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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — Tying up loose ends

Updated - today's items:

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Gregory Moore - Managing Editor, San Antonio Informer, a weekly African American newspaper and a former NBA analyst for Fox Sports RadioGregory Moore, BlackAthlete.net:
An Open Apology To The Duke Lacrosse Team -- Paging Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, please pick up a red courtesy phone. Attention all media pundits, columnist, blowhards, schizophrenic penners and dedicated scribes, we are all needed in Durham, North Carolina to atone for an egregious wrong on three young men and turn our attention to a very guilty young woman who has put a nation into the cross hairs of racial discourse."

My fellow journalists and somewhat astute talking heads, we owe Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans an apology for professing them guilty when they were indeed innocent.

But since I don't think any of my colleagues will do this action, and I know that Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton won't even do what is right in this situation, let me be one of the first and few to say, 'Gentlemen, I'm sorry. I apologize for not giving you the benefit of the doubt in this case.' ...

Gregory Moore is the Managing Editor of the San Antonio Informer, a weekly African American newspaper located in San Antonio, Texas...
discussion:
LieStoppers blog: Gregory Moore Apologizes To Duke Lacrosse Team
LieStoppers forum: Black Journalist Apologizes
Duke Basketball Report: A Lacrosse Apology
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Clay Waters, NewsBusters.org:
NYT Columnist Scorns 'Demonization' of Duke Lacrosse Men- Did Selena Roberts Notice? -- In the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse rape hoax, New York Times columnist Peter Applebome spoke out against the "socially conscious left" that was ready to convict the innocent Duke lacrosse players without evidence. Was fellow Times columnist Selena Roberts listening?

Applebome writes the "Our Towns" column for the Sunday Metro section, and talked to locals with connections to the Duke case for his latest offering, "After Duke Prosecution Began to Collapse, Demonizing Continued." ...

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Jefferson Flanders, Blogger News Network:
Journalists and the Duke lacrosse case -- What the coverage of the Duke lacrosse case says about American journalism isn’t particularly appetizing. For the most part, the mainstream media joined in a ratings-driven rush to judgment, presuming guilt on the part of the Duke Three.

Too many news organizations, from the Durham Herald-Sun to CNN’s Headline News, were eager to embrace a narrative of white privilege (entitled lacrosse players, the “almost perfect offenders” in the words of leftish Duke associate professor Wahneema Lubiano, assaulting a single black mother and student), even as the prosecution case began crumbling within days of the initial accusation...

At the same time, there were a small number of journalists who “got it right,” largely because they focused on the facts of the case, not on the surrounding political and racial theatrics. Among them were the late Ed Bradley of CBS and “60 Minutes,” history professor and blogger K.C. Johnson (whose Durham-in-Wonderland site offered detailed coverage), MSNBC’s Dan Abrams, Peter Applebome of the New York Times, and National Journal senior writer and columnist Stuart Taylor, Jr...

Who got it wrong?

There’s a long list of journalists and commentators who too easily accepted prosecutor Mike Nifong’s framing of the case and clung to the notion of the Duke players as villains and the accuser as victim...

Perhaps the most biased “coverage” of the case came from Headline News’ Nancy Grace (”I’m so glad they didn’t miss a lacrosse game over a little thing like gang rape.”), although Grace is one of the new cable news network celebrity hosts who are performers, not journalists.

Some of the more distorted coverage came from mainstream outlets, however. Newsweek ran a cover story in its May 1st issue (available in late April) entitled “Sex, Lies & Duke,” that included mug shots of the then two indicted players Finnerty and Seligmann and trumpeted: “Inside the mystery that has roiled a campus and riveted the country.” While Newsweek softened its coverage as the case collapsed under the weight of the facts, running a story in June 2006 sharply questioning Nifong’s prosecution, to date there has been no apology for the misleading cover.

The New York Times coverage

The country’s leading newspaper, the New York Times, was also guilty of misplaying the Duke case...
--------
Greg Beaton, Duke Chronicle:
Lacrosse community speaks of lessons learned -- Coaches from one of college's tightest-knit athletic communities reflect -- As the news media took the case as an opportunity to focus on perceptions of out-of-control alcohol consumption and an over-inflated sense of privilege within the lacrosse community, coaches like Starsia were forced to watch as the reputation of the sport they loved was tarnished.

On one day before charges were filed, Starsia said he received calls to speak on three major network's national news programs, but chose not to for fear that his words could be misconstrued in a 20-second sound byte.

"It was never about sport of lacrosse-it was more a college athlete issue, and it happened to be a men's lacrosse team," Starsia said. "It was indicative for a period of time when people were cherry-picking to make their point. They could have found similar things on any college campus." ...
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Shuchi Parikh, Duke Chronicle:
Response: DA apology not enough -- Even though Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong issued an apology last Thursday to the three former Duke lacrosse players, some members of the University community are saying it was insufficient after his conduct throughout the case...

Law Professor James Coleman, who has publicly spoken out against Nifong's handling of the case on several occasions, said the apology failed to address key criticisms of Nifong's conduct as prosecutor.

"The only adequate apology is for him to say that he was wrong to conduct the investigation in the way that he did, that he was wrong to indict these students without having any facts on which he could base the prosecution [and] that he was wrong in the manner in which he condemned them publicly," he said. "Anything short of that is simply trying to avoid having to acknowledge what he has done."

Senior Malik Burnett, president of the Black Student Alliance, however, neither condemned nor condoned Nifong's apology.

"We should all focus on rebuilding and re-establishing relations within the community," Burnett wrote in an e-mail...
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Thomas Sowell, HumanEvents.com:
A Gutless Lynch Mob -- What a difference a year makes. A year ago, there was a lynch mob atmosphere against the accused students -- from the Duke University campus to the national media, and including the local NAACP and the ever-present Jesse Jackson...

This year, after all the charges have collapsed like a house of cards, the campus lynch mob -- including Duke University president Richard H. Brodhead -- are backpedalling swiftly and washing their hands like Pontius Pilate.

They deny ever saying that the students were guilty. Of course not. They merely acted as if that was a foregone conclusion, while leaving themselves an escape hatch.

It is bad enough to be part of a lynch mob. It is worse to deny that you are part of a lynch mob, while standing there holding the rope in your hands...

This case has already sent a message about the kinds of gutless lemmings on our academic campuses, including our most prestigious institutions.
related:
KC Johnson: WSJ Letters on the Group of 88
--------
Mary Vallis, National Post/Canada.com:
Midnight blogger exposes a scandal -- Online journal credited with breaking case against Duke lacrosse players -- KC Johnson does not fit the stereotype of blogger, journalist, legal analyst or lacrosse fan.

Yet in the last year he has become all four. The bow tie-wearing, Harvard- educated professor is the prolific blogger behind Durham-in-Wonderland, writing hundreds of posts about the Duke University sexual assault scandal. A tenured history professor at Brooklyn College in New York state, he stays up until midnight to post his latest musings on the case, even though he is five states from the action in Durham, N.C.

One of the accused lacrosse players publicly thanked Prof. Johnson for his "diligent work exposing the truth" after the North Carolina Attorney-General dropped the charges against the three last week. Indeed, some of the defence lawyers relied on the blog to help build their court arguments....

discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Durham-In-Wonderland to Fade Away After June?

related:
LawFuel.com: How Did A Tenured Professor Expose The Duke Lacrosse Scandal?

--------
Cash Michael, Wilmington Journal:
CHARGES DROPPED IN DUKE ASSAULT CASE -- Now that first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping charges have been dropped in the Duke lacrosse alleged assault case, what comes next?...

Sources confirm that the accuser was not very cooperative with the special prosecutors reinvestigating the case during her four interviews. The accuser, whose name can now be published by the media given that the attorney general says there is no evidence proving that a sexual assault ever occurred, reportedly gave investigators at least two different versions of what she alleged happened to her...

"I do regret the perception that was created before the verdict was announced that the State allowed the defendants, their family members and friends to know of its decision and come into town for a press conference and celebration while it was denying to African-American leaders that an announcement was being made to dismiss these charges," [Prof. Irving] Joyner added.
--------
LieStoppers:
Herald-Sun Correction -- Yesterday’s Herald-Sun featured a front-page, above-the-fold headline declaring, falsely, that NC Attorney General Roy Cooper had exonerated the victims of the Nifong/Mangum Hoax, in part, because of consideration of “racial strain.” The prominent headline blared:
Racial strain factor in Cooper declaration

"State Attorney General Roy Cooper says the strains the Duke lacrosse case inflicted on Durham's racial climate played a role in his decision last week to declare the three defendants innocent of sexually assaulting an exotic dancer.

"Cooper made the comments on Sunday night's CBS "60 Minutes" news program in response to a question from interviewer Leslie [sic] Stahl, who described Durham as a "racially roiled" city because the dancer was black and the players white."
The article now begins:
State Attorney General Roy Cooper says he considered filing false-report charges against the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case but decided not to "in the interests of justice."

"We did consider it [filing charges against the accuser]," Cooper said in response to a question from "60 Minutes" interviewer Leslie [sic] Stahl, who described Durham as "racially roiled" because the accuser is black and the players she said sexually assaulted her are white.
Now, if we can only get Mr. Ashley to spell [16 year 60 Minutes veteran] Lesley Stahl's name correctly we can move on to figuring out why the Herald-Sun's post-Hoax coverage focuses on meetings of the lunatic fringe and "unimportant" front page features on TV shows while the News & Observer's Joseph Neff chases a Pulitzer Prize.
--------
Joe Neff, News & Observer:
Undisclosed DNA results go public -- [4th in 5 part series] The defense analyzes mounds of data provided by the lab Mike Nifong hired to conduct DNA tests, then counterattacks. The results devastate the prosecution -- On Dec. 5, Jim Cooney met Mike Nifong for the first time. Cooney, a veteran defense lawyer from Charlotte, had recently taken over as lead attorney for Reade Seligmann, one of three Duke lacrosse players Nifong had charged with rape.

Cooney wanted to start on the right foot with the man trying to put his client in prison for 20 years, so he began with a goodwill gesture. Back in May, Seligmann's former top lawyer had filed a motion arguing that Nifong's misconduct was so severe that a judge should yank the district attorney off the case.

Cooney withdrew the hostile motion four days before meeting with Nifong in his sixth-floor office.

"You don't want Reade Seligmann in the case," Cooney recalls saying. A jury would never convict Seligmann because of his powerful digital alibi: Cell phone records, an ATM surveillance photo and dorm records showed Seligmann left the party minutes after the two dancers stopped performing.

According to Cooney, Nifong said he was displeased that Seligmann's prior attorney had made the alibi public.

"There is no such thing as an airtight alibi," Nifong said.

Cooney was prepared to offer to bring in Seligmann for questioning. He was willing to open his entire file and investigation, but Nifong again said he would stick by Crystal Mangum's story.

"There is nothing you can show me that will change my mind," Nifong replied. "Only her and her story. As long as she's willing, we're going forward." ...
related:
Many reasons given for not offering data -- Mike Nifong's 13 excuses for not turning over exculpatory DNA evidence

discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Neff Part 4
LS blog: Neff Series Part 4

The Joe Neff/N&O "Rush to Judgement" series:
Part 1 (4/14): Quest to convict hid a lack of evidence
Part 2 (4/15): A case starts to unravel
Part 3 (4/16): Nifong ignores clues from DNA tests
-------
Duke Case -- National District Attorneys Association's President, Mathias H. Heck, Jr. Issues Statement
Alexandria, VA 22314

NATIONAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION’S PRESIDENT,
MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., ISSUES STATEMENT CONCERNING
THE NORTH CAROLINA--DUKE CASE

ALEXANDRIA, VA – April 16, 2007 -- The recent case of the exonerated athletes in North Carolina has affirmed the importance of the ethical standards of America’s prosecutors and serves as a reminder that the primary ethical duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict.

The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) has been instrumental in developing rigorous rules and standards which govern the actions of prosecutors. These standards severely limit public comment on pending cases, the personal belief of the prosecutor as to the defendant’s guilt, the contents or existence of confessions, the results of any scientific tests, and the credibility of witnesses.

The NDAA’s commitment to the highest ethical standards is reflected by the adoption of the National Prosecution Standards, the establishment of the National Center for Prosecution Ethics and the provision of specialized training in prosecution ethics and professionalism at the National Advocacy Center.

In our search for justice, prosecutors are uniquely obligated to make timely disclosure of any evidence which may tend to negate the guilt of the accused. On a daily basis, over 30,000 state and local prosecutors across the country are responsible for evaluating evidence in cases and making difficult decisions to prosecute, not prosecute, or dismiss charges previously filed when the interests of justice are best served. Sometimes justice is best served by declining to prosecute.

The confidence of the public and the very integrity of the criminal justice process depend on strict compliance with these ethical standards. To the extent that any individual prosecutor violates these high ethical standards the public confidence in our criminal justice system is undermined and the image of all prosecutors suffers.

The NDAA, as the voice of America’s prosecutors, condemns any intentional violation of these standards.

The allegations in this case, if true, represent an aberration. They are not the custom and practice of the thousands of prosecutors who each day seek the truth and uphold the high ethical standards required of prosecutors who bear special responsibilities to the American public.

Contact: Velva M. Walter, Director, NDAA Media Relations – E-mail: velva.walter@ndaa.org
Phone: 703-519-1689
Velva Walter (velva.walter@ndaa-apri.org)
Director, Media Relations
National District Attorneys Association
99 Canal Center Plaza, # 510
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone : 703-519-1689
Fax : 703-836-3195

discussion:
LieStoppers blog: NDAA Pres. issues statement
KC Johnson: NDAA: "The Primary Ethical Duty of a Prosecutor Is To Seek Justice, Not Merely To Convict"
-------
Editorial, Randy E. Barnett, Wall Street Journal:
Three Cheers for Lawyers -- Don't think a good defense attorney matters? Think again. -- The crucial importance of defense lawyers was illustrated in reverse by the Duke rape prosecution, mercifully ended last week by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's highly unusual affirmation of the defendants' complete innocence. Others are rightly focusing on the "perfect storm," generated by a local prosecutor up for election peddling to his constituents a racially-charged narrative that so neatly fit the ideological template of those who dominate academia and the media. But perhaps we should stop for a moment to consider what saved these young men: defense attorneys, blogs and competing governments.

Our criminal justice system does not rely solely on the fairness of the police and prosecutors to get things right. In every criminal case, there is a professional whose only obligation is to scrutinize what the police and prosecutor have done. This "professional" is a lawyer. The next time you hear a lawyer joke, maybe you'll think of the lawyers who represented these three boys and it won't seem so funny. You probably can't picture their faces and don't know their names. (They include Joe Cheshire, Jim Cooney, Michael Cornacchia, Bill Cotter, Wade Smith and the late Kirk Osborn.) That's because they put their zealous representation of their clients ahead of their own egos and fame. Without their lawyering skills, we would not today be speaking so confidently of their clients' innocence.
comment: Prediction: this article will make the WSJ some money with reprints for the legal profession.
-------
Forum topics of note:
Jason BisseyJason Bissey, LieStoppers forum:
Reports of my gayness are greatly exaggerated., From the horse's mouth -- I've been amazed by the energy devoted to picking apart this case by boards such as this over the past year. In general, I've found you all at liestoppers to be more witty and levelheaded than your peers at freerepublic and talkleft... All things being relative. While I really don't get what drives you to spend so much time gabbing about the lacrosse scandal, I admire your tenacious search for the truth. Also, it's been fun watching you all argue.

So, in the service of that truth, I thought I'd clear up a few things that
have made me laugh and have pissed me off on this and other boards.

-I am not a homosexual. OK? So drop it.

-The Rita Cosby interview was the biggest mistake I have made in this,
in that it was too hurried and sleazy to let me carefully recount what I
saw. So anyone who quotes it is treading on thin ice...
comment: This sure sounds like Jason Bissey (neighbor to Duke lacrosse house). His April 26, 2006 statement is here.

update: Yes, this is Mr. Bissey and he offers up some interesting information about the case, especially for those of us who have followed it closely.

2nd updated/more from Mr. Bissey:
Never heard the n-word...

I fully believe that no rape occurred.
LS: Blog and Media Roundup, Tuesday 04/17/07
--------
Editorial, The Daily Tar Heel (Univ. NC):
Barring bad behavior -- N.C. Bar should be responsible for reviewing conduct -- “Many accuse Nifong of getting caught up in the limelight of a re-election campaign and taking improper actions to rush the prosecution of the case.

“So the N.C. Bar stepped in and charged Nifong with making improper pretrial public statements, withholding DNA evidence and making false statements in court and to the N.C. Bar. These charges could result in Nifong's disbarment.

“Many people wanted Nifong removed from the case faster, but it is unreasonable to think that the N.C. Supreme Court, or any other component of the justice system, would have acted faster than the N.C. Bar did.

“It also would be a bad idea to have the N.C. Supreme Court interfering with a case that it might need to make judgment on later if the case is appealed.

“Nifong botched the case, but his mistakes were noticed and action was taken by the N.C. Bar. In that respect, the system worked just fine and doesn't need to be changed.”

discussion:
LieStoppers blog: Daily Tar Heel: “The System Worked Just Fine” -- Three hundred and ninety-five days, three million dollars in legal fees, and the incalculable pain of three families later, the University of North Carolina’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, airily declares that the Nifong/Mangum Hoax demonstrates “the system worked just fine and doesn‘t need to be changed.

comment: The legal system in NC is broken when a rogue DA can subvert the grand jury system and run with false charges for a year without a check on his power.
--------
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Treat Duke Three as individuals and give due credit -- some of the Hoax supporters were worse than shameless.

To think that all of the Hoax supporters were people of good will who simply were mistaken is ridiculous. Yes, there were the deceived, the deluded, the naive and the wishful thinkers. But there also were evil persons who really knew better and promoted the Hoax as helpful to their personal/political agendas as well as people who realized that the Three were being railroaded but were afraid to blow the whistle....
--------
Michael Gaynor:
Pass for False Accuser Crystal Is Wrong -- "'I really don't feel in my gut any need to go charge Crystal Mangum,' lawyer Wade Smith of Raleigh said. 'I understand the philosophy that people shouldn't be able to just do this and get away with it. On the other hand, I'm not sure that it enhances our society any, our civilization any, to now bring the power down upon her.'

"Mangum, he said, 'is just one human being.' The reason the prosecution moved forward, he said, was because Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong failed to investigate the case. Smith said Nifong did not look into Mangum's history of alcohol abuse and psychological instability."

Mr. Smith represented Collin Finnerty.

-------
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Learn from it -- Brooklyn College History Professor Robert K.C. Johnson is right: The New York Times, instead of 'liv[ing] up to its ideals of defending justice and speaking truth to power... bowed to the dictates of political correctness" when it came to the Duke case.

It sure did! It is guilty of wishful thinking, scapegoating and obfuscating, each in the first degree
--------
KC Johnson:
Ashley's Apologia --

The reason [the system] misfired is because people were afraid to speak truth to power. And I want to call out first the newspaper in Durham, North Carolina, the Durham Herald-Sun, who to this day has not written a single editorial critical of the way which Mike Nifong proceeded. If the Durham Herald-Sun had bothered to stand up and demand proper processes, the presumption of innocence and doing things the way our constitution provides, do you think Mike Nifong would have rolled forward?

Instead they published editorials talking about how bad all the lacrosse players were and that the lacrosse players should have to prove their innocence, and that in addition to the crimes that night, there was a crime of a cover-up. And you’ll not see a word of apology from them . . . But if they had done what journalists were supposed to do and spoken truth to power, they could have slowed this train down.

--Jim Cooney

Cooney’s words triggered a spontaneous burst of applause from people in the hall at Wednesday’s press conference...

In Sunday’s H-S, editor Bob Ashley took exception ...Ashley defended both the editorial and the news performance of his newspaper... Ashley was always careful to balance the pro-Nifong perspective with opinions from people critical . . . of the lacrosse players.
related:
TJN: 'Speaking Truth to Power' -- No one, who was in a position to speak truth to the power of a rogue and corrupt district attorney did so.

Not the local newspapers, the Herald-Sun and the News Observer. Not the local television stations. Not the largest employer in Durham and the school of three railroaded students, Duke University. Not the local chapter of the NAACP. Not the local politicians. A who's who of Durham and North Carolina's so called watch dogs became candy ass, spineless goop. That is a scandal onto itself...
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William L. Anderson:
The Duke Crimes -- there are many, many cases of prosecutorial misconduct across our country every year. The media covers few, if any, of these cases. Most of the victims in these cases are poor or minority Americans – or both. I would hate to say the color of their skin is one reason journalists do not focus on these victims of injustices perpetrated by police and prosecutors...
--------
Joseph Mallia, Newsday:
2 undergrads say 'no' to Duke return -- A former Duke University lacrosse player from Long Island and a teammate who were both cleared last week of charges that they had raped an exotic dancer have decided not to return to the school.

Collin Finnerty, of Garden City, will attend the London School of Economics in England this fall, his father, Kevin Finnerty, said Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America." The family has declined a Duke invitation to have the 20-year-old sophomore resume his studies there, his father said.

Reade Seligmann, 21, of Essex Fells, N.J., has also turned down Duke's invitation to return to the Durham, N.C., campus, he said in an interview Monday with NBC's "Today" show...
discussion:
LieStoppers forum:
TalkLeft: Reade and Collin Decide Against Returning to Duke
LieStoppers: Seligman, Finerty not returning to Duke
--------
Kevin Armstrong, Sports Illustrated:
Cloak of support -- Seligmann finds salvation as asst. coach at Delbarton -- Wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt and khaki shorts on a night in which the temperature did not climb above 40 degrees, Reade Seligmann paced the sideline, yelling out instructions and nervously watching the action in front of him.

Three days earlier, all charges were dropped against him and two of his Duke teammates in a rape case that polarized the nation. But here he was, an assistant lacrosse coach at his alma mater, the Delbarton School (Morristown, N.J.), as the Green Wave battled St. Anthony's (Huntington, N.Y.). With the Friars on the attack and the Green Wave getting back to defend, Seligmann looked on as Delbarton fought off a last minute comeback. After the whaling siren signaled the end to a 9-7 Delbarton victory, Seligmann threw his arms in the air and allowed himself a smile.

"This was an unbelievable way to end a week, much less a year, with so much emotion," Seligmann said after watching his twin 18-year-old brothers, Max and Cameron, combine for two goals and four assists in the win. "With everything going on at Duke and my family, I've been able to call these guys my team. They're all my little brothers really." ...
discussion:
KC Johnson: Some Good News -- This case has featured lots of depressing stories, but here is an uplifting one about the Seligmann brothers (minus Ben) in Sports Illustrated, from author Kevin Armstrong...
-------
Ted Vaden, News & Observer:
Assessing The N&O's lacrosse coverage
-- One of the stories that I didn't see in The News & Observer's coverage of the Duke lacrosse case last week was this: How well did The N&O cover the Duke lacrosse case, start to finish?

That's been a matter of extensive discussion on the blogs and in the communications I've received from readers over the year-plus since the case began. Most of the comment has been critical...

Early missteps

I thought there were serious missteps in the news coverage in the first weeks. Among them:

• The March 25 interview with the accuser, which allowed her to make anonymous accusations against the players. The headline, "Dancer gives details of ordeal," reflected a sympathetic tone in the story.

• Delay in publishing the accuser's prior arrest record, after laying out in detail the arrest records of 15 lacrosse players on minor rowdiness charges (none of whom were charged in the rape case.) The paper also published a poster showing all 47 lacrosse team members, most of whom were not charged.

• Two early columns by Ruth Sheehan that took an accusatory tone toward the players -- "Members of the men's lacrosse team. You know. We know you know." -- and called for the cancellation of the season and the firing of the lacrosse coach. Sheehan acknowledged in a column in January that she had been "naive."

• Early stories referring to the accuser as a "victim."

I would say that, taken together, The N&O's early coverage contributed to the narrative of racial/class/gender victimization that the local community and the national media seized upon. Publication of the accuser interview on a Saturday morning sent people into the streets protesting against the players and Duke.

John Drescher, The N&O's managing editor, agreed that the early story was of the accuser as victim. "I think that the probable cause of that was the situation that the Duke lacrosse players, the parents and the lawyers were not talking for the first week of the story," he said. "As soon as the representatives of the lacrosse players said there was no sexual assault that night and started offering information, then the story shifted."...
discussion:
John in Carolina:
Hoax commentary – 4/16/2007 -- On another matter: The N&O has now given us a second and very different account of what took place at the “anonymous interview.” (really two sessions on the same day according to the N&O’s “latest”)

Don’t you think it’s fittingly ironic that Mangum told a number of conflicting stories and now the N&O is compelled to admit it told conflicting stories about its “anonymous interview” with her?

Why did the N&O give us such a false account in its March 25 “anonymous interview” story?

I still don’t have a satisfactory answer to that question, not to my own personal satisfaction, and certainly not to any level of confidence where I'd put it on the blog.

One thing I’m sure of: the answer to the question isn’t, “Samiha Khanna did it. She wrote the story.”
--------
Editorial, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Devilry and Duke: A lesson for America as the truth comes out -- For more than a year, justice was mocked in the case of the Duke lacrosse members accused of the sexual assault of a stripper. Last week, impartiality and level-headedness finally returned to render a sober judgment on the facts.

"Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges," North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper pronounced authoritatively. He also offered this: "I think a lot of people owe a lot of apologies to a lot of people." ...

Duke President Richard H. Brodhead has not apologized but he should. From the beginning, he was not a paragon of moral courage as he tried to tack a careful, politically correct course. While he says now that he was always careful to note the students' right to a presumption of innocence, he quickly canceled the lacrosse team's season and saw off its coach. His actions spoke louder than his mealy-mouthed words.

At least he was better than many members of his own faculty, who by their words and actions showed that the presumption of innocence was merely a phrase in a legal textbook. There were honorable exceptions among the faculty but too many -- enamored of theories about race, class and privilege -- could not see past their own prejudices. They should apologize, as should all members of the nattering mob, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson....

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