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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — May 12, 2007

Updated - today's items:

Aaron Beard, AP/Charlotte Observer:
After Duke lacrosse, attorneys worry about discovery law changes -- They found the evidence - or lack thereof - needed to squash the credibility of the Duke lacrosse rape case buried among thousands of pages prosecution documents.

So it's understandable that Jim Cooney, one of the defense attorneys who represented the three former players cleared of rape, is concerned at the suggestion of some lawmakers that North Carolina's open-file discovery law needs an update.

"I'm not saying they're dishonest," Cooney said of the state's prosecutors. "That's not what this is about. They're in the worst position to try and figure out what's exculpatory and what's impeaching. And that's why the system failed for so long."

comment: If you have followed the Nifong/Mangum hoax you know that the main stream media has found countless ways to butcher this story. It is not an aberration. It is the norm as the new Drew Curtis book points out.

Drew Curtis, Fark.com:
How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap as News -- Drew Curtis turns the journalistic lens around to highlight some of the outrageous trends in media reporting he's discovered in the past ten years. Named one of the "50 Most Important People On The Web" by PC World, Drew has read just about every news article that has seen print and discovered several stranger-than-fiction patterns emerging in mainstream media

The Seven Mass Media patterns include:
  • Media Fear Mongering [and Race baiting]: What would happen if some wildly improbably event occurred, leading to the death of millions? Find out tonight at 6. [Lacrosse players gone wild and raping innocents, see Cash Michaels]
  • Unpaid Placement Masquerading As An Actual Article: Print journalists, save yourself some time by reprinting this press release word for word. [See Herald-Sun, NY Times, and many others shilling for rogue DA Mike Nifong's bogus case]
  • Headlines Contradicted By Content Of Article: The previous statement was false. [Standard operating procedure for Herald Sun and other hoax organs]
  • Equal Time For Nutjobs: Unfortunately when giving two sides to a story about UFO's, a "specialist" [see Wendy Murphy] who is clearly bonkers is given time to express their point of view.
  • Out of Context Celebrity Comment: Just because you're a celebrity does not mean you're an expert on politics, the environment, justice or nuclear fission... unless of course you are Sean Penn John Feinstein.
  • Seasonal Articles: Without fail we'll always see an article about how bad travel will be every [insert major holiday here].
  • Media Fatigue: The unending process of covering breaking news, reporting rumors until the facts are available [see the Herald Sun/(& early) News & Observer, and Cash Michaels coverage of hoax], interviewing every possible person involved, and eventually asking if the media has gone too far.
  • Amazon.com: It's Not News It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News

    Drew Curtis interviewed on NPR (May 7th):
    Fark.com: Making Money Off of Goofy News [+ audio] --

    MakeYouGoHmm blog:
    Fark lost money in 2006 according to founder Drew Curtis

    Joe Neff & Matt Dees, News & Observer:
    Chief's take on Duke case tanks -- Durham Mayor Bill Bell and council members called the police department's self-review lacking. They want another opinion -- Police Chief Steve Chalmers on Friday defended his department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case, saying his investigators never abdicated responsibility and pursued all investigative leads.

    In his first substantial report on the case, Chalmers acknowledged that his investigators botched the crucial lineup that led to indictments of three lacrosse players.

    The Friday afternoon police report, however, landed with a thud. Mayor Bill Bell and three council members said they want an outside review of the department's conduct. Bell went so far as to telephone Attorney General Roy Cooper, who dismissed the case in April and declared the three men innocent.

    Bell said the police report lacked the answer to a basic question: Who was in charge of the investigation, the police department or District Attorney Mike Nifong?

    Councilman Eugene Brown joined Bell and councilmen Thomas Stith and Mike Woodard in backing a third-party probe. "We've been in bed with the mendacities and deception for a year," Brown said. "We need candor." . . .
    KC Johnson: Bell: Outside Investigation Needed
    LS forum: Thugs with Badges, Downright Durm! -- report highlights how lawlessly the DPD acted from the very beginning...

    LieStoppers forum: Chief's Take TANKS...
    TalkLeft: Mayor Bell and 3 Council Members ask for independent probe of DPD and Nifong
    Paul HaagenAnne Blythe, News & Observer:
    Faculty revisits case, Nifong -- Leaders of Duke's professors and its student body tell trustees of toil and tensions -- Paul Haagen, the Duke University law professor who led the faculty through one of its most tumultuous years, told the trustees Friday that handling fallout from the Duke lacrosse case had been much like running a marathon...

    Haagen said he has tried throughout the past year to encourage generosity of spirit to avoid exacerbating divisions exposed by the lacrosse case.

    "I cannot claim to have been wholly successful. . .

    Haagen passed the baton to Paula McClain [Gang of 88 member] the political science professor who will be the faculty's new leader.

    Elliott Wolf, who is closing out his term as student body president, also spoke about the lacrosse case in his parting remarks to the trustees. "The lesson in this is we cannot have blind faith in the Durham police," Wolf said.

    Although residents in neighborhoods surrounding the Duke East Campus have complained for years about rowdy student parties and unruly behavior, Wolf said Duke students seem to be targeted unfairly by law enforcement officers.

    Wolf challenged the administration to stand behind students as they face legal troubles.

    "Duke now must shake the perception, whether it's legitimate or not, that it simply washes its hands of students," Wolf said.

    Paula McClaincomment: Gang of 88 member, Paula McClain is the anti-Haagen. She is the new Duke faculty leader. Unbelievable.

    News & Observer (9/21/06): Duke sports idea roils professors

    KC Johnson on McClain:
    Celebrating Ignorance
    Paula McClain: No Means No
    Paula McClain: Rationalizing Nifong
    Moving Forward with McClain
    Crying Wolf

    An Open Letter to Dr. McClain at Duke

    Dennis Draughon, EditorialCartoonists.com: "I'm with stupid"
    LieStoppers blog:
    Nice Report Chief! [cartoon]
    William L. Anderson, LewRockwell.com:
    Duke and Durham: The Whitewash Continues -- In the wake of the Duke Non-Rape, Non-Kidnapping, and Non-Sexual Assault Case, people have been asking how it was that such transparently false charges could have remained in play for as long as they did. Despite the fact that the first investigating police officer said shortly after hearing Crystal Gail Mangum’s numerous accounts on the morning of March 14, 2006, declared that she was lying, the case was pursued, indictments secured, and a process of state-sponsored injustice ensued.

    Stung by condemnation from across the country for the actions of its police force, Patrick Baker, the city manager compiled a brief report to examine "what went wrong." Those of us who have little confidence in an entity of government to point out how another entity of government engaged in malfeasance waited with very, very low expectations. On Friday, May 11, 2007, Baker released his report and, true to our expectations, it is a whitewash of great proportions. . .
    TalkLeft: Whitewash Continues

    GK, Endangered Durham blog:
    The City that Could Do No Wrong? -- Unfortunately, those who have followed Durham politics over the long haul know that this isn't a new phenomenon here. . .
    John in Carolina:
    Steel & Brodhead's shrinking credibity -- But despite Steel and Brodhead's strenuous efforts, it's obvious to intelligent people that their “sunshine and unity at Duke” pitch is very misleading. . .
    John in Carolina:
    INNOCENT: Baker’s “Money Graf” -- Durham City can’t argue “who really knew or knows.” Durham has effectively agreed with the Attorney General that they were innocent from the start and there was no cause to indict.

    Evans, Seligmann and Finnerty have a very strong case against Durham City/DPD unless Baker can convince the courts “it was all Nifong’s fault.” But that’s down the road a ways...
    Ellis Washington, WorldNetDaily.com:
    Mike Nifong and the sin of ambition -- Armed with this new liberal perversity paradigm, Mike "NiFraud" fraudulently, cravenly and with Machiavellian tactics publicly championed the alleged rape victim's case, which he knew to be utterly untrue. He knew the alleged victim was no Joan of Arc and merited closer scrutiny, which is why he refused to even interview her, lest he be on notice of the truth. (To the ambitious, ignorance is always bliss.) Even the other dancer (Kim Roberts) refuted the alleged victims' account and claimed the accuser, Crystal Gail Mangum, tried to get her join in the conspiracy that they both were raped. She refused.

    With re-election only a few weeks away, Nifong vigorously hit the black church circuit (Durham having a large black population of about 40 percent) and played on racial hatred, class envy and economic resentment against those rich white Duke college boys. Like America's dark, racist history of unrestrained white mob trials of the slavery and segregation eras, the blacks of Durham were blinded by their own racism and overwhelmingly re-elected Nifong. The fix was in. .
    KC Johnson:
    Typical -- In the Wonderland that is Durham, defense attorneys are responsible when the police and prosecutor bring charges without probable cause; procedures to ensure reliable eyewitness ID’s can be tossed aside if they seem likely to prevent an accuser from identifying anyone; and the behavior of the Durham Police Department in the lacrosse case was “typical” of how it approaches all its cases. So wrote City Manager Patrick Baker and (the perpetually absent) Police Chief Steven Chalmers in a report published yesterday...
    Forum topic(s) of note:
    LS forum: NCAA Tournament Round 1, Providence at #1 Duke 12 Noon -- Final: Duke 18, Prov 3

    ABC11-TV/WTVD: A not so funny parallel -- I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed...

    Calculated Risk

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    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