Monday, August 13, 2018

Vanity Fair’s William D. Cohan and Graydon Carter Win Duranty-Blair Awards for Reviving the Duke Rape Hoax

By Nicholas Stix

I thank An Old Friend for sending this along.

In 2014, a rich, well-connected “reporter” named William W. Cohan published a 672-page hoax book, seeking to bring back the Duke Rape Hoax. My friend and partner-in-crime, David in TN, undertook the thankless job of reading and reviewing Cohan’s thing.

“An Attempt to Restart the Duke Rape Hoax: The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities


“Cohan begins the book with 11 pages on Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. Coach K turns downs millions of dollars to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. The Duke basketball coach stayed out of the case, but Cohan mentions him often in the book.

“Cohan's book claims there should have been a trial, and in interviews has said his book is the trial that never happened. The author depicts Nifong as a courageous and honorable prosecutor fighting heroically against tricky defense lawyers defending arrogant, loutish lacrosse players with wealthy parents and political influence.

“Cohan implies throughout that ‘something happened in that bathroom.’ He presents no new evidence whatsoever, and never says exactly what supposedly happened.

“Cohan interviewed both Crystal Mangum and Mike Nifong. He accepts their stories uncritically. Nifong was convicted of lying to a judge and concealing evidence. Mangum is in prison for murdering her boyfriend.

“Cohan is not bothered by the fact that there was no DNA from any of the players on Mangum. How did they beat, rape, and sodomize her and leave no DNA? Cohan takes Mangum's latest story (a broomstick was shoved into her, about the 12th version) at face value. He quotes uncritically Nifong's attacks on the defense lawyers, the North Carolina attorney general, and the falsely accused throughout the book….”

[Read the whole thing here.]

For background on the Duke Rape Hoax, read:

“Nicholas Stix’ Absolutely Definitive Account of the Incredible Disappearing Duke Rape Hoax”.

See also:

“Affirmative Action’s Perpetual Hoax Machine”; and

“Duke Rape Hoax Propagandist is Raging that ESPN is Telling too Few Lies in Its Film Tonight on the Hoax!”


According to Cohan’s online resume (free registration required), Vanity Fair had hired him as a “special correspondent” in 2008. That was over one year after the Duke Rape Hoax had fallen apart.

By the time Cohan began work on his Duke Rape Hoax book, say in 2012, the Duke case had been notorious across the country for at least five years, as the most notorious campus rape hoax of all time.

Cohan’s hoax book was published on April 8, 2014.

Seven months later, on November 19, 2014, Rolling Stone published Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s journalism hoax, promoting Jackie Coakley’s UVA Rape Hoax.

Hoax after hoax is debunked, yet the MSM hoax assembly line keeps on churning.

Graydon Carter, fully knowing—unless he was in a stage of advanced senility—that the Duke case had been a hoax, and that Cohan had already written a hoax book, made a point of commissioning Cohan’s thing below.

Cohan asserts that the case was full of “nuance,” “incredible complexity and many subtleties.”

There was none of that. It was a straight-up hoax. Words like “nuance,” “complexity,” etc., are merely signaling devices used by leftists, both to identify themselves to their comrades, and to signal that they are extraordinarily discerning, which they are not.

After the producers gave Cohan a pile of dough for the movie rights, they must have done their own research, and determined that he was a pathological liar. Lo and behold, unlike Graydon Carter, or many ESPN operatives, they actually cared about the truth, and made a solid documentary.

“Remembering (and Misremembering) the Duke Lacrosse Case
A new documentary fails to illuminate one of the more complex scandals of our time.
By William D. Cohan
March 10, 2016 5:18 p.m.
Vanity Fair

Ten years ago this Sunday, three of the four co-captains on the Duke men’s lacrosse team held a day-long bacchanal for their teammates at their off-campus house, just off the school’s bucolic East Campus, in Durham, North Carolina. One of the supposed highlights of the party was to be a performance by two “exotic dancers” that the players had hired for a total of $800. Crystal Mangum, a single mother of two children and a student at the nearby North Carolina Central University, also in Durham, was one of them.

[N.S.: A more-to-the-point description would have been, Crystal Mangum, a career criminal, was one of them.]

You may remember bits and pieces of what happened next. Mangum was black. All but one of the players on the lacrosse team were white. Among them were David Evans, Reade Seligmann, and Colin Finnerty, all of whom Mangum later accused of raping and sexually assaulting her in the house’s small bathroom. The young men were subsequently indicted by a Durham County grand jury after a police investigation and a nurse’s examination convinced Mike Nifong, the district attorney, that a crime had occurred. The indictments created a firestorm that played out in the media (including this publication) and on cable-news channels, and all across the Internet. It ignited a national debate about sexual assault on college campuses that rages to this day.

[Nobody “convinced Mike Nifong, the district attorney, that a crime had occurred.” The desperate Nifong, recently appointed DA after his boss was appointed judge, was running for election in a jurisdiction almost half of whose voters were rabidly racist blacks, figured that he could exploit this sorry false accusation by this racist, black criminal, as a way to win the Democrat primary, which was tantamount to getting elected.]

But the Duke lacrosse case, as it came to be known, wasn’t so simple. In fact, its nuances were hard to behold and poorly understood. Soon after the indictment, as the Duke students hired top-notch defense attorneys, the narrative began to change and a vexing legal circus ensued. Mangum could no longer recall with precision exactly what happened on the night of March 13, 2006. Nifong overzealously championed his case in the media. The DNA evidence did not match any of the three players, but it showed that other men had been with Mangum in the week before the incident.

[Five different men, all black. Mangum was a prostitute.]

In a clever tactic, the defense attorneys turned to the North Carolina State Bar to intervene, and for the first time in its history, the state bar brought charges against a sitting district attorney—Nifong—for being too outspoken and concealing the crucial DNA evidence. Nine months into the case, Nifong dropped the rape charge and offered Mangum the chance to abandon the entire case. But she refused his offer. She said she wanted justice. Eventually, to defend himself in front of the state bar, Nifong had to recuse himself from the case, and he handed it over to Roy Cooper, the North Carolina attorney general who four months later dropped the remaining charges against the players, declared them “innocent,” and called Nifong a “rogue prosecutor.”

[The defense attorneys weren’t being “clever,” they were doing their jobs, in saving their innocent clients form a malicious prosecution, which would be, as a practical matter, a death sentence. Nifong had known since the DNA test results came out in April 2006, that there had been no crime for him to prosecute, except for Mangum’s false police report.]

In the end, there was no trial—a fact that most people forget. The three players received $20 million each in a settlement with Duke. The university spent more than $100 million between legal fees, settlement costs, and other expenses to move on from the ignominy and preserve its “brand.”

[How could there be a trial without a crime?! Cohan’s claim that each player received $20 million has no basis, though I wish he were correct. If anything, they deserved more than $20 million each.]

Not only does this Sunday mark the 10th anniversary of that infamous night, it also is the ESPN premiere of Fantastic Lies, a 103-minute documentary about the case. (The title derives from David Evans’s famous remark to the press after his indictment.) The timing is serendipitous, you might say, since Fantastic Lies will appear on the same night and network as “Selection Sunday,” the popular prelude to March Madness, the annual N.C.A.A. college basketball tournament, which Duke won in 2015.

But the problem with Fantastic Lies isn’t its opportunistic programming as much as its uneven portrayal of the events in question. The Duke lacrosse case, after all, was remarkable for, among other things, its enormous complexity. This was the main point I tried to convey in The Price of Silence, my book on the scandal, which came out in 2014. (I should mention—not with any sort of Dickensian pretensions—that the final version clocked in at 614 pages for a reason. The innumerable subtleties of the story demanded it.) For the first time, Nifong explained his motivations for prosecuting the case with such zeal. For the first time, Mangum shared what she believed happened on the night of March 13, 2006. Cooper, the state attorney general, never charged her with making false accusations in the lacrosse case; she told me she still believed she had been sexually assaulted.

[As David in TN pointed out, the book was endlessly padded. Whole forests of innocent trees were executed for it.]

The fall after my book came out, Jonathan and Simon Chinn, the principals at Lightbox, wanted to option The Price of Silence for a documentary. Simon Chinn was the producer of the Oscar-winning documentaries Searching for Sugar Man and Man on a Wire. They explained that they wanted to tell the true, multi-faceted story of what happened, not just the sanitized version that the players, their parents, and their attorneys preferred—and the one that everyone now remembers and accepts as fact. On the other hand, after they signed the contract and paid my fee, they were free to make whatever movie they wanted.

[Very few people are familiar with the players’ version, which just so happened to be the truth. Liars like Crystal Gail Mangum keep changing their stories. The victims in this case, the Duke Three, never did.]

After a few false starts, the Chinns selected Marina Zenovich to direct the film. She was known for her two documentaries about Roman Polanski and another about Richard Pryor. She seemed genuinely moved by the incredible complexity and many subtleties of the story. In December 2014, she filmed me for close to six hours at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. After that, I helped her and the Chinns when I could. After Nifong declined to be interviewed or filmed, they asked me for the tapes of my conversations with him in order to include his voice in the documentary. With Nifong’s permission, I gave the Chinns 20 hours of my digital recordings, plus the transcripts, of our conversations. After they asked, I also gave the Chinns the digital recording of my conversation with Mangum, who is now in the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, in Raleigh, where she'll be for the next 14 to 18 years as a result of her 2013 conviction for second-degree murder in her boyfriend’s death. (The prison would not allow Zenovich to film Mangum.)

[He insinuates that Mangum’s conviction and her boyfriend’s death were coincidental, as if she had been falsely convicted. In fact, for Crystal Gail magnum, the third time was the charm. Prior to her rape hoax, she had attempted to murder a policeman with a car she’d stolen form a taxi driver she’d pickpocketed while doing a lap dance. Pickpocketing, Grand Theft Auto, reckless driving, and attempted murder of a police officer. Mangum received a grand total of five days in jail, which she served over the course of three weekends. After she got away with her rape hoax, she committed attempted murder against her boyfriend du jour, and was convicted but only received time served—yet another freebie. Finally, she succeeded at murdering yet another boyfriend, and was actually sentenced to prison, but considering her history of attempted murder and other crimes, any sentence short of life inside is a slap on the wrist. Note that Cohan told readers nothing about Mangum’s life of crime.]

I did not get much information along the way about the film. Nor did I really expect any. I am hardly the first writer to be kept in the dark about how his book was being used, or not, in a documentary film. Occasionally, Jonathan Chinn and I would speak. After each conversation, I felt reassured. “It's a dense topic and not a straightforward story from any angle,” he wrote me in September 2015. “That's what makes it so fascinating. Editorially, we are interested in unpacking the way in which this story fed into a city, state, and country’s pre-existing racial and economic dysfunction and provided every side with a runaway bandwagon to jump onto. Some of the archive we have sourced of what was going on in Durham and on campus is remarkable in its expression of raw anger, mistrust, and frustration. It's turning out to be a story as much about the fallibility of the media and our universities as anything else. . . . Juicy stuff!”

In December, the Chinns sent me a cut of Fantastic Lies. It was breathtaking, but not in a good way. Nothing from my interview was used, nor were any of the recordings I shared with them from Nifong or Mangum. Instead, Fantastic Lies presents the narrative that the parents of the indicted players and their defense attorneys have been busily trying to preserve in amber for years: that the players were falsely accused, and that the Durham police, aided and abetted by Nifong, the rape nurse, and the media created an epic conflagration. [In other words, the truth!] Instead of grappling with why there never was a trial and how the North Carolina State Bar was used to subvert justice, the film once again spews the defense version that justice was served, even though it was not, and that no amount of money, not even $20 million, could ever compensate the three players for what Mangum and Nifong did to them.

We’ll never know what really happened in that that bathroom 10 years ago, and the house itself has long since been torn down. To be sure, Fantastic Lies is more than just a bunch of fantastic lies. But it can certainly seem that way. In the end, sadly, it is another major missed opportunity to explain to a wider audience the complex story of the Duke lacrosse case.

[N.S.: Bathroom: “What really happened” is irrelevant; what is relevant is what didn’t happen. What didn’t happen was anal, vaginal, or oral rape, or any other sexual contact between Crystal Gail Mangum and any of the three white members of the Duke lacrosse team, whom Mangum would eventually falsely accuse.]


Anonymous said...

Crystal was mad at her negro boy friend who had recently abused her. So she took it out on whitey. That is my understanding.

Anonymous said...

Here's an example of excellent reporting
--GRA-I'm a white man

Anonymous said...

"exploit this sorry false accusation by this racist, black criminal, as a way to win the Democrat primary"

Might have well won the primary without prosecuting the wrongly accused.