Saturday, July 15, 2006

Duke lacrosse: New questions for the Raleigh N&O

After ducking questions for weeks about the Raleigh News & Observer’s biased and inflammatory Duke lacrosse coverage, exec editor for news Melanie Sill is now telling readers she’ll answer questions about the N&O’s coverage.


Before you all rush over to the Editor’s Blog, I must tell you that Sill has set a condition on what questions she’ll answer. She says she’ll only answer questions that are “new.”

That means, for instance, that Sill isn’t going to tell us why the N&O, in its first “Duke lacrosse” story on Mar. 24, made the decision to refer to the accuser as “the victim” or in the possessive form “the victim’s” seven times without once using a qualifying “alleged” or “reported.”

It’s too bad Sill refuses to tell us why the N&O did that. What reason(s) did the N&O have for abandoning the standard journalistic practice of using a conditional qualifier when a rape has been alleged but not proved?

Why, in that Mar. 24 story, did the N&O decide to frame the Duke students as victimizers of a woman who was horrifically gang-raped, beaten and strangled?

The players whom the N&O helped to frame in the public’s mind are entitled to answers. So are their parents. And so are readers who subscribe for fair, factual reporting.

I’m going to keep asking in other posts about the Mar. 24 story and other instances of the N&O biased and inflammanaory coverage, which took a terrible situation and made it worse, including more dangerous.

But here let’s identify some new questions for Sill; ones that as far as I know no one has asked at the Editor’s Blog.

Is it true, Editor Sill, what some of us have been hearing: The Mar. 25 sympathetic interview with the accuser was taped?

If that’s true, when are you going to release a transcript with only accuser and her family’s ID information removed?

If the interview was taped, in whose care has the tape(s) been since the interview and up until now?

What is the quality of those tapes? Are they free of spot erasures other than to remove ID info?

When was the last time anyone at the N&O listened to the tape? Who was that person(s)? How do reader(s) ask question(s) of the person(s)?

If the interview wasn’t taped, why wasn’t it taped?

Who made the decision not to tape the interview?

What reasons(s) was given for not taping the interview?

Folks, I’ll be asking some other new questions tomorrow.

Full disclosure: Editor Sill for many months repeatedly threatened to ban me from the McClatchy Company’s Editor’s Blog. She offered a variety of reasons which don’t stand scrutiny. I think I have a right to comment at the Editor’s Blog, but her repeated threats became harassing so six or so weeks back I ceased commenting there.

I hope others will ask Sill the questions posed here. They’re important and readers deserve answers.

It was the N&O’s Mar. 25 story that took what should have been a thorough and judicious investigation of reported crimes and turned it instead into the hysteria fueled witch hunt that’s afflicted our community and caused immeasurable damage to many innocent people, the final reckoning of which we’ll not know for many years.

I have no brief for DA Mike Nifong who I think should be removed from office. But he didn’t go public about the case until the afternoon of Mar. 27. That was after the N&O had poisoned the public’s mind against the players and inflamed the community. Nifong followed where the N&O had led.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Churchill Series – July 14, 2006

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

In August 1929 Churchill, with his son, Randolph, his brother, Jack, and Jack’s son, Johnny, arrived in Quebec City to begin an almost three month tour of Canada and the United States. As a well-known author and Member of Parliament who’d recently served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Churchill was in great demand as a speaker. Receptions were arranged so people could meet him.

Churchill had brought with him research material for his planned biography of his ancestor, the first Duke of Marlborough. He would also write for magazines and newspapers a number of articles describing the trip. And, yes, the trip had been planned as a travel holiday.

Churchill wrote Clementine from Quebec:

We stayed at the Chateau Frontenac, a tremendous hotel on the most modern lines. Saturday we saw all the sights, the Citadel, Wolfe’s Cove and the Plains of Abraham, where the battle which decided the fate of Canada was fought. …

Late in the afternoon …we took an open motor car and went off twenty miles into the blue. I wanted to see the country at close quarters and nibble the grass and champ the branches. We saw hills and forests scarcely trodden by the foot of man, every kink of tree growing im primeval confusion and loveliest [streams] splashing down to the rivers. …

Our first morning there arrived [a man from] the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, sent specially on a twenty-four hours’ journey by Mr. [Charles] Schwab [Chairman, BSC] with the most cordial message . Mr. Schwab places his ‘railway’ car at our disposal during the whole of our tour in the United States!

This solves all problems. We timidly suggested paying the haulage, but this was brushed aside with pained looks. It will certainly be an enormous convenience and comfort. …
Churchill had gotten to know Schwab during WWI when Schwab sought construction contracts from the Admiralty. At the time it took British shipbuilders 14 months to build a submarine; Schwab said BSC’s shipbuilding division could build them in 6 months. He convinced Churchill who approved the contract; and BSC built the subs in 6 months as Schwab had promised.

I’ll bet you’re saying to yourselves something like: “Could someone in Churchill’s position today accept that sort of favor from someone in Schwab’s position?” Well, a lot of it still goes on and I think whether or not it becomes a “scandal” depends mainly on what the media choose to make of it. In Churchill’s day, such practices where common and openly acknowledged.

In August 1943, almost fourteen years to the day of his first visit, Churchill returned to Quebec, this time as Prime Minister, for a conference with President Roosevelt and other allied leaders. As he had the first time, he stayed at the Chateau Frontenac as did many members of both the British and American parties.

Below are links to the Frontenac, and the tourist sites of the City of Quebec and the Province of Quebec. If you haven’t visited Quebec, I hope you do. The city is set above the St. Lawrence with the views stretching for miles on a clear day. It’s very easy to get about; just watch those cobblestones in “The Old City.” The surrounding countryside is magnificent. Within an hours drive of the city you find yourself, just like Churchill, in a primeval, Alpine-like countryside of forests, glens and snow-capped mountains.

Visiting Quebec allows you to experience much of what is wonderful about Europe. Only for Americans, Quebec is more easily reached and less expensive.

Monday we’ll be in Western Canada. Churchill will meet a bear, visit Banff and Lake Louise, paint, and end the Canadian portion of the trip of the trip at a luncheon on Victoria Island. All is well until Churchill meets a cleric with “Socialist leanings.”
Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill. Edited by their daughter, Mary Soames. (pgs. 336-338)

Newmarks score in mixed doubles

The Newmarks – Craig at Newmark’s Door and wife Betsy at Betsy’s Page – are a great mixed doubles blog team.

They proved that again today when they went up against columnist Marc Gunter and the powerful Fortune/CNN Money. com media empire.

Gunter and Fortune/CNN Money. com tried to ace the Newmark’s with a “people have too much media choice for their own good” serve.

But Craig easily returned service without even moving from his baseline position :

In my opinion, this is a really dopey idea, but it's rarely expressed so openly: a Fortune writer argues that "the explosion of choice has left us poorer in at least two arenas".

One: choice is hurting the mainstream media. Oooooh, cry me a river.

Two: choice is hurting our politics. Why? In part because "people can now filter the news and opinion they get to avoid exposure to ideas with which they disagree"[…]

Why do I suspect that the real complaint here is that yes, Conservatives more or less used to have to read the New York Times and the Washington Post and watch ABC, CBS, and NBC, but now--damn it all--we don't?
Worn out by that kind of baseline play, Gunter and Fortune/CNN were in no shape to volley when Betsy rushed the blog net and slammed:
And if all the choices are paralyzing you, just go back to buying the same old stuff you always bought. Hey, you can even watch CBS news if you want.

And don't you remember the 1960s and 1970s as that period in history when Americans were united so totally. No one needed to protest in the streets or complain about the government or criticize pop culture because we were all exposed to those same few networks and newspapers. Oh, wait.....that didn't happen. Oops. There goes the whole thesis.
Game, set, and match to the Newmarks.

The Gershwins made me smile

A friend brought me a program from a production of Crazy for You which is based on the 1920's George and Ira Gershwin musical Girl Crazy.

By reading the program I learned:

Ethel Merman was discovered in Girl Crazy. Her rendition of "I Got Rhythm" was a show stopper.

George Gershwin told Merman:"Don't ever let a music teacher near you. He'll only ruin you."

When Ira Gershwin was asked, "Which comes first, the melody or the words?" he replied, "The contract."
Thanks, friend.

At the Editor’s Blog, the readers do the journalism

The Raleigh News & Observer’s exec editor for news Melanie Sill is supposed to engage in “interactive journalism” at the Editor’s Blog.

But that’s not happening. Go take a look. Most posts Sill puts up don’t draw more than a few comments; many draw none at all.

Since June 14 Sill has put up a total of 11 posts. As of noon today, July 14, nine posts have drawn a total of eight comments. That’s right. Nine posts have drawn a total of eight comments.

One post, in which Sill supported the NYT’s national security disclosures, drew 19 responses with a few of them Sill’s.

And one post has drawn 131 comments with about 10 of them Sill’s. Guess what the topic is. You’re right: Duke lacrosse.

The readers making the 120 or so Duke lacrosse comments have most often been critical of the N&O’s coverage. However, readers have also been quick to praise the N&O for any coverage that represents a move away from the N&O’s slime and frame the players coverage.

What’s more, many readers have for weeks been providing information on the story that clearly warrants follow up. But Sill’s mostly ignored what they’ve been pointing out about holes in the investigation, important unanswered questions, etc. She’s derided them for making a “hobby” of the case and told readers “the blog moves on” (read: The editor runs away.)

Such is “interactive journalism” at the Editor's Blog.

Betsy Newmark talked about Sill and theN&O’s failure to respond to readers:

Here are so many questions, many of them just what everyone is wondering about [the Duke lacrosse] case and some which are based on information that even those of us following the case pretty carefully are unaware of. Think of what a smorgasbord of leads that an enterprising journalist would have just trying to find out the answer to a fraction of these questions.

But somehow, the newspaper that pulled out all the stops to report on all the members of the team who had been arrested or cited for crimes ranging from public urination to having an open alcohol container to underage drinking. Interesting, but not all that surprising. Yet, we have in our midst a terrible misuse of the Durham District Attorney's office and the Police Department and the N & O seems strangely incurious.
I plan to continue posting about the Editor’s Blog.

As I’ve said before, my hat is off to the readers commenting there. They’re demonstrating they’re more than ready for “interactive journalism.”

They’re demonstrating the truth of something Gary Pruitt, CEO of the McClatchy Company which owns the N&O, often says: Readers can do a great deal to help newspapers improve and learn how to survive in the new media environment.

Now if Pruitt could only get his editor to stop running away from those readers.

Is the Raleigh News & Observer about to

disclose the locations of all speed traps used by the City of Raleigh police?

The N&O’s unbelievable executive editor for news, Melanie Sill, is being urged to have the N&O do just that by a reader at the Editor’s Blog where Sill regularly ducks readers' questions.

On the thread of a post in which Sill cheers the New York Times’ disclosure of national security secrets we find:

Comment from: Locomotive Breath [Visitor]

07/13/06 at 10:21
Ms. Sill,

Would you please investigate and then start publishing the location of all police speed traps in the City of Raleigh? I like to go fast and I know they're out there looking for me I just don't know where.

I can't think of any reason why you shouldn't subvert the police in their perfectly legal attempt to prevent me breaking the law and endangering other people. After all, the police are also monitoring the speed of law-abiding drivers and the general public has the right to know when and where they are being monitored.

Thanks for your cooperation.
I'm guessing Locomotive Breath, a very sensible person who sometimes comments here, really doesn't drive too fast. None of us should. I'll bet LB was just trying to help Melanie understand how strongly some citizens feel about the secret actions of an armed, uniformed group of government agents who - let's face it - are spying on us all every day.

Melanie should get right on the speed trap location story. After all, she's the one who said further up the same thread where LB commented :
The idea of our democracy is that citizens get to decide how we want government to operate, not the reverse. An independent press (print and electronic) serves citizens by informing them.
Doesn't that sound like the N&O is going to disclose the speed trap locations?

I mean, how can we decide how the police should operate the speed traps when we don't even know where they are?

I hope the N&O disclosures tell us a lot more besides locations. I'm hearing reports that at least some police officers enter the speed traps without first getting warrants. That's scary.

It looks like the N&O won’t get a Pulitzer for its slime and frame Duke lacrosse coverage. Maybe it will for its speed trap story.

I can't wait for tomorrow's N&O.

Nice comment, LB.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Churchill Series – July 13, 2006

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

On August 3, 1929 Churchill, still a member of Parliament but out of Cabinet office following the Conservative’s defeat in the recent general election, said from Southampton bound for a two month trip to Canada and America. He was accompanied by his eighteen year old son, Randolph, his brother, Jack, and Jack’s son, Johnny.

Clementine was to also have accompanied him but she had a tonsillectomy just before the trip. Her physician strongly advised she remain in England to recover. Churchill was keenly disappointed.

But as was typical of him he made the best of the situation. That included writing a series of letters to Clementine so she could "share" the trip with him. He wrote the first letter a few hours after his ship left Southampton:

All departures from home – even on pleasure are sad. The vessel drifts away from the shore & an ever-widening gulf opens between one and the citadel of one’s life and soul. …

You are quite right not to make plans till you feel yourself again. But then surely there are lots of delightful alternatives. … Do not exclude the USA.

We are plodding across a calm Channel & this goes to you from Cherbourg.

I expect to do a lot of work – Certainly 2 articles before landing & to read copiously into Marlborough. …

Send me a wireless to mid-ocean to tell me how you are getting on.

With tender love
Your devoted
On August 8, with the ocean crossing nearing its end, Churchill writes:
We have had a wonderfully good passage with only one day of unpleasant motion. …

The boys were called by the Captain at 6:30 a.m. to see a large iceberg – 150 ft. high – which passed at no great distance. They did not, however, wake me, which was a pity. …

There is a fine swimming pool on board where the youth of both sexes play water polo. I stick to the hot water. …
What thoughts passed through your mind as you read those parts of the letters?

I thought of the two sentences beginning “All departures from home …” and admired as always Churchill’s descriptive power.

“Send me a wireless to mid-ocean…” Today they’d be calling each other on their cells.
And we very proberbly wouldn't have the letters.

The 150 ft. iceberg. Churchill and everyone else on board must have thought of the Titanic. It went down less than 20 years before; he knew many of those who perished.

In tomorrow’s post, Churchill and his party – he called it the “troupe” - arrive in Quebec. He’ll tour the city and take a drive in the countryside. He tells Clementine all about it. Then the troupe heads for Montreal and points West.
Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill. Edited by their daughter, Mary Soames. (pgs. 334-336)

Talking with JinC Regulars - 7 -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 But others are welcome. John)

First item:

J is a self-described “semi-regular.”

J commented in response to “Duke lacrosse: Police investigation questions. (Post 1)”

J provided a number of questions concerning the DL police investigation. If you haven’t read them, I hope you do.

J’s questions, asked in a matter of fact, on point, and brief form reveal considerable knowledge of the DL investigation and suggest the investigative background J claims is bona fide.

I promised J I’d give the questions a very close look, ask some clarifying questions, and then build a post on them. I didn’t do that.

My apologies, J.

I’ll review your questions this weekend, and post a response on the thread by Sunday morning.

In the meantime, I hope J and everyone else feels free to comment on the thread.

On another matter:

Did you all see the Durham Herald Sun’s July 8 story on Charns/CrimeStoppers?

I was glad new media attention is being paid to Charns’ request for a public apology by Dur. City and Police for the CrimeStoppers flyer telling the community the Duke lacrosse players weere multiple felony criminals. Also, to his request for an official investigation into its production and distribution.

That said, I had trouble following the sequence and substance of correspondence between Charns and public officials which the H-S discussed.

So I called Charns to nail down who has written what to whom when.

Bottom line: Charns agreed to let me sit down in his office and go through the public correspondence making notes and photo-copying as I wish, with the understanding I will share what I learn with you.

I’ll very likely do that sometime next week and pass on data to you ASAP.

Thank you, Alex.

Charns and I also agreed we’d refer to posters/flyers produced by CrimeStoppers as “Wanted” posters/flyers. We’re also going to refer to posters/flyers with the face photos of 43 Duke lacrosse players as “vigilante posters.”

It was a “vigilante poster” that the Raleigh News & Observer published on Apr. 2 with no reference to its source or any explanation for why it was published after warnings that doing so would endanger the players. Also, the N&O didn’t even mention its “vigilante poster” in the story it accompanied.

Something isn’t right, folks. The act of publishing the poster stunk. Now the N&O's refusal to explain why it published such an inciteful phote without even referencing it in the news story it was supposed to "support and explain" stinks like a 1000 acre hog farm.

I hope you’ll continue to ask N&O exec news editor Melanie Sill why the N&O published the “vigilante poster” and how it “got into” the N&O newsroom and was approved for publication. Lots of stories about that are going around all three corners of the Research Triangle.

Final item:

KC Johnson’s latest post is extraordinary. Here’s part of what Betsy Newmark says about it:

Historian Robert K. C. Johnson has done a great bit of research to answer a question that I've been wondering about.

We know that there have been a lot of questions about the procedure used in the lineup that led the woman in the Duke lacrosse story to identify three of the players.

Under orders from Mike Nifong, the police presented her with pictures of only the team's players with no filler photos. The police told her that she was just going to see pictures of men who were at the party. All this violates the procedures that were adopted in 2003 by the Actual Innocence Commission (AIC).

“b) The individual conducting the photo or live lineup should not know the identity of the actual suspect. This is called a double-blind procedure and addresses misidentifications resulting from unintentional influences from those conducting the identification procedure.”

”c) Witnesses should be instructed that the suspect may or may not be in the lineup.”

”d) A minimum of eight photos should be used in photo identification procedures.”

I had wondered how anomalous Durham's lineup procedure was for North Carolina.

Well, K.C. has done that research by communicating with district attorneys and police departments across the state to ask them simply what procedures they use in lineups.

And, no surprise, they ALL follow guidelines similar to what the AIC guidelines recommend.
That’s right, Betsy and JinC Regulars, all but one.

KC’s research and conclusions are just what the N&O likes to tell people it “digs up” and reports on.

So why didn’t the N&O do any of that?

Putting that very important question aside for now, why isn’t the N&O interviewing KC ?

Why isn’t any “news organization” in North Carolina interviewing KC Johnson, one of America's outstaning historians?

And why aren’t North Carolina news organizations asking NC Attorney General Roy Cooper questions about AIC and the conduct of his fellow Democrat , Durham DA Mike Nifong?

It can’t be that Cooper isn’t available to the press. He wants to be the next Governor. He’s “currying” the press right now.

So why isn’t the press asking Cooper tough questions?

It makes you wonder, doesn’t it.

More soon.

Thanks for your continuing interest in JinC.

Johnsville News: Question and comments.

If you’re interested in the Duke lacrosse case, I hope you’re visiting The Johnsville News blog at least once a day. It’s the collection and commentary place for almost everything worth reading on the DL case.

Johnsville even links to me sometimes, but don’t let that stop you from going there.

Question: Does anyone know how I can make email contact with the folks there. I want to thank Johnsville for the links. I also often read something I want to comment on or ask Johnsville about.

From Johnsville’s lead post today, this example of commentary I want to respond to :

Samiha Khanna and Anne Blythe are the reporters who did the March 24th and 25th stories for The N&O. The March 25th story based on the interview with [the accuser] has to go down as one of the poorest jobs of professional journalism you will ever come across. Ms. Mangum spun a story that the News & Observer reporters and editors swallowed hook, line, and sinker.

Her story was totally believed and [the accuser] must have left the N&O reporter(s) in tears.
A few thoughts:

I agree the stories appearing below Khanna and Blythe’s bylines were, at best, lousy journalism. But was that because they don’t know how to do a good job or was their bias, inflammatory language and “endearing” presentation of the accuser deliberate?

Did the woman Khanna and Blythe repeatedly told readers was “the victim” actually fool them or were they going along?

Or did Khanna and Blythe have some doubts about her story but embraced and hyped it anyway because it fit with their preexisting attitudes toward white male athletes from “elite” schools playing “helmet sports?”

Are Khanna and Blythe practitioners of what we hear the J schools are increasingly turning out: Agenda journalists who think it’s their job to spin stories in terms of what they and others of the same ideological bent see when they look through their “prisms” at “issues of gender, class and race?”

If Khanna and Blythe are agenda journalists than their stories are, IMHO, best explained not be ineptness but by deliberate calculation.

For all that Khanna and Blythe did to poison public sentiment against the students, it’s only fair to acknowledge they didn’t act alone. Editors reviewed, corrected, and apporved the final versions of their copy. Editors did the story lay-outs and headlines. It was editors who ultimately decided on the content and placement of Khanna and Blythe’s articles (really prosecutorial statements) that appeared in the N&O.

A final word: There were a number of other N&O reporters whose stories are every bit as biased and inflammatory as Khanna and Blythe’s; and those stories also had editors going right on up to the N&O’s exec editor or news Melanie Sill who cheered them all on. She even now tells people how “proud” she is of what the N&O's reporters and editors did.

Another day at the N&O: The paper that tells readers they can believe its advertising slogan: “We’re fair and accurate.”

Duke lacrosse: Estrich undermines the legal system

Do you know Susan Estrich? She’s a former aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy and managed Gov. Mike Dukakis’ failed 1988 Democratic presidential campaign.

Estrich is currently Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California School of Law.

Estrich also writes a syndicated column. Her latest is “Another Team Rape.” It's a confused, error-filled ramble in which Estrich equates Duke lacrosse players who’ve denied felony crimes with another group of athletes who the press reports have admitted to acts which a court of law would very likely judge criminal.

Something else: Estrich demonstrates a stunning disregard – no contempt – for the rights of the accused and the role of attorneys’ in assuring our legal system is based on due process.

I decided to write the Dean of the Southern Cal Law School. My electronic letter follows.

July 13, 2006

Spitzer, Matthew L.

Matthew L. Spitzer
Dean and Carl Mason Franklin Professor of Law and Political Science
The Law School
University of Southern California

Dear Dean Spitzer:

I'd like to call to your attention Professor Susan Estrich’s latest column, "Another Team Rape," which includes the following:

When six prospective members of the Fresno City College football team arrived at the Fresno, Calif., Police Station to be questioned about the alleged rape of an 11-year-old runaway, the only advice they had came from a lawyer whose son once played for the team.

For free, he told them that if they didn't do anything wrong, they should provide statements to the police -- and if they had done "something to be concerned with, even if it was consensual, or if they had done something to abet or aid, they might want to exercise their Fifth Amendment rights." This, according to the local paper.

The police do not always get roadmaps so easily. The Duke boys didn't give them statements. They don't give roadmaps to the police. They never talk to the police without having their own lawyers present.

Two men have already been arrested and are in custody. The Duke defendants are all out on bail.
Dean Spitzer, if I heard what Professor Estrich writes late at night in a barroom, I wouldn't be surprised.

But from a law professor writing for the public her remarks are shocking: she has many facts wrong and exhibits contempt for the rights of the accused and the role of attorneys’ in assuring our legal system is fair.

The “Duke boys” who lived in the house where the gang-rape is alleged to have occurred voluntarily gave police statements. They also voluntarily went to Duke Hospital and submitted to “rape kit” testing; offered to take lie detector tests; and helped the police identify and locate others who were at the party.

After they retained counsel, they and other members of the Duke Men’s lacrosse team were advised to remain silent while counsel sought to arrange for them to speak with police investigators and District Attorney Mike Nifong.

With regard to the players remaining silent, University of North Carolina School of Law Professor Ken Broun recently said: "Their attorneys advise them not to talk to police even if they're totally innocent, because of the possibility that things that you might say even if you're totally innocent in the case might be viewed differently by the person hearing them than you meant them."

Like many Americans, I was brought up to believe and cherish what Professor Broun said; and to abhor those who cast insinuations of guilt on others exercising Fifth Amendment rights. In fact, I was taught and believe that those who do cast such insinuations are engaging in McCarthyism.

I don't doubt that you are very concerned by surveys reporting a decline in the percentage of Americans expressing trust in the fairness of our legal system.

Professor Estrich’s column is an example of the kind of conduct that undermines trust in our judicial system. She ought to be censured for it.

I blog as In a few minutes I’ll post there this letter along with some introductory commentary.

Should you care to respond to this letter, I’ll post your response in full along with a link to the post I’m about to put up.

Thank you for your attention to this letter.



Wednesday, July 12, 2006

No Churchill Series on July 12, 2006


I'm very sorry I can't get a post done today.

There's a lot happening with regard to aspects of the Duke lacrosse case I often post on. I'm putting most of my blog time there today.

I'll be posting a Churchill Series post tomorrow.

Thank you for your understanding.


Did the Raleigh N&O withhold news of the Duke captains’ cooperation?

We now know that the three Duke lacrosse captains who rented the house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. voluntarily gave the police statements; submitted to “rape kit” testing; offered to take lie detector tests; and even helped police identify and locate others who were at the party.

But the Raleigh News & Observer’s Mar. 24 story reporting the lacrosse players had submitted to DNA testing - the story the N&O says “broke” the Duke lacrosse case - made no mention of the captains’ cooperation.

The N&O's Mar. 25 front-page, hugely sympathetic, anonymous “victim” interview story also said nothing about the captains’ cooperation. In fact, the N&O told readers authorities had "vowed to crack the team's wall of solidarity."

The N&O followed that with a statement that it granted anonymity to “victims of sex crimes," dispensing altogether with any qualifying “alleged," just as, in its Mar. 24 story, it said seven times the woman was "the victim" or used the possessive "the victim's," never qualifying any of the seven with “alleged.”

The N&O's Mar. 24 and 25 stories captured the nation's attention. People bought into its portrayal of the accuser as a hard working student and mother who was brutally gang-raped, beaten and strangled as she sought to earn money to support her two small children. They also bought into the N&O’s portrayal of the Duke students as her victimizers who were even then refusing to cooperate with police.

The N&O’s reporting in those and similarly biased and inflammatory stories it published the next few days so poisoned the public’s mind that when Ruth Sheehan's Mar. 27 N&O column ("Teams' silence is sickening") appeared, it was seen by many people as a righteous expression of "community outrage," instead of what we now know it to have been: a McCarthyite screed attacking the students for doing nothing more than following the advice of their counsels.

But what if the N&O had reported at least something about the captains’ cooperation with the police?

If the N&O had done that, would that have reduced the "community outrage" that reached such a pitch that the Mayor of Durham, the Chancellor of NC Central University, and the President of Duke University felt compelled to take full page ads in newspapers, including the N&O, calling on the community to remain calm and allow the justice system to work?

Certainly any news report about the captains’ cooperation wouldn’t have made any difference to people like Duke faculty's Group of 88, the Trinity Park pot bangers, the New Black Panthers, and most people who call themselves "victim's rights" and "civil rights" activists.

But a lot of normally sensible people who got swept up in the witch hunt hysteria would have paused if they'd known of the captains' cooperation. I think they’d have said something like the following to themselves and other sensible people: "Maybe there's more here. Let's hold off on judgment. The media are so often wrong. And the N&O has a terrible history of inflaming race, gender and class issues."

With what you’ve read so far in mind, let's turn now to Duke's student newspaper, The Chronicle.

On Mar. 21, three day before the N&O claims it "broke" the Duke lacrosse story, The Chronicle reported :

[Durham Police Sgt. Mark] Gottlieb said any man that attended the party March 13 would be a viable suspect but refused to go into further detail.

The residents of the house have been cooperative with DPD in locating any suspects, he added.
(Readers, You may be wondering how The Chronicle could report on the Duke lacrosse story on Mar. 21 if the N&O, as it claims, “broke” it on Mar. 24. I’ll deal with that question at the end of this post. Right now I want to get back to the matter of whether the N&O withheld from readers news of the captains’ cooperation. John)

A customized search of the N&O’s archives for the period 3/13/2006 through 3/24/2006 reveals that twice before Mar. 24 the N&O reported on events alleged to have occurred in the Buchanan Blvd. house the night of Mar. 13/14.

The first story appeared on Mar. 18; the second story appeared the following day. They are both brief, and they both report on statements by Sgt. Gottlieb.

Here’s the N&O's Mar. 18 story:
Woman reports sexual assault

Police were investigating a report of a rape on Buchanan Boulevard near the Duke University campus Friday. .. A young woman told police she visited 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. about 11:30 p.m. Monday and was assaulted by three men, according to police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb... Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator B.W. Himan at 560-4582, ext. 229
Now here's the N&O's Mar. 19 story:
Alleged rape was at party, police said

Police offered more details Saturday in the investigation of a young woman's report she was raped by three men at a party Monday near the Duke University campus.

The woman told police early Tuesday morning that she had gone to a house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. about 11:30 p.m. the night before for a party, said Sgt. Mark Gottlieb.

While at the party, she was raped by three men, she reported to police.

Gottlieb described the party as a mix of college students and non-students. In total, there were about 30 people there at the time, he said.

"It was an act where alcohol was involved," Gottlieb said.

It is The News & Observer's policy not to identify victims of reported sexual crimes.
Like its Mar. 24 and 25 stories, the N&O’s Mar. 18 and 19 stories say nothing about the captains’ cooperation.

Yet The Chronicle reported on at least some of that cooperation on Mar. 21 and cited Sgt. Gottlieb as its source; the same Sgt. Gottlieb the N&O cites as a source in its Mar. 18 and 19 stories. Why no mention in the N&O of cooperation by the captains?

I'll bet you agree it's fair to ask:
Didn’t Sgt. Gottlieb say anything about the captains’ cooperation to N&O reporters before the Mar. 18 and 19 stories?

And don't reporters routinely ask about the cooperation of people in whose homes crimes are alleged to have occured?

When did the N&O first learn about of the captains’ cooperation?

What was it the N&O learned?

When did the N&O tell readers what it learned?
What’s more, we should be asking:
When did the N&O first learn the captains had voluntarily given the police statements; voluntarily submitted to rape kit testing; offered to take lie detector tests; and helped identify and locate others who were at the party?

Whne did the N&O report that news to readers?
Those questions need answering, just as questions about the N&O’s publication of the infamous “vigilante poster” need answering.

I hope readers ask them at the Editor’s Blog where the N&O’s exec editor for news, Melanie Sill, is supposed to answer questions but has mostly been misleading readers when she's not ignoring there questions.

Sill should answer the questions asked here and others like: Who was the source of the "vigilante poster" the N&O published? Why did the N&O publish it only a few weeks after it refused to publish any of the Danish cartoons? Why was it OK to endanger the lacrosse players?

The N&O’s Apr. 2 story which accompanied the “vigilante poster” doesn’t even mention the poster. So what news purpose was served by publishing it? Many readers think it was just intended to slime the players.

Is the N&O ever going to apologize to the players and their families for publishing a poster that endangered the players?

The N&O’s executive editor for news, Melanie Sill, says she’s “proud” of the N&O’s Duke lacrosse coverage which she’s called “fair,” “accurate,” and “deep.”

But for all of that puffery, Sill’s refused to answer many questions readers are asking at McClatchy’s Editor’s Blog, the site where she supposed to answer those questions.

I hope readers keep asking questions at the Editor's Blog including :
When did the N&O start learning about the captains’ cooperation?

What did it learn?

And when did it report what it knew to readers?
Full disclosure: I no longer comment at the Editor's Blog following months of threats by Sill to bar me from the blog.

I don't think she had cause to bar me; I believe she was just bothered that I keep asking the sort of fact-based, evidence-supported questions I asked in this post.

But her repeated threats reached the point where they became harassment.

My hat is off to the many people at the Editor's Blog who are asking tough, informed questions.

I hope they keep it up.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Churchill Series – July 11, 2006

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

In the late summer of 1929, Churchill, out of office following the Conservative’s defeat in the recent general election, embarked on a three month trip across Canada and down the West coast of the United States. He was accompanied by his brother Jack and their sons, Randolph and Johnnie.

Clementine was supposed to accompany them. But just before the trip, she had a tonsillectomy. Her physician advised her not to make the ocean voyage and trip across Canada. In those days, a tonsillectomy and the recovery period carried more risks than they do today, especially for adults.

Churchill was keenly disappointed Clementine was unable to accompany him. He not only loved her company; he was eager for them to together see Canada and America and meet many of the countries’ most influential and famous citizens.

Faced with that disappointment, Churchill did what he usually did when disappointed: he made the best of the situation. In this case that meant writing Clementine a series of letters in which he described the sights, the people he met and a series of events, planned and unplanned.

The letters are remarkable for their detail, descriptive power, and assessments of many of the famous and not so famous people Churchill met. For example, it was on this trip that Churchill first met William Randolph Hearst, who was so impressed with Churchill that he offered him a contract to write a series of articles for the Hearst papers which Churchill eagerly agreed to do once he heard Hearst’s offering price.

I’m basing the next five Churchill Series posts on the letters he wrote Clementine during the trip. I hope you visit each day. Tomorrow we depart from Southampton aboard the Canadian Pacific steamship Empress of Australia bound first for Cherbourg and then out across the Atlantic

Go West, TIME, go West

Today the editors at Investor’s Business Daily say most of what needs to be said about Time’s cover story calling President Bush’s foreign policy initiatives failures and ridiculing him personally by characterizing him as a little figure who’s covered by a huge cowboy hat that leaves only his boots showing.

IBS begins it takedown of Time :

Has the Bush administration implicitly acknowledged the failure of its simplistic "cowboy diplomacy"? Time magazine thinks so, but don't take a cover story as gospel. […]

Time's editorial theologians build their case predictably: "A grinding and unpopular war in Iraq, a growing insurgency in Afghanistan, an impasse over Iran's nuclear ambitions, brewing war between Israel and the Palestinians — the litany of global crises would test the fortitude of any president."

There's a bit of schadenfreude and much faux sympathy in such journalistic stage-setting. Time's editors long ago abandoned the "American Century" vision of the magazine's founder, Henry Luce, who proposed a U.S. foreign policy that evangelized for democracy and freedom — which, like Bush's, too easily has been belittled by aspiring cosmopolitans as a schoolboy's "cowboy" fantasy.

Here's the mistake of these would-be sophisticates, itself touching in its simplistic misreading of history: They imagine "cowboy" to be a pejorative word, a caricature of a trigger-happy loner.

It's not. The word springs not only from America's best sensibilities but also from its inescapable world position. The U.S. remains the indispensable nation, the font of liberty and democracy.

Where Bush critics see a disastrous "go it alone" approach, wiser heads understand the need to assert leadership. And it is a canard that the administration has forsaken "coalition-building," that touchstone of liberal foreign policy. In Iraq specifically, the U.S. has led a multinational coalition, citing resolutions the United Nations enacted but showed no stomach for enforcing.

If there's an iconic moment in the legend of the West, it's when Gary Cooper, as the marshal in "High Noon," fails to rally the townspeople as they await the arrival of a murderous gang. Only when the lawman acts "unilaterally" do the citizens overcome their cowardice and restore the peace. […]

A long slog does not mean failure, even if journalistic rustlers rush to brand it as such in the administration's rawhide. A rattlesnake may spook a horse, the chuck wagon might bust a spoke, but that doesn't mean the drive can't be completed. […]

Bellicosity from North Korea, which Bush identified as part of an "axis of evil" shortly after 9-11, has persuaded Japan to seek a "cowboy" posture on our model. In 2003, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, as assistant defense secretary, quietly initiated a 13-nation program to keep missile propellants out of Pyongyang's hands.

The successful covert program also denied Kim Jong-Il revenues from ballistic missile sales and blocked China from selling deadly chemicals to its little communist brother. Time magazine missed that story. You had to go to the Times of London to find it.

Cowboy diplomacy? Let's have more of it.
Time has missed quite a lot in the past too. It was a constant critic of President Reagan’s initiatives to strengthen America’s military and to pressure the old Soviet Union in order to bring down that “evil empire.” Time didn’t like those policies.

Come to think of it, partners, weren’t those Easterners at Time part of that MSM crowd that used to call Reagan a cowboy?

Some things don’t seem to change, do they?

Recommendations for Time:

Hire fewer leftists and liberals.

Stop writing the kind of stuff we expect to come out of the DNC's spin office.

Don'tx ridicule the President as a person. That's nasty.

And get out and spend some time with cowboys. Cowgirls too. The ones I’ve met have been wonderful people.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Talking with JinC regulars - 7-10-06

(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 But others are welcome. John)

There won't be much talk in this Talking with JinC Regulars post.

I just want to tell you I'm sorry I don't have more posts up on matters of interest to us all.

I'll do better tomorrow when I'll post another Talking.

See you then and thanks for your understanding.

BTW - Did you all see Sunday's Durham Herald Sun story concerning attorney Charns and CrimeStoppers? If not, here's a link.

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The Churchill Series – July 10, 2006

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

from the time he was a small boy into old age, horses were a part of Churchill’s life. He rode ponies before he was five. He served as a cavalry officer in India and Africa. He jockeyed in steeplechases and participated in the famous cavalry charge at Omdurman. He was a skilled polo player who played into his late fifties. After WWII Churchill developed a small but very successful racing stable. His horses’ successes earned him membership in The Jockey Club.

All that is a fine background to what I think is the most amusing line to come out of the 1945 General Election campaign in which Churchill led the Conservatives. His daughter, Lady Mary Soames, who campaigned with her father during the election, tells us about it:

[The newspaper magnate] Max Beaverbrook was an extraordinary personality, arousing extremes of reaction in people. […]

[His friendship with Churchill] was much disapproved of by “top Tories”: in the 1945 election the tone of the Beaverbrook papers led to the quip the Max “wanted the jockey to win but not the horse.”
One of those who disapproved of Churchill’s friendship with Beaverbrook was Clementine who for years distrusted him. Lady Soames says that near the end of his life Clementine soften her attitude toward Beaverbrook, “succumbing gracefully to Max’s perennial charm and blandishments.”
Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill. (Edited by Mary Soames) (p. 649)

Duke lacrosse: Durham Herald Sun news bias

Update 7-17-06: In the post below I refer to Jeffrey Bloxsom as gay. A reader said he isn't. I checked. Although he has been called gay in some news reports most other news reports I found guote his attorney as saying in and out of court that Bloxsom is not gay. I accept his statements as fact and regret my error. John

If you still doubt there's media bias directed against the Duke lacrosse players, take a look at what the Durham Herald Sun offered its readers Monday evening, with a big assist from the liberal/leftist Associated Press.

At there was a story headline and leads for paragraphs in capitals as follows:

Summary Box: Duke lacrosse player labeled 'instigator'

By The Associated Press
Jul 10, 2006 : 9:18 pm ET

DUKE PLAYER CHARGED: Duke lacrosse player Collin Finnerty, also charged with two team members with raping an exotic dancer, started a trial in the District of Columbia on an unrelated assault charge Monday. The trial is expected to conclude Tuesday.

PROSECUTION TESTIMONY: A witness said Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., was the instigator who made homophobic comments at Jeffrey Bloxsom during a Nov. 5 fight that left two men with minor injuries.

DEFENSE CASE: Defense lawyers presented a wholly different picture of the incident, saying that Scott Herndon threw the first punch, to the back of Finnerty's head.
Note that the journalists at the AP and in the Herald Sun's newsroom headlined Finnerty as the "instigator" based on the testimony of Jeffrey Bloxsom, a gay who's accused Finnerty of making homophobic remarks. Finnerty and others involved in the incident dispute Bloxsom's allegations. But you wouldn't know that from the headline or what follows, would you?

Is there anyone reading this post who doesn't know that the bias represented in the headline:
Duke lacrosse player labeled 'instigator'
is typical of MSM?

I'm a Durham resident who thinks the Herald Sun's coverage of the Duke lacrosse case has been, in particular instances, superior to that of its much larger and better funded rival, the Raleigh News & Observer. And overall, I think it's been much better.

But now the Herald Sun gives us:
Duke lacrosse player labeled 'instigator'
when it could just as easily have headlined:
Duke lacrosse player disputes charges
or this:
In DC Duke lax case court hears two versions
I'll bet most of you are saying to yourselves: "The problem with the "In DC Duke lax case court hears two versions" healine is it doesn't help those accusing Finnerty. So it has to be discarded."

Well, I won't dispute that.

If you wish to contact the Herald Sun editor his name is Bob Ashley. His
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Duke lacrosse: Durham DA election update - 7-10-06

Readers’ Note: I live in Durham and support Lewis Cheek for Durham DA.

What you find here above the star line is straight reporting. What’s below the star line is opinion commentary.


Confirming what was first reported here Saturday, Durham County Board of Election Director Mike Ashe today announced Durham County Commissioner Lewis Cheek’s name will be on the November ballot as a candidate for District Attorney.


County Commissioner Lewis Cheek will appear on the November ballot as a challenger to District Attorney Mike Nifong, elections officials say, even if the veteran Democratic politician decides not to run against the embattled prosecutor.
Ashe said Cheek’s name will be on the ballot regardless of whether or not he actively campaigns for the office.

Local TV station WRAL is reporting tonight that a Cheek representative has announced Cheek will hold a news conference tomorrow, Tuesday, at 9:30 a. m. No word on the purpose of the conference but is widely expected here in Durham that Cheek will announce he will actively campaign for the DA’s office.

Other news – In a letter to the editor of the Durham Herald Sun, attorney and Durham Republican leader Steve Monks, who unsuccessfully sought to get his name on the ballot to oppose current DA Mike Nifong, has made it clear he’ll only be a write-in candidate if Cheek doesn’t run. From Monks’ letter:
If [Cheek] doesn't run, I intend to submit myself as write-in candidate. Petition supporters have indicated that they want a choice; and isn't that what elections are about?

Opinion commentary:

It’s a safe call that Cheek will announce tomorrow he’ll actively seek the DA’s office.

Why didn’t he do it today? Many of you know part of the answer: By waiting until tomorrow, Cheek has two days of headlines instead of one.

But I think there’s at least one other reason why Cheek didn’t announce today: He wants to arrange for family, friends and key supporters to be there.

Couldn't Cheek have arranged all that days ago, you may be asking.

Yes, he could have, but Durham’s still a small enough place that “the word” would have started getting around.

Bingo! Nifong’s supporters (there really are such people) would have said: “See, Cheek’s so presumptuous. He's acting like he's already on the ballot. That’s another reason you shouldn't vote for him.”

Better for Cheek to wait a day.

Here’s a pretty safe prediction: Before the race is over, Steve Monks will be actively supporting Cheek; and that’s likely to happen sooner rather than later.

I'll post another Durham DA election update within the next few days.

Duke lacrosse: Questions for a Duke Law prof

Readers' Note: As JinC regulars know, I often post correspondence because doing so can be the best means of letting readers know "what's going on." That's what's I'm doing here. John

Professor Paul Haagen
Professor of Law
Duke School of Law

Dear Professor Haagen:

I blog as John in Carolina ( and have posted frequently on aspects of the Duke lacrosse case, including the Raleigh News & Observer’s coverage of it.

I want to ask you about remarks the N&O attributed to you and whether you knew how they would be used.

I’m referring to remarks which appeared at the end of the N&O’s Mar. 25 story,


A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence.
(No qualifying quotation marks were used by the N&O.)
As you may recall, the N&O’s story contains much more than a report of an interview. In its formal structure and its selective use of relevant information, the story resembles a prosecutor’s summation to a jury about to decide a felony case, with the remarks attributed to you placed at the story’s end where, whether you intended them to or not, they suggest to readers why the Duke students might have committed the violent acts of which they are accused in the story.

Please allow me explain what I’ve just said. I want to make clear that my intention here is to provide an opportunity for you to say what you will about the remarks attributed to you before I post further concerning them.

In the Mar. 25 story readers were told authorities had vowed “to crack the team's wall of solidarity.” A DPD police officer was quoted: "We will be relentless in finding out who committed this crime." The N&O said it granted anonymity to “victims of sex crimes.” The N&O failed to inform readers of the lacrosse captains’ extensive cooperation with the police until they and their teammates were advised by counsels to remain silent. None of the defense counsels were quoted. You are the only attorney the N&O quotes.

With all of that in mind, here, in italics, is the part of a post ("Duke lacrosse: Seeking to avoid responsibility," June 19) I wrote which includes the remarks attributed to you as well as the questions they raised in my mind.

The N&O ended its Mar. 25 story with this:

[Duke’s Paul] Haagen, a law professor who specializes in sports law, said studies show that violence against women is more prevalent among male athletes than among male students in general -- and higher still among such "helmet sports" as football, hockey and lacrosse.

"These are sports of violence," he said. "This is clearly a concern."

Prosecutors try to end their jury summations with something that helps the jurors understand why the accused would have committed the crime or crimes. They call it “the clincher.”

I don’t know if N&O reporters and editors have a name for their placement of Haagen’s remarks at the end of an interview in which the accuser “told her story.” (Well, one of them.)

I also don’t know whether Professor Haagen was told his remarks would be part of the accuser interview story or how they would be used. I plan to email him and ask. I’ll let you know what I hear back.


I hope you can see why I'd ask those questions as a matter of fairness to you.

Below my sign off are URLs for the N&O's Mar. 25 story and my June 19 post.

I look forward to your reply which I’ll post referencing this post and the June 19 post.




Sunday, July 09, 2006

Duke lacrosse: Police investigation questions (Post No. 1)

(One of a series of posts asking the Durham Police Department questions concerning its investigation of an alleged gang-rape, sodomy, strangulation and kidnapping at a house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. on the night of March 13/14.)

In connection with the investigation into the alleged crimes, the DPD has said the three students who leased the N. Buchanan house, all Duke University students and captains of its Men’s lacrosse team, initially cooperated with them.

DPD has said the three students provided its investigating police officers statements concerning the alleged crimes, assisted with a police search for evidence in the house, voluntarily went to Duke Hospital and provided DNA samples, and offered to take lie detector tests.

Question 1: Did DPD read the students their Miranda rights before the three students gave statements, helped with the search of their home, voluntarily submitted to DNA testing and offered to take polygraph tests?

JinC readers: Do you know if this question has been answered? If yes, by whom and where can I verify the answer?

Tomorrow I plan to contact DPD to find out what the department has to say about the question.

I’ll keep you informed.

Duke lacrosse: Durham DA election update –7-9-06

Readers’ Note: I live in Durham and support Lewis Cheek for Durham DA.

What you find here above the star line is straight reporting. What’s below the star line is opinion commentary.


In an interview Friday, July 7, at 5 p.m. Durham County Board of Elections Director Mike Ashe said “sometime Monday afternoon [July 10], I expect to call the [DA] candidates and the media to let them know Lewis Cheek’s name will be on the ballot in November."

Ashe said that as of Friday afternoon the election board had reviewed "close to 5,500 signatures" and had validated “about 94% of them.” “That’s an unusually high validation rate," he added. "The few hundred signatures we couldn’t validate had the wrong address or the people weren’t registered.”

Ashe also confirmed that Cheek’s supporters had turned in “about 9,800” signatures as was first reported when the petition collection period ended at noon Friday, June 30. The’s July 6 report that Cheek’s supporters had turned in “some 7,000 signatures” was an error.

Cheek needs 6,303 signitures to qualify for the ballot. Ashe said the election board would validate a "few hundred more" than the required number and then stop counting.

Opinion commentary:

Ashe is a very competent and direct person. You can "take to the bank" what he said.

In my last DA election post, I said Lewis Cheek is a fine candidate in his own right, but that certainly many people who signed his petitions did so because of Mike Nifong.

Nifong’s unconscionable behavior in the Duke lacrosse case has outraged many, including some who were his former supporters (more about them in a future post). People are asking: “If that’s what he does when the public eye is on him, what must he be like when people aren’t paying attention?” He’s got people stirred up and with good cause.

Nifong, the energizer.

How about that 94% signature validation rate? Does it tell us anything?

Yes, at least two important things: 1) The people who organized Cheek’s petition drive knew what needed to be done and did it very well under a tough deadline; and 2) Cheek's petition drive organizers provide him with a solid core of experienced and able people to help lead the many volunteers like myself who'll be "helping out" in the Fall campaign.

A candidate's petition drive is something like a team’s preseason exhibition games: you get an idea of what kind of team you’ll have when the season starts.

Cheek’s "team" had a very good "preseason."

I’ll try to post on the election again Monday night.

Addendum: Many of you now visiting JinC are Duke people scattered across the country and world. With you in mind, I want to pass on some sad news those of us here in Durham have just heard.

Mr. John McDonald, the 9th Street pharmacist, “milk shake maker,” and outstanding community citizen whose kindness generations of you will remember, passed away Friday at age eighty-five after years of declining health.

The Durham Herald Sun reported his death in a news story Saturday. Mr. McDonald’s obituary from the H-S is here.

I'll remember him as a skilled pharmacist and a kind, generous and wise man. RIP
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