“By and large, the press did not let the facts get in the way of a good race-class-sex-violence morality play. Thanks in part to the reporting and guidance of Taylor, a NEWSWEEK contributing editor, NEWSWEEK was the first major publication to pick apart the prosecution’s case, in an article on June 29, 2006. But the magazine also put mug shots of two of the wrongly charged players on its cover on May 1 and, in the cover story I wrote, clucked at doting parents who do not want to see that their sons could turn into ‘thugs.’ Taylor and Johnson show that the players were crude and drank too much, but that they had no prior record of racism or sexual violence.
“The authors make the Duke faculty look at once ridiculous and craven. For months, not one of the university’s nearly 500-member faculty of arts and sciences stood up to question the rush to judgment against the lacrosse team. So much for the ideal of the liberal-arts university where scholars debate openly and seek the truth. (‘This book provides one interpretation,’ says Duke spokesman John Burness.) The only group that shows any common sense in ‘Until Proven Innocent’ is the student body. Aside from a few noisy activists who assumed the players were guilty, Duke undergrads mostly overlooked the political correctness of their professors.”