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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — July 17, 2007

The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.
— Hunter S. Thompson (1939 - 2005), San Francisco Examiner, 1985
Updated — today's items:

Nifong Gets More Time to Fight Contempt Charges -- Former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong's hearing on contempt charges will be delayed.

The proceeding scheduled for July 26th will be held to discuss several issues including pre-hearing motions and the rescheduling of the hearing where Nifong will make his case against the contempt charges.

According to the order, both of Nifong's attorneys, James Glover of Chapel Hill and Ann Petersen, and the defense attorneys in the Duke Lacrosse case have agreed to this decision...

John Stevenson, Herald-Sun (reg. required):
Nifong contempt hearing delayed -- Court officials have postponed a July 26 contempt hearing that could bring a fine or jail term to former District Attorney Mike Nifong for his handling of the Duke lacrosse sex offense case.

Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith, who is overseeing the matter, did not set a new date for the proceeding.

Although a full-blown contempt hearing no longer will be held July 26, lawyers still will gather on that day to formulate issues, review procedural details and discuss other preliminary matters, Smith said in a written order...
Sally Dadisman, American Journalism Review/ajr.org:
Naming Names -- Should news organizations identify the accuser in the Duke lacrosse case? -- "It was Crystal Gail Mangum's own words that brought supporters to her side."

These words led a front-page story in Raleigh's News & Observer April 12 as part of its coverage of the denouement in the Duke lacrosse rape case. The mainstream media had consistently named the three athletes accused of raping Mangum, but her name was almost universally absent from stories until the charges were dropped.

The News & Observer, like other major news organizations, had withheld her identity as part of a longstanding policy not to name reported victims of sexual assault. The rules aim to protect victims from the stigma associated with such crimes. But some media critics wonder whether these policies do more harm than good: Do they help perpetuate the stigma? Do they imply a presumption of guilt by naming the accused and not the accuser? Is the practice outmoded, now that victims' names in high-profile cases are widely available on the Internet? ...

Many major news organizations, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsday and the Associated Press, followed their policies and still did not name her.

Locally, news organizations split: While the N&O named her, Durham's Herald-Sun did not. On television, local CBS affiliate WRAL and NBC affiliate WNCN named her; ABC affiliate WTVD did not...

related footnote:
TJN: Duke Rape Accuser: Crystal Gail Mangum - April 21, 2006 [1st Internet profile of Ms. Mangum]
TJN: Duke Lacrosse Scandal: Verifying the Identification of Crystal Gail Mangum - June 10, 2006

comment: The TJN post on June 10th, 2006, alerted the Wikipedia editors that the court documents that were being published on the Kirk Osborn website (kirkosborn.com, which looks like it recently went off-line) provided the WP:Verifiabilty & WP:Reliable Source they needed to publish a bio-page for Ms. Mangum. After some foot dragging her bio page was published by Wikipedia on June 21st, 2006.

Here is a link to the archive.org record of the KirkOsborn.com Duke Lacrosse Case page. It also looks like most, but not all, of the .pdf files for the motions were also saved.

TJN: Wikipedia.org Unlocks Bio Page for Crystal Gail Mangum - June 21, 2006
Rachel Smolkin, American Journalism Review/ajr.org:
Justice Delayed -- Many in the media jettisoned caution--and the presumption of innocence--in their coverage of an alleged rape by Duke lacrosse players, and were too slow to correct the record as the case unraveled. But some journalists distinguished themselves with skeptical and incisive reporting...

Times Executive Editor Bill Keller says criticism of his paper's performance has "in some instances been unfair to the point of hysteria." But he also says, "I think we were a little slow to get traction on the story, frankly. Partly we were slow figuring out who had custody of the story: sports, national, investigative. It took us awhile to get specific people focused on this as their responsibility."

Keller says the Times tended to cover the saga episodically "rather than early on focusing a lot of investigative energy on the story. It took us longer than it should have for us to give the holes in the prosecutor's case the attention it deserved." He adds that reporters' jobs were complicated initially because the defense wasn't talking...

Executive Editor Melanie Sill calls the Duke case "a reminder of the need for skepticism when dealing with official sources and police and prosecutors... It's kind of a case study of a lot of things that you know can go wrong in crime reporting if you don't heed that maxim 'innocent until proven guilty.'" ...

Asked to assess his paper's coverage, Editor Bob Ashley replies: "Overall, I thought it was pretty good. We were operating in a very difficult environment with media from all over the country... It was pretty much down the middle and pretty thorough. We got beat on some stories I wish we'd had first, but we beat others...on some others." ...

CNN's Nancy Grace particularly distinguished herself, in a negative sense, with her mean-spirited comments about the athletes...
LS forum: American Journalisam Review, Our Jeff Neff and others
KC Johnson: AJR: Comprehensive Summary
FreeRepublic: Justice Delayed (Half-a$$ed apology from Drive-By Media trade journal for DukeLax Frame)

Jon Ham: AJR grades Duke lacrosse coverage

Melanie Sill, N&O Editor's Blog:
AJR critiques Duke lacrosse coverage -- a meaty analysis of print and broadcast coverage of the Duke lacrosse case in its upcoming issue, posted today. Headlined "Justice Delayed," the piece is long and deep, reflecting careful review of coverage from March 2006, when the story broke, through recent weeks...

comment: The N&O got a pass, so naturally Sill says it's a "careful review."

John in Carolina:
A Word For Wendy Murphy -- A pundit? Wendy Murphy a pundit? My online dictionary says a pundit is “a learned person, expert, or authority.”

That’s not Wendy Murphy! ...
KC Johnson:
Marlette and Gurganus -- Even before he confronted the local intelligentsia’s rush to judgment in the lacrosse case, the late cartoonist Doug Marlette had already crossed swords with the Durham/Hillsborough “intellectual” community.

As his friend, Pat Conroy, noted in the memorial service, Marlette was especially dismissive of Allan Gurganus...

In early April, the local author [Allan Gurganus] had published a substantial (more than 1500 words, twice the normal length) op-ed on the lacrosse case in the New York Times.

The piece—which was riddled with factual errors that the Times allowed to appear in print, most of which were never corrected—reads more like an application letter for a position with the Group of 88 than a serious piece of analysis. (Gurganus stated in the op-ed that he has occasionally taught at Duke.) Dripping with contempt at the presumption of innocence, Gurganus’ intellectually indefensible group-based assumptions raise serious questions of how the Times evaluated op-ed submissions in spring 2006...
comment: Allan Gurganus has a Kevin Bacon number of 3
Allan Gurganus was in Dear Jesse (1998) with Ann Pierce
Ann Pierce was in Staying Together (1989) with Robert Sedgwick
Robert Sedgwick was in Loverboy (2005) with Kevin Bacon
It has been scientifically proven by TJN that there is a Kevin Bacon conspiracy to screw up America. "This Bacon bunch is a unfettered chattering class of symbol manipulators bent on cultural pollution."


The Oracle of Bacon says Nancy Grace also has a Kevin Bacon number of 3.

Nancy Grace was in Lawyer Walks Into a Bar..., A (2007) with Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin was in John Q (2002) with Simon Sinn
Simon Sinn was in Where the Truth Lies (2005) with Kevin Bacon
The Oracle says: Wendy Murphy has a Kevin Bacon number of 2.
Wendy Murphy was in Android Affair, The (1995) (TV) with Harley Jane Kozak
Harley Jane Kozak was in "Guiding Light, The" (1952) with Kevin Bacon
The Oracle says: John Feinstein has a Kevin Bacon number of 2.
John Feinstein was in Tragedy to Triumph: The Maryland Terrapin Odyssey (2003) (TV) with Andre Braugher
Andre Braugher was in 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, The (2006) (TV) with Kevin Bacon

Saint Raymond Nonnatus - patron saint of the falsely accusedFriends of Duke University:
Faith and the Duke Lacrosse Case -- Below is a special letter written by our good friend Joan Collins. The letter was written at the request of Mrs. Rae Evans based on their recent communications and it looks at an aspect of the Duke Lacrosse Case that, so far, may have been overlooked: faith. Indeed, we find through communications with the lacrosse families that faith was a great source of strength to them and guided them through this most difficult period of their lives...
Some supporters became interested in the Duke Lacrosse Case because of ties to Duke University or lacrosse. For others it was thoughts that this could be their son, brother or grandchild. For many it was concerns that with the best justice system in the world how could this happen in our country. As for me, it was faith that brought me to this case.

Several players on the Duke Men’s Lacrosse Team were from my hometown. After hearing some of the media reports, I wanted more information, so I began reading the Court TV message board. I had never before read or posted on a message board or blog...

None of us will forget the Duke Lacrosse Case. We must move forward and learn from the experience. The Duke Lacrosse team will become better and stronger men, sons, husbands, and fathers because of the case. This is not the end, but the beginning for there is still much work to be done. Hopefully, the players and their many supporters will follow in the generous footsteps of St. Raymond, so that something like this never happens again...

LS forum: Faith and the Duke Lacrosse Case, Joan Collins/ Rae Evans
John in Carolina:
The Panel, “Antidotal” & a Prig -- The panel headed by former NC Supreme Court Justice Willis Whichard and charged by Durham’s Mayor and City Council with investigating police conduct that led to the arrest and indictment of three innocent men includes members who’ve served as police officers and one who’s been a DA.

That’s caused some citizens to ask whether the panel will perform its work free of what in gentle terms we’ll call “professional courtesy.” ...
"There is antidotal evidence that individuals have trouble punishing peers or people they work with.

The DA’s office and the DPD are really a small community. Over the years they go from just professionals in their field to friends..."
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Why Collin Finnerty, etc.? -- Collin Finnerty was declared innocent of bogus kidnapping, rape and sexual offense charges by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and is moving on to Loyola of Maryland, where he should be beyond the reach of the scoundrels at Duke and in Durham, North Carolina.

Likewise, equally innocent Reade Seligmann should be safe at Brown University.

"Lucky" David Evans graduated before he was indicted and no longer is under indictment too.

So now it is particularly fitting to address the question, "Why did false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum accuse Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans?"

Unfortunately, Finnerty North Carolina attorney (and former North Carolina Democrat Party Chairman) Wade Smith promptly gave Attorney General Cooper a pass on not prosecuting Ms. Mangum for filing a false rape report. (Whether that was a gift of appreciation for that entirely deserved declaration of innocence or part of a quid pro quo, I do not know.)

If Ms. Mangum had been prosecuted, however, we might well have learned not only why Ms. Mangum kept the cruel Duke Hoax going so long, but why she made Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann and David Evans "the winners" of what the families of the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team called "the Crystal lottery."
Edenton Police Officer Charged With Altering Evidence -- A police officer in the coastal town of Edenton has been charged with planting evidence in a criminal investigation.

Michael Aaron Davidson was charged last week and released on an unsecured $1,000 bond. He is on administrative leave from the Edenton Police Department. He was accused of planting evidence, including crack cocaine, while serving search warrants.

A search warrant application filed by the State Bureau of Investigation indicated the 32-year-old Davidson has been investigated several times during his law enforcement career.

Allegations against him included missing money, using excessive force and planting evidence. He previously was an officer with the Kinston Police Department and the Tyrrell County Sheriff's Department.

While in Kinston, a defendant said Davidson beat him and planted a crack pipe before charging him with possessing drug paraphernalia, the SBI document said. Davidson was investigated but wasn't charged and left the department before the probe concluded...

John A. Fallon III - fired, He has repeatedly said that university staff misled him.from the BRODHEAD SCHOOL OF ADMINISTRATION
P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times:
3 lose school jobs in slaying cover-up -- Eastern Michigan University's president is fired; two officials must resign. They had said Laura Dickinson didn't die of foul play. -- Eastern Michigan University has fired President John A. Fallon III and dismissed two other top officials, less than two weeks after a federal investigation found that administrators broke the law by covering up the rape and slaying of a student in her dorm room.

The head of police on the Ypsilanti campus, Cindy Hall, and the vice president of student affairs, James Vick, were forced to resign, school officials announced Monday afternoon.

A day earlier, the Board of Regents held an emergency telephone conference and unanimously voted to end Fallon's five-year employment contract. School officials said they spent weeks unsuccessfully trying to negotiate with Fallon a suitable punishment for his role in the scandal over the death of Laura Dickinson, 22.

In December, Dickinson's body was found inside her room at Hill Hall. For 10 weeks, university officials told the Dickinson family, students and the community that no foul play was suspected.

School officials did not acknowledge that Dickinson had been slain until student Orange Amir Taylor III was arrested Feb. 23 and charged with murder and sexual assault...
LS forum: University President Fired for Alleged Cover-Up, Student Raped, Slain - Eastern Michigan

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