and asked him whether anyone at the N&O or the McClatchy Company, its owner, ever considered how casting the accuser as “the victim” was framing the Duke lacrosse players?

Here's something else we should all be asking: Why didn’t the N&O tell its readers that the three lacrosse players who rented the house where the accuser said she was gang-raped voluntarily gave statements to the police without counsels present; voluntarily went to Duke Medical Center and submitted to “rape kit” tests; and offered to take lie detector tests?

That all happened days before the N&O broke the story.

It belonged in the story, didn't it?

When you look at the N&O’s “we broke it” story, it’s not hard to understand why the story played out for months the way it did; and why so many decent people were fooled.

But that doesn’t explain why the N&O ran the kind of story it did.

Tomorrow I’ll post on the N&O’s second Duke lacrosse story. It ran the following day, Mar. 25, on the front page under five-column wide headlines:

A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence.
It was the N&O's Mar. 25 story, which built on the inflamatory bias set in the Mar. 24 story, that ignited what became the Duke lacrosse witch hunt.

The hysteria and threats of violence that followed the N&O's stories reached the point where responsible community leaders felt compelled to take full page newspaper ads calling on the public to remain calm and let justice take its course.

The Raleigh News & Observer was one of the papers which carried the ad.

The N&O describes itself as "Fair and Accurate."
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No blogging until this afternoon. Traveling


I'll be traveling this morning.

With a happy landing by 1 p.m. I hope to be posting again by late afternoon.

See you then.

I hope your week starts well.


Duke lacrosse: Newsweek abandons sinking Nifong

Remember Newsweek? The magazine that brought us the phony Koran down the Gitmo toilet story.

Right after that Newsweek told us it was much too responsible to ever publish those Danish cartoons.

Lately Newsweek’s been, as journalists put it, “pushing hard” on the Duke lacrosse story.

Newsweek reported Durham DA Mike Nifong’s suggestion that the Duke lacrosse accuser was given a date rape drug. And its May 1 cover story was headlined, “Sex, Lies & Duke.”

Newsweek’s done a lot of the kind of story puffing that’s helped put the wind at the back of Nifong and the “they’re guilty” crew that’s sailed with him on a prosecution/persecution trip fair-minded people refused to be a part of in the first place.

Now it looks like Newsweek has decided to prepare its readers for the news that Nifong and the crew misled them.

Here’s the first paragraph of Newsweek’s most recent Duke lacrosse story. Note especially the paragraph’s last phrase:

Early in the Duke lacrosse rape investigation, Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, who was in a close race to keep his job, spoke about the physical and emotional trauma the alleged victim had suffered at the hands of the players. A police affidavit stated that her medical records revealed the victim had "injuries consistent with being raped and sexually assaulted vaginally and anally." But according to a motion filed by defense attorneys last week, no such physical trauma was found during her exam at Duke hospital. Quoting from the report, which was submitted to the court under seal, the motion states that the nurse—who was in training—examined the woman's entire pelvic region and noted only diffuse swelling of the vaginal walls, a condition explainable by consensual sexual activity.
”[A] condition explainable by consensual sexual activity.” Newsweek has a reason for saying that. It knows that sooner or later it will have to tell its readers something like:
“Sex, Lies & Duke?” Well, as we’ve been suggesting to you lately, the sex that was alleged didn’t happen the way it was alleged and the lies that were told weren’t told by Duke lacrosse players.

Now that that’s all straight, readers, remember to renew your subscriptions.
If you have any doubt that Newsweek has abandoned Nifong and crew, take a look at its last paragraph:
The police summary of the statement Kim Roberts, the second dancer, made is especially damning. Roberts said the idea that the woman was assaulted was a "crock." She went on to say that the accuser, who used the stage name Precious, was out of Roberts's sight for less than five minutes. Roberts later told NEWSWEEK she believed a rape could have happened. In the meantime, Nifong, who declined a request for comment, had approved a motion to eliminate Roberts's bond payments stemming from a prior conviction.
You can almost see the liberals and leftists who control Newsweek abandoning a ship loaded with fools and at least one knave.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

McClatchy's Editor's Blog open again for Duke lacrosse comments

For almost 4 weeks the McClatchy Company's Raleigh News & Observer's executive editor for news, Melanie Sill, has failed to post at the Editor’s Blog or mention in her column the Duke lacrosse story.

The N&O’s biased and inflammatory Duke lacrosse coverage (See, for examples, here, here, and here) helped turn a report of rape into what's increasingly being recognized as a massive "witch hunt" that appears to have included evidence suppression by the Durham police and DA, and news suppression and distortion by The N&O itself.

During the past 4 weeks N&O readers have asked Sill and N&O public editor, Ted Vaden, many questions about the paper's Duke lacrosse coverage but Sill and Vaden remained silent at their blogs and in their columns.

Sill recently began removing readers' Duke lacrosse questions and comments from the Editor's Blog. She's even threatened to permanently ban some readers from McClatchy's Editor's Blog who asked questions about N&O Duke lacrosse coverage because Sill said the questions weren’t “on point” to what she was talking about. (Full disclosure. I'm one of those Sill has threatened to ban. However, she began threatening me well before the Duke lacrosse story developed - JinC.)

Some readers have persisted in commenting despite Sill's prompt removal of their comments. Others tell me they've phoned and or sent me blinc copies of emails to Sill and Vaden asking they respond.

Well, Sill has finally posted on Duke lacrosse and said she will respond to comments and questions. You can visit her post here.

Late this evening I plan to post here at JinC some questions I've asked Sill and Vaden regarding N&O Duke lacrosse coverage but which they’ve not answered.

I hope you will visit again tomorrow, Monday, and take a look at the questions.

I hope you'll also comment on what you read here and on what you think about The N&O’s Duke lacrosse coverage.