Many readers will recall our reporting on the “Duke rape case” in May 2007. In that specimen of academic political correctness, three Duke lacrosse players were indicted on (as it turned out) false charges of kidnapping and raping a black stripper. The case demonstrated not only the extent to which a public servant was willing to barter the lives of others to advance his career— the name of then–District Attorney Michael Nifong definitively entered the rolls of infamy—but also the herd-like and accusatorial mentality of the so-called “mainstream” media and professoriate.

What a rush there was to find those students guilty! The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and many other organs of enlightenment thundered their condemnation. As for the academy itself, the rot started at the top. Richard Brodhead, Duke’s president, followed the herd in embracing the principle that one is pr ...