There is nothing so dangerous as a Southern liberal hoping to be invited to a Graydon Carter party.
As is now well-known, Durham prosecutor Mike Nifong falsely accused three white Duke lacrosse players of gang-raping a stripper, even as evidence piled up proving it never happened. In the weeks after an unstable stripper -- or, since this is not a Hollywood movie, "a stripper" -- accused the players of rape, Nifong stated on national TV: "I am convinced that there was a rape." He called the players "hooligans," contemptuously sneering that their "daddies could buy them expensive lawyers."
Envy is an emotion well-known for producing model behavior.
Revealing his own motives, Nifong said defense attorneys for the non-indicted players "were almost disappointed that their clients didn't get indicted so they could be a part of this spectacle here in Durham." Hello, Vanity Fair? Did you see where I talked about their "daddies"?
The Arianna Huffington of the legal profession might still have made his star turn at a Vanity Fair party, but for the fortuity of the defense lawyers discovering that he had tried to hide DNA evidence from the defendants, revealing that the stripper, Crystal Gail Mangum, had the DNA of four different men in or on her person, including the driver who took her to stripping gigs and enough other men to bring a class-action suit against her.
None of the DNA matched any Duke lacrosse players, who are starting to look like the only adult males in the Durham area who haven't had sex with Mangum.
Nifong has tried to portray himself as simply making "mistakes." This is absurd. Not even a half-wit like Nifong could have believed "something happened in that bathroom," as he said during his disbarment hearing last weekend. He was willing to send three innocent men to prison to improve his electoral viability in a heavily black district and to become a liberal hero in Manhattan salons.
Admittedly, Nifong studiously refused to take a peek at the evidence. On March 29, 2006, he told reporters he knew a rape had occurred based on -- I quote -- "my reading of the report of the emergency-room nurse." That report was not given to the police until April 5, 2006, making it the equivalent of the forged Nigerian letter Joe Wilson claims to have debunked eight months before it surfaced at the CIA.
But there were some facts even Nifong couldn't have missed.
He knew, for example, that the cab driver who picked up accused "rapist" Reade Seligmann had signed a sworn statement attesting to the fact that the accused was in his cab when the rape was allegedly taking place.