Will the Last Cosby Defender Turn off the Lights on the Way out…

Via the BBC:  Bill Cosby admitted he gave woman drugs before sex

In his 2005 testimony, Mr Cosby admitted that he obtained Quaaludes in the 1970s, with the intent of giving it to women he wanted to have sex with.

The case was brought by Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University – the Philadelphia college with which Mr Cosby was once closely associated.

Details at the link.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Don’t know if this is at your link, but I liked what the judge had to say:

    Explaining his decision to release the papers, Robreno is scathing about Cosby’s claim that he had a right to privacy. He said that Cosby had “donned the mantle of public moralist and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime. To the extent that Defendant has freely entered the public square and thrust himself into the vortex of th[ese] public issues he has voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim.”

    Robreno said the public had a “significant interest” in the “stark contrast between Bill Cosby, the public moralist and Bill Cosby, the subject of serious allegations concerning improper (and perhaps criminal) conduct”.

    The judge concludes: “The nature of the allegations – sex, drugs, seduction, etc – do not cloak this case, including the depositions of one of the parties, with an automatic, or per se, seal of silence.”

    via: The Guardian

  2. C. Clavin says:

    Just another proselytizer proven to be a hypocrit.
    There are more of them than not.

  3. CSK says:

    The court documents themselves are at http://www.scribd.com/Deadspin

  4. al-Ameda says:

    By nearly any standard I am considered to be damned cynical and jaded.

    Many of us expect many entertainers – actors, musicians, athletes – to feel entitled, and because of their oversized egos, money and fame, to help themselves to whatever they want … but this … this is beyond my normal cynicism, I never imagined.

    Again, it just goes to show us, to remind us, that we really do not know these people, we do not know what they do in their private lives. It’s part of the reason why, perhaps since I was 12 years old, I really do not look up to athletes as role models. The same is true of my view toward other entertainers.

  5. Gustopher says:

    @al-Ameda: Mr. Rogers remains pure, doesn’t he? (I am now afraid to do an Internet search…)

    And that guy who wrote some of the Animorphs books, he never did anything horrible, just moderate middle-class debauchery mostly within the norms of everyday hypocrisy, right? Oh, don’t answer, I just don’t want to know.

  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Gustopher:

    That animorphs guy is pretty debauched, he’s just balanced out by his lovely wife.

  7. John "Whoopi G." says:

    So what? It wasn’t “rape-rape.”

    Right?

  8. michael reynolds says:

    Oops. I knew I was going to do that someday. It’s how I screw with the actual James P. Since he’s banned he can’t use an avatar or protect his screen name. So sometimes I, um, help James P express his innermost thoughts. Yes. I help.

  9. Mikey says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Many of us expect many entertainers – actors, musicians, athletes – to feel entitled, and because of their oversized egos, money and fame, to help themselves to whatever they want … but this … this is beyond my normal cynicism, I never imagined.

    I’m right there with you. Bill Cosby was the embodiment of wholesome family-man entertainer. To me, Cliff Huxtable wasn’t a character Cosby played, but rather Cosby himself just using a different name. And Cosby’s stand-up bit about the time he gave his kids chocolate cake for breakfast has been one of my all-time comedy favorites.

    You’d think at age 49, I’d be incapable of disillusionment. Sadly not.

  10. Franklin says:

    @michael reynolds: Busted! (j/k, I’ve seen the obviously fake James P impersonations, and if I’m not mistaken Joyner hinted that a regular was doing something like that.)

  11. Tyrell says:

    I remember the tv shows that Cosby was in. He was a versatile, multitalented actor. I especially enjoyed his comedy routines and appearances on Carson. My favorite was “Fat Albert” on Saturday mornings. I used to have some records (lp) of his monologues and discussions he had with children. Sad to hear about all of this.

  12. Gustopher says:

    @James P: I initially thought this was “James P” pretending to respond as Michael Reynolds would… I was completely fooled.

    It was creepy what a good impersonation it was, of course.

  13. grumpy realist says:

    And Miz Goldberg has reacted to this by saying that Bill Cosby is “innocent until proven guilty.”

    She ain’t that bright, is she? Considering that the recent stuff involved transcripts from a trial.

    Le sigh.

  14. Franklin says:

    @James P: Yeah? Explain that to Jasper!!!

  15. Matt says:

    @Franklin: Aye he’s up to two now 😛

  16. Kylopod says:

    I concur with many of the previous comments: I still find this hard to fathom, since Cosby was not only a great comedian but always seemed to me like a mentsch.

    I just want to add that what makes it even more disappointing is that Cosby spent a portion of his career fighting negative stereotypes of African Americans in popular culture. That was part of his thinking behind The Cosby Show. It’s a little like that case I mentioned a few weeks ago, about a man whose claimed Holocaust experiences turned out to have been fabricated. It’s the kind of thing that makes me cringe because I can just hear the bigots snickering in the background.

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    It’s an interesting puzzle. How do you troll a troll?

    They are of course impervious to direct attack. But James P has a fatal weakness: ego. He insists on maintaining his identity, despite the fact he can’t prove it by using his actual email address linked to an avatar since that would make it easier for James to ban him.

    His own subterfuge creates the opening. He may be a pure troll actually speaking his genuine beliefs, or he may just be an a-hole trying to rile people up, but if one spoofs him properly it puts him in the impossible position of being forced to defend his own troll’s comments. This frustrates him if he’s a sincere troll, and if he’s goofing it puts him in the difficult position of denying “his” funnier comments.

    It’s made much easier by his utter lack of self-awareness and his very nearly German sense of humor. And of course by his essential stupidity.

  18. rodney dill says:

    @michael reynolds: I caught that earlier (a few weeks ago) when I noticed some James P comments coming from the same IP address as yours.

  19. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    An admission that, “in the 70s, I offered women drugs before sex and they willingly took them” is hardly a smoking gun. From what I’ve heard, there wasn’t a hell of a lot of sex happening without some degree of drug involvement. This is bad, but hardly a smoking gun.

    What I find more enlightening is the part OzarkHillbilly highlighted:

    He said that Cosby had “donned the mantle of public moralist and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime.

    While hypocrisy is the greatest sin on the left (except when practiced by a liberal), it’s not a crime. It should be irrelevant to a court. Does that mean that rapists who live quiet lives, or embrace their scumbag nature, should be treated less harshly? Should Cosby be sentenced more harshly than Joe Francis or Mike Tyson, because of his public statements? And should we bring up the case of Roman Polanski, who drugged and sodomized a 14-year-old girl and fled the country after conviction, but is still revered by much of Hollywood?

  20. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    An admission that, “in the 70s, I offered women drugs before sex and they willingly took them” is hardly a smoking gun.

    Unless there are a mountain of allegations about the use of sedatives as a tool of rape.

    This is not a revelation in a vacuum or without context.

    The question at this point: what is the evidence in Cosby’s defense versus what is the evidence against him?

  21. @Jenos Idanian #13: BTW: everything isn’t about a simplistic liberal/conservative spectrum (indeed, most things are more complicated than that). And this issue, specifically, isn’t about that.

    Should Cosby be sentenced more harshly than Joe Francis or Mike Tyson, because of his public statements? And should we bring up the case of Roman Polanski, who drugged and sodomized a 14-year-old girl and fled the country after conviction, but is still revered by much of Hollywood?

    You do realize that Tyson went to prison and Cosby hasn’t, yes? Cosby hasn’t been sentenced at all.

    And the fact that some people in Hollywood want to ignore Polanski’s crimes means nothing in regards to Cosby.

  22. KM says:

    @Mikey:
    Bill Cosby did some good for the world and tried to be a positive role model on TV and in RL.
    Bill Cosby is a rapist and a criminal who’s lied for years.

    These are not mutually exclusive statements. Bad people can do good things. Good people can do bad things. It’s completely false dichotomy that you must be one or the other that ruins our view of the very flawed human race. I’m constantly amazed by how despondent everyone gets when a previously beloved individual turns out to be scummy and start immediately invalidating every single action they’ve taken EVER as fruits of the devil. Bill Cosby may be a dick but that doesn’t make the Cosby show any less then what is was before. You just know now the actor’s a horrid person when watching it, that’s all. It’s still fiction and Huxtable isn’t Cosby, he’s just played by him.

  23. gVOR08 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: WTF?
    @michael reynolds: Are you doing Jenos now?

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I repeat: It’s not a smoking gun.

    You’re arguing that it looks very bad. Agreed. But it’s not conclusive.

    Are you saying that it is conclusive, that it is a “smoking gun,” that it definitively proves the allegations against Cosby are true? That’s a hell of a stretch.

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Beyond a shadow of a doubt in a legal proceeding? No. 90% confidence level that at least some of the accusations are true? Absolutely.

  26. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I repeat: It’s not a smoking gun.

    You’re arguing that it looks very bad. Agreed. But it’s not conclusive.

    You are the one who wants to talk about smoking guns, so you are free to repeat whatever you like.

    If a person has been accused of engaging in repeated defacement of property with red spray paint and that person is later found to have purchases lots of red spray paint (and admit to using red spray paint on some surfaces) that enhances the case against said person. If there are already dozens of witnesses claiming they saw the accused of using red spray paint in the defacing under discussion one can logically use the new knowledge to further enhance the case against the accused.

    You see: it is not just this bit of information at work. I was already convinced of Cosby’s guilt, but this new information, coupled with the existing accusations builds a pretty strong case–which you are free to reject. If you wish to be the dude who keeps the lights one in defense of Cosby, be my guest.

    This is, however, yet another example in which you demonstrate the inability to see the world outside of simplistic lib/con views as well as your willingness to reject evidence that doesn’t fit your preferred position.

    What evidence do you have that Cosby deserves to be defended at this point?

  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: What evidence do you have that Cosby deserves to be defended at this point?

    Well, he has yet to be convicted, or found responsible of anything in a court of law. So he’s entitled to A defense.

    And if my occasional impulse to play devil’s advocate interferes with your need for an echo chamber, I probably should apologize.

    Said apology would be motivated as a courtesy to you as the host, and not an admission of error, but if you would like such an apology, I will provide it.

  28. @KM:

    Bill Cosby may be a dick but that doesn’t make the Cosby show any less then what is was before.

    I think we are talking here about more than just being “a dick” (indeed, I know we are–we are talking about a man who appears to be a sexual predator and a serial rapists).

    So, I think that does taint the work–at least it does for me. Yes, Huxtable is a fictional character and so on one level it is theoretically possible to disassociate the art from the artist. However, 1) to partake of the art is to put money in his pocket (if one watches it on TV), so that is morally problematic, and 2) the nature of the given art (the TV shows, the stand up, etc.) is grounded in (and supposedly was meant to promote) a certain moral point of view which appears now to be diametrically different to the life lived by the artist. I think that creates a substantial level of taint as well and it hits a level, for me at least, that makes consumption of the output unacceptable. Granted, YMMV.

    No artist is perfect, true. But at some point the level of imperfection can taint the art to the point that it is hard, if not impossible, to ignore.

  29. @Jenos Idanian #13: I am neither asking for an apology nor agreement. I am asking for clear thinking and use of evidence and argument.

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: In 1977, Roman Polanski was convicted of drugging and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl, and he fled the country. He continued to have a very successful directing career, getting five Oscar nominations, drawing numerous big-name artists to his projects, and has been spiritedly defended by many big players in Hollywood for his actions.

    He’s not toxic, but Bill Cosby is? What’s the difference?

    Well, for one, Polanski was convicted, while Cosby hasn’t. But that should argue for Polanski being treated worse.

    So it’s the “hypocrisy” angle. That’s the only other one cited. Apparently Cosby spending years putting forth a public image and opining on things that rejected the liberal beliefs makes him worse than Polanski.

    Give Cosby his day in court. Let him defend himself against these charges (which appear to be supported with serious evidence).

    But can we harness just a little of this righteous passion to go after convicted child rapist Polanski, and those who’ve supported him and enabled him for all these decades? Can we at least pretend to have a little consistency?

  31. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Well, he has yet to be convicted, or found responsible of anything in a court of law. So he’s entitled to A defense.

    This all, BTW, quite correct. Currently he is living the free life of a very wealthy man who has had his reputation tarnished and who was denied a new NBC sitcom. All told, not bad considering the accusations.

    And yes: I concur that the information in the story I linked would not be sufficient to convict him. However, I do think that that the information that we have is enough to preclude a reasonable person from defending him (especially those who continue to be in denial about the accusations).

  32. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    A) I never mentioned it defnded Polanski (nor have I ever). You are the one who wants to talk about Polanski.

    B) because you think “Hollywood” defends Polanski you think that the appropriate scale-balancer is that you should defend Cosby? See above about me wanting clear thinking and argumentation. You often do this: act as if taking about some other thing is relevant to the topic of a conversation.

  33. gVOR08 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    …act as if taking about some other thing is relevant to the topic of a conversation.

    It’s been my observation that this is a conservative characteristic generally. In this form – well so and so did something worse – I refer to it as the Chappaquiddick defense. In the more general form, a current example is the SC state Rep going on about why are we talking about the flag when we could talk about gay marriage.

  34. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I’ve been following anjin’s example, and have very carefully NOT defended Cosby. I think that he’s done a lot of very good things over the years, and his recent stance against thug culture and whatnot is sorely needed. I also think that those actions are a factor to a lot of people who are going after him so strenuously right now — to them, his real offense is what he’s been saying in public. What he may or may have not done in private is simply an excuse to punish him for his statements.

    Personally, I think Cosby is a creature of his times. He gained his fame and fortune during the “free love” and freely-flowing drugs era, and is stuck there. He probably doesn’t see anything wrong with what he did, because it was a lot more acceptable then. I facetiously said that most sex in the 1960’s and 1970’s involved drugs, willingly taken by the participants, and while that’s technically an exaggeration, it has quite a bit of truth in it. It wasn’t until years later that our attitudes towards intoxication-aided consent evolved. Much like drunk driving, what was once a laughing matter is now a serious crime.

    Cosby, I suspect, never outgrew that stage. And figured that since he got away with it back then, he should be able to get away with it forever. Now he is looking at paying the price.

    And the fact that his statements pissed off a lot of the left means that he’s got a bunch of people who are seriously motivated to dig like hell for anything to bring him down. Tough break for him. He should have learned from Polanski — if you have that kind of dirt in your background, keep on the left’s good side. He also had the Mel Gibson example to learn from.

    Sean Penn is a serial woman abuser.

    Chris Brown, the same.

    R. Kelly is a pedophile.

    Bill Clinton is a serial adulterer, sexual harasser and accused rapist.

    Ted Kennedy killed an innocent woman.

    If Cosby did what he’s accused of (and I think it quite likely, but not yet proven), then he should pay for his misdeeds. But the people yelling loudest about him are at least as big hypocrites as they say he is. And the fact that they make more noise about his “hypocrisy” than his actual alleged deeds tells all you need to know about their priorities.

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @gVOR08: It’s been my observation that this is a conservative characteristic generally. In this form – well so and so did something worse – I refer to it as the Chappaquiddick defense.

    Here’s noted conservative “anjin-san” showing a particularly strong example.

    There’s nothing particularly partisan about it. It’s an attempt to personalize the argument, to change the topic from the subject at hand to the character of the arguer. It’s an attempt to put one side on the defensive, because when you’re defending, you’re not winning.

    It’s exceptionally common for the majority to use against the minority in any given forum. Some continue the argument, some go on the attack, and when the minority can’t keep up with all the comments, they are declared to have “conceded” whatever point they don’t answer. Or accused of running away in cowardly defeat.

  36. gVOR08 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Umh, no. You tried to change the subject to Hillary’s emails, providing an example of my thesis. Anjin replied citing your record of being incorrect in the past in response. How is that an example of saying someone else did something worse? (Rhetorical question.)

  37. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @gVOR08: Um, no. Pay attention, though, because this is pretty nuanced.

    My point was that nearly all these “gotcha” questions are leveled at Republicans, who are expected to treat them like serious questions. My bringing up Hillary’s e-mails was intended as an example that such questions are available to use on Democrats — if one is inclined to treat them like Republicans are treated.

    For me to try to change the subject to that would be me tacitly admitting that it was remotely possible. And I know that it simply won’t happen here. The authors are not the least bit inclined to bring the topic up, and if they do, they will lose the echo chamber they enjoy and the commenters would go after them hammer and tongs.

    Me? I got nothing to lose by triggering the attacks that saying anything bad about Clinton or Obama inevitably brings. And I find a little entertainment in the various and sundry excuses proffered for why these matters aren’t real scandals. Clinton’s e-mails just pale in significance to some obscure Republican saying something stupid, or OMG THERE’S A CONFEDERATE FLAG SOMEWHERE!!!!!

    It’s cheap entertainment, but since it’s free…

  38. gVOR08 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Thank you. I was previously unaware that “nuanced” was a synonym for “rambling”. Or is this supposed to be an explanation of why you keep wanting to wander off into irrelevancies? In which case, again, thank you for providing another example of my thesis.

    Lunch is over. I’m out.

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Your brain is scrambled eggs.

  40. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    He’s pretty consistent really.
    He openly supports rapists, the traitors and white supremacists that the Confederate Flag represents, and wife-beaters — like his man-crush Geo. Zimmerman.
    Nothing surprising here as far as I can see.

  41. Deserttrek says:

    many of the women i slept with we were under the influence, did I slip them a micky finn? no

    with all that is going on in the world cosby is tiny potatoes

  42. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: e openly supports rapists, the traitors and white supremacists that the Confederate Flag represents, and wife-beaters

    I have done so in the past, yes — but then I stopped voting for Democrats.

    And I’m hardly the one with the crush on Zimmer-whatever. I don’t even think about him these days. Hell, he’s not even in my top two Zimmerman associations — Number 1 is an early 20th century diplomat, and Number 2 is a minor character from a mediocre movie.

  43. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You wrote what, 100 comments on Zimmerman? 200? 1000?

    And now, like Peter denying Jesus, you want to pretend you never knew him. For shame.

    Haven’t you ever heard the Tammy Wynette song, Stand By Your Thug?

  44. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: I just reviewed my notes, mikey. I don’t recall ever defending Zimmerman’s character. I just said that there wasn’t evidence that supported the charge, and challenged the misrepresentations outright lies being pushed by you and the rest of your mindless lynch mob.

    Hell, one of the authors was one of the fabricators. Here’s Dr. Joyner saying that Zimmerman followed Martin with his gun drawn. And when it was pointed out that there had been zero testimony that Zimmerman drew his gun before the fight, he responded that it was “inconceivable” that Zimmerman didn’t draw his gun. (I knew it was a good idea to keep that page bookmarked.)

    Look, get over it. You didn’t get your pound of flesh. You wanted the white guy punished, but there wasn’t anywhere enough proof that he deserved to be punished. Hell, he wasn’t even white. suck it up, grow up,and move on already.

    Just look at it, dude. You were part of the lynch mob for Zimmerman, and the courts said was was not guilty of any crimes. You were part of the lynch mob for Officer Wilson, and the courts said he was not guilty of any crimes. Have you ever considered the radical step of getting the facts before you start building the gallows? Yeah, it’s a lot less fun, but it might mean you won’t have to spend the rest of your life furiously denying you were totally wrong, and keeping your hate on for the people who had the temerity to not be the monsters you insisted they were.

  45. PT says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Zimmerman knew Cosby?

    Pure applesauce

  46. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    hypocrisy is the greatest sin on the left (except when practiced by a liberal)

    The extreme level of projection there is intriguing. If there’s anyone on this site who’s obsessed with hypocrisy above virtually anything else happening in the world, it’s you. You’ve posted thousands of comments to this site over a course of several years, and what’s amazing is how rarely you come here to articulate positions on specific issues. Someone reading your comments would be excused for being a little fuzzy about your actual views on same-sex marriage, health care, criminal justice, taxation, and other topics. You aren’t much into the horse-race stuff either. Instead, you seem on a one-man crusade to prove “hypocrisy” on the part of liberals. It’s the way you approach virtually every issue–including, of course, this one.

    Since you agree that the evidence against Cosby is damning, it’s mighty strange how little interested you seem in discussing the impact of these revelations, what it says about Cosby’s status in our culture, or what it says about the problem of sexual assault. All that concerns you about this decidedly nonpartisan subject is that “libruls are being hypocrites!”

    Never mind for the moment that your arguments are badly reasoned. (For instance, being more skeptical of the rape accusation against Bill Clinton than the dozens of rape accusations against Bill Cosby isn’t evidence of “hypocrisy,” and it’s doubly hilarious to hear that coming from someone who in the next breath accuses others of a lack of “nuance.”) It’s just fascinating to me that you seem to consider “hypocrisy” a more important matter than real issues that affect people’s lives.

    And for the record, hypocrisy is not the greatest sin to people on the left. At a rough estimate, I’d say racism, sexism, classism, and crackpottery rank higher–not to mention real crimes like sexual assault. And the comments on this site by actual liberals bears this out. Most of us here discuss issues in terms of their real consequences in the real world; only you are singularly focused on hypocrisy above all else.

  47. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Kylopod: Since you agree that the evidence against Cosby is damning, it’s mighty strange how little interested you seem in discussing the impact of these revelations, what it says about Cosby’s status in our culture, or what it says about the problem of sexual assault. All that concerns you about this decidedly nonpartisan subject is that “libruls are being hypocrites!”

    That’s a level of misunderstanding that almost couldn’t be accidental.

    Let’s skip the word “damning.” It’s too ambiguous. I’ll agree that the evidence against Cosby is strong, and certainly worthy of being heard in court. I will not agree that it is conclusive, and makes a court hearing irrelevant.

    And that hurts. I love his standup work. He was brilliant and fresh and instantly relatable. And his last special (can’t really call it “standup” because he did the whole thing sitting down) was wonderful. He talked about how proud he was of his wife when one of his daughters was going off on her parents and hit them with the “I never asked to be born!” line. His wife came back with “to be perfectly honest, you weren’t what we hoped for, either,” and I thought that was a perfect comeback.

    But go back to the comment from the judge that OzarkHillbilly quoted. He was releasing it not because of its relevance, but because it highlighted Cosby’s hypocrisy. The implication there is that if Cosby hadn’t make comments about morality, then he wouldn’t have publicized the admission about giving Quaaludes to women before sex (which the women apparently knowingly and willingly took).

    And look at the sheer glee at “exposing hypocrisy” shown here. As you say, it’s quite revealing. That’s the focus — not that Cosby did bad things, but that he did bad things AND he dared talk about morality.

    I don’t have a huge problem with hypocrisy, except as it. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

    I’d like to see Cosby have his day in court. I don’t think the evidence is so overwhelming that that step is redundant.Because so many of the same people now calling for his head are a lot of the same people who said that the evidence against Zimmerman and Wilson was so overwhelming that anyone who didn’t join in the calls for their heads was obviously a racist and a white supremacist and probably pulled the tags off mattresses and didn’t sort their recycling, and we all saw how those cases played out.

    So I’ll bide my time on passing judgment on Cosby. And I’ll occasionally give pokes to the people who tried to start up lynch mobs in those two previous cases, and look like they’re trying the same crap again.

  48. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I will not agree that it is conclusive, and makes a court hearing irrelevant.

    And who said that? I have seen no none say that. I would love to see him in court.

    people who tried to start up lynch mobs

    No one is calling for a lynch mob.

    That’s the focus — not that Cosby did bad things, but that he did bad things AND he dared talk about morality.

    No, it is not that he “dared” anything. And it is not that it is impossible to recognize and deal with the complexities of human behavior. It is the vast gulf between what he presented to the public and what seems almost certainly did behind closed doors (and did repeatedly).

    At some point that gulf is so wide as to make glib references to people being legion utterly moot (and comparisons to others a deflection).

  49. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And look at the sheer glee at “exposing hypocrisy” shown here. As you say, it’s quite revealing. That’s the focus — not that Cosby did bad things, but that he did bad things AND he dared talk about morality.

    The focus? Whose focus? Until the moment you piped in, there were eleven comments about Cosby in this thread. Exactly two of them–by Ozark and C. Clavin–mentioned the hypocrisy angle. The remaining nine (CSK, Al-Ameda, Gustopher, Neil Hudelson, John, Mikey, Tyrell, grumpy realist, and me) talked about how disappointing it was, how great a comedian Cosby was, etc. The OP Steven Taylor also never got into the hypocrisy angle; his interest was about what the evidence showed. But since a couple of commenters out of a dozen dare to bring up the fact that the revelations expose Cosby as a hypocrite, suddenly that makes it “the focus” of the discussion in your mind.

    many of the same people now calling for his head are a lot of the same people who said that the evidence against Zimmerman and Wilson was so overwhelming

    What is this “many of the same people” nonsense? Up to now I’ve hardly heard anyone, left or right, defend Cosby. The first defender mentioned in this thread was Whoopi Goldberg, the same woman who previously defended Roman Polanski with her notorious “rape rape” remark.

    Indeed, what’s amazing about your hypocrisy accusations is how little you mention any specific individuals; you just make vague references to some unnamed masses who perpetuate this allegeded double standard. Your whole premise that it’s some kind of payback by the left is ridiculous for two reasons. First, the rape accusations against him have been around for years and until very, very recently he was almost universally treated in the media and Hollywood as this kindly grandfather figure. Second, the idea that he was an enemy of “the left” is laughably untrue. Cosby is on the left himself; he supported Jesse Jackson in the ’80s and later expressed admiration for Dennis Kucinich. He also enthusiastically backed Obama twice.

    It’s true that after his so-called “pound cake” speech in 2004, many conservatives were quick to come to his defense. But guess what? So were many liberals. Among those who publicly expressed support for his message were Jesse Jackson and Kweisi Mfume. Around the time, black liberal columnist Clarence Page wrote a piece titled “Kudos to Cosby for daring to speak the truth.” Cosby’s calls to personal responsibility among black youth weren’t breaking some massive PC taboo; indeed, Obama himself has struck many of the same themes in his speeches on the subject. The problem is that you, like many conservatives, can’t fathom the idea that when an African American commentator deigns to express some critical words about certain aspects of his own culture and people, that he could also recognize white racism as a major social problem. The two aren’t mutually exclusive–except in the minds of right-wingers who are constantly looking for excuses to justify their own negative feelings about blacks. So when confronted by black public figures who make both these claims, you either ignore that they ever brought up personal responsibility (as in the case of Obama) or ignore that they ever acknowledged racism (like Cosby).

    Cosby isn’t the conservative martyr you imagine him to be–which makes your attempts to defend him pointless on top of misguided.

  50. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Kylopod: Cosby isn’t the conservative martyr you imagine him to be–which makes your attempts to defend him pointless on top of misguided.

    Well, then, it’s a good thing that 1) I don’t think of him as a martyr, and 2) am not defending him.

    Which makes your lecturing rather pointless, but it was entertainingly well-written.

  51. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Kylopod: I’m just back from a refreshing walk, and given your comments a bit more thought.

    First, are you really so simplistic that, to you, “not joining in the attack” is defending? That “reserving judgment” is defending? That “questioning the attackers” is defending? I thought the whole “you’re either with us or against us” was pretty thoroughly discredited.

    Second, maybe you haven’t noticed, but around this site, nobody ever defends. The attitude is that when you’re defending, you’re losing. You’ve granted the attacker the right to define the terms, and you’re on the defensive, and nobody ever wins on defense.

    Which means, necessarily, that there is very little dialogue that goes on. Dialogue requires both parties to agree on a few basic premises, and if both sides are attacking, they are pretty much guaranteed to be talking about two different things. They might be aspects of the same topic, but they won’t be the same things. And when you have two (or more) people talking about different things to each other, that’s not a conversation. At best, it’s two simultaneous monologues.

    Kind of like what political “debates” have become. The politician takes the question, then talks about whatever the hell they want to. They might make a token gesture to relating to the actual question, but it’s tangential.

    Which is why the “always attack” tactic has become so popular. It tends to bypass the intellect and goad the emotional response, compelling the attacked to answer the attack. And there are two angles there: defend, or counterattack.

    And whoops, there goes the chance for actual dialogue. Oh, well.

    At least sometimes the attacks might be entertaining.

  52. taikar clark says:

    By almost any standard I am considered to be damned cynical and jaded.

    Many of us expect many artists – actors, musicians, athletes – to feel right, and because of their oversized ego, money and fame, to help themselves to what they want .. . but this … this is beyond my normal cynicism, I imagined.

    Again, it just goes to show us, to remind us that we do not really know these people, we do not know what they do in their private lives. It’s part of the reason why, maybe since I was 12 years old, I do not really look up to athletes as role models. The same is true of my sight to other artists.

    By almost any standard I am considered to be damned cynical and jaded.

    Many of us expect many artists – actors, musicians, athletes – to feel, and because of their oversized ego, money and fame, to help themselves what they want … but it … is beyond my normal cynicism, I imagined.

    Again, it just goes to show us, to remind us that we do not really know these people, we do not know what they do in their private lives. It’s part of the reason why, maybe since I was 12 years old, I really do not look to athletes as role models. The same is true of my sight for other artists.

  53. wr says:

    @Kylopod: “I still find this hard to fathom, since Cosby was not only a great comedian but always seemed to me like a mentsch.”

    That is a perception held only by those who have never worked with the man…

    And I — and everyone else I know who had horrible experiences on one of his shows — grew up loving his albums. I still do. He was a brilliant writer and performer, and a rotten human being.

  54. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “And the fact that his statements pissed off a lot of the left means that he’s got a bunch of people who are seriously motivated to dig like hell for anything to bring him down”

    Everyone in Hollywood has known for decades that while Cosby ran around preaching morality, he had an endless string of “girlfriends,” generally very young (note: not saying underage). There were countless stories about his “adventures” and Camille’s response. If “the Hollywood left” had ever wanted to “bring him down,” they could have done so at just about any point.

    But they didn’t. Because no one really cared that Cosby screwed around, and no one cared (beyond mild irritation) that he was runing around preaching morality.

    What is doing Cosby in now is multiple credible accusations of rape. Even the women I know who worked on his various shows and knew all about his standard sexual exploits have been shocked and horrified by this.

    I hate to burst the bubble of your self-righteous ignorance, but as usual you have no idea what you’re talking about.