Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Editor Strikes Back

The Herald Sun’s Bob Ashley does his best to try to control the damage done to District Attorney Mike Nifong’s hoax by the recent ‘60 Minutes’ coverage of his ethically bankrupt persecution of the Duke Three. In an editorial today, the Herald Sun questions Ed Bradley’s “downplaying or ignoring conflicting evidence.” Bizarrely, the “evidence” that Ashley points to as being downplayed or ignored appears to have absolutely nothing to do with the charges falsely brought forth by the District Attorney.
In total, the “evidence” Ashley accuses ‘60 Minutes’ of disguising:
  • 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":

  1. "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."
  2. The "current as well as former African-American members of the team have been extremely positive about the support the team provided them."
  3. The lacrosse players' "behavior on trips is described as exemplary."
  4. They are "respectful of people who serve the team, including bus drivers, airline personnel, trainers, the equipment manager, the team manager, and the groundskeeper."
  5. 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.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the Harold Suns' Bob Ashley continues to write editorials like this one, watch out. I'm sure he going to get a job offer at the National Enquirer.

Anonymous said...

I have concluded that Nifong is a combination of incompentent and / or unethical. Although I do disagree with Ashley's editorials, I still give Ashley the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I will change my opinion of Ashley with more information.

Anonymous said...

In order to write such an editorial, I am convinced that Mr. Ashley has taken a course in
Nifongian logic.

Anonymous said...

To clarify, "assault" does not include touching. You're thinking of "battery". When someone is "assaulted", they are placed in apprehension of an immediate battery, whether or not the battery actually takes place. The fake punches that Collin threw do constitute assault, but I agree that the incident is not related to the 60 Minutes piece.

ME said...

To Anon at 1:45pm: Always glad to help a fellow commentator.

Ashley's most recent personal embarrassment:

http://liestoppers.blogspot.com/2006/10/editor-strikes-back.html


Ashley's most recent letter to the editor embarrasment:

http://liestoppers.blogspot.com/2006/10/minor-inconvenience.html


Earlier Ashley assorted debacles, embarrassments and comedic relief:

http://liestoppers.blogspot.com/search/label/Snooze%20Room

http://liestoppers.blogspot.com/2006/09/meet-enablers-bob-ashley.html

http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2006/09/herald-sun-hilarity.html

http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2006/08/eyes-wide-shut_27.html

http://johninnorthcarolina.blogspot.com/2006/07/duke-lacrosse-letter-to-durham-h-s.html

http://liestoppers.blogspot.com/2006/08/in-search-of-one-courageous-editor.html

http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/28553.html

http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2006/09/press-inaction.html


And if the above does not convince you of Ashley's bias to the point of malfeasance, then go here and refer to the other articles at the right under the header "The Snooze Room:"

http://liestoppers.blogspot.com/search/label/Snooze%20Room

Anonymous said...

2:31, to clarify...DC criminal code does not include the offense of "battery" Under the broad heading of Assault, you will find both what you describe as battery and what you describe as assault. In addition there appears to be several other acts included as "assaults"

http://weblinks.westlaw.com/toc/default.aspx?Abbr=dc%2Dst&Action=ExpandTree&AP=DC010382739&ItemKey=DC010382739&RP=%2Ftoc%2Fdefault%2Ewl&Service=TOC&RS=WEBL6.09&VR=2.0&SPa=DCC-1000&fragment#DC010382739


TITLE 22. CRIMINAL OFFENSES AND PENALTIES.
SUBTITLE I. CRIMINAL OFFENSES.
CHAPTER 1. ABORTION.
CHAPTER 2. ADULTERY.
CHAPTER 3. ARSON.
CHAPTER 4. ASSAULT; MAYHEM; THREATS.
DC CODE D. IV, T. 22, Subt. I, Ch. 4, References and Annotations
s 22-401. Assault with intent to kill, rob, or poison, or to commit first degree sexual abuse, second degree sexual abuse or child sexual abuse.
s 22-402. Assault with intent to commit mayhem or with dangerous weapon.
s 22-403. Assault with intent to commit any other offense.
s 22-404. Assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner; stalking.
s 22-404.01. Aggravated assault.
s 22-405. Assault on member of police force, campus or university special police, or fire department.
s 22-406. Mayhem or maliciously disfiguring.
s 22-407. Threats to do bodily harm.
s 22-408. Penalty for assaulting, beating, or fighting on account of money won by gaming. (Repealed)

CHAPTER 5. BIGAMY.
CHAPTER 6. BREAKING INTO DEVICES DESIGNED TO RECEIVE CURRENCY.
CHAPTER 7. BRIBERY; OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE; CORRUPT INFLUENCE.
CHAPTER 8. BURGLARY.
CHAPTER 9. COMMERCIAL COUNTERFEITING.
CHAPTER 9A. CRIMINAL ABUSE AND NEGLECT OF VULNERABLE ADULTS.
CHAPTER 10. CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.
CHAPTER 11. CRUELTY TO CHILDREN.
CHAPTER 12. DEBT ADJUSTING.
CHAPTER 13. DISTURBANCES OF THE PUBLIC PEACE.
CHAPTER 14. FALSE PRETENSES; FALSE PERSONATION.
CHAPTER 15. FORGERY; FRAUDS.
CHAPTER 16. FORNICATION.
CHAPTER 17. GAMBLING.
CHAPTER 18. GENERAL OFFENSES.
CHAPTER 19. INCEST.
CHAPTER 20. KIDNAPPING.
CHAPTER 21. MURDER; MANSLAUGHTER.
CHAPTER 22. OBSCENITY.
CHAPTER 23. PANHANDLING.
CHAPTER 24. PERJURY; RELATED OFFENSES.
CHAPTER 25. POSSESSION OF IMPLEMENTS OF CRIME.
CHAPTER 26. PRISON BREACH; MISPRISONS.
CHAPTER 27. PROSTITUTION; PANDERING.
CHAPTER 28. ROBBERY.
CHAPTER 29. SALE OF UNWHOLESOME FOOD. (REPEALED)
CHAPTER 30. SEXUAL ABUSE.
CHAPTER 31. SEXUAL PERFORMANCE USING MINORS.
CHAPTER 31A. TERRORISM.
CHAPTER 32. THEFT; FRAUD; STOLEN PROPERTY; FORGERY; AND EXTORTION.
CHAPTER 33. TRESPASS; INJURIES TO PROPERTY.
CHAPTER 34. USE OF "DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" BY CERTAIN PERSONS.
CHAPTER 35. VAGRANCY.

Anonymous said...

I can't read this blog entry. I canceled my subscription for the Herald a couple of months ago and refuse to read anything they write. It makes me sick. I'll check back tomorrow.

OttavaRima said...

I wish I had known about this site months ago...

I'm glad to know there's so much opposition to Nifong. I'm a registered Independent, so I was able to vote against him in the primaries.

Can't wait to watch him get his a** handed to him next month.

Anonymous said...

Re: 2:56 PM. DITTO. I was nauseated when I read the editorial
by Ashley.

Anonymous said...

Please continue to watch this site. It will be up and runningsoon.
http://www.disbarnifong.com/

Anonymous said...

It might be time for people to start letting advertisers know what they think of Herald Sun editorial policy.

What motivates Ashley? Big ads by Nifong in the Herald Sun? Has Ashley been caught doing something improper? Stupidity at the level of the Herald Sun must have a reason.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, because it isn't funny, but it is...Do you suppose that, on the nights that the potbangers were in front of 610 and during the candlelight vigil at Duke, the AV was on stage at Platinum doing her act? If this weren't so serious for the boys, it DOES conjure up a vision! Cartoon, anyone?
Texas Mom

kbp said...

Bob?

Is he any relation to Baghdad Bob?

Anonymous said...

I remember on 60 Minutes something about some Duke manhaters posting photos of lacrosse players with the caption "These men could be rapists" at various points around campus. I wonder how these feminazis would react if someone were to post their photos around campus with the caption, "These women could be prostitutes," and I wonder if said photos would be met with more than a wink and a nod (if not outright approval) by the PC crowd on campus. Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

I guess Bob Ashley would prefer a DA who seeks indictments without investigation

Anonymous said...

no bob ashley has not drunk the duke koolaid and fallen for a pr campaign by the defense to convince people that a criminal case has only one side, that of the defense and that a grand jury indicts on no evidence whatsoever. he is fighting for what he knows is right. this case needs to go to trial. if 60 minutes had done a story of only nifong's version of this case and they went into detail about coleman's report's statements about the lacrosse team having more criminal charges and school discipline actions than any other team at duke and that went into detail about finerty and evans convictions, you all would be screaming bloody murder about how one sided the report was. yet, 60 minutes omitted any of the proseuction's view of the case and did not even discuss the team's discplinary history or finerty's conviction for assault. if a person had not read about the case, based on the 60 minute report, you would think that the lax team had a squeaky clean record at duke, that finerty was the boy next door instead of a drunken young man that menaced a complete stranger and called him gay and that the dancer never presented to another hospital until 2 weeks after the rape when in fact she presented again at unc within 18 hours of the rape. face it, the 60 minutes report was just defense talking points 101 and to top it all off, it did not even have good ratings here!

Anonymous said...

To 3:25 AM. Thanks for watching
60 Minutes even though it was painful for you. Thats usually what
when you are presented with the truth.
Why were the ratings so poor? Everyone else was done at the strip club watching you know who!!!