Pulitzer Prize-winning sincecure-haver Bret Stephens has taken a week in which the White House was found to have a nest of wife-beaters to devote 800 words to that most urgent of tasks…defending Woody Allen. Well, not exactly — Stephens spends 5 grafs of throat-clearing about the debunked Rolling Stone campus rape story, in order to indirectly discredit Dylan Farrow, although the case has nothing to do with her. Anyway:
Not so with Allen and Farrow. An in-depth, contemporaneous and independent investigation into the allegations, conducted over several months by the Yale-New Haven Hospital in 1992 and 1993, noted that there were “important inconsistencies in Dylan’s statements,” and that “her descriptions of the details surrounding the alleged events were unusual and were inconsistent.” It concluded categorically: “It is our expert opinion that Dylan was not sexually abused by Mr. Allen.”
That investigation (most of which remains under seal) may or may not be dispositive. It has been criticized over the years, including by a judge who ruled against Allen in his custody battle for Dylan and her siblings.
This is, as Scocca notes, extremely misleading:
The link Stephens describes as the "only in-depth, contemporaneous and independent investigation into the allegations" is a two-page summary; the link he brushes off as mere after-the-fact criticism is a 33-page legal decision that weighs contemporary evidence in detail.
— Tom Scocca (@tomscocca) February 10, 2018
Admittedly, he has tried to supplement this with more evidence:
My favorite part of this is Bret admitting he didn’t do basic research before writing a column attacking an abuse survivor https://t.co/c0PxghGztg
— Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt) February 10, 2018
To pause briefly, I’ve mentioned this multiple times with respect to Maureen Dowd, but it’s just amazing how incredibly lazy some of the people paid six figure salaries and given research assistance to write 800 or 1600 words a week plus God knows how much on the America’s-overcompensated-and-underachieving-elites-shower-each-other-with-money-to-deliver-rote-speeches racket are. I dunno, shouldn’t you do some basic Google searches before you write a column on one of the world’s most-read media platforms attacking an alleged abuse survivor?
Any, as Scocca says, if you do what Stephens doesn’t want to do and click the link, here’s what you’ll find:
Last May, Mr. Allen lost a long and vitriolic trial against Ms. Farrow in State Supreme Court in Manhattan for custody of their three children. The judge in that case denied Mr. Allen, who has not been permitted to see Dylan since the custody dispute began, the right to visit his daughter for at least six months, and possibly much longer.
A prosecutor in Connecticut said last month that he believed there was “probable cause” to prosecute Mr. Allen, but that he would not do so in part to spare the child the ordeal of a trial.
Does the fact that a prosecutor believed that there was probable cause against Allen constitute dispositive evidence? Of course not. Is it relevant? Yes. Does it make the analogy to the Rolling Stone story Stephens uses to frame the column null? Definitely.
If Allen is in fact a pedophile, he appears to have acted on his evil fantasies exactly once. Compare that to Larry Nassar’s 265 identified victims.
Oh well, if it was only once…Christ. Who edits this stuff?
It goes without saying that child molestation is a uniquely evil crime that merits the stiffest penalties. But accusing someone of being a molester without abundant evidence is also odious…
The thing is, the accusations in this case are being made by…the alleged victim! Since there weren’t witnesses to the alleged act, what exactly is the “abundant evidence” she could provide that would allow her to go public? Multiple professionals have testified that they find her story credible. How is her story different than the personal testimonies offered by victims of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey and Larry Nassar, which Stephens finds credible? When are alleged victims allowed to go public based on their word, and when aren’t they? It would be one thing if there was reason to believe that Farrow was making the accusations in bad faith, but Stephens concedes that she doesn’t seem to be. So this doesn’t make any sense at all.
Whether Dylan Farrow is a credible witness is a matter of judgment. Reasonable people can disagree about what professional consequences Allen should face, although it’s worth noting that no matter what happens he will life the rest of his life in luxury. But the idea that there’s something wrong with Farrow telling her story is just absurd.
the funny thing about the elite take economy is that the more reactionary your take the less it needs to be backed by anything approaching evidence or sound thinking
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) February 10, 2018