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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — July 18, 2007

"Facing the press is more difficult than bathing a leper."
— Mother Teresa
Updated — today's items:

Judge Wade Barber (right) is welcomed at the Legal Aid NC-Pittsboro Office, Feb 1, 2006You can trust a guy...
who wears a bow tie.

News & Observer:
Former judge to advise lacrosse committee -- A former Superior Court judge will serve as counsel to Durham's committee investigating the Durham Police Department's role in the Duke lacrosse case.

Wade Barber, 63, is a Pittsboro lawyer who served as district attorney for Chatham and Orange counties from 1977 to 1984. Barber also served as the senior resident Superior Court Judge in Chatham and Orange counties from 1998 to 2006.

The committee will hold its first meeting at 10 a.m. Friday at Durham City Hall. Committee memberes are scheduled to hear from the lawyers of David Evans, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty.

Committee Chairman Willis P. Whichard, a former state Supreme Court justice, said in a statement that the committee needed someone who had not dealt with the Durham bar, making Barber a good choice.
discussion:
LS forum: Whichard Committee this Friday - 20th, Friday July 20th 10:00 am
LS forum: Former Judge Named Counsel to Whichard Committee, Wade Barber, Pittsboro Attorney

related:
WRAL:
Ex- Judge to Advise Panel Probing Durham PD's Lacrosse Investigation -- He [Durham Mayor Bell] has said he hopes the committee can begin conduct a thorough review within 60 days but that he also wants to give it adequate time "to do the work to get the truth out."

Legal Aid of North Carolina -- Judge Barber provided pro bono legal services for LANC's clients at the LANC-Pittsboro Office during 2006.
---------
News & Observer:
Nifong's attorneys seek delay in case -- Lawyers representing former District Attorney Mike Nifong want more time before getting to the heart of the criminal contempt charges against the former prosecutor.

W. Osmond Smith III, the Superior Court judge who has accused Nifong of lying to the court during the Duke lacrosse case, informed lawyers this week that a July 26 hearing will be more of a conference to talk about issues related to the contempt case.

Jim Glover and Ann B. Petersen of Chapel Hill will represent Nifong...

comment: Mike Nifong has two new attorneys for the criminal contempt hearing. He is not using his two state bar hearing attorneys, Dudley Witt and David Freedman.

discussion:
LS forum: Nifong Gets More Time to Fight Contempt Charges, hearing on contempt charges delayed
LS forum: Poll: Will Nifong Go To Jail For Contempt?
TalkLeft: Nifong gets more time to fight contempt charges

related:
WRAL:
Nifong Contempt Hearing Delayed -- Nifong could face a possible fine as well as a jail sentence if he is found in contempt. Criminal contempt can carry anywhere from 30 to 90 days in jail...
--------
KC Johnson:
Ashley: Herald-Sun "Beat Others" -- In his recent interview with AJR, Bob Ashley vigorously defended his paper’s performance in the case, and made the above claim that the H-S had several scoops on the case...

These instances where the Herald-Sun “beat others” had two items in common. One: the “scoops” all first appeared in the Herald-Sun. Two: they were all factually wrong.
--------
Letter to Herald-Sun:
One man's opinion

In his letter of July 16, W. Russell Robinson states the following: "These boys have a history of throwing wild parties and underage drinking. These boys ordered up an exotic dancer for delivery."

Is he referring to "these boys" as the lacrosse team or the three men charged with felony sexual assault? If it is "these boys" as a team, then how is it justifiable to charge three members of the team with crimes "committed" by the entire team? If it is "these boys" -- the three men charged with felony sexual assault -- then where is the proof that they specifically threw numerous wild parties and ordered an exotic dancer?

Robinson is entitled to his opinion but he should at least recognize that opinion needs to be based in some concrete reality and not a figment of one's imagination fueled by hatred of a class of individuals and their families.

T. Hannan
Durham
---------
Joan Foster, LieStoppers:
Nifong and the "Ancient Mariner" -- I'd like to suggest, whenever the legal dust has settled,whatever the outcome, an additional punishment for Defendant Nifong, Durham's disgraced and disbarred Inspector D.A. Modeled in part on the sentencing given often to drunk drivers, my idea was also inspired by Coleridge's classic poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" ...wherein that legendary seaman was required to roam the earth, telling his personal tale of infamy to those who most needed to hear it...

Nifong would be required to format an hour long question-and-answer lecture series on his Hoax. Then he would literally "take it on the road." ...
comment: Nifong could also have some slides to show and then turn into a documentary film, a al the Al Gore An Inconvenient Truth road show.
--------
KC Johnson:
The Lacrosse Case According to NPR -- The lacrosse case attracted national coverage from the wire services, the major news networks, Newsweek, and from the cable talk shows, as well as slanted coverage from the New York Times and the opinion sections of the Washington Post. One other national media source devoted substantial attention to events in Durham: National Public Radio.

Conservative watchdog groups have long claimed that NPR exhibits a left-leaning bias in presenting the news. NPR’s record in the lacrosse case did nothing to dispel this allegation. The network seized upon the case early, played up the race/class/gender angle, and then all but dropped coverage as Mike Nifong’s case collapsed—only to return with an extraordinarily biased comment about the defense attorneys’ post-dismissal press conference...
----------
John in Carolina:
INNOCENT: “Ethics” & “Open Season” At NPR --

1 - NPR’s explanation for why it still refuses to identify Crystal Mangum, the false accuser in the Duke Hoax case.

2 – My response email to NPR’s ombudsman.

3 – A few JinC comments.

Dear Ms. de la Rionda:

[...]

Why did NPR use “victims” when explaining your “ethics” policy? NPR’s “ethics” policy doesn’t grant anonymity to “victims” of sexual assault.

In truth, your “ethics” policy is to grant anonymity to any woman who accuses a man or men of sexual assault, regardless of how flimsy her accusation is or what her motive is....
--------
Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: Newsday's Steven Marcus' revolting review -- Mr. [Steven] Marcus entitled his review [of the Pressler/Yaegar book] "Duke: The greatest story never told."

The allusion to the movie about the Bible is odd, but the review itself is donwright offensive...
related:
comments at Newsday/Topix regarding the Steven Marcus review rant:

Stephen Rybacki
, Carlisle, PA -- You sir, are a daft idiot if this is your take on the Duke case and its' real impact on the American justice system.

dan, Norwalk, CT
-- you are an idiot, just because k.c. johnson made you look like a fool, doesn't mean you have to hate. Your liberal bias leads you to a myopic view of this wonderful book. and Mr. Johnson is never lop-sided, he speaks truth to power. The only bias one is you Mr. Marcus. The players are undoubtedly the victims. ... and the book bashes your boy burness, who deserves to be fired from duke immediately.

John C, Mission, KS -- Mr. Marcus is just another example of what is and was so wrong with the media when covering this story...

Disappointed, Herndon, VA -- It's amazing to me how many two-bit journalists are still trying to pedal the back side of this hoax. There are many good writers who did the investigative reporting and figured out this was a hoax very early on. Steven Marcus was NOT one of them.

marcus is a joke, Bronx, NY -- Mr. Marcus, You think you would have learned. Please submit your resignation...

newport, Los Angeles, Calif. -- Your column is complete and utter trash. No wonder you work for such a third rate liberal whack job newspaper. You should stick to what you do best: covering third rate sports for third rate colleges...

Mike Lee, Oakton, VA -- Unlike some other posters I won't attack the reviewer personally. If he didn't like the book, that's fine. But to claim that it's not selling well is just untrue. It's on the NY Times bestseller list. Why make false comments in your review? It brings your entire article into question.

Jenny, Lloyd, FL -- Damn, Steve. You seem rather angry for just reviewing a book... anything personal here?

wayne fontes, Waterford, MI -- Hey Stephen; Shouldn't you have disclosed that KC Johnson took you to task and that you have ties to John Burness (who was painted as a villain in Yaeger's book) in this column?

Your readers should have been informed of both those facts.
---------
NIFONG EFFECT?
Bruce Ciskie, AOL Sports:
Did Duke Case Impact Jones Investigators? -- Back in April, an 18-year-old college student from the Twin Cities area alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a group of men, later found to all be members of the Minnesota Gopher football team...

While [cornerback Dominic] Jones was charged, the three players originally arrested in the case have still not been charged. Alex Daniels, Keith Massey, and E.J. Jones are all named in the charging document, and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Monday that the three were still suspects. Freeman noted that only one of the three has given a statement, and he said the other two haven't been cooperative.

Without getting into speculation about the particulars surrounding the case, I did find one quote from Freeman to be quite interesting.
"Everything done in this case was subject to intense scrutiny. Because of that, we want to make sure we do it right."
I'm not a mind-reader, but my brain automatically turned to the Duke lacrosse case when I read this quote from Freeman. I did speculate about the Duke lacrosse case making these investigators a little more careful and thorough than they may normally have been, but I didn't think too seriously about it at the time. The more I think about it now, the more sense it makes. The bottom line is that no prosecutor or detective wants to be compared to Mike Nifong or anyone involved in that botched case ... certainly not when the story is still fresh in everyone's minds...
discussion:
LS forum: 3 MN Gophers football players jailed in rape

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