William D. Cohan

  • Aired:  04/29/14
  •  | Views: 16,875

William D. Cohan delves into the Duke lacrosse scandal and the corrupting influence of wealth and power on the justice system in "The Price of Silence." (6:18)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT BEST SELLINGAUTHOR HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED

THE PRICE OF SILENCE.THE DUKE LACROSSE SCANDAL,

THE POWER OF THE ELITEAND THE CORRUPTION OF OUR GREAT

UNIVERSITIES. PLEASE WELCOMEBACK TO THE PROGRAM

WILLIAM COHAN, COME ONOUT HERE.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]ALL RIGHT.

OKAY.

>> Jon: WE DON'T HAVE A TON OFTIME SO WE'RE GOING TO GET RIGHT

TO IT. WHAT DO YOUWANT DEAL WITH FIRST IN

THE PRICE OF SILENCE? THE DUKELACROSSE SCANDAL,

THE POWER OF THE ELITE OR THECORRUPTION OF OUR GREAT

UNIVERSITIES?

>> WELL, I MEAN THEY ALL GOTOGETHER.

THAT'S THE POINT OF THE BOOK ISTHAT THEY DO ALL GO TOGETHER IN

WAYS THAT, YOU KNOW, WE MAY NOTHAVE ANTICIPATED WHEN WE SEND

OUR KIDS OFF TO COLLEGE THINKINGTHEY ARE GOING TO GET A GREAT

EDUCATION.

>> Jon: IS THAT THOUGH JUSTREFLECTIVE OF THAT DIVIDE IN

SOCIETY AS A WHOLE.

THIS IDEA DUKE IS, YOU KNOW,SORT OF AN ENCLAVE OF MORE

WEALTH AND MORE PRIVILEGETHAN IT'S SURROUNDINGING TOWN.

IS IT A MICROCOSM THOUGH OF ALARGER ISSUE IN THE COUNTRY?

>> THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT NCAADIVISION I ATHLETES ARE PUT ON A

PEDESTAL IN THIS COUNTRY.

AND THERE'S NO QUESTION WE'REDEALING IN REALTIME.

WE HAVE THE NORTHWESTERNUNIVERSITY FOOTBALL TEAM THAT IS

THINKING ABOUT UNIONIZING ANDINCREDIBLY SOME OF THE ALUMNI

ARE SAYING MAYBE YOU DON'TWANT TO DO.

YOU'VE GOT THE JAMEISWINSTON STORY AT FLORIDA STATE.

YOU KNOW, WHETHER OR NOT THATINVESTIGATION WAS BOTCHED OR

NOT.

THERE'S INCIDENTS AT VANDERBILTAND THE NAVAL ACADEMY.

THESE ARE HAPPENING ALL AROUNDTHE COUNTRY.

>> Jon: AREN'T THEY ALSOHAPPENING OUTSIDE -- WE

CERTAINLY JUST CAN'T ASSUMETHAT SEXUAL ASSAULT OR IN THIS

CASE THEY WERE EXONERATED BUTTHAT THESE TYPES OF ACTIVITIES

ARE SOMEHOW RELEGATED TOTHE UNIVERSITIES.

IT'S A PROBLEM IN SOCIETY.

>> AS MOST PROBLEMS ARE. I MEAN,

UNIVERSITIES ARE MERELY AMICROCOSM, IF I MAY USE THAT

WORD.

>> Jon: YEAH.

>> OF LARGER ISSUES IN SOCIETY.

WHY THIS BECAME SUCH AN AMAZINGSTORY.

I MEAN REALLY IT'S UNPRECEDENTEDIN ITS SCALE AND THE MEDIA

ATTENTION IT FOCUSED.

THESE KIDS JUST THOUGHT WE'LLHAVE A PARTY WHERE WE'LL JUST

DRINK ALL DAY. THEREMIGHT BE UNDERAGE DRINKING

GOING ON AND THEN WE'LL HAVE AGREAT IDEA

OF INVITING STRIPPERS TO COME TOOUR HOUSE INSTEAD OF GOING TO A

STRIP CLUB WHICH WE USUALLY DOAND NEXT THING YOU KNOW THEIR

WHOLE LIVES ARE UPSET FORCERTAINLY THE NEXT 15

MONTHS OF THIS SITUATION BEFORETHEY WERE

DECLARED INNOCENT BY THE

ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATEOF NORTH CAROLINA BUT THEIR

LIVES ARE AFFECTED FORTHE REST OF LIVES.

>> Jon: IT'S SO TAILOR MADEFOR WHAT OUR MEDIA ENJOYS MORE

THAN ANYTHING WHICH ISSENSATIONALIZED CONFLICT.

WHITE KIDS RICHER KIDS AT APRIVILEGED UNIVERSITY, A WOMAN

OF LESSER PRIVILEGE.

THIS IS THE PERFECT STORM FORTHEM IN TERMS OF GENERATING

SOMETHING.

UNFORTUNATELY IT DIDN'T WORK OUTFOR THEM IN THAT SHE WAS NOT A

PARTICULARLY GOOD EXEMPLAR OFDAVID VERSUS GOLIATH.

>> NOBODY COVERED THEMSELVESWITH ANYTHING REMOTELY LIKE

GLORY IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE.THERE WERE NO HEROES HERE.

BUT IT IS AN INCREDIBLE STORY OFTHE WAY JUSTICE CAN BE

SUBVERTED. BECAUSE THERE WASNEVER A TRIAL HERE.

I MEAN, THINK ABOUT IT,ELIZABETH WARREN WAS TALKING

ABOUT THIS THE OTHER NIGHT ONYOUR SHOW, ABOUT HOW MONEY AND

POWER CONTROL WASHINGTON.

WE KNOW BECAUSE I WROTE THE BOOKABOUT GOLDMAN SACHS THAT

MONEY AND POWER CONTROLWALL STREET.

NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME, OR MAYBENOT FOR THE FIRST TIME, BUT A

CLEAR EXAMPLE OF HOW MONEY ANDPOWER CAN OFTEN SUBVERT

JUSTICE. BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTRIAL HERE.

>> Jon: BUT IS THIS A GOOD CASEOF THAT?

I WOULD AGREE WITH THATCERTAINLY MONEY AND POWER CAN

SUBVERT JUSTICE. AND WE HAVEATWO TIER SYSTEM.

AND YOUNG MINORITIES GOES TOJAIL FAR MORE FREQUENTLY AND FOR

FAR LONGER THAN THEY SHOULD.

BUT IS THIS THE BEST EXAMPLE OFTHAT PARTICULAR CORROSION IN OUR

SOCIETY?

>> IT MAY BE ONE OF FEW EXAMPLESOF THAT PARTICULAR CORROSION IN

OUR SOCIETY. BECAUSE DON'TFORGET WHAT HAPPENED HERE.

THREE KIDS WERE INDICTED.

THE WOMAN WHO ACCUSED THEM OFRAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT SHE

PROVED TO BE A LESS THANRELIABLE WITNESS. THE DISTRICT

ATTORNEY, HOWEVER, BELIEVED HER,BELIEVED THE NURSE

THAT EXAMINED HER AND BELIEVEDTHE POLICE THAT INVESTIGATED.

THERE WAS NEVER A TRIAL.

HE WAS BROUGHT UP ON CHARGESBEFORE THE STATE BAR.

HE WAS NEVER ALLOWED TO BRINGTHIS CASE TO TRIAL BECAUSE THE

DEFENSE WHO DID AN INCREDIBLEJOB, THEY WERE ABLE TO EXPLOIT

EVERY ONE OF HIS MISTAKES OFWHICH THERE WERE MANY.

THIS IS NOT THE WAY THE JUSTICESYSTEM WAS SUPPOSED TO WORK.

>> Jon: BUT, THAT'S MY POINT. IFHE WERE,

IF HE HAD NOT MADE SO MANYMISTAKES.

IF SHE WAS A MORE CREDIBLEWITNESS.

IF THERE WAS PHYSICAL EVIDENCETHAT MATCHED HER STORY AND THEN

THEY GOT OFF BASED ON ASUBVERSION OF JUSTICE BY A

POWERFUL DEFENSE TEAM, I THINKYOU WOULD PROBABLY HAVE ONE OF

THOSE MATTHEW McCONAUGHEYAT THE END LIKE

NOW IMAGINE SHE'S BLACK. YOUKNOW, THAT KIND OF ENDING.

THIS DOESN'T SEEM TO BETHAT CASE.

I DON'T WANT TO RELITIGATE IT.

>> NO, AND I DON'T WANT TOEITHER.

BUT IT'S NOT ASSIMPLE AS YOU SAY.

>> Jon: WELL, THAT'S GENERALLYMY POINT.

>> I MEAN, THERE'S ONLY 600PAGES, I MEAN.

>> Jon: EXACTLY.

>> THERE WAS EVIDENCE THAT THEDEFENSE DOESN'T LIKE TO TALK

ABOUT THAT RAISES QUESTIONSABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT

BATHROOM.

I MEAN CLEARLY THERE WAS NOT ARAPE BECAUSE THAT RAPE CHARGED

WAS DROPPED BUT SOMETHINGHAPPENED IN THAT BATHROOM TO

MAKE CRYSTAL MANGUM THEVICTIM SLASH AS SHE'S

KNOWN NOW AS THE ACCUSER HAVETHIS POST TRAUMATIC

STRESS INCIDENT WHERE SHETHOUGHT THAT THIS HAPPENED TO

HER. AND, THERE WAS DNA EVIDENCEON FINGER NAILS THAT DEFENSE

DOESN'T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT.

>> Jon: RIGHT, WELL, I GUESS THEPOINT IS GIVEN THE STORY THAT

SHE TOLD, THE EVIDENCE DIDN'TMATCH THAT.

IT MATCHED MAYBE SOMETHING BUTNOT THAT.

>> IT DEFINITELY DID NOT MATCHWHAT SHE FIRST SAID THERE'S NO

QUESTION ABOUT THAT.

>> Jon: WELL LET'S TALKABOUT BECAUSE WHAT I THINK IS

MORE INTERESTING IS PERHAPSTHE LARGER POINT OF THESE

CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS TRYING TOBALANCE EDUCATION AND THE

FINANCIAL ASPECT OF SPORT ANDALL THOSE TYPES OF THINGS.

CAN YOU STICK AROUND FOR ALITTLE BIT?

>> IF YOU'RE NICE.

>> Jon: SURE, WHY NOT. STICKAROUND.

PRICE OF SILENCE IS ON THEBOOKSHELVES NOW.

WILLIAM COHAN, EVERYBODY.

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