In Benjamin Niolet’s article, he states:
"Investigators looking into allegations of rape at a Duke University lacrosse party recovered two positive DNA specimens from players who lived at the house, according to a defense attorney....One of the DNA samples, semen recovered from a bathroom where the woman said she was raped, belonged to Matt Zash, a team captain...Another specimen matched to Evans was recovered from a towel found in a hallway near Evans' room and the second bathroom in the house."No where in his article does Mr. Niolet inform us that this match to Evans is from semen. He appears to take pains to avoid the mention of the semen word with regard to Evans. Is this telling us that it was not semen or is the article imprecise on this detail.
In John Stevenson’s article he states:
"Semen found in the house where three Duke lacrosse players allegedly raped an exotic dancer matches the DNA of two team members...According to the sources, semen on a towel was DNA-linked to Evans."Clearly, Stevenson is very specific in his characterization that the source material on the Evan’s match was semen. As much as we like to pick at Mr. Stevenson for his tendency to spin his coverage in Mr. Nifong’s favor, it is difficult to imagine that he would get this item wrong even accidentally. Mr. Niolet’s report, however, seems far more in line with previous coverage from all sides. Could this discrepancy indicate that Mr. Stevenson’s sources are more forthcoming that Mr. Niolet’s? If this is the case, does it give us clues as to where those sources may reside? Did Stevenson simply get it wrong? If so, was this error accidental or intentional?
In any event, we remain convinced that the "new" reports are non factors and the reporting in both instances appears to be woefully insufficient. Whether the answer be semen or specimen, neither article alludes to the fact that the DNA matches were contained in the first DNA report and disclosed by defense attorneys on April 10th, immediately after they received that report. In fact, reading both articles it is reasonable to assume that they are talking about additional tests.
As pointed out by several people yesterday, including John in Carolina ,not only did the defense attorneys disclose this information in a press conference, but that fact was immediately reported by both WRAL and the News & Observer and is available for all to see.
News & Observer, April 11th
They also found no DNA on the woman's clothing or belongings, players' attorneys said. The tests found DNA matches to two players, from a towel outside the bathroom and on another object, Cheshire said.One sample was from a player's semen and another was a different type of DNA, Cheshire said. He said that was to be expected in a bathroom shared by the three men who lived in the house.WRAL April 10th
Answering questions from reporters, defense attorney Joe Cheshire did say that DNA of two of the men was found on a towel and on the floor of the bathroom, but that it was not in any way related to the DNA found on the alleged victim."The bathroom where this DNA was found happened to be the bathroom of the two boys," Cheshire said. "And any expert and any person in the world will tell you that your DNA is in your bathroom."As evident from these articles, Joe Cheshire clearly stated the following things:
(i) there were two matches, including semen
(ii) one match was on the floor of the bathroom and the other was on a towel
(iii) the two matches were to players who lived in the house
Yesterday, and today, the Herald-Sun and the News & Observer have reported this information as if were new. The Herald-Sun used the more egregious language about "previously undisclosed" matches, but the News & Observer used an equally misleading headline "Two DNA Tests Are Positive." The only new information in the articles is that the towel had semen matching Evans, according to one, and the floor had semen matching Zash, according to the other.
If anything, this information, despite the contradictions, should be positive for the defense because it is Zash's DNA actually on the floor of the bathroom, not Evans'. Yet, that is clearly not how either newspaper reported the information. In addition, the Herald-Sun half-disclosed/half didn’t disclose the fact that the bathroom DNA matched Zash. The article stated, "Lawyer Bill Thomas, who represents an unindicted lacrosse player -- but not the one whose semen was discovered on the bathroom floor -- agreed. …Lawyer Kerry Sutton, also representing an unindicted lacrosse player, [hmmm, perhaps the one whose semen was on the floor?] said essentially the same thing.".
At least the N&O explicitly stated that fact, instead of just strongly hinting. The omission of the fact that Cheshire revealed this information in April is extremely important because defenders of the District Attorney have told the public to wait for the trial because the defense is either lying or spinning evidence. The District Attorney himself has made this claim in at least two of his extrajudicial comments (both of which were made after arrests were made, which is when Nifong claims he stopped talking to the press).
First, after his primary election he told WRAL the following:
"My guess is that there are many questions that many people are asking that they would not be asking if they saw the results," Nifong said. "They're not things that the defense releases unless they unquestionably support their positions," Nifong said. "So, the fact that they're making statements about what the reports are saying, and not actually showing the reports, should in and of itself raise some red flags.""Nifong: Defense Attorneys ‘Don’t Know What My Timeline Is."
By reporting the DNA results non-story as new "previously undisclosed" information, the Herald-Sun and, and to a lesser degree, the News & Observer are supporting the District Attorney's story of deceptive defense attorneys. They are also failing to report the real story of a deceptive prosecutor. These articles indicate that both newspapers are doing their best to keep Nifong’s lies alive and ensure Durham will get a spectacle of a trial. They also indicate that both publications believe their readers are (i) stupid, (ii) not following the case very closely or (iii) incapable of internet research.