Times reporter Duff Wilson, author of the notorious front-page story from August 25, 2006 riding to the defense of rogue prosecutor Michael Nifong's rape case hoax at Duke University, picks gingerly through the case's wreckage in Saturday's "'Credibility Issues' Undid Duke Case, Report Says," while avoiding his own contribution to it.
Blogger, law professor and case expert KC Johnson notes that the Times has never corrected falsehoods in the timeline in Wilson's August 25 story. Wilson's Saturday piece hews closer to the truth, but without acknowledging his original errors.
Wilson wrote this timeline on Saturday: "The accuser and another stripper were paid $800 to dance for two hours but stopped after five minutes when one of the men made a sexual remark while holding a broomstick. The women retreated to the bathroom and then outside, the report said. Some players felt cheated."
The women made another trip to the bathroom, then: "The report said the second dancer then made a racial and sexual comment about the young men, who responded with racial epithets. The second dancer declined to talk with the attorney general unless she received a subpoena; the attorney general did not subpoena her."
Here's what Wilson wrote back in August 2006 (emphasis added by Johnson):
"The dancers stopped. An argument ensued. Using a racial epithet, someone yelled that they had asked for white dancers, not black ones. That much is agreed. It was 12:04 a.m. March 14."
And this is from the North Carolina Attorney General's report, released last Friday, contradicting Wilson's original timeline that he claimed everyone "agreed" with:
"Both dancers were in the car at 12:42 a.m. After the accusing witness was placed in 'Nikki's' car, [well after both Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty had left the premises,] 'Nikki' yelled a sexually and racially based comment at a group of party attendees standing across the street near the wall to East Campus at the university. One or more of the party responded with racial epithets. After this exchange, 'Nikki' drove away with the accusing witness in her car."
Notice that nine months later, Wilson has become far more vague about the timeline and the details of when "racial epithets" were exchanged and who yelled them first, and doesn't bother admitting that his new story contradicts his old one.