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October 16, 2007

On the Right Side: Book tells truth about Duke event

If anyone wants to read a great book about the true story of the Duke lacrosse non-rape event, you should read ``It's Not About The Truth, The Untold Story of the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Lives It Shattered,'' by Don Yaeger. A Duke alumni had read my column about the Duke case and student athletes in general and graciously sent me a copy.

It is an amazing story of an honorable coach and three players and the horror they went through, caused by many different parties. It is fact-filled with supporting police records, hospital findings, DNA results, and the extensive criminal records of the two strippers who started this nightmare. There is a documented time line that runs from the night of the alleged rape all the way to April 11 when all charges were dropped by the attorney general and, more importantly, when they were also declared innocent. This one word was all the players and their parents wanted to hear all along.

I'm sure everyone could easily follow the case from the beginning. It was front-page news day-after-day in all the newspapers and was constantly reported on stations such as MSNBC, CNN and other untrustworthy outlets. And the traditional media sources wonder why subscriptions are going down and stations are losing viewers. They are too arrogant to see that fewer and fewer people are finding them not credible or trustworthy and are turning to other more-reliable sources. If any news source tells you that this was not the case, have them compare the column inches when they were reporting sensationalized lies to the inches given to retraction of rush to judgment and signs of remorse.

Yes, the young men involved acted very foolishly when they hired two strippers and had a party that involved underage drinking. The young men were on campus for practices when everyone else had left for spring break and were bored with nothing to do. This is absolutely no excuse for their actions. Still, why instantly label them rich, privileged, lacrosse-playing white kids? As to the rich and privileged characterization, many of them certainly did not fit that description. And even if they were, does the description explain their behavior or just demonstrate the hatred and class envy and petty jealousy of others' lives.

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