Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Duke rape case: NYTIMES want those rich white boys guilty!

Media: Nothing in this piece would surprise anyone who recognizes the TIMES has a liberal bias that extends to their stories. Some excerpts but you must read the whole thing.

"....Thus the enthralling power of the Duke lacrosse-team story when it broke last spring. As a senior Times alumnus recently e-mailed me, “You couldn’t invent a story so precisely tuned to the outrage frequency of the modern, metropolitan, bien pensant journalist.” That is: successful white men at the Harvard of the South versus a poor single mother enrolled at a local black college, jerky superstar jocks versus $400 out-call strippers, a boozy Animal House party, shouts of “nigger,” and a three-orifice gangbang rape in a bathroom. The story appalled us good-hearted liberal metropolitans, but absolutely galvanized the loopy left at Duke. One associate professor, Wahneema Lubiano, could barely disguise her glee. “The members of the team,” she wrote in a blog, “are almost perfect offenders” because they’re “the exemplars of the upper end of the class hierarchy … and the dominant social group on campus.” Furthermore, she wrote, “regardless of the ‘truth’ ”—that is, regardless of whether a rape occurred—“whatever happens with the court case, what people are asking is that something changes.” Lubiano’s faith-based commitment to her truth reminds me of George Bush, but also of something else journalists like to say, usually as a joke—that some juicy fragment of reporting is “a fact too good to check.” But real facts are stubborn things. And today, the preponderance of facts indicate that there is an injustice—committed, as it turns out, against those perfect offenders. Yet at the epicenter of bien-pensant journalism, the New York Times, reporters and editors—although pointedly not the paper’s columnists—are declining to expose it. “The only thing we can look forward to now,” says Dan Okrent, who was the Times’ ombudsman until last year, “is what the Times will say to the accused once the charges are dropped, or once acquittals are delivered.”
So why on earth does a heretofore well-regarded prosecutor push so … crazily to bring indictments? The Occam’s-razor answer seems compelling: politics. Mike Nifong was appointed district attorney last year, but he has to win elections to keep the job. The peak of the Democratic primary campaign coincided with the rape allegation, and just after the DNA tests came back negative, Nifong, who’s white, told a black crowd at the accuser’s college, “I assure you by my presence here that this case is not over.” Two weeks later, he won the election, narrowly, after racking up big margins among black voters. But by then, the tide of informed opinion had started to shift dramatically. Stuart Taylor, the National Journal’s legal columnist, published two pieces excoriating Nifong. Newsweek, which had put the Duke students’ mug shots on its cover in April, ran a long piece in June making clear that the case was a travesty. Coverage in the Times followed the same arc. Huge, prosecutor-driven news stories about the case early on, one almost every day, along with full-bore revulsion from two sports columnists, an op-ed contributor, and David Brooks. Then a surge of revisionism, led by columnists. Brooks contritely summarized the flimsiness of the prosecution case and said it amounts to a “witch hunt.” And Nick Kristof went further, depicting the case as a mirror image of the 1931 Scottsboro Boys case. “David Brooks is a conservative,” an editor at the paper told me, so his apostasy “didn’t count” for much in the newsroom. “But then they really paid attention when Kristof reversed.”

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