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Amber & Johnny & Who & Whom

Why many on the Narrative-driven Left can't accept the inconvenient truth of the Depp-Heard verdict
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The NYT columnist Michelle Goldberg is steaming mad about the verdict in the Johnny Depp – Amber Heard trial. This paragraph is insane:

As a First Amendment issue, the verdict is a travesty. By the time Heard wrote the essay, the restraining order she’d received had been all over the news, and a photo of her with a bruised face and bloody lip had appeared on the cover of People Magazine. Even if Heard lied about everything during the trial — even if she’d never suffered domestic abuse — she still would have represented it. But if the police call wasn’t part of a hoax, then it’s hard to see how Heard hadn’t suffered as well.

Wait … what?! Even if she lied about everything, Johnny Depp should have lost the case because some women somewhere suffer domestic abuse? Depp might not have been guilty, but some men somewhere are guilty, and really, isn’t that all that matters?

Here is a fantastic tweetstorm by lawyer Natalie Whittingham Burrell breaking down why Johnny Depp had a massive mountain to climb to prevail in this case — and why he succeeded. Bottom line: Amber Heard was shown in court to be an extremely unreliable narrator. For example:

Another one:

Finally:

Read the whole tweetstorm, especially if, like me, you didn’t follow the trial. 

We also learned during testimony from a medical professional hired to evaluate Amber Heard that Heard has Borderline Personality Disorder. From Harvard Health, this about how BPD sufferers behave:

When stressed, people with borderline personality disorder may develop psychotic-like symptoms. They experience a distortion of their perceptions or beliefs rather than a distinct break with reality. Especially in close relationships, they tend to misinterpret or amplify what other people feel about them. For example, they may assume a friend or family member is having extremely hateful feelings toward them, when the person may be only mildly annoyed or angry.

A distortion of their perceptions or beliefs rather than a distinct break with reality. I think it is entirely possible that Heard really did believe the things she was saying. One of my readers who says he’s married to a BPD wife sent me this passage he typed in from a book called Understanding The Borderline Mother, which a commenter recommended the other day:

Some borderlines consciously distort the truth in order to prevent abandonment, maintain self-esteem, or avoid conflict. Others may lie to evoke sympathy, attention, and concern. From the borderline’s perspective, however, lying feels essential to survival. (Although not all borderlines consciously lie, all borderlines experience perceptional distortions.) When desperation drives behavior such as lying or stealing, they feel innocent of wrongdoing and do not feel guilt or remorse. Apologies are rare, therefore, and borderlines may be confused about why others expect them to feel remorse. They believe that others would do what they did in order to survive. Their explanation is succinct, “But I had to!” Thus the borderline is unconcerned with the consequences of lying because she feels she had no other option.

I found an online PDF version of the book, and scanned through it, looking for clues. That a medical professional found Heard to be suffering from BPD is damning to her credibility. From the book:

Wow. More:

“Manipulative.” “Distorts the truth and may even blatantly lie.” “Overreacts.” “Impulsive” “Hasan unreliable memory.” “Inconsistent.”

You think Heard might have been an unreliable witness? Gosh. “I don’t trust her” — said the jury.

One more from Understanding The Borderline Mother:

I don’t know what kind of childhood Amber Heard had, but this is really interesting to learn: that growing up with a chronically stressful childhood may damage the part of the brain responsible for memory and emotional regulation. That’s astonishing information to have when evaluating the contradictory testimony of Amber Heard. If she really does have BPD, then she might not even have been aware that she was lying on the stand. I have somebody in my broad family network who is known to all of us as a chronic liar — not a malicious one, but one who will say whatever that person has to say to achieve a sense of peace. Growing up, we all had to learn to discount what X. said because X. would lie compulsively without even knowing that they were lying. I know for a fact that X. had a traumatic, abusive childhood. Now that I’ve read around Understanding The Borderline Mother, I pity my poor kinfolk X.

I didn’t pay attention to the trial at the time, but it seems clear in the aftermath that though Johnny Depp is an unsavory character in many ways (and this came out in the trial), contra Michelle Goldberg, the Depp verdict was no travesty. It was vindication that truth, not feelings, and not political utility, matters in these cases.

As it happens, tonight I watched the absolutely must-see Matt Walsh documentary What Is A Woman. I had a press screener. I don’t know what you have to pay to watch it, but it’s almost certainly worth it. What an immensely powerful documentary, the kind of thing that you ought to be able to see all the time, but our media don’t care about truth, or difficult questions; they only care about Narrative. This tweet by Allie Beth Stuckey is true:

Well, theological, or philosophical. Either word works. That paragraph from Michelle Goldberg, who works as a columnist at the most powerful newspaper on the planet, tells you the kind of decadence that is consuming our society. If they remade the mid-century courtroom classic Twelve Angry Men according to Goldberg’s standards, the accused killer — an 18-year-old Hispanic young man on trial for murdering his abusive father — would have been convicted because even if he didn’t do it. Early in the movie, when the jury begins deliberation, one of them says:

“You’re not going to tell me that we’re supposed to believe this kid knowing what he is? Listen I’ve lived among them all my life. You can’t believe a word they say, you know that. I mean, they’re born liars.”

Here’s the scene:

“You’re not going to tell me that we’re supposed to believe Johnny Depp knowing what he is?” says the Michelle Goldberg juror. “Listen, I’ve lived among men all my life. You can’t believe a word they say, you know that. I mean, they’re born liars. OK, maybe Amber Heard is lying in this particular case, but lots of men beat women and lie about it. And we’re supposed to believe Johnny Depp?”

Seems that people on the Left are eager to given mentally ill people what they want, as long as it hurts the “correct” people. Here’s the reaction of the “justice correspondent” of the left-wing magazine The Nation:

From the Matt Walsh documentary, here he is interviewing a university professor of the phony discipline “gender studies”:

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