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Lawyer for Duke lacrosse players rips Durham paper

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by andykent, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. andykent

    andykent Member

    Surely this story will gain legs somewhere on this board, but I found it interesting how one of the lawyers for the three Duke lacrosse players who were declared innocent today did not hold back in ripping the Durham Herald Sun.

    I just watched the live press conference on CNN and the lawyer first recognized the "heroes: of the case and then addressed the "cowards," with the Herald Sun right at the top. He said had the paper done its job as defined by journalism and "spoken truth to power," by presuming innocence and writing editorials questioning Michael Nifong's tactics, this whole debacle could have been avoided.

    Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else find that a little too presumptuous of the power of the press? Should the local paper have been able to flex some muscle and slow down the judicial process?
  2. Screwball

    Screwball Active Member

    So he ripped the Durham paper but said nothing about the NY Times? Seriously?
  3. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Active Member

    There are an awful lot of black eyes in this case so just about everybody is going to be blamed by somebody for stepping out of line.

    Mariotti said on PTI that Duke deserved a lot of the blame, but I ask this. If they stood by the coach, the players and the program and refused to do anything and it turns out that the kids had done it, then they would have been crucified. Now all of a sudden, both Mariottio and Jackie McMullen are saying how Coach K tried to intervene with the university president and asked to be allowed to speak out in support of the players. Why didn't he just speak out then? Why are we finding out about it now?

    One of the best ADs I have ever worked for taught me that when a student-athlete is indicted for a felony, the best thing a school can do is suspend the player to allow him to take care of the things in his life that are bigger than athletics (like the charges). I can't blame Duke for doing this in this case.
  4. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Innocent. Until. Proven. Guilty.
  5. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    That's in a court of law. This is such a BS argument. You are presumed innocent in a court of law, not in everyday life. It's a legal term, not a social one.

    It's a bad job by newspapers. The story was so salacious and sensational and tapped into every one of our prejudices about priviledged white men and also black women.

    There was the preppy white snobs and the sex charged black stripper. Sounds like a movie. It played on both sterotypes and ignited a town. Without the media, this doesn't get out of hands, so we bare some responsibility.

    The newspapers should have done a better job. How? I have no idea, but they killed these kids in the press and destroyed their lives based on unfounded accusations.

    If I am the players, I start suing left and right. They shoud have known fairly early on that this case was suspect. Hiding behind the DA isn't an excuse. They should have questioned him even further.

    This includes the NY Times and ESPN, which eviscerated these players.
  6. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    I don't have a problem with them ripping the Durham paper.

    If you go back and look at their coverage in the first days after the incident, you'll see stories slanted in favor of the accuser, specifically the first interview with her, which was presented with very little consideration that it was anything but gospel.
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Spaceman, MOST stories like this slant in favor of the accuser, in whatever the accusations are... as the facts come to light and the accuser is shown to be wrong the story gets buried.
    It's why arrests and convictions are on Page One, acquitals or dropped charges are on page seven.
  8. cake in the rain

    cake in the rain Active Member

    I think the News&Observer acquitted itself much better on this story than the Durham paper did.

    I wonder if the NYT will ever reassess of its coverage of this story? I'll also look forward to Selena Roberts' next column on the topic.
  9. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Active Member

    The difference between this story and the other times the accused are considered "guilty until proven innocent" by the media is that these guys were innocent. Most of the time they are guilty so you end up with a no harm, no foul approach.
  10. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

    I think what had the attorney upset was the Herald-Sun wrote editorials left and right blasting the lacrosse team but didn't once come out against Nifong after it became clear he was was a fraud.
  11. Hammer Pants

    Hammer Pants Active Member

    I always hate when papers bury stories of an accused person's innocence. Makes our business look shitty. I always fight like hell to get those stories of mine in the most visible place possible. Makes my job harder when it's buried, because we all know arrests and citations always go out front.
  12. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    The Durham paper might have been able to make a point, but if it had taken the position this attorney advocates it still would have been powerless up against the WaPo, USA Today and the cable news networks.
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