Saturday, August 26, 2006

Duke lacrosse: "Old grey lady" attacked

Readers' Note: The New York Times has the nickname "the old grey lady of W. 43rd Street."

Yesterday the "lady" published a story clearly intended to prop up Durham DA Mike Nifong's travesty of a "case" against three Duke students.

Many bloggers are responding with careful, informed analysis that's exposing the story's omissions of important information; it's half-truths; and its "Go Mike" bias.

I applaud their work.


JinC News Service is reporting :

Durham, NC – Durham police are investigating what they’re describing as “a very extensive truth attack” on “an old grey lady” found dumped in a trash bin.

A source close to the investigation confirmed that the “lady” is from New York and was once a trusted news organization. She’s believed to have been in the area visiting “nieces and nephews” at the Raleigh News & Observer.

It’s JinC policy not to disclose the identities of formerly respected news organizations who are subjects of truth attacks.


Police learned of the attack as a result of a 911 call. The caller declined to give her name. Police released the following transcript of the call:

Me and my girlfriend were just driving by the Durham County Courthouse and this large, loud group of people were coming down the steps. I recognized one of them was DA Mike Nifong

I could hear them saying things like “That was a great story you wrote” and “I loved your indictments” and “See you at Blincos.”

Then, as we bicycled by them, they started hollering, “Vote for Nifong.”

That was so hurtful.

I stopped walking and looked back. That’s when I saw the “old grey lady.”

She was sticking out of Nifong’s back pocket.

Police say at that point the caller hung up and they dispatched a patrol car to the courthouse.

The police arrived at the courthouse two minutes later. The steps and sidewalk were deserted, but while searching the surrounding area police found the “old grey lady” lying in a trash bin.

“In times like these, you’re ready for anything,” said one officer. “Still, what my partner and I saw was so shocking we immediately decided to take the ‘lady’ to the ER at Duke Hospital.”


A spokesperson for Duke Hospital, citing patient confidentiality, declined to disclose anything about the “lady.” However, JinC obtained her hospital records from another source. A copy follows:

“Patient entered ER disoriented. Kept offering doctors/nurses anonymity if they’d disclose national security secrets.

Patient presented with signs and symptoms of severe readership decline.

Examination revealed right and medial paralysis but strong left side usage. Ego bloated and severely bruised. Extreme sensitivity to criticism.

Patient at first denied she’d suffered a truth attack but later told an MSM Rehab nurse she’d been attacked by 3, 5, maybe as many as 20 bloggers. At one point she shouted, “The bloggers did it!”

Although the patient denied having credibility problems, her credibilty levels were dangerously low. So her news columns, editorials and Sunday Magazine section were swabbed and the swabs were sent to a lab in Raleigh for further testing.

Lab results are expected back in two weeks.

No arrests have been made.

Friday, August 25, 2006

No Churchill Series post - Aug. 25, 2006

Because of my work schedule there will be no series post Friday.

I'm sorry.

I hope you are back on Monday.


Duke lacrosse: The blogs are on Times

Today The NY Times offers readers a major (5,500 plus words) Duke lacrosse story, "Files From Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers."

And before you could say “Gottlieb at Blinco’s,” the bloggers were shredding it.

Liestoppers reminds readers the story’s lead reporter, Duff Wilson, has a history of attempting to spin Nifong’s way. Liestoppers goes on to provide detail and careful analysis.

Johnsville News begins its shredding with:

The New York Times uses Durham Police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb's late arriving 36 page report to say that Mike Nifong now has support for going to trial. They put their biased story on the top left of the front page.
I loved the title of Johnsville’s post: “The Gottlieb script finally arrives.”

KC Johnson says, "The Times Drops the Ball" :
Presented with a chance to review all the evidence in the Duke lacrosse case file, the Times, alas, continued the bias it demonstrated in its initial coverage of the lacrosse case, with hysteria articles from Selena Roberts and Harvey Araton.
KC’s traveling today so his post is brief (brief for KC, that is) but he’s promised another post this evening. I can’t wait.

Bull Dog Pundit, a former prosecutor, read the Times’ “Gottlieb Files” story and concludes :
Having looked at these “new” revelations supposedly beneficial to the prosecution, I disagree that it makes Nifong’s case any stronger. In fact, I think it raises some very disturbing questions.
I’m sure there are other excellent posts out there on this story. Sorry I missed them.

I’ll be posting some thoughts of my own on the “Gottlieb Files” tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a new motto for the Times: “All our stories fit for blogs to shred.”

Hat tip: Betsy Newmark

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Churchill Series – Aug. 24, 2006

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

On March 11, 1938 German troops crossed the border and entered Austria. Two days later, Hitler rode in triumph through Vienna.

Churchill warned Czechoslovakia would be next. Six months later his prophesy was fulfilled at Munich when England and France agreed they wouldn’t oppose Germany’s dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in exchange for Hitler's "solemn promise" of "peace in our time."

On July 8, 1938 Churchill wrote Clementine. He regretted the appeasement of the Nazis. Why weren’t people standing up to them? He answered his own question:

Apparently, you always have to have a disaster before anything sensible can be done which would prevent it.
His words are as true today as they were then.
Speaking for Themselves: The Personal letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill, edited by their daughter, Mary Soames. (p. 435)

Duke lacrosse: The Raleigh N&O gets rather Kinko

Readers' Note: Who doesn't know about the McClatchy Company's Raleigh News & Observer's biased, inaccurate and inflammatory reporting of the false accuser's claims and the paper's savaging of the Duke lacrosse players?

I've been especially critical of the N&O's Mar. 24 story that "broke" the Duke lacrosse case. In that Mar. 24 story a group of N&O reporters and editors cast the accuser as "the victim" and framed the Duke lacrosse team as her victimizers.

With that background you'll understand that post which follows. You may also want to visit the Editors' Blog where I've posted the comment you'll find below. There are may other related comments there and no doubt there'll be more in the next few days.

Message to N&O: I'll not be run off.


Comment from: John [Visitor] ·
08/24/06 at 22:45

I'm John in Carolina and I'm sending the follwoing electonic letter to N&O reporter Joseph Neff.

To: Joseph Neff
Raleigh News & Observer, a McClatchy Company newspaper
Dear Reporter Neff:

I’m John in Carolina. I publish, edit and frequently report for the electronic publication,

Yesterday, I and were targets of a comment post at the McClatchy Company sponsored Editors’ Blog.

The commenter self-identified using your name and posting from a site that links back to but I can’t identify who actually posted the comment at the N&O site. (Scroll down this link and the thead comment at 08/23/06 at 11:43.)

Since it’s hard to believe a fair reporter would write what is posted, I’m using the qualified “Joseph Neff” when referring to whoever wrote the post.

I hope you’ll promptly respond with an assurance you didn’t write it. I also hope you’ll help identify whoever did.

Commenter “Joseph Neff” objects to statements I’ve made regarding N&O practice concerning naming the accuser as “victim.”

“Neff” says, “I’d like to correct a post by JohninCarolina about the N&O’s use of the word “victim” when reporting on rape and sexual assault cases.”

“Neff” goes on to demand a correction:

"JohninCarolina: If you’ve posted this incorrect information elsewhere, please correct it."
“Neff” wants to discredit what many N&O readers, including myself, have said concerning the N&O’s Mar 24 story which “broke” the Duke lacrosse case.

In the Mar. 24 story, the N&O seven times identified the accuser as “the victim” or with the possessive “victim’s,” without ever once using a conditional qualifier such as “alleged” or “reported.”

Doing that was a deliberate, story-specific departure from standard N&O practice in news stories like the Duke lacrosse story where rape is alleged and the accused deny the allegation(s).

By repeatedly telling readers in that critical first Duke lacrosse story media and the public read that the accuser was “the victim”, the N&O framed the lacrosse players as her victimizers. That was grossly unfair as I don’t doubt you know.

You no doubt also know, Reporter Neff, that the N&O’s executive editor for news, Melanie Sill, has said what the N&O did in that Mar. 24 story with regard to calling the accuser “the victim” is “common practice.”

Sill’s statement is false and over many weeks and in many posts at and at the Editors’ Blog, I’ve provided extensive evidence to prove Sill’s “common practice” claim is false.

The evidence I’ve provided comes from multiple sources, such as the New York Times. The evidence includes the results of a search of N&O archives for the months of January and February, 2006.

“Neff,” however, supports what Sill has said and uses one of your stories to make “Neff’s’” [I don’t use the pronoun here because I don’t know “Neff’s” gender or number. – JinC] case:
"I had used the word victim in many stories, including an article pubished (sic) April 13, 2006:
Reporter Neff, readers who take the trouble to look at your story will see it involves charges of statutory rape.

By my count you 15 times refer to “the girl” or “the girl’s” or use feminine pronoun forms. Only once did you use “victim’s.”

Common practice?

Fifteen to one: common practice?

My search of N&O archives for Jan & Feb., 2006 yielded one story with your byline: “Former inmate faces inquiry.” (Feb. 14)

The story deals with the same case as your Apr. 13 story.

In your Feb. 14 story you never once refer to the girl as “victim.” Here’s part of your story:
"The warrant alleged that Gell struck up a friendship with the girl's parents last summer and began a sexual relationship with the girl in October, about two months before she turned 16. The girl is now pregnant, and she told investigators that Gell may be the father, the warrant said."
By my count, Reporter Neff, you 7 times refer to “the girl” or “the girl’s” or use feminine pronoun forms. Does my count match your count?

Adding 15 + 7 gives us 22 times you could have used a noun form of victim but didn’t.

Reporter Neff, would you say that your 22 to 1 usage ratio supported a claim that using “victim” in a case like Duke lacrosse was “common practice?”

It’s very likely your single use of “victim’s” was an inadvertent departure from standard N&O practice that got by you and your editors, isn’t it?

Can you see why I find it hard to believe you or any decent reporter would post what “Joseph Neff” posted?

But wait, there’s much more; and it makes “Neff” look even worse.

"Neff " says: “I checked the same two months that JohninCarolina researched and found at least four stories where we used the word victim in cases not yet adjudicated. “ and “I’m copying in two short examples below from January and February. "

Here, Reporter Neff, are the two example of the use of victim “Neff” provides.

Form Jan. 21 -- “The News & Observer does not identify victims of alleged sex crimes.”

From Feb. 9 -- “The News & Observer does not release the names of people reported to be victims of sexual assault.”

Reporter Neff, as you know, my research had to do with the N&O’s use of “victim,” a singular noun, to describe the “accuser,” a singular noun.

“Neff’s” examples concern “alleged sex crime victims,” a collective plural noun phrase which the N&O regularly uses to describe a class of people to whom it routinely grants anonymity.

I have no problem with the N&O’s anonymity policy so long as the N&O uses a conditional qualifier when explaining it, as it did in the two examples “Neff” cites.

“Neff’s” two examples are so unrelated to what I researched that any good reporter would know that without my saying it.

Some readers will no doubt say, “OK, ‘Neff’s’ two examples don’t relate to what your talking about. But will you please count them as ‘real’ examples? I’d like to see what happens when we do that.”

All right, let’s do it.

For a good part of today, I researched the N&O archives as I did before, using the input word “rape” for the same Jan. & Feb. 2006 time period. There were 64 records returned.

I counted carefully through news stories until I had over 100 instances from N&O news stories that fit what I had said. At that point I stopped counting.

Reporter Neff, as a wrap-up to “Neff’s” post, let’s agree that four out of 100 is 4%; and 4% hardly proves “common practice,” does it?

In fact, it proves just the opposite. And we were generous with the four, weren’t we?

What do you think “Neff” meant to do?

I think “Neff” and perhaps others may have told “Neff” to do what “Neff” did what "Neff" dis in order to slime and intimidate me and my publication, And they went to a lot of time and trouble to do it.

But while he/she/they may successfully slime, they won't intimidate me.

“Neff’s” post recalled to my mind an image of Bush-hater Bill Burket’s copying the forged documents at that Kinko’s in Texas before sending them off to Dan Rather and CBS.

What images did “Neff’s” rather Kinko post bring to your mind?



Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Churchill Series – Aug. 23, 2006

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Churchill’s friend of sixty years, Charlotte Bonham Carter, observes him painting on a June day in 1915 :

Watching him paint for the first time on that June morning I became suddenly aware that it was the only occupation I had ever seen him practice in silence. When golfing, bathing, rock climbing, building sand castles on the beach, even when playing bezique or bridge he talked – and thus enhanced for all the drama and excitement of these pastimes.

But he painted silently, rapt in intense appraisal, observation, and assessment of the scene he meant to capture and to transfer to his canvas. He has (characteristically) compared painting a picture to fighting a battle.“It is, if anything, more exciting than fighting it successfully. ... It is the same kind of problem as unfolding a long, sustained, interlocked argument. ... It is a proposition which, whether of few or numberless parts, in commanded by a single unity of conception.”

Painting challenged his intellect, appealed to his sense of beauty and proportion, unleashed his creative impulse, and it was because he was thus once more wholly engaged that painting brought him peace.
Three revealing paragraphs that need no commentary from JinC.

I hope you’re here tomorrow.
Charlotte Bonham Carter, Winston Churchill: An Intimate Portrait. (p.382)

Duke lacrosse: NEWS ALERT – Another Duke Law Prof comments

The blogs continue to report Duke hoax news the Raleigh News & Observer, publisher of the notorious “vigilante” poster, just can’t seem to find.

Today, at Durham-in-Wonderland, historian and blogger KC Johnson reports Duke Law School Professor Erwin Chemerinsky’s first public comments regarding DA Mike Nifong's conduct and other other matter's related to the "investigation" Nifong directed.

While brief and limited, Chemerinsky’s comments will have considerable influence given his status in legal, academic and political circles.

Chemerinsky is one of America’s leading attorneys and a vocal advocate for positions embraced by liberal interest groups. He’s seen as a likely Supreme Court nominee if an opening occurs while a Democrat is in the White House. Last Spring Chemerinsky declined the Dean’s position at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s law school.

Chemerinsky was recently the subject of a wide-ranging, gushy N&O profile ("Duke law prof has pick of high-profile cases")which mentioned many issues and cases he’s been involved in. He was quoted regarding some of them. However, the N&O profile contained no mention of the Duke lacrosse hoax.

The N&O’s failure to mention the Duke hoax struck informed readers as odd in any case, but especially so given that the profile reporter was Anne Blythe, who’s written often on what the N&O still calls “the Duke lacrosse case.”

Blythe was one of the two reporters bylined in the N&O’s much criticized Mar. 25 interview story with the accuser who was granted anonymity because, as Blythe and her fellow reporter told readers:

“It is The News & Observer's policy not to identify the victims of sex crimes.”(bold added)
More about all of this soon.

In the meantime, congratulations to KC Johnson for an important news contribution to the unfolding Duke hoax story. KC’s post is here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Churchill Series – Aug. 22, 2006

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

In life, we must sometimes choose between alternatives that are “awful” and “more awful.” In war such choices are frequent. New weapons often present such choices. That was the case when America successfully tested an atomic bomb in July, 1945.

Martin Gilbert tells us how Churchill looked at the choice presented to the Allies by the development of the atomic bomb :

On the morning of July 22, [1945], Churchill was given a detailed account of the first atomic bomb test in New Mexico. Inside a one-mile circle the devastation had been absolute.

Churchill then went to see [President] Truman. Churchill later recalled, "we had shaped our ideas towards an assault upon the homeland of Japan by terrific air bombing and by the invasion of very large armies. We had contemplated the desperate resistance of the Japanese fighting to the death with Samurai devotion, not only in pitched battles, but in every cave and dug-out.”

Recalling “the spectacle “ of Okinawa, “where many thousands of Japanese, rather than surrender, had drawn up in line and destroyed themselves by hand-grenades, after their leaders had solemnly performed the rite of hara-kiri,” Churchill realized that to over come Japanese resistance “man by man” and conquer Japan “yard by yard” might require the loss of a million American soldiers and half a million British – or more if we could get them there: for we were resolved to share the agony.”

With the news that the atomic bomb was a reality, “all this nightmare picture had vanished. In its place was the vision – fair and bright indeed it seemed – of the end of the whole war in one or two violent shocks.”
I hope you keep this post handy and use it the next time someone tells you we shouldn’t have dropped those atom bombs.

Churchill really understates the case for the use of the atom bombs to save lives. By August, 1945 tens of thousands of non-combatants – civilians in the vast regions still controlled by Japan and POWs – were dying every day from starvation and deliberate killing. The late historian Stephen Ambrose often said the decisions to drop the bombs saved more lives than any other decision the Allies made during WW II.
Martin Gilbert, Churchill and America. (p. 360)

Duke lacrosse: At Friends of Duke University

there are two items I want to call to your attention.

First, Joan Collins of Garden City, N.Y., writes a beautiful letter which begins

Amidst all the ugliness and weakness the Duke Lacrosse Case has revealed, we should not forget the true heroes that have emerged. Dave Evans, co-captain of the 2006 Duke Men's Lacrosse Team is such a hero.

Ernest Hemingway defined courage as "Grace under pressure." What better evidence of this than Evans' inspiring and courageous speech to the press on the steps of the Durham County Jail on May 16, 2006.

One day earlier, Mr. Evans joined fellow senior classmates in graduation ceremonies at Duke, one of the most important and long awaited days of students and their families. But Evans and his family had been told earlier that Dave would be indicted and thrust front and center into the media spectacle known as the Duke Lacrosse Case.
You can read the rest of Joan Collins' letter here.If you want to go there right now and finish the letter before moving to the second item, I don’t blame you.

Go ahead. A click from Joan’s letter will bring you back here to JinC.

And I’ll be right here waiting when you get back; and then we can go on to the second item which is a response by FODU's Jason Trumpbour to a Raleigh News & Observer op-ed critical of FODU and supportive of the man they’ve called “America worst DA,” Mike Nifong.

Trumpbour begins:
In a recent opinion piece in this newspaper, John Schwade weakly defends Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong’s handling of the Duke lacrosse case. Schwade can find little positive to say about Nifong. […]
Trumpbour summarizes Schwade’s “case,” and then says:
[Schwade] devotes most of his efforts to personally attacking Nifong’s critics, among them Lewis Cheek and the organization I represent, the Friends of Duke University. Cheek he dismisses with ridicule. […]

As for FODU, Schwade borrows a page from Nifong and attempts to exploit or create prejudice within the community by using unfair caricatures. He compares us to the mafia and darkly suggests we are using “money”, “influence,” and “friends in the national media.” […]
Trumpbour easily turns Schwade’s false accusations on themselves :
[Friends of Duke University is] a group of alumni and parents who are deeply concerned about what is happening to three members of the Duke Community.

We want to see justice served, not frustrated.

I myself am a former attorney in the Criminal Appeals Division of the Maryland Attorney General’s office. I now teach law, jurisprudence and legal practice to law students and students in a graduate program in legal and ethical studies.[...]

The source of our concern is Nifong’s egregious and systematic misconduct. Nifong has made false and prejudicial extrajudicial statements in violation of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct.
With Trumpbour's background, you'd expect him to expose Nifong’s misconduct; and he does just that :
[Nifong] has invited the public to disregard the civil rights of the accused and made appeals to prejudice.

He has a continuing conflict of interest due to his political alliance with another attorney who hopes to profit from the Duke case.

He has manipulated witnesses.

Worst of all is his violation of NCRPC Rule 3.8 which prohibits a prosecutor from avoiding “pursuit of evidence merely because he or she believes it will damage the prosecutor’s case.”
There’s more. You can read it all here.

Thank you Joan Collins and Jason Trumpbour. Thank you FODU.

To the players and families: Your case grows stronger ever day.

Tearing down America - Aug. 22, 2006

Yesterday I posted Our enemies: Overt and Covert. The post included Betsy Newmark's post on a Michael Barone column in which he said:

[America's] covert enemies are those among our elites who have promoted the ideas labeled as multiculturalism, moral relativism and (the term is Professor Samuel Huntington's) transnationalism.

At the center of their thinking is a notion of moral relativism. No idea is morally superior to another. Hitler had his way, we have ours -- who's to say who is right? No ideas should be "privileged," especially those that have been the guiding forces in the development and improvement of Western civilization. Rich white men have imposed their ideas because of their wealth and through the use of force. […].

Our covert enemies go quickly from the notion that all societies are morally equal to the notion that all societies are morally equal except ours, which is worse.

These are the ideas that have been transmitted over a long generation by the elites who run our universities and our schools, and who dominate our mainstream media.

They teach an American history with the good parts left out and the bad parts emphasized. We are taught that some of the Founding Fathers were slaveholders -- and are left ignorant of their proclamations of universal liberties and human rights.

We are taught that Japanese-Americans were interned in World War II -- and not that American military forces liberated millions from tyranny.

To be sure, the great mass of Americans tend to resist these teachings. By the millions they buy and read serious biographies of the Founders and accounts of the Greatest Generation. But the teachings of our covert enemies have their effect.
For some time I've wanted to start a series focused on the people and organizations Barone is talking about. Their moral relativism and selfishness enable them to do whatever suits their agendas regardless of whether or not it helps tear down America.

Recently, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Polosi provided an example of tearing down America. Pelosi demanded the State Department stop charging American citizens fleeing Lebanon the equivalent of the cost of a commercial ticket plus one dollar as the price of our military rescuing them in a war zone and transport them to safe destinations. Pelosi said the Bush administration shouldn't be charging. A free ride is what Pelosi said those fleeing should be offered.

There now, everyone can see how selfish Bush is, and how caring Pelosi and her fellow Democrats are. Remember that when you vote in November.

Folks, do you doubt what Pelosi would have said if the Bush administration had offered a "Free rescue and ride home" to Americans fleeing a war zone who happened to work for Halliburton and Exxon?

There was a time when in a situation like Lebanon, with Americans trapped, the house minority leader would have been expected to say something like this:
"After the Speaker had finished talking to the President I got on the phone and told him the House minority members’ support what our government is doing. I also asked the President to convey to everyone involved in the rescue work, especially our military who are operating in very dangerous circumstances, our admiration and gratitude for what they are doing. The thoughts and prayers of every House member are with those still trapped and with their loved ones"
But most of us - Democrats, Republicans and Independents - would have been shocked to hear Pelosi say something like that.

That tells us how successful academic and MSM Leftists and organizations like the National Education Association have been in tearing America down.

We need to rebuild America’s culture. We need to become more aware and appreciative of America’s exceptionality so that when someone acts like Pelosi there’s a national shout-out:
“You’re seeking political advantage at America’s expense. Get off the public stage before we vote you off.”

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Churchill Series – Aug. 21, 2006

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Because time presses, today’s post will be brief; it will be wise because of Churchill’s words.

In 1929, in a now almost entirely forgotten incident, a group of Chinese warlords attacked and destroyed British property in China.

The Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, was encouraged by many to overlook the matter. The warlords did wrong, certainly, but they were a bother and not a real problem. Let the matter go, Baldwin was advised. Or better yet, find some way to appease the warlords so they won’t do such things in the future.

Churchill, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, was not, as we would all know, one of the appeasers. His official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, told a London audience in 1991 of a letter Churchill wrote Baldwin at the time of the incident. In it, Churchill set out beliefs he’d held throughout his public life :

[T]here is no evil worse than submitting to wrong and violence for fear of war. Once you take the position of not being able in any circumstance to defend your rights against the aggression of some particular set of people, there is no end to the demands that will be made upon you or to the humiliations that must be accepted.

Our enemies: Overt and covert

Betsy Newmark posts today, Our enemies among us.

Michael Barone has a rock-solid column today about how the forces of moral relativism serve as covert enemies who seem to secretly pull for the United States to lose because they are convinced that no culture is better than another, but somehow American culture is worse.

At the center of their thinking is a notion of moral relativism. No idea is morally superior to another. Hitler had his way, we have ours -- who's to say who is right? No ideas should be "privileged," especially those that have been the guiding forces in the development and improvement of Western civilization. Rich white men have imposed their ideas because of their wealth and through the use of force. Rich white nations imposed their rule on benighted people of color around the world. For this sin of imperialism they must forever be regarded as morally stained and presumptively wrong.

Our covert enemies go quickly from the notion that all societies are morally equal to the notion that all societies are morally equal except ours, which is worse.

These are the ideas that have been transmitted over a long generation by the elites who run our universities and our schools, and who dominate our mainstream media. They teach an American history with the good parts left out and the bad parts emphasized. We are taught that some of the Founding Fathers were slaveholders -- and are left ignorant of their proclamations of universal liberties and human rights.

We are taught that Japanese-Americans were interned in World War II -- and not that American military forces liberated millions from tyranny. To be sure, the great mass of Americans tend to resist these teachings. By the millions they buy and read serious biographies of the Founders and accounts of the Greatest Generation. But the teachings of our covert enemies have their effect.

Of course, this distorts history. We are taught that American slavery was the most evil institution in human history. But every society in history has had slavery. Only one society set out to and did abolish it. The movement to abolish first the slave trade and then slavery was not started by the reason-guided philosophies of 18th century France. It was started, as Adam Hochschild documents in his admirable book "Bury the Chains," by Quakers and Evangelical Christians in Britain, followed in time by similar men and women in America. The slave trade was ended not by Africans, but by the Royal Navy, with aid from the U.S. Navy even before the Civil War.

Nevertheless, the default assumption of our covert enemies is that in any conflict between the West and the Rest, the West is wrong. That assumption can be rebutted by overwhelming fact: Few argued for the Taliban after Sept. 11.

But in our continuing struggles, our covert enemies portray our work in Iraq through the lens of Abu Ghraib and consider Israel's self-defense against Hezbollah as the oppression of virtuous victims by evil men. In World War II, our elites understood that we were the forces of good and that victory was essential. Today, many of our elites subject our military and intelligence actions to fine-tooth-comb analysis and find that they are morally repugnant.
Unfortunately, this is the view that predominates in our universities and our media. As Barone concludes, "Our covert enemies don't want the Islamo-fascists to win. But in some corner of their hearts, they would like us to lose."

A nice post by Betsy. I hope she doesn't mind my grabbing it in the middle of a busy day so I can bring you something ASAP about Barone's column.

I'll email Betsy later today and also say more about Barone's column in a post this evening.


Duke lacrosse: Two blogs reporting news today

Today two blogs are reporting on developments in the unfolding Duke hoax case.

First, Liestoppers reports:

Recently, LieStoppers was asked by a North Carolina attorney to assist in the preparation of a NC State Bar Grievance Complaint to be filed against Mr. Nifong by conducting research and providing documentation of Mr. Nifong's ethical transgressions with regard to Ethics Rules 3.6 and 3.8 in terms of his persecution of the Duke hoax.

The results of our research were presented in full to the attorney who requested the assistance and in part here in our A Hoax within a Hoax post. Further presentation will follow on these pages shortly.

In the interests of making our research and source material available to others intent on presenting charges of their own against Mr. Nifong prior to the NC State Bar Ethics Committee Grievance Board’s October session, we have created, and will continue to develop, our new Links section consisting of research sources and analysis targeting the issues raised by Mr. Nifong‘s ethical misbehavior.

While we do understand that the Grievance Board will eventually consider the charges lodged against Mr. Nifong, we cannot say with certainty whether the complaints will be considered in October or at the following session in January.

Members of the North Carolina Bar willing to file additional grievances against Mr. Nifong with regard to ethics rules 3.6 and 3.8 are encouraged to contact LieStoppers if in need of research or documentation assistance. Inquiries may be sent to:

Maybe dat’s da bar where da fat, bald cop da N&O can’t find is drinkin’ des days. What da ya think, Editor Sill?

Anyway , thanks Liestoppers for some very important reporting. And thanks for developing and making available a fine Legal Ethics section at your blog. When an MSM news organization does something like that, it pats itself on the back for a “public service.”

Liestoppers, pat yourself on the back.

Another fine piece of news reporting is found at KC Johnson’s Durham-in-Wonderland.

KC reports on his email interviewing
of Daniel Bowes, the head of Duke’s ACLU chapter. Bowes detailed responses provide information we haven’t had before about his chapter’s activities last Spring as well as some of its plans for the academic year just getting under way. Here’s some of what Bowes said:
As the initial facts concerning the case became clear, it was obvious to the ACLU@DUKE’s members that what D.A. Nifong was doing was unethical, inappropriate, and illegal.

However, for better or worse we made the decision to focus our efforts on increasing the conversation within Duke’s community. While we did not feel qualified to speak on the O’Reilly factor or similar shows—we felt comfortable telling our classmates that the immediate, large-scale presumption of guilt, and the circumstances that Nifong created that allowed such to happen, were reprehensible and not so different from the very same presumptions that had for so long—and still today—plagued minorities.
I don’t recall any area MSM reporting last Spring that the members of Duke's ACLU chapter had concluded what Nifong was doing “was unethical, inappropriate, and illegal.”

That’s an important piece of news in its own right. What’s more, it leads to questions the area media should be pursuing.

For example, what do Duke Law School faculty members think of Duke’s ACLU student members’ conclusions regarding Nifong? Do they share them?

Other than Professor James Coleman, I can’t think of a law faculty member who’s expressed an opinion regarding the ethics, appropriateness or legality of Nifong’s conduct.

And have media ever given us an explanation for Duke’s President Richard Brodhead’s refusal to tell the public what he thinks of Nifong’s conduct?

There is much more news and analysis in KC’s post.

Hat tips to Liestoppers and KC at Durham-in-Wonderland.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Duke lacrosse: Such things happen in the blogoshpere

I’m not one of those who thinks bloggers are starting to dominate news reporting. I think many of us make important contributions to accurate news reporting by providing some of it ourselves, and by pointing out MSM errors and bias. MSM is still very powerful and leans to the Left where it gets plenty of support from the J schools, foundations, the Dems, and political interest groups such as the National Education Association and

So this is not a triumphalist post. I only mean to demonstrate, with examples related to the DL hoax, how a simple action in one place can quickly lead to unplanned but important consequences.

Here goes:

Back on July 20 a comment was left on a thread at the Editor’s Blog where Raleigh News & Observer exec editor for news Melanie Sill is supposed to respond to readers’ questions and concerns. The commenter, who also blogs as NDLAX84, had issues with the campaign website of DA Mike Nifong.

I saw the comment on July 21 and put up a small post satirizing a PR-puff photo caption at the site of Nifong and his staff.

Durham-in-Wonderland blogger KC Johnson saw my post and decided to post a major skewering of Nifong’s campaign website. KC had it up by July 27. You can view it here.

Now if someone googles “Nifong campaign website” the fourth hit is:

History News Network

The campaign website of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong eschews the Ney/Mollohan approach in favor of an Orwellian strategy. The unusually chatty site ... - 23k - Cached - Similar pages
Any journalist wanting perspectives on Nifong campaign website can have KC’s with just a few seconds of googling.

A political opponent: the same thing.

Even Nifong’s staff, including the site's webmaster, can have KC’s perspective.

And that’s all because a commenter/blogger left a comment on the thread of a post of the exec news editor of a paper that supports Mike Nifong.

Talk about unintended consequences! And talk about the influence “the ordinary citizen” can have in the blogoshere.

You really started something, NDLAX84

Nice work, KC

And thank you Melanie Sill and the N&O. It couldn’t have happened without your hosting. (See, Melanie, how we can all help each other? - JinC)

Remember, folks, I’m not a triumphalist. I just see that we can have real influence. I hope it’s enough to turn a lot of things around, not least the injustices of the Duke hoax.

Duke lalcrosse: The Poet of the Piedmont returns

The very talented Joan Foster, Poet of the Piedmont, has returned from her visit to Zeus and Olympus. She graces us today with a brief ode at Liestoppers on themes of loss, recovery and reunion.

In Foster’s work loss is of many types: merchandize at Hecht’s department story and DA Nifong impending loss of office. In a very bold gesture, Joan muses on what she sees as a loss of credibility at the Raleigh N&O.

The critics are sure to jump on her for that, and insist the N&O has no credibility. And maybe Joan did go a little too far in suggesting the N&O had any credibility to lose.

But Foster skillfully uses her suggestion of at least some N&O credibility to link to another of her themes: reunion. Foster’s ode title asks poignantly, “Melanie, have you missed me?”

Those familiar with Foster’s work will immediately know the “Melanie” in the title is the Raleigh N&O’s unbelievable exec editor for news, Melanie Sill, who is often a subject of Foster’s work

Sill regularly makes credibility claims for her paper. Foster takes those claims as the basis for reminding us how the N&O acted to lose the credibility it had gained from Neff’s story.

Foster thus intertwines her three themes: the N&O begins to recover a little lost credibility with Neff’s major story. Then it acted to cut the legs our from under the story based on a single dating error which didn’t change the main points of the story.

But that the N&O was gaining some small amount of credibility even for a brief while is no doubt what inspired Forster to develop her reunion theme. The poem ends with Foster promising to stay by Melanie and help her.

Let the critics scoff! I say, “Brilliant!”

Take a look and decide for yourself. The first three stanzas are here. The rest of it continues at Liestoppers. I’ve linked at the end of the three stanzas here.

“Melanie, have you missed me?”

Melanie, have you missed me
Whilst I was on the road
Did you scan the blog with longing eyes
For a familiar prod or goad?

So, girlfriend, what's been happening
Heard there was a small uproar
Are you and Neff still making rounds
On the"Mea Culpa" tour?

Methinks you doth protest too much
Neff has Nifong on the run
But, girl, practice those apologies...
"You've only just begun."

(The poem continues here. )