Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Can you believe this N&O news columnist


I don't have time tonight to do the work I want to do on some of the very questionable statements The Raleigh News & Observer news columnist Ruth Sheehan made in her Jan. 1 column.

But I'll be at it tomorrow.

I plan to question why Sheehan said to readers:

What kind of dimwitted fools does Nifong believe us, and the potential jurors, to be?

I ask this, of course, from some experience.

I was one of the hopelessly naive who fell -- hard -- for Nifong's original depiction of the case.

In statements the State Bar now says violated ethics rules, Nifong described in detail the horrors of the alleged gang rape, including an attempted strangulation and racial insults.

Like others, I was outraged. And I wrote about it. I make no apology for that.
If you fell -- hard -- for what Sheehan told readers, you're no doubt saying to yourself: "Gee, poor Ruthie, she was fooled by Nifong just like me. I must send her a 'Cheer up; it's not your fault' card."

Ah, but if you've keep reasonable track of things, you know Sheehan viciously attacked the Duke students for following the advice of their parents and attorneys in a column that ran in the N&O on Mar. 27, before Mike Nifong spoke publicly about the case.

Mike Nifong is an early riser, so he had plenty of time to read Sheehan's Mar. 27 column before later in the day speaking publicly for the first time about a case that Sheehan had already said involved a team's silence that was sickening.

But now she's blaming Nifong for "his oringinal depiction of the case."

I want Nifong disbarred. I think he should go to jail. But he shouldn't be Sheehan's excuse for her column unless he spoke to her before she wrote it or spoke to other N&O staffers who "fed" Sheehan what she wrote.

I'll have more to say tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Excellent catch, John. They can run, but they can't hide.

Walter Abbott

Anonymous said...

Good get! Looking foward to part 2.

Joe T. said...

I suspect we'll be seeing a lot of people saying "It was all Nifong's fault; I believed him!" but that doesn't excuse the malicious relish in their hearts at going after people they HOPED were guilty.

Durham Lawyer said...

Would someone please post a link to Ms. Sheehan's original (3/27) column or paste it in its entirety. I keep hearing about it, but I cannot find it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ruth also wrote, "I make no apology for that. It is not my job to wait for cases to be resolved and then walk through the aftermath and shoot the dead."

Ruth actually did something far worse than shooting the dead --- she shot the innocent living.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at this a little differently: The Ruth Sheehans of the media are perfect examples of what Nifong's misconduct has needlessly wrought on these boys.

Instead of getting angry with these folks, perhaps we need to encourage them to tell their story. The more we hear, the bigger hole Nifong will have to climb out of.

Anonymous said...


I agree and said something similar in a post that got lost over the New Year holiday.

Jon Ham

Anonymous said...

Sheehan is a terrible writer - really bad. I do not want an apology from Ruth - Brodhead - gang of 88 and other enablers - Getting fired is right with me. She wrote what her wanted her to believe and wrote what her paper wanted her to write. Scummy

Anonymous said...

John - Great catch - All the enablers think the rest of us are stupid - we are not.

Anonymous said...

Well whadda ya know? Prosecutors lie. Journalists lie. And WOMEN lie.

Is anyone surprised?