The Question of the Hour

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Just who at The New York Times does Mike Nifong have naked pictures of?

This sprawling attempt to reanimate the Durham DA's Duke rape case and his reputation is downright baffling in spots; mysterious in total. Like MSNBC's Dan Abrams said eariler today, the story is an embarassment to the Times.

Taking the lead investigator's notes and using them as a narrative doesn't really tell us anything we didn't already know about the case while managing to gloss over the huge holes in Nifong's case. Just the differences in what the accuser and the second stripper, "Nikki," recall about the evening call into question somebody's version of events.

The Times leads with the shocker that the investigator found the accuser to be in pain and bruised several days after the rape supposedly occurred. This supports the indictment of three men who were in the same house with the accuser for few hours several days before exactly how? And then there is the bizarre lesson in American race relations the Times is intent on grafting onto the case:

What is more, regardless of one's opinion about the prosecution, to read the files, with their graphically twined accusations of sexual violence and racial taunts, is to understand better why this case has radiated so powerfully from the edgily cohabited Southern world of Duke and Durham.

I read that three goddamned times and still have no idea what is says. I do know, however, that one reason the case radiates powerfully is that the Times insists on writing huge fucking, go-nowhere stories about it.

But what makes me the most crazy is that I missed my chance to work at the Times. You see, once upon a time, I had a summer job working for a beer distributor in Durham. The A&Ps in the black part of Durham, of which there is much, got the malt liquor. The Kroger near Duke's campus mostly got imports and wine coolers.

A five-part series on alcohol and the edgily cohabited Southern world of Duke and Durham slipped through my fingers.

NEXT: Friday Fun Link: Fembots gone wild

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  1. I read that three goddamned times and still have no idea what is says.

    It means that there are enough bigots still running around that any accusation against upper-class white males is instantly believed just like accusations against lower-class black males once were. We have bright new shiny prejudges to bring to every event.

    Le plus ca change le plus ca le meme chose.

  2. “This sprawling attempt to reanimate the Durham DA’s Duke rape case and his reputation is downright baffling in spots; mysterious in total.”

    Does anyone know the whereabouts of Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. on the night of the attack?

  3. Is the fucked grammar satire?

  4. Why the hell do I care about a rape prosecution 500 miles away? Since you got my attention, I’ll say something. Any case of white-on-black or black-on-white violence that receives national media attention is going to have a sensational angle. I want to know why the NY Times is dicking around with such rubbish. Let it go already.

  5. Nifong is well on his way to beoming the next Marcia Clark.

  6. Nifong looks like a “Stay the Course” kinda guy to me.

    If he drops this case…then the terrorists have won.

  7. Nifong is well on his way to beoming the next Marcia Clark.
    No, but just as fucked up in the opposite direction. Clark had all the evidence on her side and completely fucked up in the courtroom by getting defensive of her case. Nifong has no evidence on his side and is trying to push a case by being ofensive.

    Future law schools will make these two a course of study in prosecutorial fuck-ups.

  8. News is entertainment- especially to The Olde Guarde MSM like the Times. This Duke story has got Movie of the Week written all over it, (maybe even an Oscar role for Angela Basset) and the Times is simply reluctant to let it go. Nifong also recognizes this, and has staked his reputation on the smell of royalties and ratings- plus a guest spot on some cable ‘chat’ show as the ‘legal expert’. Nifong and the Times know that this is a once in a decade story so they’re going to wring it out for all it’s worth.

    Oh, and Nifong is not on his way to becoming Marcia Clark. Marcia Clark botched a solid case, Nifong is finessing a shoddy one.

  9. Wait a minute – How far is Durham from Augusta GA? Perhaps there is a tie in with Martha Burke and the patriarchal white power structure at the Masters? Same meme – outider confronts the man from the edgily cohabited Southern world of Augusta National (well it was the parking lot at least)

    I suspect Howell Raines left hidden notes when he skedaddled from Manhattan.

  10. Random Numbers,

    Thanks for cleaning up my analogy. It wasn’t perfect, but at least you saw where I was going.

    And I see Paul did too.

    Actually, I was looking at two prosecutors with slam-dunk cases (O.J. almost certainly guilty, the Duke lacrosse team almost impossible to prove guilty) and how each prosecutor seemed to do everything possible to ruin his/her career (Clark by completely blowing it, Nifong by trying the case in the media and failing miserably).

  11. I want to know why the NY Times is dicking around with such rubbish.

    It’s because black-on-white rape is well over 100 times more common than white-on-black rape (NCVS stats), and the NYT wants to give the impression that the opposite is true.

  12. Correction to above: actual occurances (absolute count) are about 15-20 times higher (not 100); the rate/person is over 100 times higher.

  13. everyone knows they give the blacks the malt liquor to destroy them and give them cancer…

  14. “The A&Ps in the black part of Durham, of which there is much, got the malt liquor.”

    “A&Ps” is a plural, and to refer to that you should say “many”. The way you’ve constructed this sentence, it seems that you are saying that the “black part” is “much” of Durham. But how much?

    I read that three goddamned times and still have no idea what is says.

  15. I know white people that drink malt liquor. Shocking, but true…

  16. No one at the New York Times ever heard of malt liquor — so your story would never have seen the light of day.

  17. who reads the traitor times?

  18. Mr. F. Lemur:

    I looked at your stats, and you know what they say? I’ll just quote the NCVS:

    “Black, white, and other races experienced about the same rates of rape/sexual assault.”

    Care to revise your war rationale again Mr. F. Lemur?

  19. Maybe the NYT just wanted to run with the “women, minorities, hardest hit” angle.

    And apparently the authors of the article are mesmerized by the magical words “consistent with”. Pain and minor vaginal trauma are “consistent with” lots of things, including consensual sex. And of course, the more important question would be, sex with whom? The defendants? Her other clients? Boyfriend? Pimp?

    The fact that a prosecutor notes that an injury is “consistent with” a crime is of little significance. But the NYT authors shit a brick when they read that, like they’d just discovered a pocket of gold buried in the hillside.

  20. “Mr. F. Lemur:I looked at your stats, and you know what they say? I’ll just quote the NCVS: “Black, white, and other races experienced about the same rates of rape/sexual assault.” Care to revise your war rationale again Mr. F. Lemur? “

    Um, maybe you need to go back and read what Mr. F. Lemur actually wrote — he was discussing the rates at which different varieties of inter-racial rapes occur, not the rates of rape victimization by race. And though I loathe even to mention it, the NCVS data is quite clear that black-on-white rape is enormously more common than white-on-black rape. In fact, according to the New Century Foundation’s Color of Crime report:

    “. . .the differences between black and
    ?white? rates of interracial crime are enormous. As Figure 18 shows, between 2001 and 2003, blacks
    were 39 times more likely to commit violent crimes
    against whites than the reverse, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.40 There were an average of 15,400 black-on-white rapes every year during this period, 139,000 robberies, 489,000 assaults, and 12,762 sexual assaults. By contrast, there were only 900 ?white?-on-black rapes every year, 7,600 robberies, 101,000 assaults, and 3,217 sexual assaults. Of all 768,879 violent interracial crimes involving blacks and whites, blacks committed 85 percent and ?whites? 15 percent.”

  21. “Of all 768,879 violent interracial crimes involving blacks and whites, blacks committed 85 percent and ?whites? 15 percent.”

    Wow! That is a HUGE statistical artifact! You would almost think that the media would pick up on something that big if they weren’t so racist themselves.

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