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Saturday, April 14th 2007

Backlash At The Support For The Duke Lacrosse Players

Lawrence University Should Be Proud Of The Critical Reasoning Skills They’ve Instilled

Terry Moran, co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline, has published a criticism of the support the world is giving Reade, David, and Collin. And he is getting torn. Rightly.

Here’s the blog post causing the stir. He spells out several reasons we shouldn’t feel so sorry for the falsely indicted Duke Lacrosse players, but his main one is that

there are many, many cases of prosecutorial misconduct across our country every year. The media covers few, if any, of these cases. Most of the victims in these cases are poor or minority Americans–or both. I would hate to say the color of their skin is one reason journalists do not focus on these victims of injustices perpetrated by police and prosecutors, but I am afraid if we ask ourselves the question honestly, we would likely find that it is.

You read that right. We should temper our sympathy for the Duke Lacrosse players because there are others who suffer the same prosecutorial misconduct who don’t get as much attention.

That is the literal argument spelled our in Terry Moran’s blog post.

It hurts my brain just to read it.

Even conceding we should work towards equality in sympathy, he spells out absolutely no logical reason why we should decrease our outpouring of sympathy for the Duke Lacrosse players as a response to the current state of inequality.

It seems to make immensely more sense that we should pay attention to the Duke Lacrosse case as much as we have, but ALSO increase our attention of and show our support for those, who perhaps because of the color of their skin or socioeconomic status, suffer the same as the Duke Lacrosse players but get less attention.

That isn’t what Mr. Moran took the time to spell out in his blog. This post wasn’t a very proper, up lifting piece using the the Duke Lacrosse case to focus attention on those less fortunate, whose suffering and battle against injustice gets less media coverage. This was an actual attack on the response to the Duke Lacrosse case, and an attack on the players themselves.


Fortunately Mr. Moran is hearing criticism for his views. National Review already has a scathing and very good critique of Terry’s comments up. It addresses the secondary arguments Mr. Moran spells out for why Reade, David, and Collin are not only worth less sympathy than they’re currently getting, but somehow partially complacent in their ordeal.

As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that David Evans, Reade Seligmann or Colin Finnerty collected the money for the strippers. Or that the three men had anything to do with the request for a white stripper, which I guess we are supposed to consider a racist act. Or that the three men were involved in hurling racial epithets at the strippers — which is, by the way, a fact totally in dispute, as the only witnesses for it are the liar Crystal Mangum herself and her fellow stripper, who has recanted much of what she originally said.

[G]iven the fact that we have no reason to believe Seligmann and Evans had anything to do with the slimy aspects of the evening in question, Moran has no right to describe their conduct as “not entirely admirable.” To put it plainly: How the hell does he know?

[T]hat they are well-heeled and well-connected is of no moment when we are talking about what happened to them, which was a kind of reverse-racist hate crime. We all know why Durham D.A. pursued their prosecution based on no credible evidence. He did so because they were white and affluent, and he either believed he was doing something brave or that he needed their scalps to guarantee his reelection.

The amount of money their parents may or may not have had does not mitigate the Kafka nightmare to which they were consigned.

I’m not sure how annoyed to be by this however. This is just a blog post. From Terry Moran. It, no doubt, truly reflects his warped, politically correct world view. But if I don’t like it, I don’t have to watch Nigh line (and I won’t).

If you want to be a bit more proactive, a one man internet campaign to get Terry Moran fired has popped up on MySpace and also as an online petition.