And another conspiracy of silence comes to light

Just recently we heard about Jian Ghomeshi and the many women he is alleged to have abused and the conspiracy of silence that protected him for so long. Now we have allegations that Bill Cosby drugged women and then had sex with them.

The stories are really ugly but what makes it worse is that again they had been circulating for some time and yet he was apparently seen as too big, his public image so wholesome, to challenge publicly. It has been the cascade of women coming forward with similar stories that have now brought it out into the open.

The interview below with the AP shows the extreme deference with which the media treated him. They initially did not release this portion at his request but after the story exploded, they decided to do so.

I wonder if more such celebrities are going to be exposed as women who were exploited feel that they are now less likely to have their stories disbelieved or be punished for speaking out.


  1. says

    An annoyance for me is that I was defending him back in 2004 when I first heard of it. I ignorantly thought the accusation was a backlash or smear campaign against his “pound cake” speech.

    Part of why I believed Cosby and not his victim was another celebrity being accused of a crime the year before. In 2003, Alex Lifeson of the rock group Rush was falsely accused of assaulting a cop during a New Year’s Eve party at a hotel in Florida. At trial, however, the staff of the hotel testified that it was the police who perpetrated an unprovoked attack on Lifeson, that the police were lying. One person I admired was completely exonerated of a false accusation before Cosby was accused, so it was easy to believe the rape allegation was false. Now I know better, but I wish I had known better then.

    We all choose to give (or not give) people the benefit of the doubt based on their past actions. Just as it’s easy to believe someone with a criminal record is guilty of another crime, it’s easy to believe a person with a carefully crafted reputation is innocent.

  2. lanir says

    Media coverage of court cases, criminal behavior (and accusatons that can lead to them) is always off. It’s like getting a hurried set of notes about a book you were supposed to read for a class, notes that were written by someone who often doesn’t care about the book or the class. Nothing you see may be particularly relevant.

    I try to look at media coverage of accusations like this as not being true or false. I don’t think I’m in a position to know. It would be utterly amazing if I could tell whether someone several states away had done something inappropriate or not. I don’t know any of these people, I have no baseline for who is trustworthy and who has lied to me, I don’t in fact even know who they are in their private lives where these events actually take place because all I know about them is a character they portray, how they play a game, or what they present of themselves to get elected. These things tell me next to nothing about who they are. So I treat accusations as potentially true or potentially false. I still have an opinion but I may always keep in mind that it’s up in the air. It’s the same trick I used in school to learn things while taking standardized multiple choice tests. 20-30 questions later they often ask the same thing again in a different way but the choices are different which sometimes let me eliminate possible answers.

    I started typing a lot more and realized I was diverting to a rant about media court fantasy (my term but it seems to fit – “lawyer” programs and news don’t give you any useful idea of what to expect in legal proceedings from what I understand) so I stopped and tried to summarize instead.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    Several years ago it came out that Robert Young, star of ’50s sitcom Father Knows Best, was a long-time alcoholic.

    Now we learn the man some called “America’s Dad” due to his eponymous tv show was a serial rapist and drug pusher.

    Jim Bob Duggar is a sexist, homophobe, theocrat and child beater. And don’t get me started about that Douche Dynasty dipshit.

    With such fatherly role models promoted so heavily by television … no wonder American patriarchy has to struggle so fiercely to maintain even a pretense of moral credibility.

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