What is the impact of recent political movements?


Dr. Srini Pillay, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School
Spencer Freedman, Harvard University student and…

★ Representatives for the Estate of Michael Jackson:

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.


Bryan Freedman:

There’s a narrative out there that once you’re accused of, whether it’s, racial prejudice or something in the MeToo movement that you’re automatically guilty. That people have to run away from you. And it’s without regard to the laws that exist. It’s without regard to the review of what, you know, we do on a day-to-day basis. At least Howard and I in terms of evidence and reviewing evidence. 

But the part of it I think that is the troubling part, right, is how quickly it happens without the idea of the other viewpoint. So for instance, on going back to “Leaving Neverland” right. If you watch that by yourself and you’re sitting there, right. You’re listening to one point of view. You’re not listening to another point of view. You can’t help, from a cognitive perspective, from agreeing with it to some degree because it would be like having a trial that the prosecution comes on for four hours. They put on all of their evidence and they say “Your Honor we’ll rest” and the judge says “Okay jury. Go out and make a decision.” 

That’s what watching that documentary is like. Now if somebody is exposed otherwise to that documentary and then other facts, other information, the cognitive biases and the prejudices that are associated with these issues tend to leave. But there’s a big fear out there that it’s not about whether you did something or didn’t, it’s not about whether you’re racist or you’re not. It’s about whether you’re accused or not.


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