On August 30, 2006, LieStoppers announced a Hag of the Hoax contest, with hostess of her own show Nancy Grace as the first nominee (perhaps an affront to commentator Wendy Murphy).
LieStoppers put it this way:
"With the approach of Labor Day, the annual return of that great American tradition,.. the Miss America Pageant... comes to our minds. LieStoppers is not sexist, but, in a chivalrous way, we seek to recognize several media damsels who stand tall above the crowd in their reporting on this case.
"In that spirit, LieStoppers is proud to announce its own 'Beauty is a Beast Contest': Miss Hag of the Hoax 2006.
"Miss HOH, as we call her fondly, must be no ordinary media star! No, she must possess certain outstanding abilities, and her reporting on the Duke Hoax must exhibit some, if not all, of the following characteristics:
An ability to continuallymisinform the public on basic facts of the case
A malicious contempt for accuracy
Mean-spirited flights of fancy
Vengeful viperous behavior
"With so many worthy candidates gracing the airwaves, choosing Miss Hag of the Hoax 2006 will be a formidable task."
Neither the title of the contest nor the title of the "winner" appealed to me, since the problem with "several media damsels" with respect to the Duke case had nothing to do with their physical appearances and "Miss HOH" might be interpreted as suggesting that the nominees sold sexual services.
Still, it struck me as fair to ridicule nominees and prospective nominees, since they were lawyers who should have known better and they seemed to be exploiting the Duke case for their own agenda-driven purposes instead of providing what I would call helpful expert analysis.
Be that as it may, with Duke case dismissal imminent...WE HAVE A "WINNER" (ALSO A WHINER): WENDY MURPHY!
Nancy Grace has moved on to other cases.
Susan Estrich (a former president of the Harvard Law Review)figured out sooner than Ms. Grace that switching made sense, and recently followed that up by acknowledging that Bill O'Reilly was right about the Duke case and she "went a little nuts."
Ms. Estrich's "defense":
"I’ve been a student of rape law for decades now, and I pulled out every trick to try to prove Bill wrong.
"The problem was, I was relying on what the prosecutor said. I assumed that whatever axe he had to grind, he wasn’t lying about the evidence in the case, and that his office would never have indicted without some evidence that backed up her account. In short, I assumed he was doing his job.
Since Ms. Estrich is a former rape victim inclined to believe any rape claim (like Ruth Sheehan of Durham, North Carolina's News & Observer), I am inclined to forgive her mistake (even though she's a liberal Democrat who wants a playing field tilted sharply in favor of accusers) and celebrate her eventual
"enlightenment"(even if limited to the Duke case) (Of course, I'm not Reade Seligmann, or Collin Finnerty, or David Evans, or a relative or personal friend of any of them, so it's not so hard for me to forgive and I think she owes all of them a sincere apology more urgently than she owed one to Bill O'Reilly.
I do know that something in the way of apology would help those hurt by Ms. Sheehan's blind faith in Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong (Wendy Murphy's choice for 2006 prosecutor of the year), but perhaps The News & Observer has instructed its columnist to say no more for legal reasons.
Georgia Goslee was a horror, of course, but she really can't hold a candle to Wendy Murphy when it comes to Duke case despicability.
On Easter (yes, Easter), Ms. Murphy took advantage of Fox News airtime to predict "riots in the streets" of Durham if the replacement prosecutors drop the remaining charges against the Duke Three.
The pro-Crystal Gail Mangum OurHeartsWorld website just shut down and Cash Michaels, the North Carolina journalist and television commentator who has covered the Duke case for America's Black press, explained why in this post at the Talk Left website:
"First, why shut down OHW now? Simple, because this case is ending very shortly (I’m positive, unless there’s a holdup, it will be by midweek next week, according to sources as recent as this evening, plus CBS and ABC told me they’re gearing up for something next week), and, as we said in our farewell, sources confirm to us that the accuser is not cooperating with the SPs (multiple versions has started up again).
"From the beginning, the site has been about giving her a voice, and her taking that voice to a court of law, where a judge or jury ultimately decides what the truth is.
"Well if she’s an impediment in the fact-finding and truth seeking process by virtue of her uncooperativeness, then the community, in good conscience, cannot support that."
Floyd McKissick Jr., the chairman of the Democrat Party in Durham County and key to Mr. Nifong's election last November, has seen the light: "The African-American community of Durham wants fairness, and the view is that if Mr. Nifong was not fair in this case, what's he going to be like in other cases?," Mr. McKissick told Newsday, a New York newspaper.
But Mr. Nifong still has his wife (second wife), Cy Gurney...and Wendy Murphy to champion him.
Fox Cable made the mistake of inviting Ms. Murphy to comment on rape allegations against three University of Minnesota football players and Ms. Murphy proceeded to speak yet again in support of the prosecution that has been a persecution. (If that's how Ms. Murphy observes Easter, I wonder if Judas is her favorite apostle.)
Ms. Murphy whined about the football players' immediate arrest (they had been identified by their accuser, aka the alleged victim) as compared to the "failure" of Durham police to quickly arrest some Duke lacrosse players.
Ms. Murphy called that "disparate treatment" and never mind that false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum failed to identify any Duke lacrosse player when given chances and only did so after Mr. Nifong ordered an identification procedure that Duke Law Professor James Coleman, an expert on such procedure who happens to be black (and a Democrat), concluded violated federal, state and local guidelines.
How were the Durham police supposed to know which Duke lacrosse players Ms. Mangum ultimately would falsely identify before she falsely identified them? They are police, not mind readers.
Ms. Murphy's encouragement of rioting by predicting it and distinguishing the Minnesota and Duke case based on race and wealth not only are deplorable, but obviously ridiculous. The Duke Three were identified and persecuted (prosecution is NOT the best word) on account of their whiteness and wealth; if they were black and poor, after the DNA results came back, their trouble would have been no more.
Ms. Murphy's incendiary remarks suggest that Mr. Nifong is not the only lawyer involved in the Duke case that should be explaining to state bar authorities what, if anything, mitigates misconduct.
There were no riots in Durham over the Duke case last year and I don't expect any when the case is dismissed shortly.
But, I am not as sanguine as Cash Michaels that Durham's Black community is virtually united on the concept of due process for the Duke Three and I find his Easter 2007 report in Talk Left nearly a year later that North Carolina Central University student Chan Hall was misquoted and misrepresented by Newsweek too tardy and too wishful.
"The best example of [the alleged effort to deny due process to the Duke Three] is the ill-advised statement allegedly made by an NCCU student, a statement that many erroneously contend represents the core thinking of Durham's African-American community.
"What follows is an insult-free (it's a holiday) analysis for your consideration:
"FACT - While it is certainly true that in the May 1 edition of Newsweek Magazine in a story titled 'What happened at Duke?' (www.msnbc.msn.com/id/1244.../page/7/), NCCU student Chan Hall is quoted as allegedly telling a reporter, 'People at Duke have a lot of money on their side."'Chan Hall, 22, said, 'It's the same old story. Duke up, Central down.' Hall said he wanted to see the Duke students prosecuted 'whether it happened or not. It would be justice for things that happened in the past,' IT IS NOT TRUE that he said those words at an April 11 community forum held at NCCU, where Mike Nifong, Durham Mayor Bill Bell, and even a representative of Duke Student Government were in attendance.
"However, as IMHO has previously pointed out, esteemed Duke Three commentators Professor Bill Anderson and Prof. K.C. Johnson both insist that Hall did make those statements at that April 11 NCCU forum, and in fact, received applause from those in attendance for it.
" * * *
"As IMHO correctly points out, Johnson is playing fast and loose with the language here. He NEVER says that Hall was at the April 11 forum, but rather finds two NCCU students who were, and asks them if they agree with what Hall said in the May 1 issue of Newsweek. And yet, the way Johnson has disingenuously structured the sentence, he would have you believe that the two students he reportedly spoke with actually heard Hall make those remarks AT the forum, which he didn't.
"How do we know this? Because we went to the videotape.
"April 11, 2006 was a Tuesday. Mike Nifong originally was not on the forum program, and was a last minute addition, which brought throngs of national and local press to NCCU's gymnasium for the event.
"I was there sitting in the back on the upper level with a video and still camera. Next to me was Anthony Wilson of ABC11 WTVD-TV.
"The rest of the press were on the ground floor in front of the stage. Various reporters sat in the first 2-3 rows of chairs set up, with members of the community sitting behind them.
"The videographers, from the audience angle, were to our left. Still cameras were also either there, or roamed.
"The reason why I go into that detail is because given the great number of press present, THERE WAS NO WAY Chan Hall or anybody else could have said what he allegedly told Newsweek Magazine in THAT open forum, and NOT ONE local or national reporter NOT report it or record it. THAT would have been impossible.
"Secondly, since I was there with both a tape recorder and a video going, Chan Hall is nowhere found on either recording saying anything publicly at that forum, and I taped the whole thing.
"Also, despite coverage by all of the major cable news channels, there is no transcript on their websites that proves Chan Hall ever spoke publicly at that forum.
"Hall may have very well been at the forum, but I have conclusive proof that he did not speak."
I surely don't know if Mr. Hall was present, but it seems to me that Newsweek did not state one way or the other in its article whether Mr. Hall's alleged remarks were made publicly at the forum or privately, so Professor Johnson's remarks may be fair and Mr. Michaels may have done the overstating.
Mr. Michaels went on to say in his post that he had "interviewed several female NCCU students afterwards," so a Newsweek person may have done the same with Mr. Hall and Mr. Michaels discredits only himself by insisting that "[b]oth Anderson and Johnson made that up, and have absolutely no proof, like a video or audio tape, to back them up."
The Newsweek article did NOT state that Mr. Hall publicly made the remarks.
It stated in pertinent part: "Across town, at NCCU, the mostly black college where the alleged victim is enrolled, students seemed bitterly resigned to the players' beating the rap." Then it quoted a Candace Shaw and Mr. Hall. No attribution of either quote to the forum of which Mr. Michaels wrote.
At worst,Newsweek made up the Hall remarks and Dr. Anderson and Professor Johnson accepted them as true in the absence of evidence of a denial (as did I).
If there is evidence of a denial, where is it?
If Newsweek had misquoted and/or misrepresented me as Mr. Michaels claims it misquoted or misrepresented Mr. Hall, I certainly would have made a record and not waited for Mr. Michaels to protest eventually on my behalf.
I doubt Newsweek did misrepresent Mr. Hall, not only because I am not aware of any denial by Mr. Hall, but also because Newsweek's May 1, 2006 issue was NOT sympathetic to Duke lacrosse players and Newsweek does not have a history of arbitrarily making blacks look bad. The cover focused on the Duke case and proclaimed "Sex, Lies & Duke." The article by Susannah Meadows and Evan Thomas declared that "the case is no laughing matter to the young woman who suffered injuries that appear to bew caused by a sexual assault." It was not until later that the folks at Newsweek realized that they had been had.
"Both scribes [Dr. Anderson and Professor Johnson]would still maintain that most, if not all NCCU students were hungry for revenge against the white students of Duke, hated Duke, and believed their fellow classmate, the accuser, 110%.
"The evidence, once again, suggests otherwise, I'm sure to the chagrin of most die hard Duke Three'ers."
" * * *
"The blatant attempts by Bill Anderson and K.C. Johnson to distort and manipulate the alleged ill-advised comments of NCCU student Chan Hall are clear evidence of their goal to misrepresent the Black community as nothing short of a racist cabal that has no sense of justice or mercy.
"What deliberate misrepresentations!!"
"... it wasn't about 'hate whitey' as so many Duke Three'ers are trying so hard to portray. The NCCUU student leadership was trying to leverage the issue to bring about positive change on their campus and in the community. And they had no problem partnering with Duke students, who were welcomed on campus to take part in various discussions and forums without incident."
The "issue" was a Hoax!
LieStoppers, in lambasting Ms. Murphy for her riot prediction, provided evidence that concern about denial of due process is legitimate, not ludicrous.
"Incredibly, as Hoax observers await the anticipated dismissal of the charges, Wendy Murphy's commentary hearkens back to the pep rally atmosphere that Rony Camille, student and assistant editor of NCCU's 'Campus Echo' newspaper described on April 11, 2006 as 'really, really, really tense' in an interview with MSNBC's Dan Abrams.
"ABRAMS: Explain to me, Ronnie. Listening to a lot of the sentiment there at your university, it sounds to me like if you step back from—step back a little bit and you talk about this rationally, what they are really saying is we have seen other examples where the police have misbehaved or where police have targeted people because of their race. It really doesn‘t sound like they have got a real good argument about why anyone should have been arrested here, right?
"CAMILLE: Yes. Dan, and it‘s getting right now really, really, really tense. I was there earlier today and just to see the students and members of the community ask these questions to the D.A. was just really, you know, it made you think for a second about what was going on.
"ABRAMS: See, I guess I don‘t understand what it is they want from the D.A. They want him to just go forward and arrest, you know, it sounds like the D.A. has identified, based on our analysis of everything he has said. It sounds like the D.A. has identified maybe one, possibly two of the people but not all three. Are the people in the community saying just go arrest the whole team?
"CAMILLE: That‘s what they are—basically the overall feel is that they want, you know, the team should have been arrested. DNA should have - - the extension of the DNA should have taken, you know, two weeks and it was overextended.
"ABRAMS: Uh-huh. They have got to know, you know, it‘s a good school, smart people, they have got to know that that‘s craziness, right, the idea they are going to go in and they are going to arrest the whole team?
"CAMILLE: Well, you know, there are some people that don‘t really think logically..."
Mr. Michaels had posted this challenge:
"I openly challenge any Duke Three'er to disprove any or all of what I've presented above. the constant attempts to malign NCCU have been disgraceful and unwarranted. It is past time for us to open the window, and let some fresh air called 'truth' come in.
"Frankly, it's needed!"
You are right about the need for truth, Mr. Michaels. But you did the maligning and made unwarranted remarks about Dr. Anderson and Professor Johnson.
It's sad that you did not become a Hero of the Hoax, like they did.
Susan Estrich had an excuse of sorts: she did not see what Mr. Nifonmg had and thought he had to have had something.
You knew he had...NOTHING!
Durhamites deserved to know that, not to be led to believe by people like North Carolina Central University Law Professor Irving Joyner that there might be something.
And, unless your position is irrefutable, DON'T ISSUE A CHALLENGE THAT THE FOLKS AT LIESTOPPERS MIGHT FIND OUT ABOUT UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE REFUTED.
The truth is that both sides have nut cases. Mr. Michaels can quote racist emails that really are vile as well as that utterly foolish email that was an example of humor gone wild instead of racism, and Duke Three supporters can cite vituperative words from Blacks that make Chan Hall's alleged remarks seem temperate.
We need to be fair to all, not defend our respective nut cases.
What we need is truth and a colorblind criminal justice system, not knee-jerk, race-based reactions, myths and racial pandering and slandering.
Professor Coleman said it beautifully long ago to the late Ed Bradley during an interview broadcast on "60 Minutes" on October 15, 2006: "I think that [Mr. Nifong] pandered to the community by saying "I'm gonna go out there and defend your interests in seeing that these hooligans who committed the crime are prosecuted. I'm not gonna let their fathers, with all of their money, buy you know big-time lawyers and get them off. I'm doing this for you." You know, what are you to conclude about a prosecutor who says to you, "I'll do whatever it takes to get this set of defendants?" What does it say about what he's willing to do to get poor black defendants?'"
We need prosecutors who focus on the truth and due process, not "getting" anyone.
The truth is the charges against the Duke Three were baseless.
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.