Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Money Talks

Wealthy, elitist Duke graduates are upset that their university is being viewed as an exclusive club that only graduates wealthy elitists. Well, elitists and rapists. They've banded together to form the "Committee for Fairness to Duke Families." Their first action was to hire Bob Bennett, a high profile Washington attorney, who represented Bill Clinton in his case against Paula Jones, to serve as their spokesman.

While I acknowledge that it's possible that the accused players are actually innocent, two aspects of this move strike me as noteworthy. First, it's indicative that the only way the Duke boosters can handle a problem is by throwing money at it. Secondly, if you're trying to portray the image of innocence where sexual impropriety is concerned, do you really want to associate yourself with Bill Clinton's legacy?


At Thu Apr 13, 07:22:00 AM PDT , Anonymous jetsgrumbler said...

Lets be fair about this. (1) Everyone is entitled to legal representation. (2) If a guy is good enough for a sitting President, he is good enough for me.

Also, lets put this in perspective. The Duke Lacrosse program is finished, the players (who are just college kids) have had their reputations ruined and their identities made public and may even lose scholarships, and the coach was fired over this. All before anyone has been proven guilty of anything--or even formally charged! And now it looks like DNA might come out in favor of the players.

If you read my political views and quips, you will see I am a leftist, but I can't stand our system in which women can accuse famous, wealthy, or succesful men of a serious crime and have the man's name plastered in the news while she remains anonymous. This is patently unfair.

At Thu Apr 13, 10:21:00 AM PDT , Anonymous insomniac said...

You mean I'm supposed to be fair? That's going to kill half of my posts.

I agree with you that our current system makes famous and/or wealthy men a target for false rape accusations. The question is, if this system weren't in place, would actual rape victims be far less likely to report when a crime took place? I don't know the answer to that question.

I also agree with you that the accused should have an opportunity to clear their name (in an ideal world their names would be clear until there was more evidence of guilt, but we know that doesn't happen). But, I still disagree with their methodology. The "Committee for Fairness to Duke Families" stinks of $500 a plate fundraisers with a raffle for one of Coack K's Chevys, and only plays into all of the images of class bias and elitism that have been brought to the forefront by this case. Also, while Bob Bennett is extremely well-credentialed, he'll be known in this case as "the guy that represented Clinton in the Paula Jones trial." Regardless of ones political views, public opinion is that Clinton was guilty of sexual misconduct throughout his career. Since this Duke case is being tried in the court of public opinion, it seems to me to be a poor miscalculation to associate the lacrosse team with President Clinton if your goal is to create the appearance of sexual innocence.

At Sat Apr 15, 12:05:00 PM PDT , Anonymous azbballfan said...

Sadly, the media circus is blurring the lines of the issues here.

Adande is right in his LA Times blog:

This case is about entitlement. First and foremost, this case is about a group of elitist young men planning a party with the intent of demeaning two ladies from a different class. This is the most damning point in this case for which all the young men are guilty - period.

This case is a revealing damnation of the culture which promotes this elitist element on the Duke campus. The frenzied rush to dismiss this case is a thinly veiled attempt to deny the evil of this elitist culture.

This case is also about race because the young men apparently asked for two black entertainers and were heard yelling racial epithets. Racism remains in North Carolina.

Finally, this case is about a sex crime. Sadly, it is only because of the accused crime that these other grander issues are brought to light. I don't mean to belittle the horrible issue of rape, but sadly it will be difficult for us to know the facts of the crime because of the need to protect the larger evil - the need for a class of elite to maintain their entitlements.

At Sat Apr 15, 02:22:00 PM PDT , Anonymous insomniac said...

Very well said. And thanks for the link to J.A. Adande's blog. I always like to hear his opinions, but I had no idea that site existed.


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