Over the weekend, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof ceded his column space to Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, who published an open letter detailing the sexual abuse she allegedly suffered when she was 7 at the hands of Allen.
The molestation allegation first came to light in 1992. Allen was investigated, but prosecutors elected not to charge him. Allen has denied all allegations.
One big difference between 1992 and now is the internet and its power and influence. After the Farrow letter was published, social media quickly took sides. But can we adequately weigh in lacking the knowledge of what happened exactly? Can we, as the reading and engaged public, no longer sit on the sidelines? Is it fair for us to take a side?
NOTE for AirTalk listeners: Please call in to talk about the newspaper’s decision to publish this. We cannot wade in thoughtfully on the guilt or innocence of anyone in the family. We want to know what you think of the choice of the columnist and editors who worked on this story.
Kelly McBride, a writer and faculty member at the Poynter Institute. She is one of the country’s leading voices on media ethics
Patrick Pexton, Washington Post ombudsman from March 2011-March 2013 and former deputy editor for National Journal. He tweets at @PextonPB