- No mention was made of [Collin Finnerty’s] recent assault conviction, with strong homophobic overtones, against a gay man on a Washington, D.C. street.
Unburdened by a duty to report the truth, Ashley falsely characterizes the complainant as a gay man and the misdemeanor “assault,” which the D.C. judge found did not include Mr. Finnerty actually touching Mr. Bloxsom, as having strong homophobic overtones. Not surprisingly, Mr. Ashley takes exception to the failure to mention Mr. Finnerty's conviction for teasing but seemingly accepts the omission of the accuser's 2002 joyride in a stolen cab and subsequent attempt to turn a police officer into roadkill.
- Lacrosse players frequently drank too much, disturbed off-campus neighbors with loud parties, urinated in public and damaged property at a much higher rate than any other Duke athletic team.
The report that Ashley cites has been described as "a stunning vindication of the characters of a group of kids who have been smeared from coast to coast as racist, sexist, thuggish louts." Despite this "stunning vindication," Ashley attempts to use this report as "evidence" not only of the thuggish behavior it belied but apparently also as "evidence' of rape that '60 Minutes' ignored. Among other conclusions reached in the report that Ashley cites as "evidence":
- "None of the misconduct involved fighting, sexual assault or harassment, or racist slurs." There was no evidence "that the cohesiveness of this group is either racist or sexist."
- The "current as well as former African-American members of the team have been extremely positive about the support the team provided them."
- The lacrosse players' "behavior on trips is described as exemplary."
- They are "respectful of people who serve the team, including bus drivers, airline personnel, trainers, the equipment manager, the team manager, and the groundskeeper."
- They are polite, non-disruptive students who have "performed well academically." There's Something Rotten at Duke
- Loud, alcohol-fueled revels were common at the lacrosse house.
Previously, the Herald Sun informed us:
"City/County Planning Director Frank Duke said Thursday that his department hadn’t received or investigated any complaints about 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. in the past four years, and had handled only two complaints targeting houses anywhere on North Buchanan Boulevard in that time." Lordsutch Archives
Despite the admission that, “However, we also understand that drinking beer and acting wild does not make someone a rapist,” Ashley incredibly presents these three irrelevant items as “evidence” that was downplayed or ignored. It appears that, devoid of any evidence that a rape occurred, the Snooze Room has resorted to attempting to justify the false prosecution, and the threat of decades in jail, by speaking to anything that might smear or throw dirt on the accused, regardless of whether the petty accusations he makes rightfully apply to the three accused players. This attempt to create the false impression of "unsavory" is a return to the rhetoric that began this Hoax in the first place. Absent any evidence to support the false accusation and the false prosecution, Mr. Ashley has resorted to the same tactics used by the hateful internet trolls who distort the truth while putting forth nonsensical arguments as "evidence."
The Snooze Room continues its defense of the ethically challenged Nifong by casting aspersions on the words of Ms. Roberts. Again unburdened by truth or accuracy, Ashley misinforms his readers:
"60 Minutes' also interviewed Kim Roberts, the "other stripper" who accompanied the accuser to the house to perform for the players. Roberts has changed her opinion over time as to whether a rape occurred, but the basics of her story have remained the same. By the end of the night, Roberts says, the accuser was falling-down drunk, the players and the strippers were angry with each other, and Roberts was separated from the accuser for at least two periods of 10 minutes or more. We still haven't heard why an assault couldn't have occurred during those gaps."
Having previously attempted to discredit Ms. Roberts by presenting City Manager Patrick Baker's false accusation that Ms. Roberts statement to police contradicted her statements on '60 Minutes', Ashley now attempts to directly misrepresent her words while offering an argument devoid of anything resembling logic or reason.
Consistently, Ms. Roberts has stated words to the effect of “I can’t say that a rape occurred and never will” yet the chief snoozer would have his readers believe that her opinion “as to whether a rape occurred” has changed. Ms. Roberts specifically states that no angry words were exchanged between herself and the three accused players yet Mr. Ashley decides to tell his readers that Ms. Roberts stated that the players and strippers were angry with each other by the end of the night. While her account on ‘60 Minutes’ details exactly two separations for periods of five to ten minutes, the Herald Sun misrepresents her words as “at least two periods of 10 minutes or more.”
Despite the Snooze Room’s claim, “We still haven't heard why an assault couldn't have occurred during those gaps,” the only excuses for them not having heard why is that they were not listening, didn’t want to hear or were again snoozing. Considering that the false accusation on which the Hoax is based details the alleged assault as having occurred after the accuser left the house and subsequently returned it is absolutely impossible that the imagined assault could have transpired during the first separation. More importantly, the hoaxed accusation details the initiation of the assault as having occurred when the dancers were together and not when they were separated. To believe the false accuser, one must accept that Ms. Roberts is lying about not having witnessed the initiation of the imagined attack yet Mr. Ashley would have his readers believe instead that one must distrust the accuser’s own details of how the imagined assault began inorder to believe her accusation. The absence of logic in implying that, to believe that there may be merit to the accuser’s tale, one must disbelieve the details she provided to police in her written statement is striking. For Ashley's logic defying argument to hold, one must disbelieve the accuser in order to believe her.
The Snooze Room concludes its defense of Nifong by downplaying his ethical transgressions as mere mistakes rather than prosecutorial misconduct, as was the firm description given by esteemed legal scholar, Professor James Coleman. Rather than questioning or investigating Mr. Nifong’s egregious misconduct, the Snooze Room instead praises his continued persecution and encourages Durham to embrace a prosecutor willing to compromise the ethics of his profession.
While we understand that an editorial is intended to express an opinion, we find it abhorrent that Mr. Ashley continues to resort to inventing his own "facts" to support the opinions he presents. When a person, whether it be an internet troll or a Nifong mouthpiece impersonating an editor, must support their arguments with falsehoods, the resulting opinion or conclusion can only be as false as the inventions used to prop up the argument. Absent of any factual basis with which to support the false accusations and to defend Nifong's misconduct, Ashley again willfully deceives his readers.
The apparent necessity to resort to invented facts and distortions further reveals the absence of merit to the manufactured charges and the false prosecution. Ashley's willingness to employ such tactics further reveals the absence of merit to his words and to the opinions presented by the Herald Sun.