Exonerating Stern on one point
During his press conference today, David Stern was asked, in essence, how he could be so certain that no other referees were involved in the scandal. To which Stern replied "I feel like I was just asked when I stopped beating my wife."
Stern is drawing a lot of criticism for that response, but I think some of it comes from the fact that he didn't properly reference what he was talking about. But it does sort of play up what I referred to in my earlier post: he was way off his game today. Because I cringed when I heard that response, and I knew exactly what he was trying to say.
Stern was not accusing the questioner of alleging that he, Stern, had beaten his wife. What Stern was doing was clumsily accusing the questioner of asking him a loaded question, or, as lawyers would say, a question that assumes facts that are not in evidence. The classic law school example of that is the prosecutor who asks the defendant: "So, when did you stop beating your wife?" You see, the question implies that at one point the defendant had beaten his wife, which is unfair and prejudicial unless already proven.
Of course, the question Stern was asked was actually not an example of a loaded question, but rather was an example of a question that required him to prove a negative. So Stern's whole response was inapt, but not as bizarre and politically incorrect as some are making it out to be.