Fairness and Justice at Duke

Shortly after the three Duke lacrosse players were charged with rape last spring 88 Duke professors signed an ad that said in part, "This is a social disaster.no one is really talking about how to keep the young woman herself central to this conversation.Regardless of the results of the police investigation, what is apparent everyday now is the anger and fear of many students who know themselves to be objects of racism and sexism."

Talk about a rush to judgment. There's now strong evidence the accuser in the case fabricated at least part of the story and charges of racism and sexism could be completely bogus.

So we called most of the professors who signed that ad, wanting to talk to them about it. No one would step up. They all ran away. So "Factor" producer Jesse Watters went to them, beginning with Professor Ronen Plesser:


JESSE WATTERS, 'FACTOR' PRODUCER: Do you feel bad about signing that statement that a lot of people think convicted those lacrosse players?

RONEN PLESSER, DUKE PROFESSOR: May I please say something? I think this is inappropriate.

WATTERS: I'm from FOX in New York. We just wanted to get your take on the statement that you signed that a lot of people think basically convicted these players.

PLESSER: I received your call. And I was hoping that you would interpret my lack of response as No, I'm not interested in an interview. Thank you.

WATTERS: Now that the case is kind of falling apart.


WATTERS: ...do you still think that you were totally right in signing that statement?

PLESSER: I am not interesting in being interviewed on camera. Please excuse me.


Well, thank you, Professor Plesser, a man of courage. Then we went to see Professor Lee Baker:


LEE BAKER, DUKE PROFESSOR: This was a very, very troubling time for all of us. We did not rush to judgment. We presumed innocent the whole time. I mean, I did.


Well, the fact is that none of the 88 teachers who sign the original ad will apologize or even explain themselves -- not one. The university itself has now invited the accused players back on campus, but these professors continue their irresponsible behavior.

If I were those students, I wouldn't go back.

While we were down in North Carolina, we did decide to stop in on D.A. Mike Nifong -- now off the case. He wasn't happy to see us.


WATTERS: Can you tell if you feel bad about prosecuting these players? Will you come on "The O'Reilly Factor?"

MIKE NIFONG, DURHAM DISTRICT ATTY: I've asked you to leave my property.

WATTERS: I'm leaving.

What do you feel about the Duke case now that it's falling apart?

NIFONG: I believe I've said on many occasions to anybody who asks -- I will speak about the Duke case only in the courtroom.


Hopefully, there will be no courtroom for Nifong to inhabit. Hopefully, the North Carolina attorney general will drop the case and Nifong will resign. Because that would be justice. And Duke needs all the justice it can get.

And that's "The Memo."

Most Ridiculous Item

"The Colbert Report" has reported its highest ratings ever last Thursday, the day I was on that program.

But it wasn't me. Colbert was exceptionally brilliant that night, and word spread quickly. We congratulate him.

Also, just a reminder that we have reprised our book give-away for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. For every copy of "Culture Warrior" you buy on billoreilly.com, we will send one over to the guys and gals. Thanks to Broadway Books. And there's nothing ridiculous about that.