Vol 2.8 "Kobe Bryant" August 12,2003

It’s 10:07 a.m. on August 12th. I’ve just come out of a meeting, received my daily agenda from
my assistant, and given a writing pad with three freshly sharpened pencils. Today’s the day I write
this month’s newsletter.

Over the last few days, it seems like everywhere I go I can’t help but run into people
who want to talk about Kobe Bryant. I have found two very distinct camps of opinion on the case ‘”
those that believe a superstar is being brought down by a less than stable or honorable woman for
selfish and financial reasons and those that believe the poor young lady was taken advantage of by
an athletic Adonis that believes the rules don’t apply to him. Rape in one corner; framed in the
opposing corner.

While I honestly believe the evidence can be easily skewed to one side or the other, I’m
not here to take sides but to offer another perspective ‘” one I haven’t heard anyone else take.
What if they are both telling the truth? Does the criminal justice system allow for a ‘push?’ For
those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, a ‘push’ is a term used in blackjack when the
dealer (in this case the prosecutor) matches the same point count as the player (Kobe Bryant). In
blackjack, when a ‘push’ or tie occurs, the player doesn’t lose, he gets to remove his chips from
the table and go home if he likes. He is no better or worse off than before he sat down. The
house also does not win and receives no compensation for the time it took to deal the hand.
Everyone goes back to the financial status they were at before the game ‘” no harm, no foul.

I don’t think there can be a ‘push’ here. Win or lose, the toothpaste can’t be put back
in the tube. Mr. Bryant will always be seen (by some) as the man who got away with rape, the man
that was framed, or the man who got his just desserts. Regardless of the outcome, Mr. Bryant and
the accuser don’t get to rewind the tape and go back to the way things were before the cards were
dealt. Is it fair? Is it right for someone to have the ability to say anything they want if they believe
it to be true? Is it right to be able to say anything you want when you know it isn’t true? Ask the
New York Times how it feels about one of their own fabricating tales to make stories sound better.
Are there repercussions? Not for the Times guy, he’s already got a book deal to tell the world how
he wove his lies. The Internet is a wonderful resource, but it is also unpoliced. For almost a week,
a young woman’s picture had been posted on site after site after site as the lady that had been
sexually assaulted. Only one problem ‘” they were showing the wrong photo.

I honestly believe that if you can get enough people to believe a lie, it becomes the
truth. At the end of the day, what is truth anyway? It’s what the majority of people believe. At the
end of the day, it won’t make one bit of difference what the absolute truth is; it will only make a
difference what 12 people on a jury believe. Twelve people with the power to call a truth a lie and
a lie the truth. Majority should not be a form of a lie detector test. Don’t forget there was a time
when the majority thought the world was flat, that our planet was the center of our universe.
Guess what?! The majority was wrong.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that only two people know what went on in that hotel
room, but I disagree. It’s possible that neither one knows. That young lady’s perception in which
she determined her reality may be totally different than his perception and his reality. Guess what,
everybody?! They both might be telling the truth ‘” their truth. What are we supposed to do as a
society when we have a ‘push?’ Does the tie go to the runner like in baseball or does the house
win?

When I was young, my dad used to tell me that we lived in a great country. A country of
justice. A country that believes it’s better to let 100 guilty men go free than to imprison one
innocent man.

I hope we still live in that country.

Talk to you soon,

Fred

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