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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Nifong/Mangum Hoax — July 19, 2007

Updated — today's items:

Jose Lopez - incoming Durham PD chiefWRAL:
Durham Makes Conn. Cop Its New Police Chief
[+video] -- Jose Lopez Sr., an assistant police chief in Hartford, Conn., was named Thursday as the new police chief in Durham.

Lopez, who was introduced at a morning news conference, said he was humbled and at a loss for words for being picked for the job.

Lopez, who will start his new position Sept. 1, will replace Chief Steve Chalmers, who will retire at the end of the year. Lopez's annual salary will be $125,000.

The new chief quickly met with favor Thursday when he announced during the news conference that he planned to move the police department forward and put the flawed Duke University lacrosse team sexual assault investigation in the past.

"I don't really believe the city of Durham is defined by Duke lacrosse and neither is this esteemed police department," Lopez said...

AP/ABC-11/WTVD: Lopez Announced as Durham's New Police Chief
LieStoppers blog: Baker to Announce Lopez is New Police Chief

LS forum: Durham Names New Police Chief
John in Carolina:
AJR’s Hoax article’s biggest failing? -- the article’s greatest flaw: it doesn’t report and discuss the Raleigh News & Observer’s decision to withhold from readers and the media critically important statements the hoaxer Crystal Mangum made on March 24, 2006 during an interview with an N&O reporter.

The N&O didn’t disclose those statements until April 12, 2007, the day after NC Attorney General Roy Cooper had declared David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann innocent ...

If the N&O had disclosed that information in March 2006, what might have happened?

How would Mike Nifong have explained an N&O’s front-page report that “the victim” was saying both dancers were sexually assaulted?

There’s more...

When N&O editors have discussed the March 2006 story they’ve given bewilderingly changing and contradictory explanations that would make you wonder whether Mangum hasn’t been tutoring them in story telling.

Depending on which editor is telling the story and when, readers have been told the exculpatory information was withheld because it was “only details;” the story was “under deadline;” and even that it would have been libelous for the N&O to report the parts of the interview it acknowledges withholding.

The N&O hasn’t yet told readers why it was libelous to disclose the information in March 2006 and for thirteen months thereafter, but OK to disclose it the day after Cooper said the players were innocent....
Ray Gronberg, Herald-Sun:
Barber picked as counsel for lacrosse panel -- Wade Barber will help question witnesses and spearhead any investigative work the panel needs, Whichard said. He'll be on the job Friday when the group meets for the first time to hear from representatives of the now-exonerated defendants in the lacrosse case...

"I don't think I could have picked any better," Whichard said of the committee's new counsel. "His credentials are superb."

Barber's law partner, Jeremy Falcone, will also participate in the investigation, Whichard said.

Barber wouldn't say much about the investigation on Wednesday. "Justice Whichard persuaded me that I could be helpful," he said when asked why he'd decided to join...

A frequent critic of the tactics of police and prosecutors praised Barber.

"The general consensus is that Judge Barber is a very fair and highly respected jurist," said Mark Kleinschmidt, a Chapel Hill town councilman and lawyer who works for the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham. "I wouldn't expect him to participate [in the lacrosse investigation] in any manner short of that well-earned reputation." ...
Anne Blythe, News & Observer:
Lawyer will advise review of Durham police -- A former judge is appointed counsel to a panel reviewing the Duke lacrosse case -- The panel appointed to review the police department's handling of the Duke lacrosse case will have its own lawyer.

Wade Barber, a former Superior Court judge and district attorney in Orange and Chatham counties, will give legal advice to the 12-member panel. His appointment was announced Wednesday.

Willis Whichard, the panel chairman and a former N.C. Supreme Court justice, said he wanted a lawyer who did not practice in Durham who could be frank about the case without worrying about future dealings with the city's police department.

Barber practices law with Jeremy Falcone in Pittsboro. The practice does most of its business in Chatham County.

He was in the mountains Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.

In a prepared statement Barber said, "The committee will necessarily have to look backward to what has happened, but I believe that its chief effort will be to look forward to what should happen in the future."

The lacrosse panel is scheduled to meet for the first time at 10 a.m. Friday in City Hall...

LS forum: Former Judge Named Counsel to Whichard Committee, Wade Barber, Pittsboro Attorney
"You know, it's not always the nuns that get raped. Sometimes it's strippers that get raped." — Geraldo Rivera gravely and fatuously intoning on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," April 2006, and mocked by Jon Stewart

Bill O'Reilly Flash Factor, Monday, April 17, 2006 --
Personal Story Segment - Updates on Duke...
Guest: Geraldo Rivera

Rivera analyzed reports that two Duke lacrosse players have been secretly indicted in the alleged rape of a stripper. "Indictments are sealed because you are in negotiations with a defense attorney to cop a plea. That's what I believe is happening in this case. I believe defense attorneys are negotiating a reduced charge, and by the end of the week two kids will cop a plea." The Factor agreed that a reduced charge may be in the offing. "There are lots of problems for the prosecution in this case, so this makes perfect sense. This may be lowered to assault, because if they try to charge rape it's not a winning case."

LS forum: Geraldo touts his record [on Hannity & Colmes], says his record shows he's right
KC Johnson:
Hochberg and the "Raucous" Party -- [Adam] Hochberg retained his interest in the network’s race/class/gender storyline right up until the end. At the post-exoneration press conference, Hochberg displayed his fixation with what he had repeatedly termed the “raucous” party. Abandoning his opportunity to inquire “about the clearing of these false charges,” he instead asked about . . . the party, and whether the players would apologize. (For reasons that remain unclear, Hochberg apparently either had not notice or did not consider sufficient the repeated apologies from the captains for holding the party.) Even though the attorneys had said the players would take no questions, Hochberg directed his question at the players.

The question generated strong responses from both Joe Cheshire and Jim Cooney...
KC Johnson:
NPR: Our Side Is the Right Side -- focus on how NPR handled lacrosse matters from late April until the end of the case.

Two reporters dominated NPR’s coverage after the first two indictments: Juan Williams and Adam Hochberg...

Hochberg fittingly concluded NPR’s coverage of the case in his report on the post-exoneration press conference (which he described as “long” and “sometimes bitter”). Stated he, “Defense lawyers said the players are not proud of throwing the party, which included not only the strippers, but underage drinking, threats of violence, and an exchange of racial slurs.”

The comment was doubly inaccurate. Not only were no threats of violence that whole night, but Hochberg’s wording implied that the defense lawyers themselves had admitted that there were threats of violence at the party.

Asked for evidence to substantiate Hochberg’s claim, Andi Sporkin, NPR’s Vice President for Communications, replied, “Your use of the isolated soundbite does not include its context in the larger NPR News piece - which was, in fact, about the clearing of these false charges . . . NPR stands by Adam's report.”

There has been no public review by NPR of its coverage of the lacrosse case. Though the network has an ombudsman, the post has been vacant since last fall.
John in Carolina:
INNOCENT:“Rape-Crisis” Feminism -- Reason Magazine contributing editor Cathy Young writes...
The Duke case also makes it clear that the feminist dogma on rape is far from benign. It is hostile both to men and to basic principles of justice...

the same feminists who rightly tell us that a rape victim should not have to be an angel to deserve support apply such a different standard to men who may be falsely accused of rape...
“Rape-crisis” feminism is not about credibility; it’s about power and getting more Tara Levicy’s into the hospital emergency rooms; and supporting DAs like Mike Nifong who “believe the woman.”...

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