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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Duke Case — Watergate Version 2.0

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Stuart Taylor, Jr. and KC Johnson (top), Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (bottom)Stuart Taylor, Jr. and KC Johnson (top), Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (bottom)
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KC Johnson's post on Monday regarding the the Duke lacrosse rape hoax asked, "Where Are They Now?" Prof. Johnson then runs down a list of Durham hoax enablers, purveyors of injustice, and PC Kool-Aid drinkers who have prospered despite their participation in a gross unjust hoax. The question could also be asked about the professional journalists who followed this story and chose to ignore the blatant hoax in front of their eyes. Have they prospered?

The journalists at The Washington Post and The New York Times, for example, by and large got this story completely wrong. Why didn't the main stream media pursue this juicy scandal for the right reasons, like finding the truth? Other than Dan Abrams and Ed Bradley the TV coverage of the story was also pitiful. For a professional journalist the Duke lacrosse story could have been a once in lifetime event. A chance to strike journalism gold.

Where was the next version of the famous Watergate duo of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein going to come from?

In September of last year, The Johnsville News said that journalists were Missing Their Watergate:
The Duke lacrosse scandal is a smaller regional version of the infamous Watergate scandal and a generation of young reporters and journalists in and around North Carolina are letting it pass by without blinking an eye. [...]

The Watergate scandal showed the corruption in a federal government operating under an "Imperial Presidency." The Duke scandal has demonstrated the corruption in a state and local government operating under an "Imperial Prosecutor" legal system.

Who will win a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Duke scandal?
Unlike Watergate the evidence in the Duke lacrosse scandal was hiding in plain sight. It was readily available in the numerous court filings and directly from the defense attorneys, who were willing to talk to anyone who'd listen to them. There was no inside Deep Throat informant needed to break open this scandal. It was all open source. DA Mike Nifong's full file (with no case) was available to any serious journalist who wanted to check it out.

Journalists didn't lift a finger to investigate important aspects of the alleged crime. For example, they ignored the crime scene for the alleged 30 minute brutal gang-rape: the small bathroom at the lacrosse house. It was hard to understand what was going on, in May of 2006, Johnsville said:
In addition to being hypocrites regarding the policy of protecting the identity of Crystal Gail Mangum; news organizations are also not reporting important facts and basic information about the alleged Duke lacrosse rape.

For example, where is a floor plan or interior photos of the alleged crime scene? The alleged gang rape took place in a bathroom at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., Durham, NC, on March 14th. Every news organization has showed us numerous pictures of the exterior of the house.

It has been two months since the crime. Where is one photo of the bathroom? If it's impossible to get interior photos then why hasn't a simple floor plan for the house been published? [...]
Was it just laziness? Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes finally showed a couple of still photos from in the bathroom during his October 15, 2006 story. And they were just of the trash can. The NC Attorney General's office, when they finally got the case, realized it was important to analyze the crime scene. Attorney General Roy Cooper and his investigators visited the house and the small bathroom in March 2007. Do the initials CSI mean anything?

So it fell to a Brooklyn history professor, KC Johnson, and Stuart Taylor, Jr., a Supreme Court specialist, to take this case and make it their Watergate. Their careers will forever be distinguished because of their work researching and writing the definitive book about the scandal: Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. The broad and deep corruption in our judicial, media, and education systems that Taylor and Johnson document surpasses Nixon's paranoid driven corruption of the presidency. History will look on Stuart Taylor, Jr., and KC Johnson as this generation's version of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

The scores of journalists, who came in contact with this story and took a nap, should change their resumes and remove the word journalist and insert the word "hack." Meantime, KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr. are certainly in the running for a Pulitzer Prize.
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Today's items of interest - updated:

All's well in hoaxland

Editorial / Herald-Sun [reg. req.]:
Vote of confidence in city's direction -- Durham may be the Triangle town most prone to frank self-analysis. When things go wrong, Durham citizens don't hesitate to say so. So it was telling that on Tuesday, a large majority of Durham voters looked within themselves and declared that elected officials are leading in the right direction.

On the surface, the election was about the performance of the Durham City Council and its mayor. But it went beyond that. With four bond issues on the ballot, the election was also about the leadership of the Durham County Board of Commissioners and the Durham Public Schools Board of Education. With their ballots, voters indicated their general satisfaction with the status quo.

Mayor Bill Bell easily won re-election, as did incumbent council members Diane Catotti and Eugene Brown. Farad Ali was the third council member elected. And all the bond issues passed with large margins. They will support major renovations and new facilities at dozens of public schools, paving city streets and sidewalks and improvements at Durham Technical Community College and the Museum of Life & Science.

The robust support for the bonds is a sign that voters feel good about Durham. They're confident in the community's fiscal strength and support the pursuit of excellence in education and infrastructure.

The biggest contest of the day was the clash between three-term mayor Bell and veteran council member Thomas Stith. Stith ran the most expensive mayoral campaign in Durham history, making extensive use of mail, phone and media. He blasted Bell, at times unfairly, for failing to do enough to combat crime and for several perceived missteps. [...]
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Letter to Herald-Sun:
Protect us from liars

It wouldn't be fair for law-abiding citizens of Durham to have to pay more taxes because of the Duke lacrosse case. We didn't do anything wrong. We were victimized by a liar.

But paying more taxes is minor compared to victims who face the daily terror of having to go to prison, sometimes for life. Such victims usually accept a plea bargain and have to enter a guilty plea even when they are innocent.

The citizens of Durham can't call police like most victims and have the criminal prosecuted. Liars are fully protected, not only by the state attorney general, but also by the North Carolina Legislature. There isn't one law that makes verbal sexual assaults a crime. The assailants are free to assault other law-abiding citizens. It should be changed, but it cannot without public support and victim advocates.

We do have a moral responsibility to protect our citizens, and students who come here for an education. We should get together and support legislation to make liars felons. Teachers and people who support them should ask for protection against liars. People who are members or support the NAACP should ask for protection against liars. Ministers should want more protection from liars. Anyone who is around a lot of people should ask for more protection.

Actually, any citizen should ask the Legislature for more protection against liars because any member of their family can be victimized at any time.

Durham has seen the damage of liars, so we should be leaders in changing the laws for citizens who don't have millions for defense lawyers.

Winston Hall
Durham
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LieStoppers blog:
Where in the World is Mr. Obfuscation?
-- Dr. Brian W. Meehan, better known as Mr. Obfuscation, is no longer Lab Director at DNA Security, Inc. A recent announcement on their web site indicates that Joe Chimera, Ph.D. is now their General Manager and Laboratory Director. [...]
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Michael Gaynor:
Duke case: DNA security, liable or not? -- I count DNA Security's eventual acknowledgment of the multiple male DNA found on false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum's panties as a very good thing and regret that acknowledgment was not made in the DNA Security report issued on May 12, 2006.

That said, I don't presume that DNA Security or any of its employees tried to frame the Duke Three. The Three have the burden of proof in the pending civil case. My position is unchanged: let the truth prevail, whatever it is.

Having closely read the transcripts of the Duke case hearings held on September 22, 2006 and December 15, 2006, I remain distressed that DNA Security violated its own protocol and failed to report information that anyone familiar with the details of Ms. Mangum's false story would recognize as the stuff with which to discredit her (since she had claimed not to have had sexual relations with anyone except her boyfriend for some time before her fabricated gang rape). [...]
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Keeping Up With Jonas blog:
Duke Rape Hoax: Where Are They Now? -- Professor K.C. Johnson has a thought-provoking post asking what consequences have some of the more aggressive enablers of the Duke Rape Hope endured? Answer: Not many. In fact, aside from ex-D.A. Mike Nifong (right) aside, most have prospered.

I wonder why more of these folks weren't held accountable for their actions?

Also, Reader's Digest just honored cabdriver Moezeldin Elmostafa (right) for his heroic role in the helping to disrupt the plot against the falsely-accused Duke lacrosse players. [...]

Here's how the Duke rape enablers thanked Elmostafa for his honesty and bravery - by arresting him on a two year old charge alleging that he knowingly drove a shoplifter home in his taxi. Elmostafa refused to be intimated, stuck by his story, and fought the charges. [...]
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No Left Turnz blog:
Queen for a Day -- District attorney Mike Nifong received a sentence of one day for, of all things, contempt of court. That is the equivalent of charging OJ Simpson with trespassing while conveniently overlooking the murders he committed.

A gathering of lawyers (feral rodentia) on the Fox news channel discussed the “alleged” charges against Nifong and whether his “sentence” was too severe or within reason. There was very little talk of whether this “sentence” was a little too lenient.

“Alleged” in this situation, is nothing short of blasphemous. There was only one district attorney pushing this sham case, there can be nothing at all “alleged” about what he did. His actions are all on paper and in the public record. Subpoenas, warrants, transcripts, and interviews. The only matter up for discussion here would be the exact number of votes Nifong hoped to secure at the expense of three innocent college students.

“Alleged” disappears from the media vocabulary when police officers are accused. The focused accusations of the media are synonymous with conviction, but Nifong “allegedly” did wrong. [...]
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The Duke Chronicle editorial board is brain dead in so many ways.

Duke Students for an Ethical Duke:

Follow up on Chronicle Editorial -- Most of what needed to be said about the Chronicle's overt agenda, at least for this week, was said in our previous post, so now we will focus more on the argument of the Chronicle Editorial itself, which should seem untenable to even the most modestly knowledgeable reader.

One point before we do: we notified the Chronicle of Stuart Taylor's speech 9 days before the event at the same time we sent press releases to other local media. Not only did both major local newspapers attend, but so did others that were not even sent the press release, including Metro Magazine and a gent from UNCW as well. Noting that there were no Chronicle reporters present, we then offered to bring them the video of the speech the next day. The offer was ignored.

A peculiarity of the editorial is that while it strongly and repeatedly asserts that "Brodhead should and must stay," the arguments made almost seem to argue the opposite. As one of our members joked, it seems the Chronicle decided to let each editor write a line in an editorial Mad Lib. [...]
comment: It will be interesting to see if the Chronicle's Kristin Butler has an opinion about her paper's editorial. Don't the editors read their own paper?

Kristin Butler / Duke Chronicle:
Apologize this
Bye-bye, Brodhead?
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John in Carolina:
Chronicle Editorial “Untenable”
-- I was on campus yesterday and most everyone I spoke to said The Chronicle was serious, even as they acknowledged the editorial board had made themselves and The Chronicle look foolish. [...]
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