Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bill Cosby and the Media-Hyped Stampede

Rasty loves to watch John Stewart, Rachael Maddow, The Nightly Show, and all that crowd -- even in re-runs -- which is how I happened to watch the re-run of TNS that roasted Bill Cosby over those rape allegations.  I noticed that, after a few lines of lip-service to "innocent until proven guilty", the host and guest panel gleefully went after the usual Politically Correct topics of "nobody believes the woman" and "Cosby's nice clean media image" and so on, cheerfully assuming that Yes He Did It.  For evidence, they're quoting Cosby's refusal to say anything about the subject.  It's assumed that an innocent person would talk and talk and talk all over the media, the way Cosby's accusers did.  Uhuh.  It never seems to have occurred to all these media pundits that maybe Cosby's lawyer warned him not to say a word about the accusations, so as not to give away any of the facts he plans to use in his court case.  No, Cosby has to be guilty because he won't talk to the self-important media!  Rrrrrrright.

Just judging from the few facts we know, I don't think he did it.

For that matter, I didn't think that O.J. Simpson Did It either -- based on observable facts.  That is, I don't believe it's possible to kill one's ex-wife and her new boyfriend, clean up the evidence, run home, play a couple rounds of golf, get in a limo and be driven (at normal speed) to Los Angeles airport, check in, and get on one's plane -- all in one hour.  I have personally traveled through LAX airport, and believe me, it's impossible to get through that airport and get on your plane -- even for a red-eye flight -- in less than an hour.  The timeline just doesn't fit.  The fact that the restaurant Nicole visited that night, and which her new boyfriend worked at, was a notorious cocaine distribution center -- and that Nicole was into coke -- is beside the point.  I think O.J. was ruined -- by the media -- for nothing.  The only people who profited from the whole incident were the media and the family of Nicole's boyfriend, who -- after O.J. was cleared in criminal court -- sued him in civil court, won, and walked away with most of O.J.'s millions, leaving him ruined for life.

Now let's look at Bill Cosby.  What we do know is that this obscure woman went to the police and, especially, the media, claiming that Cosby had raped her some 30 years earlier.  She gave considerable detail: that Cosby lured her to his home with promises of making her a star, gave her a drink full of Roofies, and raped her.  She claimed he did this several times, using his "charisma" to "hypnotize" her into compliance, and this is why she didn't complain for 30 years.  Since this story broke, some 35 more obscure women have made the same claim, repeating the exact same details.  We also know that Bill Cosby was born in 1937, which makes him 77 years old now, and that (like O.J. Simpson) he made himself very rich over the years.

Now let's start drawing some connections.  At the time when Cosby was supposed to have been playing Svengali to some 35 young women, he was a) married and raising a family, b) starring in a weekly TV comedy show, c) still doing stand-up comedy at any venue that could afford him.  From my own experience in showbiz, and what little I've seen of TV production and live gigs, I have to ask: when did he get the time -- let alone the energy?  Entertainment is a very time-and-energy-consuming business.

Another question: why did all these women wait more than 30 years to complain?  Cosby obviously didn't make them stars, or their names wouldn't be so obscure.  If he used them and tossed them away, that would have ended his "hypnotic" control over them;  such stuff has to be renewed constantly to remain effective, even when done by an expert psychologist.  Without such constant reinforcement, it wears off within a year -- and one thing Cosby has never been is a hypnosis-trained expert psychologist.  The only reason I can think of for the delay is that, over this many years, the witnesses' memories of that time would have grown a bit fuzzy.  For example, I can clearly remember my move from Chicago to northern California;  I remember the incidents well, but damned if I can recall what day I arrived in Albany, or what time (other than "afternoon"), or even what month.  If asked what I observed on December 14, 1983, I couldn't begin to say.

And why do they all tell exactly the same story, with the same details that the first woman spread around the media?  Even a compulsive serial criminal never repeats his crime exactly the same way, every time, and over the years needed to seduce that many women, even a serial rapist would vary his technique somewhat.  These reports sound as if all the women were reading the same script.  Ahem.

Finally we come to the question of motive.  What do all these women have to gain by making accusations against a 77-year-old comedian with an image as a kindly family man?

Well, first, he has a lot of money -- and remember what happened to O.J. Simpson.  When, not if, Cosby is cleared of criminal charges, the inevitable media-circus will color the attitudes of the public so that it will be hard to collect a jury that's really neutral -- and the rules of evidence for a civil lawsuit are much looser than for a criminal case.  35 women could divide up Cosby's millions quite handily between them.  That's not counting the money they could get for peddling books and media appearances;  any good public relations expert could tell you how to make money on a scandal.

For another thing, this will give them the one thing which they claim Cosby promised them, but they never got -- fame.

--Leslie <;)))><   





Joel C. Salomon said...

My impression was that OJ’s ᴵᶠ I Did It removed most remaining uncertainty, so it’s interesting to hear new (to me) reasons to doubt the official story.

Regarding Bill Cosby… I’m just glad the Court of Public Opinion does not have official standing.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but the case against OJ is Overwhelming. He didn't play golf that night. And there are just far too many coincidences---"once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action," to quote my wargamer friends.

Aya Katz said...

I agree with you that OJ was not proven guilty and the general public did not care about innocent until proven guilty.

I also agree that the case against Bill Cosby is trumped up. But I think these witnesses are being coached and the motive may be more than money. Cosby is a respectable, successful black man who tells young people to speak a standard dialect of English when in public, get a job and take responsibility for themselves. This goes against certain political agendas.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Joel. IIRC, OJ's book was titled "IF I Did It", and left a lot of room for doubt. I saw the televised segment where his house/pool boy testified to seeing OJ out in the back yard taking a few shots at golf balls. Three times is indeed enemy action, and OJ did have some enemies who would have been glad to set him up. I knew (he's dead now) a guy who entertained at that restaurant Nicole's boyfriend worked at, and his comment was that not only was the place a front for a good quarter of the cocaine sales in LA, but the owner personally hated OJ and would have been quite capable of framing him. Yes, OJ too was a "respectable" model of a successful Black man, and there were people whose political agendas that didn't fit. The parallels between OJ and Cosby grow more numerous the closer one looks. Hmmm...

Eric Wilner said...

And why would a celebrity with hypnotic powers need to use roofies, anyway? This makes no sense.
Another recent case to ponder: Herman Cain. Wasn't it fun watching Gloria Allred get her white sheet on?
One might almost see a pattern here.

Anonymous said...

One thing about these really, really old accusations---i.e., accusations of things that happened decades ago---is how in hell do you prove your innocence?

Paradoctor said...

I lean towards saying he did it, but we can't prove it, so by rule of law he gets away with it, except for his rep. And I'll keep rule of law, thank you very much.

This isn't the first time entertainers had secrets as outsized as their egos. And you've got to admit that a serial date-rapist playing Dr. Huxtable is a great joke, in itself.

What hurts is that I still love lots of his jokes. Ice cream, we're gonna have ice cream...