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Monday, November 5, 2007

Duke Case — Drinking the PC Kool-Aid

Drinking from the PC Kool Aid bowl
Item's of interest - updated:

The new Ethical Duke blog comes out swinging at the Brodhead administration.

Ken Larrey /DSEDuke President / Duke Students for an Ethical Duke blog:
Brodhead's Administrative and Ethical Failings -- Most supporters of Brodhead do not know that the administration handed over troves of players’ confidential information in violation of federal law to police that they knew at the time had lied to them on multiple occasions - information that was later used to frame suspects and obtain indictments. Most are unaware of the degree of intimacy between the Duke administration, Durham Police, and Mike Nifong, so much that Nifong at times went out of his way to do them favors such as his attempted cover up for this illegally leaked information. They do not realize the lengths to which Duke was willing to go to make sure Nifong would not malign the university or accuse them of not cooperating. They do not know that it was at Brodhead’s request that Nifong leave the rest of the team alone and limit his case to the three indicted players and do not recognize the implications. Many would never have imagined that both Bob Steel and Dick Brodhead believed it was in the best interests of the university that the case go to trial lest there be speculation about university involvement in the case’s dismissal and worse, that they actually advocated going to trial. Many are unaware that the administration illegally shut down voter registration drives in the fall of 2006 to frustrate student efforts to unseat the corrupt Mike Nifong. They do not consider whether such positions are taken with Duke’s long-term interests in mind instead of their own professional health. Regardless, judgment doesn’t get much worse than this.

Most parents are unlikely to realize the extent of the harassment and humiliation endured by Duke students by their own professors – both in class and out - which most certainly are not covered by freedom of speech and in many cases are grounds for revoking tenure. Nor do they realize that when made aware of these incidents, Brodhead did nothing. Given the portion of his record already covered in this article, can there be any surprise? [...]
LieStoppers forum:
The Duke Students for an Ethical Duke New Blog

LieStoppers blog:
Duke Students for an Ethical Duke Blog

Duke Students for an Ethical Duke blog
Stuart Taylor Speech at Duke
-- The speech by Stuart Taylor sponsored by Duke Students for an Ethical Duke last weekend was a great success! Taylor spoke before a substantially packed Love Auditorium about the path to his involvement in reporting on the lacrosse affair. We have posted a very low quality video of the speech at www.ethicalduke.com, also available here. We hope to have a higher quality video available soon. [...]

However, conspicuously and curiously unrepresented was the Duke Chronicle, who it seems opted not to report the event occurring on its own campus. Instead, the Chronicle published a front page article on President Brodhead asserting that the "lacrosse scandal [is] nearly behind him." [...]
Michael Gaynor:
Exposing the grave political correctness danger -- Bias in favor of the idea that, well, the privileged white male athletes are accused of abusing the poor black woman, we love that. It's in synch with all of our preconceptions and our ideology. Let's pile on and make it a morality play. And an awful lot of people, including the New York Times, for example, were not a bit deterred by contrary evidence from making it a morality play of that kind. [...]
LieStoppers blog:
Won't Get Fooled Again -- Akil Alleyne is a student at Princeton:

We all remember the public flagellation of the defendants by legions of self-righteous interlopers whose limited knowledge of the facts of the case was tainted by the implicit bias resulting from Nifong's prosecutorial misconduct. The newspaper headlines screaming about "a night of racial slurs, growing fear and finally sexual violence". The students protesting at Duke and on campuses nationwide. The Duke administration's pusillanimous failure to urge that their own students be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The insipid prattle of crusading left-liberal professors who gave lectures and TV interviews denouncing the hapless athletes without laying eyes on a shred of evidence. And this parade of horrors would hardly be complete without the demagoguery of that slick racial warhorse, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and the hordes of media lemmings who have effectively crowned him the de facto Voice of Black America. None of the aforementioned bandwagon-riders would warrant the scorn heaped on them on this page if the charges against the lacrosse players had been true. But they weren't. They were false. [...]
Quote of the day:
I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Richard Brodhead worries structural deficits at politically correct Duke Univ.-------
Chelsea Allison / Duke Chronicle:
Prez's Yale tenure may offer glimpse into Duke's future -- A long-time champion of undergraduate education, with the lacrosse scandal nearly behind him and the retirements of three top administrators in front of him, President Richard Brodhead now has an opportunity to shift his focus toward his own initiatives. And after spending 40 years in New Haven, Conn., he may begin by modeling it on what he knows.

Brodhead's third term as dean of Yale College began July 1, 2003, barely five months before he was appointed the ninth president of Duke. [...]

When he came to Duke, Brodhead said he noticed a structural deficit, which was one reason the dean of undergraduate education position was created last March. Steve Nowicki was installed in the post in July. [...]
John in Carolina:

What's Really Behind Brodhead
-- Allison’s article reads more like an uncritical tribute than a serious news story. [...]
KC Johnson
Where Are They Now? -- Diane Catotti, Reeve Huston, Chauncey Nartey, Sally Deutsch, Patrick Baker, Grant Farred, Mark Gottlieb, John Thompson, David Addison, Houston Baker, Dinushika Mohottige, [...]

What’s much more remarkable is how so many people whose behavior in the case was (to put it kindly) dubious not only were not held accountable—but actually prospered.
comment: Enablers, purveyors of injustice, and PC Kool-Aid drinkers prosper after Duke rape hoax.
Ted Vaden / News & Observer:
Re-examining rape identification policy -- Some readers noticed something unusual in a story about a rape trial in Tuesday's paper. Not only was the victim named in the story, but her picture was displayed as the lead photo on the front page of the City & State section.

The News & Observer does not normally disclose the identity of victims in sex crimes, except with their permission. In this case, Cynthia Morton consented to her name and picture being published in a story on the trial of the man accused of assaulting her 14 years ago. The rapist, Vincent Tan Hall, pleaded guilty.

Morton today is a nurse who helps rape victims, and several readers were moved to comment on her courage -- and on The N&O's policy of not naming accusers.

"I understand the confidentiality policy of The N&O and other media sources, but I think it is great when a victim has the courage to stand up and speak out about what happened to them with confidence and without shame," wrote Raleigh lawyer Sandra A. Good. "Because only the rapist should be ashamed."

In the wake of the Duke lacrosse case, the policy of not identifying sex crime accusers is under review at The N&O. An internal committee is looking at issues such as whether accusers should be identified or, if not, whether the accused also should be shielded.

There is a good bit of sentiment both within the paper and outside for identifying accusers, out of fairness to the accused who routinely are identified when charged. Other arguments: Newspapers are in the business of providing information, not withholding it, and shielding victims contributes to the social stigma attached to sexual assault cases.

"We have an awareness that by shielding women in that way, you perpetuate the stigma," said Sarah Avery, the editor heading the internal review. "But we also know that the stigma does exist" and that many victims don't have the fortitude of a Cynthia Morton to put themselves in the public eye. [...]
John McCann /Herald Sun [reg. req.]:
Before you go to the polls ... -- You know, we really ought to be talking in terms of the Mike Nifong case. Or the Durham Police Department case. Or the city of Durham case.

Instead, it's still all about Duke lacrosse.


At the outset, the Mike Nifong-City of Durham case was portrayed in terms of race. But it also was about relative power (rich, white Duke kids) versus relative poverty (struggling, black stripper).

Yet now, with the former lacrosse players suing the city, it's power versus power.

Or perhaps the script's been flipped, with the now underdog players squaring off against our mighty municipality.

Mind you, when we thought the lacrosse players were guilty, all we kept saying was somebody in that Buchanan Boulevard house knew what happened on the night of the party where a presumed beer keg turned into a powder keg.

Well, the same has to apply now to the politicians in office when the Duke lacrosse players were getting a raw deal: Somebody must have known Nifong didn't have a leg to stand on. Somebody had to know the police work wasn't right.

Somebody knew something! [...]
Which incumbents will get your vote?
Monica Chen. /Herald Sun:
Author: Lacrosse case will 'get uglier' -- Picture of political correctness, mob mentality unfolding -- That was the message delivered Friday night by Stuart Taylor, co-author of a recent book on the Duke lacrosse case.

"It's spreading like cancer," he said, referring to the PC movement.

Taylor, who co-authored "Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case" with K.C. Johnson, a New York City-based history professor and author of the Durham-In-Wonderland Web log, was invited to speak by the student group Duke Students for an Ethical Duke.

In a Levine Science Research Center auditorium, readers of his book and followers of the lacrosse case hung on the author's every word.

And he detailed his involvement in the case from start to finish.

Taylor excoriated everyone from the news media to Duke University administrators and professors to disbarred Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.

But most of all, he decried the political correctness and mob mentality he said overtook many people.

"The picture of what you can paint of what these people did here is even darker than what we portrayed in this book," he said. "As it unravels, I believe it will just get uglier and uglier and uglier."

He was particularly harsh toward Duke professors, saying they were so far beyond the left of political spectrum that they sometimes behaved as "Stalinists" and "Fascists." [...]
discussion of Stuart Taylor talk:
Michael Gaynor:
Exposing the grave political correctness danger -- Professor Emeritus Hershel Parker, America's premier Herman Melville scholar: "Maybe there will be a national tipping point on Political Correctness if enough people keep pushing in the sweet tough polite no-nonsense way Stuart Taylor did on PBS."

"Sweet tough polite no nonsense way."

Yes, that description fits Stuart Taylor, America's premier legal commentator.

It also fits Laura Ingraham, star of "The Laura Ingraham Show," America's top female radio star.

When it comes to Political Correctness, the two of them are pushing in the same direction and Ms. Ingraham had Mr. Taylor as a guest on her show on September 4, 2007, the day his book, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Case, was released.

In Durham's Herald-Sun, of all places, there was a good article on the Duke case, by Monica Chen.

Ms. Chen did not bury the very important lead in the article (titled "Lacrosse case will 'get uglier'"). [...]
John in Carolina
Coverage of Taylor’s Duke Talk -- Raleigh News & Observer reporter Anne Blythe, who with Samiha Khanna reported the N&O’s fraudulent March 25 story about “an ordeal” which ended in “sexual violence,” was also at the talk but left about 10 minutes into it. [...]
LieStoppers blog:
It will just get uglier and uglier and uglier --
Stuart Taylor, co-author of Until Proven Innocent, was greeted warmly last night at Duke University during a book signing which was followed by a speaking appearance. The event sponsored by Duke Students for an Ethical Duke was the second in a series presenting the co-authors of UPI. In September Professor KC Johnson spoke candidly about the conditions in the Durham & Duke community which promoted the rush to prejudge the Lacrosse team over the false accusations of a mentally disturbed women. See LieStoppers article.

During his presentation Stuart Taylor was equally critical of the Duke Faculty and community.

"The picture of what you can paint of what these people did here is even darker than what we portrayed in this book," he said. "As it unravels, I believe it will just get uglier and uglier and uglier."
LieStoppers forum:
Stuart Taylor at DUKE
Michael Gustafson/ Duke prof. / Gothic Wondering
Stuart Taylor At Duke -- I was able to make it out to Stuart Taylor's talk at Duke yesterday as well as a reception afterwards organized by Ken Larrey and Duke Students for an Ethical Duke. I'd estimate that there were between 70 and 100 people there at the start (a little after 7; the crew that was supposed to shoot the talk didn't show up so that delayed things). Just about everyone stayed until the end of the talk, then a few filtered out during Q&A. As can be imagined, there are many, many activities going on here for parents and families' weekend. [...]
Stephen J. Trachtenberg /The Chronicle of Higher Education [subscription req.]
Lessons From the Top -- Last summer I finished a 30-year run as a university president — first at the University of Hartford for 11 years, then at George Washington University for 19 years. I'm pleased to report that I have served without ever having a deficit budget, being indicted, or even being accused of any impropriety. I like to think that's in part because I have learned some lessons along the way.

First, I've learned that academic bureaucrats at all levels need luck — in generous quantities. Consider the case of Richard H. Brodhead, president of Duke University, an admirable man and able administrator. When players on the Duke lacrosse team were faced with charges of rape, many people demanded to know how it was possible that Brodhead did not understand that lacrosse players were seen as notoriously "thuggish" and "entitled." Why had he done nothing?

When the charges turned out to be bogus — the plaintiff was not credible, and the prosecutor appeared to have engaged in serious misconduct — many people wondered how Brodhead could have let the situation get so out of hand on such flimsy evidence. Why had he done nothing?

That double bind is now known as "being Duked." It arises from the public's preposterous expectation of omniscience in college presidents, as well as in lower-ranking administrators in proportion to their status. (In other words, it only gets worse with each promotion.) Thus, the head of a university with 30,000 students, 5,000 faculty and staff members, and another few thousand adjuncts and visitors is supposed to control the behavior of all those people. But would anyone expect the mayor of Burlington, Vt., a city with a population of about 40,000, to know what mischief any of his fellow citizens might be contemplating at every moment? [...]
Sean Collins / Spiked-Online [UK]
Duke lacrosse scandal: the dangers of PC -- A disturbing new book reveals how political correctness led to a disastrous rush to judgement in an American university 'rape case'.
KC Johnson:
Spiked on UPI
Striking a pose

Duke Waives Old Property Limits On Blacks -- In a symbolic move, Duke University is waiving its decades-old rights to prohibit blacks from purchasing property in Duke Forest.

The school has long said it wouldn't enforce racial covenants contained in property deeds, but Duke officials say the waivers represent an important statement.

Duke President Richard H. Brodhead says each land deed is being revised to disavow language that reflected segregation and to make sure the exclusionary provisions never be revived. [...]

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