2. Moran: Duke Lacrosse Team Had It Easier Than Rutgers B-ball Team
3. NYT Story on Duke Exoneration Skips Paper's Pro-Prosecution Slant
Keith Olbermann opened his Wednesday MSNBC show by displaying video of Rush Limbaugh on screen as he smeared conservative talk radio as "racist," asking, "Why have none from the racist right been protested, boycotted or fired?" He then delighted Thursday night when guest Sam Seder, of the far-left Air America Radio, predicted "the next time Limbaugh slips up, which I think is inevitable, I think you're going to see this sort of same type of reaction." A pleased Olbermann exclaimed: "It's the best thing I've heard in a couple of days. From your lips to God's ears!" Olbermann had asked Seder: "How does Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage get away with worse than what Don Imus said?"
With "SELECTIVE OUTRAGE: Imus Was Not Alone" on screen, Olbermann teased Wednesday's Countdown by wondering: "Where's the other outrage? Rush Limbaugh calls Barack Obama 'Halfrican-American.' Michael Savage says the Voting Rights Act means 'a chad in every crack house.' Neal Boortz says Cynthia McKinney looks like a 'ghetto-slut.' Why have none from the racist right been protested, boycotted or fired?" He soon cued up race-hustler Jesse Jackson: "Why are there not efforts to remove them from the air?"
[This item was posted Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Olbermann's crusade to remove conservatives from the air matched the spin forwarded Tuesday night on CNN's Paula Zahn Now, as recounted in Matthew Balan's NewsBusters post: newsbusters.org
Zahn set up an April 10 taped piece: "Conservative Rush Limbaugh, who has offended just about every minority group, drew special criticism for attacking actor Michael J. Fox." After regurgitating that controversy, Zahn moved to the very same quote highlighted by Olbermann: "Limbaugh later apologized. But the criticism for that low blow hasn't stopped him from lashing out at presidential hopeful, Barack Obama, calling him 'Halfrican.'" Viewers then heard audio of Limbaugh: "Barack Obama has picked up another endorsement, Halfrican-American actress Halle Berry. As a Halfrican-American, I am honored to have Ms. Berry's support, as well as the support of other Halfrican-Americans." Zahn proceeded to highlight the same Boortz comment about McKinney as Olbermann would do 24 hours later.
Olbermann and Zahn are humor-challenged since Limbaugh's "Halfrican-American"quip was obviously a play on "African-American," since Obama had a white mother and an African father, not a charge that he's only half American.
A brief transcript of the relevant portion of the exchange between Olbermann and Seder on the April 12 Countdown:
Keith Olbermann: "I'll ask you the ten million dollar question: How does Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage get away with worse than what Don Imus said?"
Leave it to a liberal journalist to bring racial tension and class warfare into a story about three men exonerated of rape allegations after a year of prosecutorial misconduct. ABC's Terry Moran, tri-anchor on Nightline, found the outpouring of sympathy for the exonerated Duke lacrosse players a bit much because, in a nutshell, they're white guys from wealthy families who attended a private university. In fact, in an April 12 "Pushback" blog post at ABCNews.com, "DON'T FEEL TOO SORRY FOR THE DUKIES," he suggested that in a way, they were victimized less than the Rutgers women's basketball team by Imus. "As students of Duke University or other elite institutions, these young men will get on with their privileged lives. There is a very large cushion under them," Moran contended. "They are very differently situated in life from, say, the young women of the Rutgers University women's basketball team."
[This item is adapted from a posting, by Ken Shepherd, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Moran asserted in his April 12 post:
Yeah, that's right. Being charged with rape despite a lack of DNA evidence and a constantly-changing story by the alleged victim is far less traumatizing than some knucklehead with a radio show calling you and your teammates "nappy-headed hos."
For Moran's posting in full: blogs.abcnews.com
The New York Times on Thursday put on its front page the exoneration of the Duke University lacrosse team but, as FNC's Brit Hume pointed out in his "Grapevine" segment that night, "nowhere did it mention the Times' own exclusive from last August in which the paper said, quote: 'While there are big weaknesses in prosecutor Nifong's case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury. In several important areas, the full files, reviewed by the New York Times, contain evidence stronger than that highlighted by the defense.'" Indeed, the MRC's TimesWatch site noted how "The Times leads with the exoneration of the Duke lacrosse players -- after a year's worth of misleading coverage." Clay Waters explained how the new story makes "quite a contrast" from the "5,600-word front-page story on the case on August 25, 2006, 'Files From Duke Rape Give Details But No Answers,' which was so slanted it was fricasseed by law writer Stuart Taylor Jr. in Slate, under the headline 'The New York Times is still victimizing innocent Dukies.'"
Hume's "Grapevine" item on the April 12 Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC: "The New York Times today ran a front-page story, the lead story, on the dismissal of the charges in the Duke lacrosse case -- but nowhere did it mention the Times' own exclusive from last August in which the paper said, quote: 'While there are big weaknesses in prosecutor Nifong's case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury. In several important areas, the full files, reviewed by the New York Times, contain evidence stronger than that highlighted by the defense.' Today's story, however, makes no mention of that so-called 'body of evidence,' saying instead Nifong quote, 'relied almost entirely on the woman's photo identification of the three suspects and on a report by the sexual assault nurse who examined the woman,' evidence that had been known since the beginning."
A reprint of a Thursday article on the MRC's TimesWatch site by TimesWatch Editor Clay Waters. It's online at: www.timeswatch.org
On Duke Lacrosse, the Times Has Some Explaining to Do The Times leads with the exoneration of the Duke lacrosse players -- after a year's worth of misleading coverage.
Thursday's Times was the only major newspaper to lead with the big news out of North Carolina -- the state's attorney general is dropping all charges against the three former Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of the sexual assault of a stripper at an off-campus house.
The story by Duff Wilson and David Barstow, "Duke Prosecutor Throws Out Case Against Players," noted: "North Carolina's attorney general declared three former Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a stripper innocent of all charges on Wednesday, ending a prosecution that provoked bitter debate over race, class and the tactics of the Durham County district attorney."
Those facts make quite a contrast from Wilson and co-author Jonathan Glater's 5,600-word front-page story on the case on August 25, 2006, "Files From Duke Rape Give Details But No Answers," which was so slanted it was fricasseed by law writer Stuart Taylor Jr. in Slate, under the headline "The New York Times is still victimizing innocent Dukies."
Taylor argued: "The Wilson-Glater piece highlights every superficially incriminating piece of evidence in the case, selectively omits important exculpatory evidence, and reports hotly disputed statements by not-very-credible police officers and the mentally unstable accuser as if they were established facts. With comical credulity, it features as its centerpiece a leaked, transparently contrived, 33-page police sergeant's memo that seeks to paper over some of the most obvious holes in the prosecution's evidence." See: www.slate.com
This was perhaps the Times' most misleading paragraph: "By disclosing pieces of evidence favorable to the defendants, the defense has created an image of a case heading for the rocks. But an examination of the entire 1,850 pages of evidence gathered by the prosecution in the four months after the accusation yields a more ambiguous picture. It shows that while there are big weaknesses in Mr. Nifong's case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury."
Taylor described that paragraph this way: "A sly formulation. Whoever thought it up chose to focus on the legalistic question of whether Nifong can avoid having his case being thrown out before trial, while glossing over the more important question as to whether any reasonable prosecutor could believe the three defendants to be guilty and force them through the risk, expense, and trauma of a trial."
Taylor again: "The Times piece mentioned most of this exculpatory evidence but understated its cumulative weight and gave unwarranted credence to contrary evidence of dubious credibility, such as the Gottlieb memo. This fits the Times's long-standing treatment of the case as a fable of evil, rich white men running amok and abusing poor black women."
For some gross presumption of the guilt of the players, check out the seething of sports columnists Selena Roberts and Harvey Araton, as analyzed in these TimesWatch postings: www.timeswatch.org
END of TimesWatch article
-- Brent Baker