Sunday, April 16, 2006

Do you believe this Duke lacrosse “Exclusive?”

News organizations keep telling us how hard they work to gather and report facts. But that's not always the case, Consider the following news story which, mind you, is an “Exclusive.” headlines:

"Exclusive: Accuser in Duke Rape Case May Have Been Drugged"
The story begins with these three paragraphs:
An unnamed source close to the investigation of a reported rape near the Duke University campus has told NBC 17 News that someone might have drugged the accuser the night she claims three lacrosse members raped her.

"She may have been slipped a date-rape drug in a mixed drink she was given by one of the lacrosse players shortly after she arrived,” the source told NBC 17 late Friday.

"Her condition is said to have changed dramatically in a short period of time, from being completely sober on arrival to passing out on the floor in a short period of time."
NBC17’s story continues for another twenty-five paragraphs , but says nothing further about the unnamed source’s speculation the woman “may have been slipped a date-rape drug.”

Did NBC17 ask the source the basis for the source's speculation? NBC17 doesn’t say.

I'm sure the first question most of us would have asked the source was something like: “Is what you're saying based on what you're heard or know about lab results from the woman's blood samples taken at Duke Hospital the night of the alleged assault?"

Nothing about that in the "Exclusive."

And what does “close to the investigation” mean?

Is the source just one of the many uninformed attention seekers now floating around town and approaching media with: “If you promise not to identify me I can….?”

Or is it someone in DA Mike Nifong’s office looking to “soften up” grand jurors who are home this weekend and, we’re told, will be asked Monday to vote to indict one or more of the lacrosse players?

Surely NBC17 knew people would ask such questions. Why didn’t it say something about what “close to the investigation” means?

Something else: assuming the source asked for anonymity, what was the reason for that?

We’re not told. No surprise though.

NBC17’s “Exclusive” has as much substance as a soap bubble.

Hat tip: Signifying Nothing
News story URL:


me said...

If they suspected at the beginning that she may have been drugged, I would think the search warrant would have reflected that. Did you notice that that warrant says nothing about searching for beer cans, bottles of alcohol nor drink cups? Nor did the warrant say anything about searching for illicit drugs of any kind.

Anonymous said...

Nice dissection of a TV "news" story by JiC. The story has as much substance, maybe less, than a morning vapor. Remember, if it's on TV, its not news -- its a video production in search of ratings.


straightarrow said...

Nifong should be facing charges himself. He is rushing to indict without any knowledge of a crime. What the Hell is wrong with the people of Durhama that they tolerate this? Hopefully a judge with balls will nail him to the wall for contempt of court.

Nothing could show more contempt for the court or the law than to seek indictments and convictions without a crime.

Anonymous said...

I thought that the defence attorneys said that they had a series of pictures showing her trying to get back into the party (drink in hand) after the alleged incident?

But I'm sure the news story doesn't try to analyze that.

Pitiful, really.


B said...

Hi everyone,

I've been doing some thinking and writing about this same case. What I find particularly troubling is how dead-set the DA is on prosecuting this case even without DNA evidence.

I wrote an article about it on the link below. I understand if you don't want comments linking to other blogs, but thought you might be interested.


best regards,


Locomotive Breath said...

If you look at the smoking gun at the returned search warrant for 610 N. Buchanan

you'll see item #28 recovered was "pills". No one knows what they were but they could just as well as been hers since they recovered her cell phone and other property. In other words, she could have been under the influence of her own drugs.

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