Friday, October 27, 2006
I suppose most of you men know... when women get together... we have a little fun, regaling each other with the foibles of our menfolk. A dear friend of mine always trumps any other wifely tale... with her true-life account of the "Raccoon in the Garage." As she tells it, she was awakened one Saturday morning by a cell phone call from her husband... heading out to the golf course. "Honey, he said, "Just needed to tell you… there's a raccoon in the garage destroying everything. See you later." Alrighty then.
These days, in the Durham D.A.'s race... seems like a lot of people are telling us there's a raccoon in the garage... but like my friend's die-hard golfer husband… they, THEMSELVES, do not appear ready to take steps to do anything about it. In this case, it's not a garage being destroyed… but young lives… and families… our system of justice… our ideals. But some folks just want to phone it in to us... and leave it at that. Why?
The N&O has written some definitive pieces on Nifong's prosecutorial abuses in this case... but not one editorial on that subject. Not one. They seem to be at ease with allowing the re-election of a man... who in their own articles, is shown to be outrageous in his conduct and abusive with the power of his office. Apparently, they are giving a journalistic wink and nod to his conduct. They seem to be saying…"
He violated this… he violated that...he misled here… he misled there... he indicted without evidence... but, wait, no… we're not saying don't vote for him. Who said that?" For all we have lambasted the loopy Herald Sun… at least Nifong’s Enabler Bob Ashley is blindly consistent... following his lame excuses to lame conclusions. But the N&O sees the Raccoon in Durham's garage. They just don't plan on doing anything about it, I guess. Not even worth an editorial in an election season. Think about that for a moment. Pretty hard to fathom, impossible to excuse. The N&O just wants to step over the devastation and drive away.
Indeed, the agendas at the N&O may even preclude placing the phone call. They still are holding tight to the comments the accuser made in her only interview with the media. She told the N&O reporter "something about the actions" of Kim Roberts that night, according to Asst. Editor. Linda Williams. But the N&O Editors decided not to tell their readers what she said. They just... DECIDED… to omit part of her story… and so it stands today. They DECIDED their community did not need to hear the full extent of the accuser's comments... even in a case, where the number and inconsistencies of the accuser’s stories are key… Yes, the N&O STILL keeps that information to itself. The same Editors who trumpet in every other area... even National Security… the public has a right to know EVERYTHING... well, they make a little bitty exception … just for the Lacrosse Hoax. THAT, readers, you don't need to know! It's hard I guess, to be consistent, when your agendas contradict each other.
And now, in the D.A. election, the N&O condones by silence… promotes by taking a pass. Combine their reporting on this case with their editorial silence. Appalling, really. Consider that in this election, the community has a chance to remove Nifong, and get a District Attorney appointed who has respect for the rule of law. In that context, to recount Nifong's abuses on the news page and give him a pass on the editorial page… is nothing short of egregious! Why the silence? What's happening here?
And then there's Ruth Sheehan.
Ruth Sheehan seemed to see the light months ago. Since her "denouement" piece where the scales seemed to fall from her eyes, she seems to be trying to set things right. Sort of. Anyone who reads her columns… and I do...can see Ruth is a woman of enormous empathy and caring. Her words draw the reader in… make us feel, make us think. It's a power I admire. It's a real gift.
I posted a note to her on her blog a few days ago. Everything she writes, or links to these days… indicates she sees the enormity of this Hoax for what it is. Yet where is her voice? No, not the flip, one-liner Ruth... the Ruth who wrote "We know you know!” the battle cry that gave Nifong cover. Ruth was duped… her eloquence hijacked. But where is that fire now? Where is the Ruth Sheehan, eyes wide open, calling out Nifong, rallying her neighbors to affect his defeat. "Dump him!" she wrote about Coach Pressler... but not a word today to her readers… about what to do with Nifong? Pressler should be "dumped" for not controlling an off-campus party... but Nifong should suffer NO CONSEQUENCES for inflicting a racially charged Hoax on his community, unbearable pain on three families. Ruth, if you see it...if you see it and stand silent before this election... I hate to say it but... YOUR "silence is sickening.”
Ruth, you have two clear choices here. You can stand silent and your silence will resonate as loudly as your early columns that sent your community into a spiral of hate. You can stand silent… and when the books on this Hoax are written…you will wear that silence as Part 2 of your contributions to this Cruel Persecution of three boys and their families.
Or, Ruth, you can summon that eloquent voice of yours we heard last Spring, point it in a new direction... and put all the past behind you. You can write the definitive piece that will help to open eyes and to defeat Nifong. You can rally your neighbors once again… with the truth you see clearly now. That's your second choice. You have a widely read column, and the community presence to do it. Ruth, you could help so much. Have courage. Have heart. Stand with us. Shout out from your column NOW.
You know there's a Raccoon in the garage, Ruth. What are you going to do about it?