One can hardly predict the zeitgeist from an event…
For example, even though Queen Marie Antoinette was innocent, public opinion still found her guilty of the diamond scandal, and the culprits innocent. Perhaps the reason why top PR firms are close to big corporations and politics.
They provide a very important service — gauging public opinion. When the feedback from the ghost in collective consciousness is not assessed elections are lost, companies go out of business, and revolutions happen.
When leaders fail to keep abreast with public opinion, they do so at their peril.