AP Bias?

The prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse rape case has repeatedly and publicly stated or implied the guilt of the three defendants–definitely not cool. You can read the whole sordid story, with first rate analysis, at Durham-In-Wonderland.

Now the Associated Press seems to have taken a page out of Nifong’s playbook. Check out this sentence, which condemns the defendant even as it exonerates him (important part in boldface):

The accuser in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case told prosecutors in December that one of the three players charged did not commit any sex act on her during the alleged attack, according to court papers filed Thursday by the defense.

The attacker identified as Reade Seligmann only watched, she told an investigator, the papers said.

OK, AP, did he attack, or “only watch”? Yes, a person can attack another person in a nonsexual manner, but the problem is much bigger than this potential verbal contradiction. Merely to refer to the defendant as “The attacker”–before any verdict has been reached–is really bad practice. He hasn’t even been proven to have “attacked” the accuser (whose name is mysteriously never mentioned).

The anonymous AP hack strikes again in the last sentence of the piece:

Both Nifong and James P. Cooney III, an attorney for Seligmann, did not return a call seeking comment Thursday morning.

Let’s replace “Both . . . did not return a call” with “Neither . . . returned a call.” This might be a Curly idiosyncrasy, but I don’t think so.


One Response to “AP Bias?”

  1. Shana Says:

    I heard a really good report on NPR about this. The prosecutor made many mistakes and it might cost him. And it really should. His office began to release information before the investigation was fully underway.

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