Credibly Accused

 

I’ve noticed the new normal in the media is to use the phrase “credibly accused.” I just saw it again in a PBS statement about Tavis Smiley.

This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.

This is dangerous. Language matters, and while being tried in the court of public opinion is always a threat to due process this shortcut skips the trial altogether and goes straight to a debate over sentencing recommendations, for a trail is nothing more than the very debate over the credibility of the allegations.

Smiley denies all charges and claims that:

The PBS investigators refused to review any of my personal documentation, refused to provide me the names of any accusers, refused to speak to my current staff, and refused to provide me any semblance of due process to defend myself against allegations from unknown sources. Their mind was made up.

Which begs the question: If what Mr. Smiley asserts is true, how can the allegations possibly be credible? In a system committed to the rule of law and due process, they can’t be. It remains true that cultural trends often begin on campuses, and now we see the Title IX abuses coming to the culture at large.

To just gloss over due process with a slogan is precisely the kind of thing a reader who grew up under communism warned Rod Dreher about recently:

If we accepted that a mere accusation — however credible — is the new basis of our political and legal systems, than we have already lost both. This principle was at the very core of the mechanism of communist terror. Did you neighbor have a better car? Well, you accused him of being a secret adherent of capitalism. That was enough. He would be done for, and with some luck, his car would be yours. We are not that far from it here …

In fact, in the best article to date, “The Warlock Hunt,” Claire Berlinski argues it resembles the Moscow Show Trials:

They are all confessing in the same dazed, rote, mechanical way. It’s always the same statement: “I have come to realize that it does not matter that, at the time, I may have perceived my words as playful. It does not matter that, at the time, I may have felt that we were flirting. It does not matter that, at the time, I may have felt what I said was okay. The only thing that matters is how I made these three women feel,” said Representative Steve Lebsock. Now that is a remarkable thing to say. Why doesn’t it matter what he thought what was happening? Why would we accept as remotely rational the idea that the only thing that matters is how the women felt?

It’s the very unpacking of the slogan “credibly accused” that is crucial to any reasoned judgment. Instead, each side is using the allegations and merely naming them credible so they can turn the debate into who has the moral high ground, or who is morally bankrupt for supporting X, or who is virtuous for demanding Y’s resignation.

No longer is the media on either side concerned with uncovering the truth. Each immediately tries to control the narrative with slogans and soundbites to gain short-term political advantage, like a day trader who couldn’t care less if a company tanks and takes thousands of job if he makes a few bucks before they do. There is no pause, no reflection. These “thought leaders” immediately get on Twitter and their outlets’ blogs and hammer out story after story, and it’s clear that their audience is their peers and their concern is their reputation.

Update:

There’s a story in the Daily Wire this morning that should give pause to any journalist or commentator about using the term “credibly accused.” It reports that “Liam Allan, 22, spent nearly two years on bail and faced six counts of rape and sexual assault against a ‘woman who claimed she did not enjoy sex.’ Allan flatly denied the charges, claiming that the sex was consensual and said she made up the accusations.”

It turns out that the police refused to provide the defense with exculpatory evidence, the accuser’s phone records. After a new prosecutor demanded the police do so the day before the trial, it was learned that “the woman had continuously pestered the undergraduate for ‘casual sex’. She also told her friends that she enjoyed sex with him and even spoke about her fantasies of having violent sex and being raped by him.”

The fact is that some men in power coerce sex, and some women use sex to get ahead. Some men who are rejected, fire women for rejecting them and some women who are fired for other reasons claim they were harassed.

There’s a complex psychological and evidentiary mess to these types of accusations, but the media uses “credibly accused” to pirouette to the narrative they want to advance, to manufacture a “fact” not in evidence so they can then treat it as firmly established truth. Was Liam Allen “credibly accused”? Were the fraternity boys at UVA? Was the Duke Lacrosse team? It doesn’t matter; say they are and turn the story into the ruts of the prescribed narrative to drive public opinion where you want it to go.

Whatever you think of Roy Moore that’s exactly what the media did; they made allegations public, declared them credible, then drove the debate to sentencing, and that was the public debate had by politicians and pundits on both sides throughout. Now they are engaged in post-game analysis without a hint of self-awareness.

The simple truth is a guilty verdict after a fair trial or hearing is the only thing that makes an accusation credible. That is the very process by which we determine credibility.

Update 2:

Andrea Ramsey, a female Democrat running for the House as withdrawn her candidacy over sexual misconduct allegations.

In its rush to claim the high ground in our roiling national conversation about harassment, the Democratic Party has implemented a zero tolerance standard,” Ramsey said in a statement to the paper. “For me, that means a vindictive, terminated employee’s false allegations are enough for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to decide not to support our promising campaign. We are in a national moment where rough justice stands in place of careful analysis, nuance and due process.

After weaponizing the DOJ, FBI, and intelligence communities (to no avail thus far) both during and after the 2016 election, as they did the IRS in earlier ones, the Democrats and the media are now engaged in a scorched earth approach to sexual misconduct, not caring how many have to be burned in their effort to take down President Trump.

Exasperated that it hasn’t worked yet, after throwing Franken, Conyers, and others under the bus, liberal feminist Lindy West laments in the New York Times (as reported by The Washington Examiner):

“I am so tired of participating in the collective national farce that things happening right in front of our eyes might not really be happening,” she wrote. “That we do not already know the truth about what our president and the nation he rules think about women. We know. Anyone who says he doesn’t know is lying.”

We already know the truth, no process required.  No investigation, no evaluating evidence, no hearing, no testimony under oath.  On to the sentencing, and off with his head.

Nor does it matter that sometimes there are financial motivations for such allegations.  The Hill has a story about how controversial lawyer, Lisa Bloom, was seeking payments for women to accuse Trump.

California lawyer Lisa Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell alleged victims’ stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000.

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  1. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Bo Grimes: I’ve noticed the new normal in the media is to use the phrase “credibly accursed.”

    I assume that “accursed” is a typo, but it might actually be more accurate than “accused.”

    • #1
  2. Bo Grimes Coolidge
    Bo Grimes
    @BoGrimes

    @larry3435 Yes, thank you.  Corrected, but maybe it was better. :-)

    • #2
  3. RyanFalcone Member
    RyanFalcone
    @RyanFalcone

    Yeah, what exactly is the burden of credibility that must be met for these accusations to be socially or professionally credible?

    • #3
  4. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    The point being that since all women must be believed, and to question the accusation is to attack the accuser, then ‘credibly accused’ means accused by a woman.  End of story, no further proof needed.

    • #4
  5. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Bo Grimes:Smiley denies all charges and claims that

    The PBS investigators refused to review any of my personal documentation, refused to provide me the names of any accusers, refused to speak to my current staff, and refused to provide me any semblance of due process to defend myself against allegations from unknown sources. Their mind was made up.

    Bo,

    This isn’t rocket science. They have publically fired him and created a cloud of suspicion about him that will damage him for the rest of his life. He has grounds to sue them for this damage which is quite large. When the wildly embellished stories of his accusers see the light of day in court they will fall apart. Management will be responsible for failing to check the stories out properly or give him a chance to respond.

    For instance, how could Gloria Allred one of the most experienced trial lawyers in the country claim she didn’t recognize that the yearbook she presented to the world as conclusive proof of Roy Moore’s guilt was an obvious forgery? Maybe Moore should consider suing her for defamation.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
  6. Weeping Inactive
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    PHenry (View Comment):
    The point being that since all women must be believed, and to question the accusation is to attack the accuser, then ‘credibly accused’ means accused by a woman. End of story, no further proof needed.

    Unless you know the person being accused, and then – maybe – you might be able to question the accuser’s claims. (Thinking of Lena Dunham and friend here.) Even then, you’ll probably be pressured to recant your defense of the person. It’s a terrifying trend.

    • #6
  7. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    Bo Grimes: Which begs the question: If what Mr. Smiley asserts is true, how can the allegations possibly be credible? In a system committed to the rule of law and due process, they can’t be.

    I’ll call and raise, BG.  If what Mr. Smiley says is true, the allegations are lies.  And therein is the problem.

    The high-ups at PBS, who are not witnesses to the conduct of Smiley or his accusers, have no idea if Smiley is telling the truth or if his accusers are.  Neither can the investigator that PBS utilized to look into this.  All the investigator can do is interview those claiming personal knowledge (Smiley; the accusers) and present his/her determinations of the partys’ comparative credibility to the high-ups.   It’s up to the big shots after that.

    Here’s the thing about allegations.  They are only as credible as the people making them and whatever corroborative evidence may be around (emails, etc.).  Whoever did the investigation obviously found the accusers more credible than Smiley, and wrote it up that way.

    As to the system being committed to the rule of law and due process, remember whose system we are talking about: PBS’s.  And PBS is a high-profile non-profit corporation that lives on its corporate good will.  PBS is not a court and is not obliged to act like one.  I guarantee you this:  PBS’s commitment to rule of law and due process stops where its corporate image starts.

    • #7
  8. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):
    The high-ups at PBS, who are not witnesses to the conduct of Smiley or his accusers, have no idea if Smiley is telling the truth or if his accusers are.

    RayG,

    They publically fired him for sexual misconduct which was completely unnecessary. This is pure defamation. Management is responsible for the damage done to his reputation by the public disclosure. Management has very deep pockets and many extremely able trial lawyers will be glad to go after them. If none of the accusers will even show up to testify in court so they can continue to anonymously destroy others at will then Management may find themselves in serious trouble. They’ll pay a very large settlement and will have a “black eye” that won’t go away for a very long time. That will be Justice.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #8
  9. Weeping Inactive
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):
    The high-ups at PBS, who are not witnesses to the conduct of Smiley or his accusers, have no idea if Smiley is telling the truth or if his accusers are.

    RayG,

    They publically fired him for sexual misconduct which was completely unnecessary. This is pure defamation. Management is responsible for the damage done to his reputation by the public disclosure. Management has very deep pockets and many extremely able trial lawyers will be glad to go after them. If none of the accusers will even show up to testify in court so they can continue to anonymously destroy others at will then Management may find themselves in serious trouble. They’ll pay a very large settlement and will have a “black eye” that won’t go away for a very long time. That will be Justice.

    Regards,

    Jim

    If I were in his shoes and knew for a fact that I was innocent of the charges, I’d think very seriously about suing. I don’t know that I would, but I’d certainly be talking to lawyers and seeing what my options were.

    • #9
  10. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    PHenry (View Comment):
    The point being that since all women must be believed, and to question the accusation is to attack the accuser, then ‘credibly accused’ means accused by a woman. End of story, no further proof needed.

    I beg to differ: the whole phrase “credibly accused” tacitly admits we may find some women’s accusations incredible. Else why need the “credibly”?

    To use such language is to acknowledge we shouldn’t accept an accusation at face value, but should test the accusation against the other knowledge we have to see if the accusation ought to be taken seriously.

    • #10
  11. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    They publically fired him for sexual misconduct which was completely unnecessary. This is pure defamation.

    I’m not as certain as you, Jim.  It strikes me that PBS’s lawyers were very careful in phrasing their public statements to exclude any claim of sexual misconduct.  I think the statements successfully avoid an actionable claim of defamation.  Here’s the first one:

    Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley,’ produced by TS Media, an independent production company. PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.

    And the most recent one:

    “The totality of the investigation, which included Mr. Smiley, revealed a pattern of multiple relationships with subordinates over many years, and other conduct inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.”

    Even if these statements turn out to be untrue, I don’t see them as actionable defamation.  PBS certainly does NOT characterize the relationships as sexual or even inappropriate, only that there was “a pattern of multiple relationships” that is “inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.”  I mean, not even “violations of,” but “inconsistent with.”  Pretty weak.  It strikes me PBS’s lawyers were careful enough crafting the statements to avoid an actionable defamation claim.

    More to the point, I don’t think PBS would fire a popular guy like Smiley on “troubling allegations” unless they were really confident those allegations were true and provable.   And truth is always a defense to defamation.

     

    • #11
  12. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    I beg to differ: the whole phrase “credibly accused” tacitly admits we may find some women’s accusations incredible. Else why need the “credibly”?

    Sorry, you are giving too much credit for logic to SJW’s.  The only incredible accusations are those from white men, or women who accuse Bill Clinton.   Don’t you know, women don’t lie about these things!  And, even if they do, it is because of the horrors of the patriarchy, thus deserved. After all, if all sex is rape, even the sex in marriage, then all men are rapists, so what does it matter if one or the other accusation is inaccurate?  He’s still guilty of it somewhere!

    • #12
  13. James Golden Inactive
    James Golden
    @JGolden

    I think the term “credibly” is used to try to avoid a defamation lawsuit if the allegations are later proven false.  Nothing more, nothing less.

    • #13
  14. Weeping Inactive
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):
    More to the point, I don’t think PBS would fire a popular guy like Smiley on “troubling allegations” unless they were really confident those allegations were true and provable.

    According to this article, Smiley’s claims:

    If having a consensual relationship with a colleague years ago is the stuff that leads to this kind of public humiliation and personal destruction, heaven help us. The PBS investigators refused to review any of my personal documentation, refused to provide me the names of any accusers, refused to speak to my current staff, and refused to provide me any semblance of due process to defend myself against allegations from unknown sources. Their mind was made up. Almost immediately following the meeting, this story broke in Variety as an “exclusive.” Indeed, I learned more about these allegations reading the Variety story than the PBS investigator shared with me, the accused, in our 3 hour face to face meeting.

    Assuming he’s being honest, that doesn’t sound like a fair investigation on PBS’s part. It sounds more like a scared, hair-trigger reaction to me.

    • #14
  15. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    They publically fired him for sexual misconduct which was completely unnecessary. This is pure defamation.

    I’m not as certain as you, Jim. It strikes me that PBS’s lawyers were very careful in phrasing their public statements to exclude any claim of sexual misconduct. I think the statements successfully avoid an actionable claim of defamation. Here’s the first one:

    Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley,’ produced by TS Media, an independent production company. PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.

    And the most recent one:

    “The totality of the investigation, which included Mr. Smiley, revealed a pattern of multiple relationships with subordinates over many years, and other conduct inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.”

    Even if these statements turn out to be untrue, I don’t see them as actionable defamation. PBS certainly does NOT characterize the relationships as sexual or even inappropriate, only that there was “a pattern of multiple relationships” that is “inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.” I mean, not even “violations of,” but “inconsistent with.” Pretty weak. It strikes me PBS’s lawyers were careful enough crafting the statements to avoid an actionable defamation claim.

    More to the point, I don’t think PBS would fire a popular guy like Smiley on “troubling allegations” unless they were really confident those allegations were true and provable. And truth is always a defense to defamation.

    RayG,

    I think this lame attempt to defuse the legal recourse isn’t going to hold against a really aggressive lawyer. Their action and statement were timed with the Variety article of which they were fully aware. They knew well that this couldn’t be seen by anyone as anything else but a firing for sexual misconduct. The average IQ at PBS is quite high so I’m told. I’m sure they grasped that they were destroying a man’s reputation permanently not just firing him.

    If Mr. Smiley is telling us the truth then he need only hire the right lawyer. The lawyer need only say to PBS, “I’ll see you in court.”

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #15
  16. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    If Mr. Smiley is telling us the truth then he need only hire the right lawyer.

    Jim,

    If Mr. Smiley is telling the truth, I’ll take his case.

    • #16
  17. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    PHenry (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    I beg to differ: the whole phrase “credibly accused” tacitly admits we may find some women’s accusations incredible. Else why need the “credibly”?

    Sorry, you are giving too much credit for logic to SJW’s.

    They may not acknowledge it willingly. Nonetheless…

    And besides, the OP made the point that,

    Bo Grimes: each side is using the allegations and merely naming them credible

    Now, I happen to believe not all on each side do that, though some seem to. Enough people use “credible” as a real descriptor, rather than just as spin, that those who do just use it as spin can free-ride off it. It still matters to a lot of Americans, even Americans who found the accusations against Moore – dare I say it – credible, that accusers not be automatically accorded the label “credible”, or even be assigned the label based purely on partisan affiliation.

    • #17
  18. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):
    Even if these statements turn out to be untrue, I don’t see them as actionable defamation. PBS certainly does not characterize the relationships as sexual or even inappropriate, only that there was “a pattern of multiple relationships” that is “inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.” I mean, not even “violations of,” but “inconsistent with.” Pretty weak. It strikes me PBS’s lawyers were careful enough crafting the statements to avoid an actionable defamation claim.

    More to the point, I don’t think PBS would fire a popular guy like Smiley on “troubling allegations” unless they were really confident those allegations were true and provable. And truth is always a defense to defamation.

    Huh. Good points. Didn’t feel right “liking” the comment in case that would be seen as my endorsement of the accusations, but I’m glad you raised these points.

    • #18
  19. Ray Kujawa Coolidge
    Ray Kujawa
    @RayKujawa

    Is this topic somewhere along the lines of “There’s a sucker born every minute?” I agree it’s dangerous for people to throw these words around as if some credible judgment has been made. You’re basically confusing people with a form of an oxymoron. I.e., can you really say that they are both allegations and creditable? They’re one or the other. Then you’re using words that seem to soften the impact to make you seem more reasonable when you include ‘allegations,’ which is similar to calling someone arrested for a crime a suspect or an alleged criminal. Notice they’re not saying ‘alleged whatever’ — they’re saying the allegations are credible — therefore they’re true! The person making the statement is both police and judge. (Now the public is justified in being the executioner.) The more reasonable you can make yourself sound, the more dangerous is the deception in this line of rhetoric.

    • #19
  20. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Including “credibly accused” in a news account is like naming a dish by its cooking time, unless you are worried that it is undercooked. There should be no story published if the publisher has not done some due diligence with regard to the accusation. That is, “credibly accused” should be the minimum standard for even publishing and need not be stated in the publication.

    Just using the phrase “credibly accused” means nothing. What is “credible” to the publisher? How was it established in a “he said/she said” event? There are far too many new entities that are not credible in their reporting on other topics so why should using the phrase “credibly accused” mean anything at all?

    • #20
  21. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Excellent post.  The left and MSM has ben bastardizing our language for quite a while now.  I guess “credibly accused” is just the latest . . .

    • #21
  22. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    I see this frequently in family law, especially in CPS cases.  Monstrous women accuse the father of assault.  Since he now has criminal charges pending, he needs to take advantage of the fifth amendment.  But in civil court failure to answer questions via the fifth amendment is very bad.  The judge or jury is allowed to assume the worst answer.  So the accused can risk jail by speaking out or stay out of jail and lose his parental rights.

    And the accuser can shed her crocodile tears and that is usually very effective.

    • #22
  23. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Very good observation. This went right into my notes, and may go right into my book. It will be duly credited.

    Update: No sooner did I put it in my notes and think about it, I realized I myself just used the phrase: to describe Harvey Weinstein and Tariq Ramadan. I used it very intentionally — I said they had been “credibly accused” of rape, and this was why they must face a *real trial,* not trial in the media. But you’ve made it clear that I need to refine what I mean when I use that phrase, and why. And be careful of it, inasmuch as (I had not realized it) it has become a cliche, and a dangerous one.

    • #23
  24. Ray Kujawa Coolidge
    Ray Kujawa
    @RayKujawa

    Anybody remember the marketing slogan in “Ghostbusters?” “We’re ready to believe you!”

    • #24
  25. Tedley Member
    Tedley
    @Tedley

    Excellent post.  I’ve been growing more concerned as each new accused meets the next news cycle.  I may not care for any of the accused, but so long as they continue to claim innocence, they should get their day in court.

    The tough call is on the broadcasters, who have to decide how to handle the charges, whether credible or incredible.

    • #25
  26. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Tavis Smiley was on Tucker Carlson last night. I am sure PBS thought that Smiley was “credibly accused” but the lack of due process is appalling.

     

     

    • #26
  27. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Tavis Smiley was on Tucker Carlson last night. I am sure PBS thought that Smiley was “credibly accused” but the lack of due process is appalling.

    Rodin,

    This isn’t a lack of due process this is “Kafkaesque”. The difference is that this is America and you are innocent until proven guilty and you do have the right to sue for willful defamation. I think Tavis is going to take PBS down and they deserve it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #27
  28. Weeping Inactive
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Tavis Smiley was on Tucker Carlson last night. I am sure PBS thought that Smiley was “credibly accused” but the lack of due process is appalling.

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Tavis Smiley was on Tucker Carlson last night. I am sure PBS thought that Smiley was “credibly accused” but the lack of due process is appalling.

    Rodin,

    This isn’t a lack of due process this is “Kafkaesque”. The difference is that this is America and you are innocent until proven guilty and you do have the right to sue for willful defamation. I think Tavis is going to take PBS down and they deserve it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    *********************************

    Assuming Smiley is telling the truth, the lack of  process is definitely appalling, and PBS absolutely deserves to take a hit for it.

    • #28
  29. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Claire Berlinski, Ed. (View Comment):
    But you’ve made it clear that I need to refine what I mean when I use that phrase, and why. And be careful of it, inasmuch as (I had not realized it) it has become a cliche, and a dangerous one.

    At some point, though, labeling what can really be just plain English as yet another Kafkaesque cliche simply serves to foment hysteria, witch-hunts, and obfuscation in the other direction.

    Somewhere in the Rumpole of the Bailey stories, when someone complains Rumpole is defending a blackmailer because blackmail is an extra-awful crime, Rumpole retorts well, then, perhaps that’s all the more reason those accused of it should be defended extra-carefully. To which I heartily agree. When it comes to accusing others of crimes, we don’t want anything less – indeed, we want the probably guilty to go free as long as they’re not probably guilty enough.

    But I’m not blind to the right’s tendency to just flip the script: if we see leftists as claiming that women’s innocence and men’s knowing predation should be the conclusion everyone jumps to at even the rumor of impropriety, we can be a little too eager to claim the opposite, irrespective of its truthfulness – that it’s the women who can be presumed to know what they’re doing, while the men are the clueless victims. (You can swap out women and men with young and old, or any other pair where one party seems inherently more sympathetic to the left than the other.)

    Only, that’s not true, either.

    Overall, I like contrarians (even married one), because they provide a needed check on established opinions, but not because we can arrive at truth by deciding, whatever established opinion is, the “real truth” must be the opposite.

    • #29
  30. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    that it’s the women who can be presumed to know what they’re doing, while the men are the clueless victims

    In my dating life, that’s usually been the case.  I usually realize I had no idea what was happening between us.

    • #30
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