Reassessing Lacrossegate

Widely-respected legal writer Stuart Taylor takes to the pages of Slate to thoroughly evicerate a rather pathetic effort by the New York Times to rehabilitate the efforts of Durham’s Keystone Kops and bumbling DA Mike Nifong in the interminable Duke lacrosse investigation. Quoth Taylor:

Like the headline, the piece cultivates a meretricious appearance of balance. But its flaws are so glaring that it was shredded by bloggers within hours after it hit my doorstep. They were led by a Durham group called Liestoppers and by KC Johnson, an obscure but brilliant New York City history professor of centrist political views. Johnson alone has produced more insightful (if sometimes one-sided) analysis and commentary on the Duke case—about 60,000 words—than all the nation’s newspapers combined.

The Wilson-Glater piece highlights every superficially incriminating piece of evidence in the case, selectively omits important exculpatory evidence, and reports hotly disputed statements by not-very-credible police officers and the mentally unstable accuser as if they were established facts. With comical credulity, it features as its centerpiece a leaked, transparently contrived, 33-page police sergeant’s memo that seeks to paper over some of the most obvious holes in the prosecution’s evidence.

This memo was concocted from memory, nearly four months after the underlying witness interviews, by Durham police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, the lead investigator. Gottlieb says he took no contemporaneous notes, an inexplicable and indefensible police practice. Gottlieb had drawn fire before the alleged Duke rape—perhaps unbeknownst to the Times—as a Dukie-basher who reveled in throwing kids into jail for petty drinking infractions, noise violations, and the like, sometimes with violent criminals as cellmates.

Gottlieb’s memo is contradicted on critical points by the contemporaneous notes of other police officers, as well as by hospital records seeming to show that the accuser did not have the injuries Gottlieb claims to have observed. The Times blandly mentions these contradictions while avoiding the obvious inference that the Gottlieb memo is thus unworthy of belief.

JustOneMinute‘s Tom Maguire has more, including excerpts from a New Yorker piece on the scandal. I wish I could remember who I first saw mock this passage mercilessly, which is the sort of thing only someone from Manhattan (the one in New York, not Kansas) could write:

In the order of the social universe of Duke undergraduates, the lacrosse players ranked at the top of the dominance hierarchy. They tended to be the children of white, prosperous families, products of northeastern preparatory schools, where the game is a fixture; after graduation most of them go on to lucrative careers in fields like finance. They were capable, if not overly serious, students, and necessarily well-disciplined athletes. They were also known as enthusiastically social creatures, partyers of the very highest order, and prodigious drinkers, even within a culture inclined to intemperance. In this regard, their marquee setting (in public, at least) was the Saturday-morning football-season event known as Tailgate, a quasi-sanctioned school function held in a parking lot before football games.

You’ve got to love a magazine so pretentious that it has to explain to its readers what tailgating is…

FILED UNDER: Education, , , , , ,
Chris Lawrence
About Chris Lawrence
Chris teaches political science at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Georgia. He has a Ph.D. in political science (with concentrations in American politics and political methodology) from the University of Mississippi. He began writing for OTB in June 2006. Follow him on Twitter @lordsutch.

Comments

  1. Alan Kellogg says:

    …(if sometimes one-sided)…

    Sometimes there is only one side.

  2. Krystal says:

    When a stripper passed out in Durham.

    I guess it happened years ago. I started having sex at a very early age. I’m not sure why, I just wanted to. When I was still in high school, I was in competition with myself to see how many boys I could have sex with in a week. I became quite self educated in the subtle differences there are in each boys genitalia.

    Guys who looked like they were packing huge equipment sometimes where packing “happy meal” toys, while guys you would least expect would be packing man-size equipment that would make any girl’s mouth water and pusy sweat.

    One day I had sex with three boys in the bathroom of my boyfriend’s house, and I immediately got a reputation f being easy. That reputation was a double edged sword. On the positive side, I got more guys than ever, but on the negative side everyone knew. Even in this age of “equal rights” girls still suppose to not like having sex. Strangely, feminist are the ones perpetuating this myth. A feminist friend of mine told me if I claimed I was raped, I could redeem myself and reputation. I could blame my avid hunger for sex on “being abused at an early age”. She even suggested that I claim I was raped by my father. My reputation would be instantly vindicated as I enjoyed all the powers and benefits of being a “victim”.

    Years later when I was being dishonorable discharged from the Navy for having sex with over half the men and few of the women in my squad, I claimed I was raped, but since many of my sexcapades were video taped, I didn’t want to risk being caught in a lie because I couldn’t remember which guys and gals video taped me and which ones didn’t, so I made a claim in 1996 that I was raped by three boys when I was in high school.

    It was tough living the lie, and I wasn’t interested in being in the Navy anymore. A friend told me I could make tons of money by marrying a man, having his child, then leaving him forcing him to pay child support which can take up to 60% of his net pay. If I had children from three different guys, I could collect over one thousand dollars of tax free child support each month for 18 years, but that plan fell through because I married a loser who found out I gave birth to another man’s child while married to him. My ex-husband tried to gain custody of my child, but I didn’t want to pay child support to him, so in 1998 I claimed that he kidnapped me and tried to kill me.

    I’ve been a stripper/prostitute/escort for awhile now, and I’ve been taking a few classes at UCNC in hopes to recruit a few girls of my own to pimp out. One night in 2002 I was having a particular good night, so I partied a little too hard, gave a public lap dance to a cab driver, when he wouldn’t have sex with me in exchange for cab fare, I stole his cab, and when the cops tried to stop me, I tried to kill them. I’m still on probation for that little incident.

    Earlier this year in 2006, I was working my ass off — literally! I had sex with a “client”, then with my boyfriend, then with a battery vaginal sex toy, then with two guys in exchange for a ride to the lacrosse party. The boys were pissed because I arrived so wasted. I had my routine party drugs that evening and I was feeling grrrrrreate! I stumbled all over the place, and after five minutes I wanted to leave. After why not? I already was paid. My stripper friend, “K”, was arguing with the boys over us taking the money without providing a show. She called them racial slurs and they responded in kind, but to get them back, she called 911 and lied claiming that we were only driving by and racial slurs were being yelled at us. We laughed and laughed that the 911 —people could be so stupid.

    I was so wasted that I forgot my money and phone at the boys’ house, but the $400.00 “K” didn’t want to slpit her take with me, so she called the cops to have me arrested. I drank the last of my booze and took the last of my party drugs so the cops wouldn’t atke it. By the time the cops arrived I was feeling “fffffffine!” And that’s when it hit me! I was being arrested for … oh I forgot, but to get out of it I claimed rape. That always works. I was surprised they believed me. My story was wild and a fantastic fantasy, but I had no evidence to back it up. I only had a little scratch on my knee from when I fell when I was totally wasted, and a little scrape on my ankle. The doctor and the nurse checked my pusy. I really enjoyed that. I’m thinking of having pap smears every week. I love laying there naked with my legs up and cold metal probes are inserted into my vagina. I must have had four orgasms just waiting there.

    The local DA, he’s such a loser, wanted so badly to get elected that he cherry picked every piece of evidence to make a case. All he cared about was making national news. He said it was better than sex, and I would agree. In college, the DA should have spent less time with his head in books, and more time learning how to please a woman. You’d figure a white man with such a small penis would make up the difference with some kind of technique.

    It’s amazing how feminist groups and racist groups are fast to jump on cases like this. I figure I can make bucks on the movie right alone. I thin it’s a laugh how news anchors like Nancy and Wendy twist and stretch any evidence or story to make sure people believe a rape actually occurred, but when someone points out that the evidence proves the rape didn’t really exist, both Nancy and Wendy claim that others are twisting and stretching the evidence. Talk about the kettle calling the pot black. Nancy and Wendy are my heroes. They have no integrity and that’s probably how they got where they are. Girls like Nancy, Wendy, and me should stick together. Using victimhood as a weapon and tool for personal gains will get us rich! I kinda feel sorry for those boys though, but you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

    This is only my personal fictional story.

  3. It could only be better if they explained that college football was “a quasi-professional sport played by large men with low SAT scores who attempt to move a ball up and down a field”.