Topic category: Other/General
Duke Case: Learn From It
Brooklyn College History Professor Robert K.C. Johnson is right: The New York Times, instead of 'liv[ing] up to its ideals of defending justice and speaking truth to power... bowed to the dictates of political correctness" when it came to the Duke case.
It sure did! It is guilty of wishful thinking, scapegoating and obfuscating, each in the first degree.
We can excoriate The New York Time and others for their outrageous treatment of the Duke case AND Don Imus for his despicable words, and we should.
But we must not be hypocritical.
We should be promoting respect, fairness and due process for all, not just those who tend to agree with us.
We should seek to know the whole truth, not to cover it up.
That Duke lacrosse party was a stripper party, not a prayer meeting, but there was no rape, or sexual offense, or kidnapping and that could and should have been established in days, not months.
In its May 1, 2006 issue, Newsweek's Susannah Meadows and Evan Thomas described the Duke story as "the product of a widespread college-age culture that proud parents do not wish to exam too closely: future Masters of the Universe who sometimes behaved like thugs."
The members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team are not thugs and did not behave like thugs during what the Newsweek writers called "the infamous evening."
In their most recent article on the Duke case ("What Really Happened That Night At Duke"), the team members were painted (with the usual broad brush) as "some foolish and crude college boys."
At least that's not as bad as thugs.
Michael Radutsky and Tanya Simon of Hoax Exposer "60 Minutes" deserve credit for calling America's attention to what the Duke case really was Looking back, they wrote in an article for Durham's News & Observer: "The Duke story, more than almost any other, upended racial and cultural stereotypes, which often blind people, including reporters, to the truth."
Ironically, however, Radutsky and Simon began their article by misdescribing the genesis of the Duke case as "a scandal where the issues were palpable for us all -- issues of class and race, sex and sports."
The gang-rape charge was bogus and the scandal was that a baseless accusation readily disprovable by DNA testing and review of false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum's history and her contradictory versions of what happened resulted in indictments of three scholar-athletes of kidnapping, rape and sexual offense charges in a case that continued for nearly 400 days.
Radutsky and Simon hinted at the reason:
"The lines were quickly and predictably drawn: rich white boys at an elite university acting badly versus a black woman struggling to make ends meet and to complete classes at the historically black college on the other side of town.
"No question, this was a powerful and irresistible story taking place on the campus of one of the nation's most prestigious universities."
Michael Barone was brilliantly blunt:
"The motives of the 'overreaching' prosecutor, as [North Carolina Attorney General Roy] Cooper called [Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong], are obvious: Prosecuting three white men on charges brought by a black accuser helped him win black votes he needed in an election."
Better still, Mr. Barone exposed the Hoax believers:
"The motives of those who rushed to believe the charges—and continued to believe them 366 days after DNA testing implicated none of the players—are something else.
"The 'Group of 88' Duke professors, journalists for the New York Times, and the Durham Herald-Sun, and heads of black and feminist organizations all seemed to have a powerful emotional need to believe. A need to believe that those they classify as victims must be virtuous and those they classify as oppressors must be villains. A need to believe that this is the way the world usually works.
"Except it doesn’t. Cases that fit this template don’t come along very often. In this country, black-on-white crime is far more common than white-on-black crime (black-on-black crime is far more common still). You won’t see the characters exercised by the Duke case looking at the recent case of three University of Minnesota players accused (whether justly or not) of rape—they happen to be black."
That's the bitter truth.
It is common for a person to believe what he or she wants to believe as long as possible.
What is intolerable is to pretend to persist in an erroneous belief after its erroneousness becomes apparent.
Mr. Barone: "This need to believe that the victim class is always virtuous and the oppressor class is guilty is widespread, and perhaps growing, in this country and abroad. It is particularly strong among those lucky enough to get paid to observe the way most people work and live—academics, journalists, apparatchiks of advocacy organizations."
That poses a great danger.
The ugly truth that many are loathe to admit is that Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans were prosecuted not because there really was probable cause to believe they were guilty of the charges, but because their accuser is black, they are white and Mr. Nifong needed to woo black votes in a three-way Democrat primary in which he was the only white male and behind.
Attorney and Fox legal analyst Jonna Spilbor is right that Ms. Mangum should be prosecuted and false reports should be treated seriously: "Falsely reporting rape - or any crime - is itself a crime. Typically, filing a false report is merely a misdemeanor (an inadequate consequence for falsely reporting any crime, in my opinion). Yet even a misdemeanor prosecution here would at least send a message of some accountability - and might actually bring to public attention the under-punishment of false reporting, so that state statutes might be changed."
If Ms. Mangum is not prosecuted, that will send two ugly messages: false rape reports should be excused in order to encourage genuine ones and prosecuting a black woman for false accusing whites of a gang rape is not something Democrat prosecutors do.
Michael J. Gaynor
Biography - Michael J. Gaynor
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.
Gaynor's email address is email@example.com.