Saturday, June 16, 2007

The New York Times still doesn't get it

In its article about Mike Nifong's disbarment, the Times quotes the following statement from Mr. Nifong:

Mr. Nifong said her accusation and identification were the main reasons he filed the case. He said most police officers and the sexual assault nurse believed the woman, but there was no other evidence.

Unsurprisingly, the Times manages not to find room to refute these assertions. Such as that the accuser identified "suspects" only on . . . her seventh try? And only after she was shown a lineup . . . with no fillers? So that all the choices were correct? Or that according to the relevant professional standards, the nurse in question . . . had no business reporting whether she believed the woman or not, and should have limited her report to her medical observations?

It is interesting to contrast this treatment of Mr. Nifong with the Times' recent treatment of a of a prominent Republican who has been in the news because of his legal woes. From a recent article about Lewis Libby:

Mr. Libby’s lawyers made a last-ditch argument today, asserting that the special prosecutor in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, had been given too much independence. The judge dismissed that argument, saying that Mr. Fitzgerald was subservient to the Justice Department and thus could have been dismissed.

One telling moment came as Judge Walton referred to a motion filed by 12 law professors asserting that there were appealable issues in the case. The judge dismissed the motion, remarking acidly that it was “not worthy of a first-year law student.”

While Mr. Libby's credibility is poor in the wake of his convictions for false statements, perjury and obstruction of justice, it remains higher than Mr. Nifong's. Yet the Times reports why arguments by Mr. Libby's lawyers and other supporters should not be believed -- but uncritically reports ludicrous assertions by Mr. Nifong.

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