Because of the media's unprecedented departure from objective and balanced journalism in covering the Duke Lacrosse case and former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, it must accept responsibility for the public's unwarranted and misguided hatred of Mr. Nifong. Because of the media's agenda (which I have strong reason to believe was to skew coverage of the Duke Lacrosse case in favor of the wealthy and privileged defendants, and against their prosecutor), many, if not the majority, of people exposed to the media's take on the topic have a visceral hatred towards a man with a good 27 year professional reputation who was merely doing his job in prosecuting the Lacrosse case using the principle of "equal justice for all." Of these individuals with hatred and scorn for Mr. Nifong that is on a level usually reserved for Hitler, Atilla the Hun, and O. J. Simpson, most have formed their opinions solely through media accounts... accounts which echo the lies and misleading statements from the Duke Lacrosse defense camp, the N. C. Attorney General's Office, and the North Carolina State Bar. Furthermore, the media's editorial arm fails to present relevant dialog that would kindle within its consumer objective and discerning thought. For example, is it reasonable for the public to believe that Mr. Nifong is the only prosecutor worthy of disbarment by the State Bar during its 76 years in existence... especially in light of the fact that North Carolina follows only the states of Illinois and Louisiana in the number of death row inmates to be exonerated? ... also, when one considers the puny reprimand meted out by the Bar to Prosecutor David Hoke who withheld exculpatory evidence from defendant Alan Gell, which resulted in his death penalty conviction and serving an unjust nine years in prison?
A recent example of the media inspired animus against Mr. Nifong follows, and it comes from a blog commenter using the identity of "Kenneth":
"Personally, I hope Mike Nifong never works a day in law again, and dies as a poor man. He ruined several people's lives. Maybe, he'll drink his life away and die young? One can only hope. When I hear of his death in the future, I will raise a glass since it'll be a good day." ~posted November 4, 2009 1:05 PM
To begin with, Kenneth's statement contains the falsehood that Mr. Nifong ruind several people's lives. I would like to know about whom he is referring... certainly not the three Duke Lacrosse defendants. First, they never spent a day in jail. Second, they each received $7 million in settlement from Duke University for reasons unbeknownst to me. Third, they were proclaimed "innocent" by Attorney General Roy Cooper, although he has no authority to make such a proclamation... which went unchallenged by the media. Fourth, they all quickly picked up with their lives, being offered reinstatement at Duke, but either graduating and landing a job or transferring to another prestigious university with a lacrosse team. Fifth, they were treated with celebrity, as books and a movie glorifying them have been published and/or are in production. Sixth, individually, Collin Finnerty's newfound celebrity resulted in an assault charge (against an individual who he believed to be gay) being expunged from his record. Seventh, their avaricious families are seeking an additional $10 million each from the cash-strapped city of Durham.
However, most troubling is Kenneth's unChristian-like statements. To wish and hope that Mike Nifong dies young and poor, and for Kenneth to state that he will celebrate when he hears of the passing of the former Durham district attorney, is at 180 degree variance to the mind-set and sentiments of Jesus of Nazareth, who prayed, as he carried the cross upon which he was to be crucified, "Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do."
Kenneth is not alone in his feelings towards Mike Nifong. Many people have told me that they dislike Mike Nifong personally. Invariably, they have never even met him, and when I ask why, some state that they dislike him because he tried to put innocent defendants in prison. For the record, just because A.G. Cooper proclaimed that they were innocent does not make them innocent. Also, as a prosecutor, it is his job description to take away the freedom of defendants... he was merely doing his duty in prosecuting the Duke Lacrosse case. And these very people who give such reasons, have no ill will towards other prosecutors who have engaged in misconduct that resulted in truly innocent individuals wrongfully languishing in prison for many months and years. The names of these prosecutors are not even known by the public because the media goes out of its way to shield them... which is what it does when the defendants are disenfranchised, poor, and people of color. Then, there are a number of people who admit to me that they don't know why they dislike Mike Nifong. The answer is: because of what the media has spewed forth... which is its biased portrait of a man who acted for politically selfish motives in bringing a case in which he knew was without merit, and in doing so, withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense, lied to the court, and made pre-trial statements that were grossly prejudicial and inflammatory. However, the truth is, that nothing could be further from the truth.
Unfortunately, it is those individuals who are quick to hate whose minds are weakest and most vulnerable to the propagandistic product delivered my the media. The biased media's use of the Jedi mind-trick is very effective in disseminating hatred among the populous, as is evidenced by what has tragically transpired as a result of its coverage of the Duke Lacrosse case and Mike Nifong.