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The Duke Lacrosse Scandal and University Culture

Monday, April 28, 2014

William D. Cohan looks at what the Duke lacrosse team scandal reveals about the pressures faced by America's elite colleges and universities, and he pulls back the curtain on the larger issues of sexual misconduct, underage drinking, and bad-boy behavior prevalent on campuses across the country. The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities is an account of what happens when ambition, intellectual elitism, athletic prowess, aggressive sexual behavior, racial bias, and absolute prosecutorial authority collide and on a university campus, in the justice system, and in the media.

Guests:

William D. Cohan

Comments [15]

Bruce E. Ford from Newark, NJ

You owe it to your audience to interview someone who will challenge Cohan's interpretation of the events he recounts. I think you ought, if possible,to invite Stuart Taylor, Jr., and K.C. Johnson, who in UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT have interpreted these events quite differently, to offer their critique of Cohan's book. (Responsible, knowledgeable commentators have judged their interpretation of the events to be far more consonant with the facts than Cohan's.)

I personally find Cohan's attempt to elicit sympathy for Nifong infuriating. Giving respectful attention to his complaint that he was the only one connected with the case who was incarcerated is ridiculous. He is the only person connected with the case who committed a crime. He was willing to send three young men whose guilt was more than questionable to prison for decades and yet Cohan wants us to feel sympathy for him because he spent twenty-four hours in jail because prosecutors are not customarily jailed for official misconduct. This case proves that they ought to be.

May. 27 2014 12:19 AM
Carolyn

WHY do I even listen to WNYC? I must be a glutton for myopic, canned analysis of every possible situation over the course of humanity-- the evils of Racism & Sexism must have been at work. That knee jerk theory could have been appropriate in the instance of the Duke lacrosse players who were considered immediately guilty by the national press sinply for being white, male & even worse-- athletic and well-educated. No wonder they call the Blue (eyed?) Devils!

You've cracked the story again Leonard Lopate- white men baaaaad- people who lie about them and try to ruin their entire lives- saintly victims!

You seem to rival only Woody Allen in the self hating/productivity departments or do you consider yourself superior to these poor guys because although you are also white and male- you live in New York and were never any good at sports? Or is your superiority due to your abilty to throw around the words "racism" and "sexism" as if you're some modern day sophist and not just a broken record. Why don't you and your guest check out the statistics on sexual crimes committed by white men against black women for the entire nation for the last dozen or so years. Then compare that number (which should hover around zero) to the white female victims of rape at the hands of black men (very high numbers if you ask me! Especially considering that black men only represent 6% of the US population and white men are about 30% or more). Now ask yourself why you don't have a show on THAT. Or better yet- when are you going to tally up and examine ALL of the fake rape and abuse charges brought against white men by black women in America that were subsequently disproven? That would really fill a show! But would it be racism? Did Twanna Brawley and others accuse people JUST beacuse they were white and male or are those just the stories that grabbed the media's attention? The narrative that sells papers and gets people to tune into your radio show? Surely black men have been wrongfully accused of heinous crimes as well and have probably suffered jail time, shame, and shunning by their communities and families. But they WOULDN'T be featured on your show. It doesn't fit your tired old narrative where all white people are racists and all black people are victims.

What a way to go through life- putting throughts in people's heads against the facts at hand.

I do agree that the rape accuser in the Duke case was a victim of sorts. Her life and childhood sounded like total crap and she and everyone else deserve much much better. But it's a lot easier for you and your ilk to blame her sad life on a bunch of frat boys and a good college than on her crap parents and all of the other people in her life who failed to help her (after all- some of her family members and comminity might be BLACK!) Best not to ever treat a black person like a regular person- that's not the WNYC way).

Apr. 29 2014 01:20 AM
Disgusted Listener from NYC


A casual reading of the wiki and its cited sources puts truth to the lie we heard today on this NPR program. There was racism and sexism at work in this case but it was against the white male players. have the 88 teachers who called for the players expulsion apologized? Have the various womens' groups?

The interviewer seemingly wasn't interested in how the author's accounts could be so different from every other account and record.

NPR should do a follow up program on this topic to clear the air and restore its reputation.

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

The authorities botched the ID by only showing pictures of duke players not interspersing pictures of people that could not have been involved, as is accepted practice.

The only person Ms.Mangum identified as an attacker 100% of the time had an iron clad alibi placing him no where near the house at the time of the events.

One of the accused reportedly told multiple teammates "I'm glad they picked me", alluding to a solid alibi in the form of ATM records, photographs, cell phone records, an affidavit from a taxi driver, and a record of his DukeCard being swiped at his dorm.

On June 8, 2006, court documents revealed that Roberts, in her initial statement, said she was with Mangum the entire evening except for a period of less than five minutes. Additionally, after hearing Mangum saying she was sexually assaulted, she was incredulous.

DNA results revealed that the woman had sex with a man who was not a Duke lacrosse player. Attorney Joseph Cheshire said the tests indicated DNA from a single male source came from a vaginal swab taken from Mangum. Media outlets reported that this DNA was from her boyfriend.[34] However, it was later revealed that DNA from multiple males who were neither the lacrosse players nor Mangum's boyfriend had been found, but that these findings had been deliberately withheld from the Court and the defense.

In its own investigation, The News & Observer, North Carolina's second largest newspaper, determined that Mangum gave at least five different versions of the incident to police and medical interviewers by August 2006.

Apr. 28 2014 02:42 PM
A Woman's Perspective

This interview was missing a key conversation, no one could even say the word sexism. I was shocked but not surprised. Why is it so hard for men to look at, or even notice that sexism is at play. In addition to racism and classism, sexism and the dominant male attitudes about how women's bodies can be viewed, used, and treated that had everything to do with how this case went. It's like the only only women who posted a comment on this page said, the attitudes need to change. Attitudes about the many forms of violence against women, whether it is physical, sexual verbal, or just plain objectification. For young men whether they are athletes or academics to develop real respect for women as their equals, and for a culture of respecting women to be the norm in the male sports world, men have to start naming violence and objectification of women as sexist and damaging to all women and all men for that matter, since we should want all humans to be treated with respect. Crystal Mangum was a victim of racism and sexism at the hands of those boys whether they raped her or not. The fact that she had to strip to have the money to put herself through school I don't judge, but it really does speak to the inequities for women, black and poor people in America.

Apr. 28 2014 01:19 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

@ William D. Cohan a peddler of lies and racism.

Apr. 28 2014 12:50 PM
brooklynmom78 from bklyn

Thanks for this story. I think stuff like this is a lot more widespread than people want to realize.

Apr. 28 2014 12:49 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

There isn’t much that is “great” in these American Universities. Mostly places filled with lies, racism and classism.

Apr. 28 2014 12:47 PM
Rob

The Lacrosse players are NOT completely innocent. Something happened that night, no doubt.

Apr. 28 2014 12:44 PM
John from Bklyn

Leonard,

This is the most incompetent, blatantly deceptive interview you have ever done.

Apr. 28 2014 12:41 PM

White people walking after (most likely) committing heinous crimes against black people in America? Business as usual. Thank you for pursuing this William D. Cohan.

Apr. 28 2014 12:38 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

This incident is part of the Good Old American tradition. Powerful and rich white males rape a black woman and get away with it. Followed by the current Donald Sterling story. Congratulations everybody what a great history we have in the home of free and land of the brave.

Apr. 28 2014 12:38 PM
Stew from Manhattan

William D. Cohan is spreading KNOWLEDGE POISON.

Two points:

Mike NiFong was DISBARRED for clear violation of state laws. In the face of PROOF of the defendant's innocence (e.g. ATM photo documentation of the accused during the window when they were supposedly to have been raping Ms. Mangum).

The accuser, Crystal Mangum, was found to have had the semen of no fewer than 3 different men in her person on the night of the alleged "rape", none of whom were Duke students. After the trial, she was arrested for attempted murder when she burned down her boyfriend's house. She is now in prison for MURDERING her boyfriend in front of his two children. She is wholly incredible, as is Matthew Cohan. He wrote this book expressly to defend the accuser, defend Mike NiFong, and attack Duke University. For shame.

Apr. 28 2014 12:36 PM
Stew from Manhattan

William D. Cohan is spreading KNOWLEDGE POISON.

Two points:

Mike NiFong was DISBARRED for clear violation of state laws. In the face of PROOF of the defendant's innocence (e.g. ATM photo documentation of the accused during the window when they were supposedly to have been raping Ms. Mangum).

The accuser, Crystal Mangum, was found to have had the semen of no fewer than 3 different men in her person on the night of the alleged "rape", none of whom were Duke students. After the trial, she was arrested for attempted murder when she burned down her boyfriend's house. She is now in prison for MURDERING her boyfriend in front of his two children. She is wholly incredible, as is Matthew Cohan. He wrote this book expressly to defend the accuser, defend Mike NiFong, and attack Duke University. For shame.

Apr. 28 2014 12:35 PM
Diana

OK. Shocking! A drinking party at a college. Some of this behavior needs to be curtailed, but do you have a Polly Annish view that college drinking parties need to be transformed into afternoon tea parties. A realistic, manageable approach needs to be adopted, focused on changing the sexual attitudes/abuse.

Apr. 28 2014 12:13 PM
Banon from Manhattan

Does the guest know of Amanda Marcotte and her attempt to ruin these men?

Apr. 28 2014 12:08 PM

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