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[K.C. Johnson (guest-blogging), September 18, 2007 at 4:51pm] Trackbacks
The Group of 88's Effects

While the Group of 88 led a faculty rush to judgment against the lacrosse team, the most striking aspect of the Duke faculty's reaction to the lacrosse case came in the professors' utter closed-mindedness as Mike Nifong's case collapsed in late 2006. For instance:

--History professor Peter Wood claimed, in an interview with the New Yorker, that a lacrosse player advocated genocide against Native Americans. His evidence: an anonymous student evaluation in a class of 65.

--Literature professor Grant Farred published an October 2006 op-ed accusing Duke students of "secret racism" for seeking to vote Nifong out of office; in April 2007, he publicly deemed unnamed lacrosse players guilty of "perjury."

--Houston Baker, by this point having been hired away by Vanderbilt, suggested that the lacrosse players might have been guilty of other rapes (he supplied no evidence) and e-mailed one player's mother that her son and his teammates were "farm animals."

Such statements seemed to violate the spirit if not the letter of Duke's Faculty Handbook, which contains the following passage: "Members of the faculty expect Duke students to meet high standards of performance and behavior. It is only appropriate, therefore, that the faculty adheres to comparably high standards in dealing with students . . . Students are fellow members of the university community, deserving of respect and consideration in their dealings with the faculty."

Yet — as our book makes clear — the Brodhead administration had shown no willingness to enforce the Handbook's provisions at any point in the lacrosse affair. In spring 2006, at least three History professors used class time (in classes with lacrosse players) to deliver guilt-presuming lectures, including one who offered what he termed the findings of his "research" — that an "ejaculation had occurred." An anthropology professor dismissed her class so the students could go outside and watch an anti-lacrosse rally. And a political science professor — after sending an e-mail in which she described the two lacrosse players in her class as accomplices to rape — gave both students an F on the final paper. One sued Duke; in an out-of-court settlement, Duke publicly announced that the grade had been changed (to a "pass") and paid an undisclosed sum.

Group members disinclined toward unsubstantiated attacks or unprofessional behavior engaged in an Orwellian attempt to redefine the past. Perhaps the best example came in a January 2007 op-ed from English professor Cathy Davidson, who rationalized the Group of 88's statement as nothing more than saying "that we faculty were listening to the anguish of students who felt demeaned by racist and sexist remarks swirling around in the media and on the campus quad in the aftermath of what happened on March 13 in the lacrosse house. The insults, at that time, were rampant. It was as if defending David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann necessitated reverting to pernicious stereotypes about African-Americans, especially poor black women."

These claims were absurd: in late March and early April 2006 virtually no one was publicly defending the lacrosse players "on the campus quad" or anyplace else, much less using racial stereotypes to do so.

While the Group members' positions might have been divorced from reality, they had a chilling effect on campus discourse. For nearly six months, as an extraordinarily high-profile case of prosecutorial misconduct involving their own students unfolded before their very eyes, not one member of the Duke arts and sciences faculty publicly criticized Nifong's behavior. The first who did so, Chemistry professor Steven Baldwin, also blasted the Group of 88 for betraying their responsibilities as professors. The response? The next day, the director of Duke's women's studies program accused Baldwin of using the "language of lynching," while the co-director of Duke's Center for Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender sent Baldwin an e-mail implying that they should settle their differences through violence.

This sorry record did not pass without notice. In a virtually unprecedented move, defense attorneys cited the statements and actions of the students' own professors as a major reason why these undergraduates could not receive a fair trial locally. Wade Smith, one of the lead defense attorneys, noted during Nifong's ethics hearing that the D.A.'s publicity campaign effectively transferred this case from the start to the court of public opinion. In that courtroom, the antics of the race/class/gender-obsessed Duke professors had considerable effect. After Nifong recused himself, the defense attorneys prepared a PowerPoint presentation of the case for their initial meeting with the special prosecutors. They ended the presentation not with anything Nifong said or did but with a close-up of the Group of 88's statement, as a prime example of the shameful aspects of the case.

Even now, with Nifong's case having been exposed as a fraud, only one member of the Group of 88 has publicly apologized. Another privately admitted that she was sorry for signing the statement, but wrote that if she apologized publicly, "my voice won't count for much in my world." The Economist recently concluded: "The only people who, it seems, have learned nothing from all this are Mr. Nifong's enablers in the Duke faculty. Even after it was clear that the athletes were innocent, 87 faculty members published a letter categorically rejecting calls to recant their condemnation. And one professor, proving that some academics are as far beyond parody as they are beneath contempt, offered a course called 'Hooking up at Duke' that purported to illustrate what the lacrosse scandals tell us about 'power, difference and raced, classed, gendered and sexed normativity in the US.'"

Oh My Word:
This is a great exposé. I was a grad student at Duke a number of years ago and saw this kind of absolutely absurd behavior from the faculty almost on a weekly basis. I had one of the Group of 88 as a professor and found her class at times completely inappropriate and shoddy academics. This type of divorced-from-reality political correctness on crack is industry standard at the big-name graduate school institutions.

Tenure should be abolished, and there should be far more control by the Trustees over the institution. Academia has become a fiefdom for leftists who would rather preach with college endowment funding rather than have to engage with the marketplace of ideas (or otherwise earn a living outside of an endowment-supported and tenure-protected system). It is truly shameful.
9.18.2007 6:03pm
Jon Black (mail):
I'd like to hear more from these guest-bloggers about the culpability of the so-called "gang of 88" and others who jumped on board the bandwagon of this prosecution. It seems to me that evidence of Nifong's bad faith, far from establishing bad faith on the part of others, actually serves to excuse their conduct to some degree. After all, when a prosecutor takes his case public to such a degree, it's not at all common that those public denouncements turn out to be flat-out fictional. We're all aware that bogus prosecutions occur, of course, but we know that most people who are accused end up being found guilty, which is why we typically leave the presumption of innocence to the justice system to implement.
9.18.2007 6:12pm
R. Richard Schweitzer (mail):
Is it remotely possible that these disclosures of questions of the effects of faculty on "Academic Quality" of an institution may, over time, degrade the attraction of that institution for serious applicants (seeking education), and so ultimately, with a decline in serious students, see a decline in "quality" or superior graduates that will justly diminish its reputation as to its function?

Sorry for the Hayekian sentence!

R. Richard Schweitzer
s24rrs@aol.com
9.18.2007 6:12pm
Jon Black (mail):
This post and my previous block quote were supposed to be united.

In any case, as the cited passage indicates, it is simply unreasonable to criticize these poor professors. I mean, once a prosecutor files charges, its simply impossible for little people, especially professors at a major university, to conceive that the accused are actually without fault.

This explains why the Duke faculty is so unflinchingly supportive of Bush's handling of Guantanamo. Essentially, once the President accused those held of wrongdoing, the faculty simply assumed the President was accurate and completely abandoned the old "innocent until proven guilty" stuff.

Sorry for the snark, but the insistence on creating apologies for the Duke faculty (an insistence in full bloom these past days) is strange, to say the least.
9.18.2007 6:20pm
...Max... (mail):
So why would anyone PAY for credits in these professors' subjects? Degree requirements?
9.18.2007 6:26pm
Curt Fischer:
In the past, I've been surprised at the level of anti-university sentiments among some VC commenters. I hope to be a professor (of engineering) one day and have always loved "the" university environment.

Reading K.C. Johnson's posts has made me better understand the anti-university stance of many previous commenters. As an engineering grad student at MIT, I can't imagine having to endure obstinate close-mindedness from my professors that even approaches K.C. Johnson's portrait of the "Group of 88". I would change careers in an instant.

I also like how the only prof who criticized Nifong was a chemistry professor.
9.18.2007 6:29pm
KC Johnson (mail) (www):
To Curt:

Baldwin was the first, but not the only one. The second among the faculty who taught undergrads to criticize (in November) was Engineering prof Michael Gustafson. The highest profile criticism of Nifong and the Group of 88 from the undergrad faculty came in January 2007, when 17 Economics profs signed an open letter lamenting the conclusions of the change-of-venue motion and the popular perception that Duke professors didn't treat all their students equally.
9.18.2007 6:34pm
Curt Fischer:

Baldwin was the first, but not the only one.


Ahh, thanks for the correction. It just makes me like it more. Chemistry, engineering, and economics.

I wonder why these departments and not any others?
9.18.2007 6:45pm
ejo:
effects-there are no effects. with tenure, you apparently can spew any garbage you like and, with the correct ethnicity or political attitude, go on to wonderful opportunities at other schools. then, once you are there, you can malign anyone but count on collegiality to protect you (see Chemerinsky).
9.18.2007 6:45pm
r78:

--Houston Baker . . .e-mailed one player’s mother that her son and his teammates were “farm animals.”

Could you kindly post the entire e-mail exchange.

For some reason, I doubt that it consists solely of saying "you son and his teammates are farm animals."
9.18.2007 6:59pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
No one ever claimed that the exchange consisted soley of that insult. I'm interested, though... what is your theory on how that could be taken out of context?

Or are you just demanding the full exchange because you know you'll never see it, and therefore want a way to dismiss it?
9.18.2007 7:09pm
Shad:
What a great "gotcha", r78!

Why, there must be thousands of valid reasons why a university professor would communicate to the mother of a student that her son and his student teammates were "farm animals".
9.18.2007 7:13pm
Ex-Fed (mail):
Maybe it was an Orwell reference!
9.18.2007 7:18pm
Jon Black (mail):
Based on his comments on this matter the last few days, r78 is either trolling, or he's a gender-studies professor at a small, private college in North Carolina.

Of course, he may not be a he at all, is that you Ms. Mangum?
9.18.2007 7:24pm
Tillman Fan (mail):
The reaction of the Duke humanities professors to the lacrosse case, like the Alan Sokal hoax article on post-modern cultural studies about 10 years ago, establishes that there is something really wrong with the liberal arts at major American universities.
9.18.2007 7:29pm
anonymous philly lawyer:
Here is a link to an NYTimes article that mentions the email exchange (near the bottom.

It appears that the writer's source is the team members mother herself.
9.18.2007 7:35pm
Gaius Marius:
Just goes to show that obtaining a PhD didn't cure stupity for anyone of the Group of 88.
9.18.2007 7:45pm
erics (mail):
r78,

Have you ever heard of a internet website called Wikipedia?
9.18.2007 7:46pm
whit:
"Chemistry, engineering, and economics"
"I wonder why these departments and not any others?"

why wonder? it's pretty well established that liberals/leftists tend to concentrate in the so-called "soft sciences" like literature, gender studies, ethnic studies, social work, etc. and those in the hard sciences and/or "stuff" based disciplines (or at least conservative FOR A COLLEGE CAMPUS which probably means to the right of fidel but i digress...) tend to be disproportionately right of center (again, at least in relation to other professors)

not only have i seen this mentioned in various pubs, but it jibes with my experience in college.

i could get in a whole rant about how people who do with real world STUFF tend to be more conservative and people who deal with unprovable THEORY tend to be more liberal, but that's another topic for another day.

this is also pretty true of the students as well. i mean if you had a chance to pick 2 students at random, and one would be right of center and one left of center, and ALL you knew was what their major was... choosing an engineering student and a woman's study student, respectively, would be an intelligent choice.
9.18.2007 7:55pm
Richard Gould-Saltman (mail):
So, has any journalist asked Houston Baldwin WHY he thought the "farm animals" line was appropriate? Anyone PLANNING to do so?

BTW, I'm going to assume that if NYT published it, and Mr. Baker hasn't demanded a retraction, that at it's at least MOSTLY true....


r gould-saltman
9.18.2007 7:59pm
Richard Gould-Saltman (mail):
Whoops; that's Houston Baker.
9.18.2007 8:00pm
newt:

it's pretty well established that liberals/leftists tend to concentrate in the so-called "soft sciences" like literature, gender studies, ethnic studies, social work, etc. and those in the hard sciences and/or "stuff" based disciplines (or at least conservative FOR A COLLEGE CAMPUS which probably means to the right of fidel but i digress...) tend to be disproportionately right of center (again, at least in relation to other professors)


Umm...how is it well established? Care to site some specific research for that? Ditto for the get stuff done thing.
9.18.2007 8:08pm
wfjag:
Curt Fischer:

I wonder why these departments and not any others?

I don't believe that most of the commentators here are anti-academic, or in any way think lesser of you, a MIT engineering graduate who wishes to teach engineering. MIT, rightly, is regarded as having among the world's finest physicial sciences, math and engineering programs.

Most lawyers, however, are graduates of humanities and social sciences programs. The atmosphere is very different, and has been for a long time. See William F. Buckley's "God and Man at Yale", which was published about 50 years ago. Buckley argued that American colleges and universities were increasingly being taken over by people with a radical agenda. What occurred at Duke supports his thesis. (He's hardly the only person to make that argument. However, his book is fairly short and Buckley is a better writer than most, so it won't take long to read).

In the humanities and social sciences your assertion can rest on an opinion and speculation (and since few courses have anonymous grades, your grade frequently depends on parroting the professor's opinions). In physicial sciences, math and engineering programs there are right and wrong answers, and logic founded in fact is taught. While you are taught to speculate and to form opinions, those are grounded in reality and reached based on an analysis which you are expected to support logically. It's a very different type of mental discipline you have learned. And, I suspect it better teaches a person not to rush to judgment.

Too often, in humanities and social sciences, much support is found for Winston Churchill's observation:
"Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened."

Best of luck in your chosen career, and always keep in mind that there are likely sound reasons that the starting salaries for graduates of physicial sciences, math and engineering programs far exceed those of humanities and social sciences programs.
9.18.2007 8:09pm
r78:
Here is the quote from Durham in Wonderland. I don't know if it is accurate:

Here is the full text of Baker’s reply:


LIES! You are just a provacateur on a happy New Years Eve trying to get credit for a scummy bunch of white males! You know you are in search of sympaathy [sic] for young white guys who beat up a gay man [sic] in Georgetown, get drunk in Durham, and lived like “a bunch of farm animals” near campus.

I really hope whoever sent this stupid farce of an email rots in .... umhappy [sic] new year to you ... and forgive me if your really are, quite sadly, mother of a “farm animal.”

Does anyone know where the "bunch of farm animals" comes from?

It appears that Baker was quoting something . . .
9.18.2007 8:14pm
K Parker (mail):
Forget Hayek--academia is overdue for some serious Schumpeterian creative destruction!
9.18.2007 8:15pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
r78,

Have you ever heard of a internet website called Wikipedia?
Or one called Google?

Here's the link, from K.C.'s own site, which I found by the complicated method of googling "farm animals" on the site Durham in Wonderland.
9.18.2007 8:16pm
Jon Black (mail):
Nice work, r78. In context, the professor seems ever the picture of a scholar and a gentleman.

Of course, I'm likely biased by the fact that he shares my affinity for disregarding convention in matters of consonant and vowel arrangement.

All kidding aside, how in the #### is the author of that e-mail employed at Vanderbilt?
9.18.2007 8:18pm
r78:
Also, compare:

forgive me if you really are, quite sadly, mother of a "farm animal"

with

--Houston Baker . . .e-mailed one player’s mother that her son and his teammates were “farm animals.”

From what little I know about the Duke lacrosse/rape affair, it seems that the conduct of the prosecutor and others was sufficiently reprehensible that it does not need to be exaggerated for effect.
9.18.2007 8:19pm
r78:
Nieporent - nice work, and only two minutes slower than me.
9.18.2007 8:20pm
Curt Fischer:

it's pretty well established that liberals/leftists tend to concentrate in the so-called "soft sciences" like literature, gender studies, ethnic studies, social work, etc. and those in the hard sciences and/or "stuff" based disciplines (or at least conservative FOR A COLLEGE CAMPUS which probably means to the right of fidel but i digress...) tend to be disproportionately right of center (again, at least in relation to other professors)


Well, if you are conservative maybe it is obvious that only conservatives defend the truth, but it ain't obvious to me.

I think I'll stick with my thought that the "Group of 88" consists in large part of obstinate blowhards, but I'll avoid extending the blame to liberals or liberalism at large.

Also, wfjag, thanks for the post. I'm looking at Buckley's book on amazon...
9.18.2007 8:38pm
Smokey:
r78:
''Nieporent - nice work, and only two minutes slower than me.''
Um... r78, you meant to say two minutes faster than you. Right?
9.18.2007 8:48pm
whit:
"Well, if you are conservative maybe it is obvious that only conservatives defend the truth, but it ain't obvious to me."

except that's not what i said. i was merely referencing the fact that conservatives tend to cluster in a different group of academic disciplines (hard sciences) vs. liberals, who disproportionately cluster in the soft 'sciences.'

that's simply a fact.

fwiw, i think that conservatives are much like liberals.

iow, conservatives tend to engage in selective fact parsing when it plays along with their "metanarratives", just like liberals do.

however, in the case of college campuses, the "power" lies almost exclusively with those on the left, and they are so drunk with this power that they tend to go completely over the top in ignoring reality when it clashes with their predetermined theories about race, class, gender, power, etc.

so called "hate speech", thought control, speech codes, etc. (as exhaustively documented by www.thefire.org) are their tools
9.18.2007 8:57pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Hard math and science people are not always the good guys; the Holocaust revisionist on my campus taught electrical engineering. He never discussed his ideas in class. But, an adjunct EE professor, (also a graduate of Columbia Law School), horrified by this guy, discussed the matter in class and was promptly terminated.
9.18.2007 8:57pm
newt:

except that's not what i said. i was merely referencing the fact that conservatives tend to cluster in a different group of academic disciplines (hard sciences) vs. liberals, who disproportionately cluster in the soft 'sciences.'

that's simply a fact.


How is that simply a fact? Let's see some reference!
9.18.2007 8:59pm
Nifonged:
"All kidding aside, how in the #### is the author of that e-mail employed at Vanderbilt?"

Gordon Gee. Perhaps now that he's back at Ohio St. he'll recruit Baker there.

You raise a good point re aptitude...substance aside reading Baker's correspondence (i) in the letter to Duke posted earlier, (ii) to the Duke lax Mom and (iii) otherwise (google Houston Baker and Michael Gaynor to get another instance of Baker responding to a critic) I can't believe this guy has any position teaching, let alone is a serious scholar worthy of tenured positions with top American universities.

I had college professors that were a little "loopy" (and I use that in an affectionate way) but I never encounted the shear visceral hatred that some of the Duke faculty espoused here.
9.18.2007 9:07pm
Curt Fischer:
whit:

except that's not what i said. i was merely referencing the fact that conservatives tend to cluster in a different group of academic disciplines (hard sciences) vs. liberals, who disproportionately cluster in the soft 'sciences.'


Sorry if I misread you. I inferred (incorrectly, I now gather) that you took your assertion to be relevant to my musing on why members of no other departments came forward to defend the unjustly accused or to attack Nifong.

My experience resonates with your assertion: liberals may be concentrated in 'soft' disciplines.

I guess we can both agree that practitioners of these soft disciplines, whether liberal or conservative, should be more principled than the group of 88.
9.18.2007 9:10pm
r78:
Niporent - I imagine you went to a much fancier law school than I did, but I still think that 7:16, the time of your post, is two minutes after 7:14, the time of my post.
9.18.2007 9:15pm
whit:
oh for pete's sake. you want a reference (because you have obviously never been on a college campus yourself to confirm it... here you go)

"The most liberal faculties are those devoted to the humanities (81 percent) and social sciences (75 percent), according to the study. But liberals outnumbered conservatives even among engineering faculty (51 percent to 19 percent) and business faculty (49 percent to 39 percent). "

note: exactly what i said. disportionately liberal in the social siciences. disproportionately conservative (relative to the population of course) in the hard sciences

"The ***most*** left-leaning departments are English literature, philosophy, political science and religious studies, where at least 80 percent of the faculty say they are liberal and no more than 5 percent call themselves conservative, the study says. "

(emphasis mine)
wow. took me all of 5 minutes to google.




"2) The percentages of liberals and conservatives vary considerably by disciplines, with humanities and social sciences been the most liberal, but with popular majors, such as computer science, engineering and business having more conservatives. "
9.18.2007 9:22pm
whit:




etc.
9.18.2007 9:25pm
whit:
i can't figure out this linking thing, so i used tinyurl

http://tinyurl.com/yteuvl

http://tinyurl.com/64tlr
9.18.2007 9:29pm
Brian K (mail):
whit,

why no link?

among engineering faculty (51 percent to 19 percent)
either you copied this wrong or it doesn't say what you want it to say...liberals far outnumber conservatives. and if you did copy it wrong (51 to 49 %) then how is it disproportionately conservative? using the last presidential election's numbers, its very close to the distribution of the population as a whole.

business faculty (49 percent to 39 percent).
I would hardly call business programs a "hard science". that is usually reserved for engineering, math and the physical sciences.

And no, as an engineering graduate my experiences disagree. its not that there are more liberal or conservatives, its that much more people are apolitical, i.e. politics just don't matter.
9.18.2007 9:33pm
Brian K (mail):
why no link?
nevermind...i should have refreshed the webpage before posting.
9.18.2007 9:34pm
Russ (mail):
Back on topic...

...if anyone in my family ever received such an email, the situation would likely be settled in a somewhat...um..."less than civilized" fashion.
9.18.2007 9:38pm
whit:
and again, it DOES confirm my statement.

assume for the sake of argument that business is a "soft science" . so, it's ONE exception.

the quotes, studies (and a simple google study) will make it clear that the overall trend is this: on campuses, the left tends to cluster in soft sciences (disproportionately) and the right in hard sciences.

i challenge you to find any studies that refute that. the facts are clear
9.18.2007 9:39pm
whit:
"among engineering faculty (51 percent to 19 percent)
either you copied this wrong or it doesn't say what you want it to say...liberals far outnumber conservatives. and if you did copy it wrong (51 to 49 %) then how is it disproportionately conservative? using the last presidential election's numbers, its very close to the distribution of the population as a whole. "

actually, it does. campuses OVERWHELMINGLY lean liberal as to professors (specifically, far more are left of center than right of center, and only a very small # are conservative).

the point is about DISPROPORTIONATE representation.

a greater PERCENTAGE of right-o-center prof's are in the hard sciences RELATIVE to their population

that's a math thang. it's a hard science.

again, it's a matter of proportion. that's the point.

i could get snarky and say that the more reasonable liberals are the ones in the hard sciences, since they have so much exposure to "right" thinking, but that would be way over the top, and i would never say such a thing :l
9.18.2007 9:43pm
Brian K (mail):
the overall trend is this: on campuses, the left tends to cluster in soft sciences (disproportionately) and the right in hard sciences.
no, that's not what your data shows.

How does this show that the right are clustering in hard sciences: the liberal:conservative ratio "among engineering faculty (51 percent to 19 percent)"?
or are you counting engineering as a soft science too? If anything it proves my point that the hard sciences are much less political...30% of engineers did not identify with liberal or conservative ideologies.


The actual data, (see quotes below), show that conservatives cluster in 2 year institutions. Using only liberal 4 year institutions to show how much liberals are in academia is little more than an exercise in cherry picking.



-----------------------------------------------------
I'll point the following quotes out for the "all of academia is liberal" wackos:
Likewise, types of higher educational institutions vary: selective liberal arts colleges tend to be most liberal while two year schools tend to have more conservative than liberal faculty. By the way, there are a lot more students and faculty in two year colleges than selective liberal arts colleges; about 40% of all students attend two year schools, so you could look at this as conservatives having a greater presence where the most students are.

If you really look at the studies on faculty politics most often cited by conservatives they use very selective data that support their claims. One study looked only at faculty in selective liberal arts colleges- the most liberal type of institution; while another looked only at faculty in the humanities and social sciences- again the most liberal disciplines. None of these studies used by conservatives have examined across the board, representative data from all academic disciplines and all types of academic institutions. One may wonder if they have deliberately "cherry picked" the data to get the results they want.

What they actually find in their selective studies is that faculty who register and/or vote Democratic outnumber Republicans by 7 to 1 or 10 to 1. Well, this is not the same thing as political orientation. What we found, and report in our article, is that while Republicans are becoming increasingly a conservative monolith, Democratic orientations are very diverse. There are about 2 liberals for every conservative among Democrats, but the large plurality and close to a majority of Democrats identify their politics as "centrist" or "middle of the road." So, even if the conservative studies were right in their numbers, they actually say nothing about the political orientations of American faculty.
9.18.2007 9:56pm
Brian K (mail):
I see what you are doing. you've selected the wrong population for comparison.

hard sciences professors aren't selected from the pool of "academic professors" they are selected from the pool of "all engineers" to become academic professors. the correct comparison is to the population as a whole.* In other words, a person doesn't become a professor first then decide to teach engineering. A person becomes an engineer first then decides to teach. It's not the same.


I assume here that the population "engineers" or roughly representative of the political views of the entire US population. without evidence to the contrary I see no reason not to make this assumption.
9.18.2007 10:01pm
wm13:
I'm curious, since there are a lot of academics who post here, if anyone can address the question of why the academy is so incapable of policing itself. The conduct described here is disgraceful. Nifong has been disbarred, Duke has apparently paid out a fair amount of money in damages, yet apparently no professor has suffered the slightest consequences of his or her misbehavior. This seems like a market failure, because obviously the conduct described brings all professors into disrepute, makes all alumni less likely to contribute, etc.
So what's the explanation?

And, given this incapacity of the academy to police itself, should the democratically-elected bodies of government get involved to clean up the cesspool?
9.18.2007 10:32pm
whit:
you are obscuring the point.

it is a fact that (yes, i am talking 4 yr colleges here), that DEM professors greatly outnumber REPUB professors.

that is not a perfect proxy for leftleaning vs. rightleaning, but it is the most accurate one, since it's not based on self-reporting.

that's a fact

it is also a fact, as the cites prove (did u actually read them) that WITHIN that disparity, a greater percentage of those who are rightleaning cluster in hard sciences and less in soft sciences

i was referencing 4 year colleges. i never went to 2 year college, so i have no personal experience there, nor have i researched. it wouldn't surprise me if the ratio differs at 2 yr institutions, it's also irrelevant to the ratio in universities (such as Duke) which is what i was referring to

it is a strawman in re the "all academia is liberal"

i am referencing a specific subset - UNIVERSITIES.

they are DISPROPORTIONATELY left of center, when compared to the population at large.

duh. again, the articles support that.

DEMS vastly outnumber repubs in universities, but NOT in the general population.

i realize some leftists don't consider dems "liberal". of course. many aren't. heck, bush is a repub, but he aint a conservative either. but dem vs. repub is the best measure we have for objective whichsideofthespectrum measurement.

again, the facts are clear. dems, as a proxy for leftofcenter are disproportionately represented in universities (like duke, etc.) vs. the pop at large.

and that within those institutions, they are disproportionately in the soft sciences.

the following quote is laughable. it's not a HARD fact, it's an opinion, and based on self-reporting.
"What we found, and report in our article, is that while Republicans are becoming increasingly a conservative monolith, Democratic orientations are very diverse. There are about 2 liberals for every conservative among Democrats, but the large plurality and close to a majority of Democrats identify their politics as "centrist" or "middle of the road."

right. if one is leftofcenter, then one would see repubs as a "conservative monolith"

again, let's stick with the #'s

dispute the #'s. which you haven't done.

as for brian k. the issue isn't how engineers are chosen. the issue is this. there are professors on university campuses. most lean left (dem). a disproportionate # of those that lean right (repub) are clustered in hard sciences in relation to THEIR representation in that population
9.18.2007 10:34pm
TerrencePhilip:
Could you kindly post the entire e-mail exchange.

For some reason, I doubt that it consists solely of saying "you son and his teammates are farm animals."


r78,

you are so right, it was not like that. Why, this patient, kind and careful scholar was so devoted to uncovering ultimate truth and pondering our gender-/race-normed society, he forgot even his grammar. But not his manners- he thoughtfully informed the mother of a lacrosse player who was not charged with any crime, wishing her an "umhappy" new year yet pausing to express sympathy- "forgive me if your [sic] really are, quite sadly, mother of a “farm animal.”"

Read the full email exchange with Professor Houston Baker- who, from the looks of things, is poorly versed in communicating in the English language, as well as being a grade-A douchebag-- here.
9.18.2007 10:38pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Niporent - I imagine you went to a much fancier law school than I did, but I still think that 7:16, the time of your post, is two minutes after 7:14, the time of my post.
It was Smokey, not I, who raised the faster/slower issue. I let it drop after I posted the link in the first place, figuring it didn't matter which one of us typed faster.


There are about 2 liberals for every conservative among Democrats, but the large plurality and close to a majority of Democrats identify their politics as "centrist" or "middle of the road." So, even if the conservative studies were right in their numbers, they actually say nothing about the political orientations of American faculty.
Perhaps. OTOH, the fact that they identify themselves as "centrist" actually says nothing about their own political orientation. (Kind of like how most people deem themselves middle class.) On some college campuses, supporting Bill Clinton makes one "conservative."
9.18.2007 10:49pm
Nifonged:
^^^ Two posts up.

"Say, What did the Spanish preist say to the Iranian gynecologist?"
9.18.2007 10:51pm
Al (mail):
I'm curious, since there are a lot of academics who post here, if anyone can address the question of why the academy is so incapable of policing itself. The conduct described here is disgraceful. Nifong has been disbarred, Duke has apparently paid out a fair amount of money in damages, yet apparently no professor has suffered the slightest consequences of his or her misbehavior.

Not only have none of the professors suffered any consequences, but Duke has shown absolutely no interest in even investigating the most egregious examples of misconduct. For example, Duke quickly settled the grade retaliation lawsuit brought by one of the lacrosse players (apparently before any discovery was done) but, despite the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, appears to have no intention of investigating the matter. The contrast between the zeal displayed by the Duke administration in launching multiple investigations of the lacrosse program and the absolute silence regarding the actions of the Duke faculty is simply stunning.
9.18.2007 10:54pm
Steven Horwitz (mail) (www):
wm13 wrote:

This seems like a market failure, because obviously the conduct described brings all professors into disrepute, makes all alumni less likely to contribute, etc.
So what's the explanation?

And, given this incapacity of the academy to police itself, should the democratically-elected bodies of government get involved to clean up the cesspool?


Like all other analyses of supposed market failures, the question here is a comparative one. Yes, academia (hardly a "market" but I digress) has screwed up on this and other issues, but its screwing up does not ipso facto mean that government involvement will make matters better. Governments can and do screw up quite a bit too. Whatever the many flaws of my profession, I'm no more convinced that a larger oversight role for government in higher ed will improve matters than I am about most other things.

The proposed cure could be worse than the disease.
9.18.2007 11:01pm
Toby:
Duke rode its way up to the top 10 from the well-respected top 40 by riding the twin horses of "Cutting Edge Faculty" and "Top 10 Basketball". Don't expect Duke to abrogate either one.
9.19.2007 12:26am
Brian K (mail):
it is a fact that (yes, i am talking 4 yr colleges here), that DEM professors greatly outnumber REPUB professors.
and dems, as a proxy for leftofcenter
but this not the same thing you were arguing before. earlier you were arguing liberal vs. conservative. and no, they are not the same thing. If you're going to use something as a proxy for something the two have to yield roughly the same results. as the data below shows they do not yield the same results, so one can't be used as a proxy for the other. This is especially important because one of your references uses liberal vs conservative and not dem vs repub while the other points out the discrepancy between the two.

(1) As we mentioned previously, the ratio of liberal to conservative faculty is between 2 to 1 and 3 to 1, and has remained within that range since the 1980s (except for the basic percentages, the most recent 2005 data from UCLA were not publicly available for analysis). These are hardly the monolithic 7 to 1 or 10 to 1 ratios given by conservative commentators.
and
While their claim is that faculty have a monolithic liberal/leftist political orientation, what all of these studies look at is party identification and voting behavior. What they actually find in their selective studies is that faculty who register and/or vote Democratic outnumber Republicans by 7 to 1 or 10 to 1. Well, this is not the same thing as political orientation.
(both of which are taken from your link)

it is a strawman in re the "all academia is liberal"
no its not. the comments were not meant for you...they were meant for other posters. that is why i delineated that section with a bunch of '--'

i am referencing a specific subset - UNIVERSITIES.

they are DISPROPORTIONATELY left of center, when compared to the population at large.

yes. i know. i haven't said otherwise. what did say is you are picking a subset of academia that matches your conclusion.

it is also a fact, as the cites prove (did u actually read them) that WITHIN that disparity, a greater percentage of those who are rightleaning cluster in hard sciences and less in soft sciences
not true. using the above provided statistics 51% of engineers are liberal and 19% are conservative. divide the numbers and you find that there are 2.7 liberals to every 1 conservative...which is right within the range of average. all your statistics show is that liberals cluster in some soft sciences and conservatives cluster in some other soft sciences (e.g. economics and business)...the hard sciences are average.

again, let's stick with the #'s

dispute the #'s. which you haven't done.

1) i have disputed the numbers and 2) what is more important is that you are using the numbers to reach a conclusion that is not justified. that is primarily what i am disputing. if you don't like it, then don't jump to unsubstantiated conclusions.

there are professors on university campuses. most lean left (dem). a disproportionate # of those that lean right (repub) are clustered in hard sciences in relation to THEIR representation in that population
but this isn't what you are doing either. you are comparing the lib/con ratio of engineering to the ratio of some social sciences. your logic demands that the two ratio be compared to the average of all prof at the school. when you do this you see that engineers are average. some soft sciences are lean liberal and others lean conservative.
9.19.2007 12:35am
Salaryman (mail):
It's worth following TerrencePhilip's link back to the Durham in Wonderland post just to get the full flavor of the contrast between the polite, reasoned (and, not incidentally, grammatically correct) email sent by the lacrosse player's mom, and the hateful, nearly incoherent and grammatically inept rantings of Prof. Baker.

I frankly find it difficult to believe that any tenured professor of anything could issue such ill-considered drivel. I might in fact disbelieve it, except that, as someone noted, if this were not in fact an accurate representation of Baker's email, Baker would almost certainly have demanded a retraction from and threatened litigation against K.C. and the many others who have published this story (which does not appear to have happened).
9.19.2007 12:44am
neurodoc:
The person who is getting less "credit" here than he deserves, is Duke's president Brodhead. Duke thought they were getting a great catch when they recruited Brodhead from Yale, and Yale regretted losing him. Before the lacrosse case broke, though, Brodhead had already proved himself a spineless wonder.

Specifically, I have in mind Brodhead's permissive role in hosting that terrorist support group, the International Solidarity Movement, at Duke a couple of years earlier. And when in the wake thereof, the school paper published an extraordinary antisemitic screed by a student (Philip Kurian), Brodhead's response was strikingly underwhelming and tolerant/understanding/forgiving of the screamingly bigoted expression. That same school VP Burness who excused the school's handling of the lacrosse case defended the school's handling of everything that had gone on before too. (see Commentary magazine for an account of it all, and/or Google for coverage by The Daily Chronicle)

In the background of the ISM affair and that antisemitic essay in the school paper were some of the same Gang of 88 types. I would go back another 15 years or so when Duke's school paper, along with some other college papers, published Holocaust denial ads paid for by the infamous Bradley Smith, one of the same ilk as the Northwestern EE professor Butz that I think Tony Tutins was alluding to. But that happened long before Brodhead arrived in Durham. Unfortunately, there seems little likelihood that anything will change, unless perhaps Duke is made to suffer some real pain as a result of this latest outrage. ($$$ to settle lawsuits won't be sufficient. It will take major, sustained public shaming, a drop off in applications, alumni disaffection and decline in donations, and that sort of thing to bring about any change.)
9.19.2007 2:00am
neurodoc:
The person who is getting less "credit" here than he deserves, is Duke's president Brodhead. Duke thought they were getting a great catch when they recruited Brodhead from Yale, and Yale regretted losing him. Before the lacrosse case broke, though, Brodhead had already proved himself a spineless wonder.

Specifically, I have in mind Brodhead's permissive role in hosting that terrorist support group, the International Solidarity Movement, at Duke a couple of years earlier. And when in the wake thereof, the school paper published an extraordinary antisemitic screed by a student (Philip Kurian), Brodhead's response was strikingly underwhelming and tolerant/understanding/forgiving of the screamingly bigoted expression. That same school VP Burness who excused the school's handling of the lacrosse case defended the school's handling of everything that had gone on before too. (see Commentary magazine for an account of it all, and/or Google for coverage by The Daily Chronicle)

In the background of the ISM affair and that antisemitic essay in the school paper were some of the same Gang of 88 types. I would go back another 15 years or so when Duke's school paper, along with some other college papers, published Holocaust denial ads paid for by the infamous Bradley Smith, one of the same ilk as the Northwestern EE professor Butz that I think Tony Tutins was alluding to. But that happened long before Brodhead arrived in Durham. Unfortunately, there seems little likelihood that anything will change, unless perhaps Duke is made to suffer some real pain as a result of this latest outrage. ($$$ to settle lawsuits won't be sufficient. It will take major, sustained public shaming, a drop off in applications, alumni disaffection and decline in donations, and that sort of thing to bring about any change.)
9.19.2007 2:00am
r78:

you are so right, it was not like that. Why, this patient, kind and careful scholar was so devoted to uncovering ultimate truth and pondering our gender-/race-normed society, he forgot even his grammar. But not his manners- he thoughtfully informed the mother of a lacrosse player who was not charged with any crime, wishing her an "umhappy" new year yet pausing to express sympathy- "forgive me if your [sic] really are, quite sadly, mother of a “farm animal.”"

Read the full email exchange with Professor Houston Baker- who, from the looks of things, is poorly versed in communicating in the English language, as well as being a grade-A douchebag-- here.

If you will actually read my post, you will see that I quoted the excerpts that I copied from the website to which you now helpfully link.

But, let's be accurate shall we? The website did not contain the "full" e-mail exchange. It contained part summary of the mother's e-mail and an excerpt from it.

Baker put "farm animals" in quotations when he used it, so I assume he was quoting either the mother's e-mail (in a part that was not reproduced) or was quoting something else.

Maybe not. Maybe he is just a total nut and puts things in quotes for no reason.

But K.C. Johnson's approach seems to be be to take that reprehensible conduct of various people (Nifong, the group of 88, parts of the media) and then carelessly exaggerate and overstate it. Why? I don't know. For example, see his post yesterday which stated, IIRC, that the NYY "bolstered prosecutorial misconduct." How, exactly, does the NYT "bolster" the conduct of a prosecutor in NC? No response to that yet.

I am just trying to find out the source of the quote, if there is one.

Several posters have glossed over that and jumped on the fact that Baker sounds like a real a-hole. Well, no kidding. But that is pretty much beside the point to my question.
9.19.2007 2:30am
Carolina:
r78:


How, exactly, does the NYT "bolster" the conduct of a prosecutor in NC? No response to that yet.


I haven't read KC's book yet, but the August 2006 NYT article by Duff Wilson is notorious among people who followed the case. By August, various groups and individuals had begun raising serious questions about the case. Duff Wilson, in his article, claimed to have personally reviewed the entire prosecution case file (1800+ pages) and asserted there was evidence of guilt in the file. There wasn't, as Wilson admitted in April 2007.

Claiming to have personally reviewed every scrap of paper in the case file and found non-existent evidence of guilt qualifies as bolstering the case in my book.

The August 2006 piece was widely ridiculed, I'm sure you can find some background via Google if you look.
9.19.2007 3:24am
Carolina:
r78:


Baker put "farm animals" in quotations when he used it, so I assume he was quoting either the mother's e-mail (in a part that was not reproduced) or was quoting something else.

Maybe not. Maybe he is just a total nut and puts things in quotes for no reason.



I lean toward total nut based on other emails he sent, but who knows. I wasn't able to find the original source for the farm animals comment, if there is one. It doesn't come from the parent's email Baker replied to. The whole text of that email is below:

To the Group of 88,

I am the mother of the Duke Lacrosse player who wrote most of you in April and asked for your response to some of the questions I had in regards to the ad you signed in the Chronicle. I received one very thoughtful response back in May. Those questions still exist, but I have come to realize that I will need to make sense of the silence myself.

However, I am again asking for your help. Over the past eight
months, much of the evidence has revealed that the three falsely indicted young men have been the victims of rogue DA Nifong. They have been denied due process and are the victims of a possible conspiracy. What ever you believed in March, I am sure you must be questioning the actions of DA Nifong. Therefore, I respectfully request that you join Pres. Brodhead in asking for a special prosecutor. In addition, I respectfully request you petition Pres. Brodhead to allow Collin and Reade to resume classes this spring.

Our paths may have been different, but I am sure all of us seek
the truth and justice. This can only be accomplished with an impartial prosecutor.

Collin and Reade, along with Dave, have had to put their lives on
hold due to a false accusation. I trust that with the filing of ethics charges by the NC State Bar and the Conference of District Attorneys calling for DA Nifong to recuse himself, we can all agree that justice can best be served with Nofong's removal.

Sincerely,

Patricia Dowd
9.19.2007 3:42am
Carolina:
r78:

I had forgotten that the NY Times has lifted the veil on their paid content. You can read the Notorious August 2006 Article yourself and draw your own conclusions as to whether it "bolstered" Nifong's case at the time.

As for me, the following quote is pretty clearly bolstering the case:


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. . . In several important areas, the full files, reviewed by The New York Times, contain evidence stronger than that highlighted by the defense . . .


Further, the entire tone of the August piece is "We here at the NY Times have reviewed all the evidence, and defense counsel are exaggerating the weakness of Nifong's case."
9.19.2007 3:56am
R K Burk (mail):
Re: social sciences and fuzzy / subjective thinking, consider 'qualitative research' and 'Grounded Theory' (see Wikipedia for descriptions). I've read data analysis protocols in which the 'researcher' does not take notes or tape interviews, preferring to sit down afterwards and 'recollect' the 'important' parts. When that is considered a reputable way to collect research data, it's not surprising to see biases become deeply embedded in a field.
9.19.2007 8:58am
Chris Mondonico:
Curt: I was also struck by the silence of the Duke faculty, especially the Law School faculty (Prof. Coleman being the notable exception).

I graduated from Duke Law in the late '80s. I always thought the professors as intelligent, decent, fairly middle of the road, accomplished academics. During the lacrosse debacle, the only comment I could find from a professor from my era (Coleman came after me) was a snarky, disparaging comment drawing a parallel between the alleged acts and the sins of professional sports players. I was particularly disappointed that two professors whom I regarded as mentors were silent.

I attribute this less to lack of character than to the absolute, fascist tyranny of campus political correctness. If tenured professors of criminal procedure, constitutional law, and civil procedure, etc., whose life work is the study of the rule of law, are so cowed, who can blame corporations subject to blatantly unconstitutional federal sourcing regulations for resorting to quotas, racial discrimination, and Orwellian newspeak in order to appear politically correct?

Come to think of it, it could have been worse--I'm sure at some universities law professors would have been among the Group of 88 thugs.

Nevertheless, not long ago I spent a good hour mining my email inbox for all the solicitations from Duke in order to request removal from their mailing lists, explaining that I could not support a law school that did not support the rule of law with respect to all members of the university community.
9.19.2007 9:20am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
It would have been interesting, during and since, to take the defense side in a class run by one of the 88ists. If you were auditing the class, I mean.
Point is, not only were those bozos wrong, they did--Johnson has some cases--make their wrong case in class. Johnson is superhuman, but not that superhuman. It's possible he missed a few cases.

I don't imagine a kid who wanted to pass would be objecting and using actual facts.
Could be deleterious to his academic career.
9.19.2007 9:20am
newscaper:
Was the "farm animals" bit possibly a reference to Animal House? I could just imagine Dean Wormer saying it :)
9.19.2007 9:28am
wm13:
Chris Mondonico, I think it makes more sense to attribute the bad behavior of the Duke law professors to lack of character. When you set up a profession whose primary rewards are low working hours and absolute job security, you tend to attract cowards and time servers.
9.19.2007 9:44am
Macgruder (mail):
R78:

ummm yeah, he did actually say that.

“LIES!” responded Dr. Baker, now a distinguished university professor of English at Vanderbilt. He said she was a “provacateur” who was “trying to get credit for a scummy bunch of white males!” He accused the players of living like “farm animals” and concluded that she should forgive him if she really is “quite sadly, mother of a ‘farm animal.’ ”
9.19.2007 10:38am
ejo:
the conservatives on campus have tenure and aren't going to rock the boat. the left has control, so they aren't going to change things. they both live off tax dollars and don't have to produce anything-and you wonder why academia won't change.
9.19.2007 10:47am
jms:
The players are never going to get an apology from any of those people because they committed the liberal crime of being white males who hired a black stripper. This places them just one hair below being rapists in the eyes of the liberal.
9.19.2007 11:07am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
ejo.
Since they have tenure, they can rock the boat in safety. If they felt like it.

Presuming, that is, that tenure works for people taking conservative positions. Maybe they know something.
9.19.2007 11:07am
ejo:
we haven't seen a great swelling of academic conservatives with tenure going to bat for anyone pilloried by the left-they probably do know something.
9.19.2007 12:34pm
Kevin O'Brien (mail) (www):
Neurodoc is right on in fingering Brodhead as largely responsible.

Brodhead has a history of this, too. At Yale he led a near-lynching of an instructor for a murder. (Yale is located in a high-crime area of New Haven, and every few years one of the locals, who normally whack one another, whacks a student, which is something the administration would just as soon parents didn't know).

Brodhead hounded the guy off campus and practically announced to the world that he was the doer, destroying his career and reputation in one shot. Another local college, Quinnipiac, publicly announced that he'd been dropped from their PhD program for academic non-performance (he ultimately sued them, and collected. His suit against Yale is still pending).

The local cops -- right up there with the Durham PD (speaking of responsible parties who have yet to see consequences!) -- followed Brodhead's lead, and for almost three years didn't tell the Yale community that they had an eyewitness sighting of a van, and a soda bottle with the victim's and another person's fingerprints. They knew from Day One that the fingerprint didn't match the instructor, and he didn't have a brown van.

But if the murderer was a local person, as now seems probable, that didn't suit Brodhead's preferences. Better to just frame somebody. He did it then as Dean at Yale, and he did it again as President of Duke.

Will he do it again? Humans are inconsistent things, but the best guide to future behavior is past behavior.

For the trolls in this thread who are too lazy to search (Duke liberal arts profs? Administrators?), here is a Google of "brodhead yale murder."
9.19.2007 1:22pm
Brian K (mail):
they probably do know something.

do you and richard have any evidence of this? or are you just giving conservatives a free pass for something you are blaming liberals for? There's political hackery, political HACKERY and then there are you guys who are raising the bar of hackery to new heights.
9.19.2007 1:59pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Brian K. Just wondering why conservative profs, protected by that fearful and wonderful tenure system, havne't rocked the boat.
Could be tenure doesn't work for them.
Could be something else.
Shunning by their compatriots, maybe? Would you find that more acceptable?
Tenure keeps you from getting fired. It doesn't get you moved ahead on a career track. Maybe that's it.
9.19.2007 2:06pm
Brian K (mail):
I was just wondering if you had any proof for your outrageous accusations besides your desire for it to be true.

your logic looks an awful lot like:
liberals didn't speak because they are EVUL!
conservatives didn't speak out because they are EV...umm...because liberals are EVUL!
9.19.2007 2:31pm
abu hamza:
Whit and others: I would call the political ideology of gang-of-88 types not liberalism, but actually 'irrelevantism'. it's so wild and removed from reality, it's just irrelevant to political discourse in this country.
9.19.2007 2:40pm
Ralph Phelan (mail):
r78 said
"Baker sounds like a real a-hole. Well, no kidding. But that is pretty much beside the point to my question."

He's an a-hole. He had tenure at Duke. Now he has tenure at Vanderbilt. The president of Vanderbilt called this a-hole a "great scholar." I find this peculiar.

How such an incoherent a-hole got to be considered a "great scholar" is a point I consider interesting, even if it isn't the point you are most interested in.
9.19.2007 3:06pm
r78:

Further, the entire tone of the August piece is "We here at the NY Times have reviewed all the evidence, and defense counsel are exaggerating the weakness of Nifong's case."

I guess I still don't see why this is attributed to some sort of intentional mendacity by the NYT. Presumably they were relying on what was on the prosecutor's files and what they were told by prosecutors. It isn't surprising that they got it wrong on that basis.

No different really than the NYT's reporting in the lead up to the gulf war in which they relied on lies by administration officials that there were WMD.
9.19.2007 3:14pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
r78,

There were WMDs. I heard Hillary say so. I heard the Brits say so. I heard it from the French.

And you know. Some WMDs were found and there are traces that indicate Saddam parked his stuff elsewhere. Just as he did in Gulf War 1 with some of his military assets.

====

The NYTs has a narrative. It prints all the news that fits.

===

It is obvious now that there was nothing in those files. NADA. You ought to look at what KC was saying in August about what the NYTs left out.

And if "not a reporter" KC Johnson figured it out in August why couldn't the NYTs?

My guess? Didn't fit the narrative.
9.19.2007 3:25pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
r78,

I will agree with you on one point.

The NYTs depends on lies.
9.19.2007 3:26pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
R78,

I'm reposting this bit from Carolina because you obviously missed it.

==

Carolina:
r78:

How, exactly, does the NYT "bolster" the conduct of a prosecutor in NC? No response to that yet.

I haven't read KC's book yet, but the August 2006 NYT article by Duff Wilson is notorious among people who followed the case. By August, various groups and individuals had begun raising serious questions about the case. Duff Wilson, in his article, claimed to have personally reviewed the entire prosecution case file (1800+ pages) and asserted there was evidence of guilt in the file. There wasn't, as Wilson admitted in April 2007.

Claiming to have personally reviewed every scrap of paper in the case file and found non-existent evidence of guilt qualifies as bolstering the case in my book.

The August 2006 piece was widely ridiculed, I'm sure you can find some background via Google if you look.
9.19.2007 2:24am
9.19.2007 3:33pm
ejo:
BK-the spelling trick, is it sarcasm or did you graduate with a womyn's studies degree from Duke? what explains the failure of conservative, non-evul scholars to speak out when abuses like this happen? why, with tenure, is there still such a lack of spine? there seems to be a keep one's head down mentality once tenure is received. after all, you don't want to upset your colleagues and get the sucky classes. what other explanation fits-even here, you have scholars rushing to defend Chemerinsky when he wouldn't hesitate to throw them under a bus were they nominated for a court position. perhaps it is the Stockholm Syndrome.
9.19.2007 3:35pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
I think Carolina's post is very good evidence that the NYTs is a big supporter of "preferred narratives" - lies if you will. Starting with Walter Durranty and continuing to this day.
9.19.2007 3:36pm
Brian K (mail):
womyn's

are you hypocritically pulling the same trick or did you just never learn how to properly spell? No wonder why your argument makes no sense...you lack the intelligence to notice how intellectually dishonest it is.
9.19.2007 3:49pm
ejo:
I thought womyn was the preferred spelling of women with no men as part of it-I guess you didn't get that women's studies degree.
9.19.2007 4:24pm
Elliot123 (mail):
r78: "Presumably they were relying on what was on the prosecutor's files and what they were told by prosecutors."

What was that evidence from the prosecutor's files? The NC AG flatly states the three were innocent.
9.19.2007 5:10pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Does anyone know the race/gender break down of the 88?
9.19.2007 5:59pm
Tom952 (mail):
proving that some academics are as far beyond parody as they are beneath contempt

Quote of the day.
9.20.2007 4:03pm