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Monday, October 9, 2006

Duke Case: Bien-Pensant Journalism v. Blogger

Kurt Anderson writing for New York Magazine uses some terms that required some googling to figure out, but we caught his drift: NY Times - weak, blogger K.C. Johnson - strong, in covering the Duke lacrosse rape hoax.

"I’ve never felt so ill," says one reporter about the paper’s coverage of the Duke lacrosse-team case. Luckily, a blogger’s on the story, too.

But real facts are stubborn things. And today, the preponderance of facts indicate that there is an injustice—committed, as it turns out, against those perfect offenders. Yet at the epicenter of bien-pensant journalism, the New York Times, reporters and editors—although pointedly not the paper’s columnists—are declining to expose it...

I was told by Craig Whitney, the paper’s "standards editor," "the thrust of this [Duff Wilson] August story is that there’s more to the prosecution case than the defense would have you believe." But there’s always more to every prosecution case than any defense would have you believe—and in this instance there’s shockingly less than the Times and the rest of the media led us to believe at first...

In the movie, Tom Hanks would play K. C. Johnson. He’s the most impressive of the “bloggers who have closely followed the case,” in the Times’ tacitly pejorative construction...

I’ve nodded when people gush about the blogosphere as a valuable check on and supplement to the MSM—but I’ve never entirely bought it. Having waded deep into this Duke mess the last weeks, baffled by the Times’ pose of objectivity and indispensably guided by Johnson’s blog, I’m becoming a believer.
K.C. Johnson has set a very high standard for blogging. Everyone who has followed this terrible injustice, this great hoax, knows how valuable his insights are. But please, Tom Hanks is fifty years old now, give K.C. a break.

Rape, Justice, and the ‘Times’ [newyorkmetro.com, Oct. 16, 2006 issue]

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