Goodbye, Durham-in-Wonderland

by Walter Olson on July 21, 2014

KC Johnson is closing his definitive blog on the Duke lacrosse case and its aftermath, and reflects on it all in this final essay.

{ 5 comments }

1 Richard Nieporent 07.21.14 at 4:26 pm

KC Johnson is a prolific writer who has done a yeoman job on the Duke Lacrosse scandal. Along with Stuart Taylor, he wrote the definitive book, Until Proven Innocent, on the Duke Lacrosse case, which I highly recommend that you read if you have any interest in the case. Although Professor Johnson is in no way a conservative, he did not let his liberal views affect the way he reported on the case. He rightfully skewered the Duke Gang of 88 for their rush to judgment. This case was the “perfect storm” for these academic Leftists. What could be better for their worldview than to have group of rich, white young men being accused of raping a poor black “dancer”. They got to openly display their racism as they called for the lacrosse players to be punished before any of the facts were known. Unfortunately the craven President of Duke, Richard Brodhead, was all too willing to allow them get away with their despicable actions. On top of this we had the DA, Mike Nifong, use this case to get himself reelected. He did everything in his power to railroad these young men. Thankfully, they had an excellent legal team who were willing to do what it takes to prevent this travesty of justice.

For nine years (2006 – 2014) KC Johnson did more than just blog about the case. He ferreted out and did original reporting on the real facts of this case. If there were more people like Professor Johnson in academia, then we would not have to worry about the leftist bias in our universities.

2 Bob 07.21.14 at 10:29 pm

I just want to second the previous comment by Mr. Nieporent. I was actually living in Durham when this scandal erupted, and I learned more about what was actually going on from Dr. Johnson’s blog than I did form the local papers or television stations.

3 gitarcarver 07.22.14 at 12:01 am

Richard,

I agree with your assessment of the blog, KC Johnson as well as Walter Olson’s assessment that DIW was the “definitive blog” on the issue. I would offer that it was the definitive online source for information on the case, in my opinion.

That being said, you wrote:

If there were more people like Professor Johnson in academia, then we would not have to worry about the leftist bias in our universities.

I would change that to be If there were more people like Professor Johnson in academia, then we would not have to worry about bias in our universities.

I had no idea that Johnson leaned to the left because his writings were straight down the factual middle and allowed – if not encouraged – people to make up their own minds on the case.

I would hope that Johnson would have shown the same scrutiny and analysis no matter what the political leanings of the people involved were, and that is why we need more people like him in academia. We should teach kids how to think, not what to think.

4 Richard Nieporent 07.22.14 at 9:52 am

@gitarcaver,

I would change that to be If there were more people like Professor Johnson in academia, then we would not have to worry about bias in our universities.

I stand corrected. It is just that in the current academic climate the fear of right-wing bias in academia is shall we say for all practical purposes non-existent. You actually have to have some conservatives on the faculty before that becomes a possibility. I actually wanted to say if only, but that would be sarcasm on my part.

With respect to Professor Johnson, he is a Democrat and voted for Obama for President. However, he is definitely not politically correct. He had a run-in with his own college. Brooklyn College denied him tenure because he was not being “collegial”. According to Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal, the root of the conflict lay partly in Johnson’s “resistance to gender-driven hiring,” which “didn’t endear him to the department’s small but vociferous faction of political ideologues – a group that the chairman, Phillip Gallagher, had himself once described, in an e-mail to Mr. Johnson, as ‘academic terrorists.’” Johnson had also protested a “teach-in” about 9/11, “which was freighted with panelists hostile to any U.S. military response and which offered, Mr. Johnson noted, no supporters of U.S. or Israeli policies.” By the way he won his case. The chancellor of the City University of New York system, Matthew Goldstein, appointed a committee to investigate his denial of tenure. In accordance with their unanimous recommendation, Goldstein appointed Johnson to a full professorship with tenure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KC_Johnson

5 Paul McKaskle 07.22.14 at 2:01 pm

I agree with all of the above comments and the many comments made on DIY’s final posting. KC Johnson has done a fabulous job informing those who care about individual freedom about the atrocious conduct of prosecutor Nifong, the senior administration of Duke and a substantial portion of its faculty. As a retired law professor I was appalled by the fact that there weren’t hundreds of KC Johnsons in academia responding on the injustice done in this case.

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