I did not have a copy of co-captain David Evans' written statement then, but my attitude then was the same as it is now: "whatever the truth is, it should come out."
I enjoyed John Leo's latest article on the Duke case, especially its title, "Brawley case of the South," having titled my article posted on May 24, 2006 "My email on Tawana Two (aka the Duke 'rape' case.'" That article may gave been the first article to associate the Tawana Brawley and Duke cases, but I remember it because an emailer challenged me "to take 'the rape' out of that night, and see if [I could] see evidence of another crime" and I replied, "I don't see that. But, whatever the truth is, it should come out."
I did not have a copy of co-captain David Evans' written statement then, but my attitude then was the same as it is now: "whatever the truth is, it should come out." Be not blind to facts or in denial.
During the afternoon of May 24, 2006, I received my first email from a relative of a player. It stated in part: "Your article on the Duke case is wonderful. As a family member of one of the accused, I can tell you how much we appreciate it when intelligent people take the time to assess the situation and write about it fairly as we feel you have done."
No request for a whitewash, "fairness" would do nicely.
My confidence in Collin Finnerty's innocence on the charges for which he was indicted did not need boasting, but if they did, that relative would have boasted them, with her candor and confidence in her nephew.
Mr. Leo's latest article brilliantly blasted Newsweek for its initial take on the Duke case: "If anyone ever starts a museum of horrible explanations, the one-liner by Newsweek's Evan Thomas about his magazine's dubious reporting on the Duke non-rape case — 'The narrative was right but the facts were wrong' — is destined to become a popular exhibit, right up there with 'we had to destroy the village to save it.'"
"What Mr. Thomas seems to mean is that the newsroom view of the lacrosse players as privileged, sexist, and arrogant white male jocks was the correct angle on the story. It wasn't.
"According to Duke's female lacrosse team and other women on campus, the male players are solid citizens who treat women well. Many players volunteer to tutor poor children in Durham. Some players are privileged, but most come from ordinary middle-class homes. There is no evidence of a racist team culture.
"One objectionable racial comment was reported that night, in response to a racial taunt from one of the strippers. It occurred after the party and the player involved was not one of those indicted. The mainstream press, most conspicuously the New York Times, botched the story by imposing a race-gender-class narrative line. The facts were wrong, as Mr. Thomas said, but the narrative line was wrong too."
That summed it up very nicely, Mr. Leo.
Because, as Mr. Leo went on to skillfully explain, there are those who want to twist, and twist, the facts to suit their preconceptions:
"After the Tawana Brawley hoax was exposed, the Nation magazine ran an article saying that 'in cultural perspective, if not in fact, it doesn't matter whether the crime occurred or not,' since the pattern of whites abusing blacks is true. Whatever.
"The 'fake but accurate' argument pops up now and then in the wake of campus rape hoaxes. After a falsely accused male student was cleared, one feminist said, 'I wouldn't have spared him the experience,' meaning that the case was a useful teaching instrument about male behavior. Whether the rape had actually occurred was of lesser interest.
"The 'almost doesn't matter' argument surfaced in the Duke case too. At the mostly black North Carolina Central University, student Chan Hall spoke for many when he said the lacrosse players should be prosecuted for rape 'whether it happened or not,' to provide 'justice for things that happened in the past.'
"The Brooklyn College professor, K.C. Johnson, who has blogged for months on the Duke case at his Durham-in-Wonderland site, pointed out that no prominent officials in Durham bothered to distance themselves from such comments. He wrote that among academics and reporters 'because black people in the South have been wrongly convicted in the past, it is wrong to worry if whites, or Asians, or Hispanics are railroaded for political reasons today.'"
I second the conclusion of "Sins of Omission," an earlier Leon article mentioning the Duke case posted on February 28, 2007: "More candor, please."
LieStoppers poster skeptical:
"Why is Mike Gaynor so obsessed with the bogus issue of the missing money? What is he trying to achieve or prove?
"The subject is fair game for discussion, but what is its import?"
"First, I'd like to achieve a full public understanding of the whole truth and if David Evans is credible on the subject, the issue is not quite bogus. although Cash's suggestion of a 'team crime' is absurd.
"Second, I want Duke and NC sued, and I don't want the 'money problem' to prevent those suits or result in confidential settlements concealing the truth about what the prosecution, the police and Duke really did, so the 'money problem' is ignored."
I'm where I was at the start: I don't want innocent people persecuted on bogus charges by a rogue prosecutor and I don't want inconvenient facts denied. We should follow the evidence and accept reality, not promote competing mythology.
"skeptical": "Yes, the truth should come out about all aspects of the case but I think you are barking up the wrong tree."
When it came to the Duke case, I was right from the start and I stayed the course (President Bush might try that phrase!). I wasn't "barking up the wrong tree" when I called the Duke case "Tawama Two" or reported (repeatedly) the multiple male DNA, or "60 Minutes" being on the case, or Judge Kenneth Titus' blatantly unconstitutional gag order, or the significance of David Evans' written statement and what larceny law is.
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.