June 16, 2007

Nifong's next act?

I am a tremendous fan of Scott Fitzgerald. Few writers better captured all the paradoxes of American culture -- which can be larger than life as twice ugly, but also mastered by native intelligence and will. Fitzgerald's blind spot (perhaps it was wishful thinking on his part, lending finality to characters who were just beginning) was his notion that there are no second acts in American life. Richard Nixon disproves this, as does Mark Furman (and countless others as well).

This afternoon, I watched the humiliation that Mike Nifong, the Durham D.A. who falsely accused a trio of students of a heinous crime, justly endured for his actions. It is hard to imagine a more pathetic figure: the Duke players -- who suffered greatly, make no mistake -- at least knew they were innocent, and had to have hope that the truth would come out. For Nifong, sitting in that North Carolina State Bar disciplinary hearing, the truth was his enemy.

I wonder though: Does he have an agent? In two or three weeks, will he be appearing on Larry King or Nancy Grace, admitting to some sins (I never should have spoken to the media; I was naive) while committing new ones (the full evidence was never aired; those three students were guilty of something)? Will he write a self-serving tome, admitting his ineptness as a politician and media spokesman, but insisting on his probity as a prosecutor trying to convict well-heeled clients who, ultimately, got away with something? Will he appear as an expert on cable news when some other unfortunate innocents are caught up in the wheels of justice?

The question, ultimately, is how shameless is Mr. Nifong? His record to date is not reassuring...

Posted by Ideofact at June 16, 2007 10:39 PM
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