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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Scandal: Media Perps

La Shawn Barber La Shawn Barber - Media eats up absurd rape story:

A story about an oppressed black woman—forced to take off her clothes in front of strange men in order to feed her children—raped and beaten by three drunken, privileged, lacrosse-playing “white boys” stirred the smoldering embers of race and class envy. Add to this volatile mixture a pandering white liberal prosecutor up for re-election against a black candidate in a heavily black city, and you’ve got the Most Absurd Rape Story of the Year.

The News & Observer one of the perps?

Some Durham area residents who are not very happy with The News & Observer's coverage of the Duke lacrosse scandal. From N&O's The Editor's Blog:

Your story on Saturday

was a dishonest attempt by you to cover up an act of maliciousness the day before, where Anne Blythe and your night editor published a photo of another lacrosse player who had done absolutely with a caption implying he was guilty of something. (See below)

I and others pointed out to you that your writer was aware that the motions had nothing to do with the player you pictured but were filled by a number of attorneys in the case.

As was explained to your useless ombudsman Ted Vaden (email and responses below), this was a cut-and-dry case of ambush journalism. And rather than just admit you made a mistake, you try to cover it up with a second story.
The publication in today's N&O of a Lacrosse "mugshot"of Frederick Krom Jr in today's article by Anne Blythe is one of the lowest chapters in your paper's disgraceful pro-prosecution coverage.

This malicious act attempting to accuse Mr Krom of "something" by implication is a continuation of the Nifong-N&O witchhunt on a new front.
Your paper published the photo to be salacious and accusatory. In no other case would your newspaper have felt free to smear someone in this way.

The caption used, "Frederick Krom Jr. is an object of subpoenas in Durham."
Ruth's Metro Blog - More lovenotes from my fans re: Duke....
I am a practicing Criminal Defense lawyer here in NYC. I generally refrain from commenting on cases which are still pending, but this case is an outrage. Your commentary, in particular was disturbing.

I will not engage in name calling or shouts of outrage. Ms. Sheehan you have done your community, the great State of North Carolina and the Defense bar a tremendous disservice. Please Ms. Sheehan, please go away.

The New York Times did a perp walk -

The American Conservative - Guilty Until Proven PC:
This Duke University lacrosse story stinks to high heaven--and the New York Times coverage of it even more so. Frontier justice is what comes to mind. Here's Jill Abramson, the managing editor of the Old Bag, on the paper's future. "We believe in a journalism of verification rather than assertion."
Slate.com - Trial by Newspaper:
The fairness of a trial-by-newspaper, of course, depends on how closely a news organization apes the practices of official courts. Fairness requires it to consider not only the statements and evidence of the accuser, but that of the accused, no matter how heinous the charge. By that measure, the New York Times has failed the two Duke University lacrosse players who were indicted Tuesday of raping a woman during a party in an off-campus house on March 13.

The Times began its coverage of the Duke case on March 29 with a Page One article and has returned to the story almost 20 times since. The Times initially framed the story as one about not only rape but about town-and-gown hostilities in Durham, N.C., about the privilege enjoyed by Duke students, about the thuggish tendencies of lacrosse players, and about race...

the Times gave shorter shrift to the exculpatory evidence defense lawyers have been piping to news organizations since at least April 8.

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