Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 2/5/18

The op ed columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote in yesterday’s Times that “more people are believing Dylan Farrow” (the adopted daughter who is accusing Woody Allen of molestation from the time she was seven).

I have no idea what did or didn’t happen, and Ms. Farrow does seem very sincere, and what she alleges is horrid. The crimes and sociopathic behavior that men such as Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer (to name just two) have admitted to are repulsive.

But what may be lost here in the societal reaction to such behavior is the notion of “innocent until proven guilty.” I’ve heard many people say that “If a woman makes the allegation then it must be considered as true.” I think it must be considered as serious and justifies immediate investigation—which turned up proof in the cases of Bill O’Reilly, Garrison Keillor, and others—but an allegation is not proof, nor is “most people believing” one thing or another proof.

“Most people” didn’t think Donald Trump could win the nomination, much less the election. No matter what your political beliefs, he did. The reality belied the belief.

It’s probably unpopular, I know, but I think a rush to judgment based solely on accusations is antithetical to what our justice system embodies. Because if we base our behavior simply on “what most people think” we soon have mob rule.

When critics sit in judgment it is hard to tell where justice leaves off and vengeance begins. —Chuck Jones

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One thought on “Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 2/5/18

  1. “Guilty until proven innocent, and even if found not guilty by a court of law, I’ll still find you guilty and keep saying so on my show”–Nancy Grace.

    (I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist.)

    Even thought she’s been off HLN for some time, that sort of message prevails. Instead of hearing “allegedly” we hear newscasters saying “that would be so terrible to experience, and we feel so bad for him/her…”. (A sort of vague “maybe” that takes one side of the story.)

    Makes you wonder why we even bother having courts.

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