Michael Maiello's picture

    Yes, You Can Still Watch Woody Allen Movies and Ignore Nick Kristof

    Nick Kristof is, by his own admission, friends with Mia and Ronan Farrow, two people who have been pursuing their vendetta against Woody Allen for years.  If you follow any of the coverage at all, that much is clear.  Mia and Ronan hate Woody Allen and say so in public, at every opportunity.  For his part, Allen says nothing about them.  Now, Kristof sees fit to publish Dylan Farrow's allegations of childhood sexual abuse by the filmmaker.  Laughably, Kristof covers himself by saying that Allen refused to give him an on the record interview.  He then references Allen's previous denials but weakens them by claiming that when the issues were raised back in 1992 that the prosecutor claimed to have enough evidence to bring charges but didn't in order to "spare Dylan." 

    First, Allen was right not to grant Kristof an on the record interview.  Kristof is clearly biased.  Were I a columnist working on a story alleging criminal acts, who counted the victims among my friends, I would not expect the alleged perpetrator to grant me an interview under any circumstances.  The Times should never have allowed this.  It's yet another example of lack of editorial oversight over the op-ed columnists.

    Second, this notion that the prosecutor had a case but didn't bring it is just silly.  Prosecutors routinely make claims like this.  "I didn't prosecute in order to spare the victim," is just swagger.  When prosecutors can win, they prosecute.  Remember, the problem in American justice is not that prosecutors are not eager enough to pursue charges against people.

    The Farrows have now been attempting to harass Allen for going on 25 years.  This is only acceptable in the mass culture because most people view Allen's relationship with Soon-Yi Previn as "creepy."  This is partly because all they understand is the short hand, "He married his adopted daughter."  In fact, she was Andre Previn's adopted daughter and considered the composer her father.  Allen was her mother's boyfriend.  Still creepy?  Sure, if you must.  Some people think that all May/December relationships are creepy.  I don't, but I have no real hang ups about other people's consensual, adult relationships. This "creep" factor is what gives currency to child abuse allegations that were not pursued by prosecutors more than two decades ago. 

    This is all news now because Allen received a justly deserved lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes and now his excellent film Blue Jasmine is up for multiple Oscars.  The outrage, apparently, is that the movie industry (and to a lesser extent, film fans) never turned against Allen. Says Kristof:

    "These are extremely tough issues, and certainty isn’t available. But hundreds of thousands of boys and girls are abused each year, and they deserve support and sensitivity. When evidence is ambiguous, do we really need to leap to our feet and lionize an alleged molester?"

    First, as Kristof says, the evidence is always ambiguous.  Second, what does this have to do with artists honoring other artists for their achievements?  Kristof would have the awards committees snub Allen's films, no matter how good they are, because of unproved criminal allegations that Allen has denied?  Kristof would have actors refuse to perform in his movies even though he is one of the most gifted writer/directors in American cinema?  Kristof would have Allen's friends shun him even though they have had real friendships?  Kristof would have audiences starved for smart films shun the once a year tonic that Woody Allen has put out consistently since the 1960s?

    Kristof says, in effect, that people should be shunned on accusation because of the "hundreds of thousands of boys and girls" that are "abused each year."  But shunning an innocent person does nothing for those who were actually abused and, as Kristof admits, the evidence tends to be ambiguous.  If, in light of that ambiguity, authorities act and somebody is convicted, he may have an argument.  But society is not better off ignoring good, vital and useful art on the basis of allegations, particularly in this case where the accusers have been dead set against their target for a very long time and the journalist has declared his loyalties rather than pursued diligence.



    He married his adopted daughter.

    No, he didn't.  Soon Yi's father, by adoption, was the composer Andre Previn, not Woody Allen.

    You're right. He married his son's adopted sister.

    You mean, Ronan?  Sinatra's son?

    Spot on.

    Amazing that they are still scraping the barrel - probably looking for a payoff.

    No matter what they say or make up his artistic brilliance will live on longer than any of them will be remembered.


    No, I don't think its about money. I think Dylan truly believes it. I just don't think the evidence supports her. Children's memories can be manipulated. I think its rare but it does happen. I feel sorry for her.

    Allen was cleared by a team of child abuse investigators at Yale-New Haven Hospital that were picked by the state to investigate the charges. They stated based on interviews with Dylan. Allen, and Farrow that they did not believe the child abuse happened. They also didn't accept the tape made by Mia as it had numerous stops and starts and was made over a few days. They concluded it seems as though she was leading Dylan. The full report isn't on line but looking at as much evidence as is available on line imo it most likely did not happen.

    To add: Allen agreed to take and passed a lie detector test and Farrow refused. I could go on and its impossible to ever be 100% sure but the evidence seems pretty strong in Allen's favor.


    Thanks, O-K.  The polygraph trumps.  It's really the only refuge for those who are falsely accused.   And contrary to the popular myth, when administered by a qualified polygrapher, the error rate is actually much lower than most expert medical tests.  About 10% false positives (indications of deception where the subject was in fact truthful) and only 3% false negatives (where someone presented deceptive testimony that fooled the machine).

    As a Woody Allen fan who has been wrestling with this issue, I am vastly relieved.

    Is it weird Allen ran off with Soon-Yi, yes, she was of age of course, but super young, and that does make it kind of icky.  

    I don't think  it affected my watching his films,  because the whole thing that went down between Farrow and Allen seemed like nothing more than a very nasty divorce. Lies are the cornerstone of nasty divorces. 

    In 1965 when Suzy and I got engaged we were both 20..Mr. B, my predecessor-in-interest was 61.  Icky?

    (Edit to add), actually, I thought so at the time, but my perspective has changed...

    Yah, it's kind of icky, it might not be as icky with Suzanne F. because she probably wasn't engaged to her mothers old lover. That is kind of, well icky. It isn't our business of course, but it is still kind of icky.

    Hahah I am sure your perspective has changed jolly. cool

    I think after 23 years together, 17 married, time to give Woody & Soon-Yi a break. Human emotions are complicated, and deep love difficult to find - obviously not a Hollywood 1-night-stand.

    Can imagine Mia Farrow's feelings, even if not married to Allen, but the Dylan charges of "all the time" molestation - not 1 or 2 times - would seem to me to stand up with psychological investigation. Having it come up after revelations about Soon-Yi, I mostly chalk it up to vicious custody battle/bitter lover-mother. That Dylan/Eliza is still announcing this gives me pause, but not too much. Allen's tastes have been documented as as young as 17, but that's a long way from 7 (previous actress). And unlike certain other directors, no evidence of a qualuude as date/photoshoot-rape drug.

    Farrow doesn't help herself with the Sinatra bit - so she can fool around with her old love & have a kid with him several years before the Soon-Yi relationship, but Allen's behavior is subject to deeper scrutiny?

    As for Krystof, he's a hack - always an "emotions on sleeve" type writer, not someone you could depend on.

    Slightly O/T:  One of the best moments in Breaking Bad is when Uncle Jack,Jack5x13

    the (homicidal) Neo-Nazi kingpin remarks to his lovestruck (homicidal) nephew


    Todd S5b



    "The heart wants what the heart wants"  (slightly misquoting Woody...)

    Dylan Farrow's account of her experience mirrors the very system which keeps the cycles of abuse in families-- rich, poor, and even the famous, imprisoned by celebrity identies. Allen's silence speaks louder than anything: what can he say, really? Nick K has his own ego issues. But to assert that a hate-fueled plot agaist Allen has no merit is just sexist crap-: not prosecuting fragile victims is very common. As a person who has worked UC and worn a wire in a sweep is sexual abusers within a too-often broken justice system, I find Dylan's account quite typical of what gets swept away and endured by the victim, even with a silent perp. In Hollywood, sex abuse of minors is like a kibble the more powerful or famous can eat up as easily as they celebrate their celebrity. Allen is no different. He is a fine film maker, but sadly may also be a child molester. Just because there is no prosecution, does not delete a heinous act of child abuse. It's just not that simple. But thank you for the rebuttle.

    The story's just too weird to have as a poster child for child abuse.

    First, supposedly Farrow had given orders that Dylan not be around Woody 2 years before, that he was seeking counseling to help with obsession, but it wasn't until 7 months after she found out about the relationship with Soon-Yi that the matter went public & to the police?

    To listen to the Vanity Fair article, you wouldn't think there'd been a 6-month investigation that turned out no serious allegations against Allen, a position the main investigator repeated 20 years later.

    Farrow seduces Frank Sinatra at 19 & is soon married, broke up André Previns marriage at 23, has a child with Frank when he's 75 while living with Allen - the average number of wives for each of Farrow's husbands/partners is about 4 1/2 - she was born into Hollywood celebrity, and she knows how to play the game and is in the thick of it. 

    That doesn't mean Dylan's allegations aren't true, but it seems a bit dumb that she & her mother et al wouldn't understand why the tale is hardly a slam-dunk case. As a not very clever (or clever, can't say which) adult, she instead lashes out at starlets of Allen's films to blame them for not believing her. Well, if you can't convince a panel of psychologists and the local sheriff who are pretty committed to proving a case like this, it's hard to see where mere actresses should carry that burden.

    That Vanity Fair story was published in 1993, when Dylan was still a little girl.  The author talked to many people who observed Allen's seeming obsession with Dylan:

    Dylan, who has just begun second grade, tests in the upper-90th percentile. Contrary to recent reports in the press, she has, according to family members, never been in therapy for an inability to distinguish fantasy from reality. She has been in therapy for separation anxiety (she didn’t want to be left by her parents at nursery school) and for her shyness. Indeed, people wondered how she could cope with so much doting attention from her father—behavior that many people frankly didn’t know what to make of. “When she just wanted to giggle and run away and play, he’d be right behind her. And I just looked at it, and I’d shake my head and think, I hope this is a great thing,” says Pascal. “It was to the point that when we would go over there I wouldn’t run over and talk to her or anything. I’d talk to Satchel, but it’s like you don’t even dare talk to Dylan when he’s around.” And was Pascal aware of the rule that Woody was never to be left alone with Dylan?

    “It was a really good rule,” she says. “There was no other way she could get away and get out.”

    Several times last summer, while Woody was visiting in Connecticut, Dylan locked herself in the bathroom, refusing to come out for hours. Once, one of the baby-sitters had to use a coat hanger to pick the lock. Dylan often complained of stomachaches and headaches when Woody visited: she would have to lie down. When he left, the symptoms would disappear. At times Dylan became so withdrawn when her father was around that she would not speak normally, but would pretend to be an animal.

    Those are classic symptoms of a molested child.  So who you gonna believe?

    "Those are classic symptoms of a molested child."

    True, but not necessarily sexually molested. 

    mo·lest - verb - 1. pester or harass (someone), typically in an aggressive or persistent manner. synonyms: harass, harry, hassle, pester, bother, annoy, beset, persecute, torment

    Allen built his fame and fortune making fun of his own extreme emotional neediness that even adults flee and hide from, albeit in more socially-accepted ways. I, for one, doubt that he was acting -- not much anyway. 


    A child who has headaches and stomach aches, locks herself in a bathroom and makes animal noises is hurting.  You may not want to believe it was sexual molestation but those signs suggest it was exactly that.  It was more than Woody Allen-style neediness. If it's true, it was abuse.

    What I want to believe is that reasonable people do not act as judge, jury and executioner outside courts of law. But I can't because the evidence points the other way.

    Trial by sensationalistic media (gossip) ruins innocent lives even those of seven-year old true victims who can never really escape the notoriety of a scandal although they may have otherwise been able to eventually move past the actual events.

    And remember, not all children's accusations are true:


    Innocence Lost | FRONTLINE | PBS


    The Children's Hour Official Trailer #1 - Shirley MacLaine Movie (1961) HD


    Sure, classic symptoms - and no one did boo until a bit after Allen got caught banging the 22-year-old daughter? Just don't leave him alone with the 7-year-old, it'll be alright? Well, that's criminally stupid right there.

    I think Woody Allen is weird and I think Mia Farrow is weird. For the moment I give more credence to the folks who investigated this and the lie detector test. I also think it's a shame that this woman seems to be stuck in this victim role for her whole life over what if it happened seems a one-time not that heavy event - anyone have any idea what women and girls of Poland went through during the war and after, what goes on in the Congo, what a classic case of childhood-long southern-style (and other-style) incest is like? Whoever counseled Dylan might have helped her get on with a productive life rather than decades focusing on a possible digital rape.

    No one did boo?  Did you even read the Vanity Fair article from 1992? If we're to believe it, plenty of people were trying to look out for that little girl.

    But are you really saying finger-raping a seven-year-old isn't so bad considering what other girls have to go through in other countries and even in the south?  Is that what you're really saying? 

    I guess you could diminish any abuse complaint with that kind of reasoning.  No matter what happens to anyone, even children, there will always be someone who has it even worse.  Get over it.


    Molesting a child is absolutely wrong even if Allen didn't use his penis. But the two doctors that Mia took Dylan the day and 4 days after found no evidence of sexual abuse. I'm not trying to diminish molestation. Even stroking a child's naked vagina and anus without scratching or injuring is molestation. I'm just saying two doctors chosen by Mia found no physical evidence to back up the allegation of digital penetration.

    My point isn't that it wouldn't be wrong - it's that even if it did happen, at some point you suck it up and move on or your whole life is wasted.  Millions and millions of girls/women have suffered much worse, and most find a way to carry on with life and put it behind them, even if it leaves scars. Yes, if she can prove it and do something about it, fine, but nothing's changed in this case for 20 years. Somehow I feel she's surrounded with people with bad advice for her who just care about revenge without carrying about her mental health.

    I'm saying being finger-raped isn't as bad as wasting your life because of it. She's not a child anymore, and yes, millions of women have been through much worse - fine if she can prove something and get closure, but just screaming out on Twitter is sad.

    The complaint was made back in 1994 - it came to nothing. Yes, no one did "boo" if you mean reporting him to the police before the Soon Yi incident, filing a formal charge if all of these classic victim responses were obvious - wow, just keep Woody away from her, and hope for the best?

    She was a child.  She had no control over what the adults around her were doing, either for or against her.  If she can't get over it, even after 20 years, she is still a victim of whatever abuse took place.  You're essentially blaming her for not being able to get over it.  It's her fault that she has "wasted" her life by not getting over it.

    You're blaming her mother and other caretakers for not taking better care of her.

    But Woody Allen goes free.  And you wonder why this is still eating away at her after more than 20 years.

    If it happened, I of course blame Woody Allen. But say Allen went to jail - she'd still need to get over it. Instead, she's surrounded with a little cottage industry of Woody Allen haters, enough that she's making a fool of herself callling out to all the actresses in Woody Allen films to support her in a case the police wouldn't even support her in 20 years ago.

    "You're blaming her mother and other caretakers for not taking better care of her." - well duh!??! Look up "caretaker". They think Woody Allen is doing something weird to her, essentially stalking her and she has all the trappings of a sexual abuse victim, and their only response is "just don't let them be alone together"? Who the hell should I blame, society? If she can't swim and her parents let her near a river, I don't blame the river. Call the police, file a lawsuit, whatever - don't wait until a custody battle years later to deal with the problem.  If the mother or others had no clue, no, I wouldn't blame them.

    I'm going to answer this and then I'm probably going to move on, because it's all speculation so far and none of us can speak beyond that.  But I do want to address the point about caretakers.  A large part of the continuing agony of the abused child/adult is the belief that the adults let it happen. 

    Though Dylan thanks her mother in her letter, when I read these paragraphs I still see a child crying out, wanting to know why nobody in charge was there for her :

    What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?

    Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

    So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.

    This is why she is still tormented by this more than 20 years later.  If it had been resolved when she was a little girl it might not have festered all these years.  The fact that her father is a famous and beloved figure only makes it worse.  His perceived goodness, growing in leaps and bounds over those 20 years, would tend to erode her own feelings of self-worth.  If he's so good what does that make her?


    Woody Allen's "perceived goodness"? He's considered a lech and cretin who married his adopted daughter (even if that's marginally not true). Hard to say who's less admired than he in the human frailty department.

    In any case, she's not a child anymore - hopefully someone will get her some proper help to move on rather than cheer on her futile public pleading.

    You may not see Allen's rewards for his achievements as rewards for his "goodness" but she apparently does.  He not only wasn't punished for what she says he did to her, he went on to build a hugely successful career for which he is now receiving prestigious awards. 

    "She's not a child anymore."  You need to do a little studying about child sexual abuse.  There will never be a time when "she's not a child anymore."

    "There will never be a time when "she's not a child anymore."" - are you really saying all victims of child sexual abuse are permanent victims, that the human psyche is so fragile?

    From various stats (browser crashed with better post): 15% of rapes & sexual abuse are to kids under 12. Twenty million American women have been raped or sexually abused - 1 in 5 before age of 18. The average duration of incestual relations was listed at something like 7 years (couldn't find the reference after crash).


    Somehow this heavy diagnosis of all victims as unrecoverable seems rather drastic.

    Please shut the fuck up. Nobody gives a shit that you like his movies. No one will ever, ever care. Because the truth is out now. He went so wrong there's no going back and his dreams are full of rot and gore. And you're defending him! Based on some shitty navel-gazing movies he did that happened to upset the trends of the time! I mean, look at yourself and what you're doing. Re-read what you wrote. YOU said that. You. Now live with it, you wretched piece of scum. 

    Hi anonymous... let's keep it clean.  Nobody needs to be called a wretched piece of scum for liking art that you don't like.

    You've obviously not spent time in Hollywood!

    Nobody likes art in Hollywood!

    Oh look. The internet lynch mob has arrived. The mob that wants to take over our criminal justice system and pervert it so they can convict whoever they feel like convicting, no evidence required ... amusing really.

    You have obviously not read the initial post that is the source of the comment thread that you now participate in.  Neither have you read a rather spirited debate in this comment thread wherein your "viewpoint" is brought out better than you yourself have made your own argument.  Relax, tell us what you believe, and leave the cursing and swearing to mooks like me.

    I liked 2 Woody Allen movies out of what, 70 something? Did I even mention anything about his work mattering in this issue? So re-read what I wrote, not what you somehow think I wrote. If you have something real to say, say it, if you can take time off from parsing director's hidden thoughts and dreams - otherwise I'm sure I can insult you much better than you can insult me, pathetic little trollodite.

    Casey Pascal was heavily biased in Mia Farrow's favor! She was Mia's childhood best friend! Fiercely loyal to Mia, and hated Woody Allen. Why don't you quote someone who was NOT biased in Mia's favor? You can also shop around for sympathetic judges, and that is just what Mia did - found a judge who would disapprove of Woody's relationship with Soon Yi, thereby increasing the odds that he would judge in her (Mia's) favor!

    Woody likely was never "obsessed" with Dylan; instead, Mia used his love for his child against him. She told Woody when Satchel was born "don't get close to him, this relationship is going nowhere", and devoted all her time to Satchel, the baby (Frank's love child?), while Dylan was sort of neglected by her, so she could devote all her time to him. Mia also writes in her autobiography how Satchel cried all the time as a baby (colicy maybe), and she had to spend more time with him. So where did that leave Dylan? To be cared more for by Woody! Of course he adored her - she was a charming and adorable baby, toddler and preschooler. Mia old turned his love for his daughter into something twisted and evil AFTER SHE FOUND OUT ABOUT HIM AND SOON Yi.

    Actually you prove here EXACTLY why Mr. Allen maintains silence for the most part on these issues. It's not like he hasn't spoken to them.  He knows however that people will make anything of his words they wish to.  And of course you've decided to make something literally out of nothing - him being silent.  Wow.

    Intriguing to see someone obviously googling about Woody today and passionate enough about the issue to comment.

    I don't know that Dylan Farrow is lying, and neither does anyone else.  I have the same feelings about the Kristof piece--he's too close to the subject and, even though he doesn't know the truth either, he's making a case against Allen based on a friendship.

    It's not unusual in child sexual abuse cases for the victim to wait years before he/she comes forward.  It takes a brave person to lay it out there after years of hiding it and feeling ashamed.  This is not a story about Ronan or Mia Farrow, it's a story about Dylan Farrow and what she may or may not have had to endure.

    Woody Allen may be a brilliant filmmaker and deserve all the accolades for his professional work but that part of his life has nothing to do with who he is in his personal life.  You just don't know enough about this case to make a judgment about his guilt or innocence.  But you've already made a judgment about Dylan's honesty.  You've chosen not to believe her because you don't want to believe Allen would do those things.

    Polygraph tests are not infallible.  It doesn't settle anything because Allen passed one.  And Mia Farrow's "vendetta" against Allen might just stem from her own knowledge of his activities with her daughters.  That would be pretty hard to forgive and forget.

    Sexual abuse cases involving children are almost always a case of he said/she said.  They're easily coerced and it doesn't take much to make them feel ashamed.  It takes years for the child-as-adult to come to terms with what happened to them.  Do I believe Dylan over Woody?  I don't know what to believe, and Kristof's article doesn't make it any easier.

    Dylan's public letter, while compelling, isn't proof, either.  But I can't help but think of a 7-year-old hiding and being afraid.  Yes, children can be made to believe something happened when it didn't, but the image of that little child trying to hide in a closet just won't go away, no matter who the man she's accusing happens to be.


    Of course a polygraph isn't infallible. But its not meaningless. Neither are the state appointed child abuse investigators infallible. Their investigation isn't meaningless either. Each piece of evidence needs to be given its due weight. In this case there will never be absolute proof since there is no physical evidence. It will always be he said she said.

    My bias always leans toward the victim in sexual assault cases whether child or adult. I'd be the first and loudest to rail against Allen, as I did with Polanski, if I thought the evidence supported it. In this case imo the evidence strongly supports the theory that Allen did not molest Dylan.

    What evidence? 

    Are you saying that the conclusions of a state appointed team of child abuse investigators isn't evidence? Are you saying the conclusions of two doctors chosen by Mia who examined Dylan the day and four days later isn't evidence? When a man sized finger is pushed into a 7 year old child sized vagina there is usually some evidence of it. They found no evidence of abuse. Are you saying a polygraph passed by Allen and refused by Mia isn't evidence? None of this is absolute proof, there will never be absolute proof but I think I've posted some fairly weighty evidence.

    I wonder why you think Pascal's account of Allen's and Dylan's weird behavior is more dispositive than the the evidence I've posted. Its not meaningless but it is anecdotal, not taken under oath, and not challenged in court.  It is therefore one sided. I'm comfortable with the evidence I've posted.  I could keep adding details that support my opinion like information from the testimony of the nanny. It was taken under oath and she was questioned by Mia's lawyers. But that won't help as its due less weight imo than what I've already posted. You're certainly free to believe what ever you like.



    The behavioral "evidence" actually raises a separate horror for contemplation.  Given the  demonstrated plasticity of memory, and the bias in abuse investigations to "push past" intitial denials by the alleged victim in search of  "disclosure", where no abuse in fact has occured but a paren has adopted as her agenda the drive for "disclosure", it is entirely possible to produce in a non-abused child the phenomenology of victimization, which can become as internalized and pathological as the actual sequelae of abuse.


    Of course, such a parent (generally, forgive me, the mother) deserves a special place in hell.

    edit to add: re:Polygraphs, the cited article misrepresents the jurisprudence.  Polygrah evidence is admissible in New Mexico criminal courts, and in all Califonnia proceedings including workers compensatio and family law courts, and only barred criminal courts because after the supreme court opinion granting them the same status of any expert opinion (admissible and subject to expert rebuttal ) the DA's association lobbied for a special exemption requiring the agreement of the prosecutor for them to come into evidence in criminal cases.  (it is worth thinkng through the implications of this push to exclude exculpatory polygraphs--there are almost never incriminating poliygraphs being offered at trial for obvious reasons)


    further edit to add: needles to say, the prosecutor never agrees.

    While I think its likely that Mia spent 3 days leading Dylan to the memories she wanted I think its likely Mia thinks she was helping draw out the truth from Dylan

    .There's just as many interviews about Mia's weird and dysfunctional behavior as there are of Woody's weird and dysfunctional behavior. It was a dysfunctional situation for the kids from all sides.

    But then, I remember this New Yorker cartoon that really struck me. A room full of empty chairs without a single person in the room. The poster at the door said, "Meeting For Children From Non-dysfunctional families".

    Welcome to the real world.



    A sexual act doesn't always require penetration.  A man who thinks he's done nothing wrong can pass a polygraph.  There were also babysitters who knew not to leave Dylan alone with Woody.  There were witnesses who thought his attention to Dylan was creepy.  There were many adults who felt they needed to protect her from him.

    And there was a little girl, seven at the time, who, according to witnesses, locked herself in the bathroom and had headaches and stomach aches whenever he was around.

    I could speculate and say the authorities were faced with accusing WOODY ALLEN of sexual abuse of a child and, given that there were no actual witnesses to the acts, chose to take his word over a child's.  But I don't know that, either.

    You could say that since there are proven cases of children being coerced by one parent to testify against another parent, that must be what happened here.  But none of us knows that, either.

    There is no real evidence.  If there had been, the story would have been over long ago. 
    As it is, it's been festering for over 20 years.


    A sexual act doesn't always require penetration.

    Yes, I agree. Why are you telling me this? Didn't you see my post above where I agreed with you on this point in your disagreement with PP? But here's the thing. Dylan claimed penetration. There should have been some evidence of it. The doctors chosen by Mia found no evidence of any sexual abuse.

    There is no real evidence.

    I disagree. There is much real evidence. The interviews in the Vanity Fair article is evidence of a kind. The doctors' reports are evidence. The state appointed child abuse team's investigation is evidence. The polygraph that Allen passed is evidence. That Mia refused is evidence. There is much other evidence on line that hasn't been brought up and discussed here. Each piece of evidence has a low, medium, or high quality and must be given different weight. Not all that evidence would be permitted in a court and no individual piece of evidence stands alone as incontrovertible proof. As is most common in a real court as opposed to a tv program juries must make a decision based on the preponderance of the evidence since there is rarely absolute proof.

    I see three choices. One can look at the evidence and decide its sufficient to believe Allen likely  sexually abused Dylan. One can decide the evidence is inadequate to know which version is true. Or one can look at the evidence and decide its sufficient to believe its likely Allen did not sexually abuse Dylan.

    I've looked at the evidence and believe its sufficient to believe its likely Allen did not sexually abuse Dylan. I'm very comfortable with that decision based on the preponderance of the evidence. You've made a different decision as is your right.


    I haven't made a decision at all.  I just don't know.  I'm defending Dylan because I'm seeing too much piling on against her without any real proof that she's lying.  I think of  evidence as concrete, and I just don't see it in this case.

    You've decided that Mia is lying because she didn't take a polygraph test.  You've decided Woody is telling the truth because he took one and passed it.  But a polygraph isn't evidence, it's one tool out of many.

    I don't see anything about vaginal penetration anywhere, and that's what the doctors would have been looking for.

    They both say they're telling the truth, but there are still too many questions on both sides.  There are witnesses for and against both of them.  I don't believe Dylan was manipulated or coerced into blaming Woody because Mia was furious at him over Soon Yi.  I don't think she would still be blocking something like that 20 years later.

    But no, I don't know.  And neither does anyone else who wasn't involved.

    I think of  evidence as concrete, and I just don't see it in this case.

    Yes that's clear. I see it all as evidence, some with greater weight than others, some with no value. I've read several articles by lawyers discussing how they have this problem with juries. TV shows like Perry Mason and even more, CSI, lead people to believe that the trial should have some incontrovertible evidence that is absolute proof of guilt or innocence when this is rarely the case. More often a trial is full of contradictory evidence and the case is resolved on the preponderance of the evidence.

    You've decided that Mia is lying because she didn't take a polygraph test.  You've decided Woody is telling the truth because he took one and passed it.

    No I do not. I've stated that polygraph are not infallible. But its not meaningless. Its just one piece of evidence of medium value that added to other evidence of more value leads to my opinion. If there was evidence of digital penetration it would vastly outweigh the polygraph. If the state appointed child abuse investigators found Dylan's account likely truthful I'd conclude it likely that Woody is one of those people who can lie when taking a polygraph. But most of the high quality evidence seems to point to Allen not abusing Dylan. The medium quality evidence of the polygraph simply adds weight to the higher quality evidence.

    I don't see anything about vaginal penetration anywhere, and that's what the doctors would have been looking for.

    I've just been posting from memory so I did a search I found the some links on this point..


    "Dylan told her mother that Allen had stuck his finger up her vagina and kissed her all over in the attic"

    In the Orth article you've been quoting Dylan said she asked Woody to stop, "It hurts. I'm just a little girl."


    Ms. Farrow testified, "She said he took her into the attic and that he touched her in certain places, that he inserted a finger partially."

    She took Dylan to a doctor the same day the videotape was made, Ms. Farrow recalled. "I think she said he touched her, but when asked where, she just looked around and went like this," she said, patting her shoulder.

    While returning home in the car, Ms. Farrow said, Dylan told her that she did not want to talk about the incident with a stranger.

    Four days later, Ms. Farrow took Dylan to another doctor. "There was no evidence of injury to the anal or vaginal area, is that correct?" Mr. Abramowitz asked.


    Dylan claims Allen inserted his finger to the point that she said "it hurts" yet two doctors chosen by Mia could find no evidence of it. Well, maybe Allen was so careful there wasn't a scratch or a tear or even a bit of stretching. Is that what you think?

    I don't ignore the Orth article. Its evidence of a sort even though not sworn testimony and not challenged in court. But when I see sworn testimony by doctors that contradicts it and it is clear that there are some lies in the article I am less and less willing to trust its veracity. In the article you've been quoting Orth says, "They went back to the doctor the next day, and Dylan repeated her original story—one that has stayed consistent through many tellings to the authorities, who are in possession of the tape Mia made" but the state appointed child abuse investigators came to this conclusion.


    The doctor who headed the Connecticut investigation into whether Woody Allen molested his 7-year-old daughter, Dylan, theorized that the child either invented the story under the stress of living in a volatile and unhealthy home or that it was planted in her mind by her mother, Mia Farrow, a sworn statement released yesterday says.

    Dr. John M. Leventhal, who interviewed Dylan nine times, said that one reason he doubted her story was that she changed important points from one interview to another, like whether Mr. Allen touched her vagina. Another reason, he said, was that the child's accounts had "a rehearsed quality." At one point, he said she told him, "I like to cheat on my stories."

    Dr. Leventhal said: "We had two hypotheses: one, that these were statements that were made by an emotionally disturbed child and then became fixed in her mind. And the other hypothesis was that she was coached or influenced by her mother. We did not come to a firm conclusion. We think that it was probably a combination."

    Dylan's statements in interviews at the hospital contradicted each other and the story she told on a videotape made by Miss Farrow, Dr. Leventhal said. "Those were not minor inconsistencies,"

    "It's quite possible -- as a matter of fact, we think it's medically probable -- that she stuck to that story over time because of the intense relationship she had with her mother," he said.

    Dr. Leventhal said it was "very striking" that each time Dylan spoke of the abuse, she coupled it with "one, her father's relationship with Soon-Yi, and two, the fact that it was her poor mother, her poor mother," who had lost a career in Mr. Allen's films.

    I'll add this. Mia testified she took Dylan to the first doctor the day the video was made. The nanny testified Mia made the video over three days between the first doctor visit and the second.. Dylan would not say anything about the abuse to the first doctor but told the second doctor the story on the video.

    I'll say this again, OK.  We're talking about a seven-year-old child.  You're expecting her to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth but all she knew at the time was that it hurt and it wasn't right.  Because she said something to her mother, events were set into motion that were baffling and out of her control.  She was seven.  If you've ever had kids, you know you may never get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth out of them.  Especially if they think their words might incriminate them.

    But something happened to her.  If you want to believe that Woody Allen is the innocent victim here, fine.  As I've said many times, I don't know what to believe.  And fortunately nobody out there is counting on me to come up with a verdict or a solution.  But something happened to that seven-year-old, and 20 years later it's still impacting her.  That much I do know.

    If you want to believe that Woody Allen is the innocent victim here, fine.

    I think that's an unfair characterization. What I want is to rail against Polanski, or R. Kelly. I want to rage against Jameis Winston and the Tallahassee police department that protected him and let him go free. I want to speak up for the rape victims in Steubenville and Maryland. I even want to speak up against David Bowie's and Jimmy Page's pedophilia.

    What I want is make an iron clad case that Woody Allen raped his daughter. I certainly don't want to give ammunition to those who trivialize sexual assault and exaggerate the small number of false claims. If I actually had a following and a huge number of readers I realize that's how some would use my posts. But what I want doesn't matter. I can't ignore the evidence that convinces me that its likely that Allen didn't molest Dylan.

    Maybe my cred isn't strong enough on the topic, but I somehow I can't seem to care if a 14-year-old is sitting around a nightclub and Page picks her up. A 12-year-old Courtney Love sans breasts giving head to Ted Nugent makes me retch a bit, but then again, it's not like her choices got any better as an adult. Nope, I'll keep my concerns about kinda normal family situations or violent/abusive/exploitive mistreatment rather than the other stuff that so many people walk into willingly.

    I don't know if this has been discussed elsewhere but something strikes me as very odd. Why is it that Mia Farrow would advise the child's caretakers to keep Woody away from  the child. If there was a problem why not, as a minimum, discuss this directly with her partner and actually why wouldn't she just stop seeing Woody again entirely. Apparently they were a couple, but not living together. Everyone one knows Woody has some foibles, how dangerous I'm not sure, but Mia definitely has a lot of issues and her obvious anger and feeling of betrayal on "losing" her sometimes lover (while at the same time she had others) is very telling and may possibly be an explanation for much.

    Because all Farrow had were her suspicions, and she knew that if she said them out loud, Woody would have plenty of ammunition to use against her, effectively wiping out what little credibility she had. (It's not like she was seen as a pulled-together person or brilliant mother to begin with, and there's always that fear of losing custody of your child entirely in the machinations.)

    So Farrow did what she could to protect her daughter, and her rather lame efforts fit the context of Mia Farrow being a messed-up, low capability person in a messed up situation.

    Personally, I tend to believe the gist of Dylan Farrow's story, with or without the memories of digital penetration that may or may not have happened. Taking a 7-year-old up to the attic for a little hypersexualized adoring talk and light butt-touching may not rise to the level of gang rape during a genocidal spree, but it's sexual abuse nonetheless, and is sure to mess up any child good and proper.

    One of the saddest elements of this story is that Mia Farrow may have felt that without adding a physical rape element, Dylan's allegations of sexual abuse would not hold enough weight for anything to be done. If so, it seems she was right, because 40 years later, you all are still pretty hung up on whether there was "evidence of penetration."

    Do you guys see what I'm getting at here? Repeatedly taking a 7-year old up to the attic and creeping on her IS sexual abuse. Grownups are not supposed to be in sexualized relationships with children. How sexual it gets is just a question of degree.

    Now that it's 2014, we are supposed to understand this stuff. And I think Dylan Farrow is correct that no way would Louis CK leave one of his daughters alone in an attic with Woody Allen! I wouldn't either, and Michael, I suspect neither would you. So I can sympathize with Farrow's frustration that so few people will come out and say it wasn't right in 1974, either!

    Dylan Farrow wasn't lucky enough to have a parent who could protect her, and it seems that Woody Allen did something that caused her much damage. Her mom didn't sexually abuse her, and she didn't sexually abuse herself. Woody Allen did that. But when it all got caught up in an exaggeratedly histrionic and messy divorce the actual damage to Dylan Farrow was lost in the shuffle, apparently because it wasn't "extreme" enough! The end result was that Allen was never punished or even seriously called out for behavior that was very bad and in my mind easily rises to the level of sexual abuse.

    I don't know where this leaves us all in terms of approval/disapproval of Allen's work, but I think Farrow's justified in requestin that he at least not be lionized or hailed as a hero.

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    No, we don't know. But if you go back and read the Vanity Fair article, there does seem to be strange behavior from Allen with regard to Dylan Farrow. The fact that she has maintained her story all this time (even if some elements of it were indeed coached until she believed them) leads me to believe that there is a "there" there.

    It's important to understand that not all sexual abuse is violent and that abusers may not see themselves as abusive. I know of one account from a sexual abuse survivor who said that her dad, an alcoholic, would touch her 13-year-old breasts admiringly, tell her how pretty she was and that she should be proud of her body. Who knows, he may have seen himself as encouraging her to have a positive self-image; but obviously that was not the outcome....

    No, we don't know. But if you go back and read the Vanity Fair article, there does seem to be strange behavior from Allen with regard to Dylan Farrow.

    This, as always, is one of the problems discussing this and similar stories. People read one article and think its the whole story. Ramona doesn't know that Dylan claimed penetration or that doctors chosen by Mia found no evidence. Few bother to look for reports of the state appointed child abuse investigators. You mention several times that there was an unwritten rule that Woody shouldn't be left alone with Dylan. Did you know that just one month before his affair with soon yi Woody's petition to adopt Dylan and Moses was approved? That for a few months Mia had been going to court and filing paperwork to support that petition? For over a year and a half Mia was enforcing her unwritten rule because of Woody's "icky" behavior then she decided to support Woody adopting Dylan.

    The Vanity Fair article is clearly biased with factual errors and much information left out. I would no more base my opinion solely on it that I would base my opinion solely on the Weide daily beast article which I think is biased in the opposite direction.

    Did you know that just one month before his affair with soon yi Woody's petition to adopt Dylan and Moses was approved? That for a few months Mia had been going to court and filing paperwork to support that petition? For over a year and a half Mia was enforcing her unwritten rule because of Woody's "icky" behavior then she decided to support Woody adopting Dylan.

    Not true, Ocean-Kat.  This from the piece by Robert Weide, Woody's supporter:

    It winds up that Maco sent his “probable cause” statement to the Surrogate’s Court judge in Manhattan who was still deciding on Allen’s adoption status of Dylan and Moses, which Mia was trying to annul...

    ....Two years later, the reprimand was overturned, but Mia was unsuccessful in her bid to annul the adoptions. Legally, Woody remains the adoptive father of Dylan and Moses.


    No, I'm sorry Ramona but you just don't know the whole story or time line. For about a year and a half Mia supposedly enforced a rule that Dylan was not to be alone with Woody. She then supported, with both court appearances and paperwork, Allen adopting Dylan and Moses. The adoptions by Woody could not proceed without Mia's support since she was already the adoptive parent and had sole custody. Some articles I've read considered this adoption unusual in that courts do not grant a second  adoption in a non married union with a non cohabitating partner. The adoption was granted a short time before the affair with Soon-Yi was discovered. What Weide is referring to in the above quote, in an attempt to impugn Maco, is the petition to annual the adoptions that Mia filed after the accusation of abuse. That petition was denied some years after the investigation because Woody was not charged with abuse and therefore presumed innocent.

    I haven't been able to find any links to back up my memory but I'll try again later.

    "Because all Farrow had were her suspicions, and she knew that if she said them out loud" - uh, great start - the article starts out "There was an unwritten rule in Mia Farrow’s house that Woody Allen was never supposed to be left alone with their seven-year-old adopted daughter, Dylan." So she did say them out loud apparently.

    "It's not like she was seen as a pulled-together person or brilliant mother to begin with" - really? I thought with all her adoptions I remember her as the Mother Theresa of actresses.

    "a little hypersexualized adoring talk and light butt-touching may not rise to the level of gang rape during a genocidal spree, but it's sexual abuse nonetheless, and is sure to mess up any child good and proper." - not sure where 'sure' comes in - adoring talk will mess up a kid forever and ever, butt touching will? can we ask for permanent scarring and victimhood a little louder please? what else happens to us as children that leaves us permanently unable to cope? note during WWII & after millions of girls and women were actually gang-raped, as in other conflicts such as the awful Congo War - did they stop living, or did they figure out their strengths and carry on?

    "because 40 years later, you all are still pretty hung up on whether there was "evidence of penetration."" - well, duh!?! is " hypersexualized adoring talk and light butt-touching" actually illegal? (not that I'm sure rubbing fingers in the crack of her butt "light butt-touching'")/  AFAIK, it's stroking genitals or penetration.

    "Repeatedly taking a 7-year old up to the attic and creeping on her IS sexual abuse" - uh, Dylan talked about 1 time in the attic.

    "Her mom didn't sexually abuse her, and she didn't sexually abuse herself. Woody Allen did that." - uh, maybe, maybe not. Were you there? Ever had a 7-year-old lie or be confused? Ever had an upset woman call the police on you and tell baldfaced lies about things that never happened? (yeah, I forgave her, no angel me...)



    Obviously, eventually Farrow said them out loud, yeah, or there'd be no story here.

    Some people who are abused figure out their strengths and carry on, lots don't. Farrow herself is still in her twenties, there's still time for her to do something with her life of which you'd approve.

    Thanks PP, for reminding me that sarcasm is a tool that is permitted to be used by you alone, and also for why I leave Dag behind for such long periods. It's been nice to be here for a short visit. 

    'Bye now.


    Again, Erica, thank you.  What you said needs to be said.  Don't let someone else's comments turn you away from this.  Your input is as valid as any here.

    "Obviously, eventually Farrow said them out loud, yeah, or there'd be no story here." - no, it's the lead line of the article and it was the house rule spoken aloud, at the house, for 2 years - not sarcasm - you're simply wrong on facts. The only thing being spoken up now is a regurgitation of thse story - true or not - to trash Woody Allen's award ceremony - even Dylan acknowledge that.

    PS - there really was no sarcasm in what I wrote - Mia Farrow was considered a kind of Mother Theresa/exemplary woman & mother at the time, I have been through someone out of spite/jealousy calling the cops and giving outright false stories, etc. etc.

    Erica, this is exactly how I feel about it, too.  Thank you for articulating it so well.  I find it interesting that most of the men here don't get what you're trying to say. 

    Every girl I know, including me, had to deal with lecherous men while we were still kids.  Thank god I didn't have to live with one, but I know enough about how those creeps made me feel to be able to understand what Dylan as a seven-year-old must have felt. 

    Dylan was just one in a crowd in that house and by all accounts stability wasn't one of Mia's strong points.  There doesn't seem to be any question about Woody's attachment to Dylan.  Many, many eyewitnesses have attested to his icky fawning over her.

    Reports of headaches and stomach aches and locking herself in the bathroom when he appeared are such classic signs of abuse they can't be ignored as a part of this story.

    Something happened when Dylan was seven, and if she still hasn't gotten over it that's proof enough for me that something happened.


    "Something happened when Dylan was seven, and if she still hasn't gotten over it that's proof enough for me that something happened." - of course something happened - she had superstar parents who had a very messy tabloid-studded breakup, and she was in the middle of it with an ugly sexual abuse allegation, while her adopted sister was having an affair with/later married her adoptive father. This much is incontrovertible fact.

    How does what I said contradict that?

    It doesn't - it's just irrelevant a to whether sexual abuse happened or not.

    I don't know if this has been discussed elsewhere but something strikes me as very odd. Why is it that Mia Farrow would advise the child's caretakers to keep Woody away from  the child. If there was a problem why not, as a minimum, discuss this directly with her partner and actually why wouldn't she just stop seeing Woody again entirely. Apparently they were a couple, but not living together. Everyone one knows Woody has some foibles, how dangerous I'm not sure, but Mia definitely has a lot of issues and her obvious anger and feeling of betrayal on "losing" her sometimes lover (while at the same time she had others) is very telling and may possibly be an explanation for much.

    The Times should never have allowed this.  It's yet another example of lack of editorial oversight over the op-ed columnists.

    This is what interests me most about your essay Michael, and it's an area that I don't know much about and probably should know more.  Generally speaking, what role would or should the Times have in regulating the content of an op-ed writer's column, and how does that compare with what is printed in the "news" sections?  Are there industry standards, or would such standards in and of themselves venture too closely to some sort of self-censorship?  

    Nice work by the way. 


    I say the standard is that you don't use your column inches to help friends pursue personal vendettas against other people, particularly if you're going to make hay out of the fact that the target won't speak to you on the record when you call to tell them what you're up to.

    So, you don't feel it's proper for an op-ed writer to do a J'accuse if they're personal friends with one of the parties involved?

    Let me be clear where I am personally coming on topic: I buy most of Woody Allen's op-ed hook, line and sinker. He's a far far better debater/writer on this issue than Nick Kristof and Dylan Farrow are. He tears them apart. The quotes from Moses Farrow are a killer slam dunk, wrapping his very strong defense all up. I'd love to see the NYT get rid of Kristof and replace him with Woody Allen. That would be some interesting op-ed reading.

    And I must also add this qualifier: as the years go by, I really dislike his movies more and more all the time. I can't even get through them, though I try. They are trite and they bore me. I only liked the early ones (up to Annie Hall) as a youngin because they were different from the usual fare offered back then; still, even then, I remember liking his standup better and wishing he would do more of it and less moviemaking. I don't think he deserved that award. It was one of those awards given because the director has made a lot of movies but was never recognized for his oeuvre because none of the individual movies the director made were that outstanding. I think he chose the wrong career.

    Edit to add: yes, I know Annie Hall won the best picture. But look at the competition. |It was a good, strong movie, fresh and different at the time. But far from a great movie, and in hindsight, it looks weaker than it did at the time.

    Couldn't agree more.

    Seems obvious.

    Once you have the megaphone, you have some additional personal responsibility.

    I disagree with you here. I think Kristoff and Mia Farrow are beside the point. An adult is coming forward with something that happened to her as a child. Why didn't she come forward before? I don't know, but I'm guessing it had something to do with shame and humiliation. People molested as children tend to carry those feelings with them for a lifetime. Why did she choose now? Probably the achievement award was a tipping point. 

    I don't buy the argument that Mia Farrow planted the memories. Does it happen? Sure, to kids who are 3 or 4. By 7, kids pretty much understand the reality of their world and are able to separate fact, fiction, and fantasy. 

    And, completely beside the point, I guess I'm the only person here who finds Woody Allen movies utterly unwatchable. Boring. Stupid. Pointless. Annoying. 

    You are not alone Orlando.  I find lots of his stuff to be kitschy and redundant, with exceptions over the past four decades of course.   I did enjoy Vicky Christina Angelina (sp?) and I cannot comment on his film that is out now because I haven't seen it.  

    Dunno, one potential girlfriend once told me that I reminded her of Woody Allen (please, heaven forbid, not for the reasons being discussed herein).  I think it was a shot on her part! :)  Maybe that's my problem.  

    It was just a sugar-coated way of calling you a nebbish. ;)

    Hey that's a shot too, right!? :)

    I also agree with you that it is anything but uncommon for children to "come out" with stories of molestation in later life.   I think that's an important point to keep in mind to the extent one wishes to test the veracity of the respective sides in this dispute, and even more important for evaluating this issue going forward.


    I actually know someone whose mother pressured her at age six to testify that her father had abused her. It was a famous case in the 1980s. The father was vilified on national television until the truth came out, and then he won full custody of his daughter. To this day, the mother continues to seek media attention claiming that the courts stole her daughter from her. 

    So is it possible that a seven year old had implanted memories? I think it is. That does not mean that Dylan Farrow is wrong or that Allen is innocent, but it does mean that we should not accept her allegations at face value.

    Michael's point, I think, is not to judge the case one way or the other but to suggest that in the absence of reliable evidence, the media shouldn't publish sensational criminal accusations against an individual (no matter how good or bad a director he is).

    PS I don't like Woody's new movies either.

    An adult is coming forward with something that happened to her as a child. Why didn't she come forward before? I don't know, but I'm guessing it had something to do with shame and humiliation.

    I don't understand this statement at all. She did come forward before. This was a huge story 20 years ago and it has resurfaced every few years since.

    Remember the Geraldo Rivera Satan craze? How many kids were given false memories by psychiatrists? Innocent people went to jail for years over that.

    I'd be willing to bet that many more kids weren't believed when something actually did happen to them.

    I agree. The problem we face as a society is not the rare child with implanted memories or the rare adult who makes a false claim of rape. By far the larger problem is children or adults who are not believed.

    Combined of course with the huge number of fucked up adults who'd molest a child.

    As there's no way to police most of these situations, is there any way to improve our global mental health in the sexual domain? Or our descendants will be discussing similar sexual abuse plagues in 1000 years?

    If Hollywood denied awards to every nominee with a cloud of 'weirdness' or suspicion in their past they might go years between Golden Globes or Oscars. What's the big deal with Kristof? He wanted one himself? This stuff belongs in one of those celebrity rags at the check-out counter.

    Note to Kristof: Hitting on Allen's Globe Award accomplishes nothing to help millions of US kids living in poverty. Kids who suffer lack of decent food or health/dental/mental health care, and often are subject to neglect and abuse.

    I suspect none of them know squat about Dylan or 'the lionization' inherent in 'Golden Globes'. Yet, if lucky enough to have a parent with a good job, they do know if Bain Capital breaks the union, fires workers, cuts hours or ends Dad's job, or closes the plant and sends that job to China.  They do know it if their families food stamps or health care are cut or ended.  They may wonder why nearly half the people in this country do not give a damn about them, as they vote Republican. And those facts cannot be laid at Allen's doorstep, but are compounded by a press, including Nick Kristof, obsessed with Hollywood and celebrities.

    Mike -- I disagree with you on the newsworthiness of the item. There's nothing wrong with running the piece from Dylan Farrow, and Kristof did his job merely by asking Allen for comment. His biases come into play if he writes about it, but the statement from Dylan is news. I'd expect a columnist to recognize his biases in any piece of writing, but I don't necessarily expect him to stay away.

    Blah blah blah - there's no news in Dylan's comment except she spoke. Kristof sponsoring this statement along with Farrow & her son Ryan is a NYTimes lifeline to their late lifetime quest - what's the actual reader benefit?

    I'd say you can watch Woody Allen movies and not ignore the controversy. Not too long ago, your wife posted a piece about an old Roman Polanski film worth watching. I read that and wondered how long it would be before someone brought up Polanski's status as a child rapist. It wasn't long.

    Last week I saw an article about some "painting" by George Zimmerman. Even if Georgy-Porgy hadn't essentially appropriated someone else's image, it would be hard to imagine that I could post about the merits of his painting without someone noting that the artist had also gotten away with killing a young man, and seems likely to shoot someone else before he's done. 

    George, Roman and Woody did what they did and it will color their artistic efforts. 

    I have to admit that I've been less inclined to watch Allen's films since I heard about him and Soon-Yi. I did watch a couple that were on TV and I did watch a documentary about him with Soon-Yi, but I no longer feel the automatic, "I have to go see that!" reaction that I felt up until Purple Rose of Cairo or Broadway Danny Rose

    And when TCM was showing The Front, it was a bit harder for me to accept Allen as the emotional patsy he often plays. Dylan's accusations are just that much more to think about.

    Good points.  Their history is bound to follow them.  I liked Woody's early films, before the Ingmar Bergman influence, but have been increasingly disappointed in them since.  I don't know if the Soon Yi/Dylan Farrow stories influenced me but I suppose they might have added to my feeling that a Woody Allen film was no longer a must-see.

    I can enjoy Chinatown. Roman Polanski should be in jail.

    Polanski is a convicted rapist of a thirteen-year-old. He has not even disputed the facts of the case.

    And Chinatown is a great movie.

    Yeah, people who make beautiful stuff can be just as nasty and/or criminal as anyone else, go figure. Even then....few want to read up on and debate the details of a master plaster craftsman who may also have been a serial rapist or the maker of exquisite furniture who was also a murderer....

    I think everyone should consider that the real problem driving this kind of debate is the role model status our society places on celebrities. When it's Polanski, Woody, O.J., etc., everyone feels a need to be part of the jury. Dominick Dunne made a fine second career catering to that need.

    ...the real problem driving this kind of debate is the role model status our society places on celebrities.


    How long should Polanski be in jail for?

    About 6 weeks less than you, by my calculations.

    Finally, a definitive answer. Just wait for me to get out of the bus, and get out 2 stops before.

    Aaron Bady posted Woody Allen’s Good Name at The New Inquiry:
    This is a basic principle: until it is proven otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s important to extend the presumption of innocence to Dylan Farrow, and presume that she is not guilty of the crime of lying about what Woody Allen did to her.
    If you are saying things like “We can’t really know what happened” and extra-specially pleading on behalf of the extra-special Woody Allen, then you are saying that his innocence is more presumptive than hers. You are saying that he is on trial, not her: he deserves judicial safeguards in the court of public opinion, but she does not.
    The damnably difficult thing about all of this, of course, is that you can’t presume that both are innocent at the same time. One of them must be saying something that is not true. But “he said, she said” doesn’t resolve to “let’s start by assuming she’s lying,” except in a rape culture, and if you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured. It works both ways, or should: if one of them has to be lying for the other to be telling the truth, then presuming the innocence of one produces a presumption of the other’s guilt. And Woody Allen cannot be presumed to be innocent of molesting a child unless she is presumed to be lying to us. His presumption of innocence can only be built on the presumption that her words have no credibility, independent of other (real) evidence, which is to say, the presumption that her words are not evidence. If you want to vigorously claim ignorance – to assert that we can never know what happened, in that attic – then you must ground that lack of knowledge in the presumption that what she has said doesn’t count, and we cannot believe her story.

    I remember Bady from posts about Assange and Wikileaks at zunguzungu but he seems now to put more effort into TNI.

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    How credible is anyone's say-so absent other corroboration?

    Complaints can get one arrested, and believable testimony can get one convicted, but the relative status of accuser and accused matters a lot. 


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    His partner did accuse him, and it went nowhere.

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    ... that's far from saying that he was assumed--even by himself--to be above reproach and above the law.

    I said relative status matters, which is also far from saying, "above reproach and above the law." But nice try on the straw man.

    Allen was investigated, but even the level of attention paid to the case worked to his advantage. If any average Joe had been recorded as joking that he was capable of doing fifteen twelve-year-old girls, they wouldn't have bothered with a psychologist or polygraph.


    Donal, you are a true bag man.

    You mean to say that if, say, you had joked about being capable of doing a 15 year old, you'd have been put in the slammer with another word, but Allen, being the great auteur, was merely investigated?

    I think if some woman and her daughter told the cops that her husband had been abusing the daughter, they'd take it seriously. If it was documented that he had joked about sleeping with 15 twelve-year-olds, they'd take it a lot more seriously.

    Why you think they didn't take it seriously...given the investigations...is beyond me.

    What didn't they do that you think they should have done?


    Again, nice try. I never said they didn't take it seriously. Relative status matters, so Allen's attorneys and prestige forced the investigators to proceed more cautiously than they would have with with the average Joe. What they did with Allen they should have done with everyone, but don't.

    I think if some woman and her daughter told the cops that her husband had been abusing the daughter, they'd take it seriously. If it was documented that he had joked about sleeping with 15 twelve-year-olds, they'd take it a lot more seriously.

    If you aren't going to read or try to understand what I've written...then read and try to understand what YOU write.

    Right here, you say that IF this had happened to "some woman and her daughter," "they'd have taken it seriously"...as opposed to WHAT? To how they treated Allen. Otherwise, this sentence makes no sense in this discussion because your whole point is that Allen got treated differently.

    He got the same preferential treatment that--you say--everyone should get which, when you think about it, makes no sense. Mostly, people argue that the rich should get the same treatment as anyone else; you're going in the opposite direction. You're arguing, I guess, that Allen was treated correctly, unlike the average Joe who should be treated the way Allen was treated.

    Just a small point on "relative status."

    Relatively speaking, Allen and Mia Farrow have almost the same status.

    Allen and Dylan have almost the same the status, especially when Mia has hopped on Dylan's train.

    Relative status takes hold when you have a big, important, rich persona and a nobody or a near nobody. That isn't the case here.


    This is silly - "presumption of innocence" refers to legal responsibility for a criminal act, not whether someone is telling the truth. Allen could lie out his ass and still be innocent of a charged act. Dylan could firmly believe she's telling the truth but be mistaken or accurate - we don't know without corroborating evidence. Unless lying is a charge such as perjury, it's irrelevant in terms of "presumption of innocence" except so far as a judge/jury loses faith in that person's testimony.

    The presumption of innocence extends past the courtroom to libel & slander suits - at some point repeating over and over that someone did a crime without being able to prove it puts one in jeopardy of defamation of character charges. I don't know how sticky that is in practice with "he said/she said" cases, but certainly if Woody Allen is indicted/arrested, from that moment on, his treatment is supposed to be in line only with what evidence is presented in court. That includes bail - if the evidence presented to indict/arrest and set bail is such that a flight risk or risk of breaking the law while under trial is great, bail will be raised or even denied. Obviously the act of pre-conviction incarceration is based on evidence that the charges have significant possibility of being upheld and representing some danger, but in theory, the state should not be treating a non-convict as if already convicted, and in terms of the trial, it ain't over till it's over - evidence implicating the accused may be voided or countered effectively in the process of the trial or simply be not good enough. Allen does not have to testify for himself or prove anything - the state has to prove he did the acts charged with. 

    Someone's statement of not wanting to charge Allen because he didn't want to put the girl through that is lame - as others noted, it's a way of convicting Allen without trying him, without having a fair open forum to review and counter any evidence. Basically shaming & innuendo as an alternative to following a court procedure.

    Hmmm, if I have the right article here, it seems the statement was more that the investigation had been botched, which would have put Dylan Farrow's already compromised testimony out there in a way where she would be unlikely to prevail, which would further traumatize her. 

    Good article, Donal.  I agree with his premise that we can and do judge these things based more on gut feeling and celebrity veneration then on evidence.  If she's lying then he's innocent.  If she's not then he's guilty.  But we're not in a court of law so what we think doesn't matter. 

    But the fact that it's Woody Allen we're talking about changes everything.  I agree with AA, too.  And with Aaron Bady:

    What is the burden of proof for assuming that a person is lying? If you are a famous film director, it turns out to be quite high. You don’t have to say a word in your defense, in fact, and people who have directed documentaries about you will write lengthy essays in the Daily Beast tearing down the testimony of your accusers. You can just go about your life making movie after movie, and it’s fine. But if you are a woman who has accused a great film director of molesting you when you were seven, the starting point is the presumption that, without real evidence, you are not telling the truth. In the court of public opinion, a woman accusing a great film director of raping her has no credibility which his fans are bound to respect. He has something to lose, his good name. She does not, because she does not have a good name. She is living in hiding, under an assumed name. And when she is silent, the Daily Beast does not rise to her defense.

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    I don't understand your connection with Polanski, other than he is another famous film director accused of rape.  But since you brought him up, I think the specter of Sharon Tate's grisly murder and the residual feelings about his loss kept some of his supporters by his side, but there were plenty of people who left the sinking ship.  His conviction will forever follow him, no matter what else he does in the film business. (This 1994 interview with Diane Sawyer is fascinating. He does seem to understand that sex with a 13-year-old girl was wrong.)

    But I think what Aaron Bady meant was that Dylan didn't have a "big" name.  She has no real history with the public other than the scandal when she was a child.  Woody on the other hand is known throughout the world and his movies are such that his audiences feel they know him personally.  That's my take, anyway.

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    The difference, as I see it, is that Polanski went to trial and was convicted and Woody was not.  Woody was investigated and was exonerated. 

    Now, it could be he was given a pass and was actually innocent or he was given a pass for many other reasons, but the fact is, he hasn't suffered professionally because of the accusations or the scandal.  (The point of Dylan's letter, as I saw it. And the reason for the timing.)

    The whole point of the original post here was that Nicholas Kristof was too close to Mia and Ronan to write an objective article about this, but there doesn't seem to be the same kind of suspicion about Robert Weide's Daily Beast piece, even though his defense of Woody is an absolute smear job against Woody's accusers.

    That's what the quote you highlighted is trying to say.  It's a whole different animal than a defense of Roman Polanski, who admitted his guilt and was convicted.

    The difference, as I see it, is that Polanski went to trial and was convicted and Woody was not.  Woody was investigated and was exonerated.

    Yes. He was exonerated because the investigation didn't turn up probable cause for taking it further. With Polanski, it did. See the difference?

    The point is that, if there's enough evidence, one's status as a revered auteur doesn't seem to provide much protection.

    This seems to be your and Donal's theme: Woody got off because no one would touch a greater auteur. Not true. See Polanski. The difference was the evidence.

    You're putting words in my mouth.  Throughout this whole thing I've been trying to concentrate on what Dylan might be thinking and feeling.  There has been much speculation about what happened--as there always is when nobody knows shit--and part of that was the possibility that Woody got off because of who he is. 

    I think this story has run its course--for me, anyway--but I'll just add that the fact that Polanski paid the price isn't proof enough that other famous people don't get away with the same thing.   That argument just doesn't hold.  There have been many accusations about alleged abuse by famous people that didn't go anywhere.  I doubt that in every case it's because the alleged victim was lying.

    Ramona, with respect, I'll try to avoid reminding you that you have: a) assumed you knew but could not have known what I've known and experienced in my life, and b) misrepresented what I've said through serious omission.

    If this whole argument has been about the possibility that Allen got off because of who he was and is...or even about the possibility that he did the deed...then there wouldn't have been an argument. From anyone, including, I suspect Ocean-Kat, who has come to a conclusion based on evidence but would admit, I think, that he could be wrong.

    Could Allen have done it? Sure. Double sure. He had opportunity. He's weird, sometimes bordering on creepy. Sexually obsessed? Appears so. Does this kind of thing happen--a lot? Yes, it does. Is it that much of a stretch to contemplate this possibility? No, it is not. If that's all this has been about, then La Di Da, as Ms. Keaton once said.

    Yeah, Allen could've done it.

    And then there's all the countervailing evidence that suggests he didn't.

    But still, despite all this evidence, could he have done it?

    Yes. He could've.

    But does all this evidence help his case that he didn't do it?

    Well, yes, IF you believe in evidence. But if evidence is just one big, fat zero on the ledger, well then, let's just stick with:

    Yeah, he could've done it and he could've not done it. Substitute "Dylan" for "Allen" and "is wrong" for "done it" and you've got the whole thing covered.

    I have to admit that I had completely forgotten the allegations against Bill Cosby, which were brought up again on Gawker. 

    And another shoe drops:

    Dylan Farrow's Brother Moses Defends Woody Allen

    "My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister," Moses, 36, tells PEOPLE in the magazine's new issue. "And I hated him for her for years. I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi." 

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    She isn't retelling the story as a seven year old.  It's 20 years later and she's a mom, herself.  How do you know what that conversation was like?  How do you know how "untraumatized" or unafraid she was?  A seven-year-old "completely in command of her powers"?  Really?  I'm guessing you've never really been around seven-year-olds.  That's just laughable.

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    Peter, what I'm seeing from your remarks is that Dylan should have written what she wrote or said what she said as if she were still a seven-year-old.  That she's writing it in a way that seems too unemotional or too grown-up causes you to suspect she's not telling the truth.

    Wow.  Did you expect her to pull up the entire 20 year old conversation and record it word-for-word?  How about this?  How about changing "He's lying" to "He's lying!!" (Sob)

    Parsing her words to suit your notion of how she felt about the events is such a stretch I don't know what else to say.  Sorry.

    Now that  Moses has come forward, he brings to light facts which warrant serious attention.

    In order to believe Mia Farrow's accusations (for they are hers as much as Dylans") we must believe that Woody was so reckless and self inflated that even as he was being publicly flayed for the newly discovered affair with Soon Yi, he thought it wise to make a direct attack on Farrow's continued custody of the children, most of whose lives he had only come into quite late.

    This custody litigation, moreover, we are to believe he initiated eleven days (!) after an encounter with Dylan in which criminally punishable behavior occured, which behaviour had not yet been discovered and alleged against him. Furhermore, we must believe that he undertook this molestation when the uproar over his relationship with Soon Yi was  the talreadyopic of ongoing therapy sessions where one might anticipate continuing revelations and analysis of every aspect of the  familial drama.

    Furthermore, we are to believe (per Moses) that Allen, who by description would have had ample opportunities to molest Dylan in privacy and solitude, chose to undertake this extremely reckless behavior when all seven children were in the house with him.

    Add to this Moses allegations of physical punishment by Mia, her refusal to rebut this allegation, the claims of physical assault upon the then adult Soon Yi which Mia choses to characterize as "a motherly slap" (presumably delivered in the throes of her feelings of betrayal by Woody.

    How much of a moron are we to believe Allen to have been?

    I'm sorry, this whole thing strikes me as a vicious canard, in which Dylan is, indeed, a victim, but her victimizer is her mother.

    When will Mia be on the box?  Why has she not availed herself of the opportunity to support her charges by way of such technology as does exist, why does she not deign to rebut Moses charges of emotional and physical abuse, as well as Soon-Yi's descriptions of assault far in excess of "a motherly slap"--as if that would be an acceptable response to Soon Yi's falling in love with Woody.

    Oh, and one more thing, inasmuch as folks here present have made the sly reference to Ronan's resemblance to Frank Sinatra.

    Here is a child who was casually and falsely presented as the offspring of the current lover (Woody) to the detriment of Sinatra's paternity, to the ongoing risk of heartbreaking denoument threatening to engulf Ronan/Satchel and Woody at any time, (and this long before any issues about Soon Yi orDylan arose)

    False in one thing, false in all.  Forget the disambiguation available via polygraph.  May we not ask for the trivial expedient of DNA analysis, which would definitively nail Farrow as a lying bitch, if it followed the evidence that is, as they say, as plain as the lines on Ronan's face?

    And yet we still have Dylan sticking by her story, calling Moses a liar, remembering a household far different from his version.  It could be that Mia is a terrible mother, a vicious, vindictive bitch, even a liar about whose child Ronan is, but there's still Dylan to consider.

    Is she or isn't she telling the truth?  I believe she thinks she is.  I don't know why she wanted that letter published beyond the reasons she gave, but of all the principals in this story, I'm concerned most about her. 

    For me, the rest of it really doesn't matter.


    And if, in fact, given all the motivations that Mia had for invidious behaviour, and Woody had for circumspection, it turns out that in fact Dylan believes a falsehood implanted by her mother, are we not to be just as concerned for her mental health, albeit as the victim of a different parent?

    If Mia was willing to perpetrate a decade long fraud vis a vis Ronan's parentage, putting both he, Woody, and also Frank-for each of whom she professed profound affection- at grave risk of grievous mental harm, must we not deem her capable of creating in Dylan the phenomenology of victimhood which causes you, rightly, to evince concern for her?

    She might very well be capable of it, but did she?

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    I've said many times I don't know what the truth is.  We're all just taking stabs in the dark, including you.

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    Are you saying there's no bias in what you just wrote?  Because I'm seeing bias.

    He looks even more like Steve McQueen.

    What is "talreadyopic"?

    In retrospect, I can't figure out why Allen would've wanted custody of this group of kids. I can't see him jonseing to be a pater familia.

    talreadyopic=already the topic...I am apparently lysdexic....


    False in one thing, false in all.

    As a principal, this strikes me as compelling...but false.

    Otherwise, liars would all lie about everything, no? But true liars have to tell the truth about many things in order to make people more inclined to believe their lies.

    I do agree, however, that if Mia wanted to help her vendetta against Allen, she would take a polygraph, too. If she passed, then she'd blunt the force of his polygraph.

    People who decline polygraphs do so because they have information which millitates against an expectation that they will pass...in other words, they zre lying nnd they know it.  Bezr in mind that nothing prevents her from taking a trial polygraph privately to see if she can pass...maybe she has already failed.

    the "false in one thing false in all" oversimplification is a closing argument formulation which is meant to cast a deliberately wide net of doubt.   It's not to say that the witness lied when she gave her name and address...

    The accuracy (i.e., validity) of polygraph testing has long been controversial. An underlying problem is theoretical: There is no evidence that any pattern of physiological reactions is unique to deception. An honest person may be nervous when answering truthfully and a dishonest person may be non-anxious. Also, there are few good studies that validate the ability of polygraph procedures to detect deception. As Dr. Saxe and Israeli psychologist Gershon Ben-Shahar (1999) note, "it may, in fact, be impossible to conduct a proper validity study." In real-world situations, it's very difficult to know what the truth is.

    A particular problem is that polygraph research has not separated placebo-like effects (the subject's belief in the efficacy of the procedure) from the actual relationship between deception and their physiological responses. One reason that polygraph tests may appear to be accurate is that subjects who believe that the test works and that they can be detected may confess or will be very anxious when questioned. If this view is correct, the lie detector might be better called a fear detector.

    There's a reason why courts are reluctant to allow polygraph tests as conclusive evidence of a lie. They aren't conclusive.

    The burden of proof in this case is now on Mia because she apparently declined to take one.  So if she declined to take one that must mean she's lying.  What other reason could there be? 

    Well, it could be that she knew how ditzy she could be and was afraid of it.  It could be that others counseled her not to take one.  Or it could be that she knew she was lying about some things but not about others.  Who knows?  But you can't base guilt on the lack of a lie detector test.

    When one person is willing to go on the box and another is not, it is suggestive.  When the person tested  passes, the ball is in the others' court.  I have taken (and passed) a polygraph in an anstance where I was telling the truth about the point at issue.  This experience, and the fact that the polygraph was administered by the chief FBI polygraph instructor has given me a respect for the technology.  (A respect, incidentally, shared by Mossad, the CIA, MI6, and a legion of initial designated intelligence agencies, which use them routinely to good (if not perfect) effect. 

    Which is to say that I think you are misinformed--particularly in that the article you cited I happen to know is inaccurate.  

    You are wrong, about the attitude of courts towards experttestimony of polygraph adminstrators, as I mentioned in my previous post.

    Jolly, I carry the guilt of the whole world on my shoulders.  I'm pretty sure I would not pass a polygraph, no matter how innocent I might actually be.  I could be wrong but I hope I'm never in a position to have to find out.  Just as I could never sleep during a sleep test, I'm just as sure I could never keep those needles from running off the chart during a polygraph.

    That may be my own bias about them, but whenever I hear about someone refusing to take a lie detector test, I try to put myself in their shoes. 

    I would like to believe that if I heard Woody Allen had refused, I would be objective enough to think with his anxiety levels that would be the smart thing to do.  As it is, he took the test and passed.  I accept that but still can't say it's a case-settler.

    Here is a quote from the Skeptic's Dictionary on Polygraphs:
    The reason the polygraph is not a lie detector is that what it measures--changes in heartbeat, blood pressure, and respiration--can be caused by many things. Nervousness, anger, sadness, embarrassment, and fear can all be causal factors in altering one's heart rate, blood pressure, or respiration rate. Having to go to the bathroom can also be causative. There are also a number of medical conditions such as colds, headaches, constipation, or neurological and muscular problems which can cause the physiological changes measured by the polygraph. The claim that an expert can tell when the changes are due to a lie and when they are due to other factors has never been proven. Even if the device measures nervousness, one cannot be sure that the cause of the nervousness is fear of being caught in a lie. Some people may fear that the machine will indicate they are lying when they are telling the truth and that they will be falsely accused of lying. Furthermore, even the most ardent advocate of the polygraph must admit that liars can sometimes pass their tests. One need only remember the spy Aldrich Ames, who passed the polygraph test  several times while with the CIA. This lesson was lost on the FBI, however, who started requiring polygraph tests of its employees after spy Robert Hanssen was caught. Heretofore, the FBI had only used the polygraph on suspected criminals. Apparently, the FBI thinks that they could have prevented Hanssen's betrayal if only he had been made to take the polygraph.

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    If what they said about Aldrich is true, I'd just keep in mind that clearly some guilty people can beat the test. 

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    Everything counts for something, ... except apparently Dylan's testimony.

    It counted enough for it to be investigated for 6 months. What more would you like? Believe every 7-year-old no matter what?

    ...but of all the principals in this story, I'm concerned most about her. For me, the rest of it really doesn't matter.

    This quote from Ramona is what you have to understand about what she and Donal are saying. For them, the evidence doesn't matter. Nor does the preponderance of it matter. You could heap another five helpings of evidence on the pile and it wouldn't matter.

    For them, it all boils down to he said-she said, and the only thing that matters is what she said and is saying now.

    Nor does it matter to them that Allen may be wrongly accused by Dylan or anyone else. Or that evidence may indicate that.

    For them a wrong accusation is no harm, no foul. It's no big deal. Just one big "Never mind!" Dylan has been hurting for 20 years or so, and Allen, to their mind, is the easy-to-hand culprit, and that's good enough for them. End of story.

    You really need to quit analyzing what I've said.  You're really bad at it. 

    What I've said all along is that Dylan believes what she believes. 

    What I've said all along is that it doesn't matter what we think here; we're neither judge nor jury. 

    What I've said all along is it may or may not be true.

    You seem to know for a fact that nothing happened to that lying little girl, and you're not going to let anyone say anything otherwise.

    You do what you want but when you write about what I'm thinking and you don't get it right, I sort of take that personally.

    You seem to know for a fact that nothing happened to that lying little girl, and you're not going to let anyone say anything otherwise.


    Exactly incorrect.

    I do tend to care, though, when a little mound of evidence piles up and it's bigger than another little pile.


    R: You really need to quit analyzing what I've said.  You're really bad at it. 

    P: Then tell us what this quote means, Ramona. At least I quote you and don't go off assuming I know things about your life I couldn't possibly know--as you have done with me. I also quote you accurately, a skill you haven't picked up.

    R: What I've said all along is that Dylan believes what she believes. 

    P: Ho-fucking-hum. And guess what? Allen believes what he believes. Somehow, though, that isn't compelling for you. Is it?

    R: What I've said all along is that it doesn't matter what we think here; we're neither judge nor jury. 

    P: From the length of this thread, it would appear that it matters a great deal to us.

    R: What I've said all along is it may or may not be true.

    P: One could hardly argue with that...and no one has that I've seen.

    R: You seem to know for a fact that nothing happened to that lying little girl, and you're not going to let anyone say anything otherwise.

    P: First, I never said she was lying; so YOU are LYING about what I said.

    R: You do what you want but when you write about what I'm thinking and you don't get it right, I sort of take that personally.

    P: Try practicing what you preach.


    I'm sorry, I don't see what you're doing as trying to get clarity.  I see it as trying to get us to admit Dylan is to blame for bringing this up so publicly again when it's obvious she lied. 

    Not gonna do it. 

    Yes, she should behave like Oprah (who was raped by a family member as a child) and use her experience to help the world to understand.  Maybe someday she will.  But she's not Oprah. 

    That's not to say this isn't "doing good for someone else".  Every time one of these stories comes up people talk about it.  Recovery groups will use it as a topic for discussion.  And hundreds if not thousands of women will come forward, thank her for her courage, and openly discuss their own abuse.

    She's also not necessarily a crass attention-getter.  She is a woman who is hurting because of unresolved abuse issues, and we can argue whether this was the best way to address them (I don't think so, but I'm not her), but emotions are funny things.  They're often uncontrollable, unreasonable and in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

    But you lost me at "things turned out pretty well for her".  I won't be back.

    " is a woman who is hurting because of unresolved abuse issues" - great of you to inform us of that - which are the certified abuse issues that are unresolved? which definitive Vanity Fair article are you relying on?

    What part of "unresolved abuse issues" don't you understand?  This isn't about you or me, it's about a woman who, rightly or wrongly, feels there are still abuse issues from the time she was seven years old that, in her mind, haven't been resolved.

    How much farther are you going to go with this?  If you can't understand this woman's feelings, no amount of "certification" is going to enlighten you. 

    A game of "gotcha" isn't going to do it, either.

    Imo some are giving the polygraph more weight than I do. At first I didn't include it then reconsidered and edited my post because when the other evidence is considered it adds to the case in a way I think meaningful.

    For me that the doctors could find no evidence of abuse the day and 4 days later is most significant. I don't see how reasonable people can't agree that the claim of penetration is a false memory. Some may say they believe everything else Dylan said but penetration is a false memory. I just don't see how its possible to insert an adult sized finger into a 7 year old sized vagina without some evidence of it.

    The investigators report was not just in Allen's favor but very strongly worded. I attach a high value to that evidence.

    The statement by Moses isn't new news. He came out with a similar statement some years ago. At one point he even called the house hold a "brainwashing cult." I decided not to post that or every other  bit of evidence with limited relevance to the case. There really is much more about the Mia household and her behavior after discovering Allen's affair with  Soon yi. I considered it as biased as the Orth article in Vanity Fair and at best circumstantial so tried to stick with higher quality evidence.

    Michael, just re-read your post, and it is excellent.

    From another perspective. 

    Ignore the principle if you wish. 

    17 yIn your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. John 8:17

    qOn the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. Deuteronomy 17:6

    Michael put this on FB, but it really belongs here:

    New Blog Piece On Woody Allen To Settle Everything

    Amidst the ongoing debate over the iconic director's alleged sexual abuse in 1992 of his then 7-year-old adopted daughter, numerous sources nationwide confirmed Thursday that a newly published blog post titled What You Really Need To Know About The Woody Allen Scandal will finally and categorically settle the matter in its entirety. ...

    A further examination of the legal status of expert witness testimony from a licensed polygrapher:

    In a case where a defendant accused of perjury took the stand to affirm his prior testimony that he was ignorant of a conspiracy in restraint of trade, his proffer of the results of a  polygraph confirming the truth of this assertion was denied  On appeal, the 11th circuit held that where the polygraph was administered by a licensed operator, who was available for cross examination on the manner in which the test was administered and his interpretation of the results, the evidence would be admitted, over the objection of the prosecution.

    On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit created the following standards for
    polygraph evidence admissibility: -subject to Federal Rules of Evidence
    40123 and 40324 and the rules covering expert testimony 2-
    (1) where the parties stipulate in advance as to the circumstances and
    scope of admissibility of polygraph evidence, then the judge shall admit
    such evidence;
    (2) even without stipulation, polygraph evidence may be used to
    impeach or corroborate a witness where
    (a) a party gives notice that it intends to use polygraph
    (b) the opposing party has an opportunity to administer its
    own polygraph examination, and
    (c) the requirements for admissibility under the Federal
    Rules of Evidence are met for impeachment or corroboration
    testimony, then the judge shall admit such evidence at his or her
    No one is proposing that a polygraph test conclusively proves that a witnesses testimony to certain facts is true or false--the trier of fact is still obliged to make a determination taking into account all evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, befoe deciding upon the facts.  That said, there are many situations in which little or no physical evidence is available and/or the state of mind of the accused is a crucial  element of the offense (compare, eg, changing an infant's diaper and applying ointment with the alleged sexualized "stroking" of which Allen is acused.), or the charge of perjured statement vi-a-vis what the witness knew or did not know at the time of a particular act , in the instant case the delivery on the stand of testimony that the witness was ignorant of some factual nexus, the knowledge of which as found by the jury constitute the gravamen for the perjury conviction..

    As someone who never gets involved in heated discussions, may I make a suggestion that enough is enough?  You folks are getting mad at each other, or at least it looks that way, over nonsense -- and on a very serious issue.


    Since Ramona and Donal are convinced I think I know, for a fact, what happened between Woody and Dylan, I'm going to come clean.

    I do. Here's what happened. Please note how this story perfectly accords with all the facts as they are known, or at least with all facts suspected of being facts.

    • Once upon a time, Dylan was Daddy's little girl, his favorite. He showered all kinds of attention on her. She was in paradise, and so was he.

    • As is common in families where these strong dyadic relationships develop, jealousy soon comes a-visiting. Unbeknownst to Dylan or Daddy, the other kids were getting kinda pissed off at all the attention he showed her at their expense. They used to chant "Daddy and Dylan sittin' in a tree. K.I.S.S.I.N.G..." and march about the apartment when Daddy and Dylan were off on one of their father-daughter bonding strolls down 5th Avenue. Mia thought it was so cute and creative how the kids were putting on their own productions and learning to express their feelings.

    • But under the surface, the seeds of sibling discord were being sown.

    • And truth be told, Mommy was also getting kinda irked. Dads are supposed to love their daughters; that's admirable. Super Mom meet Super Dad. But enough was enough! And wasn't this all a little too close to all those January-December relationships Allen had portrayed in his movies and even talked about approvingly in public? She used to feel hip and avant-garde being linked in public with someone with the courage to openly defy bourgeois morality and profess libertine principles. Bourgeois morality was so, so very bourgeois. Artists didn't need no stinking morality; they set their own rules. Didn't Baudelaire and Rimbaud?

    • But all this was supposed to be left on the cutting room floor. It was great when Woody was being lionized by the hoi polloi for his celluloid lifestyle. Somehow it all felt differently when it was happening to her.

    • In short, she began to brood.

    • Then one day, Dylan noticed a change. Kids notice things way before adults do, and Dylan was no exception to this rule. Daddy's affections which, heretofore, had been focused almost entirely on her had begun a subtle shift which were growing in intensity day by day. Someone else had caught his eye and begun to worm her way into his affections. But who???

    • The worse person possible! Her older sister! Dylan used to look up to Soon-Yi even as she secretly pitied the poor Oriental girl with a lopsided face whose traditional place as "elder sister" she, Dylan, had inevitably usurped in the eyes of their father while she was still in the salad days of single digits. Soon-Yi had been cursed with a face only a mother could love and, as Dylan saw it, that was what their mother was for. Daddy was an artist, a genius, a smart, talented, witty man. He wasn't going trade a flower with peerless scent for a bottle of kimchee!!!

    • But not every fortune cookie bears a message of unadulterated good fortune. "Never Trouble Trouble Till Trouble Troubles You" was wise advice, but goddamn-it! Trouble WAS troubling Dylan, and big time! And the more she watched Daddy and Soon-Yi (the fools thought she was playing with Barney or napping with Beanie Baby) the less she liked it and the angrier it made her.

    • You see, it wasn't just that Daddy was shifting his focus toward Soon-Yi, it was the nature of the focus that Dylan found particularly troubling. Daddy and Soon-Yi weren't just spending a lot of "time" together, they were also doing different things together, things that were just over the horizon for a girl still in her single digits. And though Dylan had no well-formed notion of "romantic love" and what it entailed, our human biology still gives us an inkling of what is to come even before it has arrived.

    • In short, Dylan was getting the message even if she didn't understand all the words. And she didn't like it one bit. No, not one bit. But what to do? Things were getting worse by the day. Events were swiftly moving toward an ineluctable conclusion (even though her young mind couldn't flesh out what that was) with no exits, off-ramps, or turnabouts on the horizon.

    • Until one day, things came to a head and the world flipped upside down. Worse--all the world knew the world had flipped!

    • Sister Soon-Yi had taken Mommy's place! Sister was now Mommy! Mommy was now sister! It was sister against sister! Mommy against Mommy! Sister against Mommy.

    • In one stroke, Mommy had been thrown into the dustbin of history--but never mind her--Dylan is whom we should care about, and she had been thoroughly and irrevocably cast out and dethroned from her position of privilege as Daddy's Most Gracious and Exalted Companion.

    • What to do about this impossible turn of events???

    • Some kids grow up fast, and Dylan had to grow up fast if she was going to put a stop to this. Desperate events call for desperate measures. Boiled down to its basics, the problem as she saw it was this:

    • Daddy was diddling Soon-Yi when, by rights, he should've been diddling Dylan.

    • Dylan knew diddly about diddling, but she knew it had put Soon-Yi way ahead of Dylan in Daddy's universe of affection. Whatever it was technically, diddling was powerful magic. It had to be! After all, ordinary magic couldn't have taken Daddy away from Dylan. What else could diddling be but powerful, powerful joo-joo.

    • But what could a girl, still in single digits, do about it a force this powerful and, by her, so little understood?

    • For months, nay years, the problem wracked her. She couldn't stand to be in Daddy's presence. She'd lock herself into the bathroom whenever he visited. Like a true Allen, she had somatic symptoms. His presence caused her to moan like a wounded wolf on moon-less night. Nothing worked.

    • Then the solution hit her like a thunderbolt. Fight thunder with thunderbolts! Her solution fit her to a tee and was just the kind of thing someone like her in her position would come up with.

    • Announce to the world: "Daddy was diddling me before he was diddling Soon-Yi. So there! If you think Woody Allen would diddle someone who looked like warmed over bee-beem-bap instead of someone like me...you don't know my Daddy!"

    And 20 years later: "He is, was, and will always be mine. If I can't have him all to myself...no one will. Not Mommy. Not Soon-Yi. Not those dumb actress. Not any of those people who go to see his movies."

    • And the rest, as they say, is history. The only bit of lucky news for Dylan was this: Mommy became her Super Ally. Mommy had been a bit irked when Daddy and Dylan were spending too much "alone time" together. But that was nothing compared to how she felt about Daddy diddling Soon-Yi. One could almost see the long canons swiveling on their mounts as they searched out their new target.

    • After all, even if Dylan knew diddly about diddling, such was not the case for Mommy. Mommy knew diddling like the back of her hand. She had diddled across large expanses of this great country of ours. In fact, I don't think I'm betraying any confidences when I say that I myself, a young CT boy, gazed out at old Blue Eyes' XXX-foot yacht moored off an island in the Sound for many, many days, as much delightful and dilatory diddling took place aboard, bourgeois morality be damned.

    • (Yes, I know this for a fact, too, but I'm not going to tell you how I know. I have my children to think of. Let's just say, JK told me. The yacht's name was Southern Breeze. You can look it up, if you don't believe me.)

    • And yes, for the record, I was jealous of old Frank. But there was bright side to it, too. It was then that I learned the true meaning of that famous Mafia expression: To make one's bones. Frank was making his (again) and made no bones about boning whomever he wanted and wherever he pleased. And he didn't give a bone who knew about it, either--least of all, his wife or wives. Nor did Mamma Mia.

    • In summary, what at first looked like an impregnable barrier to Dylan in her childish quest to be the center of Daddy's universe forever--Daddy diddling Soon-Yi--revealed itself to be an excellent battering ram--Daddy had been diddling Dylan first, so there!--and had the added benefit of impelling Mommy to pick up the ram and put her full weight into the effort of bringing Daddy to his knees. And it didn't hurt that a good part of the world agreed with them.

    Anyway, that's the way it happened. You can make book on it.

    Since Ramona and Donal are convinced I think I know, for a fact, what happened between Woody and Dylan ...

    Is there such a group as Straw Men Anonymous?

    The stated point of this piece was that we can ignore Dylan's accusations. I don't think we can, and I gather that neither does Ramona. Do I know that Allen is guilty - no. Do I know that he is innocent - also no. Do I have a strong feeling either way - again no. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow were highly unusual people, and any number of things could have happened in that gaggle of kids.

    I do object to the knee-jerk assumption that Dylan must be lying. 

    R (to me): You seem to know for a fact that nothing happened to that lying little girl, and you're not going to let anyone say anything otherwise.

    D (agreeing with R): Exactly.

    No strawmen, Donal. Here, Ramona and you are accusing me of thinking I know for a fact what happened. There it is in black and white.

    In this same quote, you and Ramona are accusing me of saying that Dylan lied. I am not. If you can find it, then put it up.

    What I have said is that Allen's pile of evidence is bigger and more impressive than hers.

    What I am saying in this bit of fanciful recreation is that Dylan may have had strong intentions and, simultaneously, not understood the full import of her words.

    That's not lying and it's not even a case of her mother or anyone else coaching her. Nor is it to say that she isn't under a lot of pain and stress.



    If you can find it, then put it up.

    Right here:

    This comment has been deleted.

    Now this is really not fair.  A masthead poster accuses Peter of writing something--which Peter disputes--based on a comment that has been deleted?  That dog don't hunt.

    Here's where you guys are, I hope:

    1. Child abuse is a heinous crime.

    2.  It is anything but unheard of for abused children, sexually or otherwise, to repress abuse until later in life.

    3.  Such revelations are difficult to apply in a court of law and in particular with respect to criminal cases where guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt.

    4.  We don't know what happened here, and it seems to me that all of us, however we feel about the quality of the evidence, should not condemn this woman because she comes out now.  That would be awful.  But that question is different, I think, from the issue of whether Allen is or is not guilty, and there's been lots of ink on that.  It is missing, I submit, the forest through the trees.

    5.  The presence of celebrities on both sides has undoubtedly influenced this dispute.

    5.  I apologize if I missed anything.

    Thank you, Bruce.  I've moved on.  I don't have anything more to say.

    10. A lot has been written.

    15. We can't see most of Peter's comments anymore, and he presumably knows that.

    25. You didn't get the joke.

    40. I agree with your points, especially 5.



    My bad on the joke Donal.  You're all good people, whom I admire greatly.  Thanks, although I do kind of think that the more important issues are 1 through 4.   For heavens sakes, I would assume that you would agree that my missing something is hardly as significant as the issue of child abuse and its implications.  

    In truth, I believe people have the right to delete comments if the reason for doing so is that they have rethought what they have written.  Absent extraordinary circumstances, I would not use a comment deleted by someone against that person.  Your use of a deleted comment, in my opinion, did not satisfy that standard.

    Not that 5 ... the other one. You missed that joke, too.

    In truth, I believe people have the right to delete comments if the reason for doing so is that they have rethought what they have written.

    I disagree. One cannot unsay things in a conversation. One can only apologize or explain one's change of heart. Its especially inappropriate to delete a comment once its been replied to. The reply could then look defamatory or extreme without the preceding comment.

    I've seen so many people editing without even noting it or deleting comments in the last couple of weeks I'm beginning to think we're just not responsible enough to be given that option.

    Points taken.   I guess I didn't understand the problem.   I delete and edit all the time, and didn't think it was an issue.  Have to think about it I guess.   Thanks OK.  

    My personal opinion is that you should feel free to delete/edit within the first five minutes to half-hour or so of posting a comment, unless someone has responded to you.

    After that, you should use the strike option (next to the underline) to strike out text you wish you hadn't said and then add a small comment explaining the edit. Similarly with additions, you can add something like "edit to add: <new text>".

    I think that, unless horrendously egregious a similar tactic should be taken when moderators edit others' comments.

    Got it VA.  Like I said I didn't think it was an issue. And certainly not in a thread like this with a gazillion redundant comments.  But good points and good suggestions.  

    It could be a pet peeve. Maybe I'm the only one who cares. But I do care.

    If you care then so too do I.  

    Must say it is fun to see a labor negotiator apply his technique to a different environment. cheeky

    Mediator in this case, actually, but I'll take the props!  Who would have thunk that crazy bslev just wants everyone to get along. devil


    Sure it starts there but the next thing you'll be insisting we fill out a union card and pay dues to support your good work. I'm pretty sure Dagblog is a Right To Squabble site.

    Wait a minute, you mean you've been posting here for all this time without filling out your union card?????  Gonna have to tighten things up around here.

    Well, you know, Donal, I think you have a good point here.

    I probably shouldn't have deleted my comments.

    I really didn't like the way the whole conservation had made me feel, so I decided to bow out and deleted my comments.

    But then, I shouldn't have bowed back in once I did. Or, I should've just stayed in and kept my comments.

    Thanks, Bruce, but it was my fault.

    I probably shouldn't have deleted my comments.

    No you shouldn't. Not to single you out but there's been a lot of misuse by several people here of the edit functions. Most sites will not even allow commenters to edit or delete. We should treat that option with respect. If you decided to retract your comments you should have used the strike out option and "edit to add:" the reasons for your retraction.

    Yes, it was a rash move and my first time.

    Not only don't I delete whole threads of comments, I can't remember deleting even a one before. I am guilty of editing comments, but before there's a response and only to make the original sense clearer.

    I started hating the whole conversation and my role in it. So I tried to efface it when I should've just walked away.

    Some will never let you walk away. This is a written communication, not an oral, and what is written is forever. Nobody 6 months from now is going to say; you struck it out.

    You'll be hard pressed, to find your expressed words, should you want to defend yourself, against accusations, by some who'll take snippets, to torment you later.

    They'll tell you; they knew what you were really thinking.   Live with your own conscience. If you have a change in heart, why are you a prisoner to what you reconsidered wrong, to make others happy?  Unless someone blocks you from deleting, you'll be stuck having to defend yourself, Every time someone copies and pastes your words out of context, you'll be hounded.

    Why should you leave the stones, they'll use against you, because it makes them happy? 

    Well I'm not sure if Peter will ever be hounded, but the point that one must stick with a comment as originally written is something I've not considered before.  I just find good people thinking it's a problem and that makes me want to consider the issue more.  I've just been writing for a long time and that's the way I write, and I think even more so since the computer has come into the picture.  

    Back in the day we had to walk 9 miles to school and cut and paste for real when we wanted to change something.


    To me, the point is mostly not to delete so that others' comments become a nonsense. For example, if I said, "Bruce! XYZ!" And you responded, "How dare you say XYZ!" but I've deleted the comment you were responding to, then you sound like an idiot. The same if I were to completely change my initial statement so that your response no longer makes sense.

    So what? So you remove your comment, the replier can do the same?

    Because it makes them look foolish? Better you look foolish, than them?

    Removing what makes you feel uncomfortable, maybe there would be less Meta?  

    Maybe they want you to grovel and beg forgiveness, for being foolish or stupid, as you feed their ego's. If you can't remove it in time, then you have no alternative but to explain yourself anyway .

    This isn't Harpers, where you're words can't be changed, once published. This blog is a sounding board to express ideas and formulate opinions and changing ones mind shouldn't be controlled by sticklers.

    You make some good points, R, but maybe the thing would be to announce that you're doing it. That way, folks won't come along and wonder at the disjointed, nonsensical non-responsive, non-dialogue.

    The replier can do the same, but unless you announce it, then you're making work for the other person who signed up to respond to what you said, but didn't sign up to un-respond to what you're no longer saying and, in the process perhaps, lose aspects of what he'd said, and so on.

    I thought I'd deleted everything, and then I'd keep finding comments I'd overlooked. It would be even worse for the person forced to clean up his comments after me.

    Anyway...you make good points. One should be able to own your own words and keep, delete, or change what you no longer like. Announcing that you're making the change is probably the way to get the best of both things.

    Delete and give a comment  "Changed my mind"  We do have that prerogative, right? 

    That should be sufficient; I agree.

    For one, as Bruce has pointed out, it's rare for posts to be anything other than a quick first draft. I, for one, don't write and then edit my posts in Word; let cool; revise; then post. I go for it (unfortunately-:)

    But that said...

    Posts in comments sections don't stand alone, at least not entirely. They are running conversations in which "the thing" isn't really these discrete posts, but the running thread, what the thread ends up to saying.

    So, it might be more interesting...

    Instead of doing what you and I are suggesting here...a short, "I changed my mind"...to actually explain how and why I changed my mind. That might open up new avenues for dialogue and discovery and even get others to reflect on what they've said, etc.

    IOW, get the thread bubbling in new ways.

    For example, it's taken as a given that no one changes his mind in political discussions on the Internet or anywhere else. Well, in my case, that is NOT true at all. I'm constantly changing my mind and reflecting and revising. And sometimes, when I'm arguing the hardest, I'm in the process of changing my mind. Sometimes, a strong argument is a kind of plea, "Please change my mind by rebutting what I'm saying here in a convincing way."

    As another example, I've change my mind about you. I still think you and I probably disagree about many, many things. Many times, I can't even understand what you're saying. And it's true, you have gotten nasty and been nastied in return. Also, my old eyes find it hard to navigate you're, ah, unique approach to typography.


    I do think you bring an interesting and important religious perspective to topics that draws on a deep and not well-known (by many) strain in American cultural and political thought. So I'm trying to pay more attention to you, while before I tended to skip over your posts.


    Maybe they want you to grovel and beg

    Its not about groveling or begging. Admitting a mistake or error is personal growth. One does it for oneself. Its what separates the kids from the adults. A person with honor, integrity and honesty doesn't hide their mistakes like a baby. They take responsibility for them, they repent, and change. That's how we become better people. That's what is meant by personal growth.

    Personal growth? Calling others baby? Goading someone to feed your head?

    I've heard similar complaints in the school yard, "Stand there and fight; take your pummeling from the bullies or you're a baby? 

    I'd just as soon walk away from the fight, not because of cowardice but in the interest of peace, Some of us cant afford to get drawn into an argument or we get censored or worse yet three strikes.

    After the last few weeks I have been reawakened to the admonition, turn down foolish arguments by those who do so to tear others apart


    Better your little FI FIs are hurt, because .......... "you did so much work" Whaaa 

    and unfair to those who take the time to respond.

    Notice to all, I don't care if some of you never respond. I wont be rude like some; but I think it better to turn down foolish arguments. If I realize, I have said something that can get twisted by those bent on humiliating me,

    I could care less if those kinds of works, are foiled.

    Call me anything you like, just don't call me late for dinner. 

    Yes that's it. Its just not honorable debate. Its disrespectful and unfair to those who take the time to respond. Sometimes I have this almost Worfian sense of honor and I almost have to laugh at myself. Its not the worse thing in the world to do but its just not honorable.

    I'd like to point out that it's highly unusual to have the set-up we have at Dagblog, where you can't edit a comment after someone has replied to it, but you can still delete it. Normally, the set-up is that you can do neither once someone has replied to the comment, so the replies still make sense for the reader. (I have seen some systems where the intial commenter, if he/she is also the blog entry author, can remove the entire sub-thread that was started with his/her comment. That removes the problem of the reader not having the full context, it also is allowing the blog author censorship powers.)

    As the person who set up Dagblog, maybe Michael Wolraich made this a conscious choice or maybe he just didn't tick the right switch to turn off ability to delete after replies....he's really the only one who can splain why commenters here can still delete after someone has replied.

    I agree that once a comment is replied to, then an edit or deletion, without explanation, would seem to be improper.  I did not even know that could be done here.

    I agree, Donal. 

    Well, when you can show where I or anyone here has taken that kneejerk reaction, then please quote it and it explain.

    Or I guess you can keep lying about what has been said. Apparently, you find that easier than making a substantive point about what people are and aren't saying.

    I do object to the knee-jerk assumption that Dylan must be lying.

    This is not a rational argument, its simply an attack. The reality is my knee jerk reaction in any case of sexual abuse or rape is to make the assumption that those reporting the crime are telling the truth. I try to put that bias in favor of the victim aside as the story unfolds and look at the evidence. My knee jerk assumption usually turns out to be true. In this case, to my surprise, as I looked at the evidence it seemed likely that Allen did not abuse Dylan.

    You of course are free to either accuse people of making a knee jerk assumption or to make a rational analysis of the evidence offered. Its totally your choice.


    If yours wasn't a knee-jerk assumption then why did you assume I was talking about you? 

    I think it's because no one here appeared to be making such a knee-jerk assumption, so when you accused somebody of doing so, anybody who might have suggested that we apply presumption of innocence to Allen might have felt you were referring to them. (Such people have actually been quite explicit that they felt that, if Allen is innocent, Dylan probably had implanted memories.)

    I do read more of the internet than just this blog.

    I'm sure you do. You're quite well-read, from what I've seen. However, when you post that here, it naturally makes others assume you're referring to something you've seen here, unless there's an indication otherwise. Are you explicitly stating that you were not referring to anything here?

    I wasn't thinking of anyone in particular, no. That might have been a valid assumption when LisB was here and there was actually a sense of community and all. Not now.

    "when LisB was here and there was actually a sense of community"

    Please do not tempt me like that.


    What ever happened to her? Did she ever find employment? Last I heard she was having a hard time.

    No idea.

    lol Unlike you who never ever jumps into a conversation between two people, for example Peter and Ramona, I sometimes jump into conversations, for example you and Peter.

    I think the argument that since I jumped into your conversation with Peter it somehow implies that I made a knee jerk assumption that Dylan was lying is pretty thin. Do you actually stand by that argument? Or are you so desperate to "win" that you're grasping at straws?  I guess our standards of what constitutes a rational argument is decidedly different.

    I think you're using the Wattree standard of evidence. Anyone who replies outs themselves as one of the people referred to and proves the  point by replying.

    I just think lots of people aren't used to disagreeing bc much of the internets is preaching to the converted.   How else can you explain all the meta this week about how to read books and this here thread?         

    Edited to add that I am talking about disagreement on merits of am issue.   That is to be distinguished from those who choose to be contrarian as an end in itself and for the purpose of generating ire.   That ain't debate. 

    Sorry but I haven't engaged you at all on this thread and I wasn't thinking of you at all when I wrote that. 

    I read a lot of different sites, some of which I link to here, so my mind is sometimes full of other arguments I've read.

    My client, an Italian-American businessman currently enjoying his golden years in retirement in an undisclosed Arizona location, believes that your scenario will make the script of a terrific movie, and praises its realism.  

    However, he was a very close friend, indeed, you might say that he was the "goombah" of Mr Sinatra, for whom he retains a great deal of affection and respect.

    He is prepared to pay you one million dollars (U.S.) for all rights, both print and picture, of your idea.

    Upon your execution of a contract committing you to the destruction of all copies of this scenario, and the transfer of all further rights to and in the plot set forth, you will be forever bound to (here I take the liberty of quoting him verbatim) "shut uppa you mouth, or it will only be good for the fishes to swim in and out of"

    I look forward to a mutually satisfactory consummation of this agreement.


    PS.  This offered is conditioned upon your agreeing to arrange a meeting with the aforementioned JK.  It will not be necessary for you personaly to attend said meeting, and I recommend that you do not.

    You forgot the dotted line!

    My client is a man of honor who believes you to be the same.  Sufice it to say that were you to commit to this agreement by so much as a handshake and the endorsement of his check (or, more likely, the transfer of 10,000 hundred dollar bills) he would consider it very disappointing were you to renege on your committment.

    When he is disappointed, he does not regard litigation as an adequately emphatic expression of the resultant chagrin.

    That said, he believes you to be a man blessed with good mental health including with a normally functioning instinct for self preservation, and is confident that you will not violate your agreement once it is given.

    I'm a man of principle, and the more principal I have, the more principled I become.

    "Dylan knew diddly about diddling" ... That's got to be the quote of the day.

    The NYTimes answers your questions about Kristof and columnist policy by giving Woody Allen his own op-ed  column, on Sunday:


    P.S. It appears from the print edition page number (SR9) of Allen's column, that it is being placed as a guest op-ed, right next to salaried op-ed columnists Kristof, Dowd, Friedman, Douhat and Bruni (daily schedule here.)

    Which brings this to mind for me: no one in internet publishing has really dealt as well yet with the separation of opinion from news/analysis as had been done with quality print media. and is still done in the print NYTimes. Nick Kristof and Thomas Friedman may label themselves journalists, but in the print edition, it is still very clear that they are simply opinion columnists. That dividing line is not so clear when you take it to the internet. And that's partly because opinion is so very much more popular with the public at large, producing so many clicks, and so many many blogs and bloggers opining on those opinions with cross-links. Traffic.

    In the past, a newspaper could show it's editorial stance by placement.  If they wanted to be one kind of paper, they would clearly label opinion and/or place it in its own separate section. If they wanted to be another kind of paper, they'd place anything pandering to a large public on the front page to sell more copies.

    Now, take a look at how many hits and comments your post here on topic at Dagblog got. Which was placed on the home page. But you still think the NYT should forbid things like Kristof  publishing his piece on topic on their clearly labeled op-ed column pages/section? They should leave this to the tabloids to handle it in a different way? Instead of getting published by a Kristof in a clearly labeled op-ed, where opinion columnists are given free-play to publish anything on their minds, Dylan Farrow should have to take her plaint to like. the New York Post  or Huffington Post, and let them splash it up with on the front page/home page with lots of pictures and big bold type lead-ins? And the NYTimes should be loftier than a lot of the rest of us and forgo the internet traffic associated with their opinion columnists (elsewhere known as bloggers) choosing to address topics of this type?

    When the paper itself takes a position, there can be a price to pay.

    The last WSJ I read was in 1993. Clinton was in office; for whatever reason the WSJ was mounting an  investigation of ? Vince Foster . From a New Yorker article some time later we know that he was extremely upset by the attacks and by his concern that he was damaging Bill and Hillary's attempt to take control of Bill's Presidency.

    Foster committed suicide.

    I didn't then or later fault the WSJ for their investigation. But what came next

    The day following Foster's death they editorialised. It should have written itself. A few sentences expressing sympathy with his family. If  they wanted to defend their journalism ,that could have been done that later. Instead the editorial explicitly defended   their previous campaign.

    What's the opposite of Nil nisi bonum?

    My last day of  Journal reading. I haven't missed it.


    It would be interesting to read a history of "the editorial."

    Newspapers are supposed to report the news, not what they think of the news, at least in the American mind.

    Why should editorial writers be allowed such a big megaphone and high perch?

    Is it reasonable to think they, anonymous all, are more expert on issues XYZ than anyone else? What do they know about getting the economy rolling again or the deficit problem that Flavius doesn't?

    Editorials are pay to play. You're rich enough to own a paper? Then your opinion gets to count more than any other.

    I suspect editorials are a relic of the robber baron period--and should be deep-sixed.

    Not sure I entirely understand your meaning here...

    You approve or disapprove of the NYT allowing Kristof to do what he did as an op-ed writer?

    Or are you saying that papers can't be blamed for wanting to get more hits with sensational articles like Kristof's? And don't want the "business" to go to tabloids like Huff?

    Or are you saying that papers can't be blamed for wanting to get more hits with sensational articles like Kristof's? And don't want the "business" to go to tabloids like Huff?

    I am suggesting it might be hypocritical of everyone on this thread, including Michael, to criticize the NYT for how they handled this. This thread is proof this story is of considerable interest to a wide public.

    The NYT have clearly labeled opinion pages where they let Kristof, as an opinion writer, publish what he wants. In this case, he advocated for an acquaintance's plaint in an intelligent, sensitive way, just like he does advocates all the time about all kinds of women all over the world who he has personally met and knows and wants to advocate for. (Malala, rape victims, etc.)

    Then the Times gave Woody Allen equal placement to respond.

    Yes, this can be said to pander to public interest. It's Kristof that did it, as a columnist, and they chose not to impede him. So what? They try to handle that and direct it. What is news in this day and age but what the public wants it to be? How the hell are newspapers supposed to stay in business if they don't do that to some extent? And in this case, I think NYTimes has very much followed old time rules as well. They let their opinion columnists have freedom to be what they want to be. But they place it as clearly defined opinion, And they seek out and publish responses from parties that might be affected.

    It is actually one of my pet peeves to see bloggers and blog commenters complain about cable TV news coverage. As far as I am concerned, as a long time addict, they pander to what the blogosphere wants to talk about.

    This attention to celebrity lives as role models, not just in the U.S. but allover the world, doesn't appear to be going away, and everyone on this thread is complicit in that. I would rather see venues like the NYTimes handle it than many, many others. And I would rather see someone like Kristof do it, whose basic modus operandi is using individual anecdote narratives, including celebrity ones, to draw attention to various problems still plaguing women. If you know his work, you know he's not doing this just get hits, or even just to help out friend Mia Farrow in a jihad against Woody Allen. He thinks it's a topic worth publishing about. And so does everyone on this thread, apparently.

    You make good points, all.

    Your point about celebrity-role models was good and got lost in all this.

    The under side of it, now that I think about it, is this: Celebrities serve as role models, and insofar as we are drawn to or repelled by this role model, try to follow or depart from it, we become complicit in the role model's successes and failures.

    Hence Dylan's opening challenge: "What's your favorite Woody Allen movie?"

    Her point is that, by having a favorite, by looking on Woody as a favorite, you, the audience, become complicit in his abuse of her. Which is utter nonsense, of course ...her mother is FAR more complicit than any moviegoer and she gets a pass... but makes sense when you look at the role model dynamic you pointed out.

    Otherwise, why start off with that finger-pointing first sentence?

    Shuffling to the side...

    I confess that even as a moth drawn to this fire myself and thus in no position to point fingers, I'm fairly repulsed by all the "fire power" trained on this one person who, in fact, has FAR more advantages than all the many abused women and girls and boys out there.

    I'm not sure it's rational, but it sort of disgusts me. Yeah, pain is pain, and Dylan is a human being and deserving of what other people deserve, but still...it sticks my craw. And yet here I am, too.

    Now, take a look at how many hits and comments your post here on topic at Dagblog got.

    It's always struck me how many more comments strong opinion or sensational subjects get here (and elsewhere on the Internet) than fact-based or clear analysis pieces get. That is, pieces where we might actually learn something or the conversation might be moved forward in a substantive way.

    I guess it's to be expected on the Internetz broadly...but here, too?

    (I'm aware of the irony that I contributed a huge percentage of said comments in this case in particular. So I'm not pointing fingers, but noticing...)

    There used to be a poster here whose name, appropriately enough, escapes me who always wrote well-thought-out essays, complete with meticulous footnotes. His name may have been David; can't recall the last name. Cowin, maybe? I don't think he ever got more than two or three comments of the "way to go" variety.

    Of course, he never seemed to respond to comments, even questions, so that might have contributed to the few number of comments and their innocuousness.

    My objection wasn't so much that they used the op-ed space to cover the topic -- the op-ed columnists can and should break news even as they analyze it.  They don't, by the way, because op-ed columnist at The New York Times is a cushy job (and if somebody wants to reply "Hey, you try to come up with two columns a week for the rest of your life," my answer would be, "Happy to.")

    My problem was that it was Nick Kristof writing it. Kristof isn't just friends with the Farrows.  He and his wife share the same pet causes with Mia and Ronan.  It seemed like Kristof tried to use his perch to help amplify the Farrow's call for Allen's removal from public life.  This put Allen in a weird spot in terms of providing a rebuttal or interview.  Allen had no reason to believe he'd get a fair shake and, in the end, didn't get one out of Kristof.

    The Times only decided to publish the rebuttal after Allen offered it and after the public editor raised an eyebrow at Kristof's behavior.  Generally speaking, says Andrew Rosenthal, the Times does not do this.  If you get skewered by one of their writers in an op-ed, you do not automatically get space to rebut.  You get to write a letter.  The Times decision strongly implies that they saw something breakdown on the ethics front.

    Kristof's whole style is always making it sound like he's become best friends with the female victim's hes writing about, if he wasn't friends with them before. I just don't see this one as a huge big leap. If you don't think there's another side to the stories he writes about other female victims, I've got a bridge to....  That's what he does, advocacy for female victims of abuse. Does he check out the whole truth of the story like a journalist doing an in-depth? No! He's an opinion writer, an advocate, a propagandist. Just like most bloggers.

    I actually think better of the Times letting him do this one. It's potentially libelous. They went out on a limb along the lines of "academic tenure/freedom-of-speech" for their op-ed columnists on this one. I don't believe the public editor's eyebrows made them offer Woody Allen a rebuttal. I suspect they fully expected to have to do so once they saw Kristof's column.

    Michael, I have to be honest. I see mostly jealousy in all your columns on NYTimes op-ed columnists.  I always enjoy them as well-done jealous rants. But now you are getting serious about it, the editorial side of it, not ranty. Yes, it's a cushy job to be well-paid writer and to have your boss not just let you write what you want, but go out on a limb to support your ability to do so. You don't want there to be those kind of jobs, is that what you want to say? You can say you don't think the writers that have those jobs are deserving, but I'd say be careful not to say you don't think those kind of jobs should exist.  (And unfortunately for you, one thing the internet has shown us is that most of the opinion writers at the New York Times are incredibly popular draws, with lots and lots of readers that are interested in what they are given free reign and good pay to say.)

    Well of course there's some jealousy, double A.

    Though Kristof's brand is that his advocacy should be believed because he's a thorough and honest reporter.  What he's done here is akin to Frank Bruni smearing Olivia Nuzzi and never apologizing (nor did the Times ever give her a rebuttal op-ed).

    As for most of these people and their audiences... people are interested in what they have to say more because of the Times than because of who they are.  Within reason, anyone with access to that platform on a regular basis will develop an audience.

    "The Times only decided to publish the rebuttal after Allen offered it and after the public editor raised an eyebrow at Kristof's behavior.  Generally speaking, says Andrew Rosenthal, the Times does not do this.  If you get skewered by one of their writers in an op-ed, you do not automatically get space to rebut.  You get to write a letter.  The Times decision strongly implies that they saw something breakdown on the ethics front."

    Just guessing but the prospect of being sued for libel is probably enough to buy the space to rebut. Surely there is a limit to what can be disclaimed as opinion simply because it is in the op/ed section. I only know what I reads on the internets but it strikes me that what Kristof did with his NYT column qualifies as Defamation per se: The four (4) categories of slander that are actionable per se are (i) accusing someone of a crime; (ii) alleging that someone has a foul or loathsome disease; (iii) adversely reflecting on a person's fitness to conduct their business or trade; and (iv) imputing serious sexual misconduct. Here again, the plaintiff need only prove that someone had published the statement to any third party. No proof of special damages is required.

    Can you point me to the public editor's raised eyebrow?



    Excellent question I think.

    I don't think that the Times could be successfully sued for libel here first and foremost because of Woody Allen is a public figure and would be subject to the standards that the Supreme Court set forth in Times v. Sullivan (since the public official standard in Sullivan has been extended to public figures).  In short, generally under this heightened standard a proof, Allen would have to show that the Times acted with malice and/or reckless disregard for the truth.

    I am hardly an expert here, and I've had to deal with a number of these cases in the union/management realm, when for example a union protests in front of a company that is employing a non-union contractor and suggests that the non-union competition, and therefore the "neutral" company (in quotes because neutral has a legal connotation under federal labor law) is unsafe, etc.


    Edited to add that notwithstanding the legal standard I have no doubt the Times has no interest in "winning" this kind of lawsuit and would want to take steps to avoid being sued.

    Good link.  Much to think about. Thanks.


    It's kind of a myth that publications live in fear of libel suits.  They don't.  Such suits are easy to bring but hard to win.  The courts are, thankfully, more concerned with press freedoms and keeping such suits from creating a chilling effect on pursuing controversial stories.

    That said, most on staff libeal attorneys will work to make sure that suits are never brought or, if they are, that they would be summarily dismissed.  So, they'll vet stories, keep records of attempts to contact the subject, and maybe even assign an independent fact checker.  If a publication prints corrections, however minor, and allows rebuttal, that goes a long way in court, even if mistakes are made that cause damage.

    Thanks...I gathered much of that from Bruce's link.  Still after watching this current kerfluffe I wonder if the pendulum has swung as far as it is going to in the media's favor. It seems to me like an opportune case for some enterprising attorney to challenge reigning interpretations of the law especially regarding open season on the private lives of public figures when there is no compelling public interest involved. Using a perfectly reasonable, even noble, principle to enable pandering to prurient interests puts it at risk.



    Candidly, I had the impression that my initial comment and question that I presented to you on the first day of this cumbersome and bizarrely contentious thread was ignored. I thought it was ignored because I thought it was a good question, and I couldn't understand why it was never addressed by you or any of the other real journalists.  

    Now that we come full circle, the question I posed is brought directly to the fore.  In short, I asked you about the standards that existed, if any, for judging whether it was appropriate for Kristof to be posting this particular piece.  I asked about industry standards in the newspaper industry.

    In short, how can we have this discussion about whether Kristof properly wrote this column if we don't first consider whether or not there exist industry standards that address issues of oped versus news and personal bias of a reporter or opinion writer?


    P.S. Here's the question I posed, fwiw:

    The Times should never have allowed this.  It's yet another example of lack of editorial oversight over the op-ed columnists.

    This is what interests me most about your essay Michael, and it's an area that I don't know much about and probably should know more.  Generally speaking, what role would or should the Times have in regulating the content of an op-ed writer's column, and how does that compare with what is printed in the "news" sections?  Are there industry standards, or would such standards in and of themselves venture too closely to some sort of self-censorship?  

    Nice work by the way. 




    Whoops, answered you upstairs.

    I read this an hour or two after I wrote my own piece, but there you go ...
    This week, a number of commentators have published articles containing incorrect and irresponsible claims regarding the allegation of Woody Allen’s having sexually abused his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. As the author of two lengthy, heavily researched and thoroughly fact-checked articles that deal with that allegation—the first published in 1992, when Dylan was seven, and the second last fall, when she was 28—I feel obliged to set the record straight. As such, I have compiled the following list of undeniable facts:

    Thanks for this, Donal. It's always nice to get as many facts as possible. These also help put some of the other statements into a new light, and for me personally shifts the preponderance of evidence back to Dylan. I use that phrase carefully, because I can't say there'd be enough to give me the criminal criteria of beyond a reasonable doubt, but there's definitely enough that if I had a daughter I wouldn't want her to be alone with Dylan. (Actually, that'd be true even if I thought the preponderance of evidence was still in favor of Allen.)

    As I noted in my piece, a former asst states atty commenting on Allen's OpEd noted that it was very difficult to get a conviction without a confession. That might just be whining, but considering that Allen was able to refuse the state's polygraph test and hire his own, you can see what they would have been up against.

    I wouldn't want any child alone with Allen, or any pet for that matter.

    I tend to buy this from your piece:

    Wilk did not see Allen as any sort of parent:

    Mr Allen’s response to Dylan’s claim of sexual abuse was an attack on Ms Farrow, whose parenting ability and emotional stability he impugned without the support of any significant credible evidence. His trial strategy has been to separate his children from their brothers and sisters; to turn the children against their mother; to divide adopted children from biological children … His self-absorption, his lack of judgement and his commitment to the continuation of his divisive assault, thereby impeding the healing of the injuries that he has already caused, warrant a careful monitoring of his future contact with the children.

    He's always seemed like the classic guy that loathes the idea of having children. But is "roped into it" some way or another against his better judgment. By societal pressure, especially, because you're supposed to do it, because it's supposed to complete your being, it's supposed to be wonderful.

    He started out as a comic plying a neurotic New Yorker brand and continued that for decades.  It's hard to believe that didn't come from real neuroses. You can't possibly know that much about "shrinks" without going to them.

    Back in the day when one read that he's in a relationship with Mia Farrow but wouldn't live with her, but lives across the park from her, because she has a houseful of adopted children, it made perfect sense.

    Lots of people have really bad fathers "roped into it." And they screw up their kids with their reaction to the kids they end up having. If the courts prosecuted and took all the bad fathers' rights away because of this or that inappropriate psyche damaging behavior, all we'd have is a lot more single mothers. If we then did it to all the bad mothers, too, we have a ton more orphans to deal with. What I am saying is that I think what you quoted rings true, but I hope it doesn't make for court cases, especially criminal ones. I wouldn't like to see family courts get too hot and heavy on the parental rights issues in this regard, either, too much nanny state, too dangerous. In the end maybe the whole interest in the story is good in that more exceptionally dysfunctional families suffer disapproval and get help. But I think one has to keep the whole criminal pedophilia thing separate from this, that should be treated differently by society.

    He's always claimed that he's nothing like his persona.

    I read the former prosecutor's comment and was pretty annoyed by it.  Take Allen out of this entirely, and take the specific crime out of it, and our former prosecutor is basically saying that a decision not to prosecute doesn't mean innocence, and that a decision to prosecute that ends in acquittal doesn't mean innocence either.  This would imply that as soon as there is mere scrutiny of somebody from a prosecutor that guilt is at the very least likely.  I doubt that's true.  I get why prosecutors make claims like this.  They are loathe to admit that they or the system them work within ever hassles, inconveniences or extra-judicially punishes people who don't at some level deserve it.  But, do you really believe that?

    Take Allen out of this entirely, and take the specific crime out of it, and our former prosecutor is basically saying that a decision not to prosecute doesn't mean innocence, and that a decision to prosecute that ends in acquittal doesn't mean innocence either.

    Shocking if that's what was said.  It is absolutely and unequivocally inappropriate for a state prosecutor to make such a statement.  It is outside his or her authority and it does nothing but taint the integrity of of the judicial process.  It is unethical at a minimum. 


    Direct cut and paste...


    Chicago 17 hours ago

    As a former assistant states attorney who spent several years prosecuting child molestation cases I can tell you that it is very difficult to obtain a conviction. Without physical evidence and a prompt outcry most cases are summarily dismissed or never charged. Prosecutors try to obtain confessions but without them the odds of winning are low. Certainly Woody Allen would have the upper hand in convincing a tribunal of his innocence. He is brilliant after all. But, a decision not to charge is not an acquittal. And even an acquittal does not necessarily settle the argument. I once convicted a father of molesting his 4 year old daughter. The little girl took the stand and told a jury how her "daddy used to make it rain in her bed." She was describing in child's terms her father's climax. Years later, she wrote me a letter thanking me. She wrote about how her older brother had come forward when he was 18, drug addicted, lost, in trouble with the law, to explain to his sister that he had been molested too. He felt responsible for letting it happen to her. I cannot tell you how many children slip through the system. I have interviewed so many child molesters who could look me in the eye and deny their crimes without a hint of remorse. I have spoken to priests who could deny their sins without batting an eye. Woody Allen is a genius. He may in fact be innocent. We will never know. But, I recognize something in him that has nothing to do with his fame.

    Its important to remember that the vast majority of child sex abuse claims as well as adult rape claims are true. And that in both cases its hard to get a conviction. But the rest of the comment is not evidence, its just incendiary. I too could look anyone in the eye and deny molesting a child or raping a women without a hint of remorse. I've never had to do that as I've never been accused. But would jerry recognize something in me too? In every rare case of a false accusation the accused would be able to deny the allegation without batting an eye.  I wonder what jerry recognizes in Woody besides the ability to deny an accusation which both guilty and innocent are quite capable of doing.

    From the ABA Model Rules on Professional Conduct:

    Rule 3.8 Special Responsibilities Of A Prosecutor
    The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

    (a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;

    (b) make reasonable efforts to assure that the accused has been advised of the right to, and the procedure for obtaining, counsel and has been given reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel;

    (c) not seek to obtain from an unrepresented accused a waiver of important pretrial rights, such as the right to a preliminary hearing;

    (d) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal;

    (e) not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence about a past or present client unless the prosecutor reasonably believes:

    (1) the information sought is not protected from disclosure by any applicable privilege;

    (2) the evidence sought is essential to the successful completion of an ongoing investigation or prosecution; and

    (3) there is no other feasible alternative to obtain the information;

    (f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor's action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.

    (g) When a prosecutor knows of new, credible and material evidence creating a reasonable likelihood that a convicted defendant did not commit an offense of which the defendant was convicted, the prosecutor shall:

    (1) promptly disclose that evidence to an appropriate court or authority, and

    (2) if the conviction was obtained in the prosecutor’s jurisdiction,

    (i) promptly disclose that evidence to the defendant unless a court authorizes delay, and

    (ii) undertake further investigation, or make reasonable efforts to cause an investigation, to determine whether the defendant was convicted of an offense that the defendant did not commit.

    (h) When a prosecutor knows of clear and convincing evidence establishing that a defendant in the prosecutor’s jurisdiction was convicted of an offense that the defendant did not commit, the prosecutor shall seek to remedy the conviction.


    So does that mean that when he's retired he can't post a comment about another case?

    A retired lawyer, or a working lawyer, has the right to his or her opinion on a case that he or she isn't or wasn't involved in.  I read Michael's comment to mean that the prosecutor who was involved in the Allen investigation made the statement.   

    I wouldn't want any child alone with Allen, or any pet for that matter.

    Thanks for a REAL demonstration of knee jerk.

    Thanks for a real demonstration of jerk. 

    I don't know, Donal...

    Given all the virtual ink you were spilling about others being knee-jerk this and knee-jerk that...

    And how much that offended you...

    It's worth noting, however briefly, that you've been in the bag, knee-jerk-style, for one side on this from the get-go.

    And you still are.

    This is a very biased account highly spun to portray Allen as a molester. Its a fine example of the maxim: The best way to tell a lie is to tell half the truth. Just as Woody's op ed piece is a very biased account highly spun to portray Allen as a victim of a false allegation implanted by Mia. As I read each article I was constantly thinking that's not true or that's so incomplete that it implies an untruth. Virtually every one of the 10 undeniable facts is actually a half truth. I don't want to go through the two articles point by point so I'll just pick the first one.

    Her lawyer told her on August 5, 1992, to take the seven-year-old Dylan to a pediatrician, who was bound by law to report Dylan’s story of sexual violation to law enforcement and did so on August 6.

    Woody's version: Notwithstanding, Mia insisted that I had abused Dylan and took her immediately to a doctor to be examined. Dylan told the doctor she had not been molested.

    Dylan did not tell the doctor she had not been molested. She refused to talk about it to the doctor. The closest she come to discussing it was when asked, where did daddy touch you? Dylan patted her shoulder. That's far from denying molestation and indicative of absolutely nothing. But the doctor also did not report Dylan's story of molestation. He reported Mia's story since Dylan refused to discuss it. Orth also declines to include the undeniable fact that the doctor found no evidence of abuse.

    Mia took Dylan to a second doctor four days  later because she refused to discuss it with the first doctor. Dylan then told her story. There was also at that time no evidence of abuse.That's not as significant as the examination on the first day since evidence could be lost or healed after four days. The three days between those two visits Mia made a tape of Dylan recounting her story. One might guess that those were three days of coaching or that they helped Dylan feel comfortable enough to tell the truth to a doctor who was a stranger. But it is an undeniable fact that happened. Why are all these facts left out of Orth's version of the undeniable facts?

    Imo every story on every issue is biased. In a sensational story like this one the bias from both sides is even greater.


    Just as a point of curiosity, what, in your opinion, is the "gold standard" telling of this story against which you judge various claims from both sides?

    Unfortunately there is no comprehensive gold standard story. I put the most weight on major newspaper reports not opinion pieces, like the NYT, that includes quotes of testimony. But I had to take several NYT stories and put them together to get a full story. I see that as close to gold standard as possible. I'd prefer to read a full transcript of the testimony not just portions. That's not available on line.

    The Orth article is the only one I've seen that attempts to tell the story in full. But as I read information from  reporting from major newspapers and testimony I began to see errors, half truths, important missing information, and false statements in the Orth article. Now I don't discount it, I'm sure there's some truth there, but I just don't trust it any more.

    For example, it is interesting that he appears to have refused a state polygraph test and but took one provided by his legal team.

    Is this true?

    Does it influence the results of the tests?

    Also interesting in Orth's list is that Allen had already been in therapy for allege inappropriate behavior toward Dylan.

    True? If so, what's the import?

    Who administers the polygraph test can have a huge impact on the results. The results are meant to be interpreted. There is no light that clicks on saying "lie" or "truth". There is definitely a subjective nature to that interpretation which polygraph training is meant to mitigate, but which it cannot completely eliminate. Thus, a polygraph test administered by someone trying to prove his guilt would be just as suspect as a polygraph test administered by someone trying to prove his innocence. Ideally, there would be a neutral third party who would administer the test.

    Its true that who administers the test can have a huge impact on the outcome. Its likely his lawyers chose one with impeccable credentials. But I don't know that. Its interesting that Orth said Mia was not asked to take a polygraph. Its likely the prosecution, Maco, didn't ask Mia to take a polygraph. But Woody did ask her to take one and she refused. Orth surely knew that but that undeniable fact didn't fit the story she wanted to tell. Its understandable that Woody would refuse the police polygraph. If Mia had agreed to take one the lawyers for each side would have agreed on a neutral third party to administer the tests. That would have been the ideal situation. Mia refused to take one which made the ideal situation impossible.

    Why is it understandable that Allen would refuse to take a police polygraph?

    In what way "understandable"?

    kat can probably explain it better but since Allen filed a complaint of prosecutorial misconduct, he may have not trusted their test adminstrators.


    Imo police are never unbiased seekers of truth. Once they have a suspect their goal is to gather evidence to convict that suspect of crimes. I would never agree to a police polygraph no matter how innocent. I would insist on a neutral third party. Just as I would never agree to let a drug dog into my car even if there were no drugs there. I suspect that the cops would claim a positive hit from the dog to engage in further harassment.

    That actually happened to me in Texas. I was stopped for "swerving" and the cop asked me to let a drug dog search inside my RV. This was years after my wild college days and I stopped  smoking pot years ago. I completely innocent of possessing drugs or anything illegal but refused because I was sure he would claim a false positive and have cause to tear my RV apart in a search. Perhaps I'm just too much of a hippie to trust the cops.

    Can you refuse? Can't the officer just claim, he smelled MJ as he approached the vehicle?

    I'm not a lawyer so I really don't know. This was a large RV, like a house, not a car so it may be there are different rules. All I can say is he asked me to let the dog inside the RV. I refused. He told me if I didn't consent he'd keep me there for an hour until he got a search warrant but if the dog went through and found nothing I'd be gone in 10 minutes. I told him to go get his search warrant. He questioned me for about those 10 minutes, trying to trip me up on my story. Which was completely true so I had no lies to remember or mess up. Then he let me go. Perhaps he was perceptive enough to see I was not worried or nervous. Because I was innocent.

    My inclination is to be polite and respectful but not to cooperate with cops when I'm a suspect. I don't trust them.

    As you probably know; I don't trust them either. 

    Prudent, just don't get into a fight with one because it ain't purty when you get taken inside.  That was a helluva lot of fun going over that story when I was trying to get admitted to the bar--as in the legal one.  But I digress. . .

    Orth's 1992 Vanity Fair article (rather long)
    ... Dr. Coates, who just happened to be in Mia’s apartment to work with one of her other children, had only to witness a brief greeting between Woody and Dylan before she began a discussion with Mia that resulted in Woody’s agreeing to address the issue through counseling. At that point Coates didn’t know that, according to several sources, Woody, wearing just underwear, would take Dylan to bed with him and entwine his body around hers; or that he would have her suck his thumb; or that often when Dylan went over to his apartment he would head straight for the bedroom with her so that they could get into bed and play. He called Mia a “spoilsport” when she objected to what she referred to as “wooing.” Mia has told people that he said that her concerns were her own sickness, and that he was just being warm. For a long time, Mia backed down. ...
    One summer day in Connecticut, when Dylan was four and Woody was applying suntan lotion to her nude body, he alarmed Mia’s mother, actress Maureen O’Sullivan, and sister Tisa Farrow when he began rubbing his finger in the crack between her buttocks. Mia grabbed the lotion out of his hand, and O’Sullivan asked, “How do you want to be remembered by your children?” “As a good father,” Woody answered. “Well, that’s interesting,” O’Sullivan replied. “It only lasted a few seconds, but it was definitely weird,” says Tisa Farrow.

    ... Dr. Coates, who just happened to be in Mia’s apartment to work with one of her other children, had only to witness a brief greeting between Woody and Dylan before she began a discussion with Mia that resulted in Woody’s agreeing to address the issue through counseling.

    What does this maddeningly vague statement mean?

    What happened in this "brief greeting" that raised her suspicions and to the point where she immediately recommended that Woody needed to address "the issue" in counseling?

    Isn't this what the reader really wants to know?

    It's so easy to pass over this basic question in the rush to reach the denouement of the sentence. Whatever Allen did, it was so outrageous that the shrink immediately knew it was pathological and needed to be addressed in therapy.

    Well howsabout letting us in on what it was?

    MO: At that point Coates didn’t know that, according to several sources, Woody, wearing just underwear, would take Dylan to bed with him and entwine his body around hers; or that he would have her suck his thumb; or that often when Dylan went over to his apartment he would head straight for the bedroom with her so that they could get into bed and play.

    PS: Which sources, Maureen? And how would they know all these things? They were around when he was wearing just underwear? They were in bed with them when Allen entwined his body around hers? They listened in as he told Dylan to suck his thumb? They, too, went to Allen's apartment and watched them head straight for the bedroom and get into bed?

    These sources sure get around and it would sure be nice to like...know.who.they.are.

    MO: He called Mia a “spoilsport” when she objected to what she referred to as “wooing.” Mia has told people that he said that her concerns were her own sickness, and that he was just being warm. For a long time, Mia backed down. ...

    PS: Again who are the sources reporting on this? Mia? Who else would be privy to this kind of conversation?

    Maureen Orth: Leaving Out Everything You Really Want To Know To Come To Your Own Conclusion

    You're absolutely right about all of those points. Referring to "several sources" is quite sketchy when there's really only one other source (Mia) who would likely be around to witness such events. That's not meant to impugn Mia's testimony, just that why would Orth make it sound as if there were several other sources who had witnessed it? If, in fact, other people (e.g., Mia's mom) had witnessed Woody in his underwear, that would be worth noting.

    A Guardian article dismissed Orth's recent piece as a retread of the '92 article, but it contains a lot of info about the Mia and the Farrow clan's life since 1992.
    It is 20 years since I reported for Vanity Fair the sad, sordid tale of Mia and Woody and Dylan and Soon-Yi and Mia’s other children, caught up in a major tabloid scandal. Today, at 68, Mia Farrow is far removed from that media circus. The mother of 14 children—ranging in age from 43 to 19—10 of whom were adopted and 2 of whom have died, she also has 10 grandchildren. Her focus is no longer acting (she has made more than 40 films) but activism, in Africa, as a UNICEF ambassador and on more than 20 missions of her own, particularly to the Darfur region of Sudan and to neighboring Chad. Coupling the mass killings in Darfur with China’s tacit support of the Sudanese government as well as its veto power in the U.N. Security Council in exchange for a claim on Sudan’s oil, she named the 2008 Beijing Olympics “the genocide Olympics” and triggered an international reaction. Her partner in this crusade has been her son Ronan Farrow, born in 1987, when she was with Allen. Ronan was 10 the first time he went with her to Africa, and after he graduated from college, at 15, he received the title of UNICEF youth spokesperson. Currently a Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Yale Law School at 21 and worked in the State Department from 2009 to 2012, first on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan for two years and then as head of the Office of Global Youth Issues.
    I witnessed a real example of redemption one day at Frog Hollow when Thaddeus came to visit. As a paraplegic in Calcutta, he was discarded in a railway station and forced to crawl on his hands and stubs of legs to beg for food. Later, at an orphanage, he was chained to a post, and kids would throw rocks at him to prompt the mannish growls he made. When Mia saw him, she says, she had a powerful reaction: “That’s my son.” Mia thought he was 5, but when doctors examined his teeth, they determined he was 12. He was so filled with rage that he would bite Mia and try to pull her hair out. But she taught him that even if he could not choose how he was born he could choose how to behave. He shared a room with Isaiah, who describes him as “the hidden gem of the family. He is such a hard worker.” Thaddeus walks with crutches or uses a wheelchair. “It was scary to be brought to a world of people whose language I did not understand, with different skin colors,” he told me. “The fact that everyone loved me was a new experience, overwhelming at first.” He eventually found he had a talent for mechanics. Lying on his skateboard, he could push himself under cars to fix them. Mia tried to get him into a technical school, but they wouldn’t take him. Last Christmas he came home after spending a year living in upstate New York, losing weight, doing odd jobs. A girlfriend had started taking him to church, he said, and he had a spiritual awakening. He became a Good Samaritan, stopping to help people stranded along the roadside change their tires. He decided he wanted to work in law enforcement and talked his way into a criminal-justice program at a junior college. “You’re an inspiration,” the officer in charge told him. “I came back at Christmastime to tell Mia, ‘I know I never really said thank you, Mom.’ I just let out emotions I would never let myself express. Finally I was able to.”
    Meanwhile, private investigators were hired by Allen. “There was a serious effort to dig up dirt on Maco and a number of state-police detectives and have an impact on the criminal investigation, and it did have an impact,” says Thibault, who spoke to some of the detectives involved. One of the top state-police investigators in the case told me, “They were trying to dig up dirt on the troopers—whether they were having affairs, what they were doing.” In his article, Thibault wrote that Allen’s lawyer Elkan Abramowitz acknowledged that at least 10 private investigators were hired, but, Thibault quoted him saying, “we didn’t go into any kind of smear campaign against the police.” Maco says, “I was informed by the state police that someone is going to be out there watching you. I was given the information to just be careful.”

    I never take the time to comment on articles, but I feel I must.  I believe as an actual sexual molested child survivor I've earned the right to say what I'm going to say:

    1) Dylan Farrow needed to get this off her chest .  Okay Dylan good for you.  But ...now what?   All I can tell you is that after a lot of therapy what Really helped me was forgiveness.   You appear to be a long way from that, if these public going back and forths are any indication.

    2) I do not need you to speak out on my behalf, so please stop saying that is why you are doing this.  And I most certainly do  NOT need your mother's opinion.  She stood up for Roman Polanski, who was actually CONVICTED of sexually molesting a minor.  I wish I had the link to what Polanski's victim has to say about Mia---she considers this ironic, at best.

    3). Your brother appears to have a different side to the story....so now he is "Dead to you?"  Why....because he has a different viewpoint of your Mother and events?  Seriously.....this hatred and anger is not going to help Dylan.

    4). What good, in the long haul, us the public airing of this going to do?  Those who like Woody Allen films will still like them, if how humans have appreciated art in the past is any indication.   

    5).  Can we now move on to other newsworthy topics?   Thanks!

    Thank you Kelly, you've earned the right to say what you've said and then some.   

    I had to read this sixteen times.

    I initially thought you were talking about Bob Dylan who was a well known drug dealer:




    copyright probs


    I like this lady anyway



    Okay that is enough.




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