Topic category: Other/General
Until Proven Innocent: A KC Bash for Brash Cash
North Carolina journalist and television commentator Cash Michaels, who covered the Duke case for America's Black press, titled his review of Until Proven Innocent "Duke Case Book Blasts Black Leaders, Black Press and NAACP."
An accurate title would have been "Duke Case Book Blasts Some Black Leaders and Black Press and NC NAACP Over Hypocritical Approach to Duke Case." Alas, some folks seem unwilling to learn from the Duke case that overstatement and mischaracterization are to be avoided.
Still, Mr. Michaels' review (described as an analysis) began fairly:
"It has been called, 'A chilling, gripping account of how our judicial system can go terribly wrong,' and hailed as '… a masterful examination of the pathetic rush to judgment of the Duke rape case.'
"Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, indeed offers more detail and analysis of the now infamous 2006 Durham crime story that not only resulted in former District Attorney Mike Nifong being disbarred last June for hiding exculpatory DNA evidence clearing three white lacrosse players of raping a black woman, but on September 7, sends the disgraced prosecutor and Wilmington native to serve a one-day jail sentence for lying to the court.
“'This compelling narrative dramatizes the fearsome power of unscrupulous police and prosecutors to wreck the lives of innocent people, especially when the media and many in the community rush to presume guilt,' New York Law School Professor Nadine Strossen is quoted as saying. [Note: Also the head of the ACLU, a noteworthy fact, whether or not you generally approve or disapprove of the ACLU]
"The book also boasts that it exposes the liberal 'political correctness' of higher ed academia. [Actually, the book has chapters titled 'Politically Correct Sensationalism' and 'Academic McCarthyism' and Mr. Michaels understated the co-authors' important public service.]
Then Mr. Michaels quoted me, albeit partially: "'…It is factual and focuses on plenty of facts that conservatives are pleased to have highlighted,' conservative columnist Michael Gaynor wrote this week."
What I actually wrote is: "This book is hardly right-wing (although that would have been especially fitting in the circumstances). Rather, it is factual and focuses on plenty of facts that conservatives are pleased to have highlighted, while warning liberals and moderates who also care about actual facts of the grave danger posed by the so-called 'higher truth' advocacy on the Far Left exemplified by then North Carolina Central University student Chan Hall's contemptible claim that Duke students should be prosecuted 'whether it happened or not' as 'justice for things that happened in the past' and Newsweek's Evan Thomas notorious remark about his magazine's initial reporting on the Duke non-rape case: 'The narrative was right but the facts were wrong.'"
Having deleted the essence of my message, Mr. Michaels proceeded to attack the integrity of the co-authors of Until Proven Innocent, a fool's errand that Mr. Michaels undertook with zest but no more.
"The Wilmington Journal contacted Rev. Barber and attorneys Joyner and McSurely, and shared the above passages with them for comment.
"Each made clear that they were never contacted by either Taylor or Johnson for comment in the book about issues specifically relative to them as noted, so Rev. Barber, Joyner and McSurely never had a fair opportunity to answer scurrilous charges like, '…they are indifferent to injustice – and even applaud it – when the victims are innocent white kids falsely accused by a black person,” or that they were deliberately working to '…increase the chances of conviction.'"
As usual, KC had the evidence and, at best, Mr. Michaels was really dense, or again misinformed by his sources and hoping they were right.
KC, in "More State NAACP Hypocrisy" (September 8, 2007):
"The Liestoppers board brings protests from Al McSurely (chair of the state NAACP’s Legal Redress Committee) and Irving Joyner (NAACP 'case monitor'). Their claims, according to Cash Michaels? 'The Wilmington Journal contacted Rev. Barber and attorneys Joyner and McSurely, and shared the above passages with them for comment. Each made clear that they were never contacted by either Taylor or Johnson for comment in the book about issues specifically relative to them as noted.'
"One reason I prefer dealing in e-mails is that doing so leaves a written record, making it easy to respond to claims such as the one above. I reproduce the e-mails that I sent to McSurely and Joyner over the course of the case."
KC even chided Mr. Michaels for a rush to judgment: "I should note, for the record, that Michaels never contacted me before publishing his article to verify the recollections of McSurely and Joyner. Had he done so, I would have gladly supplied him with the e-mails I reproduced in this post."
KC: "McSurely and Joyner might not like the conclusions that Stuart Taylor and I drew about their efforts in bolstering Mike Nifong’s prosecution. Indeed, I can see where they would be embarrassed by their performance in the lacrosse case, since their stated positions so consistently contradicted the NAACP’s traditional principles on criminal justice issues. But they certainly cannot claim with any credibility that I did not present them with an opportunity to respond to issues raised in the book about their behavior."
Game, set and match to KC, Mr. Michaels.
It's sad: Mr. Michaels could have been a hero of the Duke case instead of a journalistic disgrace. He learned that former Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong had no evidence, but chose not to share that with his readers and viewers before Election Day 2006.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.