Wednesday, June 28, 2006


More inane commentary on the Duke lacrosse case

Amazingly, even when Ruth Marcus seems like she’s on the right track, she comes across as someone so lacking in insight and thoughtfulness that one wonders what exactly are the credentials for becoming a Washington Post op-ed writer.

As my previous rants on a Ms. Marcus column (Harvard got played. & Ruth Marcus (hearts) Ted Kennedy) indicate, I have to consider myself forewarned before any future forays into a Marcus column. Still, the title (Reasonable Doubt at Duke) seemed so rational, so unMarcus-like that I couldn’t resist. So I clicked and discovered that, indeed, it really was a Ruth Marcus column.

She begins by admitting to a stereotype of alcohol-imbibing Lacrosse players in confessing her initial presumption of guilt and spends the first third of her article trashing the players, concluding:

“These don't sound like young men you'd want your daughter to date.”

(Well, she may be right there but I say that mainly because they’re from Duke.)

She then goes on to enumerate the various instances of evidence and non-evidence that all go toward exonerating the three accused in this case. In true, modern, PC fashion, she manages to get the name of the three accused into her story while continuing the practice of not naming the accuser. Hey, Ms. Marcus, help us out - she doesn’t sound like a young woman anyone would want their son to date.

But it is her concluding passage that ultimately establishes this column as worthy of the ‘Ruth Marcus’ byline:

“In an odd way, I hope Nifong's proved right, because the alternative -- that he began with a dubious case and stuck with it as it became shakier -- is so troubling. As it stands now, the case isn't expected to go to trial until spring 2007. That seems like an awfully long time to wait to find out.”  

She hope’s Nifong’s proved right? In other words, the prospect that three young men (attending an over-hyped but still probably decent school) actually assaulted a young woman is preferable to learning that a liberal Democrat, hyping this case for all its political worth, may be in the wrong. I guess it’d be like learning that Ted Kennedy can be an insensitive, unstatesman-like guy: Ted Kennedy's Neanderthal comment

Full disclosure: I played Lacrosse in college (well, I was on the team) but we never had any underage drinking at team parties (the drinking age was 18) and no strippers either (as if…). However, despite knowing better, I’ll continue to negatively stereotype Dookies (and Boston College people and Yankee fans and…).

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