It ought to be easy, it ought to be simple enough. Meet a hoax, see the hoax, read and report a hoax. But there are always slow students, the doubters. These were the kids who couldn't tie their shoes until they were in the 6th grade.
This Duke rape hoax has its share of slow students, the hoax doubters. A poster child for slow but steady learning is a gentleman named Cash Michaels. Cash has been making steady progress in his coursework and will someday graduate to reporting a hoax. But, that day might be delayed. Mr. Michaels like some people suffers from hoax dyslexia.
Unfortunately, Cash is also easily distracted and loses his concentration and focus. For example, for months Mr. Michaels was completely distracted and off on his wild "hush money" hunt. Finally, Cash learned that just like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy there is no Duke "Hush Money." Kids just have to learn these things at their own pace sometimes. Simple things, like don't talk to strangers and don't believe everything the gender challenged are telling you are all part of the learning process. However, getting side tracked like this did set Cash back from his peer group.
How do you explain to the parents that you have to hold someone back or put them in a remedial program, because they don't have a firm grip on reality? It's not easy. You have to document these things, or else there is denial.
Here are some examples of Cash's pitiful failing hoax coursework:
COUSIN SAYS $2 MILLION 'HUSH MONEY' OFFERED, WEEK OF JUNE 22-28, 2006:
EXCLUSIVE - Cousin: Duke alleged raped victim turned down money to drop caseCASH IN THE APPLE, ''HUSH MONEY'' STORY GRABS MUCH ATTENTION, WEEK OF JULY 13-19, 2006:
The cousin of the alleged victim in the Duke University lacrosse rape case says "alums of Duke" quietly offered the accuser lots of money - a staggering $2 million - early on to drop the charges, and go on with her life.
Back to the Jakki interview - during the course of that and several other conversations with her at the time, the allegation about the hush money came up. Jakki made it clear this is what her cousin told her, beyond which she knew nothing else. The alleged offer, as best as I understand it, was not made to the accuser directly, but to her family as a message to her.JUDGE BLASTS DUKE DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, JULY 20-26, 2006:
Meanwhile, reaction continues to the exclusive report here a month ago of the alleged victim’s allegation that "alums of Duke" attempted, through her family, to offer her $2 million in hush money early in the case, if she would just "make the case go away."COUSIN DEFENDS HUSH MONEY CLAIM, WEEK OF AUGUST 3-9, 2006:
The cousin of the accuser in the controversial Duke lacrosse rape case insists that she was told by the alleged victim of a $2 million hush money attempt to have the woman back away from her charges, even though a newly uncovered Durham police memo, which purportedly was part of the prosecution’s discovery evidence to the defense, suggests otherwise.Note to teacher: Cash also needs help in using lower case letters. Pundit's don't need to use all capitals in their story titles.
Yes, some folks were snickering at Cash. Some even gave him silly nicknames like "the bag man," because he kept ranting about these secret "hush money" cash payments. It is sad, but laughing and teasing the slow learners can retard their progress. We're not sure if this happened with Mr. Michaels.
Now, everyone has been reminded to play nice, with no name calling, especially since Cash has been showing good progress recently.
Everyone has taken an interest in Cash's education. Visiting teachers have dropped in to work with Mr. Michaels. Michael Gaynor said:
God bless Cash Michaels for (1) reviewing the prosecution's document production in the Duke case, (2) recognizing that there is no evidence there proving any of the heinous criminal charges pending against the Duke Three, and (3) confirming my report about the upcoming "60 Minutes" season opener, which, in Mr. Nifong's case, will be an exception to the alleged general rule that there is no such thing as bad publicity.Cash is a joy for his teachers to work with. He delights us with his work sometimes. This week he said:
This week, sources confirmed that correspondent Ed Bradley has been interviewing lacrosse players for the program, though it is not clear whom.So here we are after a wasted summer semester, now ready to tackle Mr. Michael's deeper hoax dyslexia problem. This problem is seen in his recent work this week:
What happened in the five or so minutes Pittman claims they were separated is a mystery. But it is also plenty of time for one, or some of the angry players, many of whom had been drinking all afternoon until midnight, to confront the alleged victim about the $800.00 they paid, but the two-hour strip performance they didn’t get.
Again the players have said publicly in various forms that "nothing" happened, and yet two minutes after an angry Kim Pittman pulls away from in front of the house, calling police on her cell phone at 12:53 a.m. to report that she and her “Black girlfriend" were called niggers as they went by 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., the house was empty, the lights were off, the music stopped and the doors locked.
Within two minutes and upon the arrival of a Durham police officer, not one of the 30 plus lacrosse players were there, not even the three captains who actually lived at the address, to tell officers that "nothing happened."
"Officers responded to the call at 610 N. Buchanan within a minute of the dispatch," Durham Police Dept. spokesperson Kammie Michael said then. "The complainant was not on the scene and no one seemed to be at the house, according to the officers, so they cleared the scene after checking the area for several minutes."
Lacrosse team supporters, who charge that the players are victims of a gross miscarriage of justice by an overzealous prosecutor who race-baited Durham’s Black community just to win the May Democratic primary, say the obvious lack of evidence that any of the crimes alleged were committed, is proof enough that what the team said is true – "nothing" happened.
Mr. Michaels reads, sees, and even writes "nothing happened," but his brain thinks, "something must have happened." This form of the hoax dyslexia learning disability has been discussed before. People all see "nothing happened" at the Duke lacrosse party, but the ones with this form of learning disability can't help themselves from thinking "something must have happened."
To simplify the problem, Mr. Michaels can build a bridge between something and nothing. The bridge is called the misdemeanor:
>serving underage persons alcohol
>other related offenses
Duke lacrosse players were familiar with the misdemeanor. Lacrosse captain Dan Flannery had a "noise violation" misdemeanor charge stemming from a party on January 10, 2006. This was his party on March 13th. He had organized it and called for the dancers. Did he need a strike two? Do you think the other players knew the situation?
No, the lacrosse players did not want to meet "Mister Misdemeanor" again. Their coach had read them the riot act. He expected them to stay out of trouble. Who wanted to get busted by Durham's finest and have to walk into Coach Pressler's office and explain that they failed to listen?
This background explains why the party ended the way it did. Kim Roberts saying she called the cops, was an instant lights out at the Duke party house.
The misdemeanor is also something the alleged victim was familiar with. However, "Missy Misdeameanor" would become intoxicated and end up in hot water with Durham PD. She did not want to end up at Durham Access fearing the expense and hassle of her own self-inflicted misdemeanor or worse. That is what really turned nothing into something.
Some folks see a misdemeanor as nothing, to others it is something. It's like a letter that faces both left and right. Hoax dyslexics can see it, read it, and hopefully understand it. It's the mental model needed to understand the behaviour behind the hoax.
People with hoax dyslexia are sometimes labeled as retarded. That kind of talk should never be allowed or tolerated. They simply need to be viewed as people with special needs who require more help to overcome their various learning disabilities.
No hoax doubter like no child should be left behind. We can bring all these hoax dyslexics up to speed given enough time and patience. A brain is a terrible thing to waste.
DUKE CASE: SILENCE IS EVIDENCE, WEEK OF AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 6, 2006 [wilmingtonjournal, Sept. 6, 2006]
"60 Minutes" may need more time [renewamerica.us, Sept. 7, 2006]
WHEN SOMETHING EQUALS NOTHING [LieStoppers]
Lacrosse players face old charges - District Attorney Mike Nifong plans to reinstate misdemeanor charges against a half-dozen Duke lacrosse players [NewsObserver.com, April 25, 2006]
Duke Lacrosse Case [TJN Archives]
Kristin Butler, a Duke student writes about student drinking issues:
In the context of our relationship with Durham, our questions should go one step further: why should the residents of surrounding neighborhoods be forced to accept the very "boorish behavior" that has no place on a college campus?Our inconvenient truth [dukechronicle.com, Sept. 8, 2006]
The answer is very simple if we see Duke's alcohol policy for what it really is: an attempt to avoid liability by forcing dangerous student conduct onto private property in Durham. This distinction is essentially false, though, because it does not recognize our ethical responsibility to address such behavior, rather than push it out of sight. Student malfeasance will always reflect on our University-wide community, no matter its location.
KC Johnson says Cash is an above average journalist in his coverage of this case:
Outside of the mainstream media, however, one North Carolina journalist has stood out. I've read Cash Michaels' column every week since I started following the story, in part because Michaels, who writes for the Wilmington Journal and whose work is part of the BlackPressUSA Network, has access to sources that few, if any, figures in the mainstream media possess...Going with the "hush money" story for as long as he did based on one unverified source will not get Cash off the hook here. "Mr. Pulitzer" is not visiting the Wilmington Journal.
Most important, in my opinion, Michaels has homed in on the significance of Nifong's habitual disregard for standard procedures. Several weeks ago, he started asking some hard questions about whether the D.A. exploited African-American voters in handling the case
Michaels Asks Questions [Durhan-In-Wonderland, Sept. 9, 2006]