On Tuesday, blogger La Shawn Barber attended a symposium at the National Press Club in D.C. - "The Duke Lacrosse Case: A Rush To Judgment and Journalism's Future." Much of the talk properly centered on the irresponsible and pro-prosecution slant of the coverage of the Duke "rape" hoax that appeared in the New York Times throughout the sorry saga.
National Journal columnist Stuart Taylor (who is writing a book on the case, Until Proven Innocent with history professor and case expert K C Johnson)was particularly angered with the paper's politically correct coverage of the case.
Barber summarized some of Taylor's complaints.
"It was obvious that Stuart Taylor is no fan of the New York Times . He said the NYT was 'infected' with political correctness, which affects the editors, reporters, and the way the paper covers news. A reporter named Joe Drape had written something about the Duke case, which the defense liked. They sent him information, hoping he'd do a big story about the mounting exculpatory evidence. Taylor, who must have first-hand knowledge of this, said Drape's editors took him off the story and didn't run it. The paper put another reporter on it.
"Enter Duff Wilson, the NYT reporter who wrote a lot of Duke case stories. Wilson has been roundly ridiculed in the blogosphere because of his biased reporting.
"Example: For one of his stories, Wilson relied on a 35-page report from one of the investigators. Neff said that he'd gone through Nifong's 1,800-page document dump for a story he was writing and planned to use the 35-page report as an example of what was wrong with the case, yet Wilson based his entire story on it."