The Questionable Ethics Of AP’s Delayed Bill Cosby Rape Scoop
[su_right_ad]The Bill Cosby rape allegations firestorm has already resulted in questionable journalism like Don Lemon’s unsolicited dick-biting advice, at least one hoax, and endless dissections of Cosby’s past work (although the lyric “Nah, nah, nah, gonna have a good time!” is now, admittedly, super-creepy), but a recent Associated Press “scoop” seems to place the news service in the unenviable position of bragging about what crummy journalists they are.
This has nothing to do with whether you believe Cosby, or think that his trial by media is deserved. Journalism is about providing information to the public that is of value, and which allows them to make fair and informed judgments about matters of public interest. Some of the coverage does this, and some does not. The standard, however, is not that of a courtroom. Given the public accusations by named individuals, there is no doubt that the public has a right to expect journalists to investigate the allegations, and to ask Cosby about them. The public also has the right to form judgments about those accusations, and even about Cosby’s refusal to address them. That’s not what any of this is about.
In the immediate wake of that development, Cosby and wife Camille gave an interview to the Associated Press that took place on November 6, and was focused on an exhibition of his art collection. Weirdly, the video that was published at the time contained about 35 seconds of dead air at the end.
Not long after that, Cosby’s social media PR team invited more attention when their “Meme Me” campaign was hijacked and used to spread the allegations. Since then, the total number of women accusing Cosby of sexual assault has risen from 14 to 17, and include women who are making those accusations publicly, without anonymity. Earlier this week, NPR’s Scott Simon made huge news with an interview in which Cosby literally said nothing in response to the allegations, simply shaking his head “no” in response.
It is against that backdrop, then, that the Associated Press decided to release a portion of that Nov. 6 interview that they had previously withheld, and in which Cosby delivers a slightly more vocal refusal to comment. That’s the part that’s getting all the attention, but listen to what he says about the reporter’s question…READ MORE[su_csky_ad]