I have no idea if either Governor Christie or Woody Allen is guilty of what each is being accused of this morning in headlines and the accusations are vastly different (one sexual and 20 plus years ago and one involving bridge lanes and recent.) But here is what I do know – right now there is no proof of either….just accusations and painful ones.
Accusations alone can be deadly. People who don’t like you for whatever reason are prone to seize upon them and accept them as fact even when the allegations may be false.
Accusations stick to public figures forever. Hence the terrible tragedy when accusations are false.
Making it even worse is that when accused falsely your only defense may be “I didn’t do it.” The “I didn’t do it” defense is hard, maybe even impossible, to prove. How do you prove a negative?
That is why in the courtroom, the burden of proof is on the accuser and the accused is presumed innocent. That sure is not true in the court of public opinion.
I realize that the accusation against the Governor (non criminal) and the one against Woody Allen (criminal) are vastly different but their difference helps make my point. It applies to accusations of all shapes and sizes.
Maybe you have been falsely accused of something, something not even criminal, but which sticks with you? And which annoys you because you can’t prove a negative and your detractors accept it as true?
PS Yes, of course, the allegations against Woody Allen are about the worst. If true, why is he being honored? But how do we decide if they are true? They are 20 plus years ago and – as I recall – it is word against word. But let me repeat, yes, if true, they are just about the worst thing someone could do.