Bill Cosby & Public Opinion

BillCosbyYou know, I really get sick and tired of the constant Bill Cosby news as he’s crucified on talk radio and online discussion forums.  No, I really don’t care if he’s guilty or not, that isn’t the job of the media or the Internet to decide, that’s something that the courts get to argue and come back with a verdict on.

I was asked a couple of days ago if I thought he was guilty or innocent and I said I had no idea and, as I said above, I wasn’t the one responsible for making that decision and wow, all hell broke loose.  Never mind that nobody has the evidence laid out before them so they can make a credible determination, it’s all about trying people in the court of public opinion!  Nothing else matters!  And when you refuse to do that, people get angry at you because they’re so invested in the decision, they can’t imagine anyone not immediately leaping to a conclusion, whether they have any intellectual reason to think so or not.  It’s all rampant emotionalism, the bane of my existence.

Worse, they don’t care why I might not care to be making public pronouncements of guilt or innocence, it doesn’t matter to them.  I’m not on the jury.  I have no access to the evidence and even if I did, my opinion means nothing to his guilt in a court of law.  So why is it so essential that I have an opinion?  If he’s guilty, he deserves to be punished.  If they can’t prove his guilt, then he deserves to be exonerated.  But that’s not how a lot of high profile crimes work in America these days, it doesn’t matter if they’re guilty or not, their name will be dragged through the mud for weeks and months and even if later found not guilty, people really don’t care.  The damage to their reputation is done, their career could already be destroyed, even if they didn’t do anything wrong.

So please, and this has nothing to do with Cosby, but for any case being tried in the court of public opinion, stop pretending that you know a damn thing about the actual case except what the media, biased ratings whores that they are, are telling you. I wouldn’t trust them farther than I could throw them.  I also don’t trust the lawyers, especially Gloria Allred and her ilk, to tell anything remotely resembling the truth.  She’s got an agenda and being honest has nothing to do with it.  When the case goes to court, it  goes to court.  We’ll find out the results.  The person is either guilty or not guilty.  What you feel about the case has nothing whatsoever to do with what actually happens in the courtroom.  Stop pretending that it does.

4 thoughts on “Bill Cosby & Public Opinion”

  1. The other day, I was asked if I agreed that Cosby is guilty, but I gave pretty much the same answer you provided, Cephus. The person asking was a bit annoyed that I didn't automatically take their side, but they let it go. Interesting how physical presence makes a big difference in how someone responds to an answer they don't like.

    Our genetic and social programming make us want to gossip with each other and decide whether or not a member of our society did something wrong and needs to be punished, even though we set up a court system to handle that for us.

    The Internet accelerates and magnifies our being able to talk about that somebody to one another, and the anonymity there allows people to be more candid in expressing their opinions.

    I haven't really followed the Cosby situation, because frankly, I'm not interested and I'd rather not waste my time. I never met Cosby. I don't know much about him. My opinion about him is irrelevant. I'd rather let the courts handle this, since they're far better equipped to do so.

    1. There are way too many people who get far too emotionally invested in things that they ought to have no emotional stake in. This can be race (remember the OJ trial?), religion, gender, etc, Personally, I have no vested interest in Bill Cosby one way or the other. I want justice to be done. If he's factually guilty, he needs to be punished. If he is not, he shouldn't be vilified in the media for something he didn't do. The idea that people who are factually innocent of claims against them ought to have their lives and careers ruined is utterly ridiculous.

  2. In this case there may never be an opportunity to determine guilt or innocence in a court of law. The statute of limitations has run out on each case thus far brought to public attention. There are some civil cases that have been filed, but no criminal charges because of the statute of limitations. A question to be considered is why there is a statute of limitation for rape and sexual assault but not for other crimes such as murder, robbery, etc. The statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault varies from state to state, ranging from 3 years to 15 years, with several states having no limitation.

    You are not required to have an opinion. But those who do have an opinion are not required to form no opinion unless they are sitting on a jury. Enough has been written in the media to form an informed opinion about Cosby's guilt or innocence. Your charge that the entire media in this country is unreliable is simply horseshit. You are a cynic, and a poorly informed one at that. If you find the entire media unreliable then just what sources do you rely upon for learning about what is going on in the world around you?

  3. "Gloria Allred's hunger for media attention, even when it doesn’t help her clients, appears almost pathological. Beyond that, Allred’s cases, especially those involving jilted lovers of famous men, increasingly represent the depressing terminus of a vision of feminism based solely on victimization, one in which every wronged woman deserves a legal remedy. The whole thing ends up looking like a farce." –Michelle Goldberg

    "What’s funny is that most people haven’t read Bill Cosby’s deposition, which is over 100 pages. All of the victims admit they went back to Bill, or describe a situation that was not rape or sexual assault, and they continued to see him. One woman said she took drugs with Bill Cosby, and it was consensual. Bill only admitted to having a prescription for Quade’s for his back problem, and only gave one pill to one woman during consensual sex. He didn’t admit to buying drugs to give to all women for the purpose of raping them–he would be in jail if that were the case. Also not one woman obtained any evidence of any rape." –FYM, July 14, 2015

    "I met Bill Cosby when my best friend and I skipped school to see his show being filmed. We were both sixteen years old. He drove into CBS and asked us what we were doing there. We said we wanted to see the show filmed. He invited us inside the studio. We stayed most of the day. During the break, he bought us lunch and gave us a long lecture about skipping school and the benefits of a good education. Afterwards, he put us in a taxi and sent us home… I question the fairness of this entire process. Where is the evidence and who jumped on the bandwagon because it was self-serving? Anyone can step in front of a camera and make an accusation and it's accepted as valid without any proof whatsover. That doesn't seem right if we want to look at it from a legal perspective." –Khalilah Sabra, Executive Director at Muslim American Society Immigrant Justice Center

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