The players behaved heroically when the railroading began. Being framed for rape, sexual offense and kidnapping and sent to prison for thirty years is much too severe a punishment for some underage drinking or facilitating underage drinking, with or without a legal strip show. And the folks who expected Crystal to become a multimillionaire as a result of a civil suit against them should not be whining about them suing Durham for their damages.
When the Durham News & Observer's staff writer Barry Saunders learned that the Duke Three--David Evans, Reade Seigmann and Collin Finnerty--were demanding $30,000,000 and legal reforms aimed at preventing more Duke cases, he wrote "They seek payback, not pay," meanly mocking the ordeal that those former Duke lacrosse players and their families experienced by ignoring the demand for needed legal reform and depicting "a fish sandwich, a Yoo-hoo and a one-way Greyhound bus ticket?" as fair compensation.
LieStoppers' "Joan Foster" upbraided him, brilliantly, in this "Dear Barry" letter:
"Take a deep breath, squeeze your eyebrows together, and try to think a big, big, DEEP thought for once.
"Okay, try again and keep on trying until it comes to you. Once you've done it a few times, it's not hard.
"Barry, it's not about the thirty million.
"Duh. It's the Discovery, Stupid.
"It's the discovery that will rip the dirty little lid.... off the dirty little Old Boys Network.... in the dirty little town of Durham. Watching the synchronization of cops, judges, and Durham officials, as they constructed the dirty little frame against Collin, Reade and Dave last year, has left many of us breathless with rage. But this isn't about rage or revenge or raking every last bit of revenue out of the city coffers.
"No, Barry, this is about RECONSTRUCTION. The reconstruction of a judicial system, a police department, and a city government that currently reeks of cronyism and corruption.
"Did you see Judge Ron ('He's A-OK') Stephens blubbering on the stand last week over his bestest buddy Mike Nifong's problems? Or Judge Marcia ('It depends') Morey hedging under oath and then hovering over Nifong like a hen with a chick? With the intensity of this incestuous local system proudly on public display, Barry, are you really convinced all defendants are assured a fair trial in Durham? I mean, Barry, the State is the richest Daddy of them all. You were content in your columns to let these three sons of privilege sweat it out...but what about the sons of poverty, the sons of single Moms and the sons of 'Barely Subsisting'? How are they to handle the grifters with a grip on the power in your town?
"This is about THEM. Not Collin, Reade, and Dave. This is FOR them. And for all who have been victimized before and will surely be victimized in the future. You and many Durhamites have been content to subject your sons and your neighbors' sons to the status quo. Mark ('Magic Notes') Gottlieb is still prowling his beat. Patrick ('Only One Story') Baker is still on the payroll after Hoaxgate, having also survived Leadgate and Dumpgate. Not one other Durhamite filed a similar Nifong removal motion, following Beth Brewer's courageous lead.
"Maybe you were out replacing the feather in your fedora, Barry, but I missed YOUR meaningful contribution. There has been no accountability, no self-correction, no cleaning of the cesspool too many of you locals contentedly swim in. Why was it you never stood up to the sleaze, Barry? Was it inbred apathy, fear of reprisal, or, as Mike Nifong saw it, a golden opportunity for self-advancement? In any event, you just let it be.
"But that's about to change. Sorry you didn't have the grit or the gumption to do it on your own.
"No, Barry, this is a line in the sand for all those folks... poor, black, brown, and otherwise... who couldn't stand up to the bullies in blue; the wolves in white shirt and council pin; the back-slapping boys in black robes and their favorite, duly-elected district attorney, Mike Nifong. This is FOR THEM. This is to put a stake in the heart of the shameful, sickening abuse of power that dominates the smug and the powerful in your town.
"Let them be deposed.
"Better yet...let them be EXPOSED. Fully, completely, and finally exposed.
"This is better than the Feds, Barry.
"The Godfather might tell you...Durham has been made an offer it cannot accept.
"It's about the Discovery. Any settlement is secondary. Since you locals never had the courage to clean house before... consider the tax hike to come...well, just like you hired a BIG, BIG Cleaning Team to come to town, disinfect and remove the Trash. Durham deserves better than this. And, Barry, when you won't do it yourself...sometimes you just have to PAY to get it done.
"Durham can never compensate Collin, Reade, and Dave for the stain on their names or being shackled with a lifetime of abuse from the 'Something Happened' crowd. But making an example of Durham's complicity in the wrongdoing in this case may help eradicate the cronyism, corruption, and contempt for our justice system that affects others unable to help themselves. It takes courage to take that on. These three families have it. Your sarcasm, insensitivity and lifetime of inaction shows you lack the conviction or the CHARACTER to even grasp the concept.
"Keep swanning around the cesspool in your snazzy hat, Barry. Whether you approve or not, somebody's about to see it drained."
I exchanged thoughts with Joan about her perspective.
"May it be so! But remember that the claims against Duke were settled confidentially.
"Duke's a still undrained cesspool protected by its power and money and that's not funny."
Joan agreed: "You are so right, Mike."
While Joan and I are on the same page, hoping that the truth will be "forced out," as Joan as put it, we are talking about a Democrat scandal in Durham, so there is doubt.
Because there are folks like Bowler Barry and this daft, deluded, dense and/or diabolical anonymous LieStoppers poster:
"yeesh! your prose is as bad as your poetry Joan Foster! The fact of the matter is that the only sleasy people involved in this are the people responsible for this whole mess and that is the Duke Lax team who wanted to circumvent the law and have underage teammates have a degrading strip club experience and who booked a lesbian sex show and then racially abused the black women who showed up and then left the scene and refused to answer the door when law enforcement came that night. Oh and I forgot about the all day drinking. Their families and the people here on liestoppers think they are heroes but heroes don't degrade people and they face up to their responsibilities. Heroes don't use the N word and they do not have porn in their computers nor do they have questionable disciplanary records at their school. Stop trying to pretend you care about poor defendants because you do not. You are white racists and you are angry that Nifong tried to investigate this black woman's complaint, period. And you want him and Durham to pay for trying to investigate the conduct of the little darlings. I guess Nifong forgot a black woman has no rights that a white man is bound to respect. The local people know about the poor conduct of Duke students through the years and know what assholes these people act like and that is why the locals have stuck to 'something happened' despite what Cooper has said. Whatever sympathy the players got around here is diminishing with their greedy and outrageous demands for money. Bringing the OJ lawyer down here only compounded this as a poor pr move. The little angels have just made a big tactical error. The people down here are gearing up for a fight and they may lose but the Duke 3 are not going to get an easy time of it as they will have to appear where their lawyers have been afraid to go this whole time: OPEN COURT with a jury! And discovery works both ways. I work at the court house and there is a reason their lawyers were scared to face a jury and it is not because the case was strong (it wasn't) but their lawyers were trying to protect the reputation of the little angels and did not want some things to come out in open court."
As a parent of a player emailed me that day about the Nifong supporters: "It is unbelieveble really that there are still supporters. Do not even slightly 'get it'."
Jealousy is a terrible thing that explains much! The Ten Commandments prohibited it, but they have not always been heeded.
The thought that the still-stuck-on-stupid poster might be part of the criminal justice system in Durham is scar, but Durham is Durham, so it might be true.
Let's recognize facts instead of fantasize.
(1) Joan's prose is as good as her poetry.
(2) Stripper parties are legal, but sleazy, and making them mandatory is sleazier still.
(3) Underclassmen including Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and others did not ask for or enjoy the strippers or "racially abuse the black women who showed up and then le[ave] the scene and refuse to answer the door when law enforcement came that night."
(4) One of the hosts futilely opposed having a stripper party, another tried futilely to keep things calm and the third (David Evans) came to fully appreciate that a stripper party had been a terrible idea when an underclassman brought him some of the money that had been paid to the strippers and, fearing false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum's bodyguard and expecting that "the cops were going to come," decided "that we needed them [the strippers] out" and "[a]fter the whole thing...went next door thinking the cops might come because of the 'racial slur.'"
(5) This stripper party resulted in a bogus gang rape claim that was treated as credible instead of contemptible or crazed, the evidence be damned, because the accuser was black, the accused were white and former North Carolina District Attorney Michael B. Nifong had gullible black voters to manipulate and infuriate in order to win a Democrat primary, he had enablers in the criminal justice system and no one stopped him.
(6) Mr. Nifong and his helpers and supporters, on and off the public payroll, are sleazy and worse.
(7) There were a couple of retaliatory racial remarks, but the strippers were not racially abused and having a couple of teammates who made a retaliatory racial remark is not a crime.
(8) Two strippers were booked, but not for a lesbian sex show. Black strippers were not requested or promised, but only black strippers showed up.
(9) No one refused to answer the door when the police came. No one was there.
(10) Heroes are not sinless. The players behaved heroically when the railroading began. Being framed for rape, sexual offense and kidnapping and sent to prison for thirty years is much too severe a punishment for some underage drinking or facilitating underage drinking, with or without a legal strip show. And the folks who expected Crystal to become a multimillionaire as a result of a civil suit against them should not be whining about them suing Durham for their damages.
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.