Monday, June 23, 2008

Fox Sports Mentions "Duke Lacrosse" And Mauricia Grant Together


It has often seemed that the Internet is the tail wagging the dog where the Mauricia Grant vs. NASCAR lawsuit story is concerned.

Articles from Sports Illustrated's website have been leading the way with exclusive interviews of both Grant and her attorney. SI.com is not connected to NASCAR TV in any way.

The NASCAR TV partners have been a distant second where this story is concerned since it broke. Both ESPN and SPEED have had to make do with awkward "soundbites" from NASCAR Chairman Brian France provided at the Michigan and Sonoma race weekends.

Now, a story on Foxsports.com has dared to mention the words "Duke Lacrosse" and Mauricia Grant in the same post. Here is a portion:

(1) Mauricia Grant: Comparisons to the Duke Lacrosse rape fiasco are inevitable, but the difference is that there may well be something to Grant's blockbuster allegations against NASCAR, as is suggested by Friday's disclosure that two organization employees who allegedly exposed themselves in her presence have been suspended. But here's where you should have problems with Grant: If any of the allegations in her suit against the racing organization are true, what took her so long to go public? And, more to the point, how many other women or minorities were subjected to rude and crude behavior while Grant got the ducks in a row for her super-sized suit following her October 2007 firing? And, for what it's worth, her allegations may be serious, but how can any reasonable person say they rise to the level of $225 million? She'd do well to re-file this thing for a 10th of that figure and settle the case for $5 million.

Here is the link to the full post by John Moriello from June 22nd. We have watched the TV networks offer only brief fact-oriented stories about this topic as the Internet has once again posted everything from fact to opinion worldwide.

We are going to take this opportunity to re-publish The Daly Planet stories about NASCAR dealing with this issue and a review of the lawsuit as it played-out in the media when first announced. All of these columns are still open for your comments.

NASCAR Lawsuit in the Media - updated regularly

The NASCAR TV Partners About To Be Put To The Test

NASCAR Struggles With The New Media World

Any new comments about the topic can either be posted on the individual columns or put on this post to start a new topic. Just click on the COMMENTS button below to add your opinion. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here's my beef with this lawsuit, and the reason I don't think it will get very far -- how could all these horrible, disgusting things happen and she continues to go to work every day, never files a complaint with anyone, keeps showing up like nothing is wrong. Sorry, I don't buy it.

The reason she is asking for $225 is million is because after a few news conferences and a few news cycles of bad press and NASCAR might start thinking that settling for $15 million is a much more inexpensive option than paying a team of lawyers half that, not to mention damage to the brand. And, hey, who wouldn't want $15 million. I know this plaintiff would probably take it. Sickening.

bevo said...

Any surprise that Fox would do this? I'm amazed that they waited this long.

Mauricia Grant: Comparisons to the Duke Lacrosse rape fiasco are inevitable Nope, never even thought about a connection.

But here's where you should have problems with Grant Oh I should? Please tell me why I should since I'm incapable of knowing what I should have a problem with.

what took her so long to go public? Gee, maybe she was trying to use the procedures the organization had in place first?

how many other women or minorities were subjected to rude and crude behavior while Grant got the ducks in a row Somehow I don't think the writer is too concerned about this really. And by the way you get your ducks in a row so your suit doesn't get laughed out of the court room.

She'd do well to re-file this thing for a 10th of that figure and settle the case for $5 million. Here's a nutty idea. Maybe, just maybe, she filed the case to get NASCAR to address the problems. It's a CIVIL case, you've got to show harm and an amount for compensation. $22.5 million and you wouldn't be concerned? Really? You know she isn't going to get either $225 or $22.5 million so why does that matter?

This is just the first salvo being fired.

When News Corp decides to go after someone it gets bloody fast.

Anonymous said...

JD said:

"SI.com is not connected to NASCAR TV in any way."




JD -

How can you say that?? SI is owned by Time-Warner, parent company of NASCAR Tv partner TNT ... Sure looks like it's connected to NASCAR tv to me ... The money goes to the same stockholders and the same CEO rules the roost ...


Plus, if you actually read the "story" on FoxSports ... You'll see that it's basically a blog by one of their web producers ... Not a "story" per se ... And it's his opinion of "Catching up with the best of the worst from the past week in sports" ...

I think John Moriello was trying to touch upon the subject in a way that a lot of the fans are feeling about the lawsuit ... But, he was also trying to take NASCAR into the mainstream sports arena in a comparison that stick & ball sports are not the only sports that have problems ...

Moriello's comments give a different view than the puff piece by Lee Spencer as well as the interviews on SI (with Grant & her lawyer) ... This is a view that nobody really seems to have touched (or at least I haven't seen) ...

Tracy said...

Bevo, right on. I don't think most people have any concept of how much time it takes to pull together a law suit in federal court and get it filed, and do it right.

Criminal v. civil suit - no comparison. Unfair to paint Grant with the Lacrosse fiasco brush. Nifong abused his elected power, plain and simple, and displayed a colossal lack of common sense, not to mention legal acumen. I was impressed with how the media kept on the story and as facts dribbled out, stayed with it front and center.

Grant's not getting anywhere near the same media attention, probably because the stakes aren't as high. No one is charged with a felony. No one faces possible prison time. No one believes she'll collect the amount of money she's filed to recover. Hence, it's not as big a story as Nifong's fall from grace.

Nascar has worked overtime to project an image of family, wholesome fun. (Remind me sometime to tell you about and Nascar's Harlequin romances and its iron editing fist...) On first glance, most people will think "oh no, it couldn't have been that bad for Grant, why'd she work there if it was?" That's the tact taken by the blog quoted in this day's column.

So when will the media take a second look and start asking the hard questions in both camps?

Anonymous said...

how could all these horrible, disgusting things happen and she continues to go to work every day, never files a complaint with anyone, keeps showing up like nothing is wrong. Sorry, I don't buy it.

The lawsuit says she made numerous complaints and was blown off with respones like, "They're just all former military."

Anonymous said...

Grant's not getting anywhere near the same media attention, probably because the stakes aren't as high.

Also because, to non-NASCAR fans, there's an assumption that this is a southern, redneck, racist sport, so what's the big deal?

Anonymous said...

Its amazing how many writers and bloggers out there simply don't get the concept that if you really, really love your profession, a very competitive person will be willing to put up with anything just to be able to keep on doing what you love to do.

If NASCAR didn't fire her after she started complaining, I doubt we'd ever see a lawsuit, and any of this stuff would have made headlines.

This writer is pandering to the media stereotype of a NASCAR fan being a confederate flag waving racist by trying to compare this case to another one where a white men were done wrong by black women.

Anonymous said...

The comparison to Duke Lacrosse is obvious! Both cases have a black woman accusing white males of atrocious acts, and because of the sterotypes association with the whites (rowdy frat boys in first case, redneck racers in the second) people automatically assume the claims not only have merit but are wholly true.

Anyone who can't see this comparison is just trying to be overly politically correct.

Anonymous said...

"Now, a story on Foxsports.com has dared to mention the words "Duke Lacrosse" and Mauricia Grant in the same post."

Yes they did say that. Both cases are a joke and NASCAR needs to settle if there is any truth to her outrageous claims.

SophiaZ123 said...

I know somebody that worked in HR doing sexual harrassment cases...it's a good idea to start "documenting" things over a long period of time if you feel managers are not listening to you or you need to prove things that happened . Sadly this can take a long time and if ONE is in a hostile environment but loves the job, they will put up with a lot.

I must admit the 225mill is a bit much for me as nobody died or was maimed...wrongful death law suits might go for this much. I think 25 mill might have been more reasonable as we know she would not have gotten THAT much, either.

Still, I think there may be something to Grant's claims...but it will be forever or never, before the truth is known.

If settled out of court, I am sure neither party will be able to discuss it.

Anonymous said...

Both cases are a joke
Unless you were there, you have no way to know this.

The Grant lawsuit is very specific. Do you have evidence that refutes the claims?

Les said...

"Both cases are a joke"

Would you feel the same way if it happened to your mother, wife or daughter?

Anonymous said...

Like all civil lawsuits, the $225 million amount was just something to put on paper. The jury or a judge will end up awarding what they deem as fit, if the case goes to trial.

Its not an all or nothing proposition. She could have sued NASCAR for $100 billion, and it wouldn't make one bit of difference in the end. The news media makes a big deal out of nothing.

Also, again, remember this is a civil trial. The burdon of proof is "by a preponderance of the evidence", NOT "beyond a resonable doubt".

The plantiff just needs to tip the scales of justice ever so slightly in her favor such that just over 50% of the believable evidence backs up her side of the story.

A judge or jury can have plenty of doubt that these events happened, but if they feel they more likely than not happened, then that is enough to return a verdict in favor of the plantiff.

glenc1 said...

I gotta say--I'm impressed with some of our posters knowledge of lawsuits (and most of what I've read would say they're right.) Takes a long time to put them together and you always ask for an amount that would, to a layperson, seem outrageous. I work somewheres that has settled a discrimination lawsuit from another city. I've never seen that kind of attitude here, but that doesn't mean I don't believe it happened...people who think it doesn't exist are living with their heads in the sand (as NASCAR has been doing.) bevo said everything I think I would have. I am taking note that it was a blogger who said it--but still, it reflects on Fox. Lots of people read opinions and don't even get that they ought to question things--it's amazing to me that people think everything in print or on TV must be so because they're told it's the 'facts'. Facts can be manipulated and invented as well. I think many of us seem to be the ones who don't *like* being manipulated by networks who seem to live in fear of NASCAR. I would love to see *someone* independent with nothing to fear start being factual and asking some tough questions. And I do think asking the drivers is kind of pointless--I doubt they are anywhere around when this stuff goes on.

Anonymous said...

"Both cases are a joke"

Would you feel the same way if it happened to your mother, wife or daughter?


Well, see, you're assuming the allegations are true. I think the person who said both cases are a joke thinks the second case is just like the first case, which was in fact a JOKE.

Maybe you're asking if he'd like his daughter unjustly indicted by a high-profile media lawsuit not based in facts (see Duke Lacross). No, I wouldn't want my daughter to have that happen to her.

Jo said...

The one thing I have noticed here & elsewhere is the 1 thing that makes it exactly like the Duke Lacrosse case. Everyone is "blogging" as if it was 100% completely totally factually true.
Or 100 % untrue made by a disgruntled former employeeout to destroy her former employer.

No middle ground.

And Heaven help anyone who dares to post they think she may not be telling the truth.
Immediate reference to "how would you like it if it was your mom,...." or worse.

Sorry to break the news to the 24 hour news cycle junkies - the Courts don't work fast. It takes time, and nothing new may be heard for weeks or months.

So where is the investigative reporting ? Why is the Media so quiet? No background stories on the accused or the accuser. Just silence.

Instead of waiting out the inevitable "dry spell" where no real news is forth coming, no new info,we are subjected to blogs reposts & opinions galore.

Not all of them well thought out - from both sides.
I have many problems with the suit, just as I do with the NASCAR side of it. I'm willing to keep an open mind and wait to form a solid conclusion one way or the other.

And to those poor souls who think the Duke case was a joke - tell that to the young men and their families and to classmates. And the thousands paid to defend the men. Or the community torn apart by a lie.

Anonymous said...

Jo, until I see sworn testimony by both Grant and NASCAR employees, I have no problem with either her suit or NASCAR's PR attempts.

I do have a problem with comparing this with a personally damaging criminal prosecution where the DA didn't bother to try getting at the truth before going public.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe anyone is surprised by Fox comparing the Grant/Nascar case to the Duke/Nifong case. What did you expect? Did you really think they were going to compare it to the Bill O'Reilly/Andrea Mackris case of sexual harassment in the workplace? Fox/O'Reilly settled that one out of court shortly before audiotapes were to be played in public. Although terms of the settlement were not made public, various sources have reported figures ranging from two million to ten million dollars.

The O'Reilly/Mackris case was a civil case where one can reasonably surmise the defendant was worried about what was going to happen if the case went to trial and the evidence became public. Fox would much rather use the Duke/Nifong case where criminal charges were dropped.

Fox obviously doesn't take sexual harassment seriously because Bill O'Reilly is still employed by them. Or at least they have weighed the economic advantages of employing O'Reilly against what he costs them.

I have seen references to the Grant/NASCAR case that indicate she has copies of emails and possibly other documentary evidence. If that's the case, watch for NASCAR to follow Fox's example and settle the case for millions with terms of confidentiality.

There, I've done it. I mentioned Bill O'Reilly's sins and Fox's hypocrisy. It's a good thing this post is anonymous. Otherwise, I would expect O'Reilly's legion to show up in my front yard tonight carrying torches. Or maybe O'Reilly himself will send out his private security force to arrest me or one of his producers to conduct am ambush interview.

Pardon me while I go barricade my doors.

Tracy said...

"And the thousands paid to defend the men."

It was in the millions. Nifong behaved unethically, and he's paid with his law license, but nothing can repay the damage he did.

As someone said, the truth is often in the middle. But in the Grant case, why isn't the media, as I asked earlier, doing some serious digging on its own? Are the Nascar correspondants afraid it'll get them kicked out of the fraternity? Or maybe they are working on it and just haven't unearthed anything. Wish we'd hear, either way.

Jo said...

Anonymous said...
Jo, until I see sworn testimony by both Grant and NASCAR employees, I have no problem with either her suit or NASCAR's PR attempts.

I do have a problem with comparing this with a personally damaging criminal prosecution where the DA didn't bother to try getting at the truth before going public.

June 24, 2008 8:18 PM

We disagree Anon. And that is the beauty of living here in America. why don't you put your name so we know which poster we deal with? Are the Anons all the same person?

tracy - my point also where is the investigative media? Why just the loud dull silence?
and I stand corrected on the amount of money it took to defend them.

Dot said...

This suit will be settled out of court before we will hear/read any damaging details. This goes for both sides.
Men can get out of hand, especially in "their environment". Maybe more often than not, they considered her one of the boys.
By saying this, I am not condoning blatant racist/sexist behaviour.

Newracefan said...

I'm finding it difficult to comment on this topic because I am not sure what to think. I'm torn about not only the accusations but by the lawsuit itself so I guess I am torn about how I want it covered. I guess I don't want anything that is opinion based because I am not sure anyone can be totally unbiased. I guess all I want to see is give me the facts and move on.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be "media silence" on the lawsuit issue now. That is probably how NASCAR wants it and their TV partners are not digging further. Seems like there could be more to uncover with some investigative reporting.

The plaintiff Grant is talking - probably on the advice of her attorney to keep the story in the front of the news.

Why no more reporting on this? Have the media crews (both TV, Sirius and print media) been told to hush it up?

Anonymous said...

What is there to investigate on the part of the media? Anyone that they would try to talk to has been interviewed by NASCAR or the defendants attorney and therefore there is a record of what they have said. Then if these people change ONE fact (a date or where something occured)then they are going to be pulled into this. Who wants that? So if no one wants to talk then where is the story? And don't tell me that anonymous sources can be used! Not a lot of publications are going to put a story like this out and then have NO sources. Reporters don't want to get dragged into this like the Valerie Plame case. They would then have to give depositions, hire lawyers and become part of the story.

Tracy said...

Since when has any good reporter backed off a story for fear of being sub poenaed? I was in D.C. during Watergate. Maybe I remember those days too vividly.

Anonymous said...

Since when has any good reporter backed off a story for fear of being subpoenaed?

I don't know where this idea originated, but I can tell you, no reporter I know (and I am a professional journalist) is avoiding this story--or any other--for that reason.