Dr. Srini Pillay, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School
Spencer Freedman, Harvard University student and…
★ Representatives for the Estate of Michael Jackson:
- John Branca, co-executor for the Estate of Michael Jackson.
- Howard Weitzman, partner, Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert.
- Bryan Freedman, partner, Freedman & Taitelman.
Question and answer session on the Issue…
Trial By Media: Guilty Until Proven Innocent.
Co-sponsored by the Harvard Institute of Politics, the session was held April 16, 2019 at Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Mass. Information may be questionable… Compliments of the Internet.
Dr. Srini Pillay:
I had written an article on cognitive biases that people might have been exposed to in evaluating the Michael Jackson documentary. And I submitted this article to a major media outlet and they came back with “We’re really… We love this article. We want to publish it. It’s great science, good information but we’re afraid that you might be victim blaming.” And I said “Well, can you point out what’s victim blaming.” And they said “Well, you pointed out in the article that the alleged victims gave two different types of evidence and that if what they’re saying is true now, that they lied on their oath.” And I said “I did point that out and I also pointed out that that doesn’t mean that they were not victims. It just means that there were two points and two bits of information.” And they wouldn’t accept that. Now if you were advising me, legally, and if I came to you and said “look, I want to write this information. I want to say that there were two data points and that this person, this alleged victim, said different things at different times. Would you tell me what my friends told me which is this is career suicide; “Why are you writing that stuff. You shouldn’t be writing this publicly.”?
I mean, you know, the fact that somebody could say it’s career suicide for you to freely express your educated viewpoint is the problem right there. It is that fear runs our society from a corporate perspective. Fear runs our society from a personal social perspective. And when there’s a wave that goes in one direction, people want to go along with the wave. They don’t want to risk upsetting the applecart and so I would say to you “I mean, this is how we became America. This is how we got the First Amendment.” I would say to you “All points of view are great points of view. All points of view are important points of view.”