- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The erstwhile open-and-shut rape case involving the Duke lacrosse players last spring is taking on elements of the Tawana Brawley hoax.

This is hardly surprising, given the leftist underpinnings of the old mainstream media and the riveting details that so complemented their world view.

Duke University is a bastion of white privilege, as the cliche goes. And the three accused were as white and privileged as could be, and no doubt boorish and full of themselves, as young males often are.

They possibly felt empowered to commit a heinous act because of the saving power of their daddies’ money, so the early thinking went of the district attorney.

The public record of the team was scripted from the old “Animal House” flick. Loud parties. Lots of alcohol. Bad jokes. The occasional knuckle sandwich.

The low-brow deportment might not have mattered if the accused came from lower middle-class or blue-collar backgrounds. It might not have mattered if Duke were State U. and was plopped by the side of a cornfield instead of in a city that is almost evenly divided between white and black.

And the rape accusation never would have resonated beyond Durham, N.C., if the exotic dancers were not black, no doubt forced into this money-making venture by an oppressive society.

And the charges possibly would have been dropped by now if the district attorney were not seeking re-election and in desperate need of the black vote.

As it is, the district attorney remains committed to a flimsy case. He has no DNA evidence. He has no corroborating witness. He does not have much of anything, except the word of a woman whose background is hardly pristine.

The second exotic dancer at the party initially called the rape allegations a “crock” before saying she thought the lacrosse players were “guilty,” although she concedes she was not present at the time the gang rape is said to have occurred.

In an interview that aired Sunday night on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” the second exotic dancer decided to stick to what she saw.

She said nothing seemed to be amiss with the accuser. She said the accuser even suggested at one point that they go back inside to make more money.

Not that the second exotic dancer portrayed the lacrosse players in a positive light.

She said there was uncomfortable banter about a broomstick at one point.

When it soon became apparent that the accuser was too intoxicated to perform, the lacrosse players responded with angry objections after paying $800 for the service.

And the second exotic dancer also tells of a racially spun exchange before leaving the premises.

She said she called one of the players a little [bleeping] white boy, which she said drew the n-bomb from him.

Yet despite the bad behavior, she said she saw no evidence to buttress the rape claims of the accuser and she contradicted several of the accuser’s statements to police.

At least two of the three accused also say they have evidence that shows they were away from the premises of the rented home at the time of the incident.

The defense lawyers, so convinced of their clients’ innocence, allowed the accused to appear on “60 Minutes” to tell their side of the story to Ed Bradley.

It was an effective maneuver, if the intent was to show the three had nothing to hide. The accused could plead guilty to bad judgment, which is a long way from criminal.

They acknowledge how they already have lost so much, no matter how the proceedings turn out.

Even if the Duke scandal morphs into an updated version of the Brawley hoax, the resulting coverage will be minuscule compared to the outpouring that all but convicted the three last spring.

That is how it goes with the old mainstream media’s template.

The initial coverage merely reflected a variation of the class warfare that is trotted out each election season.

There used to be another name for it. It was called envy, one of the seven deadly sins.

And envy fanned the flames of the Duke scandal every bit as much as race.

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