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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  June 1, 2007
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Duke Case: Deplorable Duke Still Deplorable

I urge Duke donors to time and condition their donations wisely, so that Duke becomes the place they want it to be, instead of a crazed politically correct enclave where truth and fairness do not matter as much as the preferred political agenda.

When the rest of the mainstream media had it so very wrong, Stuart Taylor, America's top legal commentator, wrote in National Journal: "Something is rotten at Duke, as at many universities. I don't think it has much to do with lacrosse."

Mr. Taylor was right about that too.

Kerstin Kimel, the coach of Duke's women's lacrosse team, neither reflexively defended the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team nor demonized them.

Coach Kimel: "They made a very bad decision in hosting the party and hiring strippers. But I will tell you they are great kids. There is a strong camaraderie between our teams, and my players — being smart, savvy young women — would not associate with them if they felt on the whole, there was an issue of character."

Coack Kimel did NOT condone what happened at Duke to the lacrosse men after the bogus gang rape claim: "Being at an elite university, where every side of every issue is debated, my kids were shocked, disillusioned, and disappointed that their professors and the university community were so one-sided in their condemnation of the lacrosse players."

As one who deplored the media calling the unidentified complainant a victim instead of an accuser and an exotic dancer instead of a stripper in April of 2006 and the indictments of Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans as deplorable politically-motivated persecution in May of 2006 (as well as stripper parties, engaging in or facilitating underage drinking, inappropriate words by a few at the party and unfunny language in private email intended to be funny), I deplore the way the authorities in North Carolina and at Duke University have (1) characterized Durham County, North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong as an overzealous/bungling prosecutor who is the ONE responsible for an ill-considered, instead of carefully calculated, prosecution that could not have proceeded without plenty of cooperation, (2) excused false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum as a delusional person not responsible enough to be prosecuted for making a false report, so that a Durham County jury could decide whether she was a criminal disgrace or a mental case and (3) treated the outrages of the Group of 88, including flagrant punitive grading by perennial visiting Professor Kim Curtis, as either fair comment or too trivial to be sanctioned.

Duke has not repented. Instead, it settled the Dowd punitive grading suit under a confidentiality agreement and scheduled Professor Curtis to teach this coming fall.

Brooklyn College History Professor Robert K.C. Johnson is not looking for a job in Duke's History Department.

That's bad news for Duke history students.

Would Duke hire Professor Johnson?

Perhaps as a pinyata for the shameless Group of 88.

Professor Johnson's article entitled "The Deutsch Files" exposed the situation at Duke: "My Cliopatria colleague Ralph Luker recently attended an academic conference at Duke, where he encountered Group of 88 member Sally Deutsch. Luker recalled that Deutsch 'seemed to think that I should know better than to be found blogging with KC Johnson. She bristled noticeably when I said that, after all, he’d turned out to be correct about the lacrosse case. “You mean about the charges being dropped?,” she asked. I started to say: “No. Read my lips: ‘There was no rape.'" But the hairs were already standing up from the back of her neck up over to her eyebrows and her eyes were flashing. It’s a good thing that KC and I are not looking for a job at Duke. Professor Deutsch has just moved from chairing Duke’s history department to dean of [social sciences of] the college of arts and sciences."

Professor Johnson added: "For the record, as Ralph pointed out, neither he nor I are seeking employment at Duke."

Then, if there was the slightest chance of Professor Johnson being hired by Duke the way it is being run now (and I doubt there was), Professor Johnson obliterated it:

"Some members of the Group of 88, of course, fit the caricature of faculty extremists. Take, for instance, Grant Farred, who has ridiculously asserted that by loud partying that bothered their predominantly white, upper-class neighbors in Trinity Park, 'at the heart of the lacrosse team’s behavior is the racist history of the South.' Or the statement’s principal author, Wahneema Lubiano, whose 'books' appear to be in the perpetually 'forthcoming' mode and whose prose is virtually impenetrable, except when she reports that she will press ahead 'regardless of the "truth".'"

What Professor Johnson wrote next might seem like pandering:

"Deutsch, on the other hand, casts a more moderate persona. She has published two well-reviewed books with a prestigious press (Oxford). She isn’t inclined to intemperate public statements of the type we have seen from Farred or Lubiano. She has had fellowships at mainstream entities, such as Harvard’s Charles Warren Center; the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.; and the Huntington Library. And, as Ralph pointed out, Deutsch is a figure of considerable influence at Duke—dean of the social sciences within Trinity College."

But it simply set up Deutsch for a dressing down:

"Deutsch’s affiliation with the intellectual mainstream only goes so far, however. Given her status as both a Group of 88 member and a signatory to the clarifying faculty statement, it should come as little surprise that Deutsch adheres to the race/class/gender worldview so pervasive among Duke’s arts and sciences faculty. A member of Duke’s 'Working Group in Feminism and History,' she describes her research interests as 'the United States from 1870 to 1940, focusing on issues of [naturally] class, race, gender, and ethnic differences.'

"Ralph, for understandable reasons, was taken aback that a figure such as Deutsch—someone who doesn’t cut an extremist profile—could appear unwilling, even at this late stage, to admit the obvious: that no rape occurred. Those who recalled her activities last spring, however, might have been less surprised.

"Unlike some members of the Group of 88—Lubiano again comes to mind—Deutsch had actually taught lacrosse players. In fact, last spring, several lacrosse players were in her class. The week after Mike Nifong began his pre-primary publicity barrage, Deutsch deviated from the syllabus and announced that she would use class time to discuss how white men, especially in the South, had disrespected and sexually assaulted black females.

“'We all knew what she was doing,' one lacrosse player later recalled. 'A couple people asked questions to try to get her off track, but she persisted. It lasted a half hour. She clearly wasn’t sympathetic.' After the class, several non-lacrosse players came up to team members and told them how inappropriate they had considered Deutsch’s behavior.

"I contacted Deutsch several weeks ago to ask whether, in fact, she had taken such an approach. She said that she had—but didn’t see anything wrong with her behavior. She asserted that because her course spent 'extensive time on [naturally] race and gender relations,' it was appropriate for her to use class time to contextualize the incident, thereby helping to 'explain why people were so upset.'

"At that point, of course, the only information about the incident was supplied by Mike Nifong and his underlings, such as Cpl. David Addison. Deutsch does not appear to have considered whether it was appropriate for a college professor to accept Nifong’s word so uncritically that she would deviate from the scheduled topic of the lecture and instead conduct a guilt-presuming discussion of the case in her class, especially since several of the affected students were at the receiving end of her lecture.

"Indeed, the type of background she elected to explore reflected a presumption that a crime occurred. When asked whether she had also had adjusted her planned topics to examine the case through the equally relevant historical legacy of race-based prosecutorial misconduct in the South, Deutsch did not reply.

"Despite Deutsch’s claims, the course that she taught was not described as focusing exclusively on issue of race and gender, calling into further question her decision to deviate from the syllabus. The course, instead, was a survey: U.S. history from 1870 to 1914. Here is the course description from the Arts&Sciences Course Bulletin (which is, for the record, considered a contract between a student and the University): 'Industrialization, immigration, westward migration, and increased United States involvement in world political and economic affairs. The resulting political upheavals and the efforts of various groups to promote, control, or alter change. Not open to students who took History 129B.'

"For a professor intent on providing context to the charges, nothing in that description would have suggested ignoring the long Southern tradition of race-based prosecutorial misconduct, and instead choosing to focus on a context identical to that offered at the time by Mike Nifong.

"At the end of the semester, another surprise greeted the players in the class: each noticed that their marks were one- or two-thirds of a grade lower than they had expected, apparently due to the subjective 'participation' component of the grading.

"That a figure such as Deutsch still seems unwilling to admit that no rape occurred is not surprising. That, however, she could—months after the fact—continue to justify her decision to use class time to effectively present Nifong’s preferred foundation of the case against the players is depressing. It’s no wonder that the Duke administration never investigated allegations last spring of improper behavior by professors toward lacrosse players."

Playing lacrosse at Duke under Coach John Danowski may be an irresistible attraction, but having Deutsch as Dean of Social Sciences engaging in punitive grading (albeit not as blatantly as Professor Kim Curtis) is a big negative.

It's a pity that the Dowd punitive grading case was quietly settled by Duke under a confidentiality agreement.

The Duke administration obviously is not interested in ending the politically correct excess at Duke.

Which takes me to a comment by Dan Collins posted on The News & Observer's Editors Blog way back on July 25, 2006:

"Ms. Sill:

"I do not live in the Durham, NC area, but I have been following this case very closely and have been reading anything and everything I can find on line, including the articles in the N&O.

"Just so you know I am one of the people that thinks this case that your DA is going to bring to trial is an outrageous abuse of power. But I still read all the articles no matter which side the writer supports. If you read or see something from Georgia Goslee, Cash Michaels, Nancy Grace, Jesse Jackson, or the Black Panthers you can get the 'facts' on a rape that definitely took place. If you see something from Sean Hannity, Dan Abrams, Bill O'Reilly or Michael Gaynor, you can expect to read about the obvious 'hoax'.

"The problem I have with your newspaper is that your reporters DEFINITELY supported the stripper’s story, especially early on. The examples have been pointed out to you many times, such as calling her a 'victim' right from the start, and then bragging about being the only newspaper to be granted an interview with the 'victim'. During this interview you made sure that you kept the victim label intact, you asked NO provocative questions that would put a little pressure on her or anything that might result in another lie that would come out later, you wanted your readers to see her as a soft-spoken fragile baby, you wanted your readers to see her as so scared that night that all she could do was cry. (my opinion of the few strippers I have witnessed in my lifetime is that they are fearless and as tough as any linebacker in the NFL, but that is only my opinion) No questions such as: Did Kim Roberts REALLY join in the sexual assault and rob you as you told the police? Did you REALLY go back into the house AFTER you were raped for your shoe or to make more money? No, the picture is of a virtuous 'lady' that is only stripping for the oh-so-virtuous reason to 'feed her children'. If you want to believe the strippers story like the others I mentioned above, that is fine, but what is so insulting are your ridiculous denials, you keep telling your readers that you are 'proud' of the objective reporting that your newspaper put out, it is as if you think your readers cannot read... we know what we read. Your reporters were either selective or very unprepared to write about such an important issue.

"The best example is the writing of Ruth Sheehan, I know she has been pounded in here over and over, but she deserves it. I don’t know if she just doesn't know what she was talking about or is she just lying? How could she write an article that is headlined 'Silence is Sickening' that starts out 'we know you know'. Every other newspaper in the country has reported from the very beginning that the 3 players that lived in the house went to the police the next day to offer anything the police asked for, including polygraph tests. ALL the players and their lawyers have been pounding the door of the DA's office down to give ALL the information as to what happened that night, but there was zero co-operation from the DA's office. It is painfully obvious that the 'objective' Ruth Sheehan had already decided that they were silent to cover up for the 'rapist'. Then Ruth Sheehan has the gall to portray HERSELF as a victim of the media frenzy when she writes another article, 'Duke Case Hard to Unclutter'. She tries to explain how she tried to sort all the 'facts' to write the stories about the case, and she gave us a lecture, 'life is not always that simple'. She is so philosophical the way she implies that it was so difficult to sift through all the 'facts' while weighing all the evidence as it trickled in. (please read the article again, I promise you it will make you ill).

"Its your newspaper, you can print what you want, just don't insult me by telling me I don't understand what you wrote. Why don't you just come forward and admit it.

"We know you know."

I was convinced the Hoax was a Hoax while Ms. Sheehan, a rape victim, innocently believed Mr. Nifong could not behave that way unless the players really were rapists.

To her credit, Ms. Sheehan eventually saw the light, did what was right, and apologized.

Duke needs to see the light, do what is right, and apologize, instead of buying silence and going back to business as usual.

I don't expect that during the presidency of Richard Brodhead.

I urge Duke donors to time and condition their donations wisely, so that Duke becomes the place they want it to be, instead of a crazed politically correct enclave where truth and fairness do not matter as much as the preferred political agenda.

Michael J. Gaynor

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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 gaynormike@aol.com.


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