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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Duke Case: Missing Their Watergate

The Duke lacrosse scandal is a smaller regional version of the infamous Watergate scandal and a generation of young reporters and journalists in and around North Carolina are letting it pass by without blinking an eye.

The big crime in the Watergate scandal was the Nixon administration's cover up and obstruction of the investigation of the Watergate burglary. The burglary itself became secondary. Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein kept the Watergate story in the spotlight. Their investigative stories eventually helped lead to Nixon's resignation and to the Washington Post winning the Pulitzer Prize.

In the Duke scandal, the initial fraudulent charge of gang-rape has been overshadowed by a larger and far more serious cover up of police and prosecutorial misconduct. The Duke case was prosecuted to further the political career of the local DA, Mike Nifong. Nifong manipulated the North Carolina grand jury system to frame three innocent men. Just like Nixon and his administration "stonewalled" the investigation of their misdeeds, so too, have Nifong and the authorities in Durham stonewalled efforts to get at the truth.

The Watergate scandal showed the corruption in a federal government operating under an "Imperial Presidency." The Duke scandal has demonstrated the corruption in a state and local government operating under an "Imperial Prosecutor" legal system.

Who will win a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Duke scandal?

zero hedge

Calculated Risk

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia