Yesterday evening while watching Melanie Sanders deliver the evening news on NBC-17, she mentioned a story about former Governor Mike Easley retaining the services of the prominent criminal defense attorney Joseph Cheshire. She went on to state that Mr. Cheshire was well known for “representing a ‘falsely’ accused Duke Lacrosse defendant.” The statement was read as a matter of fact, and not as opinion.
This statement is totally false and misleading, and is intended to further embed in the consciousness of its weak-minded viewers that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were innocent of the charges brought by former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. It would have been accurate and responsible for Ms. Sanders to omit the adverb “falsely” and phrase the statement as follows, “…representing an accused Duke Lacrosse defendant.” But, unfortunately, accuracy and truth does not appear to be the top priority of NBC-17. If it was, the statement she made would never have been uttered.
Make no mistake about it, NBC-17 is not alone in misleading the public about this issue. In fact, I would say that the majority, if not all, of the media outlets refer to the Duke Lacrosse players as being “innocent,” “falsely accused,” and “wrongly accused”; while referring to the accuser and the alleged sexual assault as being a “hoax,” and “false accuser.”
These misleading statements have been made by the media ever since North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper’s “Innocent Promulgation of April 11, 2007,” in which he made the unprecedented proclamation that the Duke Lacrosse players charged with sexual assault were “innocent,” and that “nothing happened.” As has been referenced in a previous blog, the attorney general made these statements after Joe Cheshire’s underling, Brad Bannon, had a conversation with Assistant Attorney Generals James J. Coman and Mary Winstead. Mr. Bannon directed them to have the attorney general declare that the Duke Lacrosse defendants were “innocent” and that “nothing happened.” This is exactly what transpired at the attorney general’s press conference on April 11, 2007.
Now although the attorney general belongs to the executive branch of government and not the judicial branch, the media has never, to my knowledge, challenged the validity of Mr. Cooper’s proclamations. Instead it has embraced them as a basis for making statements of fact that the Duke Lacrosse defendants are innocent and that nothing happened. This is not objective reporting. It is biased reporting, and is a keystone in supporting our belief that the media is in cahoots with the anti-Nifong forces (the state of North Carolina and its agencies – such as the NC State Board of Elections and others – , the North Carolina State Bar, and the carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse players).
Unlike the conspiratorial link between the Duke Lacrosse defense team and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office (through Brad Bannon), no smoking gun has directly established a direct relationship between the Duke Lacrosse defendants and the media. However, a reliable source does note that the father of defendant Dave Evans is an attorney who works with the media, and his position as such could give him access to the upper echelon of media bigwigs. And higher-ups in the executive offices of these media corporations have final say in the spin and propaganda used in formulating and carrying out its agenda. It is, and has been, the goal of the media, in general, to destroy Mr. Nifong, and to defend and sanitize the Duke Lacrosse defendants.
The Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong has long challenged the legitimacy of the “innocent” proclamation by Roy Cooper. Committee President Victoria B. Peterson in a July 2009 interview on WPTF-680 AM’s “Bill LuMaye Show” challenged the validity of Mr. Cooper’s declaration of “innocent.” Likewise, Committee Lay Advocate Sidney B. Harr also called into question the propriety and legality of the “innocent proclamation” during his appearance on that radio talk show in September 2009.
NBC-17 News and all media need to begin reporting objectively and fairly on the Duke Lacrosse case. To do so would include the following when writing a factually based news story: 1) refrain from using terms such as “innocent” or “falsely accused” to describe the Duke Lacrosse defendants; 2) refrain from using terms such as “hoax” to describe the alleged crime; and 3) refrain from using terms such as “false accuser” to describe the alleged victim.
The media needs to give up the biased charade to promote the Duke Lacrosse defendants as “innocent” and stop playing Jedi mind-tricks on the impressionable public. Failure to immediately cease and desist from doing so will continue to mislead those who believe what the media says, and insult the intelligence of those who know better.