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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:  November 7, 2007
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Duke Case: The Chronicle Supports Brodhead!

The lacrosse case did not magnify Mr. Brodhead's character. Instead, it revealed that he lacked character. The discussion of Mr. Brodhead's lacrosse case performance in Until Proven Innocent: Political correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, by Stuart Taylor, Jr. and KC Johnson, conclusively demonstrated Mr. Brodhead's unfitness. The words "moral meltdown" should reverberate across the Duke campus until Mr. Brodhead improves the overall quality at Duke by leaving.

On Election Day 2006 a plurality of Durham County voters foolishly elected their interim district attorney, Michael B. Nifong, to the position.

It was a very expensive mistake.

On Election Day 2007 The Chronicle, Duke's student newspaper, foolishly endorsed Duke's president, Richard Brodhead, for re-election.

It too was a mistake. A profile in cowardice, not courage. Evidence that political correctness extremism at Duke is not chastened.

The editorial began: "Only one man knows what it was like to sit in President Richard Brodhead's office during the lacrosse case, with all the forces of the world bearing impossibly down on a presidency barely begun."

What?

That's as senseless as "Only one man knows what it was like to sit in Adolf Hitler's bunker during the siege of Berlin, with all the forces of the world bearing impossibly down on a thousand-year Third Reich barely begun."

Mr. Brodhead must be replaced; by him, Duke was disgraced.

Editorial: "Yet because the Presidential Review Committee formed to evaluate the president's performance closed comments last week, we are compelled to offer the students' perspective-incomplete but important-on his performance thus far."

More nonsense: the editorial offered the editor's idiotic and unimportant personal perspective.

Editorial: "We believe that Brodhead should and must stay."

The Fuehrer had his diehard sycophants too.

Editorial: "Any discussion of the president's performance must begin-but not end-with his response to the lacrosse case and its aftermath. For in times of extraordinary trial, a person's character is magnified as it is not during tranquility, and the lacrosse case is no exception."

The lacrosse case did not magnify Mr. Brodhead's character. Instead, it revealed that he lacked character. The discussion of Mr. Brodhead's lacrosse case performance in Until Proven Innocent: Political correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, by Stuart Taylor, Jr. and KC Johnson, conclusively demonstrated Mr. Brodhead's unfitness. The words "moral meltdown" should reverberate across the Duke campus until Mr. Brodhead improves the overall quality at Duke by leaving.

Editorial: "The case first exposed Brodhead as a president who has yet to realize his initial promise to be a students' president. The lacrosse case-frantic, sensitive and uncertain-demanded a forceful and assertive type of leadership that Brodhead could not provide."

Yes. Mr. Brodhead could not provide the leadership needed. But the problem was a lack of integrity, not failure to be "a students' president." Duke in general and the lacrosse players in particular needed a president who stood for due process and fundamental fairness in the face of political correctness running wild. It still does. Mr. Brodhead did not have what was needed and never will. He has Duke money to buy confidential settlements and has tried to move on, but he has never full apologized and admitted that what HE did was "bad enough" that he would have resigned if he had any shame.

Editorial: "His approach-from his press releases to his apology at the School of Law-was always substantive but often poorly communicated, detached and awkward. Although he entered the University with a bullhorn imploring Coach K to stay at Duke, since then he has been less accessible to and less identified with students than he had aimed to be."

Yes. Mr. Brodhead was a detached and awkward poor communicator. But it was much worse than that: he rushed to a bad judgment, at his students' expense, and pandered to the Durham community and the politically correct, by insisting that what the wrongly indicted students had done was "bad enough" and then refusing Kevin Finnerty's offer to examine the so-called evidence that supposedly justified the indictments.

Editorial: "Secondly, the case brought to painful light the weaknesses of a president who is academic not managerial, cautious not imposing and passive not active. Brodhead's failure to make necessary personnel changes upon arrival is a symptom of his inability to impose his own trajectory on the University. Not only did he retain but he reappointed two administrators who continue to frustrate the progress of the University-Director of Athletics Joe Alleva and Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta."

This is evidence that Mr. Brodhead should not have been hired as president and should be removed.

Editorial: "More importantly, though, the case revealed crucial strengths in Brodhead's character. His academic prudence, appreciation of complexity, willingness to explore deeper issues involved in the case, and capacity for self-criticism guided the University through a time of peril."

Through what kind of glasses did the writer watch the Duke case unfold? The man made matters worse, not better. Then he tried to cover up the extent of the damage with confidential settlements.

Editorial: "Through it all Brodhead has begun to articulate and implement a powerful vision of what the University should be."

Punitive grader perennial visiting professor Kim Curtis was brought back to teach again this fall, not let go. Mr. Brodhead's vision of a university is a political correctness nightmare.

Editorial: "In his inaugural address in 2004, Brodhead committed the University to cultivating the 'satisfaction of citizenship... the education that flows back to theory from practice: the learning that arises when theoretical intelligence is tested in the area of real human need.' Brodhead's vision thus sees the University as engaged with the world and accessible to all-an institution that defines the word 'education' broadly."

When it came to fulfilling the "real human need" of the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team and their families, Mr. Brodhead utterly failed. The man may have what it takes to get a zoning variance from the Durham authorities, but he failed the "real human need" test.

Editorial: "This vision is now crystallizing into concrete policies: the Financial Aid Initiative, curricular changes to promote interdisciplinarity, the creation of a vice president for Durham and regional affairs, the Global Health Initiative and DukeEngage. Brodhead believes that what makes a Dukie is exactly what makes an aware and active citizen in the modern world."

Mr. Brodhead's "concrete policies" may cement his ties to the political correctness extremists and the local civil authorities, but they cannot excuse his "moral meltdown" and callous, even cruel, treatment of the team members and their families.

Editorial: "And it is this vision that will most determine the future of the Brodhead presidency."

Duke's Board of Trustees will determine that. If they have sense and shame, they will admit that Duke can and must do better.

Editorial: "In effect, Brodhead is no longer on the defensive. With the lacrosse case over, the construction of Central Campus imminent and three top administrators leaving, he must be given-and must take-the opportunity to fulfill his initial promise, overcome his weaknesses and achieve his unique vision for Duke."

The lacrosse case is over, in that the wrongly indicted were rightly declared innocent, and Duke settled with them. But suits by the unindicted players are coming soon and they hold the promise of being, for Duke as well as the players, a great boon. Moreover, during the Duke case, Mr. Brodhead was very offensive. If the Duke trustees do not see that Mr. Brodhead's vision should not be achieved and Mr. Brodhead should be relieved, then discovery and trial in those suits will demonstrate that the trustees' judgment is terrible too.

Editorial: "He can now define his presidency-rather than let it be defined by its worst moment."

His Duke presidency already is defined. As Publishers Weekly wrote: "Guilty until proven innocent was a concept expressed by Duke University's president Richard Brodhead, among others, betraying a stunning misapprehension of America's justice system in the case of the Duke lacrosse players wrongfully indicted for raping a black stripper in 2006."

Duke desperately needs a new president who will not suffer a moral meltdown in a crisis.

Not Mr. Brodhead.

Obviously!

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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Copyright 2007 by Michael J. Gaynor
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