ESPN Legal Analyst Slams Duke Player's Innocence Plea as Attempt to Taint Jury Pool

For those who think that sports broadcasts might offer a respite from liberal media spin . . . think again. At least when it comes to ESPN [an arm of ABC] the same ESPN that forced Rush Limbaugh out from his position as an NFL commentator for expressing his views on QB Donovan McNabb.

This time, ESPN let its liberal slip show in the matter of the Duke rape allegations. Yesterday, in the wake of his indictment, former lacrosse captain David Evans appeared before the press to assert his absolute innocence and those of his two co-defendants.

To comment on Evans' press appearance, ESPN, during the overnight edition of Sports Center, brought in its "legal analyst," a former Philly prosecutor by the name of Deborah Robinson. Commenting on Evans' press appearance, Robinson, with ill-concealed anger, claimed:

"It has no significance for the trial whatsoever. It's significant because it's unprecedented. I've never seen a defendant have a press conference before the trial even begins. . . It's tainting potential jurors, and that's what I think is the most significant thing about this press conference. The defense is trying to paint a picture for those jurors who will eventually hear the case about the defendant before the case even begins."

So let's get this straight. According to ESPN's employee, it is wrong for someone who passionately believes he has been wrongly accused of a heinous crime to publicly assert his innocence. Falsely accused defendants should simply sit in silence and take it. Odd - I don't remember seeing Robinson similarly condemn DA-cum-candidate Mike Nifong for his 70 press interviews and his public assertion that he believes the accuser - which of course amounts to accusing the defendant's of the crime. Guess outrage only works one way for ESPN's "legal analyst."

An aside: MSNBC's legal eagle Dan Abrams, host of the Abrams Report, has been all over the affair and has not hesitated to point out the weaknesses in the prosecution's case. Appearing on the Today show this morning, Abrams called Evans press appearance yesterday a "good move."

Finkelstein, recently a guest on the Lars Larson Show, lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public-access TV show 'Right Angle'. Contact him at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.