HITLER NEVER PUSHED ONE JEW INTO AN OVEN
Temecula, CA – As the dust once again blows around Bill Cosby and people take various stands, it's important to remember that Hitler never pushed a single Jew, Gypsy, or homosexual into an oven. Though he gets all the credit and all the blame, as he should, it was people called enablers that helped him build his Jericho Walls. Enablers are to blame for much of what's wrong in the world, so it's nice to hear an upfront apology from one who realizes his mistake.
Such is the case of David Carr, the New York Times’s late media commentator. This is his report:
'With public revulsion rising in response to snowballing accusations that Bill Cosby victimized women in serial fashion throughout his trailblazing career, the response from those in the know has been: What took so long?
Only the first of those things was actually true.
Those in the know included Mark Whitaker, who did not find room in his almost-500-page biography, “Cosby: His Life and Times,” to address the accusations that Mr. Cosby had assaulted numerous women, at least four of whom had spoken on the record and by name in the past about what they say Mr. Cosby did to them.
Those in the know also included Ta-Nehisi Coates, who elided the charges in a long and seemingly comprehensive article about Mr. Cosby in The Atlantic in 2008.
Those in the know included Kelefa T. Sanneh, who wrote a major profile in The New Yorker this past 2014 September and who treated the accusations as an afterthought, referring to them quickly near the end of the piece.
And those in the know also included me. In 2011, I did a Q. and A. with Mr. Cosby for Hemispheres magazine, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines, and never found the space or the time to ask him why so many women had accused him of drugging and then assaulting them.
We all have our excuses, but in ignoring these claims, we let down the women who were brave enough to speak out publicly against a powerful entertainer.
Mr. Whitaker has said he didn’t want to put anything in the book, which he wrote with Mr. Cosby’s cooperation, that wasn’t confirmed — which of course raises the question of why he wouldn’t have done the work to knock down the accusations or make them stand up.
And given that the accusations had already been carefully and thoroughly reported in Philadelphia magazine and elsewhere, any book of the size and scope of Mr. Whitaker’s should have gone there.
Mr. Coates recently expressed regret on The Atlantic website that he did not press harder on Mr. Cosby’s conflicted past. In the course of his reporting, he said he came to the conclusion that “Bill Cosby was a rapist.”
He added: “I regret not saying what I thought of the accusations, and then pursuing those thoughts. I regret it because the lack of pursuit puts me in league with people who either looked away, or did not look hard enough.”
I was one of those who looked away. Having read the Philadelphia magazine article when it was published, I knew when the editors of the airline magazine called that they would have no interest in pursuing those accusations in a short interview in a magazine meant to occupy fliers.
My job as a journalist was to turn down that assignment. If I was not going to do the work to tell the truth about the guy, I should not have let him prattle on about his new book at the time.
But I did not turn it down. I did the interview and took the money.
I paid for that in other ways. The interview was deeply unpleasant, with a windy, obstreperous subject who answered almost every question in 15-minute soliloquies, many of which were not particularly useful.
After an hour of this, I mentioned that the interview was turning out to be all A. and no Q. He paused, finally.
“Young man, are you interested in hearing what I have to say or not?” he said. “If not, we can end this interview right now.”
Mr. Cosby was not interested in being questioned, in being challenged in any way. By this point in his career, he was surrounded by ferocious lawyers and stalwart enablers and he felt it was beneath him to submit to the queries of mere mortals.
He was certain of his own certainty and had very little time for the opinions of others. Mr. Cosby, as all of those who did profiles on him have pointed out, was never just an entertainer, but a signal tower of moral rectitude.
From the beginning, part of his franchise was built on family values, first dramatized in “The Cosby Show” and then in his calling out the profane approach of younger comics and indicting the dress and manner of young black Americans.
Beyond selling Jell-O, Mr. Cosby was selling a version of America where all people are responsible for their own lot in life.
He seldom addressed bigotry and racism. Instead, he exhorted individuals to install their own bootstraps and pull themselves into success. And while they were at it, they should pull up their pants and quit sagging, a fashion trope Mr. Cosby found inexcusable.
It proved to be a popular theme with white audiences and less so with black ones. A generation of black comics who revered other pioneers like Richard Pryor found Mr. Cosby’s lectures tired and misplaced.
But that moralism, which put legs under his career as an author and a public figure, made Mr. Cosby a target. In 2005, ABC News reported on accusations of a former Temple University employee, who said that the entertainer drugged and fondled her.
That was followed by a report on “The Today Show” that he had done the same thing to Tamara Green, a lawyer in California.
The Philadelphia magazine article, with a more comprehensive list of victims, came out in 2006 and was followed by a piece in People magazine about Barbara Bowman, who said that she was drugged and assaulted. And then the story just died.
Mr. Cosby was (mostly) out of view, his lawyers pushed back and tried to knock down every story and victim, and no one in the media seemed interested any longer. Mr. Cosby was old news, he had been investigated but never criminally charged, and there seemed to be little upside to going after a now-ancient story.
But as Mr. Cosby’s profile rose again when it became clear that he would get another ride on television with planned shows on NBC and Netflix, so did the scrutiny.
In February of this year, Newsweek published accounts from two of his victims, including Ms. Green, who called Mr. Cosby a “rapist” and “liar.”
In the end, it fell to a comic, not an investigative reporter or biographer, to speak truth to entertainment power, to take on the Natural Order of Things.
On Oct. 16, the comedian Hannibal Buress took the stage in Philadelphia, Mr. Cosby’s hometown, and railed against the incongruity of his public moralizing and private behavior. He told the audience, “I want to just at least make it weird for you to watch ‘Cosby Show’ reruns.” (TV Land has since canceled those reruns, and both Netflix and NBC have shelved projects with Mr. Cosby.)
He said Mr. Cosby had the “smuggest old black man public persona that I hate. Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.”
And then he dropped the bomb. “Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby. So, brings you down a couple notches.”
Social media, a non-factor when the accusations first surfaced, feasted on a clip of the set posted on Philadelphia magazine’s website.
On the heels of Mr. Buress’s routine, Mr. Cosby’s public relations people asked his Twitter followers to make funny memes of the entertainer, and that promptly backfired in a huge way.
With NBC and his other former partners having jettisoned Mr. Cosby, his lawyers were left alone in the bunker, denying the charges and playing Whac-a-Mole against accusations from women that are popping up everywhere. And on Sunday, The Washington Post published a comprehensive recap of the charges.
For decades, entertainers have been able to maintain custody of their image, regardless of their conduct. Many had entire crews of dust busters who came behind them and cleaned up their messes.
Those days are history. It doesn’t really matter now what the courts or the press do or decide. When enough evidence and push-back rears into view, a new apparatus takes over, one that is viral, relentless and not going to forgive or forget.'
You see, Sports Fans, reporters tell you about things; journalists tell you of things. David Carr knew the difference and now you do too. Happy New Year to all our readers, fans, and thinkers from all the journalists at the Temecula Calendar.
(All emphasis - Ed)