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An accusation is claim that someone else has committed a wrongdoing. I suppose I didn’t have to say “someone else” in the previous sentence because you’d sound damned ridiculous accusing yourself of something. Then again, considering how many people there are out there who sound damned ridiculous much of the time, maybe I’d better leave it in for their benefit.

An accusation doesn’t need to be true to be an accusation. In fact, the word implies that the claim has not yet been proven.

Tabloid press and many of their readers seem to forget this fact often. And, if the accusation is later proven to be false, that news tends to get much less attention. To be fair, I can’t prove that charge against the tabloid papers or their readers. It’s just an accusation.

Further to this point, in systems of justice wherein there is a presumption of innocence, the people sitting in the dock are called “the accused” and not “the guilty.” In totalitarian countries where the justice system doesn’t include a presumption of innocence, it’s, “Off with their heads and then lets have a show trial to display their guilt. You bring the refreshments.”

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