Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bill Cosby is innocent

I regularly argument that men should be innocent until proven guilty, especially when there is a frenzy of decades-old dubious accusations from people seeking financial settlements.

Brendan O’Neill writes in the UK :
Whatever you think of Cosby – I remember even as a kid I thought The Cosby Show was pants [is this some British jargon? -George] – this media-led public criminalisation of someone who hasn’t been convicted of a crime should chill you. Because the fact is, Cosby is innocent of rape. Just as you are. Just as I am. At least until such a time as someone does the very hard job of proving beyond reasonable doubt that he did rape someone. There’s a phrase for this, I think. How does it go? Ah, yes: ‘A man is presumed innocent until proven guilty.’

The speed with which Cosby has gone from being the uncle of modern America to the scum of the world wide web has been terrifying. As a CNN headline summed it up: ‘From TV dad to accused sexual predator.’ That’s basically what has happened to Cosby’s reputation in the space of two weeks.

Many of the pundits rushing to demote Cosby to devil have used the phrase ‘no smoke without fire’, now that 16 women have made similar allegations. This might seem commonsensical, but it is also antithetical to what we used to know as justice. As historical incidents everywhere from Salem in the seventeenth century to Shieldfield in the 1990s show, lots of accusations do not mean guilt can be inferred, and can actually mean the opposite. ... In short, often there is smoke without fire, especially in a climate of ‘frenzy’; a climate of fear; a climate that longs for a monster; a climate like Salem, where accusations also spread like wildfire; a climate like that currently surrounding Cosby. ...

Well, I have news for these twenty-first-century Salemites: Bill Cosby, we must presume, is innocent. And given that the passing of the statute of limitations means he’s very unlikely to be brought to court to face his accusers, he will remain innocent. I’m sorry if that gets in the way of your search for a demon to yell about, but that’s life: liberty and justice are more important than your weird psychological need for evil.
The clincher for me was the accusation that he used a date-rape drug against his victims. While such drugs do exist, their usage by sexual predators is almost entirely a myth. I do not think that there has ever been a case of someone like Bill Cosby using it. If he had, and one of his victims made a prompt complaint and got a urine test, then he would be behind bars.

The fact is that women often consent to sexual relations and have regrets the next morning. They tell themselves stories to excuse themselves, and sometimes they even believe their own BS.

Update: If you are wondering about motives, Bill Cosby is worth $400M.

6 comments:

Doty said...

Let's not confuse legal innocence with moral innocence. Innocent until proven guilty is the standard that is presumed at the start of a trial. Not before. How do we know "not before"? The fact that you can be held in jail without bond awaiting trial. If you are truly innocent prior to a jury rendering a verdict, then what is the legal basis for imprisoning you prior to said verdict?
Also, does the fact that a jury convicts you MAKE you guilty, even when factually innocent/wrongly convicted?
Moral guilt is determined by a persons actions, Legal guilt is determined by a jury.

George said...

The legal justification for holding someone in jail before trial is to make sure he shows up for trial. Normally they are allowed to post bond and go free. O.J. Simpson was held because he had evaded arrest with a disguise and passport in the white Bronco, so he was considered a flight risk.

Go ahead and form your own opinion about Cosby. I do not think these 20-year-old allegations mean much, because there is no verifiable evidence.

Joan Stringer said...

Being a woman, I know we ladies tend t look on our "sisters" with a sympathetic ear. That said, I have been bothered by these allegations since I heard about the "comedian" who brought the subject out in a "joke". For one thing, these allegations go back to the 60s and 70s, yet nobody back then even went to a hospital or a physician after the fact? Without DNA testing back then, it would have been crucial to have saved any evidence of sexual assault (whether forced intercourse or forced oral intercourse). I cannot believe anybody in the family of, or a friend, roommate, of these women did not notice anything of any behaviour that would make them ask, "What is the matter? Are you alright?" Or something to the point of "There has to be something wrong". Had I been the victim of an assault, whether by a regular person, or especially by a celebrity, maybe I wouldn't want to say anything for fear, but I would certainly go to a physician or hospital, especially if forceably raped, because I certainly would not want to have a rapist's child and would want to find if medication would ensure a pregnancy would not occur. There certainly would not be any way of proving anything without a medical opinion, at least back then. I can't imagine why these women would let this go until 30 and more years later, and if you wanted people to take you seriously, why would you say to the media: "I was star struck", "I thought he could help my career", "I went back later to see him (and we dated)", "I got money frm him when I really needed it". Geez, there is no way I would go back to see anyone if they attacked me , unless it was to give them the business end of a Smith and Wesson! As to this lawsuit for libel, that is one of the most arrogant things I ever heard of! "I can accuse you, but you can't say anything about me,". Huh? Tell you what? I remember as a teen in the 70s hearing parenting talk on TV shows for women, like, "Don't be alone with someone if you're not comfortable", "If you want to meet someone, do it in a place where there are a lot of people, and DO NOT leave until you have a way to get home!", "Do not accept a drink from someone, but take you own, or go to the counter and get it yourself.". I didn't drink back then, but I mean this was just common sense stuff that your mom would tell you.

Joan Stringer said...

Anyway, I don't know who would let their 15 year old daughter be at the Playboy Mansion. I mean, I thought they had an age limit, or am I just naive? Anyway, I believe too, innocent until presumed guilty. Now, how come we're not hearing so much about Steven Collins? That shocked me. Someone like him, and to do what he did. Maybe there weren't as many accusers, but still, if he did it, that is a big difference to how he came off as a person before that broke.

Green_Lantern said...

Dear Angry Dad,

The attack on Bill Cosby has a tabloid quality. It is as though there is a narrative that is sensational and if facts come up which get in the way they are ignored. For example Huth whom who claims she was molested by Bill Cosby when she was fifteen tries to explain why she did not report this over two decades ago says her memories just surfaced in the last three years. Problem: she allegedly tried to shop the story to tabloids ten years ago. But the mainstream media are not following up. They do not confront her to even ask about the inconsistency. Similarly Chloe Goins a lap dancer who accused Cosby of drugging her and licking her feet was recently arrested for prostitution. I think she is entitled to the presumption of innocence as well: but here is the problem: the mainstream media are not asking questions . Similarly Janice Dickerson,

"Ms. Dickinson did an interview with the New York Observer in September 2002 entitled 'Interview With a Vamp' completely contradicting her new story about Mr. Cosby. That interview a dozen years ago said 'she didn't want to go to bed with him and he blew her off.", Marty Singer.

This is something that can be checked.Again the media just ignores this thread. It is as fi Cosby 's guilt was already determined. This makes sense in a tabloid culture, prone in which a person is presumed guilty. But it is breathtakingly unfair. And finally @Joan Stringer:you are quite right.



Green_Lantern said...

Dear Angry Dad,

The attack on Bill Cosby has a tabloid quality. It is as though there is a narrative that is sensational and if facts come up which get in the way they are ignored. For example Huth whom who claims she was molested by Bill Cosby when she was fifteen tries to explain why she did not report this over two decades ago says her memories just surfaced in the last three years. Problem: she allegedly tried to shop the story to tabloids ten years ago. But the mainstream media are not following up. They do not confront her to even ask about the inconsistency. Similarly Chloe Goins a lap dancer who accused Cosby of drugging her and licking her feet was recently arrested for prostitution. I think she is entitled to the presumption of innocence as well: but here is the problem: the mainstream media are not asking questions . Similarly Janice Dickerson,

"Ms. Dickinson did an interview with the New York Observer in September 2002 entitled 'Interview With a Vamp' completely contradicting her new story about Mr. Cosby. That interview a dozen years ago said 'she didn't want to go to bed with him and he blew her off.", Marty Singer.

This is something that can be checked.Again the media just ignores this thread. It is as fi Cosby 's guilt was already determined. This makes sense in a tabloid culture, prone in which a person is presumed guilty. But it is breathtakingly unfair. And finally @Joan Stringer:you are quite right.