Today's items - updated:
Justin McCarthy / NewsBusters.org:
Whoopi Shocker: 'View' Co-Host Calls Out Al Sharpton on Duke Lacrosse Case -- View" moderator Whoopi Goldberg surprisingly called out Reverend Al Sharpton for sometimes jumping to conclusions too swiftly, particularly on the false Duke lacrosse sexual assault allegation. In discussing Al Sharpton calling for Isiah Thomas to apologize for his conduct with a female New York Knicks staffer, Whoopi Goldberg called for Sharpton to apologize for protesting the innocent Duke lacrosse players.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Will you do me a favor? Will you ask him to please apologize to the Duke lacrosse players?
JOY BEHAR: Oh
GOLDBERG: Because I looked and looked and looked and I just wanted to make sure, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t speaking out of turn. I wanted to make sure that I was correct. And I know Al that you were down there and you were really trying to look out for the folks that thought were being really be run over, but as it turns out it wasn’t true. And, and I want you to apologize to them because those kids went through Hell and I think we owe it to them.
Joan Foster / LieStoppers forum:
The Sharpton Post vs, The Kimmy Factor -- A poster whose opinion means a lot to me wrote to question my tone and intent in the Sharpton post. [...] The Sharpton post is an attempt to point out the hypocrisy I see on our political scene, in the civil rights organizations, in academia and the media. [...]
Whoopi Calls On Sharpton To Apologize To Duke Players
Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi: I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.Yes, just like old Obi-Wan, we sense a great rift in the Force as KC Johnson's Durham-in-Wonderland blog has gone silent today. And many, many "voices suddenly cried out in terror."
Stuart Taylor Jr. / National Journal / The Gate:
Parsing The Duke Lacrosse Suit --The lawsuit filed on Friday by the three Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of rape has been miscast by some critics.
Some see the undoubtedly aggressive, if not unprecedented, lawsuit [PDF] against the city of Durham, N.C., disgraced former District Attorney Mike Nifong, and other officials as a pointless vendetta. Some might also see the suit as a cynical bid for self-enrichment, or even as a legally far-fetched effort to punish the good citizens of Durham.
They're wrong on all counts, or so it seems to me. After spending the better part of a year working on a book about the Duke case and related matters, I have no doubt that Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann will amply prove the heart of their claims, [...]
But a large award of compensatory and punitive damages might also be the best way to get the attention of a city government whose criminal justice establishment the lawsuit alleges to be rotten from top to bottom. And it might help deter other police departments from similarly dishonest conduct. [...]
Until Proven Innocent -- Some of the most depressing e-mails received over the past year and a half have been those that asked why I was worrying myself about three rich white guys at Duke University.
Neither those three students accused of rape nor the District Attorney who accused them are the ultimate issue.
If all District Attorneys in this country were like Michael Nifong, the United States of America would become the world's largest banana republic. [...]
Even those of us who followed the case from the beginning will learn a lot more about what went on, both on the surface and behind the scenes, from this outstanding book.
More important, we will learn some chilling facts about how deep the moral dry rot goes in some of the fundamental institutions of this nation that we depend on, including its leading universities and its leading media. [...]
Evaluate President Brodhead by October 29 -- Greetings,
We are a group of devoted alumni of Duke who care passionately about our alma mater. We want Duke to be the best that it can be.
In that spirit, we want to be sure that you know that there is a formal Presidential Review Committee in progress to assess President Brodhead's first three years in office. Dan Blue, who is a trustee of Duke, is the chairman of the Committee and is soliciting our comments for the Committee to consider.
We urge you to express your feelings to him. Comments are due to the Committee by October 29 [...]
- Thank you, Ralph Phelan -- multi-defendant suits are all about blame-shifting.
It's in Durham's interest to make it look like he was acting on his own against city policy and therefore not covered by "qualified immunity." That would let the city off the hook for some portion of his bad acts.
It's in Addison's interest to claim that he was following orders and policy and what he was doing was legal, thus sticking the city with liability for his acts. [...]
- Highlighting H-S Editor Ashley (Post 3) -- Since Friday the suit filing has been "front-page" national news.
So what was Bob Ashley's column about this Sunday?
The suit? No, the comics!
News & Observer:
Voters trickle to polls today -- Voters found few lines today at the precincts in Wake and Durham counties where they cast ballots for local offices and bond issues.
Officials in both counties reported that turnout was unimpressive.
The Durham election today is a primary, in which voters are selecting six of 10 candidates for at-large seats on the City Council. The top vote-getters will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The council race, however, did not appear to be drawing many voters.
Durham Elections Director Mike Ashe said this afternoon that turnout so far was well below the 13,000 who cast ballots in 2005. He cautioned, though, that the polls would be open for several more hours.
"I wish I could report that there's lines around the block," Ashe said, adding that precincts had reported no significant problems. "Those voting are having a positive experience touching government today."
Polls will remain open until 7:30 p.m. [...]
John Drescher, The N&O's managing editor, says the policy means the paper will identify race when there is enough additional detail to make a description useful -- eye color, length of hair, texture of hair, complexion, height, weight, age, etc.News & Observer:
But Drescher also makes the case that in an increasingly multi-ethnic community, race is less useful as a description/ [...]
"I don't think in this community the description of someone as black or white is as meaningful as it once was," Drescher said. He said the paper does seek to help identify suspects and regularly publishes photos or composite drawings provided by police.
3 Duke students robbed at gunpoint -- Three Duke University students were robbed at gunpoint across from the school's East Campus early this morning.
The students were walking in the parking lot of Whole Foods on Broad Street about 3 a.m. when a black Nissan Pathfinder pulled up, police said. A man holding a semi-automatic handgun got out and ended up taking cash, credit cards, cell phones and an iPod from the trio, an undergraduate woman and two graduate male students.
None of the students were injured.Anyone with information is asked to contact Durham police at (919) 560-4427, Duke police at (919) 684-2444 or Durham CrimeStoppers, which pays cash for anonymous tips leading to an arrest in felony cases, at (919) 683-1200.
comment: So Duke students need to be on the lookout for any man holding a semi-automatic handgun or driving a black Nissan Pathfinder. Glad to see that the News & Observer is still looking out for the welfare of Duke students. Let's see how the Duke Chronicle reports this story.
Until Proven Innocent - A DBR Review -- You might think you understand what happened - we did - but when you see it laid out, in all its ugliness, and you understand that this was not a misunderstanding, but rather a deliberate attempt to frame these guys, it’s hard not to come out of it with a righteous and outraged anger.
But as disgusting as most of it is, in the bigger picture, it shows a poor reflection of a good many things.
Academia, where the pursuit of truth sometimes falls to ideological conformity. The power of the state, maliciously used to prosecute obviously innocent victims via the justice system, which all too often can be gamed. And then the media, which has need of 24 hour news programming, and which jumps on any case like this with both feet, featuring any number of people who made complete and utter fools of themselves, all of them marching behind the baton twirler for Trial By Media, the repulsively misnamed Nancy Grace.
What they all have in common is lies, or at least a cynical and thorough disregard for the truth.
Mike Nifong was a petty tyrant and an evil man, but his willingness to distort and deny the truth reflects greater political trends. [...]
In this environment, the determination of the authors to focus on the truth is very nearly revolutionary. We urge you to read it, and when you’re done, for God’s sake go clean yourself with some of Orwell’s essays.
KC Johnson comment -- I was notified that I have received the 2007 Hardeman Prize, awarded to the author of the year's best book on Congress. (My academic specialty, for those who don't know, is the history of Congress.)
That said, I have no doubt that among the Group of 88, I have lost "major academic credibility." I can live with such a loss.
Professor KC Johnson wins Hardeman Award -- The DB. Hardeman is awarded by the LBJ Library and Museum.
The $2,500 D. B. Hardeman Prize is awarded annually for the best book that focuses on the U.S. Congress, from the fields of biography, history, journalism, and political science. Candidates are judged on the importance of their contribution to scholarship on the Congress, and their literary craftsmanship, originality, and depth of research.
KC won the Hardeman Prize!, Congratulations!!
A University or College Near You? -- The “water buffaloes” persecution occurred at the University of Pennsylvania. The Penn administrator who served as Grand Inquisitor and Re-education Director, Larry Moneta, who was soon hired away by Duke University.
Duke’s trustees thought Moneta was the right person to serve as the school’s Vice President for Student Affairs.
In that capacity, Moneta helped develop and implement Duke’s disgraceful abandonment of its students as then Durham DA Mike Nifong and the Durham Police attempted to frame the students for gang rape as part of what MSM then called “the Duke lacrosse rape scandal.” [...]
I’m a Duke alum who’s lived close to Duke’s campus for more than 30 years. I don’t know one sensible adult familiar with Duke’s trustees, administration and faculty who believes they would’ve reacted the same way they did to the Duke Hoax had the false accuser been white and the students black, instead of the other way around. [...]
Duke Case: Now Coleman v. Taylor & Johnson -- Ironically, it is Professor Coleman who is recasting his report to make it less favorable than it actually was and much less favorable than it should have been. Do not be deceived: Professor Coleman spoke out in favor of due process in the criminal context in the Duke case, but quietly went along with "Duke process."
DPD News Release -- On October 2nd, one week ago, Kammie Michael put out an official News Release saying:
"Durham police investigators are asking for information about several recent residential break-ins in the areas of Dearborn Drive , Whippoorwill Park and Horton Road in northern Durham..."
"Anyone who has information about the break-ins is asked to call Sgt. Mark Gottlieb at 560-4582, ext. 228 or CrimeStoppers at 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves. Please report any suspicious persons or activity by calling 911." [...]
LieStoppers [discussion continues]:
Brodhead as Academic Lightweight -- A Critic, Never a Scholar
Michaela Tolpin / Daily Pennsylvanian:
Guilty until proven innocent -- The media shouldn't judge those charged with crimes - even hate crimes - until all the facts come out -- In a situation such as this, it is impossible not to bring up the Duke Lacrosse case. After being put through the kind of hell that would make the devil nervous, the suspects of this scandal were found innocent and officially apologized to. Unfortunately, the apology came too late. With more than enough time to burn its bias into the American mindset, the media has equated the term "Duke Lacrosse Team" with collegiate depravity and unforgivable bigotry.
In the hands of a scandal-thirsty media, [Phillip Anderton] Cooney seems doomed for a similar fate...