Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Duke lacrosse

Having hyped the story when it fit their template, the national media now have lost interest in the case. The Triangle media is still a mixed bag, but when they do good work (e. g. Jeff Neff at the N&O) the rest of the MSM acts deaf and blind.

Fortunately, a few online voices soldier on. William Anderson has a great post on how blogs have effected this case.

For those interested in the matter, four blogs stand out as required reading.

John in Carolina

Crystal Mess

Johnsville News

Durham in Wonderland (Robert KC Johnson's blog)

Four factors elevate this case from the run of the mill.

1. The eagerness with which the national press jumped on the story and tried to make it significant. Most "athletes behaving badly" stories do not draw this sort attention. Contrast Duke lax with the Fresno City College gang rape allegations. The latter did not rate coverage in Newsweek or thumbsuckers in Slate.

2. The paucity of incriminating evidence and the abundance of exculpatory evidence. Seldom has a case looked so weak so quickly and still gone forward.

3. The intersection of politics and criminal justice. The case was fodder for a hard fought primary campaign. This is important given point #2. Our skeptical MSM was unusually quiet about this issue when it mattered.

4. The sinister actions of DA Nifong in light of #2 and #3. A poster at the Court TV boards put it this way:
Let us not forget Mr. Nifong's comments highlighting the race, class, gender and resident/non-resident issues simmering below the surface in this case.

It seems to me that Mr. Nifong has been laying the ground for jury nullification since the day he learned that it was not semen from the LAX players found inside the AV

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