Friday, January 13, 2017

Guilty until proved innocent?

I am not a fan of Donald Trump and his press conference the other day was a shambles.

This does not alter the fact that not one scrap of actual proof has been provided to back up the dossier of allegations on what the Russians may or may not have to hold over him.

If anything I'm tempted to ask how you could possibly blackmail a man like Trump anyway - what could the Russians have on him which is that much more embarrassing than accusations, and in some cases facts, which are already out there. If they tried to get Trump to do something by threatening to release something damaging, he'll just give the famous retort that Wellington gave when a former mistress attempted to blackmail him





And if they do publish, he'll just call them liars.

(The only difference is that Trump will probably be even ruder than the Iron Duke)

America's enemies have been handed a victory because the US political establishment has got itself in a twist by taking the dossier seriously. It doesn't matter to those enemies whether the allegations in the document are true if the leak has sown distrust and confusion in Washington DC.

I think we have to recognise that some of the rules have changed but here is one which should not:

AN ACCUSED PERSON SHOULD BE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.

I would not have a dog put down on the basis of evidence as weak - or should that be non-existent?  as the evidence in the "unverified" dossier published by Buzzfeed.

That's "unverified" as in "we have no idea whether this is true or not but we'll get a lot of publicity for releasing it."

As Jane Martinson writes in the Guardian - no friend of Trump - here, publishing things when you do now know whether they are true devalues good journalism.

If you want to go after Trump there are plenty of things he really has said and done for which he deserves it. Don't dance to a tune which may be a pack of lies prepared by enemies of your country.

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